Chapter 1.
Studying and reading the Bible

Introduction

Surprisingly few Christians have ever read the Bible from cover to cover. Where should we start? For those who would like to try this, Part 1 begins with a Bible reading plan devised and used by the godly Scottish minister, Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813-43). Those who follow his Bible reading schedule will read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice in a year.

R. A. Torrey was appointed by D. L. Moody to be the first head of what we today know as the Moody Bible Institute. Torrey's basic methods for studying the Bible are now given, together with some examples of ways of studying particular passages. You'll need a pencil and notebook here, if you want to derive maximum benefit from his methods of Bible study. This chapter then includes some straightforward Bible studies.

Some of the numerous helpful methods of Bible study are then explained. Examples of the "microscopic" approach to Bible study and the "telescopic" approach to Bible study are given. It is easy to misinterpret the Bible, so some of the basic principles which help us to interpret it correctly are therefore also given in this section.

Some people think that it is almost irreverent or perhaps distracting to write on the pages of a Bible, while others like to write notes all over their Bibles to remind them of important points they have heard or thought. For the latter group, a systematic set of Bible markings and symbols has been provided as an aid to Bible study It is not possible to follow through the Bible studies in this book without agreeing with the psalmist who said that he loved God's word "more than gold, more than pure gold" (Psalm 119:127).

Reading through the Bible in one year

Chart: January Thru' February

January Thru' February
JANUARYFEBRUARY
DateMorningEveningDateMorningEvening
01Genesis 1, Matthew 1Ezra 1, Acts 101Genesis 33, Mark 4Esther 9, 10, Romans 4
02Genesis 2, Matthew 2Ezra 2, Acts 202Genesis 34, Mark 5Job 1, Romans 5
03Genesis 3, Matthew 3Ezra 3, Acts 303Genesis 35, 36, Mark 6Job 2, Romans 6
04Genesis 4, Matthew 4Ezra 4, Acts 404Genesis 37, Mark 7Job 3, Romans 7
05Genesis 5, Matthew 5Ezra 5, Acts 505Genesis 38, Mark 8Job 4, Romans 8
06Genesis 6, Matthew 6Ezra 6, Acts 606Genesis 39, Mark 9Job 5, Romans 9
07Genesis 7, Matthew 7Ezra 7, Acts 707Genesis 40, Mark 10Job 6, Romans 10
08Genesis 8, Matthew 8Ezra 8, Acts 808Genesis 41, Mark 11Job 7, Romans 11
09Genesis 9,10, Matthew 9Ezra 9, Acts 909Genesis 42, Mark 12Job 8, Romans 12
10Genesis 11, Matthew 10Ezra 10, Acts 1010Genesis 43, Mark 13Job 9, Romans 13
11Genesis 12, Matthew 11Nehemiah 1, Acts 1111Genesis 44, Mark 14Job 10, Romans 14
12Genesis 13, Matthew 12Nehemiah 2, Acts 1212Genesis 45, Mark 15Job 11, Romans 15
13Genesis 14, Matthew 13Nehemiah 3, Acts 1313Genesis 46, Mark 16Job 12, Romans 16
14Genesis 15, Matthew 14Nehemiah 4, Acts 1414Genesis 47, Luke 1:1-38Job 13, 1 Corinthians 1
15Genesis 16, Matthew 15Nehemiah 5, Acts 1515Genesis 48, Luke 1:39-80Job 14, 1 Corinthians 2
16Genesis 17, Matthew 16Nehemiah 6, Acts 1616Genesis 49, Luke 2Job 15, 1 Corinthians 3
17Genesis 18, Matthew 17Nehemiah 7, Acts 1717Genesis 50, Luke 3Job 16, 17, 1 Corinthians 4
18Genesis 19, Matthew 18Nehemiah 8, Acts 1818Exodus 1, Luke 4Job 18, 1 Corinthians 5
19Genesis 20, Matthew 19Nehemiah 9, Acts 1919Exodus 2, Luke 5Job 19, 1 Corinthians 6
20Genesis 21, Matthew 20Nehemiah 10, Acts 2020Exodus 3, Luke 6Job 20, 1 Corinthians 7
21Genesis 22, Matthew 21Nehemiah 11, Acts 2121Exodus 4, Luke 7Job 21, 1 Corinthians 8
22Genesis 23, Matthew 22Nehemiah 12, Acts 2222Exodus 5, Luke 8Job 22, 1 Corinthians 9
23Genesis 24, Matthew 23Nehemiah 13, Acts 2323Exodus 6, Luke 9Job 23, 1 Corinthians 10
24Genesis 25, Matthew 24Esther 1, Acts 2424Exodus 7, Luke 10Job 24, 1 Corinthians 11
25Genesis 26, Matthew 25Esther 2, Acts 2525Exodus 8, Luke 11Job 25, 26, 1 Corinthians 12
26Genesis 27, Matthew 26Esther 3, Acts 2626Exodus 9, Luke 12Job 27, 1 Corinthians 13
27Genesis 28, Matthew 27Esther 4, Acts 2727Exodus 10, Luke 13Job 28, 1 Corinthians 14
28Genesis 29, Matthew 28Esther 5, Acts 2828Exodus 11, 12:21, Luke 14Job 29, 1 Corinthians 15
29Genesis 30, Mark 1Esther 6, Romans 1
30Genesis 31, Mark 2Esther 7, Romans 2
31Genesis 32, Mark 3Esther 8, Romans 3

Robert Murray McCheyne

Robert Murray McCheyne compiled this Bible reading schedule in 1842. There are four Bible readings for each day, two in the morning and two in the evening which will take you through the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice, in a year.

