Read the Bible in 90 Days?!

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A person sitting at a table in a room reading the Bible.Photo Source: kelsey_lovefusionphoto

Reading the Bible has blessed me over the years.

One of the most poignant memories I have of my time in France was a morning I spent just reading the Bible. My friends thought I was nuts that 4 hours of Bible reading would be enjoyable, but it was.

Over the years, my Bible reading has been sporadic. I would guess 1993 was the last time I devoted 4 straight hours to studying scripture. But, I’ve read through the Bible several times using Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s reading plan. And the kids and I have worked through Matthew, Mark, and Luke over the last school year.

But, to be honest, I haven’t been in a good groove lately. And I can feel it.

I’m not talking about feeling guilty for neglecting quiet times. I’m not talking about meeting the expectations of those around me that I would be “in the Word.” I’m not talking about measuring my success by how many Bible verses I can quote.

Been there, done that. Those aren’t sufficient reasons for studying what God has to say to us.

There’s a better reason.

I know that I am tired. I know that I feel scattered. I know that there is One who can give me rest, who will lead me through dark places.

And I want to hang out with Him more.

Bible in 90 Days reading challenge graphic from 2010.

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So, I’m tackling something that I was loathe to do back in January when I first heard about it. But, now that my days aren’t full of papers, books, and students’ dirty looks, I’m going to tackle a big goal: read through the Bible in 90 days.

Crazy, eh? Yeah, that’s what I think, too. I’m lucky these days if I read three verses. I may fail miserably at this. And you’ll all know it, too!

But, I’m gonna try.

Not because of the brownie points I might earn. But because I want to know Jesus better. And in turn, I think I’ll probably learn a lot about myself.

Lord willing.

ETA: Since this writing I’ve done the 90-day Bible reading program 4 times. It’s been amazing during summer vacation in between CBS sessions, but it’s also a great practice for preparing for Easter. You won’t get through the whole Bible during Lent, so adjust your start time if you like.

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  1. Thanks for posting this. I have also decided to “take the plunge” and read the Bible in 90 days.

    I am blogging about it. I have never really been a blogger before but have found God pointing out things as I read. Each day I pray for one thing to be revealed to me about what I’m reading.

    I have begun hosting a Bible Study using Francine River’s books about women of the Bible and several of the ladies in the group are not Christians. I hope that by reading God’s word and praying daily for these women He will direct my hand and bring revelation as to the best way to approach this study. Surely God’s word is the BEST place to look for this revelation.

    If you are interested you can visit my blog and read about it . I am hoping that by having this blog I will be able to push myself to read the daily readings. After all, I don’t want to miss a day.

    I am reading The Message version of the Bible. I have always used the NIV, but I thought I would try this version for something a little different. It is meant to be read more as a story, I guess.

    I like the previous mention of reading a good book. I know when I start a novel I just can’t put it down. WHY should the Bible be any different? Surely God can reveal things even if we are reading many chapters at a time!

    I would also like to mention a website I found that offers tons of versions of the Bible and has a 90-day reading plan. This can also be viewed on web-enabled mobile phones .

    I agree with others. While this is not an in-depth study any dedication to reading God’s word surely must be worthwhile.

    My biggest prayer in this attempt to read the Bible in 90 days is that it would not end there. I pray that everyone who takes the plunge finds such a dependence on God’s word that even after 90 days they are still reading every day.

    Again, thank-you for your blog. Everyday you have something that applies to me.

  2. Thank you so much for posting about this. I have never heard about it before. I found out about it a day late, but I am going to try going for it! I’ve always wanted to read through the whole Bible. I’ve tried the year-long models, but I always lose steam. I’m hoping and praying that this more intense model will be just what I need! Thanks again for making more people (like me!) aware of this!

  3. I’m on Day 24, and I have NEVER felt like this about the Bible. To all the naysayers, I say,”Try it before you naysay.” It has brought the Bible to life in a way I’ve never experienced. As soon as I finish, I plan to go right back thru it again. I am staying 2 days ahead in my reading, to allow for missed days.

    1. @Dawn, Great idea! I wonder why I feel like I need to stop exactly when the bookmark (which I’m using right now) says to stop! I’m LOVING this 90 day challenge! I’ve been breaking my reading up throughout the day and I feel like I am really digging in!

  4. Our church body was challenged to read through the bible in 90 days this summer as part of our “intensify summer.” It has been such a reward and blessing to be so focused and steadfast in studying and reading each day. I don’t feel like we’re rushing through it – it takes less than an hour for me to read each day including reading footnotes and jotting down questions/notes I have… shutting off the tv and studying more has been priceless! It’s such a great reminder again to see how everything fits together and points to Christ something we often forget when we read a little here and there without really studying… the truth is, I think it’s better to read more each day instead of just a little at a time!

