Reading the Bible From Cover to Cover: Still on the Old Testament


Last year, I got a KJV bible (I have since gotten a Catholic New American Bible), and I have been reading the bible cover to cover since. I started on Genesis 1, and now I am on the book of Judith. I used to read 5 chapters a day, but I cut back to 1 chapter a day, as 5 a day was too many, and I was feeling burned out (I’m not the biggest reader, the only book I really ever read is the Bible, as it’s the only book I ever enjoy reading.)

I would love to read about Jesus, but I won’t get to the New Testament for months, if not years. What do you suggest I do? Should I continue reading a chapter a day of the Old Testament, and also start from the beginning of the New Testament, and read a chapter of it a day too?


You could read the parallel verses in the NT or NT references to the OT verses you are reading. You could get better context. Try using a New Jerusalem Bible.


I suggest you stop reading according to a schedule. Stop reading X chapters or Y pages per day and start reading whatever is comfortable to you. If the something is dry then move through it quicker. If something catches your attention then linger and soak it in. Allow the Holy Spirit to work according to God’s schedule. I have read the Bible cover-to-cover five times this way.

I also suggest, if you have not already, that you learn something about the history and culture behind the Bible. It makes the story come alive and gives it so much more meaning.

The Bible Timeline by Great Adventure/Jeff Cavins is well worth the money.



I jump around and read whatever moves me at the moment.


There are some schedules online that will help you read the old and new testaments in parallel without getting burned out. I follow a non-catholic guide but I am sure you can find some catholic ones online via google.
Good luck!!:slight_smile:

Advice on reading the bible in one year (catholic source)


If you’re wanting to read about Christ, then read the Gospels. It’s not like you have to read it in a specific order. That certainly helps when you’re working on Chronology and getting a comprehensive picture of salvation history, but if you’re reading it to be close to the Word of God then order’s not really important.

As others have suggested, there are plenty of schedules online to help you get a dose of the NT and OT as you’re reading through.


This is another way to get it done in reasonable amounts daily.


We all seem to have different opinions about this. I believe, however, that it is very important to read the Bible cover to cover, in chronological order because the Bible is the story of a relationship, the relationship of God to his chosen people (I’m not talking about just the Jews, but about all who accept him). The relationship can get quite complex and complicated at times. You wouldn’t pick up a book with many characters and subplots like Anna Karenina and read part of it from the first page, and then flip to the middle and read. You would soon find yourself terribly confused.

If you want to read about Jesus (and Christ is my focus of interest in school, too), I would recommend a book on Christ written by a good theologian. I don’t know your level of comprehension regarding theological subjects, i.e. are you a beginner, intermediate, advanced? I can understand your interest in Christ, though. However, much of what Christ does is prefigured in the Old Testament.

I hope you got a study bible. They help so much. It is okay to write in a study bible, but I use Post-Its myself. I see you are in RCIA. If your parish has a bible study group you could join that would help. The conversation is very enlightening.

I can certainly identify with reading burnout. As a fifth-year theology student, I only read one non-religious book per year (and sometimes every two years). Theology is a reading marathon. I went to bed at four in the afternoon on Saturday and got up at six on Sunday morning. I had just finished a particularly long paper. As much as I love God and as much as I love studying theology, burnout occurs. Maybe take a break and read a book written by a theologian for non-theologians.

Good luck and God bless.


What do you suggest I do? Should I continue reading a chapter a day of the Old Testament, and also start from the beginning of the New Testament, and read a chapter of it a day too?

Why not start with reading the Liturgy of the Hours daily? In a year or two, you will have covered a large portion of the Bible - both New and Old Testament, as well as a whole host of excellent writings from the doctors of the Church. You will also become more familiar with the Psalter and the liturgical cycle. It’s great for your prayer life, and the readings are diverse enough to keep your attention. Once you learn the pattern of readings, you can usually read the entire Liturgy of the Hours readings in an hour or so per day, even less if you skip the Psalter and read only the biblical and patristic writings.

Once I started to read the Liturgy of the Hours, I wanted to dive deep into the Old Testament. I started with Genesis, Exodus, but Leviticus was challenging. I picked up the Stone Edition of the Chumash, which is a plain English-Hebrew version of the first five books of the Bible, with commentary from a Jewish perspective. Art Scroll is the publisher, and they cater to English-speaking Jews that are returning to their Jewish faith, so everything is written in plain, easy to understand English. It was just what I needed.

Once I felt like I had a generally good handle on the first five books of the Bible, I then started to read the rest of the Old Testament from a combination of the Tanach (Hebrew Bible) and the Douay-Rheims Haydock commentary, reading in pretty much chronological order. When they talked about sacrifices, or altars, or incense, I was familiar as I had done a deep dive into the first five books of the Bible.

Reading the New Testament was almost a breeze by comparison, as I was familiar with the Gospels from being a lifelong Catholic. St. Paul’s writings were somewhat challenging, but if read slowly, they are easier to understand. The Book of Revelation is challenging because of all of the symbolism.

From there, I started to collect an even larger assortment of commentaries, ranging from the Mishnah (the Oral Law) - about 40 volumes total, Talmudic commentaries (72 volumes in English alone), and a whole set of the early Church fathers in about 24 volumes. Then you can get into apocalyptic literature, and more. The reading is truly endless.

My best advice is to read more, read often, and make it a daily habit. You can cover a lot of ground if you put your mind to it.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit