I have noticed many churches and individuals are forging ahead with Bible reading and Bible reading plans and challenges this year.
That is a very good thing.
I have seen some rather daunting challenges. One involves the use of ten bookmarks placed as indicated throughout the Bible. To follow the plan, read a chapter each day for each of the bookmarks as designated by Bible book on the bookmark. If followed faithfully over a period of years, the combination of Bible readings is ever new. The author of the system, a Professor, claims one gets ever more insights from this kind of Bible reading because as different chapters from each of the ten portions of the Bible are read, one sees new connections never noticed before because they are never read in the same combination.
As I recall reading from the professor’s website, he suggests always doing the reading from the same Bible so you remember where material you have read is on the page.
I suspect that program works well for those who can put the time into such a program of reading.
For those new to Bible reading, I have suggested here starting your Bible reading in a small way so you can be successful and not fall behind an artificially imposed schedule, such as trying to read through the Bible in a year.
I suggest starting with a minimum of 20 minutes of reading every day. One of my sons showed me an “ap” that he downloaded free for his cell phone that gives him access to quite a few Bible translations. It keeps your place where you last left off. That would be an ideal device to use for reading the Bible in those spare moments when one must wait for service, or traffic, or whatever else requires our patient waiting. The device featured very clear black print on a white background, so it was easy to read from. If you have such a device, that is a good use for it.
I used to carry a small pocket New Testament, or even a pocket Bible. No need to recharge an electronic device with those. But they are meant for younger eyes. But that is how I did much of my original regular Bible reading.
After you have read straight through the New Testament from its start in Matthew to the last book, the book of Revelation, you will want to read the Old Testament too.
If you are a good reader and love to read, you can probably read straight through from Genesis to Malachi. If you need some brushing up to improve your reading skills, you can make your Bible reading easier by using one of the modern English translations.
For lighter reading that is more readily understandable, I like using the English Standard Version. Easier still for me is the New Living Translation. If I am looking for greater accuracy, I find the NET Bible to be a good choice.
In any case, find an English translation you can enjoy, and keep reading!
After you have read through the whole Bible in sequence from Genesis to Revelation, I suggest reading the Bible through in a Chronological Bible. I have several different Chronological Bibles myself, but have not had time to spare for reading them since I started my major project to create a more complete Bible study tool for cross reference Bible study. Chronological Bibles come in several different English translations. The advantage of reading from a Chronological Bible, especially a Chronological Study Bible, is that you will read the material in the Bible according to when it happened. Without doing this kind of reading, it is rather hard to have a grasp of what goes with what in terms of Bible history since our usual Bibles are not arranged that way.
Some time each week ought to be devoted to more than just Bible reading. Do some actual Bible study.
I have found that the easiest kind of actual Bible study to engage in is cross reference Bible study. When reading a Bible chapter, you may come upon a very striking verse, one that you would like to study further in terms of what the rest of the Bible has to say about the subjects mentioned in that verse.
To study by means of cross references, you must have a source of cross references. For starters, you might first see if any of your own Bibles contain cross references. If you have a reference Bible, make use of the cross references it supplies. The MacArthur Study Bible, the English Standard Version Study Bible, The New American Standard Study Bible, and the NIV Study Bible all contain quite a few cross references. Try out and get used to using the cross references given in your own Bible, if you have a Bible with cross references.
Then, for greater help in cross reference Bible study, I strongly suggest you obtain The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, or The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (if you can find one–it is out of print and only available second-hand), or Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible. Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible is currently available, and is a very complete source of cross references. This is a Bible study tool that will last you a lifetime of Bible study, and will grow to be your favorite Bible study tool the more you use it. It will always be found to be more complete for cross reference Bible study than any other Bible study tool available. It works well to supplement other Bible study helps.
Besides studying the Bible using cross references, it is helpful to study the Bible using chain references. The best study Bible for this kind of study is the Thompson Chain Reference Bible. I find that using the Thompson Chain Reference Bible in conjunction with the cross references in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible really provides a very complete method of studying a verse or a Bible subject or topic.