  5. I did this back in January. You will get more out of it than you think you will. You’ll remember more of what you read than what you thought possible. I don’t think that reading it quickly like this all the time is best, but I think it helps us gain a different perspective on the book in general, and helps us understand the stories and the history as a whole. I won’t be doing it next time, but I think I will make this a yearly endeavor for me.

  6. I’d never heard of this program before and am definitely intrigued. I am thinking about joining in and hoping maybe it will help give a little more structure to my crazy days chasing around a busy toddler. Thanks for sharing this!

  7. I’m taking the challenge as well. Even being a pastor’s wife I find myself having trouble making to time to know him more. I’m looking forward to what he is going to do in my life over the next 90 days.

  8. I love this post, especially since I wrote about this recently too! I totally agree with your reasons for taking on a challenge like this, and I appreciate your clarity about that!
    I’ve been following your blog for a while, and I have even begun “once-a-month-cooking” thanks to your encouragement! Thanks for writing about so many things with which I can connect!

  9. I had always wanted to do Bible in 90 days. I cant afford to actually buy the book right now.

    I understand what other’s concerns are. For a while I flipped flopped between guilt that I “needed” a book to engross me in God’s Word. Yet on the other hand, its not a sin. So why not?

    1. @Challice,
      It’s not too late to join in and you don’t have to buy the special bible. has a free download of a bookmark that tells you what to read each day. Just a thought if you’re interested!!

    2. I’m using the bookmark that Kristin mentioned. We did our Money Meeting last night and I decided I’d hold onto the $13 for now. πŸ˜‰

  10. I first read about this in January, but at the time felt the Lord was leading me to do the opposite–to do more in-depth study. I started reading a Psalm, tracked back the meaning of one word and wrote three pages of notes about it. That was for that time in my life.

    Now I find that I want to do it this way–read quickly enough to maintain a sense of the Bible as a whole, to get the “big pictures” as it were. After finishing my first day this morning, I already spotted a couple of patterns that I’d never seen before, because I’ve never read certain things close enough together that the pattern emerged for me. I for one can’t wait to see what the Lord shows me in His word in the coming days.

    Anything that encourages reading the Word on a regular basis, and contributes to overall Biblical literacy is worthwhile for those who feel lead to do so at that time.

  11. SO excited that you will be joining us! And I love how you are approaching it.
    I’m especially thankful that I get to be your cheerleader and pray for you through this. (Will you pray for my organizational skills while I pray for your reading and prayertime??)

  12. I signed up for the 90 day challenge as well. I think it’s great. Nothing wrong with reading God’s Word in 90 days. God knows our hearts. I don’t feel like I’m being pushed with a time limit at all. My husband thinks this is a wonderful opportunity for me as well πŸ˜‰
    Anyway, I came by to say “Hi” and welcome aboard.

  13. I signed up for the challenge also. I truly understand where you are coming from because I feel the same way. I am not doing this to have “bragging rights” or to prove to God that I can do this. This is a challenge for myself. I have moments where I can read and read scripture all day and then I fall from it. Or I start a reading plan and never finish it and then I never read certain books in the Bible. So I commend you for doing what you are doing. It is a personal challenge and I am right there with you. Good Luck!

  14. I agree that I am also doing this to know Jesus better. To deepen my walk and make the time to spend in His Word daily!
    God Bless!

  15. I just finished Day 49 of this challenge. I always pray before I even begin reading each day and my Bible is full of verses I have underlined to come back to later for more study. If we approach it, seeking God and eager to learn from His Word, He will bless our reading of it. I always try to share something of what I have read with my children each day. It helps me to retain it and hopefully encourages them to read more of God’s Word. There is so much in the Bible that, I find, if I don’t have a plan, I will not even read many of the books in it for months or even years. Not good! I probably won’t be able to read it this quickly very often, but I have enjoyed it this summer. It’s good to be in God’s Word! Go for it!

