Bible Reading System: 4-Card Cycle

My Bible reading system involves four 3-by-5-inch cards that I use to mark four reading cycles in Scripture.

The four cycles are as follows:

Card #1: Genesis to Malachi, skipping the Psalms (779 chapters total)

Card #2: The Psalms (150 psalms)

Card #3: The four Gospels and Acts (117 chapters total)

Card #4: The New Testament epistles and the book of Revelation (143 chapters)

Set Up the Cards

Begin by listing out each chapter one by one, such that the top of the four cards have Genesis 1, Psalm 1, Matthew 1, and Romans 1. (The first card will list out Genesis 1, Genesis 2, and so on; then Psalm 1, Psalm 2, and so on will go on the second; Matthew 1, Matthew 2, and so on, for the third, and Romans 1, Romans 2, and so on, for the fourth. Read two pages per day from EACH card’s cycle (more from the Old Testament cycle, if you’d like and have time). Mark off chapters as you read them, or simply put the cards in your Bible as bookmarks in the place where you left off in each section.

You’ll progress through the New Testament several times before you finish the main Old Testament cycle, unless you read more than two pages from card #1 each day.

When you reach the end of each cycle, start over at the beginning of that card!

Why I Like This Method

This method has several advantages:

  1. It gives you a balanced diet of Scripture. The Lectionary readings since the earliest days of the church involved readings from the Old Testament, Psalms, the Gospels, and the epistles.
  2. If you miss a day or two, it’s OK. You simply pick up where you left off so that there is no guesswork.
  3. Your readings won’t be driven by chapter breaks. This is a good thing. Those breaks weren’t in the original, and they often keep you from seeing continuities in the text.
  4. You’ll never have the same combination of readings, since each of the cycles is of a different length.

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