How Long Does it Take to Read the Bible?

In a previous post I stated that if we read for 45 minutes a day, we could read through the Bible twice in a year.

Of course the goal is not to “speed-read” the Bible, but far too many Christians (including myself) have not even read the entire Bible.

“More than half of all Americans read the Bible less than once a month,” Gallup reports, “including 24 percent who say they never read it and 6 percent who can’t recall the last time they read the Bible.”

Here we are with God’s written instruction book for life on this planet, and I have not read it completely. How many books have I read about Marketing? Who knows, but it had to be at least 20. Does that mean I place more value in my career than in knowledge passed down from the author of life?

It reminds me of the TV show in the 1980’s “Greatest American Hero“. The main character of the story received a special suit from aliens visiting earth that gave him special powers like flying. The only problem was that he lost the instruction book so the suit would do respond at inopportune moments.

Many times I feel like that character. God helps me to pull it all together at “the end of the episode”, but it is a struggle the whole way. It’s part funny and part sad.

So how long does it take to read the Bible – start to finish?

76 hours.

How do I know? No, I didn’t time myself – like I said, I haven’t even read the entire Bible yet.

I bought a set of Bible CDs, and that is the posted total running time. Zondervan has a version of the NIV Bible. I believe they have it on MP3s, too. I found it the cheapest either on Ebay (if you can put up with the auctions or want the CD version) or Amazon“>Amazon (If you can do MP3s).

I have a co-worker mired in legalism who says that listening to the Bible just “doesn’t seem right”. If that is true, then…

  • What did people do in the 1400 or so years between when the New Testament was written until the Gutenberg Bible made it more readily available? That’s right – it was shared verbally.
  • What do we do when we share Christ with another. Hand them a tract and sit quietly? Of course not, we talk to them and tell them about Christ.

So, this is good news! Reading the Bible doesn’t seem such a daunting task now, does it? Do I have 76 hours over the entire next year to read the Bible? Let’s break this down further…

76 hours divided by 365 days = 12.5 minutes per day.

Better yet, do I have 12 & 1/2 minutes per day for God to read the instruction book for getting to know God, and for how to live this life according to his plan for us.

The answer is an emphatic YES!

54 Responses to “How Long Does it Take to Read the Bible?”

  1. There is a huge time period before the Gutenberg bible.

    In the first few centuries after Christ, hand written scrolls were copied and circulated between churches. This was done on a book by book basis until 325 AD when Constintine commissioned St Jerome to cannonize the bible. This was done in Latin and people would go to church to hear the bible read aloud. The Gutenberg bible was a major step towards availabiliy but the King James Version became much more popular and took a great swing at illiteracy. In the last century oral traditions have dropped dramatically in industrialized nations with the vast availability of printed media.

    So yes, oral traditions have always been a primary source of bible teachings, but that doesn’t mean that hearing the bible is as good as reading it for yourself. Yes, faith comes by hearing the word of God (as many will say) but let me ask you, which method will increase your retention?

    To talk to your second bullet point, yes the gospel was meant to be preached. But any preacher who has not only read the bible but actually studied the bible will make a far better preacher than someone who has only heard it.

  2. By the way…

    Have you read it yet?

  3. Andrew…

    but let me ask you, which method will increase your retention?

    Since you’re asking me, that would depend on how a person best retains knowledge. I am a reader and a lousy listener. Some people are amazing listeners and have great difficulty reading.

    But any preacher who has not only read the bible but actually studied the bible will make a far better preacher than someone who has only heard it.

    You use the word studied. I checked the dictionary, and there are 20 definitions for “study”. Only 4 have expressly to do with writing.Do you think any illiterate people know and understand God’s word better than some of us who are literally drowning in God’s word? Why does God give us teachers of the word if simply reading it is enough? It should be enough, but we’re thick-headed and hard-hearted. (whistle) Dude, check my post again and find where I said you shouldn’t read the Bible… ;)

  4. After, reading your guys theory’s on reading the Bible I’ve come to this. Reading the Bible for yourself does seem better than just going to church and hearing about, because the preacher from what I see goes all over the place. However, reading the Bible in 76 hours does seem fast even for really good readers. So, here’s my question when you read the Bible within 76 hours are you reading just the words or are you reading for understanding as well? Because to me reading the whole Bible in within 76 hours seems like the person is just reading it. So I like to hear what you guys reply’s to my question.

  5. Hey Russell,

    Sure – I’m not saying go read the Bible in 76 hours. It’s not a race and if it is your first time, there are some tough spots to work through. I’m just saying it can be done. Many people get totally psyched out about the Bible either because somebody convinced them that God only speaks in King’s English or that it’s too hard for them to understand. Most people who heard the Bible couldn’t read, write, or had any formal schooling so it can be done.

    Re: the idea about just reading the Bible by yourself & not going to church. That misses the point of what church is. Sometimes the preacher does go all over the place if they’re speaking about a particular theme. Jesus even jumped around in the old testament when speaking about the context of a particular situation, rather than reading straight through the Torah.

    Going to church is about building relationships with other believers even if they’re all hypocrites & not fun to be around (first part is 100% true – I’m a hypocrite & the 2nd part is mostly a myth). God constructed us to not just be relational creatures, but he designed us to band together to bless others in far greater ways than we could alone. I encourage you to take some small steps to find a church. Pray to God to help you.

    My wife and I spent the first year at the church we go to now, in the balcony, in the very highest row. Our row of chairs only had 2. We never talked to people going in or out. God let us ease into it before he started leaning on us to get more involved. I later found out it was mostly for our own good and I wish that I allowed myself to be vulnerable to other followers of Christ a year earlier… still battle that tendency to isolate / try to do it myself, even today.

