The default version for this page is the King James translation, first published in 1611. If you would like to read the Bible in another translation, make a choice below from the other versions:
The great thing about this plan is that you can start any time of the year. Once you choose your version, simply select Day 1 below and begin reading. You will be done in 30 short days.
If you’ve never read the Bible before, it would be helpful to get some background information first.
Here are some great tips on how to read the Bible effectively.
You can track your daily progress by downloading a .pdf of this plan.
Why This Content Was Selected for This Plan
If you are interested in this Bible reading plan, you probably have some reservations and questions about Jesus and the Christian faith. Perhaps it’s hard for you to believe because of all the crazy stories you’ve heard from the Bible that don’t make sense. Or maybe you’ve even had bad experiences with people who call themselves Christians and that has turned you off from faith altogether.
We understand the skepticism. Large sections of the Bible are hard to understand even for theologians. That’s why we’ve isolated these easier reading portions as an introduction to the Bible and the Christian faith. The emphasis of this 30 day plan is on the life of Jesus and the teachings of several prominent Jesus followers in the first century.
Mark: John Mark was an convert in the early church and went on several missionary journeys with the Apostle Paul. He is credited with writing the Gospel of Mark, although most scholars believe the informant for his material was the Apostle Peter, a disciple who spent time with Jesus. Mark’s book is an action-packed narrative as it details the events of Jesus’ life. His main point of emphasis is that Jesus was a servant who came to “give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
John: John was a disciple of Jesus who was perhaps closer to him than any other. While he also gives us insight into some events of Jesus’ life, his approach is much different than Mark’s. John wants to establish the deity of Jesus, that Jesus himself was God in human form (John 1:1, 1:14). He wrote his book for one purpose – “…that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).
Genesis: Genesis is a book of beginnings, from the creation of the world to the creation of the nation of Israel in the person of Abraham. At some point you will want to read it in its entirety to gain perspective on God’s covenant relationship with his people. For now, it’s important you have a basic understanding of how sin entered the world through man’s disobedience. That sin resulted in a promise (Gen. 3:15) that a Messiah (Jesus) would one day come to restore man’s relationship to God. Additionally, Paul will reference these events in the book of Romans.
Day 18 – Genesis 1-3
Romans: Romans was written by the Apostle Paul, a former religious leader who persecuted Jesus followers before his own conversion to Christianity (see Acts 9). His letter to the church in Rome serves as the backbone of Christian theology. The fact that “we all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23) makes it even more amazing that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
Ephesians and Philippians: Paul was eventually arrested and persecuted for his faith. While in prison, he wrote several books to the churches he helped establish on his missionary journeys. These books emphasize that all believers are united in Christ and as such should display Christ’s love, patience and humility in their daily lives. There is a joy in serving Jesus that cannot be found by any other means.
James: Most scholars believe that James, the half-brother of Jesus, was the author of this book. Initially, James did not believe his brother to be the long awaited Messiah (who would believe that about their brother?) However, his views changed after Jesus’ resurrection. He converted to the faith and became the leader of the Jerusalem church. He writes one of the most practical books in the New Testament to believers who are experiencing every day problems and trials.
I and II Peter: Peter, perhaps the most visible of Jesus’ disciples, is the author of these books. He is known for his failure to stand up for Jesus at Jesus’ trial, instead choosing to deny he even knew who Jesus was (John 18:15-27). After his resurrection, Jesus forgave him, and Peter went on to become a bold and charismatic leader in the early church. He writes to encourage Christians in light of their suffering and remind them of their eternal reward. His life shows us that no matter how bad you’ve messed up, there is still hope for a relationship with God.