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More than 7.5 million reading plans were completed by YouVersion users last year (25 of its 700+ are whole-Bible plans). BibleGateway.com will begin tracking completion rates for its 15 plans this year. We asked several experts whether Christians ...

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Elizabeth Postma

January 27, 2014  6:45pm

I just finished one of You Version's plans, and found it most rewarding. It is not something I would recommend doing every year, because it can take away from personal devotional time spent in Scripture that is so needed to keep us close to the Lord. It can become an academic task. I am looking forward to a year where my reading is more devotional. "Less is more" when one takes the time to meditate and allow the Word of God to nurture the soul, but much is gained by getting an overview of the whole of Scripture.

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Ray Bingham

January 10, 2014  10:13am

Many great comments on this article. As I stated earlier, I have read the entire Bible through over 40 times,and studied portions more times than I can count. Reading the whole Bible has brought me many revelations and thoughts that I had missed before. This year I read in Genesis 1; "And God said, 'Let there be light' and there was light"; this before the sun was created. Suddenly, Revelation 22:5 sprang to mind; "they will not need...the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light." Genesis to Revelation, I may not have noticed that part without knowing the whole. I once had a friend who read (skimmed) the entire NT every day. I mentioned that filling your mind with scripture that way must be like trying to fill a bucket by using a sieve, you don't get much water in the bucket. He said I may be right, but there is one important benefit. You sure do get a clean sieve. May your pursuit of God's Word fill your bucket with Grace, and thoroughly clean your sieve.

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Earl Ridolphi

January 09, 2014  3:09pm

A couple of thoughts on the issue/comments: 1. Jesus quoted Scripture exactly to Satan while Satan misquoted and was defeated by it. 2. The Bible teaches us to 'test the spirits' to see if they are from the Lord or from the Devil. If you don't have a clue as to how the Bible actually reads, how will you possible be able to discern the truth in poetry or in a book? 3. Years ago, Holman Bible Publishers printed the "Everyday With Jesus Bible", using the Christian Standard Bible as the translation with comments by Selwyn Hughes. It provides a section from the Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs and the New Testament each day, as well as a short comment section by Mr. Hughes. It is a very good way to read the Bible through in a year. 4. If you do get "stuck in Leviticus", try reading three Psalms and one Chapter of Proverbs every day for a month. That is an excellent way to allow the Holy Spirit to develop a thirst for God's word in you. I am confident the Lord blesses the reading of His Word

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Steve Skeete

January 09, 2014  10:43am

Reading through the bible in an entire year is an entirely useful and profitable exercise. Not only is it good as a spiritual discipline, but it is quite possibly the only way we will ever get to read some so called 'difficult' portions. There are sections of the Bible and books one would in all liklihood never encounter if one did not take the time to get the entire picture by systematically working one's way through the Bible in some specified period If a year seems 'legalistic' or more 'letter' than 'spirit' then take your time, take two years but read through the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. I firmly believe it is something every Christian should attempt if only once.

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W MATHEUSZIK

January 08, 2014  8:26pm

Incidentally, reading through the whole of scripture is not to be recommended for either the faint of heart or faith. There is much that is puzzling, and some that must simply be left for God to clear up later, if he wishes. There are any number of sermons, lessons, and Christian's opinions I have heard, that would surely be modified should that Christian really have read through the whole bible, with eyes, mind, and heart, wide open. Yet, it is exactly what God chose to tell us, and not always exactly what we might wish to hear!

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W MATHEUSZIK

January 08, 2014  8:15pm

Regarding the reading or memorization habits of Jesus. My guess he did a lot of both, though there are no clear statements supporting my guess. Still, it is surely presumptuous to suggest that he did little of either. There is even less evidence for that!

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W MATHEUSZIK

January 08, 2014  8:12pm

I have read through the whole bible starting in Genesis through Revelations for over 20 years now. I also read the New Testament again in another language after I finish the bible in English. It has been an immense blessing to me. While it works for me, I would never insist it might for everybody. I have used a number of translations, in both languages, and, while there are favourites, I am willing to read others, for each has its good points. Incidentally, reading the New Testament, and the Psalms, in German is enlightening, for there seem to be occasional real differences, in word usage, and even meaning, and tone, to any of the English translations. Perhaps my betters could comment?

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Jose Rivera

January 08, 2014  12:35pm

PS. JESUS DIDNT MEMORIZE OR READ THE WORD ALOT! HE LIVED IT!!!

