Free Bible Reading Plans for the New Year

Reading the Bible Through in a Year Series:
      1. Free Bible Reading Plans for the New Year
      2. Books to Help You Read through the Bible
      3. Recommended Children’s Story Bibles
Here are links to some free Bible reading plans to help you with your Bible reading in the New Year. I have used each of these plans at different times and found them all helpful.

1. The Five Day Bible Reading Schedule: This Bible reading system allows you to read the entire Bible chronologically in one year while only reading five times a week. Five readings a week gives room to catch up or take a needed day off, and makes daily Bible reading practical and do-able. Further, reading the Bible in chronological order aids understanding of the Bible story, and helps the reader to look forward to reading God’s Word. (Download: Five Day Bible Reading Schedule)

2. New Testament in One Year: Here is a simple “Read the New Testament Through in a Year” sheet that I put together for my boys when they were younger. You read one chapter a day five days a week alternating the longer books with the shorter books. It prints out nicely on one sheet of paper (front and back sides). Feel free to use, copy, pass on or modify however you wish. (Download: New Testament in One Year)

3. Psalms and Proverbs “Plus” Plan: This plan will help you read through Psalms and Proverbs plus the wisdom books of Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs each month. This is similar to the five Psalms a day plan except that the Psalms have been arranged so as to give readings of equal length for each day. The five books of Psalms have been noted, and specific collections of Psalms have been grouped together within a single day’s reading, such as Psalms 113-118 (The Hallel Psalms) and Psalms 120-134 (The Psalms of Ascent). Billy Graham notes: “I used to read five psalms every day – that teaches me how to get along with God. Then I read a chapter of Proverbs every day and that teaches me how to get along with my fellow man.” (Download: Psalms and Proverbs “Plus” Plan)

4. Five Track Bible Reading Plan: This plan divides the Bible into five separate “tracks” corresponding to five major sections of Scripture. (HT: Five Lane Plan)

  • Track 1: Beginnings: Genesis to Ruth (236 Chapters)
  • Track 2: Nation Building: 1 Samuel to Job (242 Chapters)
  • Track 3: Poetry and Wisdom: Psalms to Song of Songs (201 Chapters)
  • Track 4: Prophets: Isaiah to Malachi (250 Chapters)
  • Track 5: New Testament: Matthew to Revelation (260 Chapters)

The daily readings from each track consist of major narratives or divisions within these sections of Scripture. Reading large portions of Scripture in this manner will give you a better appreciation for the overall flow of Scripture and how the various parts of the Bible fit together. This plan comes with various options ranging from reading the whole Bible through in three years to reading the whole Bible through in a month. It can also be used to read through the book of Psalms and Proverbs each month, along with Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. Once again, feel free to use, copy, pass on or modify however you wish. (Download: Five Track Bible Reading Plan)

5. M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan: 19th Century Scottish pastor Robert Murray M’Cheyne (McCheyne) created this popular plan which in the course of one year will guide you through the New Testament and Psalms twice and the rest of the Old Testament once. You can get free pdf printouts of the M’Cheyne calendar as well as RSS feeds of the daily readings here.

6. Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plans: NavPress offers the following three different Bible reading plans.

What other resources can you recommend? (Note: Tomorrow we will look at books to help you read through the Bible and the next day at recommended Children’s Story Bibles.)

Related post: 5 Reasons to Read God’s Word This Year

Reading the Bible Through in a Year Series:
      1. Free Bible Reading Plans for the New Year
      2. Books to Help You Read through the Bible
      3. Recommended Children’s Story Bibles

Note: The Bible Memory Version is available for purchase here at my website (in ePub or Kindle format) and also through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. If you don’t have an e-reader, you can download a free e-reader here.


  1. I particularly like #2, the NT plan you created for your boys.

    How young were they when they handled up on this one? How did it go?

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Gunny – They were about 9-10 years old, and they handled it just fine. What was nice about the Monday-Friday plan was if they got behind for the week, they could always catch up on the weekend.

