Free Chronological Bible Reading Plan & How to Stay on Track

illustration of man reading his Bible and hands of a clock

If Revelation were the first book of the Bible you read, you’d be very confused. Chronologically, it comes last. But what about the other books of the Bible? They’re not in order by date. (Most scholars believe Mark was written before Matthew, for example, but Matthew appears first in most modern Bibles.) And most of us can’t say where each book falls in history. That’s where chronological Bible reading plans come in handy.

With a chronological Bible reading plan, you can start at the beginning of events and read all the way through to the end, just like the plot in a story.

Grab the recommended free plan below, see how to stay on track with your Bible reading, then dig into frequent questions like these:

  • Are all chronological Bible reading plans the same?
  • Is it a good idea to read the Bible in chronological order?
  • What’s the purpose of a chronological Bible?

Back to the Bible 365-day chronological Bible reading plan 

This plan, courtesy of Back to the Bible, is an excellent way to read the whole Bible in a year, but with the added benefit of reading chronologically. 

Plus, you can start this year-long plan any day of the year—not just January 1. 

Here’s a look at the first month’s chronological readings. 

Day 1

Gen 1:1–3:24

Day 2

Gen 4:1–7:24

Day 3

Gen 8:1–11:32

Day 4

Job 1:1–5:27

Day 5

Job 6:1–9:35

Day 6

Job 10:1–13:28

Day 7

Job 14:1–16:22

Day 8

Job 17:1–20:29

Day 9

Job 21:1–23:17

Day 10

Job 24–28:28

Day 11

Job 29:1–31:40

Day 12 

Job 32:1–34:37

Day 13

Job 35:1–37:24

Day 14

Job 38:1–39:30

Day 15

Job 40–42:17

Day 16

Gen 12:1–15:21

Day 17

Gen 16:1–18:33

Day 18

Gen 19:1–21:34

Day 19

Gen 22:1–24:67

Day 20

Gen 25:1–26:35

Day 21

Gen 27:1–29:35

Day 22

Gen 30–31:55

Day 23

Gen 32:1–34:31

Day 24

Gen 35:1–37:36

Day 25

Gen 38:1–40:23

Day 26

Gen 41:1–42:38

Day 27

Gen 43:1–45:28

Day 28

Gen 46:1–47:31

Day 29

Gen 48:1–50:26

Day 30

Exod 1:1–3:22

Day 31

Exod 4:1–6:30

Expand each section for more or get the whole plan from Back to the Bible in the free Logos app.

