Plan & Approach

Over the course of 7 weeks (50 days), you can read the whole Bible and begin to master the lessons of it.

The phases below are not meant to be sequential steps, but are a way of dividing up different aspects of study,
so that, understanding each aspect, they can then be fit together into a committed practice.

Take a look at the following steps and resources, including the Tone Map,
and begin to visualize your practice, and set up your reading environment.

Phase 1/3: Clearing Basics/Grammar

Look through the whole Bible to see what is there. This is a phase chosen for [re-]orientation, not for intense study.
If you have not read the KJV much before, then you should take additional time here
to skim through and get accustomed to the style and grammar, and recollect a few incidents and events.
You may want to cross-reference it with a modern translation as you go, such as the NIV. (KJV+NIV @ BibleGateway)

Method: Divide it up into parts. This is a useful whether reading for discovery, comprehension, or memorization:

  • Divide verses into about 3 parts or phrases-groups (maybe first 2 parts of equal length, and last one shorter or longer).
    Try different division-points to see what creates the most sense out of the verse. (Check spreadsheet below for a demo.)
    You’ll improve your intuition of how certain comma-separated phrases in the verse are meant to connect with one another.

    KJV_raw2022.ODS (OpenOffice spreadsheet) ← Common KJV text file found online.
    KJV_split2022.ODS (OpenOffice spreadsheet) ← All phrases separated!
    KJV_rsplit2022.ODS (OpenOffice spreadsheet) ← Single-word phrases re-combined.

    Here, every KJV verse is already split up at each kind of punctuation characters (there are 8: . , : ; ? ! ( ) )
    Try re-combining lines in different ways to see which arrangement (nesting) of phrases is most clear.
    This is a great tool for puzzling out verses, and also, you'll begin to spot these optimal paths automatically.
  • Group verses into sets or sections of about 4 or 5 verses, forming rough paragraphs which focus on one key idea.
    (As a beginner, sometimes a new line sounds like a totally new & separate thought, because you lack the background to be able
    to see a connection between that phrase and what came immediately before. Try to overcome assumptions of "no connection.")
    Try different sectionings of the chapter to see what makes sense. Because the original KJV lacks chapter & section headings,
    you have opportunity to develop your own sense of how the narrator or speaker chose to arrange their ideas, within the chapter.
    (But indeed, this work has been done many times over: Examples & listings are easy to find, and are very helpful for a beginner.)

Before moving ahead, dedicate time to look into the Book of Revelation, with its future promises & recursive themes.
I name Revelation the "captain" of the Bible's "fifty books" (according to the Hebrew count of 24 OT books, plus 27 NT books).

Phase 2/3: Clearing Words

Read the whole Bible over for full comprehension of the story narrative, and word comprehension,
noting odd words and using a dictionary to clear their definitions: Bible Dictionary

Over 7 weeks, make a habit of thoroughly reading and working through a consistent amount of material.
In "combing through it," work mainly toward pronouncing all the syllables of it in a quick and steady rhythm.
Using 105 BPM, either 3 syllables or 4 syllables per each beat are good speeds to try.
Reading out loud, at a decent pace, ensures your mind is not wandering and that you're properly assembling the phrases.
(If you trip up, it indicates that you've not discerned the correct grammatical arrangement of the phrase or sentence.)
But, don't use a metronome when reading. Whenever you trip up, just continue repeating until you feel that it sounds natural.

See Syllables Note, below.

Here is my list of 51 equal partitions, divided not by verse count, nor by word count, but by syllable count.
(Each part can be read in 1 Hour, depending on extra time you may spend looking up words or explanations).

