Happy 2020! I've put together a Bible study plan for myself to study through the New Testament throughout the year, and I thought I'd share it with you! This isn't a traditional reading plan that covers a portion of each book of the Bible. Instead, this is a study plan that will cover one chapter each day, with a few breaks spread out for good measure, helping you read the entire New Testament in one year.
Last summer, I created the Foundations of the Bible reading plan. While I love that reading plan and think it’s great for someone who needs a broad overview of the Bible as a whole, it leaves a lot of the scriptures out in order to cover the surface level in nine short weeks.
I followed my own Foundations reading plan, and I kept finding myself reading the verses and chapters between the recommended reading. I wanted to go deeper!
If you’re ready to dig a little deeper into scripture, I want to encourage you to spend the year studying the entire New Testament with me.
One-Year New Testament Bible Study Plan
The idea of a one-year Bible study plan might seem daunting, but let me go ahead and put your mind at ease – you’ll read one chapter per day, with plenty of breaks built in.
Now, a quick note: this Bible reading plan goes in order for the most part, with a couple of exceptions. For example, you’ll end in the book of Luke rather than Revelation. I’ll explain why in a moment.
Another quick note: I didn’t assign specific chapters to specific days. I simply have a book or group of books assigned to each month, and the idea is to read one chapter each day until you’re done, giving yourself a day or two as a break if you need them.
2020 Bible Study Calendar
JANUARY: Matthew – 28 chapters
FEBRUARY: John – 21 chapters
MARCH: Acts – 28 chapters
APRIL: Mark – 16 chapters
MAY: Romans – 16 chapters
JUNE: 1 & 2 Corinthians – 29 chapters
JULY: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians – 20 chapters
AUGUST: 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon – 22 chapters
SEPTEMBER: Hebrews – 13 chapters
OCTOBER: James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1 -3 John, Jude – 21 chapters
NOVEMBER: Revelation – 22 chapters
DECEMBER: Luke – 24 chapters
So let’s chat for a minute about why it’s laid out the way it is.
The Gospels & Acts: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
The gospels are essentially the story of Jesus and His ministry told from four different perspectives. You may notice that I put these in the reading plan out of order.
Matthew and John are early in the year, while Mark is in April and Luke is in December. Why?
Easter is in April this year (April 12, 2020), and I thought it would be important to read one of the gospels during the month in which we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. Mark, being only 16 chapters, will put you really close to Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday if you start at chapter 1 on April 1st.
Luke is, in my opinion, the most beautiful scripture of the nativity story, with details about John the Baptist and Jesus’ conception and birth that no other gospel has. For this reason, I recommend starting Luke on December 1st and reading one chapter each day, finishing on Christmas Eve. It’s pretty powerful to read it this way, and it’s a great way to end the year.
The book of Acts was also written by Luke, and tells us what happened after Jesus ascended to heaven, leaving the disciples to fulfill the Great Commission. It is deserving of its own month.
Paul’s Letters to Churches: Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians
Romans is a heavy book, and the first letter written by Paul. This one deserves a full month by itself. It’s only 16 chapters, but I recommend dedicating some extra time to re-read as much as you can.
1 & 2 Corinthians naturally tie together, so I put them together in the month of June. Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians are all relatively short, totaling 20 chapters, so you can cover those in one month.
And to not overwhelm one particular month, I coupled 1 & 2 Thessalonians with a few of Paul’s other letters in August.
Paul’s Letters to People: 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon
If you need a lesson or two in discipleship, you’ll find it in 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. I couldn’t separate these books, so, paired with the last two of Paul’s books to churches, and his letter to Philemon, you’ll cover these in August.
Hebrews: Heroes of the Faith
The book of Hebrews deserves its own month, even though it is only 13 chapters. There are a lot of references to events and people from the Old Testament that are worth referring back to as you study. Particularly when you get to chapter 11, I suggest that you slow down and keep flipping back to the Old Testament to read up on the people referred to as the heroes of the faith.
The Catholic Epistles: James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1 -3 John, Jude
These books are referred to as the Catholic epistles. These are letters written to the church by different people – apostles John and Peter, James (possibly Jesus’ brother), and Jude (brother to James and Jesus). These make sense together, and comprise 21 chapters, so I put them all in the month of October.
The Final Book But Not The End: Revelation
You’ll study the book of Revelation in November. Revelation is another book in the New Testament that deserves a full month on its own. It’s filled with dynamic imagery as the apostle John shares his vision given to him by Jesus while exiled on the island of Patmos.
While many people avoid reading Revelation because of how scary it can be, it’s a book filled with hope and anticipation of our Lord and Savior coming again to bring all of His children to live with Him for eternity!
If you’re just discovering this reading plan and it’s no longer January, no worries! You can either start in Matthew regardless of what month it is, or just pick up with the current month’s reading and continue until you circle back around.
I pray you’ll join me on this journey throughout the year!