If you missed last week’s plan, check out week 8 here.


Hello, and welcome to week nine of the Off the Shelf bible reading plan. Last week we closed out our reading in the Old Testament. It is important to note that there are more than 400 years between the final writings in the Old Testament and the first writings in the New Testament. These 400 years are sometimes called the silent years. While there is no Biblical account during these 400 years, God was still actively working, preparing the way for his Son to come.

During the next two weeks, we will read about Jesus’s birth, life, death, and resurrection. The accounts we will read all come from the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These four books are ancient biographies that were written to explain who Jesus was, what he did, and what it means to follow him. This week, we will focus on Jesus’ birth and some of his most well-known teachings. Next week, we will read about Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. Thank you again for joining us on this journey.

DAY 1  |  Today we will read Matthew 1 & 2. Matthew was one of Jesus’ disciples who was with him each day throughout his earthly ministry.  Matthew wrote his gospel for a Jewish audience, which is why he began the gospel with a genealogy. This genealogy points to Jesus as the only possible descendant of King David, who was qualified to be the Messiah.  Matthew’s audience would have clearly understood that he was pointing to Jesus as the promised Messiah.  Today, read Matthew 1 & 2.

DAY 2  |  Today we will read Mark 1. This chapter contains Mark’s account of the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Mark, better known as John Mark, was a close friend of Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. While we will get to this more in Week 11, John Mark was also involved in missionary journeys to spread the message of Jesus. As you may notice, Mark does not begin his gospel with an account of Jesus’ birth like the gospels of Matthew and Luke do. Instead, he jumps right into the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Today, read Mark 1.

DAY 3  |  Today we will read Matthew 5-7. These three chapters are commonly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount, and they contain one of Jesus’ most authoritative teachings. The theme that connects the teaching in these chapters is Jesus identifying what it means to live in his kingdom. Today, read Matthew 5 – 7.

DAY 4  |  Today we will read Matthew 13. This chapter contains several parables which are earthly stories that have deeper spiritual meanings. Today, read Matthew 13 to get a closer look at some of Jesus’ most well-known parables.

DAY 5 |  Today we will read Luke 11.  Luke was most likely a gentile who eventually became a companion of the Apostle Paul. We will learn more about the Apostle Paul in the days ahead.  Interestingly, Luke’s gospel is part of a two-volume work. The second work is the book of Acts which we will read in two weeks. Acts contains the account of the early church and the spread of the Gospel. Today read Luke 11.  This chapter contains more of Jesus’ well-known teachings. 

Thank you for joining us this week. Join the conversation at Off the Shelf Facebook Group!

If you are looking for a challenge, here is a Bible in 90 days plan. This plan is designed to walk you through the entire bible over the course of just three months. That works out to 12 pages of reading each day—a commitment, but certainly manageable, and one that’s well worth making.
Start plan here: