Reading the greatest book ever written in a year’s time

Every other year, I read through the entire Bible. In 1996, I decided that if the Bible was indeed the word of God, it might be helpful to read all the words that God gave to us. It was one of the better decisions I’ve made in my life. The first time I did it, I wondered how long I would make it (I had failed a few times before), and surprised myself by finishing on schedule. I’ve done it every other year since then, and it’s something I hope to continue doing every other year for the rest of my life.

Through the years, I’ve used a variety of reading plans. I’ve twice read the New International Version (NIV) of the One Year Bible. I’ve also used D. A. Carson’s For the Love of God (vols. 1 &2) — a helpful, thoughtful devotional which uses the Robert Murray M’Cheyne Bible reading plan. I’ve used the M’Cheyne plan twice with the New American Standard Bible (NASB), and twice with the English Standard Version (ESV).

For 2008, I’ve decided to read the ESV’s Daily Reading Bible plan. It’s inexpensive, and since the text is not hacked up, it can serve as a “regular” Bible. I ordered a paperback copy of the Bible from Monergism Books for less than $10 — it’s inexpensive, has an excellent text layout, and is lightweight. When I don’t have the book with me, the ESV’s web service is unparalleled. You can get your daily readings via RSS, sent to your Google calendar, or even to your mobile device (from time to time I read it on my Blackberry).

It’s not as difficult as you might think. It only takes around 15 minutes a day (steal it from your television news watching time). Make it a part of your day like brushing your teeth. Don’t go to bed without reading the text.

If you’re already a believer in the Word made flesh, you’ve little excuse for not being familiar with the whole written word of God. If you’re not a believer, this is an easy way to become familiar with the book that has been most influential in the pages of history, and in the hearts and minds of countless lives.

Read with me in 2008. You can start here on the first of January.