Heading into a new year can be a great opportunity to get back into the Bible. Regular Bible reading is an essential discipline for all Christians. As Christians we need to be shaped by its story and knowing God and our situation deeply. If you’re looking for some different resources to help you out with your Bible reading whether you’re starting for the first time or the fiftieth, and whether you’re in primary school or old school, this is the place for you.
If you’ve had a hard time reading the bible in the past, try using a thought-for-thought translation, the Common English Bible (CEB) or the New Living Translation (NLT) or a paraphrase, the Message (MSG) or The Passion Translation (TPT).
The NLT is the more common of the first two, but the CEB is definitely worth checking out. The Passion Translation as a translation/paraphrase can be controversial. I am from the Pentecostal/Charismatic tradition, and this is the tradition of the author, as I understand it, but it is definitely the tradition of some of his advisors (as far as I’m aware two Old Testament advisors are at Assemblies of God/Australian Christian Churches affiliated seminaries). If you’re from, for instance, a Reformed tradition, it may not be the best paraphrase for you to use.
Did you want to do partial Bible readings?
Unfolding Grace is the shorter of the two products. Both the standard and kids version have forty readings in the ESV. The readings are aligned across both but the kids readings are shorter, for instance the first reading is Gen 1 through 4, but in the kid edition is Gen 1:1-31, 3:1-15. These readings together reveal a story using passages from Genesis through til Revelation. If you’re looking for a read to help put together the storyline of the Bible, then check this out.
One Minute Bible is a full year bible using the Christian Standard Bible. The Standard edition is numbered with 366 dated readings. The Student edition uses undated readings but only includes 365 readings. These don’t go through the entire bible, but are pulled from Genesis through Revelation. The Student edition adds additional comments with suggested applications or reflections on the text. Just a quick note on some controversial issues: Day 1 is Gen 1:1-2, John 1:1-5 and Psalms 148:1-6 and pits creation against evolution, suggesting that the only appropriate interpretation is literal seven day creation.
In both editions, there are references for additional readings. With the concept of the readings being around a minute, this is really helpful. If you’ve got more time some days, or if you want to read more the further through the year, you have access to these readings that are on the same topic.
This product would be worth evaluating if you’re looking for a year long program, with a low daily requirement. In both editions, there are opportunities for shorter reading plans, since certain readings are grouped together for instance into Creation, Names of God, Fruits of the Spirit/Attributes of God. This would provide an opportunity for youth leaders to provide an easier start for young people in reading the Bible.
Tyndale’s One Year Bible series encompasses quite a few different titles. You can get information on all of the One Year Bibles that they release here. As far as I’m aware, all of these bibles include dated readings.
The first Bible above is available in a number of different translations. This one does just what it says on the tin, breaking the text down into four daily readings, from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs respectively.
The main feature that these Bibles provide is convenience not requiring to move between your printed/digital reading plan. If you desire this, then you can get this in softcover links below. You can get access to sample pages through their Tyndale product page.
|NLT Large Print||Booko||Tyndale.com|
Journalling and older Chronological titles are additionally available, check out the One Year Bible page here.
Want a quick look at the ESV One Year Bible? Please find attached a video from A Nickels Worth which discusses two other bibles but discussed the One Year ESV quickly between 3:05 and 3:37. This is included for your reference and should not be taken as approval of Learning and Praxis by A Nickels Worth, and whilst I haven’t watched all of his videos, Tim is a trusted YouTuber in the Bible review space.
Near the end of 2022, Tyndale released some new titles in the One Year Bible series.
In collaboration with Chronological Bible Teaching, who provided the ordering of the packages, their 14 Era outline which was included on a bookmark, and the additional questions at the end of each reading, Tyndale released the Chronological Study Bible in paperback and hardback. I have begun my reading of this One Year Bible, just ignoring the dates associated with each reading. I just completed Genesis and am about to move into Job. The introductory material is helpful in walking through the era structure. Some timing based explanatory notes are included, for instance in one of the stories about Joseph’s brothers meeting him in Egypt it is explained how many years of famine had passed. The first intrusive rearrangement was the inclusion of Terah’s, Abraham’s father’s, death midway through chapters about Sarah’s death and Isaac’s marriage. The main reason that I found this intrusive was that the death was just a single verse, and even though the reference for the text was given, there was no reference to where the rest of that chapter was. Genesis 6 which refers confusingly to the sons of God. In the introduction for the Creation Era, this story is referred to providing one interpretation [sons of God are righteous men, descendants of Seth] without mention to other interpretations [the main one being that sons of God refers to spiritual beings]. This is not directly with the text but it would be more appreciated if multiple perspectives were included.
