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Living on every word that comes from the mouth of God

How to read the Bible in a year (or two, or three, or four)

Monday 16 December 2013 by Ad Taylor-Weekes

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A old friend of mine used to quote this maxim to me, "Fail to plan, plan to fail". Well if it's true in other areas of life then it's certainly true when it comes to planning to read the whole Bible. It strikes me that God has, in his wisdom, given us 66 books with which to reveal himself. If we go through life regularly missing out the same parts of the Bible then we have to ask ourselves what we're missing out on in our understanding of God.

If you've never done it before how about planning to read the whole Bible. You could do it in 1 year. If not 1 year how about 2 or 3 or 4. It's less about the pace and more about the direction. Just be realistic. We're all at different stages in life and if a busy mother can only grab 5 minutes per day why not have a plan for what that 5 minutes might consist of? Having a plan is a good way to make sure that you are reading the whole of God's self-disclosure.

The following are a few resources available. The first 3 I have tried, and recommend, the last one I haven't but it sounds interesting.


1) Robert Murray McCheyne's plan

Following this plan means that you will read through the whole of the Old Testament once, and the New Testament and Psalms twice, in a year. There are 4 readings each day. You can subscribe to this plan (and many others!) at and they'll send you the readings each day.

Alternatively you can download a pdf of the calendar here.


2) For the Love of God - Don Carson

This title comes in two volumes and is based on the same Bible reading plan as above (with a few variations). In his books Don Carson has a comment each day where he picks up on two of the readings. The first volume picks up on two of the readings and the second volume has his comments on the other two readings. Whilst you can do all the readings in a year (as McCheyne above but with Don's comments) it has been designed as a 2-year plan: read the whole Old Testament over 2 years, and the New Testament and Psalms each year.

You can purchase these books through our partner bookshop by clicking here.


3) Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan

By following this plan you will read the whole Bible in a year. There are still 4 readings per day. The advantage of this plan is that the readings are all scheduled into 25 days per month. This gives some extra days to catch up if you have fallen behind or for further study in those passages that have particularly intrigued you. One way of making use of this plan is to follow it on each day, apart from Sunday, each week. This will give you the room on Sundays to read the passages that will be preached on that day in your church.

This plan you can find here.


4) Bible Unity Reading Plan

This plan has sought to order the readings chronologically. This means, for example, that you read the prophets in their historical context. The same is true of the New Testament letters. I have never used this programme so can't vouch for it personally but I can see some benefits (even if the dates of some books are unknown, and hotly debated in some quarters) Like the DJBRP above there are 25 readings per month.

This plan you can find here.


There are loads more options as you will find out if you take only a quick look around. It's less important which you choose, of course, and more important to be deliberate about it because we live by "every word that comes from the mouth of God" However big your mouthfuls just make sure you eat it all up!

Ad Taylor-Weekes

Ad works most-time for Emmanuel Bath as the Pastor. The rest of the time he is a music leader and a guitar teacher both privately and in a school in Wiltshire. He's husband to Jane and father to four lively children. He grew up in Bath and studied at the Cornhill Training Course from 2003-2005.
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