  6. Let’s think about it this way: 1189 chapters of the bible in a span 365 days would be 3.257 chapters a day or a chapter in 3.837 minutes. This is an average as there are many short chapters (Psalm 150 – my favorite) and many long chapters (Psalm 119). Some chapters are geneologies or dealing with things such as the numbers from each tribe.

    Let me make another point: If you are spending 15 minutes (2 1/2 minutes more than the 12 1/2) you are spending only 1% of the day reading the bible. How much time do we spend on the internet, watching TV or reading other printed material, such as books, magazines and newspapers?

    I am guilty of not reading as I should. I wish I had the discipline to give an hour a day. I had a discussion with the high school boys in my bible study about this very topic. We brainstormed “excuses for not reading the bible.” Then came up with solutions for the excuses. The excuses we came up with were 1)”it’s too complicated” and the solution was to use NIV or other versions that are easier to read OR use an audio version of the bible;
    2) “I have no time” and the solution was audio bible or download a bible onto the palm pilot or lap top. I have kids that have Ipods with exceprts of the bible on it.
    3) “I don’t understand it” and the solution was to find a commentary or a study guide that accompanies the bible.

    I have used all three excuses at various times myself. I am not proud of that fact but I did not hide this from the students. I shared an analogy that a Navy chaplain used with our unit once with them: The bible is like an e-mail from God and prayer is like an instant message. Every kid in my class reads dozens of emails a day and send hundreds of text messages or instant messages a week. They got a lot out of that lesson. But just as important I learned as much as they did.

  7. 76 hours is not the correct answer, That supposes that you are reading the BIble causually and not to understand it as God intends it. If you do it this way you will probably mainly remember what you have heard your religious people tell you is in the work or rather what it advocates. The correct way is to:
    1) Read a passage of the work.

    2) Figure out the questions- about 15-20 you are supposed to ask about it such as How should I pray based on this passage? And ones related to the passage and not us.

    3) Answer the questions and then look up repeated words, difficult words, make sure you know say the true components of faith if that is mentioned in the passage, know historical figures, and wow what is a Winnowing Fork, what is the history of this region- it all figures into a true understanding that helps us with our everyday lives.

    4) Do an internet lookup on a commentary to get more analysis and historical information.

    5) Decide if there is any special imagry and what it might mean

    6) Come up with a one sentence summary of what we should learn from the passage for our lives.

    7) iF this leads to any further questions then this is further study. Like learning what the Great Flood is instead of the greatest mass murder of all time can mean learning about all the supposed errancies in the BIble and why they are not. I have heard there are over 600 that God uses to get us to pay more attention to what he deems is important. That would be a further study I need to do sometime. Wow- God never gives us more than we can handle though.

    This is not legalism my friends, just what we are supposed to do to really learn the BIble. I promise you it is a lot, lot more than 76 hours of work. But if you do it right with the power of the Spirit backing you then it will change your life and it will feel joyful to do it.

  8. Oh if you do it my way you get the power of the spirit to help you understand the work- you have to put in the effort to get his help- he doesn’t come until you do this- and it will not seem confusing. If you have a hard time with a King james Version try an NIV Bible. I bought a large print one at Cooksbury Bookstore and it is great. It looks great and is easy to read plus the footnotes do not stick out and mainly mention two things- 1) things that should be explained about the Original Text in Greek/Hebrew because if you don’t translate it this way the meaning can change a ton until it is wrong and that is the original meaning not going through other channels to get there. 2) References in the NT to the OT.
    A great bonus is that it is better to me than the $75-$200+ Bibles I have seen such as at Joel Osteens church with the rainbow colors and dual translations on either side that blind me and it costs about $16. Plus it is hardback and normal colors for the covers. I recommend that you get chapter tabs so you can shift around and a highlighter- and yellow not green which blinds me. Underline in yellow anything your heart tells you through a peaceful feeling would make your life better if you followed it over the long-term. You can also mark words you don’t know, things that are important to know to understand teh passage and then maybe the place in the ot that references the NT. Remember the OT is teaching us how to wait in anticipation of Christ and the new and better life from letting go of our sins both 10 commandment sins as they apply to our everyday life and then feelings sins that get in the way of our progress- like fear, jealousy anger and so on. Not bad per se but prevent us from having the better life with God in the long run. You will hear many interpretations sometimes like The Great Flood is so we thank God for his mercy not to kill us that way. No it is a myth with Noah = Jesus and pure of sin and the rest of us needed to purify ourselves and from there. God wouldn’t commit murder like that.
    Happy reading!

  9. @ Michael – 76 hours is the correct answer if you spent more time taking the context of my post into consideration.

    76 hours is as long as it took a person reading the bible on mp3. In the old days before printed materials, these stories were memorized and told orally so if one started and didn’t stop until the end, it would take 76 hours – dramatic pauses and all. Are you trying to tell everyone in the past or present who hasn’t had access to a Bible, that they’re “doing it wrong”? Seriously?

    Your advice while I’m sure is well-intentioned, smacks of legalism and could be hurtful to other believers. Why legalism? Your opening line shows you missed not just the context of not just my post, but my follow-up comment as well. The rest then comes off as nothing more than a “clanging gong or crashing cymbal”.

    @ everyone else – If you’ve never read all the way through the Bible and struggle with the notion you can make it through (which is who this blog if for, not the “Holier-than-thous”), read it for the “30,000 foot view” first. If I am painting a mural on a wall, sure, I have to paint very close to the wall to get the details right, but there are times when I must step back and see it from a distance.

    If something confuses you, look into it more. At some point, do a more detailed study. Most of all, ignore anyone who says the “only way to do X or Y” unless it they can show it to you in God’s word in context of the book (as opposed to pulling 5 verses from all over the bible, out of context and creating their own theology).

