A photo of an open Bible with a bookmark on the first page, surrounded by a calendar, clock, and a cup of coffee, symbolizing commitment, time management, and nourishment for a year-long journey.

How To Read The Bible In A Year

Reading through the entire Bible in a year can be an enriching and transformative experience. With 66 books and over 1,100 chapters, knowing where to start and developing a plan to stay consistent can be daunting.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: commit to reading 3-4 chapters of the Bible per day, 5 days a week, using a reading plan that takes you through the Bible chronologically or canonically in one year.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide key strategies, tools and resources to empower you to successfully accomplish the goal of reading the entire Bible within a calendar year.

Choose a Bible Reading Plan

The Canonical Order Plan

The canonical order plan involves reading the Bible books in the order they appear in the Bible. This allows you to go through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, which provides a great overview of Scripture as God intended it to be compiled.

Here are some key benefits of the canonical reading plan:

  • You read the books in the order they were written and compiled, seeing the overarching narrative and progression of God’s story.
  • It’s a simple plan to follow, just going book by book from beginning to end of the Bible.
  • You get the complete experience that covers both the Old and New Testaments.

On the other hand, a drawback is that you don’t necessarily read the books chronologically in terms of the timeline of events. But overall, the canonical order is a great way to read through the full counsel of Scripture.

The Chronological Order Plan

In the chronological order plan, you read the books of the Bible in the sequence the events occurred historically. This plan enables you to place the stories into their proper historical context and see how the narrative progresses from beginning to end.

Here are some key perks of the chronological reading plan:

  • You gain a deeper understanding of the historical timeline of the Bible.
  • Certain passages take on more meaning when read in chronological order.
  • You get a unique viewpoint into the cause-and-effect relationship of different stories.

On the flip side, a downside is that the order can seem disjointed or confusing at times, since you jump around between different books. But overall, reading chronologically can give you fresh insights.

Old and New Testament Together vs. Separately

When structuring your reading plan, you can choose to combine reading from the Old and New Testament together, or focus on one testament at a time. Here is a comparison:

Together Separately
– Provides a more unified experience going back and forth between testaments. – Allows you to focus deeply on one testament before switching.
– Juxtaposes Old and New Testament passages for deeper meaning. – Prevent jumping back and forth which can be disjointed.
– Mixes up the types of readings each day. – Can better see the progression and story of each testament.

There are good reasons for either approach. Combining testaments can highlight parallels and connections between the two. But separating can help you fully immerse in one testament at a time. It comes down to personal preference.

The key is to have a plan in place that will enable you to systematically get through the Bible in a year. Setting aside time each day to read Scripture is crucial. But the specific approach should align with your own learning style and what will work best for your schedule.

As you dig into God’s Word, His truth and direction for your life will be revealed.

Use Technology and Accountability Tools

Bible Apps

Bible apps like YouVersion, BibleGateway, and Olive Tree Bible can be great tools for reading the Bible daily. Here are some tips for using Bible apps effectively:

  • Download a reading plan – Many apps have pre-made plans to read the Bible in a year. This breaks up each day’s reading into manageable portions.
  • Set reminders – Configure the app to send you daily notifications reminding you to open the app and read.
  • Use audio Bibles – Listening to the Bible being read aloud can help comprehension and save time.
  • Take notes – Most apps let you highlight verses and add annotations right in the app.
  • Sync between devices – Your notes and progress can be accessed across your phone, tablet, and computer.


Subscribing to a daily devotional can provide thoughtful reflections and insights to supplement your reading. Popular options include:

  • Our Daily Bread – A classic devotional published since 1956 with global contributors.
  • Jesus Calling – A beloved devotional written as if Jesus Himself is speaking to the reader.
  • Dwell – Offers audio and written devotionals integrated with Scripture reading plans.
  • BibleProject – Provides animations and videos to overview each book of the Bible.

Daily Check-Ins

Accountability and community can motivate you to stick to your Bible reading commitment. Here are some ideas:

  • Join a Bible study group – Meet regularly to discuss each day’s reading and pray together.
  • Partner with a friend – Check in with an accountability partner and compare notes on your reflections.
  • Use social media – Post verse snapshots or thoughts from your reading and encourage others.
  • Download a tracking app – Apps like Read Scripture can visually track your progress.

With the right mix of Bible apps, devotionals, and community, reading through the Bible in a year becomes achievable and enriching. Approach each day’s reading time as a precious opportunity to hear from God and grow closer to Him.

