230 days ago I began a Chronological Bible reading plan in You Version Bible app. Many times before, I had begun a Bible reading plan but I usually would start in Genesis. And by the time I reached Leviticus, my life would get busy or I just got bored and moved on to something else and never continued with the plan.
The times I had attempted to read the entire Bible through though, there were no Bible apps on smart phones, where the Bible scriptures were evenly divided by day. So I would read chunks…sometimes 4-5 chapters at a time and then I’d be drained and wouldn’t read for 2-3 days. We are very fortunate nowadays to have these phone apps that make Bible reading so easy. In fact, in the YouVersion app, we can have the Bible read to us!
While I have listened to the audio part a few times; I don’t really recommend doing that often, because if you’re like me and doing other tasks at the same time, you’ll find you will miss things. So I have set aside 20-30 minutes before bed to read. And when there are days that I had a bunch of activity and was too tired to read, I’d catch up on my reading on slower days or Sundays.
Now, in comparing Bible reading plans, whether it’s in order from Genesis to Revelation, or Chronological; I prefer chronological. I have learned so much about the settings and themes of the Psalms and heart of David by reading it through this way. Also, it makes it easier to get through some of the Old Testament books that seem very repetitive with listing the lineages.
Another thing I recommend is to read your physical Bible and when you start a new book, read about the background of that book. If you have a study Bible, there is more likely a brief summary of each book. If your Bible doesn’t have summaries of the books, you can usually find overviews online or in a concordance. Even though I am reading my physical Bible, I am still using the YouVersion plan to keep track of my reading and as a guide (and occasionally listen the audio version 😉).
Through reading the Bible this way, I have learned so much about the characters in the Bible, their history, their personalities and also the context of well known verses. For instance, I learned about the character of King Solomon by reading 2 Samuel and 1 Kings. I feel many romantics have gotten engulfed in the Song of Solomon and often used this as an example of sexual intimacy in marriages. I was really puzzled by this knowing that Solomon had multiple wives (not a good example for Biblical marriage). But to read books written by an author and to know the character of the author are different things. I also learned that Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes after Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes was Solomon’s cry to the Lord and redemption story.
Instead of me revealing more of the characters of the Bible, I challenge you to start the reading plan yourself. I’m sure your eyes will be opened to greater understanding of the people of the Bible and the heart and character of God. And if you fall behind, don’t get discouraged. Maybe take 2 years to read the plan. I also have not started any other in depth Bible studies so I don’t get distracted. I do better at focusing on one thing at a time and currently I consider this my Bible study. I pray you are encouraged to start today!