Honza Pokorný

A personal blog

Not by bread alone bible reading plan

Historially, I have struggled with consistent bible reading. I start a new reading plan with new zeal but then quickly fall off, and the habit doesn’t stick. I have tried the traditional one year plan like M’Cheyne’s, some more modern chronological plans, and of course Prof Horner’s 10 chapters a day plan. But for some reason, all of these plans end up making bible reading like a chore, something to check off from your to-do list.

I recently finished reading James Gray’s How to master the English bible. By mastery, he means knowing what a book is about, how the arguments progress, etc. His idea is that you should read the same book over and over, let’s say 20 times, and in so doing you will know what is in it, where things are on the page, and so on. There is a John MacArthur video where he says the same thing. I’m intrigued by this concept.

Then, a few months ago, I re-read the chapter on Bible reading in Lewis Bayly’s The Practice of Piety, and found some other interesting ideas:

If […] thou shalt read three chapters every day—one in the morning, another at noon, and the third at night (reading so many psalms instead of a chapter), thou shall read overall the canonical scriptures in a year, except six chapters, which thou mayest add to the duties of the last day of the year.

Reading at meal times promotes the idea that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matt 4:4. You feed your body with food, and immediately after you feed your soul with spiritual nourishment. A lot more ground can also be covered if the reading is split up in this way due to fatigue avoidance.

With all of this said, I have created for myself a new reading plan that I’m calling The Not By Bread Alone Bible Reading Plan.

The Not By Bread Alone Bible Reading Plan

Read three times a day, after each meal.

  • Breakfast: 8-9 chapters from the New Testament, reading one book at a time 12 times in a row. Every book of the New Testament will be read 12 times every year. Once all books of the NT are thus finished, I may change this to sequential reading.
  • Lunch: 4 chapters from the Old Testament, reading straight through. The Old Testament will be read twice every year.
  • Dinner: 2 Psalms, and one chapter of Proverbs (corresponding to the day of the month). Psalms will be finished about four times a year, Proverbs once a month.

I have been reading this way for about a week now, and it has been great. Reading Galatians over and over has been very profitable.


I’m also going to make this public Edwards-style resolution:

Resolved: never to go a day without reading a few chapters of Holy Scripture

May the Lord bless our efforts in reading his Word!

This article was first published on October 21, 2022. As you can see, there are no comments. I invite you to email me with your comments, criticisms, and other suggestions. Even better, write your own article as a response. Blogging is awesome.