One Chapter Per Day Bible Reading Plan

The One Chapter Per Day Bible Reading Plan is designed for those who struggle reading a lot of material or for those who love to read slow (which allows for deeper meditation on the text and more time to pray through the text). Those who prefer a faster pace can still use this plan by simply doubling or tripling up on the readings.

The One Chapter Per Day plan alternates each day between Old and New Testaments. However, it always reads straight through individual books at a time. For example:

  • Day 1: Genesis 1
  • Day 2: Matthew 1
  • Day 3: Genesis 2
  • Day 4: Matthew 2

The pattern continues in this fashion, taking readers completely through Genesis and Matthew before moving on to other books. This type of alternating pattern that sticks with individual books allows readers to experience various parts of Scripture while feeling a strong sense of continuity at the same time.

In addition, the plan rotates through the various genres of Scripture (book-by-book) so that the reading is not bogged down in any one place. Here is a sample of the book order to illustrate:

  • Genesis (OT Law)
  • Matthew (NT Gospels)
  • Joshua (OT History)
  • Acts (NT History)
  • Job (OT Poetry / Wisdom)
  • Romans (NT Epistles)
  • Isaiah (OT Prophecy)
  • Revelation (NT Prophecy)

The readings continue to cycle through these eight genres, alternating between OT and NT readings each day. Again, this pattern takes readers all over the Bible, and yet because whole books are read in order, there is a strong feeling of continuity in the readings.

The plan contains a total of 1,853 readings. Reading one chapter a day, it takes a little more than five years to complete the entire plan. Bear in mind, this was not designed to see how quickly a person can read through the whole Bible. It isn’t about finishing on a certain time table. Rather, the purpose is to encourage slower and more meditative reading with the hopes of provoking prayer as a person reads, while also guiding readers through every verse of the Bible.

The emphasis of the plan is on the New Testament, taking readers through it three times compared to only once through the Old Testament. And there are several NT books that will be read four times (Matthew, Acts, Romans, Revelation, Mark, 1 Corinthians, and Luke — these are the order they come in the readings).

Why such an emphasis on the New Testament? The main reason is because the OT is so much longer than the NT. If a plan consistently alternates each day between the testaments (and is committed to only one chapter per reading), it will cycle through the NT over three times before it finishes the OT one time. Because of the alternating scheme, readers will actually be getting equal doses of both testaments, but because of the relative lengths of OT and NT, this will mean reading the NT more total times.

In my thinking, this is perfectly fine since the NT is the place we read directly of the life, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It makes sense to spend the bulk of our reading and meditation time in these passages (the gospels and epistles especially), while not at all neglecting the OT passages that point to Christ and anticipate his coming.

By the way, this plan came about through discussions with my sweet wife regarding our Bible reading together as a couple. I am happy to share it with you as a courtesy from Glory Focus. Happy Reading!

One Chapter Per Day Bible Reading Plan (PDF)

One Chapter Per Day Bible Reading Plan (DOC)

PS: If you have any trouble downloading, just leave me a message and I’ll try to get it to you in another format. Also, just FYI, I have adapted the plan for use in Evernote as a checklist. Anyone can do this by copying and pasting from the DOC version into Evernote and then using a bit of creativity to set it up.



The classic sermon from
Jonathan Edwards
Updated for today’s readers
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2 thoughts on “One Chapter Per Day Bible Reading Plan

  1. Jason, thanks for your ministry. I’ve been ordering your Jonathan Edwards paraphrases. I wanted to say something about the Chapter a day Bible reading plan article. My comment is this: AUDIO BIBLE. I have been listening to dramatized versions of audio Bibles for well over a year now and it has revolutionized my absorption and understanding in context of God’s Word. CONTEXT was always my big problem because I would never read enough of the Bible in one sitting to be able to understand the context. A wise and mature Christian friend of mine blew my mind one time by suggesting I read the Bible one BOOK at a time. Audio Bible is the only way I have even begun to be able to approach such a goal. I have been amazed at the amount of ground I cover by listening to God’s Word while driving or walking or whatever and it seems far easier to encourage my wife in Bible “reading” because she is a very “auditory oriented learner.” Amazon.com has a wonderful edition of a dramatized KJV. I prefer NASB but have not found it available in a dramatized version (which I find easier to listen to than a non-dramatized). The KJV dramatized is top notch quality. I have the NIV dramatized also. It didn’t seem the hearts of the production staff were quite in it as much as they were the KJV. Personally, I’m not generally enthusiatic about any NIV but it can, at times, be useful. Speaking of useful, I hope that is how you will find this comment. Dave

    1. Really good thoughts, Dave. My wife and I “read” by listening to Max McLean read the NIV (my wife’s favorite version) on BibleGateway. But we use the One Chapter a Day Plan to determine what we will read. For couples who find it awkward to read to one another, the audio Bibles are a real help. Thanks for your useful comments!

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