After long struggling with sticking to Bible reading plans, I tried some of the literature-style reading charts out there. A big improvement, but something was still missing. They had me gorging some days and snacking others. They just didn’t have a consistent feel to them.
Then I stumbled on Tim Challie’s post: Ten Chapters per Day about Professor Grant Horner’s plan. Intrigued, I decided to try it, and have been hooked ever since!
How it works…
It’s a Bible genre plan, with the readings divided by literature style. Yet unlike any plan I’ve seen, in that it covers 10 chapters each day. 10 chapters from 10 different books of the Bible concurrently. Divided into these sections: the Gospels, the Pentateuch, 2 separate sections of the Epistles, OT wisdom, Psalms, Proverbs, OT history, the prophets, and Acts.
So each day covers one chapter from each of these sections. For instance, Day One’s readings start with the 1st chapter of: Matthew, Genesis, Romans, 1 Thessalonians, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Joshua, Isaiah, and Acts. The next day covers the 2nd chapters, and so on until all 10 sections are finished. At which point, you start all over.
What’s so special about this plan?
It goes through the Bible more than once, some parts several times. OT history and prophets 1½ times, the Pentateuch and Psalms twice, Gospels 4 times, epistles 4-5 times, and Acts plus Proverbs 12 times.
This has really helped me to see the similarities between Ecclesiastes and 2 Corinthians, and between Deuteronomy and Matthew, and so on. So it provides both variety and consistency, and I retain more of what I read.
From chore to joy!
10 chapters sounds like a chore, for me it isn’t. As Tim Challies says, “It’s unique among the systems I’ve attempted in that it requires more reading and yet somehow makes all that reading seem so much easier, enjoyable and attainable.”
Some tips (taken from Professor Horner):
- Read quickly enough that you get the overall sense of what you’re reading. But slow enough to understand and retain it. (About 5-6 minutes per chapter is good.) A middle road between speed reading and deep meditation.
- Remember that this plan is not for Bible study or memorization. It’s for reading-through-the-Bible. So no dawdling, no looking back, no cross-referencing.
- Don’t look up anything you don’t understand. Real comprehension will come through contextualizing. Reading ALOT of Scripture over time.
- If you miss a day or two, don’t worry. Just get back on track!
There is a place and need for both Bible study and memorization, and this plan is not meant to replace them. Rather, I think it’s a great aid to them, as it creates greater hunger for God’s Word. The more we eat, the more we seem to want. And this is one food we can never get too much of!