Professor Grant Horner's 'The Ten Lists Bible Reading System'

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January 6, 2015

Professor Grant Horner's 'The Ten Lists Bible Reading System'

Pictured here (to the left) is my newest Bible, the ESV Reader's Bible. Those who know me, know I don't need another it may seem. But I actually do need this one because of its layout. It has no title headings, no verse numbering; no cross-reference, footnotes or study notes, and no book introductions. It's straight Scripture with only the name of each book (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, etc.) and their chapter numbers. That's it. It's purely for reading the Bible and I have a trouble doing that—which is why I absolutely need this Bible.

It's confession time. One I'm not very proud of, yet know I need to share in order to comfort and edify others. goes. Ready?

I've never once read the entire Bible. No, not even once.

Why haven't I? If I love God's Word as much as I say I do, how is it possible that I haven't read all of it? Well, this answer requires another confession. I'm somewhat of a I-need-to-understand-all-of-God's-Word-aholic. What this means is, no matter what reading plan I've ever started, I can't ever get through it because I always get stuck on a word, a name, a place, a time, an get the picture. And I can't get passed it without cross-referencing, getting on my Logos Bible Software to research, reading the study notes in my ESV Study Bible and grabbing my Wayne Grudem Systematic Theology book, along with a host of other books so that I can understand what I'm reading and apply it to my life.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against studying the Word of God. I encourage it. However, reading only to study—stifles reading for comprehension.

I get stuck on verses I don't understand and have questions like: "Why Lord? Why did you do that for this person, but not that other person?", "Why did you feel that way?", "Why did you allow so and so to talk to you that way?", and the one that stumps me the most, "Father, I don't even know what to ask because I don't even know what this verse means."

I want so desperately to know God more in order to love Him better that if I see a little letter or number near a verse, I just have to look up the cross reference or read the footnotes. And if that doesn't satisfy me, then I have to look up the original Hebrew or Greek. And often, I also have to study the historical setting of the time it was written, as well as the cultural understanding of why something is mentioned.

As you can see, having this insatiable desire to know the God who saved my wretched soul, and calls me His beloved child, disables me from being able to read the entire Bible all the way through...with the kinds of Bibles I have and with the methods I've been using. By the time I'm finished doing everything I normally do (as described above) during my praise and quiet time, usually, hours have gone by and I'm still on verse one, or chapter one.

Which is what brings me to why I'm writing this article today and why I purchased my new ESV Reader's Bible.

By God's awesome kindness, He put it in my darling husband's heart to search for yet another "read the Bible all the way through" plan. And he found one that will not only work for someone as peculiar as me, but also for normal people. Hallelujah!

This wonderful Bible reading plan is one Professor Grant Horner (of Master's College) has used for more than 30 years.

Professor Horner has some fantastic suggestions and solutions, as well as a very enjoyable and exciting format for reading the 10 chapters, that when I'm done, I have to check and make sure I actually read 10 chapters because it feels like I've only read a couple. I've tried to follow other 10 chapters per day reading plans and I've never been able to stick with it because I can't stop studying, cross referencing, researching, etc. But Professor Horner's reading methodology is so intriguing, I've often found myself getting carried away and reading beyond what I'm supposed to read each day. Wow...what a problem to have, huh?

I've created a downloadable PDF file so you too can join me in reading God's Word all the way through...for the rest of your life! Included in this PDF are Professor Horner's instructions, and bookmarks I've created to help you with the 10 chapter per day reading plan. I've created six bookmark sets to meet individual color preferences: multi-colored, red, blue, green, purple and gold. Each bookmark displays the number for the order in which you will read. For example, Reading Day 1: read chapter one of Matthew (bookmark #1), chapter 1 of Genesis (bookmark #2), chapter one of Romans (bookmark #3), and so on. Under the Bible book titles is the link to Professor Horner's Bible Reading System Facebook Page, and the number of days it'll take to complete the reading for each bookmark is noted at the bottom.

To download instructions for Professor Horner's "The Ten Lists Bible Reading System" and bookmarks, click here: Instructions and Bookmarks

After printing out the set of bookmarks you prefer, take them to Mardel Christian Bookstore (laminating in my area store only cost .25¢ per foot) or any office store and get them laminated so they will last beyond only a couple weeks of reading.

After getting the bookmarks laminated, use your cutting board (if you have one) to cut them. If you don't own a small cutting board like I do (pictured above), use the one at Mardel, or have the bookmarks cut at whichever store you had them laminated.

I laminated and cut the bookmarks (pictured above) for myself, my husband and our oldest son (who's 22), and for a special teenager he's mentoring at our church (who will also be following Professor Horner's Bible Reading System).

Below is a photo of my new ESV Reader's Bible along with my new multi-colored bookmarks that help me easily find the order in which this reading system suggests (and I encourage you to follow it exactly as it's the reason why I'm enjoying this system so much).

I absolutely love my new ESV Reader's Bible and love Professor Grant Horner's "Ten Lists Bible Reading System". It's easy to follow and very engaging to read it in the order Professor Horner instructs.

When I read a chapter from Matthew, move on to a chapter in Genesis, then read a chapter in Romans and so on, I'm constantly amazed at how I see Christ in every chapter! I'm actually understanding more and discovering new things about my great and awesome God that I never knew (Jer 33:3). I'm delighted by how reading Matthew, Genesis, Romans, 1 Thessalonians, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Joshua, Isaiah and Acts (in that order) flows seamlessly in a narrative format—consuming my heart and mind in God's grace, and soothing my soul that longs to see my Savior face to face.

"Thus says the LORD: 'Let not a wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.'

