Have you ever wanted to read through the Bible in a year? Or perhaps you’ve tried those Bible-reading plans that alternate between an Old Testament and New Testament text, interlaced with Psalms and Proverbs… but keeping track of it all made you give up?
Yep. I’ve been in both those camps. And sometimes it can be so overwhelming that you just stop trying to read the Bible altogether. Thankfully, The One Year Bible for Women helps, and I’m so grateful to my friends at Tyndale for sending me a copy to review and share with you all.
- Daily reading format: One of the most helpful features of this Bible, as befits its name, is that it divides the text of Scripture into daily readings from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. These daily readings are meant to take about 15 minutes a day—that’s totally doable! You can read while making your morning coffee, during your lunch break at work, or even as you settle into bed at the end of the day. (I actually timed myself this morning and I finished reading in 14 minutes.)
- Daily devotional: At the end of every day’s reading there is a short daily devotional that is about 100 words. Again, very doable. The devotional reflection helps you understand how you can contextualize what you are reading to your own life.
- Translation: The One Year Bible for Women is the New Living Translation (NLT), considered a dynamic equivalent translation, which means bible scholars translated it thought-for-thought. This allows for a very readable and easy-to-understand experience. It’s a great entry point for someone who may be newer to studying and reading the Bible! (Wondering which translation is right for you? Here’s a simple guide.)
What I Wish Was Different:
- Chapter headings: It’s really hard to find a specific chapter and verse in the One Year Bible for Women, (not necessarily a design flaw since that’s not the way this Bible is intended to be used). I just encourage you to think about what you’re trying to accomplish when you consider using this Bible. Like it probably won’t be the Bible you take with you to church to follow along with your pastor’s teaching. But it will be the Bible that helps you read through all of Scripture in a year. It’s a very specific function of this Bible that is not necessarily a drawback but just something to be aware of.
- Study notes: Another thing to know is that there are no study notes in this Bible. This Bible is pretty much just the text broken up into daily reading portions. Now this can be something good if you find yourself distracted or overwhelmed by too many notes on a page. And if your goal is really to read the bible cover to cover, then this Bible will definitely help you do that!
What I Like:
- No skipping books: I truly think that we are a famished people when it comes to Bible literacy. Never before has any generation had so much access to so many resources about God’s word! And yet we are so biblically illiterate. I believe it is important to read through and know the whole counsel of Scripture. So whether you use the One Year Bible for Women or you use the Bible on your shelf, let me encourage you to avoid skipping books of the Bible, and, even now, pause and pray this simple prayer:
God, will you give me a hunger for Your Word. Will you make Your Word Spirit and Life to me. Help me to desire to read the Bible every day.
- Deeper engagement: At the beginning of the One Year Bible for Women, you’ll find this great user guide that provides practical ways you can engage scripture at a deeper level. If you are going to read through the Bible in a year, then at least one or two times a week try to set aside an extra few minutes to really dive deeper and slow down. Truly the point of reading through the Bible is not to just check it off our list, but to get God’s Word into our hearts so that we may grow to know and love Him more!
The user guide also provides alternate reading plans. I really like the Split Plan where you can split your time and read half of the daily bible readings in the morning and then half in the evening. There’s also a two or three year plan if you feel like you’re cramming too much reading and just speed reading to get through the text.
Who It’s For:
- If you’ve never read through the Bible cover to cover, this Bible is the way to do it!
- If you are the Type-A personality who really just wants a daily checklist with everything laid out for you then you’ll enjoy the daily texts that are pre-selected for each day.
- If you are easily distracted by your phone when looking at the Bible app and going to your Instagram, your email, or that favorite place to shop instead of reading Scripture then maybe it’s time to go analog instead of digital.
- This Bible makes a great gift for couples or individuals! The One Year Bible for Womencan be paired with the One Year Bible for Men, making these Bibles a great resource for couples’ devotional experiences.
To summarize, I think the One Year Bible for Women is a wonderful resource for those who are looking to read the Bible cover to cover and like the simplicity of daily readings. My word of caution is to check your heart and make sure that you don’t miss Jesus in your checklist reading. Every day as you’re reading through God’s Word, ask yourself “what’s one thing I learn about God in this text?” and what is something He is calling me to do in response? Don’t miss Jesus in your reading of Scripture.
I hope this review has been helpful to you! And whether you use the One Year Bible for Women or the one that’s been on your shelf for months, I hope you make time to enjoy Jesus in His Word today!