Read the bible over Lent.

So it’s Lent. And during this time, some of us Christians either

  • do a little fasting or other forms of self-deprivation, and spend some time meditate about what Jesus suffered on our behalf;
  • contemplate nothing, but fast anyway ’cause it’s tradition; or
  • contemplate nothing, fast nothing, feel smug because our religious customs don’t obligate us to do a thing, and mock those who do.

Hopefully you’ve chosen the first thing. And if you’re gonna meditate on something, why not read the bible? The whole bible? ’Cause you can. You can actually read it, in its entirety, within a month. So there’s certainly no reason it can’t be done with 10 extra days. You can easily take the time you’d ordinarily spend watching reality TV shows, and read the scriptures. And have time left over. Easy-peasy.

Even if you don’t plan to give up anything for Lent, (’cause you’re American and self-deprivation isn’t your thing), you can still carve out a bit of time each day to read some bible, and make up for the fact you didn’t read the whole thing back in January. Or maybe you did start, but dropped the ball. Or that you’re doing the six-month or year-long bible track, and dropped the ball on that. Either way, it’s catchup time.

So there’s your Lenten challenge: Read your bible. You know you oughta.

One possible schedule.

If you’re gonna tackle the bible this Lent, here’s one possible schedule you can follow. Gets you through the Old Testament (in roughly the order it was composed), then the New (generally bunching authors together).

SUN.MON.TUE.WED.THU.FRI.SAT.
    Ash Wed.
Ge 1-35
2/27
Ge 36-50
Ps 1-41
2/28
Ex 1-40
2/29
Lv 1-27
3/1
Break/
Catch-up
3/2
Nu 1-36
3/3
Dt 1-34
3/4
Js 1-24
Ps 42-72
3/5
Jg 1-21
Ps 73-106
3/6
1Sa 1-31
3/7
2Sa 1-24
3/8
Break/
Catch-up
3/9
1Ki 1-22
3/10
2Ki 1-25
3/11
Is 1-66
3/12
Jr 1-52
3/13
Ek 1-48
3/14
Ho 1-14
Jl 1-3
Am 1-9
Ob 1
Jh 1-4
Mc 1-7
Na 1-3
Hk 1-3
Zp 1-3
Hg 1-2
Zc 1-14
Ml 1-4
3/15
Break/
Catch-up
3/16
Pr 1-31
Ps 107-150
3/17
Jb 1-42
3/18
Sg 1-8
Ru 1-4
Lm 1-5
Ec 1-12
Es 1-10
3/19
Da 1-12
3/20
Ez 1-10
Ne 1-13
3/21
1Ch 1-29
3/22
Break/
Catch-up
3/23
2Ch 1-36
3/24
Mt 1-28
3/25
Mk 1-16
3/26
Lk 1-24
3/27
Jn 1-21
3/28
Ac 1-28
3/29
Break/
Catch-up
3/30
Jm 1-5
1Pe 1-5
2Pe 1-3
Ju 1
3/31
Ga 1-6
He 1-13
4/1
1Th 1-5
2Th 1-3
1Ti 1-6
2Ti 1-4
Tt 1-3
Pm 1
4/2
1Co 1-16
2Co 1-13
4/3
Ep 1-6
Pp 1-4
Cl 1-4
1Jn 1-5
2Jn 1
3Jn 1
4/4
Rv 1-22

Lent has five Sundays, so that’s lots of catch-up time in case you miss a day or two. Or five.

As I’ve said elsewhere, other reading programs carve the bible into equal portions for the day. If you wanna do that, you can: Get one of those yearly bible-reading programs, and read nine to 10 days’ worth of material each day. That’ll get you finished in 40 days. But ideally I like to read a book all the way through, so I didn’t slice and dice the books when I could avoid it. (Psalms technically consists of five individual books of psalms, so I actually didn’t divide those books when I spread ’em out on the schedule.)

Of course, you don’t have to follow this program. You can use TXAB’s bible-reading plan and read it in whatever order, at whatever speed, and get ’er done in 30 or even 20 days. (Or if you’re just crazy enough, 10 days.) Whatever works for you.

Ready to take the challenge? Let’s get to it.