  16. I am so excited for you to be doing this. Yours is one of my very favorite blogs! I completed the Bible in 90 Days challenge at the beginning of the year and I am mentoring & reading this time around. I hope you will be encouraged by the group and that you will have an awesome experience with this.
    For those above who are doubtful about this, it is definitely not for in depth study but for the attentive reading of every word of the Bible. If you pick up a novel that you like alot, you don’t just read a page or 2 a day. You stay up late & get up early to keep reading until it’s finished. The Bible becomes much of the same thing through this program. The stories come alive, the connections become more evident and the story of God’s love for us becomes so apparent throughout the old & new testaments that reading stops being a burden and becomes a joy. You’ll see the Bible as you’ve never seen it before.
    As to the reasoning behind the 90 days, you can read about it at but quickly the man who started it was not a believer, was curious and wanted to know what the Bible was all about and decided to knock it out in 90 days. Halfway through the Old Testament, he became a believer. So then he designed the program for others to see the Bible in the way that he had.
    I wish you the best in your reading! We’ll be praying for you!

  17. I’m surprised at the negative comments about reading the Bible in 90 days. How can reading the Bible be bad? Fast, slow, and everything in between, is there not freedom to experiment with how we pursue God.

    Reading through the Bible is certainly a discipline worth pursuing. It gives us a more complete, whole picture of God’s word. It is a different discipline than meditating, studying, or memorizing God’s word. While it is different, it is no less important. It serves a wonderful purpose in completing that broader brush stroke look at this powerful, life-chaning instruction book and it’s brilliant author. It lends an opportunity to understand the cohesiveness of the Old and New Testament, the unfolding story of redemption from beginning to end, and so much more. These things are harder to grasp in a slow, meditative reading of the Bible.

    There is no wrong way to ingest God’s word. I think you will find this quick, full reading valuable. I also think you will find it different than slowly studying a small section of scriptures in meditation. That’s okay. They both have a place in pursuing God. They’re both spiritual disciplines meant to strengthen and change us into people who intimately know God.

    I think it’s a cool idea to enjoy the word of God as it were a novel. His word will not return void, even if you read it quickly, without combing every detail and meditation from it’s pages. Save that idea for next time.

    I’m so glad for the freedom and creativity God gives us in our pursuit of His heart.

  18. Yeh I am not so sure of why you should push for doing it in 90 days? That seems like a reflection of our culture more than letting the Spirit lead you to reflect and meditate on the Word of God…ya know? I mean by all means, pushing to read it in 90 is better than not at all but the time limit just strikes me oddly.

    1. I don’t really know much about where the 90 days come from. But, I know that Luther and Calvin both read the Bible several times a year as did George Mueller. I know there are more, but my mind is blanking on their names. So, I know it’s not necessarily “modern” in the 21st century kind of way.

      I also know I waste a lot of time doing things that have no meaning. So, I’m hoping that this will be a good replacement.

  19. While I totally encourage reading the bible daily, (psalms 1:2), I’m not sure if doing the whole bible in 90 days is good. Along with reading the bible, we need to meditate on it and apply his thoughts to our lives. My kids and I have been reading the bible from the beginning of this year and we are now just starting 1 Kings during King Solomons rule and how even though he started out as a faithful worshipper of God, he fell away by not applying Gods council and he started worshipping false gods, thus God left him and his family. We read a few chapters throughout the week and then discuss them and do a bit of research if we don’t fully understand it. I always try to think of a way to compare it to our lives and how we should act. So, in my opinion, I would think that God would approve of quality over quantity. If you find yourself reading an entire chapter and not understanding it, then it really doesn’t mean anything, does it. And believe me, there are plenty of chapters that are tough to understand! I love bible based discussions so feel free to email me if you want! This wasn’t meant to offend at all, just help, I hope. πŸ™‚

    1. Not offended. πŸ˜‰ And thanks for saying so.

      And I definitely understand where you’re coming from. I think in-depth study is necessary and valuable in the Christian’s walk with God. My intention to read quickly is not to read casually. Rather, I think this is actually intense study, to be in the Word every day and to have a goal. I know that there have been many heroes of the faith who read the Bible two and three times per year. George Mueller read it 4 times per year, every 90 days, in his later years. So, I don’t think we’re without historical examples. Guys like Luther would probably drop their jaws at how little we read when we have multiple copies of the Bible in our homes.

      At the same time, I agree that if one is reading and not getting it, then slowing down may be the best approach. Quite honestly, I don’t think we have to worry about my reading too fast. LOL. This is actually an experiment and I’m sharing it, I guess, in part to spurn these kind of discussions, and to encourage other people if they’re interested in tackling it. I have become weary in a lot of ways and desire some kind of kick start in my walk with God.
      And like I said, my goal is not to earn brownie points with God or be able to brag. I’ve heard from many people that really being saturated in Scripture like this changed them. But I’ll let you know…. πŸ™‚

  20. Hey, if I start where I left off during the last time I tried this, I just might have enough leeway to not give up in frustration after a couple days of just not getting it done.