Personal Bible Reading Resources

Personal Bible reading is a discipline, a discipline that comes more easily for some than for others.  The reading plans and other resources linked on this page have been designed to help you provide structure to your regular personal Bible reading.  If you would like some motivational material to help fan the flame of personal reading, check out the resources at the bottom of the page.
 

Reading Plans

Through-the-Bible Plans
  • RBC 2016 Bible Reading Brochures. These brochures are based on The Discipleship Journal Reading Plan by NavPress.  This plan guides you through the Bible in one year with two Old Testament and two New Testament readings each day.  The plan includes between three and six catch-up days each month. [Free, hard copies are available at RBC]
  • RBC 2016 Bible Reading Bookmarks.  These bookmarks contain the same plan as the brochures above, simply in a different format.  Four bookmarks help you mark the spots in your own Bible of the four daily readings. [Free, hard copies are available at RBC]
  • M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan. This plan, developed by 19th century Scottish minister Robert Murray M’Cheyne, takes you through the Old Testament in one year and through the New Testament and Psalms twice in a year. [Free]
  • Bible Reading Record.  This record, prepared by Donald Whitney, allows you to read through the Bible at your own pace and to keep track of your progress.  The plan includes recommendations for reading through the Bible in a year. [Free]
  • The Bible Reading Plan for Shirkers and Slackers. This plan also takes you through Scripture at your pace.  Each day of the week has a reading from a specified section of Scripture (for example, Tuesdays are for Old Testament history books and Saturdays are for New Testament letters).  If something happens and you miss a day or two, you simply pick back up based on your next reading for the current day of the week. [Free]
  • See “Other Sources” and “Automatic Reminders and Apps” below for additional “Through-the-Bible” plans.
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    Chronological Plans
  • Read the Bible for Life.  George Guthrie, New Testament professor at Union University, has prepared this plan which leads you chronologically through the Scriptures in a year. [Free]
  • ESV Chronological Plan.  This plan is another version of a one-year chronological plan. [Free]
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    Through-a-Portion-of-Scripture Plans
  • 5x5x5 plan.  This plan, also prepared by Discipleship Journal, takes readers through the New Testament over the course of a year.  The plan is designed for the reader to read five minutes a day for five days each week (the third five in the title refers to five suggestions for digging deeper as you read). [Free]
  • Gray’s Method for Mastery.  This plan is adapted from a comment by James Gray (1851-1935) in his book How to Master the English Bible.  The principle is to allow oneself to be mastered by Scripture by giving focused attention to a single book at a time.  The approach is as follows: select a book of the Bible and read it through (for shorter books, read in one sitting).  Re-read that same book 19 more times.  Repeat that process for all 66 books of the Bible.  Read more about the background of this method and find some helpful suggestions on implementing it here and here.
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    Other Sources
  • E100 Challenge. This plan takes the reader through 100 key Scripture passages at the reader’s pace.  There are 50 Old Testament Readings and 50 New Testament readings. [$, a limited number of free bookmarks and daily planners are available at RBC]
  • ESV Plans. Crossway has complied 10 different reading plans to be used with the ESV (although they could be used with any translation).   In addition to the variety of plans, you can select how you receive your selected plan (you can print them, have them emailed to you, receive them in an RSS feed – including as audio podcasts, etc.). [Free]
  • BibleGateway.com.  BibleGateway.com has a variety of reading plans that can be read in a variety of versions right from your web browser. [Free]
  • Read the Bible in a Year. Select from five different reading plans in over 50 different translations. [Free]
  • Another compilation.  Over at The Gospel Coalition’s website, Justin Taylor has previously assembled a listing of multiple reading plans.  Some of those plans are directly mentioned above and below. [Free]
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    Daily Devotional Guides

