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Visualizing One-Year Bible Reading Plans

How do you choose a Bible reading plan for the upcoming year? Aesthetically? In this post we graph a few different reading plans so you can see visually how they differ from one another.

Through the Bible

The Through the Bible reading plan is about as simple as they come: you read one passage each day from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, starting in Genesis and Matthew in January and ending in Malachi and Revelation in December. Here’s how it looks:

One Year Bible Reading Plan (M’Cheyne)

The One Year Bible Reading Plan, based on the M’Cheyne system, is more complex. You read through the New Testament twice (though you read the gospels and the rest of the New Testament at different rates), the Psalms twice, and the Old Testament once.

The One Year® Bible

The One Year Bible has some similarities with the previous plan. But it also looks quite different. You only read through the New and Old Testaments once, while you read the Psalms twice and Proverbs slowly throughout the whole year.

Daily Reading Bible

The Daily Reading Bible goes through the Old Testament once and the Psalms and New Testament twice.

Chronological Reading Plan

The Chronological Reading Plan from Back to the Bible lets you read the Bible in the order in which events occurred. So, for example, you read the account of David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel on the same day you read the parallel account in 1 Chronicles. The next day, you read the psalms that David composed related to the events in the historical books.

Several trends become apparent when visualizing the reading plan this way:

  1. The antiquity of Job.
  2. Parallel passages in some of the Old Testament historical books.
  3. The wide historical distribution of the Psalms and the Minor Prophets.
  4. Parallel passages in the four gospels.

Book of Common Prayer Daily Office Lectionary

Finally, the Book of Common Prayer, a two-year plan, doesn’t try to take you through every verse in the Bible. It focuses on key passages, so its chart looks more organic. (The BCP is a two-year plan, and you can’t read every reading every year.)

Here are the two years side-by-side:

Here are the two years superimposed on each other. The Psalms appear purple (the second year color) because almost every Psalm reading is identical between the two years.

December 21, 2006 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,Digital,ESV,ESVBible.org,General,News & Announcements | Author: Crossway Staff @ 10:13 am | (34) Comments »

34 Comments

  1. [...] According to the StrengthsFinder assessment from The Gallup Organization, analytical skills are at the top of my list of strengths. But I must admit even I was kind of taken back—and quite intrigued!—to see this visual display from the ESV Bible Blog. They have created graphs that visualize several different read-the-Bible-through-in-a-year plans. I never would have even thought to analyze the readings in such a way. I don’t know that there of much help, but they’re cool to look at! [...]

    Pingback by How to Visualize a Bible Reading Plan at IsaiahSix — December 21, 2006 @ 12:26 pm

  2. [...] If you’re into Bible reading plans and you are a nerd, like me, who likes statistical charts, then you’ll love the work the ESV blog did on visualizing Bible reading plans. Posted in The Bible. [...]

    Pingback by The Reformed Virginian Bible Reading Plans « — December 22, 2006 @ 11:35 am

  3. [...] The folks at the ESV Blog often have an innovative way of looking at things, and this post on Bible reading plans is certainly no exception. The idea is to chart various Bible reading plans to give a visual way to see the differences. The steeper lines mean longer readings per day; flatter lines mean shorter readings. It’s interesting, though i wish they had included the NavPress Bible reading plans, with which I am pretty familiar. I am currently doing the NavPress “Book-at-a-Time” reading plan, reading from two different places in the Bible each “day,” and have also done their alternate plan, which calls for four different readings per day. [...]

    Pingback by Words Behind Me » ESV Blog Graphs Bible Reading Plans — December 22, 2006 @ 5:34 pm

  4. [...] This is kinda cool. The ESV blog has a post comparing different one-year (and a couple two-year) Bible reading plans. It shows each as graphs of what you are reading when. [...]

    Pingback by Musings from Two-Sheds Gomer » Blog Archive » reading graphs about reading — December 23, 2006 @ 1:01 am

  5. [...] In addition, they took the time to [graph out](http://www.esv.org/blog/2006/12/visualize.reading.plans) different Scripture reading plans available. It’s really interesting to see the path you take through Scripture in that manner. [...]

