A Forty-Day New Testament Reading Plan

If you read the Bible for just a half-hour a day, you can read the entire New Testament in only forty days.  This is perfect for Lent, which is forty days long.  You’ll notice that the schedule doesn’t simply start at the beginning of the New Testament and go straight through to the end.  The schedule is designed to make things easier, so that books that are similar are kept together (for example, the Gospel of John is followed by the Epistles of John) and the Epistles (“letters”) are scattered throughout.  The Gospels tell stories about Jesus and the Epistles are reflections on Christian theology and life.  Since the Epistles are generally harder to understand, interspersing them between the Gospels helps keep you from getting bogged down by them.

A note on translations: the King James Version is a traditional translation, but it’s harder to understand than most modern translations.  I would recommend using a modern translation such as the NRSV (which we use in church) or the NIV.  But any translation of the Bible is fine.  If you find listening easier or more convenient than reading, www.faithcomesbyhearing.com/ offers both downloaded and streaming versions of several translations for free, as do several other websites.

Day 1 is Ash Wednesday, which is March 5th this year.  Day 40 is Easter Saturday, the day before Easter, which is April 19th this year.  Sundays are not included in the tally, because they’re not technically part of Lent—every Sunday is a tiny celebration of Easter.  If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up—just continue on from there.

Day   Texts                          # Verses         

1        Mark 1-4                           149
2        Mark 5-8                           174
3        Mark 9-12                         179
4        Mark 13-16                       176
 
5        1 Thessalonians                      
          2 Thessalonians                 136
6        Galatians                          149
7        Philippians & Colossians     199
8        Philemon & Ephesians        180
9        Matthew 1-7                      201
10      Matthew 8-12                    194
 
11      Matthew 13-18                  223
12      Matthew 19-24                  246
13      Matthew 25-28                  207
14      1 Corinthians 1-9              204
15      1 Corinthians 10-16           233
16      2 Corinthians                    256
 
17      Romans 1-8                     225
18      Romans 9-16                    208
19      Luke 1-3                          170
20      Luke 4-7                          182
Day   Texts                          # Verses

21      Luke 8-11                          214
22      Luke 12-16                        192
 
23      Luke 17-21                        213
24      Luke 22-24                        180
25      Acts 1-6                             193
26      Acts 7-10                           192
27      Acts 11-16                         216
28      Acts 17-22                         210
 
29      Acts 23-28                         196
30      1 Timothy & 2 Timothy         
          Titus                                 242
31      Hebrews 1-10                     209
32      Hebrews 11-13 & James      202
33      John 1-5                            213
34      John 6-10                          266
 
35      John 11-16                        236
36      John 17-21                        164
37      1 John & 2 John & 3 John     
          Jude                                 158
38      1 Peter & 2 Peter               166
39      Revelation 1-11                 194
40      Revelation 12-22               210
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One thought on “A Forty-Day New Testament Reading Plan

  1. That’s good advice, Anna. I should be reading my Bible more, so I may try that method. Plus it’s something you can do even outside of the Lenten season. Definitely something to think about.

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