Readings for months 2 and 3

Day 32

Exod 7:1–9:35

Day 33

Exod 10:1–12:51

Day 34

Exod 13:1–15:27

Day 35

Exod 16:1–18:27

Day 36

Exod 19:1–21:36

Day 37

Exod 22–24:18

Day 38

Exod 25:1–27:21

Day 39

Exod 28:1–29:46

Day 40

Exod 30:1–32:35

Day 41

Exod 33:1–35:35

Day 42

Exod 36–38:31

Day 43

Exod 39:1–40:38

Day 44

Lev 1:1–4:35

Day 45

Lev 5–7:38

Day 46

Lev 8:1–10:20

Day 47

Lev 11:1–13:59

Day 48

Lev 14:1–15:33

Day 49

Lev 16:1–18:30

Day 50

Lev 19:1–21:24

Day 51

Lev 22–23:44

Day 52

Lev 24:1–25:55

Day 53

Lev 26:1–27:34

Day 54

Num 1:1–2:34

Day 55

Num 3:1–4:49

Day 56

Num 5:1–6:27

Day 57

Num 7:1–89

Day 58

Num 8:1–10:36

Day 59

Num 11:1–13:33

Day 60

Num 14:1–15:41; Ps 90:1–17

Day 61

Num 18:1–20:29

Day 62

Num 18:1–20:29

Day 63

Num 21:1–22:41

Day 64

Num 23:1–25:18

Day 65

Num 26:1–27:23

Day 66

Num 28:1–30:16

Day 67

Num 31:1–32:42

Day 68

Num 33:1–34:29

Day 69

Num 35:1–36:13

Day 70

Deut 1:1–2:37

Day 71

Deut 3:1–4:49

Day 72

Deut 5:1–7:26

Day 73

Deut 8:1–10:22

Day 74

Deut 11:1–13:18

Day 75

Deut 14:1–16:22

Day 76

Deut 17:1–20:20

Day 77

Deut 21:1–23:25

Day 78

Deut 24:1–27:26

Day 79

Deut 28:1–29:29

Day 80

Deut 30:1–31:30

Day 81

Deut 32–34:12; Ps 91:1–16

Day 82

Josh 1:1–4:24

Day 83

Josh 5:1–8:35

Day 84

Josh 9:1–11:23

Day 85

Josh 12:1–15:63

Day 86

Josh 16:1–18:28

Day 87

Josh 19:1–21:45

Day 88

Josh 22:1–24:33

Day 89

Judg 1:1–2:23

Readings for months 4–6

Day 90

Judg 3–5:31

Day 91

Judg 6:1–7:25

Day 92

Judg 8:1–9:57

Day 93

Judg 10:1–12:15

Day 94

Judg 13:1–15:20

Day 95

Judg 16:1–18:31

Day 96

Judg 19:1–21:25

Day 97

Ruth 1:1–4:22

Day 98

1 Sam 1:1–3:21

Day 99

1 Sam 4:1–8:22

Day 100

1 Sam 9:1–12:25

Day 101

1 Sam 13:1–14:52

Day 102

1 Sam 15:1–17:58

Day 103

1 Sam 18:1–20:42; Ps 11:1–7; Ps 59:1–17

Day 104

1 Sam 21:1–24:22

Day 105

Ps 7:1–17; Ps 27:1–14; Ps 31:1–24; Ps 34:1–22; Ps 52:1–9

Day 106

Ps 56:1–13; Ps 120:1–7; Ps 140:1–142:7

Day 107

1 Sam 25:1–27:12

Day 108

Ps 17:1–15; Ps 35:1–28:8;Ps 54:1–7;


Ps 63:1–11

Day 109

1 Sam 28:1–31:13; Ps 18:1–50

Day 110


Ps 121:1–8; Ps 123:1–125:5; Ps 128:1–


130:8

Day 111

2 Sam 1:1–4:12

Day 112

Ps 6:1–10; Ps 8:1–10:18; Ps 14:1–7;


Ps 16:1–11; Ps 19:1–14; Ps 21:1–13

Day 113

1 Chron 1:1–2:55

Day 114

Ps 43:1–45:17; Ps 49:1–20; Ps 84:1–


85: 13; Ps 87:1–7

Day 115

1 Chron 3:1–5:26

Day 116

Ps 73:1–28; Ps 77:1–78:72

Day 117

1 Chron 6:1–81

Day 118


Ps 81:1–Ps 88:1–18; Ps 92–93:5

Day 119

1 Chron 7:1–10:14

Day 120

Ps 102:1–104:35

Day 121

2 Sam 5:1–10; 1 Chron 11:1–12:40

Day 122

Ps 133:1–3

Day 123

Ps 106:1–107:43

Day 124

2 Sam 5:11–6:23; 1 Chron 13:1–43

Day 125


Ps 1:1–2:12; Ps 15:1–5; Ps 22:1–24:10;


Ps 47:1–9; Ps 68:1–35

Day 126


Ps 89:1–52; Ps 96:1–13; Ps 100:1–5; Ps 105:1–5; Ps 101:1–8; Ps 105:1–45; Ps 132: 1–18

