Today I’m sharing my 2021 90 Day Bible reading plan. I’m going over my reasons for attempting to read the Bible in 90 days and some of the tools I’m using to help me accomplish my goal!
And if you’d like to try my reading plan, you can download a copy for free at the end of the post!
I think one of the more popular New Year’s resolutions that Christians make is to read the Bible in a year. And my hat is off to anyone who has met that goal! I am not one of those people. I’ve set that goal multiple times in the past but never accomplished it. While I subscribe to the try, try again mantra, I also believe that if something isn’t working, you should try, try something different.
While setting my goals for 2021, I knew I wanted to read the entire Bible. But I also knew I didn’t want to take the entire year to do it. So I thought, why not 90 days? Long enough so that I’m not spending five hours in the Word per day, but short enough that I’m building serious momentum.
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Why Read the Bible in 90 Days?
- MOMENTUM – Like I already mentioned, I’ve tried reading the Bible in a year and just couldn’t seem to get through it. By the time you get to Leviticus, it starts to be a real struggle. So I figured a quicker pace might be easier. And while it might seem counter intuitive to read more pages per days, I think that more daily progress through the text means more momentum and less margin for feeling like you’re slogging through.
- THE RIGHT SEASON – Besides building momentum, this felt like the season for a 90 day Bible reading plan. Because I work from home as an entrepreneur, I have pretty much full command of my everyday, which I consider a great privilege. I don’t know how long this season is going to last. No commute, no boss, no 9-5, no kiddos. I don’t have a reason not to spend more time in the Word everyday. None at all. I wanted to take advantage of this season while I have it.
- ‘BOUT TIME – As a novice Bible study leader who has been a Christian from childhood, I thought it was high time I read the Bible all the way through. I’m 30 and was raised on the Word oof God, it’s way past time I should read it from cover to cover.
- OVERVIEW – Bible study in a particular passage or story is richer when you know more context. Context comes from knowing more of the meta narrative. I really want a better understanding of the breadth of the narrative of scripture so I know where I’m at when studying something specific.
My Bible Reading Tools & Method
- BIBLE – I have several Bibles but I thought it might be fun to work through my 90 day plan in a translation I’m not terribly familiar with but interested in checking out. I chose to read in the CSB and I decided on this edition. It has a gorgeous cover, lined wide margins for taking notes and it’s a good size for carrying around – not too big or too small. If you’re in the market for a CSB, I recommend it! I wanted a Bible that didn’t have study notes because I’m not studying the Bible, just reading it. This Bible has a simple layout and is perfect for what I need. It also takes my highlighters and pens very well!
- HIGHLIGHTERS – I absolutely love Zebra Mildliners! I love using them in my Bibles and my planners. There are lots of great colors to choose from and you can make a fairly extensive Bible marking color code. In fact, I’ve added a couple colors to my original code (more on that in another post coming soon!). These aren’t bleed-proof so I can’t promise they’ll work in your Bible. I’ve only experienced ghosting in most of my Bibles with the exception of one or two.
- AUDIO BIBLE APP – One of the challenges of reading the Bible is it is easy to lost if you’re not used to the language, style, and difficult to pronounce names. While I believe that if you’re a Christian reading the Bible, our number one resource is the Holy Spirit. We have to ask Him to guide us through the text if we want to be enlightened and changed. On a practical, nuts and bolts level, if you have a hard time paying attention and focusing, I HIGHLY recommend listening to the Bible while you read it. It’s a great way to keep up a good pace, get through hard to pronounce words, and repetitive and seemingly boring information (like genealogies). Since I’m reading the CSB, I have the CSB app. You can also try YouVersion, Bible.is, Dwell, and ESV if you’re reading a different translation.
My reading method is simple. I turn my audio Bible on and read along as I listen. My highlighters at the ready if I want to mark something and I have a pen in hand if I want to jot down a note. I’m not going for a perfect-looking, Instagram-worthy Bible. I’m moving quickly through the text, highlighting and jotting notes and questions I want to come back to later. While I’m not a speed reader, I’m a fairly quick reader and I’ve got over two decades of listening to audiobooks under my belt. I’m also a decent note taker so this 3-part system (reading, listing, annotating) is comes pretty easy for me. BUT! If these aren’t skills you’re used to or proficient in, then no worries! Don’t pressure yourself to do all the things and be good at it right away. Allow yourself to stumble through it and develop proficiency and rhythm over time. If you’re a newbie, just start with reading and listening. Don’t worry about jotting notes or highlighting passages. Just read and listen.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind WHEN READING THE BIBLE IN 90 DAYS
- READING PLANS ARE FOR BREADTH, NOT DEPTH – This isn’t a Bible study, it’s a reading plan. I’m not reading commentary during my reading time, not looking up original language, comparing scriptures, or Googling places, times, or people. If I have a question or want to look something up, I jot it in the margins to address later. Whether you’re reading the Bible in 90 days or 365, know that if you want to keep the pace, don’t try to go deep. Reading plans are for breadth, not depth.
- YOU’RE NOT GOING TO REMEMBER EVERYTHING – I’m not expecting to remember every single thing I read. I can’t; it’s impossible. What I am expecting is to get the general gist of what is going on. Later in the year, I’ll go back and study one book or another and go deep into details. For now, I’m just quickly taking a trip so I can get my bearings in the entire text of scripture.
- 90 DAYS DOESN’T MEAN I CAN’T BE FLEXIBLE – There is one built-in grace day in my plan but I’m not stressing about ending exactly at 90 days. My goal is to finish the OT & NT in the first quarter of the year but the beauty of a plan that doesn’t stretch over the entire year, if I go a few or several days over, I’ll still have read the Bible in a year. That is good enough for me!
My 90 DAY Bible Reading Plan
Last year, I learned about the Tanakh, which is the Hebrew Old Testament. It has all the same books as the Christian Old Testament but is ordered a bit differently. This is the Bible Jesus would have had in the 1st century. When He mentions the Law of Moses, Prophets, and Psalms in Luke 24:44, He is referring to the order of the Hebrew Bible. Nerd that I am, I thought it’d be cool to read the original Tanakh order and then the New Testament as is. Here’s a graphic of how the Tanakh works –
So my 90 Day Bible Reading Plan is going to be different from most other 90 day plans you’ll find online. I thought it’d be a fun twist. It’s not the traditional, canonical order and it’s not chronological, historical, or M’Cheyne (all of which are great options!). There is nothing more spiritual in reading the Tanakh order, it’s simply a different order than the traditional, Christian canon.
Grace & Peace