How Long Does It Take to Read Each Book of the Bible?

Bible intake is essential to Christian discipleship (2 Tim. 3:16-17Josh. 1:8Rom. 15:4Heb. 4:12).

If you don’t have a plan, you will find your Bible reading sporadic.  Don’t read the Bible like a yearbook (looking in the back for pages that apply to you) or a fortune cookie (hoping that the random passage will be God’s answer for you today).  The Bible has a beginning, middle, and end.  Each book has a logical train of thought.  God designed it that way.

Learn to read the Bible the way that God set the table rather than treating it like a buffet-line.

I recommend reading through the entire Bible but don’t attempt it until you have successfully read through a few books of the Bible.  Take a gospel and read it all the way through.  Read through Acts.  Study through an epistle.  Work your way up to a reading plan that goes through the entirety of the Bible.

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to read through each book?  There are 66 books in the Bible.  They vary in length.  While the Bible is a big book, you can read it in book-sized pieces.

Did you know that many of those books can be read in less than an hour?  40 out of the 66 books (61% of the books) can each be read in less than an hour?  In fact, some of the books will take the average reader 2 minutes to read.

The average American watches TV for approximately 3 hours a day.  That may or may not be your statistic.  But if you took the time watching TV and applied it to reading the Bible, you could read through one of the books each night.  In fact, 61 of the books (92%) could be read in one day’s television consumption.  The only books you couldn’t read in an average television watching span would be Genesis, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel (but it’s not that far from being able to read them).

What about binge watching series on Netflix?  Ever done that?  I have!  The entire series of Lost would take you 5 days and 1 hour to watch.  4 days and 4 hours of Walking Dead episodes are available right now.  Have you seen them all?  I’m not saying you can’t watch all these shows, but I am saying be careful with your excuses.

Don’t use time as an excuse to avoid the Bible if you have ever binge-watched a series on Netflix.

You can read the Bible if you want to read the Bible.  You just have to make the time.

Average Reading Time

  1. Genesis – 3.5h
  2. Exodus – 3h
  3. Leviticus – 2h
  4. Numbers – 3h
  5. Deuteronomy – 2.5h
  6. Joshua – 1.75h
  7. Judges – 1.75h
  8. Ruth – 15m
  9. 1 Samuel – 2.25h
  10. 2 Samuel – 1.75h
  11. 1 Kings – 2h
  12. 2 Kings – 2.25h
  13. 1 Chronicles – 2h
  14. 2 Chronicles – 2.5h
  15. Ezra – 40m
  16. Nehemiah – 1h
  17. Esther – 30m
  18. Job – 1.75 h
  19. Psalms – 5h
  20. Proverbs – 1.75h
  21. Ecclesiastes – 30m
  22. Song of Solomon – 20m
  23. Isaiah – 3.75h
  24. Jeremiah – 4h
  25. Lamentations – 20m
  26. Ezekiel – 3.75h
  27. Daniel – 1.25h
  28. Hosea – 30m
  29. Joel – 12m
  30. Amos – 25m
  31. Obadiah – 4m
  32. Jonah – 8m
  33. Micah – 20m
  34. Nahum – 8m
  35. Habakkuk – 9m
  36. Zephaniah – 10m
  37. Haggai – 7m
  38. Zechariah – 40m
  39. Malachi – 11m
  40. Matthew – 2.5h
  41. Mark – 1.5h
  42. Luke – 2.5h
  43. John – 2h
  44. Acts – 2.25h
  45. Romans – 1h
  46. 1 Corinthians – 1h
  47. 2 Corinthians – 40m
  48. Galatians – 20m
  49. Ephesians – 20m
  50. Philippians – 14m
  51. Colossians – 13m
  52. 1 Thessalonians – 12m
  53. 2 Thessalonians – 7m
  54. 1 Timothy – 16m
  55. 2 Timothy – 11m
  56. Titus – 7m
  57. Philemon – 3m
  58. Hebrews – 45m
  59. James – 16m
  60. 1 Peter – 16m
  61. 2 Peter – 10m
  62. 1 John – 16m
  63. 2 John – 2m
  64. 3 John – 2m
  65. Jude – 4m
  66. Revelation – 1.25h

You can work your way through the Bible.  Pick a book and get started.


Image from Desiring God.

7 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take to Read Each Book of the Bible?”

  1. Christopher Bier

    There is no way I could read 2 Chronicles in that time. Maybe double or 2.5x that time. Maybe I have a problem with reading. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. I would say that represents a time to read it without stopping and really meditating on it. That’s just an average read through time but not necessarily comprehension and application time.

      1. Christopher Bier

        Thanks for taking the time to reply. After leaving that comment I started testing how quickly I can read while understanding what I am reading but not meditating on it. I still am about 2 1/4 slower than the estimates above.

        So I probably have room to improve my reading speed, but that is great news for me. I’m reading around 165wpm and at least one source says 300wpm is the average. I’m using the ESV which isn’t hard to understand, it’s just that some of the concepts and language of the Old Testament (e.g. chiefs of fathers’ houses) isn’t clear on first read.

        I am excited to learn how to read better so that I can accomplish more in my Bible reading time. Any tips are appreciated.

        Thanks for this article it has been a great encouragement to me to prioritize reading the word of God.

        1. Sounds great, Christopher! Realize that you want to make steady progress over the course of your life. You don’t have to have it all down by tomorrow, but pace yourself so that you will have more of it by tomorrow.

  2. Found you wondering how long it would take to read the book of Esther (I’m talking about it to the kids in Sunday School today). I like the yearbook/ fortune cookie analogies. I’ll probably use that as well. 🙂

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