  3. Sharon Gamble says:

    I would like to suggest a slower alternative that I have used for over 20 years. Scripture Union has a program where you read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice every five years. The passages are fairly short, they are definitely all part of one book of the Bible at a time so you get context, and the commentary that goes along with it is focused on the Scripture passage, instead of a lot of stories (which I prefer!). I guess if I have been doing it for 20 years I have read through the OT four times at this point, and the NT eight. I love it! Here is their website: It is recommended by such well-known Christians as Billy Graham, John Stott, and Jill Briscoe. Billy Graham says, “I am totally, completely and forever a Scripture Union man.” There. That’s my little contribution. 🙂

  4. Ray Fowler says:

    Sharon – Great suggestion! Slow and steady is certainly another viable option. The Five Track Plan above also has an option for reading through the Bible in three years, but the Scripture Union program with commentary sounds excellent.

    Anbody else have some suggestions? What has worked for you?

  5. Mary says:

    Thanks for the encouragement to read through the Bible. I am doing the Book-at-a-Time plan. I’ve done this before and like checking off the box each day. I like reading in just two places each day. My husband is doing the 5 X 5 X 5 plan. Not to be confused with a certain delivery pizza special.

  6. Ray Fowler says:


    Sounds like a great plan! Maybe your husband can actually eat the pizza special while doing his Bible reading. Now that’s a plan a lot of guys could go for – the new 5 X 5 X 5 Bible/pizza plan! 🙂

  7. Barrie says:

    Well Ray, I liked your 5 X 5 X 5 Bible/pizza plan. Of course, I like my pizza with pepperoni and sausage and my Bible with good study guides also.

  8. Ray Fowler says:


    I’m telling you, I think we have hit upon a plan that will revolutionize Bible reading for men in 2008 – eat piles and piles of pepperoni pizza while perusing Proverbs and the Epistles of Peter and Paul.

  9. Barrie says:

    Sign me up Coach!!!

  10. Margaret says:

    I decided to follow your plan that you used for your children – read the New Testament in one year, reading a chapter a day, five days of the week, – catch up on weekends if you miss a day. If it’s good for kids, guess it works for Grandmas too!

    One suggestion: – I personally find it helpful to look carefully at each chapter, searching for one or more verses that have special meaning to me. This keeps me from “just reading” to finish the chapter. Instead, it makes me read with a searching heart to find these verses. Helps with concentration, and reading for inspiration. Thanks for suggesting this reading plan.

  11. Ray Fowler says:

    Margaret – Have fun with the New Testament this year. I like your suggestion of always looking for one or two things God might especially be saying to you in that day’s reading. We never want our Bible reading just to become something to check off the list.

  12. Grace says:

    Do you know were I could find a plan for reading it in a month?

  13. Ray Fowler says:

    Grace – Yes, the Five Track Plan will lead you through the whole Bible in one month. You will read about 40 chapters a day, which usually takes about two hours to complete – less than the average person spends watching TV each day! It’s not too hard really, especially if your spread it out throughout the day (some in the morning, some at lunch break, and some in the evening).

  14. Amity says:

    Just printed out the NT in one year plan for my 10 yr old. I challenged him to do it while I read the entire Bible this year. He’s excited and I loved your plan. Thanks!

  15. Ray Fowler says:

    That is awesome, Amity. He will really enjoy reading through the NT this year. And it’s not that hard – as long as you keep up with it!

  16. Mary says:

    Hi Ray,
    I have a new reading plan for you. My seventeen-year-old daughter is reading through the Bible in alphabetical order. Acts is not a bad place to start. I posted about it on my blog at:


  17. Ray Fowler says:

    Mary – Wow, that is a new plan! (And I thought I had heard them all!) I trust your daughter will enjoy her time spent with the Lord in his Word this year. Thanks for sharing!

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  1. Reading the Bible Through in a Year Series at Ray Fowler .org
  2. Books to Help You Read Through the Bible at Ray Fowler .org
  3. Recommended Children’s Story Bibles at Ray Fowler .org

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