Reading the Bible in 1 Year – Why I failed

This past year I failed to read the Bible in 1 Year. I was reading the Bible in a year chronologically and got stuck mainly in the Old Testament. The books in the OT have a lot of information and lessons, and it is very hard to learn what is happening without careful analysis of the reading. Also, disseminating the historical and prophetical accounts were no simple task. How about tracking all the kings after Solomon? I had to use a chart to track the kings of Judah and Israel.

My schedule for reading the Bible in 1 year

Background information: to read the Bible chronologically, I was using the blueletterbible.org reading plan, which is printable and very easy to follow.

Is it realistic to read the Bible in 1 year?

There are a few reasons why attempting to read the Bible in a year (using a chronological Bible reading plan or any other yearly plan) may not be the most realistic or effective approach.

First and foremost, it is important to recognize that the Bible is a long and dense text, comprising more than 700,000 words across 66 different books. While it is certainly possible to read the Bible in a year, doing so would require an impressive amount of discipline and dedication.

Depending on the specific reading plan you are using, you may need to read between 3 and 5 chapters per day to complete the Bible in a year. This can be a daunting task, especially if you are trying to fit Bible reading into an already busy schedule.

Furthermore, a one year Bible reading plan may not be the best way to understand and appreciate the various themes and messages of the Bible. Let alone try to grasp and understand God.

The Bible was not written in chronological order, and many of its books were written years apart. Without spending time trying to understand the order of events and how they tie together, it can sometimes lead to confusion and a lack of context. You may have to jump to the New Testament to see the link with the OT.

Giving yourself ample time in the Bible will be better for you than simply reading it to cross it off for the day.

Not completing the reading for that day will set you several chapters behind. Seeing yourself behind and no clear path on what to read next, you may eventually give up reading the Bible in a year.

The trap in our thinking

While reading The 12-Week Year, I’ve learned the term: annualized thinking.

Moran and Lennington (the authors) state the following: “At the heart of annualized thinking is an unspoken belief that there is plenty of time in the year to make things happen. In January, December looks a long way off. We mistakenly believe that there is a lot of time left in the year, and we act accordingly. We lack a sense of urgency, not realizing that every week is important… [e]ffective execution happens daily and weekly!”

This is too accurate. It is much easier to fail daily at reading our bible, if we look at our time left in terms of a year. We can keep pushing it off thinking we will have time to catch up in our reading plan. In reality, we keep pushing it off and do nothing.

What they recommend is to “Stop thinking in terms of a year; instead focus on shorter time frames.”

So, what is the best way to read the Bible in 1 year?

What is the best way to read the bible for better understanding?

Here are a few suggestions to reading the Bible in 1 year:

  1. Start with a more manageable plan. Rather than trying to read the entire Bible in a year, consider starting with a smaller goal. Try reading and studying one book of the Bible per month. This can help you build up your stamina and develop a consistent habit of Bible reading.
  2. Use a thematic reading plan. Consider using a reading plan that focuses on specific themes or topics that you can use to study in depth instead of simply reading the text. For example, you might study one of the Gospels one month. Then, focus on the Psalms or the Prophets the next month. This can help you better understand the broader context and themes of each book of the Bible.
  3. Use a study Bible. Many Bibles come with notes and commentary that can help you better understand the context and meaning of each passage. Consider using a study Bible to help you dig deeper into the text as you read.
  4. Find a accountability partner. Studying the Bible can be a rewarding and enriching experience, but it can also be easy to lose motivation or fall behind. Consider finding an accountability partner or joining a Bible study group to help you stay on track and engaged.
  5. Remove the ideas you may have of what reading the Bible in a year should look like. We do this often where we put ourselves in a bind with our decisions. It’s ok if you don’t read the entire Bible in a year. Did you read it most days? Did you grow from your study time? Did you end up falling more in love with God than before? Do you have more faith as a result? Do you have a greater desire to obey Him and be in His will?

While it is certainly possible to read the Bible in a year, it is important to recognize that this can be a challenging and time-consuming task.

Rather than striving for the unrealistic goal of reading the entire Bible in a year, consider setting more manageable goals. Use approaches that can help you better understand and appreciate the rich and complex text of the Bible.

Ultimately, the better grasp you have of what you are reading/studying, the better you’ll understand and grow to love God. You’ll be able to walk in faith and obedience to Him!

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Bible reading vs Bible study

There may come a time when simply reading the bible gets boring, repetitive, and tiresome. This is especially true if you’ve lost your passion for it. I think that is what may put us off to spending time in God’s Word. And it can definitely get tiresome if reading the Bible in 1 year becomes a chore.

Bible study is how we go to the next step.

The Bible talks about getting to a point where we no longer are infants drinking milk, but need to get solid food.

I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 
1 Corinthians 3:2, NIV

Milk is to bible reading as solid food is to bible study. (Does this make sense? Let me know!)

Bible reading refers to the practice of reading through the text of the Bible for the purpose of gaining a general understanding of its content. This can be a simple and enjoyable way to engage with the Bible. It can be done in a variety of ways, such as reading a set number of chapters per day or using a specific reading plan.

Bible study, on the other hand, is a more in-depth and analytical approach to engaging with the Bible. Bible study involves actively examining the text of the Bible. It uses tools such as cross-references, commentaries, and study guides to gain a deeper understanding of its meaning and context.

Bible study can also involve activities such as group discussions and prayer. It can also involve a more systematic approach to exploring specific themes or topics within the Bible.

In short, Bible reading is a more passive and general approach to engaging with the Bible.Bible study is a more active and analytical approach. It involves a deeper level of engagement with the text.

Both approaches can be valuable and rewarding.

Many people find that they benefit from a combination of both Bible reading and Bible study in their spiritual practice.

My preference is for bible study because that’s where I have learned the most. It is also where my relationship with God has changed for the better.

Receive Bible study lessons, healthy natural remedies, Christian book recommendations, and more!

“The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Proverbs 18:15, NKJV.

Is reading the Bible worth it?

Yes! Reading the Bible is completely worth it and life changing! I realized that my view of God was so off once I began reading the Bible chronologically. I had believed the lies from the enemy about God: that He was cruel, dictator-like, and unfair towards the Israelites. Now that I have carefully studied and read most of the OT, I see that God is not those things. In fact, it’s the opposite – we are that way to God, unfortunately. We are cruel and selfish to Him. He truly is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” as it says in Psalm 86:15, ESV. 

Since the beginning He has been a loving Father to us and has made a way for us to be with Him one day soon – through His Son’s death on the cross!

How do you read the Bible in 1 year?

Now, if you are still certain that you can complete reading the Bible in 1 year, one of the best options would be to read through the Bible chronologically. The Old Testament finally started to make sense to me after I started reading it in order. Normally, after King David and Solomon, I would be confused, but not anymore. I understand who the kings of Judah and Israel were plus the meanings behind several chapters in Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah, for example.

I’ve actually completed one of the YouVersion Bible in a Year plan, but it did not do justice in my understanding compared to reading through the Bible chronologically.

Best Bible app to read the Bible in 1 year:

The YouVersion Bible app has been by far the best for me.

There is the Blue Letter Bible app, which I didn’t use to read the Bible in chronological order, but I did use their printable reading plan.

Knowing what I have shared above, would you still consider reading the Bible in 1 year?

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