Just over a year ago, my husband unintentionally challenged me to read the Bible through. In casual conversation, he asked me if I had ever read the whole Bible. My answer, sadly, was “no”.
As a child, I grew up in the church. I don’t ever really remember a time we weren’t regularly going, so my guess is there wasn’t such a time. Sunday School and service were a regular part of my life. I made the official decision to trust my life to the Lord when I was 14 years old. Here I sit a couple decades later, still a regular churchgoer. But reading the Bible in its fullness, I somehow missed it.
So, I decided to accept the challenge, even though I was the only one who knew it was a challenge. I’m currently on my second attempt, but this time I feel confident I will make it through.
So, what has my journey through reading the Bible in its entirety looked like?
I started first with the New Testament. I feel like the New Testament is a bit more reader-friendly, especially for a person who doesn’t read much. So that’s where I planned to start. What now?
The next step I took was finding a Bible Plan on the YouVersion Bible App (also online at bible.com). It is a free app available in all the standard app stores. This app has some seriously cool features! My favorites are that you can read in nearly every version of the Bible that exists. It’s awesome for reading in your favorite version, different languages, or comparing versions to see if it makes sense to you in a different way. Another great feature, and this one is so very helpful to me, is that you can download the audio for many of the versions, and even follow along with the reading. SO USEFUL!!! So, start with the app. The Bible reading plan I used was 60 Day New Testament Journey. The app helps you keep track of where you are, you can join in the plan with other friends to hold you accountable, and it tells you exactly what to read on which date. Very helpful!
As I read the New Testament, I prefer to use an in my hands Bible. I personally use the Zondervan NASB Study Bible. I like to underline and highlight and really just hold a book in my hands. But you can read or listen along within the app. I check my Bible reading plan and then mark off what I read in my physical Bible.
Keep on Keeping On
After completing the New Testament, I started on the Old Testament. I figured I had already developed a good habit, so I might as well keep going!
Genesis is really very interesting and a generally easy read. I have learned so much in the book of Genesis about how our culture in 2019 isn’t much different or worse than it was in the very first book of the Bible. Sin is ugly no matter what year we are in. Exodus is pretty interesting too, you learn a lot about the history of the people of the world. where the 10 Commandments came from, and it’s just full of very interesting history.
Then I got to Leviticus, and I struggled! I struggled reading it, I can’t imagine being held to the standards within it! Anyway, in Leviticus I found myself stuck. So, I stopped reading my physical Bible, and I switched to the audio version. I walked my neighborhood and listened to all of Leviticus and Numbers. I stayed on track with my plan and just attacked it in a different way. This helped tremendously, and I’m so glad the audio version is so easy to use!
Once I got to Deuteronomy, I found myself wanting to highlight things again, so back to my physical Bible I went. I am nearly done with Joshua and will continue to forge on through the remainder of the Old Testament.
Where am I now?
I feel confident that I will make it through the rest of the Bible this year. Hopefully by summer. The Old Testament is 3 times longer than the New Testament, so give yourself grace and time to read it. The Word of God speaks whether you read a verse a day, a chapter a day, or entire books in a day. Allow yourself to be fully invested in your time in the Word. I promise you won’t regret it!
***April 2019 UPDATE***
I am nearly done with 2 Samuel. I have been tracking about a book per month. I’m still steadily working my way through!