    Sorry if seems I came down on Michael extra-hard but I’ve struggled with legalism my whole life, subconsciously believing it would bring order and breath meaning into life. It doesn’t – it just makes people jerks and pushes others away from Christ.

  10. I think in the time that it took to write all of this and then for someone to read this, we could have had a wonderful start on reading the bible. 1440 minutes in a day, what will you do with it?

  11. right on, Adam. Way too much deliberation over what I thought was a simple observation, and proves my underlying point about how the church overcomplicates reading God’s word. After all, some dude can read this on mp3 not even talking like the micromachine man in about 3 days.

  12. I think simply reading the Bible has benefits. There’s surley a lot to be gained by sutdying the Bible as Michael suggests. But I’m in the same boat as Matt. I’ve been a Christian for most of my life but I can seem to spare the time to read the whole Bible.

    I sat down one day and figured out that if I read a page and one half a day and two and a half on Sunday, I would read through the Bible in a year. It takes less than 10 min to read that much, but I still can’t seem to get into the habit of picking it up everyday.

    I believe reading the Bible is one of the ways God communicates with us, so weather we’re casually reading or spending 4 hours on one passage, I think it’s time spent with God and he will bless us for it. Having said that, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to guide our thinking while we read.

    Anyway, more to the point of how long it takes to read the Bible, 76 hours is how long it took someone to read it aloud. How much faster does the average person read to himself?

  13. Hehe thanks for the post, interessting! BASICALLY, we all know what we gotta do. . . Yes, it’s hard sometimes, anything worthwhile is hard. . . GO READ IT. Can’t find the time? Find the time! Can’t find your bible? Find your bible! Can’t read? Go learn! Go read it. Do it. Go on. Do it. Do it right now. Go on. Thinking about doing it is not as fun as actually doing it. Go. Do.

  14. With NO breaks, pedal to the metal, not taking notes or looking for something interesting — it takes four weeks at three hours a day.

    But if there is some fascinating phrase or idea that keeps me wondering, then reading the bible cover to cover takes about a tenth of a second — because I use a search engine on my computer.
    Before I can finish off a fresh cup of coffee, I can search for a dozen, or even a hundred words or phrases, then look up the context. People have spent their entire lifetimes in ages past doing what I do while my first cup of coffee cools. I can let my imagination run wild and follow up on hunches. I even found a bunch of prophecies that say that this would happen someday!! Some things are fascinating, others are profoundly shocking and disturbing. For instance, being a ‘fisher of men’ is not necessarily a good thing to be. The biggest shock was when I tried to compare what Jesus said, with what Paul of Tarsus said. You’d think they’d agree, at least in most cases. I was taken aback by what I found, though — Paul directly contradicts everything Jesus says, dozens of times — not by just a little, but totally. Paul couldn’t be the antichrist, because the antichrist was wounded in the head and miraculously recovered, as in Revelation 13. Then, I realized that Paul was blinded, and that might be considered a head wound. But, Acts 9 says that Jesus gave Paul his commission to preach. Then I noticed something odd: Judas is considered the real betrayer of Jesus Christ; but in John 13, Jesus says to Judas, ‘go do what you have to do’, and Judas left in the dark when he couldn’t see where he was going, and he went to the religious authorities; and in Acts 9, Jesus told Paul to ‘go, and you will be told what to do’, and Paul couldn’t see where he was going, and he was led to the religious authorities in Damascus. I was even more surprised when I found that Paul was taken to the house of Judas in Damascus! Paul entered by the gate of Damascus, and left in a basket lowered over the wall of Damascus — so I looked to see if there were any blessings and curses for the gate of Damascus and its wall; and I also looked to see if there were any prophecies about something wonderfully good or horribly evil in a basket — looking for things like that with a search engine on a computer is very easy, and reveals a lot of hidden secrets. But, reading the bible cover to cover is also important, because there are wonderful things best read in their entirety (later I check on hunches and insights I get while reading it straight through).

  15. Thanks for the great post!

    Weird question for you. Do you know if there has ever been a time that a church or other group has read the entire Bible aloud, continuously, from cover to cover?

    We’re considering having a “Read the Bible in 2010″ initiative at church, and I thought that this could be neat publicity, the kind of thing that raises awareness and interest in God’s Word.

    But 76 hours…wow, I was hoping for closer to 40 hours.

  16. I found this chat after finding myslf with houseguests who have completely changed my life! I barely knew this family but learned they lost their home in a flood in early May and were being evicted from a shelter. We took them in for 5 weeks. They are from mexico and speak broken English but what amazed me was that they could quote more Scripture in English than I can! They have only been learning English for 4 years. I read my Bible daily and really thought I was doing “pretty well” – reading the letters in entirety before studying portions, etc. but the husband in this family reads the Bible in English every 3 months. His wife is not as fast but reads very steady straight through month after month. I could give ANY verse in Scripture and she could give me the Book and chapter and many times the verse! I have always struggled with Bible memory but now I am convinced that their learning is by this regular faithful practice of reading it over and over year after year! Our family has now been reading 30 minutes a day systematically day after day and find it is SO much better than those mixed up “Through the Bible in One Year” schedules. Who reads a book like that?! I encourage anyone ready to try this – start with the New testament! It only takes about 16 hrs so the average reader can finish it in just about 30 days (at 30 min per day)! It will be the highlight of our month and we plan to continue right on through – love for you to join us!

  17. Awesome! definitely helped me realize its not as big of a challenge as i thought it would be!:) I am not a new Christian, i was raised in church. But i’ve recently realized that i’m not what i should be. I need to love more, and read my Bible and pray more, and just be more of what God wants me to be, and less of what I want to be. And i do think that it’s important to study the Word intently, and stop and reread passages, and focus on certain verses, but i totally agree with Jason, that reading the Word is spending time with God. Most things in life will either take you away from or bring you towards a closer relationship with God, and i think that reading the Bible, whether studying and praying about a sentence for hours, or reading the entire Bible, is good, and i think that God smiles when we listen to or read what He’s written for us! Just my opinion:) Love someone you find stinky or annoying today, its what God does! Plus, you never know who is watching and learning! And you know Who is always watching!


