Monday, December 31, 2012

Reading the Bible in Chunks

So the new year is here again. You're going to read through the Bible again this year. But maybe this time you're looking for something a little different. There are a number of good Bible reading guides available online. See, for example, those discussed here: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/bible-reading-plans/.

However,  I'm going to suggest something different. This year, try reading the Bible in chunks. By this, I mean that you should try reading whole books at one sitting, rather than the 3-4 chapters per day that most Bible-in-a-Year plans suggest. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, many of the books of the Bible are stories. They are meant to be read as stories, and you understand them better if you read them that way. Others, such as Paul's letters, are not stories, but if you read one of them in one sitting, you get a good sense of the overall flow of Paul's argument, and the main points of his argument.

Admittedly, some books of the Bible are not meant to be read at one sitting. Books such as Psalms and Proverbs are meditative literature, meant to be read slowly, and pondered while being read. Others, such as Jeremiah and Genesis, Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, are too long to be read in one sitting, unless you have a big chunk of time. Still, even those may be read in larger portions, rather than piecemeal as they are often read.

The following chart gives you an idea of how long it will take to read the books of the Bible. It is based on the number of words in the KJV (the Bible version for which the most statistics are easily available), and on the number of words the average person reads per minute (250). Thus, the time-to-read number is approximate, affected by the Bible version you use, and the speed at which you read. Just for information, reading the whole Bible at an average rate would take about 52.5 hours.

Genesis (38,262 words): 2 hrs, 33 min                Exodus (32,685): 2 hrs, 11 min
Leviticus (25,541): 1 hr, 42 min                           Numbers (32,896): 2 hrs, 12 min
Deuteronomy (28,352): 1 hr, 44 min                   Joshua (18,854): 1 hr, 15 min
Judges (18,966): 1 hr, 16 min                              Ruth (2,574): 10 min
1 Samuel (25,048): 1 hr, 40 min                          2 Samuel (20,600): 1 hr, 22 min
1 Kings (24,513): 1 hr, 38 min                            2 Kings (23,517): 1 hr, 34 min
1 Chronicles (20,365): 1 hr, 22 min                     2 Chronicles (26,069): 1 hr, 44 min
Ezra (7,440): 30 min                                           Nehemiah (10,480): 42 min
Esther (5,633): 23 min                                         Job (18,098): 1 hr, 12 min
Psalms (42,704): 2 hrs, 51 min                            Proverbs (15,038): 1 hour
Ecclesiastes (5,579): 22 min                                Song of Songs (2,658): 11 min
Isaiah (37,036): 2 hrs, 28 min                              Jeremiah (42,654): 2 hrs, 51 min
Lamentations (3,411): 14 min                              Ezekiel (39,401): 2 hrs, 38 min
Daniel (11,602): 46 min                                       Hosea (5,174): 21 min
Joel (2,033): 8 min                                               Amos (4,216): 17 min
Obadiah (669): 3 min                                          Jonah (1,320): 5 min
Micah (3,152): 13 min                                         Nahum (1,284): 5 min
Habakkuk (1,475): 6 min                                     Zephaniah (1,616): 6 min
Haggai (1,130): 5 min                                          Zechariah (6,443): 26 min
Malachi (1,781): 7 min                                         Matthew (23,343): 1 hr, 34 min
Mark (14,949): 1 hr                                             Luke (25,640): 1 hr, 43 min
John (18,658): 1 hr, 15 min                                  Acts (24,229): 1 hr, 37 min
Romans (9,422): 38 min                                       1 Corinthians (9,462): 38 min
2 Corinthians (6,046): 24 min                                Galatians (3,084): 12 min
Ephesians (3,022): 12 min                                     Philippians (2,183): 9 min
Colossians (1,979): 8 min                                      1 Thessalonians (1,837): 7 min
2 Thessalonians (1,022): 4 min                               1 Timothy (2,244): 9 min
2 Timothy (1,666): 7 min                                       Titus (896): 4 min
Philemon (430): 2 min                                            Hebrews (6,897): 28 min
James (2,304): 9 min                                             1 Peter (2,476): 10 min
2 Peter (1,553): 6 min                                            1 John (2,517): 10 min
2 John (298): 1 min                                                3 John (294): 1 min
Jude (608): 2 min                                                   Revelation (11,952): 48 min

2 comments:

Diana Davis said...

Thanks for the challenge & chart. I am pondering the better perspective.

Diana Davis said...

Thanks for the challenge & chart. I am pondering the better perspective.