My Version of Professor Horner’s Bible Reading Plan

If you are a regular attender of Harvest Bible Chapel of Jacksonville or have followed this blog for long, then you know that I am a HUGE fan of Professor Grant Horner’s Bible reading plan. The impact this plan has had on my spiritual life is immeasurable. Not many of you, however, may know that I actually have adjusted it just a little bit. I made some switches among the Old Testament lists (which resulted in 5 OT lists in comparison with his 6) in order to create a separate New Testament list for Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians.

I did this because I especially want to master Romans. Reading it monthly will help me accomplish that goal. I threw Galatians and Ephesians in with Romans in order to bring the chapter count to 28, making this list the same length as the book of Acts. So, each month I read entirely through Proverbs, Acts, Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians. The price of this adjustment is that I now have a 311 day list in the Old Testament, but that exchange is worth it for me. Here are my lists:

List #1 – 89 Days – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

List #2 – 197 Days – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

List #3 – 28 Days – Romans, Galatians, Ephesians

List #4 – 311 Days – Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

List #5 – 59 Days – 1&2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon

List #6 – 150 Days – Psalms

List #7 – 56 Days – Hebrews, James, 1&2 Peter, 1,2,&3 John, Jude, Revelation

List #8 – 250 Days – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

List #9 – 31 Days – Proverbs

List #10 – 28 Days – Acts

There are a few weaknesses to my version of the plan:

(1) Lists #3 and 5 intersect one another in the order of how the books are laid out in the Bible.

(2) List #4 is really long, but that is alright with me because if I am diligent to do this plan daily, I will still read through the entire Bible at least once every year, and I will read through many of the books several times in a year.

(3) I do not have access to the many resources available for the plan (nice pdf files of bookmarks, iPhone app with the plan, etc.). One thing I especially like about my version is that balances OT and NT reading with 5 lists each. So every day I read 5 chapters from the Older Testament and 5 chapters from the Newer Testament.

Finally, I in no way whatsoever created this list to compete with or attempt to steal away anyone from the original version of the plan. I simply adapted it to meet one of my goals: master the book of Romans. The reason I am sharing this information with you is so that you can see that one of the great things about Professor Horner’s Plan is that it is easily adaptable to your spiritual goals.

In fact, I’m not the only one who has adjusted the plan in order to make Romans a more frequent read. Nathan Bingham traded Acts and Romans on this lists in order to read Romans more frequently. I considered that as an option, but I wanted to keep reading Acts monthly as well, and decided I wouldn’t mind having a really long Old Testament list.

Regardless of whether you tweak Horner’s lists or stay with the original (which I highly suggest you do since it is tried and true!), the main thing is that you are digging into God’s Word daily.

24 thoughts on “My Version of Professor Horner’s Bible Reading Plan”

  1. I love the tweeks! Not only does it get me through Romans more often (I was a bit disappointed with it’s frequency in the original list) but it also gets me through Galatians and Ephesians more often. You seem to indicate that those are just “throw ins” to make the list the appropriate length, but they are nearly as dear to me as Romans, so I’m really happy with it.

    I’m only on day 5 of the original plan so I’m going to switch over. I’ll need to read a few chapters of 1 Cor and Hebrews to get caught up but that’s not a problem. I’m also going to have to tweek my reading plan in Logos and my bookmarks but again, it will be well worth the effort.


  2. Your welcome, Chris. Glad to hear you like the tweaks. Horner himself tweaks the plan on occasion to meet a specific need during a season of his life. You may do my version of the plan for awhile and then decide to tweak it yourself. Professor Horner and I agree that it’s not exactly about the plan itself but the saturation of the Word.

  3. Great post. I’ve been using it for several years now, and I agree — this has done more to grow my walk than anything I can think of.

    The big “tweak” I made to the plan was to re-number the readings from Genesis to Revelation. That way I start in the front and move to the back each day. It helps me keep the movement and passages in order in my mind.

    Does anyone know if a way to run this reading plan through something like e-sword or QuickVerse?


  4. I love this plan. I’ve tweaked it a bit myself, adding Lamentations to the list with Ecclesiastes and putting Luke and Acts together, but I’m going to write down your list in case I feel like switching things up. Something that I did was make my own bookmarks. I used Microsoft Word, turned the page orientation so it was landscape, and make 5 columns with a line in between. It took two pages of 5 columns each to make custom bookmarks.