Chart: March Thru' April

March Thru' April
MARCHAPRIL
DateMorningEveningDateMorningEvening
01Exodus 12:22-51, Luke 15Job 30, 1 Corinthians 1601Leviticus 4, Psalms 1, 2Proverbs 19, Colossians 2
02Exodus 13, Luke 16Job 31, 2 Corinthians 102Leviticus 5, Psalms 3, 4Proverbs 20, Colossians 3
03Exodus 14, Luke 17Job 32, 2 Corinthians 203Leviticus 6, Psalms 5, 6Proverbs 21, Colossians 4
04Exodus 15, Luke 18Job 33, 2 Corinthians 304Leviticus 7, Psalms 7, 8Proverbs 22, 1 Thessalonians 1
05Exodus 16, Luke 19Job 34, 2 Corinthians 405Leviticus 8, Psalm 9Proverbs 23, 1 Thessalonians 2
06Exodus 17, Luke 20Job 35, 2 Corinthians 506Leviticus 9, Psalm 10Proverbs 24, 1 Thessalonians 3
07Exodus 18, Luke 21Job 36, 2 Corinthians 607Lev. 10, Psalms 11, 12Proverbs 25, 1 Thessalonians 4
08Exodus 19, Luke 22Job 37, 2 Corinthians 708Lev. 11, 12, Psalms 13, 14Proverbs 26, 1 Thessalonians 5
09Exodus 20, Luke 23Job 38, 2 Corinthians 809Lev. 13, Psalms 15, 16Proverbs 27, 2 Thessalonians 1
10Exodus 21, Luke 24Job 39, 2 Corinthians 910Lev. 14, Psalm 17Proverbs 28, 2 Thessalonians 2
11Exodus 22, John 1Job 40, 2 Corinthians 1011Lev. 15, Psalm 18Proverbs 29, 2 Thessalonians 3
12Exodus 23, John 2Job 41, 2 Corinthians 1112Lev. 16, Psalm 19Proverbs 30, 1 Timothy 1
13Exodus 24, John 3Job 42, 2 Corinthians 1213Lev. 17, Psalms 20, 21Proverbs 31, 1 Timothy 2
14Exodus 25, John 4Proverbs 1, 2 Corinthians 1314Lev. 18, Psalm 22Ecclesiastes 1, 1 Timothy 3
15Exodus 26, John 5Proverbs 2, Galatians 115Lev. 19, Psalms 23, 24Ecclesiastes 2, 1 Timothy 4
16Exodus 27, John 6Proverbs 3, Galatians 216Lev. 20, Psalm 25Ecclesiastes 3, 1 Timothy 5
17Exodus 28, John 7Proverbs 4, Galatians 317Lev. 21, Psalms 26, 27Ecclesiastes 4, 1 Timothy 6
18Exodus 29, John 8Proverbs 5, Galatians 418Lev. 22, Psalms 28, 29Ecclesiastes 5, 2 Timothy 1
19Exodus 30, John 9Proverbs 6, Galatians 519Lev. 23, Psalm 30Ecclesiastes 6, 2 Timothy 2
20Exodus 31, John 10Proverbs 7, Galatians 620Lev. 24, Psalm 31Ecclesiastes 7, 2 Timothy 3
21Exodus 32, John 11Proverbs 8, Ephesians 121Lev. 25, Psalm 32Ecclesiastes 8, 2 Timothy 4
22Exodus 33, John 12Proverbs 9, Ephesians 222Lev. 26, Psalm 33Ecclesiastes 9, Titus 1
23Exodus 34, John 13Proverbs 10, Ephesians 323Lev. 27, Psalm 34Ecclesiastes 10, Titus 2
24Exodus 35, John 14Proverbs 11, Ephesians 424Numbers 1, Psalm 35Ecclesiastes 11, Titus 3
25Exodus 36, John 15Proverbs 12, Ephesians 525Numbers 2, Psalm 36Ecclesiastes 12, Philemon
26Exodus 37, John 16Proverbs 13, Ephesians 626Numbers 3, Psalm 37Song of Sol. 1, Hebrews 1
27Exodus 38, John 17Proverbs 14, Philippians 127Numbers 4, Psalm 38Song of Sol. 2, Hebrews 2
28Exodus 39, John 18Proverbs 15, Philippians 228Numbers 5, Psalm 39Song of Sol. 3, Hebrews 3
29Exodus 40, John 19Proverbs 16, Philippians 329Numbers 6, Psalms 40, 41Song of Sol. 4, Hebrews 4
30Leviticus 1, John 20Proverbs 17, Philippians 430Numbers 7, Psalms 42, 43Song of Sol. 5, Hebrews 5
31Leviticus 2, 3, John 21Proverbs 18, Colossians 1

