Why You Shouldn’t Read the Bible in a Year

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I recently read a well argued article on 3 reasons why you should read the Bible in a year. While David does a good job in arguing his point I think reading the Bible in a year is over rated. So many people make it a resolution that they are going to read it through starting the New Year and fall off. I think it is easier to make a resolution that you are going to read for 20-30 minutes a day or set a number of chapters you are going to read.
Then you have those people who make reading the Bible in a year a legalistic act. Like somewhere in the Bible it says “Thou must readith me in a year.” While it is noble for you to want to read the Bible in a year don’t do it if it is going to make learning more difficult, or less enjoyable. I would say only do it if you know you can stay committed to the heavy reading that is going to be involved.
Also in the article he mentions biblical literacy. As you take your time to read you should be able to retain more information. Which in turn will help you to become more biblically literate. That does not mean you will not need outside help like commentaries or a study Bible to help you understand some of the nuances of Scripture.
He also says that is is spiritual food and with that point I do agree. You cannot survive as a Christian without feasting on the Word. But that feast doesn’t mean you have to take in more than you can handle because some plan tells you too. By taking in what you can you will have a chance of better retention.
And it requires discipline to read the Bible with any kind of regularity. While DAILY is BEST, reading it several times a week is better than just cracking it open for Sunday service.
So the points David makes I agree with that it is spiritual food, it increases biblical knowledge and builds discipline. Where we diverge is that it requires the Bible to be read in a year. I have read the Bible cover to cover 1x and have read it as a whole several times reading it 1-4 chapters a day.
What do you think should the Bible be read in year or is it okay to take longer?
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18 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Read the Bible in a Year

  1. I loved your post, I guess because I have stated many times, you may read the Bible through in a year, but to study the Bible takes a whole lifetime. Reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word should never be dictated what to read today or how many chapters. It seems you are removing a Key component, the Holy Ghost’s guidance, Who gives me understanding to what I read.
    You know at SS they ask for number of chapters read for the week, I won’t even do that for fear it would become a competition thing instead feeding upon The Holy Word. Thank you for your blog
    & God bless you & yours. Look forward to hearing more from you.

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    • Thank you for your response. I am glad that you were blessed by this post. The last thing we want to do is turn our Bible reading into a competition. I do not mean to downplay the role of the Holy Spirit in our endeavors. May the Lord feed you as you look to him for your needs. Paul

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      • Oh I did’t mean b to imply that you downplayed the role of the Holy Ghost. I just think when you do those schedule reads for “getting through the Bible in a year” that is when the Holy Ghost gets hindered. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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      • I understand better now what you are saying. I agree there are times it can become a hinderance. You are welcome for the reply. That is one of m goals is to reply to almost every comment the best that i can. God Bless,

        Paul

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    • David, I appreciate you writing the posts you have been writing. I just had to write this after our discussion last week. Good work man, keep serving the kingdom. God Bless,

      Paul

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    • I thought it wasn’t good etiquette to post your own blog post in someone’s comments. At least that’s what I’ve heard in the various comment etiquette posts. Just an aside here agree or not.

      Anyway, to disagree slightly here, I believe reading in a year or a chapter are both legalistic from my pov. I attend a Bible study nine months of the year except for taking a year off occasionally. The studies have you look up various scriptures from OT and NT to tie it all in with what it’s all about, God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit the guide.
      There are no rules about finishing all your homework and the answers are never wrong, just a matter of growth.

      Sometimes I read just a verse or two and let it absorb the rest of the day. Sometimes I read a section or a chapter or a story and post something on my refrigerator if I want to see it daily.

      I have been involved in legalism and the burdens it places on people who just want a deeper relationship with God.

      I will agree to disagree on both points, making it a year or making it a chapter a day.I just have a different perspective.

      That’s all,
      Thanks for the thought provoking post, Paul
      A friend in the body of Christ, Annie

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      • Annie, thank you for taking the time to post. If you are referring to the post I made earlier to day on David’s post in facebook I wanted him to know about this post since i sited him. I could be wrong. I appreciate your POV and understand where you were coming from. I was in no way attempting to be legalistic. I was merely picking a different stance than the one that was being argued in his post at the time. I was trying to do like Jeff encourages us to do which is take a stand on a subject and argue it.:D Thank you for your comment, and taking the time to read this post. I hope things are progressing well for you. God Bless,

        Paul

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      • As someone who’s experienced the true power of daily Bible reading – including the discipline of reading through the Bible in a year – I disagree. Legalism is an easy excuse for lack of commitment. I say that with grace, not condemning you or your thoughts. Just sharing mine.