  18. That actually took me a long time to read.
    First of all this is not an attack as such i am just wondering how come religion is the law. I have no faith, Atheist… but come on guys its a guide book. You do not have to read the whole thing to be told how to live life. Or are people that afraid of the unknown = death that they have to suck up to a non excisting being? Religions over time have been changed by kings with the click of a finger does that mean that person has’divine right’ to do so? It has been altered by the machine/church so that it just generates profit. The catholic church is the single largest owner of pornography on the internet = 1%… ( I am of course not attacking religion it can work very well for any body soley on how they use it. and thats not blindly…)

  19. My wife and I organised a non-stop reading of the Bible by our church about 18 months ago. I’d say 76 hours is about right. The challenge was keeping to a timetable when each reader has a 10 minute slot.

    Many who took part, or simply came to listen, said it was a wonderful experience. We don’t often take time to listen to huge chunks of scripture read out loud.

  20. Luk 8:10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’

    Hearing also, t time ,means understanding, there are more verse but I have not cited them.
    How ever I do agree with you in general and it is important to have a Pastor.

  21. Hi! I found this all very interesting. I have read from my Bible for 40 years. 15 years ago I finally decided to read it all the way through. If you read 3-4 chapters a day, you can read it in a year. I got a new large print bible, a New King James, and read it carefully, underlining and marking the bible as I went. It took about 1 hour to read the chapters for the day. I started at the new year. That year my Dad died, we had to empty the family home and sell it and care for my mother. It was hard to find time for my bible reading. But I kept on with it. I read a chapter a day and not everyday. It took me 5 years to finish it, but I did finish! Now I’m starting again with another new bible. Here’s a hint. If you get bogged down in difficult or boring areas, break it up by reading from the psalms or proverbs. And read one gospel at a time, then some of the rest of the new testament in between so Jesus is spread throughout the year, and not all at the beginning. When I finished a book, I checked it off on the opening page. Think of it as a meal. Not everyone eats the same thing first or saves desert for last. The order doesn’t matter, just that you clean your plate! Now got for it! You’ll be glad you did!

  22. It hurts my heart to read arguments between followers of Jesus quaralling about methods or time frames in which we receive God’s word. What any of us believes isn’t what matters. Just read/listen to his word and LIVE it,be able to defend your faith, go out and win souls, love one another and strive to be Christ-like. I read my Bible, listen to my audio Bible when I’m in the mood and have now taken to doing both simultaneously. I have put my audio Bible on my ipod and read my Bible while listening. I can pause it when I need to for prayer or reflection, I can replay a few times to really retain something. I highlight passages at the same time and really feel like I have no distractions because I have earpieces in and really get in the zone so to speak. Any time spent on learning about God or striving to be close to him is time well spent no matter the method :)

  23. My husband and I do a Bible Study from the KJV of the Bible and we send to anyone who wants a copy of it. There are so many cahpters you read in a month and answer 50 simple questions and return the study to us. We check it for you and return it at no charge. Anyone who would like to try a copy, we will be doing March shortly, and you can send us an e mail at Subject: Bible Study. It is a good motivation and we are sure you will like it and understand more as you read.

  24. Interesting arguments above I must say.
    Either way, I just finished reading the Bible after approximately 2 years, and I’m more than ready to read it again. Ultimately, I don’t really think time makes a significant difference in our ability to read/listen to the Bible. Whatever time we spend meditating on God’s Words, in whatever way we choose to do so, is already considered a beautiful sacrifice in God’s eyes =)

    God bless you all!!!

