II Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness.” Jesus and His disciples were Jewish and Jesus came to the Jewish people. (The only written “Word” available at the time of Jesus ministry and during the formation of the early Church was the Old Testament). The New Testament condenses the gospel from the Old Testament so it becomes straight forward to behold the gospel. Jesus made it very clear during His ministry that He was sent just to the Jewish people therefore, Jesus’ teaching was focused on the Jewish people and their culture. The Old Testament is much longer than the New Testament for a reason. Many subjects in the Old Testament are described in much greater depth than in the New Testament. If we ignore the Jewish context, we will miss many of the truths Jesus taught.
When attempting to read the whole Bible, there are many reading plans available from a broad range of organizations.
Developing your own plan is also an option. It is not difficult to prepare your own plan but there are a few issues to consider: 1) It is important to prepare a plan that maintains interest. 2) It is important to read extra Chapters regularly so you do not feel the pressure of getting behind. There are a total of 1176 chapters in the Bible, 929 chapters in the Old Testament and 247 in the New Testament. Since there are 365 days in year and you now know how many chapters there are, it is easy to formulate a personal plan. I believe that the Bible books were placed in the order they are in for a reason although there are Bibles with the books in historical order. In addition, a good Study Bible is helpful and something like Haley’s Bible Handbook will add to the enjoyment. With the exception of the first 17 books, the books are by no means in historical order.
I have been reading the Bible yearly for over 50 years. The first time I read it, it was hard but Cheryl and I were doing it together which provided some extra motivation. After I read the first book of the New Testament, the Holy Spirit prompted my interest and I couldn’t quit. The next year I read the whole Bible three times and since then I have read the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice nearly every year. May God prompt your interest to begin reading the whole (Bible) counsel of God regularly. The Bible is infinitely deep, it never gets boring no matter how many times you read it. Psalms 119:43-47 says,:
“43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
for my hope is in thy ordinances.
44 I will keep thy law continually,
for ever and ever;
45 and I shall walk at liberty,
for I have sought thy precepts.
46 I will also speak of thy testimonies before kings,
and shall not be put to shame;
47 for I find my delight in thy commandments,
which I love.
(All quoted verses are from the Revised Standard Version) from which I have completed all scripture memory