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Jose Rivera

January 08, 2014  12:31pm

Faith without works is dead!! Act upon your faith!!! Dont waste time memorizing what you have faith in!! Trust me, by living the word of God you will remember and memorize much more easily then by taking the bible and looking at a verse over and over again. Act Upon Your Faith!!! LIVE AND OBEY THE WORD OF GOD!!! AND YOU WILL UNDERSTAND IT AND REMEMBER IT MUCH MORE CLEARL AND ITS PROMISES WILL BE FULFILLED IN YOUR LIFE!!! JESUS IS THE EXAMPLE OF A TRUE HUMBLE SERVANT OF THE LORD!!!! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!! AMEN!!!

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Jose Rivera

January 08, 2014  12:26pm

It doesnt matter how much of the bible you read or memorize but how much of it do you obey and apply to your life. The bible offers wisdom and it offers life and the Lord speaks to us through it, but if we dont obey and apply Gods word in our life then how are we going to acquire those promises and how are we going to receive that strength that we need from God? Everyday we wake up God offers us the strength that we need and have asked for in our prayers, but if we dont TAKE ACTION and accept that strength and promise that the Lord has for us then how are we going to receive it? You can memorize the whole bible if you want but if your knowledge isnt converted to wisdom then that knowledge will take no effect or part in your life. it will be like having a manual in your hand ( The bible is like the manual for life) and not learning from it or obeying what is says. Just like a car manual... Obey it and it will give you the solution. You dont need to memorize it, but to obey what it says.

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Donald Kaspersen

January 08, 2014  12:46am

Due to the very high cost of papyrus in the first century, outside the wealthier cities if the Roman empire- Rome, Corinth, Athens, Ephesus, Alexandria, perhaps Laodicea and Syrian Antioch- churches had to live with a limited number of of books- a gospel, an epistle or two, perhaps, Acts, and if there ware no synagogue in the community, no access to the Old Testament. Matthew, Luke and Acts had to have been edited to fit on both sides of a a single sheet of papyrus. HAving a personal copy of the scripture is a privilige that they would not have known. But, it is also true that the period from Job to Jesus is approximately the same amount of time as from Jesus to us. The problem with trying to read through the Bible in one year is the tendency toward compression of time on the one hand and the tendency to bypass a necessary amount of meditation on the other. A day spent considering Philemon would normally be sufficient, while two weeks spent on Ephesians 1 and 2 might be too little.

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Wayne Amelung

January 06, 2014  9:36pm

Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:25-27, 44-47. Reading through the Bible for the purpose of seeing Jesus Messiah is the primary purpose for Reading Through The Bible In A Year. Reading through the Bible daily may require a good cross-reference system such as those found in most study Bibles. Leviticus is a graphic description of Jesus’ bloody sacrifice for our sins and innumerable variations on individuals breaking the Law, the Ten Commandments. Isaiah alternates between a spellbinding description of Jesus taking the death-penalty punishment for our sins, and Jesus breath-taking ruling in his Kingdom! One of the most remarkable strategies is “History Of Salvation In The Old Testament: Preparing The Way For Christ” published by Crossway in the ESV Study Bible. Whatever part of the Old Testament we are reading, we should see something of Jesus from the Gospels or the Epistles. This is the extraordinary value of Reading Through The Bible In A Year! To the glory of Jesus Christ!

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Darryl Willis

January 06, 2014  3:37pm

Ok, I don't know what I did wrong, but for some reason my second post didn't show. So I'm taking a chance in re posting a more brief version! Try out Biblica's approach: the Books of the Bible. They produced a NT and a full Bible without verse and chapter markings and divided by themes. So, in the NT, you follow a four-fold gospel approach where you begin with Luke-Acts followed by Pauline epistles, then Matthew followed by Hebrews & James, then Mark followed by Peter and Jude and John followed by John's epistles and Revelation.

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Darryl Willis

January 06, 2014  3:21pm

I've never been a fan of "read the Bible in a year" because it too often ends up leading to scanning. Nor do I like "chronological reading" (e.g., breaking Acts up and inserting the epistles chronologically). Instead, I recommend reading a book, like Mark, all the way through in a week (maybe in a couple of days), reading Luke-Acts together in a set period of time, and reading a short epistle like Philippians in one sitting every night for a week so it ends up sticking with you. My wife determined this year to read the OT. I recommended Genesis-2 Kings (skipping Leviticus until the end). The psalms are meant to be prayed or sung, so I suggest taking 4 psalms a day and praying one in the morning, at lunch, evening (together for a supper reading?), and right before retiring for the evening. The longer Psalms can be broken up and psalms like the "Old One Hundredth" which are put to music can be sung throughout the day. Try the prophets chronologically. Just a suggestion.