  25. OT Books Author Estimated Date Total characters (no spaces) Total characters with spaces
    Chapters Total Words (KJV) Total Verses
    1. Genesis Moses 1400 BC 161,648 199,959 50 39,894 1,533
    2. Exodus Moses 1400 BC 139,074 171,805 40 33,983 1,213
    3. Leviticus Moses 1400 BC 104,105 128,672 27 25,452 859
    4. Numbers Moses 1400 BC 145,318 178,246 36 34,251 1,288
    5. Deuteronomy Moses 1400 BC 120,140 148,518 34 29,368 959
    6. Joshua Joshua 1350 BC 82,670 101,548 24 19,557 658
    7. Judges Samuel 1000 BC 80,950 99,941 21 19,627 618
    8. Ruth Samuel 1000 BC 10,583 13,163 4 2,669 85
    (9). 1 Samuel Samuel 900 BC 105,850 130,959 31 25,950 810
    (10). 2 Samuel Samuel 900 BC 87,212 107,863 24 21,367 695
    (11). 1 Kings Jeremiah 600 BC 104,110 128,669 22 25,394 816
    (12). 2 Kings Jeremiah 600 BC 98,651 122,219 25 24,310 719
    (13). 1 Chronicles Ezra 450 BC 92,672 113,103 29 21,400 942
    (14). 2 Chronicles Ezra 450 BC 114,793 140,937 36 26,998 822
    15. Ezra Ezra 450 BC 33,480 40,930 10 7,740 280
    16. Nehemiah Ezra 450 BC 47,467 57,960 13 10,912 406
    17. Esther Mordecai 400 BC 24,917 30,558 10 5,817 167
    18. Job Moses 1400 BC 78,100 96,237 42 19,249 1,070
    19. Psalm David* 1000-400 BC 190,608 234,356 150 46,475 2,461
    20. Proverbs Solomon 900 BC 66,781 81,848 31 16,013 915
    21. Ecclesiastes Solomon 900 BC 23,279 28,870 12 5,825 222
    22. Song of Songs Solomon 900 BC 11,305 13,987 8 2,807 117
    23. Isaiah Isaiah 700 BC 159,472 196,572 66 38,458 1,292
    24. Jeremiah Jeremiah 600 BC 183,866 226,572 52 44,122 1,364
    25. Lamentations Jeremiah 600 BC 14,998 18,414 5 3,575 154
    26. Ezekiel Ezekiel 550 BC 168,514 207,995 48 40,799 1,273
    27. Daniel Daniel 550 BC 50,979 62,594 12 11,984 357
    28. Hosea Hosea 750 BC 22,311 27,499 14 5,399 197
    29. Joel Joel 850 BC 8,817 10,853 3 2,112 73
    30. Amos Amos 750 BC 17,902 22,128 9 4,380 146
    31. Obadiah Obadiah 600 BC 2,950 3,619 1 691 21
    32. Jonah Jonah 700 BC 5,393 6,717 4 1,376 48
    33. Micah Micah 700 BC 13,368 16,528 7 3,271 105
    34. Nahum Nahum 650 BC 5,714 7,001 3 1,337 47
    35. Habakkuk Habakkuk 600 BC 6,560 8,038 3 1,537 56
    36. Zephaniah Zephaniah 650 BC 6,993 8,612 3 1,675 53
    37. Haggai Haggai 520 BC 4,677 5,809 2 1,172 38
    38. Zechariah Zechariah 500 BC 26,955 33,413 14 6,682 211
    39. Malachi Malachi 430 BC 7,521 9,306 4 1,844 55
    NT 1. Matthew Matthew 55 AD 102,870 126,581 28 24,810 1,071
    2. Mark John-Mark 50 AD 65,261 80,440 16 15,873 678
    3. Luke Luke 60 AD 110,954 136,910 24 27,129 1,151
    4. John John 90 AD 80,624 99,734 21 20,010 879
    5. Acts Luke 65 AD 107,509 131,778 28 25,304 1,007
    6. Romans Paul 50-70 AD 41,646 51,081 16 9,882 433
    7. 1 Corinthians Paul 50-70 AD 40,412 49,905 16 9,946 437
    (8). 2 Corinthians Paul 50-70 AD 26,508 32,595 13 6,357 257
    9. Galatians Paul 50-70 AD 13,454 16,541 6 3,242 149
    10. Ephesians Paul 50-70 AD 13,582 16,608 6 3,187 155
    11. Philippians Paul 50-70 AD 9,598 11,784 4 2,294 104
    12. Colossians Paul 50-70 AD 8,945 10,927 4 2,081 95
    (13). 1 Thessalonians Paul 50-70 AD 8,035 9,882 5 1,941 89
    (14). 2 Thessalonians Paul 50-70 AD 4,532 5,560 3 1,078 47
    (15). 1 Timothy Paul 50-70 AD 10,682 12,937 6 2,374 113
    (16). 2 Timothy Paul 50-70 AD 7,690 9,364 4 1,761 83
    17. Titus Paul 50-70 AD 4,318 5,217 3 948 46
    18. Philemon Paul 50-70 AD 1,944 2,374 1 457 25
    19. Hebrews Paul* 65 AD 30,909 37,816 13 7,223 303
    20. James James 45 AD 10,034 12,343 5 2,422 108
    (21). 1 Peter Peter 60 AD 11,188 13,674 5 2,596 105
    (22). 2 Peter Peter 60 AD 7,264 8,822 3 1,622 61
    (23). 1 John John 90 AD 10,437 12,963 5 2,636 105
    (24). 2 John John 90 AD 1,278 1,578 1 314 13
    (25). 3 John John 90 AD 1,326 1,622 1 311 14
    26. Jude Jude 60 AD 2,961 3,569 1 635 25
    27. Revelation John 90 AD 50,942 62,959 22 12,443 404
    66 Total 3,415,606 4,207,582 1,189 824,348 31,102
    Letters w/ spaces Chapters WORDS Verses

  26. I am just putting the melody and rhythm for the Bible Memory Verse Songs…about 15 pages already…using the KJV, NKJV, NIV, TEV, and other relative versions of the Bible… It’s really touching to sing and play literally the WORDS of the Bible, especially Revelation 4:8-11 with Chords Progression (Intro.Dm, Dsus4, Dm, Dsus2, Dm, Verse.Gm, A7sus4, A7, Dm, Chorus-Dm.Holy, Gm.Holy, A7.Holy Lord God,Dm.Almighty (2x) Bb.WHO WAS and and is come (2x)…
    Dm Gm
    10the twenty-four elders fall down before Him
    A7 Dm
    who sits on the throne and worship Him
    Dm Gm
    who lives forever and ever,
    A7sus4 A7 Dm A7sus A7
    and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
    Dm Gm
    11 “You are worthy, O Lord,
    A7 Dm Gm A7
    To receive glory (glory) and honour (honour)
    Dm Dsus Dm Dsus2 Dm
    and power;
    Bb C Dm Dsus Dm Dsus2
    For You created all things,
    Bb C Dm Dsus Dm Dsus2
    And by Your will they exist
    Bb C D
    and were c r e a t e d.”

