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January 10, 2013


What a great post!

reading one book of the Bible over and over for a month

That would take five and a half years!

But think about it this way—at the end of 5 1/2 years, you'll have read the Bible 30 times! That's a pretty good investment. But my goal for now is just to read the New Testament that way—mainly because the books are shorter and it's more doable. So this year I'm trading off: one month of a NT book, then one month of reading through the OT, as far as I get. Then back to the NT for a month, then back to where I left off in the OT, etc. After a few years, I'll have read the OT a few times, and the NT over 30 times. It's a goal that really pays off in the long term in so many ways.

Are you reading anything other than the Bible during all this time?

Yes. :-) Half of the NT books are pretty short (six chapters or less), and don't take very long to read. But having the goal keeps me disciplined, and reading them over and over helps me see and understand them in a much deeper way (and you wouldn't believe how much easier it is to memorize as you're doing this--the meditation that comes with memorization is also hugely helpful). If you haven't read Fred Sanders' post I linked to above about mastering the Bible, I really recommend it as motivation! Also, the Bible Companion App.

I loved this post: Right to the heart of the Word.

If you are pressed for time, you could bang it out in 2 years while still spending a decent time with each book of the Bible.

Each of the 27 NT books can be read for 13 days before moving onto the next book which would take a year (351 days to be exact).

Each of the 39 OT books can be read for 9 days before moving onto the next book, which strangely enough is 351 days too! One book in each Testament would be able to be read twice--pick your favorite one!

You might not be able to "master" the Bible this way, but you would probably get a pretty good grasp! Thanks for the post, Amy.

Doesn't James Gray advocate not for reading a book of the Bible for a whole month, but for reading a book of the Bible through at one sitting 2 or 3 or more times? That may shorten the 5-1/2 year period if you are in a time crunch...For instance, it might take a bit longer to read, say, Genesis, but then when you got to Ruth, or Galatians, it might only take you a few days to read through them several times...

Yeah, it seems like that would be a better policy. Instead of reading one book over and over for a month, in which case you'd end up reading some books more than others, maybe you should forget about months and read each book three or so times, regardless of how long each one takes.

There are a lot of ways you can apply the idea of reading one book over and over in one sitting. The "one month" idea I heard once from MacArthur, and I've just blended that idea in. But you could just do one book on one day, reading it several times in a row, and just do that once a week with a different book each week, and on the other days continue with your usual plan. There are a lot of different ways to use Gray's ideas. Find what works for you, and try it out!

Amy, makes sense to me; thanks for the clarification!


How do you go about plowing through longer books like Genesis, etc? Seems like it's going to take me about 3-4 hours to read through those length of books in one sitting. Are you reading through them in one sitting, or are you breaking the longer books into chunks and taking a few days to read them?

I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do books like Genesis. Right now my plan is just to do the New Testament. The longest book I've done so far is Hebrews, and it worked out, but I'm not sure yet what I'll do for the longer ones. I'll have to time the longer ones for months when I think I can handle the amount of time it will take. Or I might just divide them in half and do half at a time.

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