Day 127

2 Sam 7:1–29; 1 Chron 17:1–27

Day 128


Ps 25:1–22; Ps 29:1–11; Ps 33:1–22; Ps 36:1–12; Ps 39:1–13

Day 129

2 Sam 8:1–9:13; 1 Chron 18:1–17

Day 130


Ps 50:1–23; Ps 53:1–6; Ps 60:1–12; Ps 75:1–10

Day 131


2 Sam 10:1–19; 1 Chron 19:1–19;


Ps 20:1–9

Day 132

Ps 65:1–67:7; Ps 69:1–70:5

Day 133

2 Sam 11:1–12:31; 1 Chron 20: 1–8

Day 134


Ps 32:1–11; Ps 51:1–19; Ps 86:1–17;


Ps 122:1–9

Day 135

2 Sam 13:1–15:37

Day 136


Ps 3:1–4:8; Ps 12:1–13:6; Ps 28:1–9;


Ps 55:1–23

Day 137

2 Sam 16:1–18:33

Day 138


Ps 26:1–12; Ps 40:1–17; Ps 58:1–11; Ps 61:1–62:12; Ps 64:1–10

Day 139

2 Sam 19:1–21:22

Day 140



2 Sam 24:1–25; 1 Chron 21:1–22:19;


Ps 30:1–12

Day 141

2 Sam 22:1–23:39; Ps 57:1–11

Day 142

Ps 95:11–11; Ps 97:1–99:9

Day 143


2 Sam 24:1–25; 1 Chron 21:1–22:19;


Ps 31:1–12

Day 144

Ps 108:1–110:7

Day 145

1 Chron 23:1–25:31

Day 146

Ps 131:1–3; Ps 138:1–139:24; Ps 143:1–


145:21

Day 147

1 Chron 26:1–29:30; Ps 127:1–5

Day 148

Ps 111:1–118:29

Day 149


1 Kgs 1:1–2:46; Ps 37:1–40; Ps 71:1–24;


Ps 94:1–23

Day 150

Ps 119:1–88

Day 151

1 Kgs 3:1–4:34; 2 Chron 1:1–17; Ps 72:1–20

Day 152

Ps 119:89–176

Day 153

Song of Sol 1:1–8:14

Day 154

Prov 1:1–3:35

Day 155

Prov 4:1–6:35

Day 156

Prov 7:1–9:18

Day 157

Prov 10:1–12:28

Day 158

Prov 13–15:33

Day 159

Prov 16–18:24

Day 160

Prov 19–21:31

Day 161

Prov 22–24:34

Day 162

1 Kgs 5:1–6:38; 2 Chron 2:1–3:17

Day 163

1 Kgs 7:1–51; 2 Chron 4: 1–22

Day 164

1 Kgs 8:1–66; 2 Chron 5

Day 165

2 Chron 6:1–7:22; Ps 136:1–26

Day 166

Ps 134:1–3; Ps 146:1–150:6

Day 167

1 Kgs 9:1–28; 2 Chron 8:1–18

Day 168

Prov 25:1–26:28

Day 169

Prov 27–29:27

Day 170

Eccl 1:1–6:12

Day 171

Eccl 7:1–12:14

Day 172

1 Kgs 10:1–11:43; 2 Chron 9:1–31

Day 173

Prov 30:1–31:31

Day 174

1 Kgs 12:1–14:31

Day 175

2 Chron 10:1–12:16

Day 176

1 Kgs 15:1–24; 2 Chron 13:1–16:14


Day 177

Day 178

1 Kgs 15:25–16:34; 2 Chron 17:1–19

1 Kgs 17:1–19:21

Day 179

1 Kgs 20:1–21:29

Day 180

1 Kgs 22:1–53; 2 Chron 18:1–34

Readings for months 7–12

Day 181

2 Chron 19:1–23:21

Day 182

Obad; Ps 82:1–83:18

Day 183

2 Kgs 1:1–4:44

Day 184

2 Kgs 5:1–8:29

Day 185

2 Kgs 9:1–11:21

Day 186

2 Kgs 12–13:25; 2 Chron 24:1–27

Day 187

2 Kgs 14:1–29; 2 Chron 25:1–28

Day 188

Jonah 1:1–4:11

Day 189

2 Kgs 15:1–38; 2 Chron 26:1–23

Day 190

Isa 1–4:6

Day 191

Isa 5:1–8:22

Day 192

Amos 1–5:27

Day 193

Amos 6:1–9:15

Day 194

2 Chron 27:1–9; Isa 9:1–12:6

Day 195

Mic 1–7:20

Day 196

2 Chron 28:1–27; 2 Kgs 16:1–17:41

Day 197

Isa 13:1–17:14

Day 198

Isa 18:1–22:25

Day 199

Isa 23:1–27:13

Day 200

2 Kgs 18:1–8; 2 Chron 29:1–31:21; Ps 48:1–14

Day 201

Hoa 1–7:16

Day 202

Hos 8:1–14:9

Day 203

Isa 28:1–30:33

Day 204

Isa 31:1–34:17

Day 205

Isa 35:1–36:22

Day 206

Isa 37:1–39:8; Ps 76:1–12

