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90 Day Bible, Biblical Womanhood, Currently Reading, Quiet Time, Recommended Reading, Thinking Biblically

90-Day Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Maybe it was just typical end of the year anticipation…looking forward to a New Year, a re-set, and a fresh start. Or, maybe it was boredom….being outside of of our normal structures and routines. (I don’t do “rest” well.) Whatever the reason, as the end of 2019 approached, I found myself needing to rearrange furniture, organize all of the toys, clothes, and books, re-evaluate our daily schedules and routines, and just generally assess what is working, and clean up (or toss out) what isn’t.

And, that desire has also found its way into my personal and spiritual life, as I have found myself becoming a bit restless and bored with my usual Bible reading routine over the last few weeks.

I love goals and challenges, but have never really been one to make New Year’s Resolutions. I am more of the mindset that if something needs changing…just change it now. No need to wait for an arbitrary date on the calendar. But, at the same time, as I began looking through different Bible reading plans, I realized that this really is the perfect time of year to make some changes in that area. (The plan I’ve been using doesn’t depend on the calendar, which is actually one of the things I love about it! But, I’ve also been using it for so long, I kind of forgot that many plans do start with the New Year.)

Over the years, I have tried and collected a variety of different Bible reading plans, approaches, and schedules. Each one has pros and cons, but I was looking at each one with a bit of a “been there, done that” mentality. None of them seemed like they would accomplish what I was looking for…whatever that was.

And, then…

I remembered that several years ago (and we’re talking more than a decade!), a small group that I was part of, decided to read through the Bible in 90 days. We read through the Bible, from cover-to-cover, in “canonical” order – from Genesis to Revelation – in about 3 months. At that time, I really didn’t like the idea of “speed reading” Scripture, as I wanted a much more in-depth, slower-paced reading. Because that was more spiritual, right? Wrong. Enter humility. I was surprised to find that I really liked this plan, and learned a lot more than I thought I would. I actually enjoyed it so much, I have revisited it a few times in the years since.

But, like I said, there are pros and cons to each plan…

On the Pro side of the list: I have found that reading through the whole Bible at a faster pace has helped me to make connections that I missed in more long-term approaches. And, because each book is read in a matter of days, not weeks or months, I think it can allow for a better understanding of the verses, passages, and other books in context. And, I also like that by occasionally pulling back, I get to see and appreciate the “big picture,” instead of “missing the forest for the trees,” as I can be prone to do.

But, on the Con side: The speed doesn’t really allow for lingering. It is not speed-reading, as I originally dismissed it, but it is definitely a sprint, not a marathon. So, even though I knew I was learning and appreciating things that I might have missed otherwise, I don’t like feeling rushed, or like I was missing out on deeper lessons and insights.

So, although the “pro” side of the argument definitely outweighed the “con” side of my Pro/Con list for this plan, I was still a little hesitant.

And then, I remembered hearing that there was a Chronological variation of the 90-day schedule. I have read through the Bible chronologically before, and it was a great help in connecting the dots of the biblical timeline. But, I have several other projects going on right now, and, while I was intrigued by the idea of doing it 90 days, I did not want to completely reinvent the wheel right now.  After a quick google search, I found a few different 90-day, chronological reading schedules online. That was promising. And, I started getting excited!

Despite not wanting to reinvent the wheel…or, the schedule…that’s kind of exactly what I did. There is some disagreement among scholars on the dates of certain books and events, but most chronological plans (that I’ve found) are basically the same. So that wasn’t the issue. But, I’ve found that just because a particular tool or system is trendy, or pretty, or works for just about everyone else, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for me. There was nothing wrong with the schedules I found…and, each one had some features that I liked, or wanted. But, none of them had everything I was looking for.

What I found was:
Multiple-pages. It is a lot of information, especially for one page. But, it is also a lot of numbers…I didn’t want to keep track of multiple pages, or tape something to the inside of my Bible.
Full-page documents. I have been using a reading system that utilizes multiple bookmarks, which is something I really like. Especially because this plan calls for some flipping back and forth between books. I think, at one point, I may have had a bookmark with the original 90-day schedule on it…but it was in a teeny-tiny font…which made it difficult to follow.
Lists, with no way to track progress. I suppose I could highlight as I go…or cross off the passages as I read…but honestly, I just wanted a check-box.

So…I ended up using some of the chronological, 90-day schedules that I found, and tweaking the format to create something that would work better for me. I put the entire schedule on one page, in 3 columns (one for each month)…the font is small, but, still readable. I added boxes to check off my progress. And, it can easily be folded into a bookmark!

Chronological 90-Day Reading Plan

{Again, not every tool works for every person…but if you think this would be helpful for you,
please let me know. I’d be happy to e-mail you a printable copy!}

I know that there is a Chronological Bible available, as well as a 90-Day Bible available…and I’m sure there’s an app for this as well. They are designed and laid out to make these reading plans easier to follow. Again, I think it is just a matter of knowing what works for you. If you like reading on your phone, or a tablet, go for it. I’ve been very thankful for those options at times, but as a general rule, I’m not an e-book/e-reader kind of girl. I prefer “real books.” And, for Bible reading, I like using my Bible.

And, there is the other motive behind this challenge. I have been using the same Bible for over 15 years, and I love it. It is the one I carry to church, the one I do my reading in, the one I study with…I know where books, chapters, passages, and verses are. Not in the sense of I know the books of the Bible, or I have a general idea of where it is located. I know if it’s on the left or right page…which column, and how far down the the page it is. I know my Bible. But, it is beginning to fall apart….and it is sadly (past) time to retire it.

I already have a new Bible. Well, “new” isn’t entirely accurate. I received it for Christmas a couple of years ago. It is exactly what I wanted. But, it is just different. (If I haven’t mentioned it, I don’t do “change.”) But, it’s time. And, I’m hoping that this plan will help me start using, and therefore getting to know my new(ish) Bible!

Using the 90-Day plans, you could, theoretically, read through the Bible 4 times in 1 year. And, my plan is to at least attempt it. But, for now, I am so excited to jump in, and spend the first few months of this year reading through the Bible chronologically!!

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Who wants to join me?!

5 Comments

  1. Kristin DeRoos

    I’m going to try it with you!

  2. Karen

    I’m in! And yes it was a long time ago when I read the Bible in 90 days too !

    1. Karen

      And yes please email me a schedule. Thanks

  3. […] 90-Day Chronological Bible Reading Plan […]

  4. Sandrine Denis

    Thank you for your post. Would you please e-mail me a copy of the Bible reading plan? Thanks!

Comments are closed.