C.S. Lewis and Sinclair Ferguson both said that they wish they had read the Bible more.
Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System is a popular and intriguing reading plan where one chapter of each of ten ‘Lists’ of the Bible are read each day. So, List 1 is the Gospels, List 2 is the , another is the historical books, the wisdom books, Psalms is by itself, etc. so that you’re reading ten chapters a day. When you’re done with each list, you start that list over. As each section starts over at a different time, you’re reading different parts of the Bible together the next time you cycle through each list.
Instead of writing more about how the system works, I’ll let you read through the excellent article Professor Horner wrote, and then you can read a little about my experience, if that matters to you, along with a list of resources.
Professor Grant Horners Bible Reading System | Scribd – The Facebook page is no longer there.
I kept my eye on this reading plan, or ‘system’, for a few years. In April of 2015, I started praying that God would motivate me to want to start with it. About two days later I thought, “Why not just start now? You know you want to.” So I started then, very slightly modifying it to nine chapters a day, for about 18 months. It didn’t seem like a year and a half. (And it’s taken me this long to write a blog post about it!)
This system is mainly for familiarity with the Bible. Certainly, we should be praying through the Bible, meditating on it, and studying it. Right now I’m meditating and praying through much of the NT with a study Bible, and also slowly praying through the Psalms. I want to get more motivated to do more studying, which I did much more of in the past. I plan on returning to Professor Horner’s system within a year or two. So this isn’t made to be an all inclusive plan for your Bible consumption. Lately, I’ve only been able to do one aspect of Bible reading at a time. I’ve been spending the same amount of time on what I’m doing now as when I was reading nine chapters a day. Since it never seemed burdensome, I thought I’d keep up the discipline and not lose the mental callouses that have been built up.
Part of the goal of this system, as the article above says, is to let Scripture interpret Scripture. This happens more as we learn more of the Bible. For me, there was much more interpretation going on than I expected. But it wasn’t just Scripture interpreting Scripture. For sure, God was giving me insight into His Word. But I think he was doing that through the discipline of reading a lot of it. It was surprising, because as Professor Horner says, you need to just get through the text and not stop to look things up. The goal is to get to know Scripture better. It is Scripture that changes us in so many ways, and ingesting large doses of it may be helpful in ways we might not realize if we’re not usually spending as much time with it as this requires.
The best way to learn Biblical theology, the best way to get you out of the world’s way of thinking and into the Bible’s is to study the Bible itself. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be. Read the Bible. A lot.
–James M. Hamilton Jr., What Is Biblical Theology?: A Guide to the Bible's Story, Symbolism, and Patterns
If your Bible is falling apart, you probably aren’t.
–John MacArthur, as told to Grant Horner after looking at his tattered Bible (as found in the article above)
There’s a lot more I could write about, but I’ll stop there. I haven’t seen a list of apps anywhere, so I hope these are helpful.
YouVersion – This stops after one year, unfortunately. I didn’t want to start over; I wanted to keep going with the lists where I was.
Bookmarks – Complete Bible Reading Tool – Each of the ten lists are separate, so you could read each of the ten sections at separate paces if you would want to, and also pick up where you left off if you used YouVerion.
Pocket Bible – This has a ‘year 2’. I used both of these after year one of the YouVersion app.
Traditional (paper) Bookmarks
New Bookmarks: Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System | Nathan W. Bingham
My wife used these and usually read about five chapters a day.
Lists for Printouts
At Scribd, you can sign up for a free month if you haven’t already. Then you can download the documents, as far as I can tell.