How Long Does It Take to Read the Bible?

by | Nov 23, 2023 | Theology | 0 comments

The thought of reading the entire Bible often appears intimidating and most Christians are too scared to even attempt it. The Bible is a library of 66 books and it makes sense that reading through all of them seems like an insurmountable challenge. However, it is not – if you break it into smaller portions. The Bible is already broken down into chapters and verses so instead of setting out to read the entire bible, you can just target to read a chapter or two per day. 

Reading the Bible

Assuming a reading speed of approximately 200 words per minute, you will need 54-72 hours to complete reading the Bible. However, this time will be affected by several variables including the Bible translation and the time you might spend studying or meditating on some of the scriptures. 

One reason why Christians do not read the Bible is the time. But if you think about the time we spend reading other literature, the Bible will not appear to be too large after all.

A good example is the Harry Porter Series of books. The series has sold over half a billion copies making it the best-selling book series in human history. The last four books in the series set a record for the fastest-selling books in history. The cumulative number of pages in the entire series is 4,100 pages. In contrast, a standard Bible has only 960 pages. By this standard, the person who reads the entire Harry Potter series would easily read through the Bible four times at the same time. 

Even if you are not into reading novels like Harry Potter, you still have some other pastime. Think of the time you spend watching TV every week – what if you converted that time into reading the word instead? Let’s say you are watching a game every weekend. An average football game will air for 3 hours. If you spend this time reading the Bible, you will cover a lot of ground. 

Let’s do some simple maths. On average, an adult reads between 200-300 words per minute. Some have an exceptionally high word per minute rate (wpm) with some going as high as 800 wpm. So assuming an average word rate of 250 wpm, you could have gone through the books of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians,

1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude. 

Granted, you will not read at the same wpm rate throughout the reading session. Also, there is a good chance you will spend more time in a chapter as you meditate and study it. However, the estimate of the time you would need to go through the books is a good indication of how easy it is to read through the Bible in a short time.  More importantly, it is clear that we have enough time to read the Bible.

Bible Reading Time Estimation

The exact time you will need to read through the entire Bible will vary based on your reading speed as well as the translation of the Bible you are using. For instance, the Amplified Bible is typically longer than the King James Bible because it often uses more words to “amplify” a verse. However, it will take you an average of 54 -72 hours to read through the Bible. The exact time will depend on the average word per minute. For instance, if you do an average of 200 words per minute, you need around 67 hours and 18 minutes to go through the Bible. 

However, very few people, if any, can read the Bible in one sitting. So let’s say you read the Bible for only 6 minutes a day. If you do it consistently, you could easily read through the entire New Testament in just 6 months. If you want to read through the entire Bible in a year, you just need to read 2-3 chapters a day, and that will take you approximately 11 minutes. 

The table below gives the approximate time it would take you to read through the different books of the Bible. These estimates were given by Jonathan Burns using an estimated reading speed of 150 words per minute. 

Book Read Time
Genesis 3 hours, 30 minutes
Exodus 3 hours
Leviticus 2 hours
Numbers 3 hours
Deuteronomy 2 hours 30 minutes
Joshua 1 hour 45 minutes
Judges 1 hour 45 minutes
Ruth 15 minutes
1 & 2 Samuel 4 Hours
1 & 2 Kings 4 hours 15 minutes
1 & 2 Chronicles 4 hours 30 minutes
Ezra 40 minutes
Nehemiah 1 hour
Esther 30 Minutes
Job 1 Hour 45 Minutes
Psalms 5 hours
Proverbs 1 hour 45 minutes
Ecclesiastes 30 minutes
Song of Solomon 20 minutes
Isaiah 3 hours 45 minutes
Jeremiah 4 hours
Lamentations  20 minutes
Ezekiel 3 hours 45 minutes
Daniel 1 hour 15 minutes
Hosea 30 minutes
Joel 12 minutes
Amos  25 minutes
Obadiah  4 minutes
Jonah 8 minutes
Micah 20 minutes
Nahum 8 minutes
Habakkuk 9 minutes
Zephaniah 10 minutes
Haggai 7 minutes
Zachariah 40 minutes
Malachi 11 minutes
Mathew 2 hours 30 minutes
Mark 1 hour 30 minutes
Luke 2 hours 30 minutes
John  2 hours 15 minutes
Acts 2 hours 15 minutes
Romans 1 hour
1 Corinthians  1 hour
2 Corinthians  45 minutes
Galatians  20 minutes
Ephesians  20 minutes
Philippians  15 minutes
Colossians  15 minutes
1 Thessalonians 15 minutes
2 Thessalonians 9 minutes
1 Timothy 15 minutes
2 Timothy 10 minutes
Titus 5 minutes
Philemon 3 minutes
Hebrews 45 minutes
James  15 minutes
1 Peter 15 minutes
2 Peter  10 minutes
1 John 15 minutes
2 John 3 minutes
3 John  2 minutes
Jude 4 minutes
Revelation 1 hour 15 minutes

Conclusion

As we have demonstrated, reading the Bible is not as hard as it may seem. By just reading the Bible for around 11 minutes a day, you will easily go through the Bible in a year. And that is assuming a conservative reading speed of 150 words per minute. So, reading through the Bible is not as hard as it might have seemed after all!

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About: Ronie

Ronnie Amaya has been actively involved in ministry since his high school and university days where he served as a Christian union leader. After graduation, he worked as an itinerary minister preaching in Schools, Universities, Street Evangelizations, and Churches. In 2018, he led a team in planting a new church in Nairobi, Kenya where he is currently serving as the lead pastor.
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Ronie

Ronnie Amaya has been actively involved in ministry since his high school and university days where he served as a Christian union leader. After graduation, he worked as an itinerary minister preaching in Schools, Universities, Street Evangelizations, and Churches. In 2018, he led a team in planting a new church in Nairobi, Kenya where he is currently serving as the lead pastor.

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