    • Tabletalk.  Tabletalk is a monthly devotional magazine that includes daily devotional readings, a through-the-Bible-in-a-year reading plan, and multiple thought-provoking articles. [Free/$, a limited number are available at the beginning of each month at RBC]
    • Open Windows.  This quarterly publication by LifeWay includes a daily devotional passage, a daily plan for reading the Bible through in a year, a short devotional reading, prayer starters, and a daily missionary prayer guide. [$, a limited number of free copies are available at RBC]
    • For the Love of God.  This blog provides a daily devotional reading that follows the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan.  The readings are a digital version of D.A. Carson’s For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word, Volume 1 and Volume 2. [Free]
    • The Daily Reading Bible. Each edition has approximately 60 undated readings, and each reading focuses on a particular passage of Scripture.  In addition to the full text of the Scripture passage for that day’s content, the readings also include questions, “points to ponder,” and prayer starters. [$, samples are available to look through at RBC]
    • Explore. This quarterly publication includes daily Bible readings, devotional commentary, and reflection questions.  It also includes a through-the-Bible-in-a-year reading plan.  Also available as an app for your phone and/or tablet (see below) [$, samples are available to look through at RBC]
    • Some of the resources listed on the “One-to-One and Small Group Study” page could also be used in your personal study.

    Automatic Reminders and Apps

    • ESV Plans. As noted above, you can select how you receive your selected plan (including in your Google, Outlook, or other iCal-compatible digital calendar). [Free]
    • ReadingPlan.  Available for iPhone and iPad users, this app comes with six reading plans, and many other reading plans are available for free and easy download into the app.  Among its many features, this app allows you to set reminders, links with your preferred Bible reading app, and lets you customize the start date. [Free]
    • YouVersion. This app includes numerous translations and reading plans and is available for multiple devices (iPhone/iPad, Android, BlackBerry, etc.). [Free]
    • Explore. This app is the digital version of the daily devotional “Explore” mentioned above.  Available from the iTunes App Store and from Google Play. [Free for the first month of devotionals, $ for subsequent months]

    For Children and Teenagers

    • Engage. Designed for youth ages 14 to 18, each undated edition includes approximately 90 daily Bible readings, questions to help students think through what they have read, plus suggestions for exploring the day’s passage/topic even further. [$, samples are available to look through at RBC]
    • Discover. This dated quarterly publication has been prepared for children ages 11 to 14 and contains daily Bible readings, questions about the Bible reading, and activities.  As the publisher states, “It encourages a daily routine of Bible study and prayer, which hopefully sets a pattern for the rest of their lives.” [$, samples are available to look through at RBC]
    • XTB (eXplore The Bible). Each undated volume contains approximately 60 daily readings and activities designed for children ages 7 to 10. XTB also links in with the family devotional Table Talk to allow families to use the two books together if desired. The Table Talk Fact Sheet offers suggestions on using XTB with Table Talk. [$, samples are available to look through at RBC]
    • Beginning with God.  These guides help parents explore the Bible with their preschool children, and include a daily reading, questions that can be adjusted as necessary, suggested prayers, and activities. [$, samples are available to look through at RBC]
    • See the page “Family Worship Resources” for additional ideas of resource to use with your children.

    Motivational Materials & Other Resources

    • Open Up the Bible Videos.  For some people, personal Bible reading is best done first thing in the morning.  For others, late at night works best.  For many others, somewhere in between early morning and late night fits their schedule best.  Each video offers a perspective on having a personal time of Bible reading and prayer at a particular time during the day. [Free]
    • Plan for Personal Bible Reading. In this sermon, John Piper considers the value of planning for personal growth and ministry in light of what Scripture says about planning. [Free]
    • Regular Bible Reading. This article from Matthias Media provides some additional thoughts on being intentional in your regular intake of the Scriptures.
    • A book to read.  In his book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney addresses more than personal Bible reading.  However, chapters 2 and 3 address Bible intake, and include sections on Bible reading, meditation, and other forms of regular consumption of the Scriptures. [$]