Need a real challenge for your Bible reading? How about 10 chapters a day from 10 different sections of Scripture? Sound crazy? Not to those, like me, who have had their spiritual walk transformed by the increased intake of God’s Word made possible by following Professor Horner’s system.
After less than a month on the plan, my wife said that I was a different man! This should not be surprising, after all, the first half of Psalm 1 says:
1:1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The devotional life of many Christians today consists of reading a few Bible verses, followed by a devotional reading related to the truth of what they just read. Some read through the Bible in a year (which requires reading 3-4 chapters per day). But Professor Horner’s plan is the best resource I have ever come across for literally saturating yourself in God’s Word. The beauty of this plan is that it is doable and flexible. In fact, I have slightly adapted the plan in order to take in Romans monthly.
In the past year, I have introduced this plan to many Christians and have received a tremendous amount of positive feedback regarding the plan. I have a couple of church members who have been so impacted by the plan that they have doubled the plan (20 chapters daily). I would love to hear your thoughts on the system. Are you using it? Are you on a different plan? What do you think about this plan?
Grant Horner is a professor at the Master’s College in Southern Califonia. Click HERE to read an interview with him to learn a little bit about the man behind the plan. Regarding his plan, check out what the good Doc himself has to say about it:
I have more wisdom than all my teachers, for thy testimonies are my meditation.” Psalm 119:99, right-hand page, left-hand column, dead center of page. Many people ask me how it is that I know precisely where virtually *everything* is in my Bible. The answer: this system. I began in 1983 (adapting and tweaking the basic design of another system) as a brand-new convert; within 3 years I knew the text of my Bible very well. Twenty-five years later it is essentially imprinted on my mind and heart. I have been all over the country and have taught this system in many churches. I have done open-microphone Q&As on Bible and theology — with 1200 people in the audience — as well as cultural-analysis live radio shows where you have to think fast — and it has been the “imprinting” value of this system that has helped me provide quick, clear, heavily contextualized scriptural answers (I Peter 3:15; right-hand page, right hand column, 1/3rd way down). I have no Seminary degrees, no Bible-college or Christian school education — hey, I never even went to Sunday School (the first church I went to, just months after my conversion, threw me into Sunday School– to teach!!! *BIG* mistake, by the way…) All I DID have was a chair, a lamp … and my Bible.
This is *not* merely a speed-reading program, nor is it a ‘study’ system. Read the 1-page description provided here to see how it works. (I’d also recommend you look at my first few posts in the Discussion Board ‘Starting Up’ below as well, for more thoughts.) DO NOT be intimidated! I was a college drop-out, ex-heavy-druggie when I started it. If I can do it — so can you!
TRY IT FOR A MONTH. Then tell me what is happening!
Join if you wish to try it; stay if you keep it up for one month! And make posts about your struggles, the effects it is having on your biblical understanding and discernment, and to encourage others.
HERE IT IS:
* PROFESSOR GRANT HORNER’S ‘TEN LISTS BIBLE READING SYSTEM’*
Each day you will read one chapter from each list, in order. THAT’S RIGHT — *TEN CHAPTERS PER DAY*!!! Use ten bookmarks or sticky notes with the individual lists on them to keep track of your locations. (LOOK BELOW at the Wall for several posts on Feb 1 2009 and you will find links to handy bookmarks made by users.) On day one, you read Matthew 1, Genesis 1, Romans 1, and so forth. On day 2, read Matthew 2, Genesis 2, etc. On day 29, you will have just finished Matthew, so go to Mark 1 on the Gospel list; you’ll also be almost to the end of 2nd Corinthians and Proverbs, you’ll be reading Psalm 29 and Genesis 29, and so forth. When you reach the last chapter of the last book in a list – start over again. Rotate all the way through all the Scriptures constantly. Since the lists vary in length, the readings begin interweaving in constantly changing ways. You will NEVER read the same set of ten chapters together again! Every year you’ll read through all the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters 4-5 times each, the OT wisdom literature six times, all the Psalms at least twice, all the Proverbs as well as Acts a dozen times, and all the way through the OT History and prophetic books about 1 ½ times. Since the interweaving is constantly changing, you will experience the Bible commenting *on itself* in constantly changing ways — the Reformer’s principle of ‘scriptura interpretans scripturam’ — ‘scripture interpreting scripture’ IN ACTION!