Day 207

Isa 40:1–43:28

Day 208

Isa 44:1–48:22

Day 209

2 Kgs 18:9–19:37; Ps 46:1–11; Ps 80:1–


19; Ps 135:1–21

Day 210

Isa 49:1–53:12

Day 211

Isa 54:1–58:14

Day 212

Isa 59:1–63:19

Day 213

Isa 64:1–66:24

Day 214

2 Kgs 20:1–21:26

Day 215

2 Chron 32:1–33:25

Day 216

Nah 1–3:19

Day 217

2 Kgs 22:1–23:37; 2 Chron 34:1–35:27

Day 218

Zeph 1:1–3:20

Day 219

Jer 1:1–3:25

Day 220

Jer 4:1–6:30

Day 221

Jer 7:1–9:26

Day 222

Jer 10:1–13:27

Day 223

Jer 14:1–17:27

Day 224

Jer 18:1–22:30

Day 225

Jer 23:1–25:38

Day 226

Jer 26:1–29:32

Day 227

Jer 30:1–31:40

Day 228

Jer 32:1–34:22

Day 229

Jer 35:1–37:21

Day 230

Jer 38:1–40:16; Ps 74:1–23; Ps 79:1–13

Day 231

2 Kgs 24:1–25:30; 2 Chron 36:1–23

Day 232

Hab 1:1–3:19

Day 233

Jer 41:1–45:5

Day 234

Jer 46:1–48:47

Day 235

Jer 49:1–50:46

Day 236

Jer 51:1–52:34

Day 237

Lam 1:1–3:36

Day 238

Lam 3:37–5:22

Day 239

Ezek 1:1–4:17

Day 240

Ezek 5:1–8:18

Day 241

Ezek 9:1–12:28

Day 242

Ezek 13:1–15:8

Day 243

Ezek 16:1–17:24

Day 244

Ezek 18:1–19:14

Day 245

Ezek 20:1–21:32

Day 246

Ezek 22:1–23:49

Day 247

Ezek 24:1–27:36

Day 248

Ezek 28:1–31:18

Day 249

Ezek 32:1–34:31

Day 250

Ezek 35:1–37:28

Day 251

Ezek 38:1–39:29

Day 252

Ezek 40:1–41:26

Day 253

Ezek 42:1–43:27

Day 254

Ezek 44:1–45:25

Day 255

Ezek 46:1–48:35

Day 256

Joel 1:1–3:21

Day 257

Dan 1:1–3:30

Day 258

Dan 4:1–6:28

Day 259

Dan 7:1– 9:27

Day 260

Dan 10:1–12:13

Day 261

Ezra 1:1–3:13

Day 262

Ezra 4:1–6:22; Ps 137:1–9

Day 263

Hag 1:1–2:23

Day 264

Zech 1:1–7:14

Day 265

Zech 8:1–14:21

Day 266

Esth 1:1–5:14

Day 267

Esth 6:1–10:3

Day 268

Ezra 7:1–10:44

Day 269

Neh 1:1–5:19

Day 270

Neh 6:1–7:73

Day 271

Neh 8:1–10:39

Day 272

Neh 11:1–13:31; Ps 126:1–6

Day 273

Mal 1:1–4:6

Day 274

Luke 1:1–80; John 1:1–14

Day 275

Matt 1:1–25; Luke 2:1–38

Day 276

Matt 2:1–23; Luke 2:39–52

Day 277

Matt 3:1–17; Mark 1:1–45; Luke 3:1–38

Day 278

Matt 4:1–25; Luke 4:1–5:39; John 1:15–


51

Day 279

John 2:1–4:54

Day 280

Mark 2:1–28

Day 281

John 5:1–47

Day 282

Matt 12:1–21; Mark 3:1–35; Luke 6:1–49

Day 283

Matt 5:1–7:29

Day 284

Matt 8:1–13; Luke 7:1–50

Day 285

Matt 11:1–30

Day 286

Matt 12:22–50; Luke 11:1–54

Day 287

Matt 13:1–58; Luke 8:1–56

Day 288

Matt 8:14–34; Mark 4:1–5:43

Day 289

Matt 9:1–10:42

Day 290

Matt 14:1–36; Mark 6:1–56; Luke 9:1–17

Day 291

John 6:1–71

Day 292

Matt 15:1–39; Mark 7:1–37

Day 293

Matt 16:1–28; Mark 8:1–38; Luke 9:18–27

Day 294

Matt 17:1–27; Mark 9; Luke 9:28–62

Day 295

Matt 18:1–35

Day 296

John 7:1–8:59

Day 297

John 9:1–10:21

Day 298

Luke 10:1–11:54; John 10:22–42

Day 299

Luke 12:1–13:35

Day 300

Luke 14:1–15:32

Day 301

Luke 16:1–17:10

Day 302

John 11:1–57

Day 303

Luke 17:11–18:14

Day 304