    Whenever I sing and play Revelation 4:8-11, In an instant, I felt being in the place of the HOLY of HOLIES, the very presence of GOD (Psalm 16.11, Psalm 95.2)…Glory to God and blessed are those who worships GOD in Spirit & in TRUTH (John 4.23-24)…

  27. Total 73 Catholic Books of the Bible in New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    40, Tobit 39,851 49,383 14 9,773 241
    41, Judith 46,251 56,932 16 10,849 338
    42, Esther (Greek) A 1,752 2,149 1 400 17
    Esther (Greek) 10,432 12,817 10 2,398 166
    Esther (Greek) B 1,577 1,907 1 329 7
    Esther (Greek) C 3,256 4,077 1 825 30
    Esther (Greek) D 1,367 1,688 1 324 16
    Esther (Greek) E 3,234 3,922 1 695 24
    Esther (Greek) F 1,243 1,527 1 285 10
    43. Wisdom of Solomon 47,940 57,671 19 10,910 435
    44. Sirach 121,390 147,044 51 29,115 1,388
    45. Baruch 14,089 17,302 5 3,424 139
    46. Letter of Jeremiah 7,415 9,194 1 1,793 73
    47. Song of the 3 Young Men 5,890 7,158 1 1,406 68
    48. Psalm 151 583 712 1 138 7
    49. Susanna 6,364 7,828 1 1,505 64
    50. Bel & the Dragon 4,540 5,609 1 1,088 42
    (51). 1 Maccabees 99,791 122,598 16 22,938 923
    (52). 2 Macabees 75,563 92,233 15 16,768 555
    (53). 3 Macabees 34,463 41,851 7 7,355 228
    (54). 4 Macabees 50,054 61,220 18 11,176 482
    (55). 1 Esdras 52,104 63,751 9 11,739 447
    (56). 2 Esdras 98,581 122,281 16 23,677 943
    57. Prayer of Manasseh 1,928 2,306 1 387 15
    +66=73 Catholic Books 729,658 893,160 208 169,297 6,658
    Total Letters without spaces, Letters w/ spaces, Total Chapters, WORDS, Verses
    MS Word Count done…Glory to God…

  28. I read a chapter a night, and I’ve made it through the whole Bible 3 times so far that way. Each time has taken just over 3 years. It sounds like a long time, but if you are consistent, the time passes quickly. I think it’s very worthwhile, since you definitely get a very different picture of the Bible when you see it in its entirety and in order.

    But be prepared! Reading the whole Bible is a real challenge to faith. Assuming you are paying attention, you will find things you really need to wrestle with.

    If you aren’t sure about the 3 year commitment, the Gospels represent the heart of our faith –and reading them in their entirety takes only 3 months at a chapter a night.

  29. Sorry I didn’t have time to read through all the posts and if this has already been mentioned, I apologize. Here is what I did. Initially I started reading the bible but then tried this. While I was listening to the bible on CD, I read or followed along with it in the same version of my bible. This way it is being fed to my brain through my ears AND my eyes simultaneously. I have been through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice. I am getting ready to go through the Old Testament again. After this, I think I will have a good overview of the bible and start to really study the bible after that. I still study the bible through church/devotionals/Sunday school etc. but think it is good to go through the bible quickly at least once to get a good overview. By the way, I have read less than 10 books in my entire life (50 Years). Length of Salvation… One Year PRAISE JESUS!

  30. Hey Guys. I’ve just got to say that I’ve been listening to the Bible on my Android on the way to work and back (instead of to the radio) and it took me less than two weeks to listen through the entire new testament.

    I know that meditating on God’s word and taking time to study is extremely important, but listening straight through the bible helps me connect so many dots.

    For those that said it’s not important to “speed read”, that’s just not true. We all know that reading through the bible is important, but unless we have 3 hours a day to seriously study, we won’t make it through in a lifetime!

    Great post Matt – thanks!

  31. Praise the Lord I became a new Christian about a year ago. It was my goal to read through the bible in the first year of being a new Christian. I read through the entire bible once and the New Testament a second time. Much of the way I read through the bible while listening to it on CD. This way it was going into my brain through both my eyes and my ears. I will go through the Old Testament again in this fashion and then I will begin to study it in more detail. As someone said this may be the speed-reading method of doing it but I believe that this method will give you a good overview of the bible and this will help when you go back to study it in detail. I feel kind of embarrassed that it took me a year to go through it but sometimes I slacked off. By the way, I have read less than 10 books cover to cover in my life so if I can do it, so can you. Most Christians have never read the bible cover to cover. Well I guess some people just have more imortant things to do than read God’s word. Another thing… When a preacher, friend, stranger etc. starts talking about the bible, how will you know if they are accurate or not? Satan knows the bible backwards and forwards… shouldn’t you? B.I.B.L.E. = (B)asic (I)nstructions (B)efore (L)eaving (E)arth.

  32. hey all,
    I’m running a read the bible weekend at my church and we worked out that in just 48 hours you can read it easily and have 2 and half hours for reflection we doing it on may 13th-15th and have done a few short test runs…. we worked out that the average for us is around 30-40 pages an hour (of our NIV bible) so you can speed read it in two days non stop…. if your trying to take it all in then it’s gonna be longer but a group of us in the run up to the event have been reading a book a day…. (day 41 today for me) and thats doable…just hard on the larger chapters….so i reckon the average christian should aim to read the entire book every year… its only 30 minutes a night roughly

  33. “The average person who used Facebook in each of the last 12 months has spent 70 hours 26 minutes on the site during that period, according to a spokesman from Nielsen Online, the company which conducted the research. They also calculated that the most addicted users have spent over 125 hours on the site during the last year – the equivalent of more than a whole working week.”

    What if we read the bible like we do facebook posts? I mean, they really are the posts of Jesus Christ :) His Profile doesn’t change, but his posts can and will change your life everyday if you let it.

    Just something to think about :)

  34. The old saying says: “Different Strokes for Different Folks”; in other words, different things work better for different people.

    If reading Bible works for you, do it!
    If listening to the Bible works for you, do it!
    If both reading and listening to the Bible work for you, do both!