    Pingback by New Reading Plan Resource « The Path of Your Commandments — December 23, 2006 @ 5:32 pm

  6. [...] We’re fast approaching that time of year where new years’ resolutions come to mind. If you’re thinking that you’d like to know more about the Bible, but you’re not sure where to start, the ESV blog has a number of visualisations of its bible reading plans to choose from. [...]

    Pingback by cafedave.net » Blog Archive » visualising the bible in a year — December 24, 2006 @ 8:14 am

  7. online Scripture tools

    About this time every year, I begin to search for a read thru the Bible in a year plan. As I was searching this year, I found some cool stuff. So, I thought I’d share it with you. As you probably well know, there are several options of year-long readi…

    Trackback by following an unknown path — December 26, 2006 @ 1:05 am

  8. Visualize Your 2007 Bible Reading Plan

    The ESV Bible Blog has a neat feature post titled Visualizing One-Year Bible Reading Plans. It shows you in a graphical chart how you’ll read the Bible through with different plans.
    See also: My resource link list of Bible reading plans online.
    […

    Trackback by Church Communications Pro, Church Marketing Ideas, Websites, Blogs — January 1, 2007 @ 9:56 am

  9. [...] Visualizing One-Year Bible Reading Plans [...]

    Pingback by ChurchHacks.com » Blog Archive » Visualizing One-Year Bible Reading Plans — January 1, 2007 @ 4:47 pm

  10. [...] This post is a couple of days past due, but if you are thinking about executing a read-the-Bible-in-a-year plan for 2007, here is an interesting resource that shows various plans visually. [...]

    Pingback by Grace Fellowship of South Forsyth: » Bible Reading Plans — January 2, 2007 @ 10:28 pm

  11. For those of you who might be interested, I’ve put a link to the ESV Chronological Bible Reading Plan in the Navbar, under the daily verse. Out on the ESV blog there is a cool post that visualizes the various Bible reading plans.

    Trackback by Chronological Bible reading plan — January 18, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  12. I’ve been contemplating reading the Old and New Testaments completely thru 2007, something I’ve never done intentionally through one year. I’ve been looking at the various plans that the folks at ESV.org highlighted some days ago.

    Trackback by Hearing God — January 18, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  13. http://www.esv.org/blog/2006/12/visualize.reading.plans.

    Trackback by Help in choosing a daily reading plan — January 18, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  14. the ESV blog offers several displays of reading plans out there.

    Trackback by multiple Bible reading plans — January 18, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  15. The ESV Blog helps you visualize the one-year Bible reading plans — a helpful device, since there are so many plans to choose from. Click here to take a look as you prepare to read through the Scriptures in 2007.

    Trackback by Visualizing One-Year Bible Reading Plans (ESV Blog) — January 18, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  16. Being biblical requires that we expose ourselves continuously to the Scripture. The ESV blog lists and compares several Bible reading plans for going through the Bible in a year. If you are not already doing something like this,

    Trackback by Through the Bible in a Year — January 18, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  17. Do you have a plan for reading through the Bible next year? Well, if you would like to see various Bible reading plans go to the ESV Blog. They actually have charts that let you visualize how the different plans look as well as links to

    Trackback by Reading through the Bible in a Year. — January 18, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  18. This blog entry done by the ESV people came across my Bloglines account this week. I am capable of becoming interested in the strangest things — like read the Bible in a Year plans. I had always assumed that if you wanted to read the

    Trackback by Friday Review . . . Read the Bible in a Year Plans — January 18, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  19. No, this is not a post about some new age way of interacting with the Bible. The fine folks over at the ESV Bible Blog have posted fascinating visualizations of popular Bible reading plans, including the Chronological plan I am using

    Trackback by Visualize the Bible — January 18, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  20. The English Standard Bible folks provide links to graphic visualizations of various Read thru the Bible in One Year Plans.

