Several readers have written to me requesting new files for the Bible Reading Plans that I posted for last year. Much of the work in those is from the tireless hands of my beloved Orthodox brother Esteban Vázquez, as described here, here, here, and here.
Well, due to time constraints (and the necessity of clarifying some of the finer points of the kathismata reading plan), this year’s files lack the schedule for the reading of the Psalms according to the traditional Orthodox Christian monastic schedule. But these two reading plans I’ve put together will actually work permanently, for every year, since the day/date-dependent Psalms readings are not included in the files. So that cloud has a silver lining. (I will likely produce a plan including the Psalms readings, just not right now.) [See the UPDATE below.]
One file presents the Old Testament readings based upon the titles and versification used in the New Revised Standard Version. The New Testament readings are arranged, as they were last year, according to the Russian Orthodox Optina kellia rules. Following this system of readings, you’ll read through the entire Greek Orthodox Old Testament canon (as close as one can get to it in the NRSV, anyway) once in the year, and through the entire New Testament four times.
Another file presents the Old Testament reading based upon the titles and versification used in the New English Translation to the Septuagint. The NT part of this plan is also using the Optina kellia rules. This plan affords the closest possible reading in English to the Greek Orthodox Old Testament, the NETS, following the reading of the canonical books (and thus excluding Psalms of Solomon from the reading, though they are included in the NETS). Again, the entire Old Testament is read through the course of the year, and the entire New Testaement is read through four times.
The plans are in Adobe pdf format, which allows for the nicest-looking printing. Each plan comes to seven pages, so will fit on four pages if you print double-sided.
UPDATE 9:35 PM:
Owing to an excellent suggestion by Esteban in his post titled “On Reading the Scriptures, Part I“, I have updated the two above-mentioned files, and have included a plan for reading one stasis of the Psalms each day. Over the course of the year, the person following that plan will by the end of the year have read through the entire Psalter six times. While the standard reading of one or more kathisma each day is the liturgical usage in Eastern Orthodoxy, these reading plans are by no means intended to replace or mimic liturgical usage. They are rather designed for the purpose of the reader familiarizing himself or herself with Holy Scriptures.
Using the plans linked to above, the reader will over the course of the year (in reading five or six chapters a day) read through the entire Greek Orthodox Old Testament (the Hebrew/Protestant canon, plus the entire set of “apocrypha” also included in Greek Orthodox Bibles) fully once , excluding the Psalter which will be read through six times, and the entire New Testament will be read in its entirety four times.
Sounds like a plan!