Bible Reading Plans

Quick Downloads:

Checkbox Plan A Checkbox Plan B Boxy Reading Plan
Document: 43kb PDF
Paper Size: US Letter
Document: 43kb PDF
Paper Size: US Letter
Document: 260kb PDF
Paper Size: US Letter
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About Jessica’s Reading Plans:

Have you set a goal for yourself to read through the entire bible? These one-page printables are reading trackers have checkboxes for every chapter of the bible to keep track of your progress toward your goal on a single sheet of paper. There are a lot of sites out there with reading plans, but I ended up making my own because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted–checkboxes.

These plans can be folded in half and tucked inside the cover of most standard-sized bibles, there when you need it, no electricity required. If you primarily use a compact or pocket bible there are several ways you can make the plan fit your bible:

  • Fold the plan in quarters before tucking in your bible
  • Print the plan at a reduced size of your choice using Acrobat Reader’s print dialog scaling options
  • Print the plan “two-up” by changing your printer settings (look for “pages per sheet” or similar)
  • Print the plan two-sided so the entire plan fits on a half sheet of paper

Why Read Through the Bible?

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” -2Timothy 3:16-17

When you haven’t decided where to start, you’re likely to procrastinate and not start. When you finish a book and can’t make up your mind which one to read next, you’re likely to fall away from having the discipline of making reading God’s word a regular part of your day. Having a plan in place will help you to establish spiritual discipline and keep a spiritual mindset rather than a carnal one. God’s word builds up our faith, is an effective weapon against temptation; it leads us in spiritual victories. It is living and powerful and teaches us about righteousness.

Need more reasons?

Here is a whole page with scriptures about the benefits of reading the bible.

Which Reading Plan Should You Choose?

Pick the one you like and are likely to use. The differences between most of these reading plans are mostly just visual. To highlight a few of the major differences, the two checkbox plans are mostly the same, except B breaks apart Psalms into the five “books” of Psalms. Checkbox plan A is also available as a 300dpi GIF image. The boxy reading plan follows a slightly different style where the number is inside the check-box instead of next to the box, and has additional headings and use of color (great if you have a color printer, not so great if you’re making photocopies).

How to Use these Reading Trackers:

Every day when you do your daily devotionals (you do do devotionals daily, right?), on the reading plan x off the chapters you read (if they aren’t already marked), or use a highlighter to mark the chapter numbers that have been read. When you complete an entire book, you may wish to use a highlighter or marker to color in the box for the entire book to celebrate the accomplishment on your progress.

Bible Reading Plan Bible Reading Plan Designed to tuck in the bible cover

If you’d like to “jump in where you are”, highlight or mark all the parts of the bible you’re sure you’ve already read. Then when you do your daily devotion reading, go back and fill in the gaps sequentially or in whatever order you decide on.

What and how much to read?

To read the entire bible in one year you have to read about 3-3.25 chapters a day, which is about a 15 minute commitment per day. Some people prefer to go at a slower pace and take more time to meditate on or reflect on what they read. Other people prefer to accelerate the plan, and read more words more often.

There are many different ways you can organize your reading. A general plan I like to use in my daily reading if I’m not otherwise inspired is to split my daily reading across three places in the bible, roughly in thirds, somewhat like this:

One chapter from: Percent
of Chapters
of Verses
Reading 1 Genesis through Job 44.8% 40.2%
Reading 2 Psalms through Malachi 29.6% 37.9%
Reading 3 Matthew through Revelation 25.6% 21.9%

A reading plan that mixes old and new testament is widely encouraged because many people get discouraged in continuing to read when they encounter lengthy geneologies and passages about the law without an interleaving reminders about God’s grace and love. The first time I tried to read through the bible, I don’t think I even made it through Genesis before I gave up–if only I’d started at the New Tesatment or done a “balanced plan” instead! If you look at the numbers, its not quite a perfect division, so feel free to substitute whatever is left at the end or restart reading the new testament.

If that plan isn’t for you, here’s some links to some other sites with reading plan lists:

  • Into Thy Word has a number of reading plan printables which list the “what to read when” portions. They even have a reading record sheet, but their reading record doesn’t have checkboxes.
  • Susan’s Blog has an entry with a long list of links to a number of reading plans of various styles on many sites.
  • Back to the Bible has several different groupings of readings, such as chronological and blended.

Feel free to customize your plan in any way you like, just make sure you *have* a plan in place so you don’t fall away when you’re feeling indecisive. If you finish reading through the bible, start over, don’t quit! “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.”