Read Through The Entire Bible – A Simple and Painless Plan you can start today
Have you started one of those Read-through-the-bible plans? Did you finish it?
Sadly, I never have. I wanted to, but no matter which one I tried I never made it to the end.
And here’s why:
Some of those bible books are seriously lengthy. In particular, the first five books.
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy…..
The Pentateuch takes up some serious biblical real estate!
And, they all come at the beginning of the bible.
Where do you start when you feel defeated before you even begin?
It’s difficult if not impossible to read through one of these books in one sitting. There is such precious little time in our days to sit with our bibles. With, work, homeschooling, and being a mom the interruptions pile up and it can take days or weeks sometimes to get through just one book and it feels like a losing battle.
I’ve read all the way through Genesis several times, happily finished Exodus (because, come on I was on book 2) and gotten bogged down somewhere in Leviticus or Numbers. And if you didn’t already know, they can be ahem… a little dry.
It would be about this time that I would realize I’d only read 3 of the 66 books, give up and head to the new testament or somewhere else.
It felt like failure.
For years, I have consistently read the Psalms every morning as part of my prayer time and read sections of almost every book, but never the whole thing in one systemized way. I knew God wanted me to read all of my bible and I also knew he’d give me the tools to do his will. Those books contain God’s words to me and I don’t want to miss a single one.
May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. Hebrews 13:21
So, I set out to find a way to do it that would keep me going to the end.
I wanted to quickly feel a sense of accomplishment.
I wanted to feel like I was getting somewhere so I could cheer myself on when I felt daunted by looking at the bible as a whole. I needed more momentum before getting to these wordy giants. Hello, I’m looking at you Genesis.
It had to be simple
Easy for me to remember where I was if I hadn’t read in a few days and quick to pick back up again when life got in the way. With no confusion about exactly what I had read and still needed to read.
Here’s what I came up with.
Read through the bible by book size, shortest to longest.
That’s it. Super simple. My theory on this is that reading the shortest books first would create a sense of accomplishment. It would be hard to stop by the time I reached Leviticus or Numbers. My earlier success would push me on to complete my goal.
It’s been working for me. I started this back in January as a New Year’s Resolution. I want to complete the entire bible by the end of the year. I’m 40 books in and while the longest are still ahead, I feel motivated every time I look at my list and all I’ve accomplished this year. I’ve even stopped a few times for several weeks and wasn’t deterred because I keep my list right in my bible and can open it any time and just start again and know right where I am and all I’ve already done.
This is exactly what you need if you’re looking to get motivated to read through the pages of the bible book by book. And, if you’re like me and have started and stopped multiple times. You will be able to read the first few books in one sitting if you like. They are so short. I promise getting those first few under your belt will encourage you to keep going.
I have created 2 variations of this Read-Through-the-Bible-Plan as free printable checklists you can find them in our FREE Resource Library. You can access them by clicking the button below to subscribe.
Choose which plan best fits your goals. I have the entire bible organized by book size and I also have the Old testament and new testament as separate plans if that makes more sense to you. Each variation includes a master checklist with every book listed plus a series of checklist pages with each book listed and a date started and date finished field for you to fill in.
The printable is a simple and easy way for you to keep track of your progress and see at a glance how much you’ve already accomplished. Those first few books are going to go quickly.
The Nitty Gritty
A note on how I chose the order of books in my plan:
Ordering books from smallest to largest was a simple idea, but In my initial research I came upon many ways in which these calculations are made. There are very technical answers to the questions of which books are shortest and which are longest, there are so many versions of the bible not to mention people who use the original Greek and Hebrew texts to find the length of each book.
While its interesting to know facts like words per book, I didn’t need to be so exact to come up with my list.
Does it really matter if I read Psalms before Genesis or vice versa?
They’re both seriously long, so for my purposes I grabbed my bible and just organized by number of chapters. I wanted to have a general idea of each book’s length to make my list. I just needed to know an approximate size for each book as compared to the others. And, using the chapter count in each book gave me this number.
Where books had the same number of chapters I just went in biblical order, i.e. Old Testament book before New Testament.
Last, I moved 1sts and 2nds to their chronological order. I guess it’s the perfectionist in me trying to get out, but I just didn’t like the idea of reading 2nd Samuel before 1st Samuel just because it has a few less chapters in it.
ENTIRE Bible Plan – Old & New Testament Together
This is the master checklist and there are checklist pages that include a date field. There is a black and white version as well.
OLD TESTAMENT & NEW TESTAMENT – Individual Plans
Pictured below are the master checklists for the Old Testament and New Testament Plans. The download for these also comes with a multi-page checklist and a date field. There is a black and white version for these as well.
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I hope you have fun with these printables.
This week I linked up with Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth, A Wise Woman, and Missional Woman at Faith Filled Friday.