    The devil and his army of demons has a lot of ways to distract you from reading or listening to The Word of God. And this is devil’s priority: to steal time from you during the day so you could not read The Word of God.

    This is a common theme among comments here: people have problem sticking to regular reading of The Word of God. Distractions can be caused by different things: obligations or time commitments for children, relatives, responsibilities, unscheduled events, family issues, health issues, bad mood or sickness, frustration at work, pressure from boss at work, etc.

    For those people who commute and spend a lot of time in the car, on the bus, on the train, you will feel blessed to immerse yourself into the Word of God by listening to Audio Bible. Will this replace reading? No! But it will surely uplift your spirit and every time you listen to the Bible you will feel in your inner spirit that “Out of the fullness of heart the mouth will speak”. The more you will listen to the Word of God, the more holy you will feel yourself, and more demons will be running away from you, and your prayers will become more powerful.

    There are many reputable Audio Bible versions available through Amazon.Com. One of the most valuable qualities of Amazon.Com is that you can read comments of people who bought Audio Bible and listened to it and added their positive, neutral or negative comments.

    There are many Audio Bibles for different versions available out there (NIV, KJV, ESV, NASB, etc). Many readers like these narrators: Thomas Nelson, Zondervan Dramatized Bible (many readers), Alexander Scourby, Stephen Johnston, Max McLean. I personally like Max McLean, because he felt in his spirit to memorize!! different biblical books (Mark, Genesis, and other books). This alone told me that he was not just a reader, but a person who loves the Word of God.

  35. Hi Guys. Just want to say great job on reading God’s Word. It refreshes my soul to see others taking the time to read what He left us. It truly is worth more than silver and gold. I have read the Bible 27 times. I’ve read the Old Testament 27 times and the New Testament 40+ times.

    I have found that people who make a lot of bally hoo about studying the Bible usually don’t read it much at all. It is just another form of legalism saying “yes I study the Bible, I just don’t read it.” These people want to exaclt themselves over others while hindering people from seeking the Truth who is Jesus and not them.

    I encourage you all to learn from Jesus because He is gentle and meek and read His word at your own speed. Take you time. Relish His Word, delight in it. For those who are serious about reading it, I have found that reading in 8 large sections is quite helpful. The sections can be read in any order. They are as follows 1) Genesis – Deuteronomy. 2) Joshua – Ruth. 3) 1 Samuel – Esther. 4) Job – Song of Solomon. 5) Isaiah – Daniel. 6) Hosea – Malachi. 7) Matthew – Acts. 8) Romans – Revelations.

    This is just a tip to take or leave but following these large chunks of scripture, you get to skip around, but not leave off in the middle of the story. Anyway, sorry for the length. God bless you all and I wish you all the best in reading God’s wonderful Word.

  36. I stumbled across this page because I was looking for how long it would take to read the Bible. I have been following the chronoligcaL ORDER Bible reading plan to gain the understanding and knowledge of our history and God’s instructions for my life. I do desire to read the Bible in its entirety as this is very beneficial in my opinion. But even much more beneficial to every believer and person in general is studying the Bible. I always pray for wisdom and understanding. God always confirms His word to me. I love that about Him! He is anxious for us to know Him and so he responds in great delight when we ask that of Him… for understanding. Every last post written in response to the original posting is phenomenal. I have been blessed by all the ideas, wisdom, and advice given. Thanks for what you (the author) do. Keep writing because I now have a new “add to favorites” website. I look forward to visiting again!

  37. You guys are ignorant as hell. Watch The Atheist Experience. Devote some time to understanding what we know about the universe from science. Stop indoctrinating your kiddies. You guys of course are the mass cult followers of religion – beliefs and stories told to children by farmers and goat herders, riddled with lunacy, murder, rape, slavery endorsement and hundreds of blatant contradictions, none of which belong in any intellectual conversation in modern society.

  38. I noticed that you removed my post. That’s okay for whatever reason you had. My hope however is that everyone who has visited this site and all who do so in the future will seek God and read His Word and accept Him as their personal Savior for the rest of their days.

    God bless you all.

  39. Jeremy, can you please tell me where to get the Bible for Android? Thanks.
    I listen to the Bible in French, and have to say that many things come to life for me while listening because I am more of an auditory than a visual learner. That said, I get deeper revelations when I read and meditate verse by berse, rather than letting it wash over me without pause.
    Also, the pre-literate peoples’ brains were wired entirely differently than ours. They couldn’t look up something in a book or google it, so everything they knew had to be stored in their brain. Their brains were like encyclopedias, and they could store massive amounts of data and organize it in ways we could never do. The Odyssey, for instance, a typical example of the oral tradition. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and other literature from that period, Middle Ages, has alliteration and gallumphing rhythms as aids to memory.

    Look at Fanny Brice, blind almost from birth, and yet she heard and knew by heart most of the Bible when she was a little child by having it read to her. She would meditate on it on her own time. She also composed thousands of hymns, keeping multiple hymns at a time in her brain, some unfinished, until they were put to paper. (Did she do it by Braille? don’t remember)

  40. I would love to know how Andrew and his wife broke up the readings over 76 hours. Did you have people sign up? Did you have the text broken up already?

    We are considering doing this, also, and I would love some logistics behind this!


  41. Hi “John” – I’m a scientist by profession and get what you’re saying but much of what you seem to be upset about comes from a misunderstanding of the Bible. Many of the apparent contradictions in the Bible come from not so much God’s endorsement of sin but rather God allowing man to pursue his own way (for awhile, at least).

