A while back I was watching a question and answer session. The question was something like what is the best way to study the Bible? The response was very intriguing. Dr. John MacArthur responded, to understand the Bible you need to read it through and make a diligent study of the New Testament and you can do that within three years. All you have to do is spend a month in each small books and split up larger books into equal sections. For example, The Gospel of John will take three months, studying seven chapters a month.
As I said this was very interesting to me, so for the next three years I am going to be studying the New Testament book by book. I actually started last November but I thought this would make a good New Years post.
I’ll give you the order in which I am studying and then layout my process. I started in the book of James, which is the earliest New Testament book. The rest of the order is as follows; Ephesians, John, First through Third John, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, Galatians, Hebrews, Luke, Acts, 1 and 2 Peter with Jude, Matthew, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Philippians and Colossians, Revelation, Mark, Titus and Philemon, and 1 and 2 Timothy.
Just writing this gets me excited knowing I will be deeply studying the New Testament over the next three years. So here’s what my process will look like; because I’m splitting up large books I will be able to read the portion each day. For example John is seven chapters a day or one chapter a day, reading it through four times. This is one of the coolest ways I’ve seen to read and study the Scriptures.
To start each book I am reading it through in one setting and then I get an overview of the book by going through the John MacArthur Bible Studies. After I have completed those lessons I start digging in. I dig in by looking at commentaries, doing word studies in the Vine’s Dictionary, making my own notes and just going over the chapters again and again through the month.
I am using the CSB He Reads Truth Bible for this study and referencing the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible and my ESV Verse by Verse. I am also doing the two one year reading plans in my CSB. This year is the M’Cheyne plan and next year I will do the week by week plan at the beginning of each book. When I study 1-3 John I will be adding 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Anders to my daily study. While I am not trying to memorize Scripture, I have found rereading the same portions everyday has been a great tool in helping me retain Scripture.
If this sounds interesting to you, I would definitely recommend putting together your own reading plan or using what I outlined here. You can follow my journey on the blog and on Instagram. Daily thoughts will be on Instagram and archived in story highlights by book genre. The commentaries and other books I use will be featured there as well. On the blog I will be posting full reflections on each book as well as longer more complete thoughts from various chapters.
However you decide to engage the Scriptures this year just commit to daily time in reading and study and let the Word of God transform you.
A Breakdown of Studying the New Testament:
Matthew – four months
Mark – two months
Luke – four months
John – four months
Acts – two months
Romans – three months
1 and 2 Corinthians – five months
Galatians – one month
Ephesians – one month
Philippians and Colossians- one month
1 and 2 Thessalonians – one month
1 and Timothy – one month
Titus and Philemon – one month
Hebrews – two months
James – one month
1 and 2 Peter, Jude – one month
1-3 John – one month
Revelation- three months