New Release Bible Reading Plan Generator

Thu, 25/04/2019 - 22:49 -- James Oakley

Over 10 years ago, I first published a piece of software called Bible Reading Plan Generator. It is very simple: You enter a list of books of the Bible you want to read (or a pre-prepared list, such as "Gospels"), and the number of days you want to spend reading them. It will divide those books up into the most evenly lengthed sections possible.

It tries to do so by dividing along natural breaks (section headings in the English versions, chapters, paragraphs) as far as possible. Obviously, that's a balancing act. If you have a very long paragraph, you avoid breaking in the middle only by having more unevenly lengthed readings. There is an options screen that lets you set the balance between natural breaks and even sections. You can also choose a plan that doesn't subdivide chapters, if you wish. There's one more option: A long book of the Bible may take a very long time to analyse all possible ways of dividing it; you can sacrifice a little, maybe ending up with a sub-optimal reading plan, but make the calculation faster.

The software is free, and runs on all current versions of Windows.

One of my users kindly sent in a bug-report. There were certain edge-cases when the "whole chapters only" option was still giving readings that broke up chapters of the Bible.

That bug has now been fixed, and a new version released. Meet 2.6.

A long-term project, that may never happen, is to make this software a lot more user-friendly, and add in some new features I have in mind. But, for now, with gratitude to Bill, here's a new version for you.

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Peter Bailey's picture
Submitted by Peter Bailey on

Hello.  I appreciate what you've done here!  I have a question for you.  Will it generate the plan by the order in which you place the books?  For instance, could I alternate between old and new testament books?  Genesis-Matthew-Exodus-Mark etc.  Thanks!

James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

Hi Peter, yes it will do exactly that. One caveat: Sometimes, to give you even lengthed readings, it will see that a Bible book is short. For example, you may find that reading Obadiah in one is too long, but dividing it in two gives you two readings that are too short. (What makes for "too long", and "too short" can be tweaked in the options settings.) In that case, it would divide Obadiah up with the book that becomes before or after it in your list. So you may have the last few paragraphs of Amos and the beginning of Obadiah one day, and then the rest of Obadiah the next. If you alternated Old and New Testament, you could have the beginning of Obadiah tacked onto the end of Acts. That's not a big problem. You either decide you don't mind, or you adjust the settings to tell it not to worry, or you break up your list of books into two smaller lists to stop that happening.

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