The Bible Foundations Reading Plan & Study Guide is a 24-week Bible survey for anyone who feels uncertain about the storyline of the Bible or is interested in seeing how the books of the Bible fit together to point to Christ.
Students will read:
- The entire book of Genesis
- Most of Exodus
- Key portions of the Old Testament (OT) that advance the storyline
- Selections from Psalms and the Wisdom Literature
- The entire Gospel of John and selections from Matthew, Mark, and Luke
- Most of the New Testament books in their entirety (Acts—Jude)
- Key passages from Revelation
Each week includes study exercises and five daily readings and summaries. When portions of the Bible are passed over, “Filling in the Gaps” summaries connect the dots. Commentary is included to explain difficult concepts and highlight key themes the reader will encounter along the way. Quizzes test one’s comprehension of major sections.
By the end of the 24-week survey, Bible students should:
- Be able to place the major events of the Bible in their chronological order
- Explain and provide specific examples of how the whole Bible points to Christ
- Be familiar with the major genres of Biblical literature
- Have a basic understanding of key doctrines and lifestyle principles
- Learn how to use basic tools and online resources that aid in personal Bible study
- Grow in love for God and his Word
The Bible Foundations plan includes study exercises that require (1) a paper Bible, (2) Bible marking tools, and (3) a notebook or journal.
Acquire a paper copy of the Bible. If you do not already have a quality copy of the Bible in a more formal translation (KJV, ESV, NASB, etc.), ask your pastor for a recommendation or consider purchasing a wide-margin, double-columned English Standard Version Bible.
While assigned readings are hyperlinked to a digital Bible, it is important to have a paper copy as well. With a paper copy, you can highlight, underline, and write in the margins without restriction. For deep reading, physical books are preferable to eBooks. Turning pages helps to familiarize you with the geography of the Bible (where each book is located and the how the books are organized). Over time, your copy of the Bible will grow deeply personal. Be sure to bring this Bible to church.
Acquire a pen, pencil, and Bible highlighting kit. The Bible Dry Highlighting Kit (Set of 4) or the Zebrite Bible Marking Kit are both acceptable. Always read your Bible with marking tools in hand. Develop a generic and flexible color code for highlighting; for example:
- Yellow — general
- Blue — God
- Pink — sin or salvation
- Green — righteousness, obedience, growth
Acquire a notebook or journal to record the answers to your weekly study exercises.
Consistency is key to success. Each week:
- Read the daily summary before the assigned reading. Previewing the big picture will help to prevent you from being overwhelmed by the details of what you are reading. When included, read the commentary as well.
- Pray. Don’t forget about God when you are reading his Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your understanding. Prepare your heart to read carefully, reverently, and obediently.
- Engage with the Bible text. For each chapter that you read,try to highlight at least one verse that stands out to you. Underline key words. Write down questions in a notebook. If you do not want to interrupt your reading, simply draw a question mark (?) in pencil in the margin of your Bible and return to it later.
- Make the most of down days. Each week has five days of assigned readings or review. Use the other two days of the week to catch up, complete the week’s study exercises, or read from the book of Psalms.
A Note About Small Groups
The Bible Foundations plan is best completed in a small group setting where study exercises can be discussed. Quizzes are provided periodically and may be reviewed by a class leader.