Bible Reading Plan: Southern Seminary Style

Who is up for a challenge over winter break?

My favorite Seminary isn’t offering any classes I need this January, so I’ve been looking for a study project. It occurred to me that I could read the entire Bible in a month if I maintained the Southern Seminary reading pace over the winter break. I like to think of it as Bible Reading Southern Seminary Style.

I took the page numbers from my ESV Reference Bible and the time required from my Max McLean ESV audio Bible. You can modify these numbers for your favorite Bible translation.

  • NT 18 hours (1,080 minutes)– ESV 279 pages
  • OT 57 hours (3,420 minutes) – ESV 968 pages
  • January has 31 days
  • December 10th – January 31st has 53 days

Read Through the Entire Bible in January

  • Read 35 minutes or 9 pages of NT per day
  • Read 111 minutes or 32 pages of OT per day
  • So, by spending only 2 hours and 26 minutes per day, 41 pages, you can read through the entire ESV Bible in January.

Start Now and Read It All by January 31st

  • You can add 22 days if you start on December 10th for a total of 53 days.
  • Read 21 minutes or 5 ½ pages of NT per day
  • Read 54 ½ minutes or 18 ½ pages of OT per day
  • So, by spending only 1 hour and 16 minutes per day, 24 pages, you can read through the entire ESV Bible between now and February.
  • Just over 1 hour a day!

So what do you think? Are you up for the challenge?

  • You can do the Old Testament, New Testament or both
  • Leave a comment on this post to make it public
  • I’ll create a forum post, linked from the top menu, for people to note their progress each week.


This entry was posted in Bible & Biblical Studies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Bible Reading Plan: Southern Seminary Style

  1. -joe says:

    I think this is a great idea. I’m down for reading the whole of it by the end of January.


  2. I may do this. I don’t know if I’ll do this, but I admit, you’ve got me intrigued. I picked up a 1-year Bible last January for this purpose and with all the “reading ADD” I acquired since graduating in 2006 I just couldn’t do it. I could be convinced to do it, since I’m planning to practice certain spiritual disciplines for the month of January in view of our first kid being due on the 28th. Hmm. I must meditate on this. I will return when the Force has spoken.

  3. Pingback: Bible Reading Plan On Steroids « Reflections From A Husband, Father, and Pastor

  4. R. Mansfield says:

    I think I’ll join in, too, but take a different route. Last week, I received in the mail a review copy of The Bible Experience from Zondervan. I’ve been listening to it off and on, but I think I’ll commit my regular commute (on average about an hour a day) plus as much of our travel time at Christmas as possible. I’ve “listened” through audio Bibles before, but never this much in so short of a period.

    By the way, I’ve never been a fan of dramatized versions of the Bible, but I have to admit that the Bible Experience is actually quite well done.

  5. Pingback: Bible Reading Challenge | Said At Southern Seminary

  6. Tony Kummer says:

    Guys – I’ve just added the forum post if you want to give updates. It will be on the top menu of SAS

  7. Pingback: ESV Bible Blog

  8. Keith says:

    I read the whole Bible in 21 days back in February 2004. I read it through in four months from January to April 2006. I am currently in the middle of doing it in six months ending February 14, 2006.

    I love, Love, LOVE the Bible and don’t find it difficult to read it through. I can say that doing it in 21 days meant cutting out TV and all other reading material. It also meant reading it in every spare moment.

    Go get em. I hope your challenge is accepted by many people. The Bible is the most owned and underread book there is. Anything to spark interest in God’s Word to us is valuable.

  9. Pingback: Read the Entire Bible in a Month « Pastor and People

  10. I’m game … I’m looking forward to getting a good grip once again on the redemptive work of God in Christ throughout all biblical history.

  11. Judy Rosten says:

    I have always wanted to read the entire Bible and feel this is a great challenge for me. This plan of reading the Bible in the month of January is something I would love to accomplish.

  12. RC says:

    I am game. I will start tonight. Let’s look at the drawbacks. I might miss a sitcom or go to sleep an hour later. Doesn’t seem like much to give up in order to allow God’s Word to enrich my life.

  13. While I try to read the Word through once each year, I have never tried to read the entire Bible in one month. I am taking the challenge. My only concern is – will I read to get it checked off or will I read to nourish my soul? My prayer is that God will help me to feast upon His Word and enrich my soul.

  14. Keith says:


    My experience in reading the Bible through in 21 days was revolutionary. It transformed my walk with God. The overwhelmingness of God’s love for and plan for mankind comes through in a way that piecemeal reading of scripture doesn’t adequately capture. It was very much a big picture dunking into God’s love for us.

    Reading it more slowly like I am currently allows the opportunity for meditation on particular verses and passages. I am finding that the benefits of fast and slow reading of the Word are different in kind but equal in value.

  15. David says:

    I’ve done this several times in the past 20 years and every time, about half way through, I’ve discovered that I’ve willingly placed myself under ‘law’. Reading a love letter should be a delight, not an arduous task.

  16. Kristie says:

    I found some great reading plans online at Bible Study Tools that you might want to check out. They let you personalize your plan with highlighting verses and saving notes. They have ESV version and probably about 25 other translations as well as commentaries, lexicons, devotionals, articles, maps, etc. I would definitely suggest checking it out!

  17. Keith:
    Thanks for your input and encouragement. Things are going well so far, and I must agree – this is a ‘big picture’ event so far. There are still themes that jump off the page at me each time I read. I have much to think about and pray through at the end of each reading session.

  18. Pingback: New Years Resolutions?????????????????????? - The PuritanBoard

  19. bill frix says:

    This sound like a great ideal, I’m retired now so I am going to give it a try , Reading the Bible in one month should be easy for me now that I have lots of time.

    Thanks for the Ideal

  20. Pingback: Bible Reading Plan: Southern Seminary Style | Said At Southern Seminary | Reflections

  21. dongale says:

    I’m a late indicator, but I’ve started this. It’s been hard to get the 2.5 hours I need each day since I work full time, but it’s been amazing so far. It’s definitely a challenge.

  22. Pingback: 40-Day Reading Challenge « A Splendid Time…. Coming Home

  23. Dominic says:

    Hey, this is great! Thanks for the numerical break down. I had planned on completing the entire bible this year and after a few life set backs I was ready to scrap the idea and try to start a fresh next year, but after doing the math I noticed that I could read 50 minutes a day and be done by New Year’s eve. and if I start today which I will then I could be done by Christmas and still have a few extra minutes a day to to some actual studing of certain chapters.

    Thanks again.

  24. debbie says:

    I have read the bible over 3 days before. this is reading it all day, each day, for three days. I did stop to eat and sleep(not much), but was very immersed in the project. The first time i did this i was about 16 years old. I was very blessed from doing this and occasionally repeat the process when the desire hits me. I read about 16 to 20 chapters a day on average, so have read the bible through many times in my 30+ years of reading the bible. Every time i read through the bible i find something new that intrigues me and make discoveries that amaze me again on how precious a gift this book is that our Creator gave us.

Comments are closed.