Thinking about starting back at Genesis 1 this New Year’s? Experts weigh in on whether that’s the best plan.
Compiled by Ken Walker
More than 7.5 million reading plans were completed by YouVersion users last year (25 of its 700+ are whole-Bible plans). BibleGateway.com will begin tracking completion rates for its 15 plans this year. We asked several experts whether Christians should try to read through the whole Bible in a year. We’ve arranged their answers below along a spectrum from the “yes” answers at the top to “no” answers at the bottom.
“Comprehensive reading of Scripture through assigned daily readings dates back to the early church. The deep grasp of Scripture this discipline provides is essential to Christian discipleship. One-year plans are a great way to achieve that.”
~ Joel Scandrett, professor of historical theology, Trinity School for Ministry
“Given the fragmentary and out-of-context Bible sampling that pervades our Christian world, any Bible reading that is more holistic and sustained is a good thing. Feasting on whole books and getting immersed in the narrative is healthier than snacking on Bible McNuggets.”
~ Glenn Paawu, Bible publisher-North America, Biblica
“Varying paces mitigate against strict rules. But daily reading forces us to read portions of Scripture to which we are not naturally drawn, feeding us with the whole counsel of God and giving us the fullest possible picture of who God is.”
~ Dane Ortlund, Bible publishing director, Crossway Books
“I’m hesitant to prescribe when or how much people should read. It’s important to grasp the big story and how each smaller story (including ours) fits in. The time required depends on the person. There is no one-size-fits-all.”
~ Kevin Scott, acquisitions editor, Wesleyan Publishing House
“What’s important is regularly listening to God through his Word. If a reading plan motivates you, use it. But if it becomes a chore that deters you from Scripture, don’t get caught up in the method; remember the reason.”
~ Rachel Barach, general manager, BibleGateway.com
“It’s a good thing for every Christian’s ‘bucket list,’ but I’ve never been a big fan. Most people never get past February; they hit Leviticus and give up. The most important thing is not how much Scripture we read every year; it’s how much we apply every day.”
~ Whitney T. Kuniholm, president of Scripture Union USA