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Here’s another approach, as Pastor Andy Perry explains:

Each method we’ve promoted has had its advantages and we would still commend their use.

At the same time, plans like those named above frequently cause discouragement as our New Year’s Bible reading resolutions give way to the unexpected X-factors of life which seem to encroach with a vengeance after a few weeks or months. I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to find a command in the Bible giving special importance to reading all 66 books of the Bible in a year’s time. Furthermore, as we’ve discussed in recent weeks, trying to speed through a book like Proverbs could be positively harmful since its poetry was designed to be read slowly and thoughtfully.

Therefore, let me suggest a new kind of reading plan for 2010, one that writer Margie Haack calls ‘The Bible Reading Plan for Slackers and Shirkers’ (I love that title!). Advantages to this plan include:

  1. Removing the pressure to ‘keep up’ with getting through the entire Bible in a year.
  2. Providing variety throughout the week by alternating genres.
  3. Providing continuity by reading the same genre each day of the week.

In a nutshell, here’s how it works:

  • Sundays: Poetry
  • Mondays: Penteteuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy)
  • Tuesdays: Old Testament history
  • Wednesdays: Old Testament history
  • Thursdays: Old Testament prophets
  • Fridays: New Testament history
  • Saturdays: New Testament epistles (letters)

The advantage of this plan is that it provides guidance as we read each day but does not put us on an internal guilt trip if we miss a day – we just pick up with the next reading on the day it happens to be. Also, this plan allows us to see the many interconnections between sections of Scripture. So, as Margie puts it, on the same day you may be reading about God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis and a few days later read Paul’s commentary on the Abrahamic covenant in Romans.

Many Bible reading plans are good, but I find this one unusually helpful, for it combines two biblical values which seem to diverge in most plans: discipline and grace.

You can download the plan from Ransom Fellowship.

HT: Mike Miesen

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15 thoughts on “Bible Reading Plan for Shirkers and Slackers”

  1. Barbara says:

    Thanks for posting this. I made it through to about August this year with the McChenye schedule but did not finish. This plan looks very helpful, and gives me hope!

    For those of us who are true shirkers and slackers, I noticed that if you download that PDF you can click on the days reading and it will take you to the passage on

  2. CL says:

    Grant Horner, a professor at The Master’s College, has put together a unique reading plan that doesn’t require a fixed daily schedule. I’ve used it and it is certainly different, but has a lot of benefits too. You can check it out at its Facebook group here:

  3. Jeff Schultz says:

    It’s a great idea, but am I missing something? It appears there are way too few Sundays and Fridays, and way too many Mondays and Thursdays. Shouldn’t there be 52 of each day?

  4. Brent Swanson says:

    Hey Justin,

    You had just posted a summary of the stages of redemptive history from Bruce Waltke. I saw it a few hours ago, went on my break from work, and now it is gone. Am I going crazy, or did you take this down?

    1. Justin Taylor says:


      Must have just been your imagination…

      Just kidding. Yep, I posted it, but I made a mistake. Those summaries were from Goldsworthy not Waltke. I pulled the post and have it scheduled to go live tonight at midnight along with a new post from Goldsworthy. Sorry for the inconvenience.


  5. matt morales says:

    I concur with CL. I have been using Prof. Horner’s reading plan for a little while now and love it.

  6. phil simpson says:


    Yet another Bible reading plan can be found at our church’s website: ( It’s a little different in that it’s a two-year plan. Therefore the daily portions are more manageable, easier to keep up with, and easier to get back on track if you miss a day. The smaller portions also allow you more time to meditate on what you’re reading rather than rushing to get it done.

    It’s fairly easy to use– basically two Old Testament chapters a day for the first year and three months (with a few exceptions, like Psalm 119), and then one New Testament chapter a day for the last 9 months. I post this in case any of your readers may benefit from a plan that moves a little more slowly. Hope it is a helpful option for those selecting a Bible reading plan. In Christ,


  7. Dennis Gundersen says:

    Here’s another good one for slackers. Works through the NT at a faster pace than the old, and mingles readings from all over:

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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