"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—"
~Jeremiah 9:23-24, Philippians 3:7-9 (ESV)


  1. Sunny, this is wonderful news! I am so happy for you. It's such an incredible blessing to find something that actually works so I am thrilled that this system works for you. :) I have never read the entire Bible all the way through, either. I get hung up on digging too much also. And I get very distracted by my young children. I work from my home and homeschool so finding time away from the kids is difficult. I have to admit, this system looks intimidating but I'm willing to give it a try. Maybe the bookmarks will help keep me on track. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Hi there precious sister Leslie, I understand getting distracted by little ones. I used to as well when my sons were young. That's when I realized I needed to start waking up before they do so I can get my praise and quiet time in. And honestly, that was all through prayer too, because I am NOT a morning person, but you sure can be if God wakes you and prepares you to eat some wonderful spiritual food! :o)

    I know 10 chapters sounds intimidating, but honestly, even as a slow reader (which I've always been), I can get through it in about 30 - 45 minutes.

    If you don't have 30 - 45 minutes in one sitting, try just reading 5 chapters in the morning, a couple in the afternoon if possible, and the whatever you have left in the evening before bed. That should break up your time, so you'll only need about 10 - 15 minutes at just one setting. :o)

  3. Thank you for sharing this honey, your bookmarks are FANTASTIC and much better than the originals. I agree it can seem intimidating at first...with all those bookmarks and different places in scripture to read each day. But I have found that after a few days it becomes very easy to manage and surprising how quickly I can finish each section. My favorite part of this system is that it does not run on any type of I will never feel behind...which is often discouraging. If I miss a day or two for whatever reason, just pick up where I left off. No unhelpful guilt trip required :) God doesn't love me more because I keep up with my Bible reading plan, he loves me because of Christ's righteousness. And I can love being in his word often and growing in understanding and fellowship with him.

  4. Thank you for your quick reply! Like you suggested, I do get up before my children do. And I've discovered that the shower makes a perfect prayer closet. :) When my daughter was really little, getting up early worked beautifully because she stayed in her bed until 7:45 am and got up when her radio started to play (and she still does). My son, however, is completely different. No matter how early I get up, he's right there with me. I am training him to stay in his bed just like I did with his sister but it has been difficult. He's a mess! LOL By God's grace we'll get him trained too. I LOVE what you said about reading the chapters in chunks - 5 in the morning, a few in the afternoon, and the rest before bed. I had the same revelation just after I had sent my first comment to you! Praise God! Confirmation! I can't wait to get started!

  5. You're most welcome and thank you for the encouragement darling. I like it when you're pleased. ♥ And ha, ha, ha...yes, I love that there's no calendar attached to this reading plan too. We sure know I pour enough guilt on myself for all kinds of things, so I don't need any help in that area. ;o)

  6. You're most welcome precious sister Leslie! I don't always get to respond so quickly, but I just happened to be on my email when I saw your comment. :o)

    How very cool you were thinking the same thing I was! Just goes to prove, saved minds think alike! ♥

    And yes, little boys are rascals, more attached to Mama and a tad bit harder to train than girls (generally speaking, there are always exceptions). But keep at it sister, your consistency in disciplining him will not be in vain. :o) I will pray for you as I prayed for myself during those years, that God would grant me sweet, uninterrupted quiet time with Him first thing. It's amazing how God can make children sleep or stay quiet until He's finished with His time with you. :o)

  7. thank you for sharing the plan and also for making the bookmarks. I will join you. God Bless You!

  8. You're most welcome Deby! I'm delighted to hear you're joining me. I'll be praying for you.♥ The Lord bless you sister. :o)

  9. Wow...that's fantastic Angela. I wish I did that when our sons were little (they're adults now). I did daily Bible study and reading with them but never read through the entire Bible with them. Wish I did both. But hey, it's never too late to do both. :o) God bless you dear sister as you train up your children in the love and admonition of the Lord. ♥

  10. I have been loosely following this plan for 3 years now. I say loosely because I don't always read 10 chapters each day. And I just read from the lists from the front of my Bible to the back, and if I don't read 10 chapters today, I just pick up where I left off tomorrow. What I like the best about it is that it isn't date driven, so there's no 'nagging' to keep to a schedule. Also, I now KNOW that I have read the entire Bible at least once.

  11. Hi Ramona, thanks for sharing. I'm encouraged that you've been steadily following this Bible reading plan for three years. I too enjoy that it's not date-driven. I'm also extremely enjoying the way the reading plan is laid out (Matthew, Genesis, Romans, etc.) because I've learned so much from reading those chapters in the order Prof Horner suggests. There always seems to be a "theme" within all 10 chapters though I'm reading from 10 different books. I'm amazed at how seamless the reading is! I'm really loving it! ♥

  12. Goodness Sunny...this one sure hits home. I must confess that I have been doing some wallowing today. Thank you for the reminder of God's perfect work He is doing in us the all sorts of circumstances and people.

  13. Hi there precious sister Debbie, I'm so sorry for my delayed response. I'm just now seeing this. I try not to miss any of my readers' comments, but every now and then, it happens. I apologize.

    And of course, you may use whatever you find on my website in accordance with the Content Use Policy noted in the footer (bottom-left of website). The Lord bless you dear sister.♥

  14. You're most welcome precious sister Susan. I do quite a bit of wallowing myself, so this is a good reminder for me too. It's hard to remain too long in the mire of self-pity when you put in online for all to see. :o) It's a good accountability tool for me. :o)

  15. Thank you so much for this, Sunny! The way you've set up the bookmarks is really helpful for me. I'm looking forward to trying this new system of reading the Bible, 'cause I'm of the same mindset as you - I always get stuck trying to figure out EVERY detail, EVERY angle, and never make it fully through.


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