    Trackback by One Year Bible Reading Plans - Our Choices — January 18, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  21. Check this out for your 2007 Bible reading plan, courtesy of the fine ESV folks: http://www.esv.org/blog/2006/12/visualize.reading.plans.

    Trackback by This is cool! — January 20, 2007 @ 7:32 am

  22. 1. Online video becomes a real business. What does this mean for the church? 2. Missional churches, Epiphany, and squatters. 3. The history of religion in 90 seconds. No joke… 4. UNC-Wilmington criminology professor, Mike Adams,…

    Trackback by “the rearview mirror” — January 20, 2007 @ 7:32 am

  23. The ESV Blog has a couple of helpful posts on one-year Bible reading plans: (1) Two New Bible Reading Plans for 2007; and (2) Visualizing One-Year Bible Reading Plans.

    Trackback by Bible Reading Plans — January 20, 2007 @ 7:32 am

  24. The ESV blog has a slightly odd article comparing different Bible reading plans using graphs! It’s worth a look if only to find yourself wondering how long it took to pragram a spreadsheet to produce them!

    Trackback by Bible reading plans compared - for those who like graphs…… — January 20, 2007 @ 7:32 am

  25. Considering a bible reading plan for next year and don’t know which to choose? This post from the ESV Bible blog might help. It graphically compares Bible reading plans…

    Trackback by Visualizing One-Year Bible Reading Plans — February 1, 2007 @ 7:37 am

  26. As the new year has come, it’s time to think of how we will approach our reading of the Bible. First of all, this assumes that you believe reading the Bible is fruitful for your life. Secondly, I assume that you want to be changed…

    Trackback by Bible Reading Plans — February 1, 2007 @ 10:42 am

  27. Read the Bible systematically throughout the year. This is the time to begin a Bible reading plan. There are literally dozens of them out there…

    Trackback by Resolutions for the New Year — March 1, 2007 @ 7:47 am

  28. Well, if you are looking for a New Year’s resolution. Let me suggest that you should start a Bible reading plan. These plans are designed to help you read through the entire Bible in one year…

    Trackback by New Year's Resolution? — March 1, 2007 @ 7:47 am

  29. The ESV website lists a number of different formats for reading through the Bible in a year, most of which are available via RSS. I also think this “visualization” of the various formats is interesting. Getting your chapters via email or RSS is kind of cool, but I like sitting in front of an actual Bible with–call me old-fashioned–paper…

    Trackback by Monday Matters: 01/01/07 — March 1, 2007 @ 7:50 am

  30. Bible: The ESV blog has some interesting graphics allowing you to visualize different one-year Bible reading plans.

    Trackback by A La Carte (12/22) — April 1, 2007 @ 7:34 am

  31. Well, if you are looking for a New Year’s resolution. Let me suggest that you should start a Bible reading plan. These plans are designed to help you read through the entire Bible in one year. There are many different programs that are out there…

    Trackback by New Beginnings Church - MySpace Blog — May 1, 2007 @ 11:09 am

  32. Some interesting (but not really all that helpful) charts for visualizing Bible reading plans.

    Trackback by Bible Reading Charts — June 1, 2007 @ 7:31 am

  33. are designed to help you read through the entire Bible in one year. There are many different programs that are out there. Also available is my favorite the Daily Message Bible. If you are interested in a Bible reading program, check out this site: http://www.esv.org/blog/2006/12/visualize.reading.plans This blog shows the different reading plans. Pick one that you like and start reading your Bible everyday in 2007! By the way, there will a DBR Program available at the church you can pick up in a couple of weeks. This one is printed by the Church of

    Trackback by New Beginnings Church - MySpace Blog — June 1, 2007 @ 7:37 am

  34. This is a stupid post really. But I just thought I’d post on the great thing that is the The One Year® Bible. Yes it may be a registered trademark but God by his grace has used it to get me into regular daily reading of the bible….

    Trackback by Swimming — November 1, 2007 @ 7:47 am

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