Daily Reading Chap. Count
(0) (Rev 1-22)
1 Gen 1-24 24
2 Gen 25-41 17
3 Gen 42-50, Exo 1-10 19
4 Exo 11-28 18
5 Exo 29-40, Lev 1-6 18
6 Lev 7-21 15
7 Lev 22-27, Num 1-7 13
8 Num 8-23 16
9 Num 24-36, Deu 1-3 16
10 Deu 4-23 20
11 Deu 24-34, Jos 1-7 18
12 Jos 8-24 17
13 Jdg 1-17 17
14 Jdg 18-21,(Rut 1-4),1Sa 1-12 20
15 1Sa 13-28 16
16 1Sa 29-31, 2Sa 1-16 19
17 2Sa 17-24, 1Ki 1-6 14
18 1Ki 7-20 14
19 1Ki 21-22, 2Ki 1-13 15
20 2Ki 14-25, 1Ch 1-4 16
(20.1) (1Ch 5-23) (19)
(20.2) (1Ch 24-29, 2Ch 1-15) (21)
(20.3) (2Ch 15-33) (19)
21 2Ch 34-36,(Ezr 1-10),Neh 1-6 19
22 Neh 7-13,(Est 1-10),Job 1-4 21
23 Job 5-39 35
24 Job 40-42, Psa 1-49 52
25 Psa 50-99 50
26 Psa 100-150 51
27 Pro 1-31 31
Daily Reading Chap. Count
28 Ecc 1-12,(Sng 1-8),Isa 1-11 31
29 Isa 12-39 28
30 Isa 40-66 27
31 Jer 1-19 19
32 Jer 20-36 17
33 Jer 37-52 16
34 Lam 1-5, Eze 1-17 22
35 Eze 18-34 17
36 Eze 35-48, Dan 1-2 16
37 Dan 3-12, Hos 1-14 24
38 Joe 1-3,(A,O,J,M,N,Hb),Zep 1-3 33
39 Hag 1-2,(Zec,Mal),Mat 1-7 27
40 Mat 8-24 17
41 Mat 25-28, Mrk 1-11 15
42 Mrk 12-16, Luk 1-9 14
43 Luk 10-24 15
44 Jhn 1-15 15
45 Jhn 16-21, Act 1-11 17
46 Act 12-28 17
47 Rom 1-16, 1Co 1-9 25
48 1Co 10-16,(2Co,Gal),Eph 1-2 28
49 Eph 3-6,(Pp,Col,Th,Ti,Tit),Phn 1 34
50 Heb 1-13,(Jam,1Pe),2Pe 1-3 26
51 1Jn 1-5,(2Jn,3Jn,Jud),Rev 1-22 30
Alternate Ending
49* Eph 1-6,(Php,Col,1Th),2Th 1-3 22
50* 1Ti 1-6,(2Ti,Tit,Phn),Heb 1-13 27
51* Jam 1-5,(1-2Pe,1-3Jn),Jud 1 21
(0) Rev 1-22 22
(totals) 1,189

I counted the syllables of each unique word of the KJV, then used a script to get a syllable-count for each verse.
I came up with ~1,034,350 total syllables in the Bible. I then tried some different-sized partitions, before settling on 54
(the 3 partitions corresponding to Chronicles are omitted). The partitions listed above are each about 19,140 syllables.

Phase 3/3: Clear Way For Memory (7-Day Cycles)

Finally, adapt the chart above for Weekly reading (~2 pages per day for 6 days, plus 1 day of review or preview).
There are always, at minimum, 51 unbroken weeks in a year (Sunday-Saturday).

Here we can commit to the habit of "reading with intent to memorize."
Having cleared most words (and grammar, etc.), you won't encounter too much hindrance as you begin drilling repetitions.

After regularly pronouncing material over a number of days, you'll find that when you try to memorize it, it comes naturally.
But truly, the desired result is to be able to rapidly recite while also following along with text (or even abbreviated text):
half by memory and half by reading.

At this phase, you'll have sizeable sections stored in your mind as you read elsewhere in the book,
so you'll readily form connections between different sections, and you'll build your own round understanding of the concepts.
Committing to memory either the Beginning or the Ending are the 2 excellent choices of what to start with;
but the Ending is preferred, as that is where all promises, even all of Scripture, are fulfilled.

Syllables Note

English is not always clear about how many syllables a word should have; one might think fewer syllables is more efficient.
But when reciting quickly, it is sloppy to merge sounds together. The general rule is to maximize syllable count, within reason.
If you feel that a word's been expanded to too many syllables, try repeating it quicker: you'll hear that it sounds clean & natural.
Examples from Revelation: sa-ith, mi-se-ra-ble, im-me-di-ate-ly, mys-ter-y, vic-to-ry, mar-vel-lous, de-fi-l-eth

  • Infixed "-er-" (and some others), though it could be merged without issue → best to consistently expand it.
  • The ending sounds "-ile" and "-ire" → 2 syllables
  • The ending "-ed" → handle as in Standard English (separated in the following words only when they are adjectives:
    agèd, blessèd, cursèd, crookèd, learnèd, leggèd, nakèd, raggèd, wickèd, wretchèd, ..)
  • The ending cluster "-st" can be dropped, or reduced: E.g. canst → "cans", didst → "dids"
  • If the word "which" creates a tongue-twister situation → can be spoken as "what"
  • For Proper Names, simply try sounding out every vowel letter…
    … except in cases of double-vowels or digraphs: E.g. "-ee", "-ea", "-ae" → 1 syllable

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