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  2. I’ve read through the Bible a few times. As I’ve gotten older I focus more on devotional reading but still create a new reading plan in Logos… this year I’m focusing on Pauline writings and because I can, dividing up the section into manageable mouthfuls for each day. I also find some good plans via Youversion.com and have learned that bite-sized plans of no more than 30 days equals greater consistency.

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    • Donna, thank you for your response. You have some good ideas. I generally read what I feel lead to I read through books at a time. Right now I am reading a chapter a day in 1kings, the Psalms, a minor prophet and Revelation. That will change once I finish reading those books. Thanks again. Paul

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  3. Although you give specific examples of why not to read the bible through in a year , I really have to disagree with you. I say that as a person without a theological background, except for an online course on Hermeneutics. I don’t know how to argue a point. I can only express my feelings on a subject.
    I find that it helps me to read it through in a year. It gives structure and dicipline to my devotional time. . Each time I read it, I get something from it that I missed the time before.
    Thanks for your insight,.I am not criticizing, I enjoy reading your thoughts. Keep up the good work.

    In Christ,
    Anne Harris <

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    • Ms. Anne,
      thank you for taking the time to respond. You are more than welcome to offer insight anytime you feel like it. It is okay to disagree. While i may have a bunch of training behind me there are still my peers who would probably disagree with me on this topic too. I just find it easier to not limit myself to have to read it in a year because I am the type to beat myself up for not doing it and then if I don’t do it enough I just quit. I generally read through the NT several times a year. while the OT takes me A LOT longer. Thanks again for commenting.
      Paul

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  4. Interesting take on David. At risk of sounding wishy-washy, I both agree and disagree. It comes down to a matter of distinction and personal familiarity with the Bible. Years ago, I took the Bible in 90 Days Challenge. It was not for my own ego. I did it in light of the realization that I lacked familiarity with many areas of the Bible. I felt it was important that I READ through it beginning to end. So I bought a specially formatted Bible that was larger print without footnotes, references, etc. It was the Bible, but it was made for READING (as opposed to studying). It took 90 days of my life and enabled me to have a good foundation for understanding as I STUDY specific sections of the Bible, which may take 90 days or more for one book. Having read the whole Bible all the way through, there’s at least some assurance that I might be able to connect, relate to and understand how the other books are relevant tot eh study, which facilitates a strong and more fruitful study. Now, all that said, if you take a year of time to merely read the Bible and forego actual study, I am not sure that is the best direction. However, if you can do both reading and studying of it concurrently, I see no harm.

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    • Chad,
      glad to hear you read the Bible so quickly! I have heard that there is the ESV readers Bible which is written just like a regular book. I think it is a good idea for those people who are just reading it. However, I do not get into super heavy study when reading the Bible. It takes me some time to get through it. Just because I am reading for comprehension. I don’t want to treat the Bible like some novel, to just be read. I appreciate your comments. Thanks for reading. And no worries about the name confusion. God Bless,

      Paul

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  5. Don’t tell anyone who self-identifies as Evangelical but I stopped reading the Bible daily years ago. It is much ore nourishing to read a passage, sit with it, mull it over for awhile, and then do it all again. Some passages have been in my spiritual hopper for years. When I start to feel distant from God or like I need something new then I go back and find a new passage to sink my teeth into.

    What is most important is spiritual health not strict reading regiments. Thanks for the thoughtful post!

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    • Thanks RevNev, for taking the time to comment. Like I say in the article we should try and read the Bible with some frequency but not necessarily in a year. Even if you are like a friend of mine who reads a passage over and over again multiple times she is reading it daily.

      I would agree that spiritual health is most important and for the average person it is going to require staying in God’s Word at least 3-4x a week or more. I am not saying I am perfect at this but i can tell when I haven’t been in the Word.

      Glad you enjoyed the post. If you’d like to read more I have a free devotional you receive for subscribing to my monthly newsletter, its under the Free Devotional tab at the top. God Bless,

      Paul

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