Matt 19:1–30; Mark 10:1–52

Day 305

Matt 20:1–21:46

Day 306

Luke 18:15–19:48

Day 307

Mark 11:1–33; John 12:1–50

Day 308

Matt 22:1–46; Mark 12:1–44

Day 309

Matt 23:1–39; Luke 20:1–21:38

Day 310

Mark 13:1–37

Day 311

Matt 24:1–51

Day 312

Matt 25:1–46

Day 313

Matt 26:1–75; Mark 14:1–72

Day 314

Luke 22:1–71; John 13:1–38

Day 315

John 14:1–17:26

Day 316

Matt 27:1–66; Mark 15:1–47

Day 317

Luke 23:1–56; John 18:1–19:42

Day 318

Matt 28:1–20; Mark 16:1–20

Day 319

Luke 24:1–53; John 20:1–21:25

Day 320

Acts 1:1–3:26

Day 321

Acts 4:1–6:15

Day 322

Acts 7:1–8:40

Day 323

Acts 9:1–10:48

Day 324

Acts 11:1–12:25

Day 325

Acts 13:1–14:28

Day 326

James 1:1–5:20

Day 327

Acts 15:1–16:40

Day 328

Gal 1:1–3:29

Day 329

Gal 4:1–6:18

Day 330

Acts 17:1–18:18

Day 331

1 Thess 1:1–5:28; 2 Thess 1:1–3:18

Day 332

Acts 18:19–19:41

Day 333

1 Cor 1:1–4:21

Day 334

1 Cor 5:1–8:13

Day 335

1 Cor 9:1–11:34

Day 336

1 Cor 12:1–14:40

Day 337

1 Cor 15:1–16:24

Day 338

2 Cor 1:1–4:18

Day 339

2 Cor 5:1–9:15

Day 340

2 Cor 10:1–13:14

Day 341

Acts 20:1–3; Rom 1:1–3:31

Day 342

Rom 4:1–7:25

Day 343

Rom 8:1–10:21

Day 344

Rom 11:1–13:14

Day 345

Rom 14:1–16:27

Day 346

Acts 20:4–23:35

Day 347

Acts 24:1–26:32

Day 348

Acts 27:1–28:31

Day 349

Col 1:1–4:18; Phlm

Day 350

Eph 1:1–6:24

Day 351

Phil 1:1–4:23

Day 352

1 Tim 1:1–6:21

Day 353

Titus 1:1–3:15

Day 354

1 Pet 1:1–5:14

Day 355

Heb 1:1–6:20

Day 356

Heb 7:1–10:39

Day 357

Heb 11:1–13:25

Day 358

2 Tim 1:1–4:22

Day 359

2 Pet 1:1–3:18; Jude

Day 360

1 John 1:1–5:21

Day 361

2 John; 3 John

Day 362

Rev 1:1–5:14

Day 363

Rev 6:1–11:19

Day 364

Rev 12:1–18:24

Day 365

Rev 19:1–22:21

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How to stay on track with your Bible reading

Try these three things to stick with your Bible-reading goals. You can do this in a few different ways.

1. Set aside time daily

Schedule time for Bible reading in your calendar. Set an alarm, if you need to. Choose the same time every day or silo off a block of time each day, depending on your schedule. (It’s more important that you read the Bible than that you absolutely do it in the same place at the same time every day.)

Another life hack is to use a technique called “habit stacking,” a term from Atomic Habits. Habits are easier to build when they’re paired with something you already do, so pick something you do daily—for instance, making coffee. Tell yourself “After I make coffee, I will read my Bible,” then follow through. Making coffee will then serve as a trigger to remind you to read your Bible.

2. Start smaller