Three questions are included at the end of each reading to help people engage with the text, and perhaps journal. It is a two column text for the Bible, but three column text for questions and single column for introductions for each reading and articles. Readers from catholic or orthodox traditions should be warned that the intertestamental period is called the Silent Era not mentioning the writing of Apocrypha or other intertestamental literature.
Sample pages are available from Tyndale here.
Videos are included below from trusted YouTubers in the Bible review space. This is simply for your reference and should not be taken as approval of Learning and Praxis by the referenced channels.
A pair of new titles are the One Year Bible for Men and for Women. These follow the same structure of readings as the traditional One Year Bibles. I only have a copy of the for Men volume, and the sample pages for the for Women volume only covers the first week. The added material here is quite brief. There is an introduction that outlines different ways to engage with scripture in a few sentences. Each month has a brief introduction. At the end of each reading, there is a hundred word devotion. The difficulty with this is that it is always placed at the end of the readings but considering that there are four readings pulled from four books, some of the devotional thoughts connect solely to one which could be the one read furthest ago in that day.
BibleProject have a number of reading plans available. They offer a year long plan “One Story That Leads to Jesus” with two readings per day as well as videos included on some of the days. If you want a shorter reading plan, they do have a number of plans on the YouVersion platform.
The BibleProject app also has their Torah Journey with a number of additional resources. This app can be found here.
The Navigators have a variety of different reading plans, available here.
Their main reading plan provides daily readings from four books at once, which they say is helpful for seeing the unity of scripture but I imagine would make it harder to appreciate each book individually.
They also have a reading plan with two books at once, as well as a year long New Testament reading plan that takes five minutes, for five days a week.
Jason Mayfield has regularly updated his Tear Up Your Bible reading plan which is now available for free, although he is accepting donations. If you didn’t want to donate, or not provide your address, then you can click the No credit or debit card at the bottom [or click here].
Jason’s released a video talking through the plan which you can see below.
Kirk Miller has posted his reading plan on his site in both Excel and PDF formats, including his reasoning behind the plan. Check it out here.
Ligonier has a number of reading plans here collated from different sources including the Navigators plans that I mentioned earlier.
There’s an awesome tool that allows you to customise your own reading plan for whatever length and part of the Bible that you’re interested in. Make sure you check this out here. Under options, one of the words that you may not be familiar with is PERICOPES, which is a whole story or section. The benefit of using this option is that it won’t separate stories. For instance, the first creation account in Genesis is actually Genesis 1-2:3 and so separating it by number of chapters could separate stories, whereas this will separate readings more naturally.
If you want an insane reading plan, you can do The Shred from Nathan Finochio which covers the whole Bible in 30 days. I would highly recommend doing this with NLT, CEB, or MSG since we want readability in a plan which requires reading quite a large amount of text per day. You can get it with hints, although not a really printable form since its still a lot of colour on it, here. Or if you don’t want to provide an email, they posted the reading plan here on Facebook.
YouVersion is one of the most recognisable bible apps. It contains social media functions allowing their large library of Bible plans from a variety of sources to be done in groups. There is a wide variety of translations across different languages and audio bibles are available in the same app. This app can be accessed through Amazon and Google smartspeakers, and iOS/Android/Kindle Fire devices. Apparently the Amazon smartspeaker skill when connected to your account, will able you to carry out your reading plan reading.
Logos Bible Software is a great program, and I think all leaders and serious studiers should look at purchasing a package. However, for Bible reading, unless you own a package, you’d need to purchase other unless you’re looking at doing a read through with their translation the Lexham English Bible, and so even though their note taking system can be tagged with Bible references and it freely stored on the cloud, accessible from all of their apps. I wouldn’t recommend it for this purpose.
You can find some videos above for the Dwell Bible app which is a premiere audio bible app. Engaging with the Bible through listening rather than reading is the original medium through which God’s word was heard by his people. Check out pricing here, and see their Linktree to get links to download iOS and Android apps.
Please find below a wide variety of YouTube videos which are pulled from trusted YouTubers. These are included for your reference. This should not be taken as approval by these YouTubers of Learning and Praxis, nor the complete agreement of Learning and Praxis with every perspective of the YouTubers.