  42. Thanks Benaiah. My original post’s intention was to say “get out there and read it”. People get intimidated, but reading the Bible is not supposed to be scary. Getting all the way through it can become an idol in itself, but throwing out the timeframe was meant to encourage others, not derail the post with a bunch of comments like “no do it this way, no do it that way, you’re encouraging people to be sloppy, no, you’re encouraging people to be lazy, etc…. :)

  43. I haven’t read all of the posts but I would like to encourage EVERYONE to give the 90 Bible read a try! I did it for the first time about 3 years ago and it transformed my Bible reading and my life!! It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in many ways. It took lots of discipline but it was just what I needed. You couldn’t do this with a microbiology book, but the Bible is so unique in that if you have the Spirit of God living in you through salvation, you have the Author right there with you, helping you understand it! Just use a plain Bible with no footnotes or commentaries – so you don’t get distracted by what man thinks and adds. Divide the number of pages by 90 days and GO! I have always been a very slow, read-every-word, analytical reader. I had to overcome this or I would have never gotten it done in the 90 days. I was skeptical that I could retain any of it if I did a speed read. But I am a witness that it can be done and what you need to retain, the Lord will help you retain. Before, I had trouble reading it through in ONE YEAR. The reason for this now seems obvious to me. If I tried to read any other book in the span of a year’s time, I would lose interest in it and stop. This is true of the Bible too, especially with the devil trying to discourage you at every turn. But when you read it this way, WOW what a difference it makes. Use your finger or a pen to follow along each line that you read and do it quickly. YES! You will be able to follow the thought. I would encourage you, once you get to the middle of Exodus thru Leviticus to get these chapters done quickly. I try to do all of Leviticus in one day since it is an especially difficult book to make yourself read. Don’t don’t do not skip a day. You will get behind and it is hard to get caught back up. But if you do, just keep going! Keep a notebook to quickly jot down a passage you want to study out later or for questions, thoughts or meditations so you can quickly go on to reach your goal! May the Lord be with you in your endeavor.

  44. Thanks for showing me how many hours it takes to read the Bible! I always wondered how long it took for me to read the entire Bible, and I can’t explain how much it has changed my life. I have since been a very confident non-believer. It is very sad people think it to be true, this idea posions so many minds :(

  45. I did a search on how long it takes to read the Bible. So, here it is. Thanks ! I sell books on the internet and while I am working…. I have the Word of God being read aloud.

    It has many version and speakers to choose from. Last year I was able to listen to the NT 3 times and once through the OT. Was working on a 2nd time through the OT.

    As well I read the NT and was about 1/3 through the OT. I read the Bible also in a fashion of simply opening and reading it when I am inclined to.

    Noticing the many suggestions and writing arguments on this post,,,,brought a smile….we are so human at times…

    My suggestion: Read, Listen, and live it!

    Blessings my friends in Christ.

  46. Long running thread…

    I first heard of this from a book by David Pawson where a congregation read through the entire Bible in a particular time period (may have been around 76 hours).

    What I love about this is that it reduces the mental challenge of reading what one perceives to be an impossibly long reference text. By simplifying the challenge and providing the time break downs ie 76 hours or x minutes per day makes the task seem possible. I personally cant find any further excuses for not reading it through…

    Matt – you have the patience of a saint. ‘Point provers’ will always try make their own point rather than receive someone else’s; which is kind of ironic really! Say less, listen more..

    Take care

  47. My church did a read the Bible continuously (24 hours a day) event a couple of weeks ago for the New Year (we started a day and a half before the new year and ended a day and a half after the new year). They do it every year. They had anyone who wanted to read sign up for a 30 minute slot. Mine was at 2:30 in the morning until 3:00. Basically I just started reading where ever the person before me left off. I happened to get Psalms 119! Anyone could come and listen. You don’t know ahead of time which passages you will be reading. The staff members filled in time slots that were left empty. I really enjoyed participating in the event.

  48. I really liked Dawn’s post. Matt, the span of comments are around three years. Just curious… Have you read the whole bible yet? It is good to read the whole bible for a bigger picture and study vs. by verse also. I wish I had time to reply to the atheist that commented. thanks for posting this.. I too was curious how long it took to read it if I was to read it in that way.

  49. Matt great work on showing others how little time the bible contain 76 hours worth of reading we probably watch more tv in a month than that amen brother for revealing that. Michael Nicholson thank you for expressing that a deeper relationship will eventually be pursued that will take way more than the 76 hours spoke of and I believe that he does that as well my brother in christ jesus. I see that neither you are wrong in the pursuit of seeking our lord savior let not word play come between us brothers
    1corinthians 3:7So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

    1Corinthians 12: 4Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

    May God bless you both and to use for his purpose let not satan and the evil of this world divide us we are all saints of God called to do good works from Christ Jesus who strengthen us .

  50. I just started the Bible in a year plan but have decided to use the 1599 Geneva Bible. I love the fact that it is the one Bible that is the closest to the original wording.

  51. Great to read all the contributions on Bible reading. Having worked in various languages, the major point is to read the Word in a language that speaks to you, preferably your mother tongue.
    Reading and studying are quite distinct and both are necessary. Saturate yourself in the whole Bible and either at the sametime or later study it in some detail. Look at topics such as God the Father, Salvation through faith alone,living as Christians and so forth. Talk over the tough points with other Bible readers.
    You will be amazed at what will happen in your heart and mind – even for those who claim to be atheists in these posts.

  52. I know this post is from a while ago, but I think it’s interesting that your co-worker says listening to the Bible doesn’t feel right. I’ve been listening to the Bible on my iPod as I read along, and I think I actually get more out of it. I miss a lot when I just read it quietly.

  53. Another interesting statistic: if you read the Bible 3 hours every day, you finish it in 1 month. That’s what I do. It’s fantastic.

  54. […] se estima que la Biblia se puede leer completamente desde Génesis a Apocalipsis en solamente 76 horas! Anímese y saque de su tiempo para leer la Biblia. Con solo unos 12.5 minutos diarios en 365 días […]

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