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Wendy Hammond

January 06, 2014  9:19am

I find that a plan helps me get into the Word (especially when I have it emailed to me). I don't beat myself up if I skim some of it. There is usually enough there to remind me of the things I learned about those passages before, and I try to focus in on one or two verses that speak to me that day and go deeper in thought and application with those.

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Stefan Stackhouse

January 06, 2014  7:38am

The plan I am presently following: Morning: I start the year reading through Proverbs, one chapter/day. Then I do a NT read-through, one chapter/day: first I read Matt, Heb, and Jas; then Mark, I & II Peter, & Jude; then Luke, Acts, and all of Paul's letters; and finally the gospel, epistles, and Rev of John. I then finish the year in Psalms, reading one, two, or three a day depending upon the time left and the length of each psalm (and I break 119 up into 2-3 days). Evening: Before bedtime I do an OT read-through, starting in Gen and exempting Psalms and Proverbs, which are covered in the morning. Again, I read one chapter/night. I don't worry about whether or not I'll get all the way through in one year; as soon as I finish I start over again. While I affirm that all of scripture is inspired, I find that I really need to spend most of my mornings in the NT; this way assures that I can do that.

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Robert Carter

January 05, 2014  1:51am

I have had differing reading programs for 45 years and once started to read the bible in 6 months and learned speed reading techniques, but have ceased that. Whilst plans have merit, the tendency is to gloss over or scan the word rather than allowing God to speak. When studying for my doctorate, the Lord challenged me about my reading plans. That was when I quit that. I now focus on in-depth study, topic by topic, theme by theme and always allowing myself to be led by the Holy Spirit. One verse alone can now take days. It still amazes me how I can read something as if I had never seen it before. It is as if the Lord is pointing at a passage and saying something like, "look at this". This also applies to "sermon preparation". My messages now have real life and apply to the people in real terms as applicable-the right word at the right time and I always ask for His direction. Sometimes I have stood at the pulpit and what I had been intending to preach on is put aside for something better

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J B WETTERAU

January 04, 2014  10:12pm

I appreciate the fact that almost all the comments stated that there is value in reading through the entire scripture, but those who were opposed to the idea were opposed because they saw reading through the Bible decreasing other personal study of value. I do not think it is an either/or situation. I think that one should do both. I say this because I was first introduced to reading through the Bible as a young teen and have done so now for almost 60 years. It does not replace study of the Bible, it provides an overview foundation and guarantees that I get into books that I almost never study on their own. Those who do it seldom or never are depriving themselves of seeing all of God's word and missing the big picture in a serious way. Sure it does not really need to be every year, but if not done with some kind of regularity that big picture will not be reinforced and you miss out on all of what God has to say. So go for it!

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Randall Laraway

January 04, 2014  9:11pm

Due to there being a considerable number of chapters in the Bible---although, many people like the idea of reading it through in one year---my humble question is: Which way does one get more out of God's Word? Reading it---somewhat hastily---through in a year's time? OR, reading it to better grasp what God wants us to learn and apply---in a chapter or even just a few verses at a time? After all, each of us, is not really in competition with anyone to finish reading the Bible in a specified time-frame but ourselves. I believe the Lord would have us become more intimate in our relationship with Him and with one another by enjoying the feast a little at a time---instead of trying to "gorge ourselves" and fail to digest something important in our nourishment and growth.

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Jeri Bidinger

January 04, 2014  3:08am

Personally, I approach the Bible from various angles. Every other year since the 80s I've done a read-though. It was more sporadic before that. Sometimes chronologically. But I also participated in bible study with BSF Intl for many years--in depth personal study with quality teaching to take one further. I've done my own in-depth work with tools like homilectics, commentaries, and lectio divina. I've spent a few alternate years memorizing a few passages with the deep meditation that entails. In short, if Christ is my life then the Bible deserves time and energy--and a lot of love. Should we read it through? Yes. Should we dip in and out? Yes. Should we listen to and read what others think about it? Yes. Should it constantly inform how we live our lives? Absolutely. I was mind-boggled at the title to this little article: what "experts" say we should do. Experts on whether and how believers should "eat" the bread of life? It is a glorious feast! Eat all you can!

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