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How Evenly Distributed Is Your Daily Bible Reading Plan?

A perfectly evenly distributed Bible reading plan would have you read about 85 verses each day to get through the Bible in a year. The Bible doesn’t break up into nice, logical 85-verse sections, however, and reading-plan designers have to decide when to vary from a strict 85-verse-a-day schedule. For example, they’ll often have you read complete chapters in a day, which differ in length.

Here are the distribution patterns for a number of the ESV Bible reading plans. (I picked these plans only because the ESV API lets you calculate this data pretty easily.)

Tight Distribution

These two plans tend to have you read roughly the same number of verses every day.

Every Day in the Bible

Chronological Bible

Medium Distribution

These three plans are somewhat more inconsistent.

Outreach Bible

Daily Reading Bible

Through the Bible

Loose Distribution

These two plans significantly vary the number of verses you read each day. (At the extreme, on April 29, the Literary / ESV Study Bible plan has you reading over 200 verses.) However, as I understand it, the idea behind the Literary Study Bible reading plan is to have you read literary units each day, so this variation could be by design.


Literary Study Bible and ESV Study Bible

3 Responses to “How Evenly Distributed Is Your Daily Bible Reading Plan?”

  1. Kyle says:

    Very nice; I’ve wanted to do something like this myself but I’d forgotten all about the ESV API… my plan was to note the number of verses in each day’s chapters and populate my own database at the end of the year… your way is much more efficient!

    Also, you’ve been linked by the ESV blog (

  2. […] has taken this even further by charting the verse distribution in each of these plans. For instance, in the M’Cheyne One-Year Reading Plan, which I’m […]

  3. Rick Avery says:

    I read daily, but not a strict amount. I find a subject that interests me and I chase down the applicable verses until I think I understand it better. Then I write my understanding down in a post so as to solidify my thoughts. It helps me a lot. I post on It gets habit-forming. I can’t wait to pick my next topic.