Read Consistently But Allow Flexibility

Schedule Time Daily

Setting aside a regular time each day to read the Bible is key to staying on track. Many find first thing in the morning or before bed works best. Start with just 15-30 minutes daily. Mark it on your calendar or set a daily alarm as a reminder.

But don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day here or there – just get back on track as soon as possible.

Batch Reading

If your schedule varies wildly day to day, try batch reading. Set aside 1-2 longer blocks of time per week to knock out all your reading in one sitting. For example, you could spend 60-90 focused minutes reading on both Saturday and Sunday. This allows flexibility while still keeping you on pace.

Listen While Multitasking

Make the most of small pockets of time by listening to the Bible while doing other tasks. The average commute, workout session, or chore rotation provides perfect opportunities. Not only does this save time, but retention can actually be higher with audio.

Just be sure it doesn’t distract from anything requiring your full attention.

The key is finding what works best and sticking as close to your plan as realistically possible. Maintaining discipline while allowing some flexibility will help you stay the course over 365 days. With just 15-30 minutes daily and a few longer reading sessions weekly, you’ll be amazed how much biblical knowledge you can absorb in a year’s time!

For even more tips, check out this great article from Bible.com and Concordia College’s compilation of strategies.

Supplement Reading with Study Resources

Bible Commentaries

Bible commentaries provide verse-by-verse explanations of the text written by biblical scholars. They offer historical context, explain idioms, point out connections to other parts of the Bible, and bring to light nuances in the original Hebrew and Greek.

Excellent options include the ESV Study Bible, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, the MacArthur Bible Commentary, and the NIV Application Commentary series.

Bible Dictionaries/Encyclopedias

Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias are great resources that define and explain key terms, people, places, artifacts, customs, and events in the Bible. They provide background information to enhance your understanding of the text.

Recommended dictionaries include Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, and the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

Atlases, Maps

Bible atlases and maps help you visualize the geographical settings of biblical events. They illustrate the locations of ancient cities, kingdoms, rivers, seas, mountains, deserts, etc. Seeing the terrain that biblical characters traveled brings new insight.

Excellent atlases include the Carta Bible Atlas, Zondervan Atlas of the Bible, and the Moody Bible Atlas.


A Bible concordance is an alphabetical list of words and phrases found in the Bible with chapter and verse references. Concordances enable you to locate verses you can’t quite remember. You can also do word studies by looking up all uses of a term.

Top concordances are Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Young’s Analytical Concordance, and Cruden’s Complete Concordance.

In addition to print resources, there are many excellent Bible study tools available online and as mobile apps. Websites like BibleGateway.com and BlueLetterBible.org offer a wealth of reference materials.

Mobile apps like Olive Tree, Logos, Accordance, and Others provide extensive libraries of commentaries, dictionaries, maps, etc. Using these study resources will greatly enrich your reading through the Bible this year.

Pray Before You Read

Reading the Bible can be a transformational experience, bringing you closer to God and shaping your character. But it requires intentionality and effort. One essential habit is to pray before you open up the pages of Scripture. Here are some reasons why prayer is so important:

1. Prayer prepares your heart.

Praying before reading positions your heart and mind to receive God’s Word. It clears away distractions and helps you focus. The Bible says “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16).

Prayer invites the Holy Spirit to speak directly to you and soften your heart to obey what you read. Come before God with humility, ready to learn.

2. Prayer illuminates the meaning.

The Bible is a profound book with many layers of truth. Praying for understanding opens your spiritual eyes to see insights you would miss on your own. God promises that if we ask for wisdom, He will give it generously (James 1:5).

The meaning of Scripture is unlocked when we depend on the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

3. Prayer strengthens your resolve.

Reading the Bible shows us God’s standards and convicts us where we fall short. This can be uncomfortable at times. Pray for courage not just to understand God’s Word but to live it out. Ask God for the determination to apply what you learn. The goal is not just knowledge but transformation.

Prayer fuels real life change.


Committing to read through the entire Bible in one year takes dedication and perseverance, but the spiritual growth and lifelong scriptural framework gained makes the effort incredibly worthwhile. By implementing the practical strategies around reading plans, accountability tools, consistent schedule, study resources and prayer covered in this guide, accomplishing this goal can become a reality.

Stay motivated by the promise in Hebrews 4:12 that the Word of God is living and active and has transformative power in our lives when we open our hearts to receive it.

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