I have just finished reading the entire New Testament. When I got to the end, I thought to myself “Why did I not start and finish reading this sooner?” It was not difficult and it did not take a lot of time. So I have developed a simple, practical plan that should help anyone achieve the goal of reading the entire New Testament. If you pray about this, you will find deep down inside yourself, a longing to read the Word of God.

The new Testament consists of 27 Books with 260 chapters.

So 260 chapters, divided by 5 chapters per night, equals 52 nights. So this can take about 2 months (8 to 10 weeks) reading 15 to 30 minutes per night, just 5 or 6 nights a week. So start with the Gospel according to Matthew, it will take 5 or 6 nights (depending on how fast you read). Other examples: The Gospel according to Mark: 3 nights, Luke: 5 nights, John: 4 nights, Acts 5 nights. And so on.

Reading a casual 15 to 30 minutes per night (for about 2 months) is different than studying. Do not spend a lot of time on any one passage or verse other than to read the footnotes at the bottom of the page.  A casual read of the New Testament will get you familiar with the Word of God and hopefully will inspire you to further study of the Word of God. That study could be either an overview of the entire new Testament or an in-depth look into one specific book (typically one of the four Gospels).

Even if you only read through the complete New Testament once, and never participate in an in-depth study, something will change in you.  The Word of God is powerful, it has the power to change people.

Two notes:  The official translation used at Mass is the New American Bible, however I recommend the Revised Standard Version – Second Catholic Edition. See my post from August 29, 2009 for more details.

For more information about the New Testament I recommend a web site called Catholic-Resources run by Fr. Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.  His full-time ministry is providing adult biblical education.