Reading the Old Testament chronologically


I have only read a tiny bit of the OT and parts I hear at Sunday mass. Recently I got a very strong desire to read it all and I would like to start today, to read a section every day. I have looked up on the internet various ways to organise the reading, but feel that I need to read it in order, following the sequence of books in the Bible. I m not interested in combining it with the psalms and the NT, as some reading guides suggest.

Since this would be my first reading I aim to get through the text with the help of some notes, but not go into an in depth study at this point. I have the RSV edition which is considered to be a wonderful translation and has some notes.

Any tips from experienced readers? How long should this take? What are the good accompanying materials?

Many tanks for any insight you might have. And please pray for me to persevere in this endeavour.


I have done this (well Old Testament followed by New Testament in my case). I’m following a course on a site called CUGN, which provides lectures and commentaries as you go. Its a worthwhile endeavor, as you will become a lot more familiar with the Bible and be able to see for instance the context of readings at Mass or a passage someone mentions. You will be able to see how everything fits together. My advice would be little and often. 20 minutes till your favorite TV program starts? Get your Bible out. Half and hour on the bus to work? Get your Bible out. You’ll be surprised how fast this adds up. The books of prophecy are probably the most difficult part, there are a lot of them and they often don’t make a lot of sense. But when you finish the OT, I’d strongly advise then reading the Gospels, as you will then understand better how the Bible fits together.


I thoroughly enjoyed reading the OT using Scott Hahn’s courses through the St Paul link here. Covenant Theology really tied it all together for me.


Thank you, that’s great, exactly what I’m looking for :thumbsup:


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