The reading plan above takes one year to finish, but let’s say you’re still building the habit of reading Scripture daily, and let’s say you usually only read a few verses. Following the plan as given may leave you falling behind and then getting discouraged. Or you may stick with the plan but rush through reading for reading’s sake, never stopping to meditate on what you read or study further

Don’t be afraid to split each day’s reading across two or three days until you’ve built the habit. 

3. Flatten barriers

If your bike is hanging behind boxes in the garage, you’re much less likely to lug it out and go for a ride. If you don’t have water nearby, you’re much less likely to drink enough of it. If you only have one way to follow your reading plan, chances are you will be much less likely to stay on track. 

You can come to this article every day or print it out and keep it in your Bible—nothing wrong with that. But that would mean that in order to follow your plan, you always have to have it with you.

Free yourself to read your plan anytime, anywhere, by following along in the free Logos app for mobile, web, or desktop

You’ll be able to pick up where you left off even if you start reading with coffee in the morning and finish reading while you wait at the dentist’s office. You can even use voice-to-text to listen to the day’s passages.

Besides being able to keep track of your progress, with Logos you’ll also be equipping yourself to go deeper with your Bible study. Logos comes with a free study Bible, Bible dictionary, commentaries, and tools like Bible Word Study. It’s the only Bible app you’ll ever need.

Get Logos today and jump into your reading plan! Here’s how to start it in the mobile app

  • Tap the + icon from your Dashboard on the home screen. 
  • Tap Reading Plan
  • Choose Create your own plan and choose your Bible as the resource. 
  • Tap on the 365-Day Connect the Testaments Plan, then tap Start.  
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Frequently asked questions about Bible reading 

I asked Dr. Mark Ward, author and editor of the Word by Word blog, to answer these common questions about Bible reading and Bible reading plans. You’ll find his answers helpful!

Where should I start reading my Bible?

It depends on whether you already have some familiarity with the Bible, perhaps by growing up in church or hearing good sermons. If you have no familiarity at all, I don’t think that you should start by trying to read the entire thing in one fell swoop. 

I don’t want to discourage people who really feel that’s the way forward, but I would hit the high points first. Read the book of Genesis and then read a Gospel, like Mark or John.

It’s really okay to skip around.

I do think that along with that, you’d probably want to pick up a book to help you, like God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts to quickly give you the big picture of what the Bible is all about. 

If you have more background knowledge, go for it, read the entire Bible starting in Genesis. I recommend picking a translation that’s more readable, something like the NIV or the CSB or the New Living Translation.

Does it matter the order you read the Bible?

I think it does matter. It would be difficult to make good sense of what you read without starting where the Bible does—Genesis. 

Those first three chapters of Genesis are so foundational for the rest of the Bible story. 

It’s difficult for me to imagine how you could read the Bible with understanding and not have those pieces in place because the Bible is fundamentally not a book of rules—although it has rules. It’s not a book of facts—although it’s full of facts. It is fundamentally a story, and who starts the story in the middle or at the climax?

Jesus’s sacrifice for sin and his resurrection make sense because they are the climax of a story that begins in Genesis. So I would say start at the beginning. And if you can, read the whole Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) to lay that foundation so that the Gospels and the explanation of Jesus’s life found in Paul’s epistles make sense.

What is a chronological Bible reading plan?

You would assume that because the Bible is a story that it’s laid out in historical order, but that simply isn’t the case. A chronological Bible reading plan puts the books into historical order for you and tells you which passages to read each day. 

Are all chronological Bible reading plans the same?

Theoretically, all chronological Bible reading plans would be the same, but there are some judgment calls to be made. Because of that, there will be some differences.

We don’t have precise knowledge about the timing of every single element of all of the Bible. There are Psalms, for example, that don’t list authors, so we have no way of knowing when they were written. For the New Testament books, we don’t know for sure who wrote Hebrews. (And if anybody gives you a confident opinion, I would be a little suspicious.) 

But all chronological Bible reading plans would be very similar to each other and to a chronological Bible. They would also tend to take you through the Gospels as a harmony.  

What does “chronological Bible” mean?

A chronological Bible means a Bible edition that prints these judgments of editors as to the chronological order of the Bible text. So a chronological Bible, for instance, takes you through the prophets surrounded by the historical sections of the historical books during which those prophets lived and wrote and spoke. 

Is it a good idea to read the Bible in chronological order?

Yes, I would absolutely say that it is. It makes sense to try a chronological Bible reading plan at some point in your life.

I don’t invest particular significance in the ordering of the Bible books aside from some of the obvious things like the New Testament after the Old Testament, Genesis at the beginning of the Old Testament, Malachi at the end of the Old Testament, the Gospels at the beginning of the New Testament, and Revelation at the end of the New Testament. 

Outside of those linchpins, it gets a little more complicated, especially when you get in the wisdom books and in the prophets. 

But what I would say is reading the Bible in chronological order should probably come after reading it in the traditional order because you do want to ask yourself, “What is the contribution of this book or of this author?”  

What is the purpose of a chronological Bible?

The purpose of the chronological Bible is to make judgments for you as to when Scriptures were written and then to help you gain an overall sense for the narrative flow of the Bible. It can be very illuminating. 

Why isn’t the Bible in chronological order?

God could have done it that way. One of the biggest answers to that question is that God decided for purposes of his own (some of which we can probably guess at and some of which we may not know till heaven) to reveal his word in different literary genres. 

So it’s not all story—but it all slots in the story. Proverbs or Song of Solomon, for example: these are compositions that actually aren’t narrative. 

The other answer I would give is that books like the Psalms are collections spanning centuries—at least five centuries and probably substantially more than that. It makes a lot of sense to have all the songs together because they’re the same genre. The minor prophets and the major prophets too. This is the way it’s come down to us over the centuries. 

What books would you recommend for Christians reading through the Bible?

Editor’s Tip: If you purchase any book in Logos, you’ll be able to read it from the same place as the chronological Bible reading plan above, create notes, tap a reference to go to the verse, and much more. Get Logos free today.

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Written by
Mary Jahnke

Mary Jahnke has a background in marketing, especially for Christian education, and serves as a content marketing strategist for Faithlife. She has experience in church communications and is always looking for helpful knowledge to share.

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