Chart: May Thru' June

May Thru' June
MAYJUNE
DateMorningEveningDateMorningEvening
01Numbers 8, Psalm 44Song of Sol. 6, Hebrews 601Deuteronomy 5, Psalm 88Isaiah 33, Revelation 3
02Numbers 9, Psalm 45Song of Sol. 7, Hebrews 702Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 89Isaiah 34, Revelation 4
03Numbers 10, Psalms 46, 47Song of Sol. 8, Hebrews 803Deuteronomy 7, Psalm 90Isaiah 35, Revelation 5
04Numbers 11, Psalm 48Isaiah 1, Hebrews 904Deuteronomy 8, Psalm 91Isaiah 36, Revelation 6
05Numbers 12, 13, Psalm 49Isaiah 2, Hebrews 1005Deuteronomy 9, Psalms 92, 93Isaiah 37, Revelation 7
06Numbers 14, Psalm 50Isaiah 3, 4, Hebrews 1106Deuteronomy 10, Psalm 94Isaiah 38, Revelation 8
07Numbers 15, Psalm 51Isaiah 5, Hebrews 1207Deuteronomy 11, Psalms 95, 96Isaiah 39, Revelation 9
08Numbers 16, Psalms 52-54Isaiah 6, Hebrews 1308Deuteronomy 12, Psalms 97, 98Isaiah 40, Revelation 10
09Numbers 17, 18, Psalm 55Isaiah 7, James 109Deut. 13, 14, Psalms 99-101Isaiah 41, Revelation 11
10Numbers 19, Psalms 56, 57Isaiah 8-9:7, James 210Deuteronomy 15, Psalm 102Isaiah 42, Revelation 12
11Numbers 20, Psalms 58, 59Isa. 9:8-10:4, James 311Deuteronomy 16, Psalm 103Isaiah 43, Revelation 13
12Numbers 21, Psalms 60, 61Isa. 10:5-34, James 412Deuteronomy 17, Psalm 104Isaiah 44, Revelation 14
13Numbers 22, Psalms 62, 63Isaiah 11, 12, James 513Deuteronomy 18, Psalm 105Isaiah 45, Revelation 15
14Numbers 23, Psalms 64, 65Isaiah 13, 1 Peter 114Deuteronomy 19, Psalm 106Isaiah 46, Revelation 16
15Numbers 24, Psalms 66, 67Isaiah 14, 1 Peter 215Deuteronomy 20, Psalm 107Isaiah 47, Revelation 17
16Numbers 25, Psalm 68Isaiah 15, 1 Peter 316Deut. 21, Psalms 108, 109Isaiah 48, Revelation 18
17Numbers 26, Psalm 69Isaiah 16, 1 Peter 417Deut. 22, Psalms 110, 111Isaiah 49, Revelation 19
18Numbers 27, Psalms 70, 71Isaiah 17, 18, 1 Peter 518Deut. 23, Psalms 112, 113Isaiah 50, Revelation 20
19Numbers 28, Psalm 72Isaiah 19, 20, 2 Peter 119Deut. 24, Psalms 114, 115Isaiah 51, Revelation 21
20Numbers 29, Psalm 73Isaiah 21, 2 Peter 220Deuteronomy 25, Psalm 116Isaiah 52, Revelation 22
21Numbers 30, Psalm 74Isaiah 22, 2 Peter 321Deut. 26, Psalms 117, 118Isaiah 53, Matthew 1
22Numbers 31, Psalms 75, 76Isaiah 23, 1 John 122Deut. 27-28:19, Psalm 119:1-24Isaiah 54, Matthew 2
23Numbers 32, Psalm 77Isaiah 24, 1 John 223Deut. 28:20-68, Psalm 119:25-48Isaiah 55, Matthew 3
24Numbers 33, Psalm 78:1-37Isaiah 25, 1 John 324Deut. 29, Psalm 119:49-72Isaiah 56, Matthew 4
25Numbers 34, Psalm 78:38-72Isaiah 26, 1 John 425Deut. 30, Psalm 119:73-96Isaiah 57, Matthew 5
26Numbers 35, Psalm 79Isaiah 27, 1 John 526Deut. 31, Psalm 119:97-120Isaiah 58, Matthew 6
27Numbers 36, Psalm 80Isaiah 28, 2 John 127Deut. 32, Ps. 119:121-144Isaiah 59, Matthew 7
28Deuteronomy 1, Psalms 81, 82Isaiah 29, 3 John 128Deut. 33, 34, Ps. 119:145-176Isaiah 60, Matthew 8
29Deuteronomy 2, Psalms 83, 84Isaiah 30, Jude 129Joshua 1, Psalms 120-122Isaiah 61, Matthew 9
30Deuteronomy 3, Psalm 85Isaiah 31, Revelation 130Joshua 2, Psalms 123-125Isaiah 62, Matthew 10
31Deuteronomy 4, Psalms 86, 87Isaiah 32, Revelation 2