    1. Mandi,

      Glad you are loving the plan. It’s such a great way to immerse yourself in God’s Word. I love how you have adapted it yourself. How long have you known about Professor Horner’s plan?

  5. Big fan of the reading plan. Just wanted to chime in and add my support. I read the plan as originally outlined with one very small, yet significant, addition. I start my reading time by reading/praying one stanza from Ps. 119. This means I am reading/praying through this amazing chapter every 22 days. I don’t use an additional bookmark or anything, just a post-it flag.
    Oh, and I made my bookmarks by hand using a manila folder and a ruler. Surprisingly, they have been holding up very well.

    1. Dan,

      I love that idea! Fantastic. I’m going to immediately incorporate that practice into my reading time. Thanks for commenting. How long have you been on the plan?

      1. Pastor Brett,

        I’ve been doing this reading plan for almost two years. It has been nothing short of life changing. I really do agree with almost every statement made by Professor Horner on the merits of this approach. I had no idea how mal-nourished I was in the Word of God. Somehow, the approach creates a sense of enthusiasm toward Bible Reading (I base this on my own experience and a ton of comments similar to this). I have found my own sense of discerment dramatically increased. I have found my own sense of compassion dramatically increased.

        I don’t recall exactly how the Ps.119 idea came to mind. It was born of reading several comments from the original Facebook group. But I’ve now been doing it so long that I can’t imagine doing it any other way. “Praying” Ps. 119 is such a unique experience.

        I am not a big advocate of changing the lists too much. But I am not dogmatic on this since Professor Horner’s lists and simply a variation on a previous program. But I think some people underestimate the impact of reading the lists as suggested. I would never have seen the face value of reading Job, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes every two months until I read a brief comment by Professor Horner that went like this (My paraphrase)- “The meaning of suffering, the meaning of love, and the meaning of life…what could be MORE relevant than that?”

        Also, while I am a huge techno-nerd and live in Silicon valley and make my living in the technical space; I am much more inclined to strongly encourage the use of one specific text for Bible reading. I recognize this topic can be rationally debated from either perspective, but I think that some underestimate the very subtle, very deep benefits of this practice.

        LOL! Sorry for the long-winded reply. Ummmmm…almost two years (To repeat the answer to your original question).

  6. Been using this plan for the better part of 2011. Landed in your blog for Bible design. While reading thro, i was hooked to Prof Grant Honer’s reading plan.

    2011 wasn’t easy. I wouldn’t have made it thro without the large doses (initially) of the Word! It made my Bible reading interesting and left me wanting more. Thank you so much Pastor Brett!

  7. I am using your adaptation to Prof. Horner’s plan. Having used Life Journal last year I feel prepped and ready for this one. As Dan Collins is doing, I too am reading a stanza of Psalm 119 as an 11th list. Really takes off the pressure of day 119 on the Psalm list (making it a 149 day list.)

    Thanks for your idea. And to Dan as well.

  8. I also made my own tweaks to prof. horner’s plan

    1- i read the lists from front to back so that i don’t have to skip back and forth from old and new testaments

    2- i moved acts from list 10 to list 3 and moved hebrews and romans from list 3 to list 10. hebrews links the old covenant to the new covenant, and romans thouroughly explains the new covenant, so these two books together are *almost* a complete theological education in themselves.

    i like some of the ideas i’ve seen in other posts, and may try some of them after i’ve spent this year learning hebrews and romans.

    1. Excellent! I love how flexible this plan is. Your tweaks are a perfect example of how to tailor the plan for your needs or season in life or personal growth goals. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Just curious if you still use this plan and if you’ve made any other modifications to it……I adopted this version of the plan just this week!

  10. i have found it helpful and kind of neat to put a “dot” next to the chapter number, then you can see a) where youre at if you get confused like me, and b) its fun to see how many times youve read it!

    Pastor Brett, are you still using this plan?? and besides the psalm 119 (awesome idea btw) have you made any other changes?? i heard of one person switching out Acts with another NT book every month. that sounds like a good idea that i might try!

    1. Bill, actually I’ve taken a break from it; found myself kind of in a rut and needed a fresh change for a season; right now I’m doing M’Cheyne’s plan plus a proverb a day (by the calendar) plus doing more intensive work on Scripture memory. But I still highly recommend this plan, especially for those who are really wanted to immerse themselves in a lot of Scripture and get a good overview of the grand scheme of Scripture.

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