After you’ve read any particular book once or twice, your speed in that book usually *doubles or triples* because you’re familiar with it and can move quickly and confidently — because you are no longer merely decoding the text but thinking it through in the context of all of the scripture! Acts 20:27. Even an ‘average’ reader, if focusing on moving through the text, rather than trying to figure everything out, can usually do this in about an hour a day – 5-6 minutes per chapter. If it is taking you longer, then you are ‘reading wrong’ – stay relaxed, focus, and just keep it moving. Moderate but consistent speed is the key. This is “gross anatomy” — looking at the whole body; you’re *not* closely studying organs or systems or tissues or cells — it is *not* microbiology. BUT
– microbiology and the study or organs makes more sense when you know what the *whole* structure of the human body is like, and how all the parts, large and small, relate in perfect interdependence. After just a few days the reading gets *much* easier; in a month it will be a habit, and in six months you’ll wonder how you ever survived before on such a slim diet of the WORD. And then — you’ll tell others to start the system!
I began in 1983 as a new Christian and have now read (most of) the Bible hundreds and hundreds of times. You also need to get ONE Bible, keep it, and do all your reading in it, so you learn where everything is. I’ve had the same Bible since 1983 and I know it intimately. If you keep switching Bibles, you ‘lose’ this intimacy with the text. Find a translation and format you like and stick with it. THIS IS CRUCIAL.
When I was flown out by Masters for a 3-day interview/theological-grilling process, the culmination was of course being ushered in to Dr. John MacArthur’s private study, which is where he asked me this one question: “Can I see your Bible?” I thought he would be horrified, because it looked like it had been through a typhoon — it looked unloved and neglected. Something from a dumpster. It was unbound, with stringy mess and paper debris hanging out. I was so embarrassed. I thought he would chastise me and recommend I get a new study Bible if I was serious about the Word. (No doubt which study Bible he would recommend!!!) He flipped through it and handed it to his wife and said “If your Bible is falling apart, you probably aren’t.” I was basically hired on the spot.
Your Bible is the only thing on Earth that, as you wear it out, will actually work better and better.
THE TEN LISTS:
List 1 (89 days)
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
List 2 (187 days)
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
List 3 (78 days)
Romans, I&II Cor, Gal, Eph, Phil, Col, Hebrews
List 4 (65 days)
I&II Thess, I&II Tim, Titus, Philemon, James, I&II Peter, I,II&III John, Jude, Revelation
List 5 (62 days)
Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
List 6 (150 days)
List 7 (31 days)
List 8 (249 days)
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I&II Samuel, I&II Kings, I&II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther
List 9 (250 days)
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah,
Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
List 10 (28 days)
If you are wondering why you should read Acts (or Proverbs) all the way through *every single month* then
– you’ve just shown that you NEED to read them that much!
*Put these instructions in your Bible and review them from time to time*
SECRETS TO SUCCESS WITH THIS SYTEM:
• Read one chapter from each list each day, in one sitting or two. At the end of a book, go to the next book. At the end of the list – start it again. Do it in the order given above.
• Read quickly (without “speedreading”) in order to get the overall sense. Read as fast as you comfortably can with moderate retention. You’re not studying deeply or memorizing; shoot for 5-6 minutes per chapter. At the end of a chapter, move immediately to the next list.
• GET THROUGH THE TEXT – no dawdling, back-reading, looking up cross-references!
• There are different ‘kinds’ of reading: super-quick skimming, careful moderate-paced, studying the text, deep meditation. You should be between the first and second kind.
• Most people decrease their time spent and increase their retention after just two-three weeks! I now read and retain the entire text of Matthew in 35 minutes, Romans in 20, Genesis in *one hour*!
• Don’t look up anything you ‘don’t get’ – real understanding will come through contextualizing by reading a LOT of scripture over time. Get through the text!
• If you miss a day or two – ok, get over it, then keep going. Don’t cover yourself in sackcloth and ashes and quit! Move the bookmarks along, to find your place(s) quickly next day.
Heb 4:12&5:11-14; Eph 5:26&6:17; Col 3:16; 2 Tim 3:16; Ps 119; Ezra 8; Prov 3: 1-2, 10:14; Dan 1
*PLEASE* INVITE ALL THE CHRISTIANS YOU KNOW TO LOOK AT THIS GROUP — AS WELL AS ANYONE ELSE WHO’S THINKING ABOUT READING THE BIBLE, EVEN FOR THE FIRST TIME!
The goal of this sytem is simple, and twofold: To know scripture, and to love and obey God more!
SOLI DEO GLORIA
You can download a full version (with printable bookmarks) HERE.
You can join the Facebook group HERE.
Check out my interview with Professor Horner HERE.
Here are some interviews I have done with “satisfied customers”:
This Post Last Updated on April 22, 2010