Essential 100

Essential 100

Ever wondered how the Bible fits together? Want to grow in your relationship with Jesus? Need accountability in reading through God’s Word? Want to apply it to your daily life? If so, then why not join us in following the Essential 100 reading programme for the first 20 weeks of 2023 (to mid May). This is not just for adults — there are youth and children/family (age 7+) resources too.

The Essential 100 (E100) is a Scripture Union Bible reading programme built around 100 carefully selected short Bible passages — 50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New Testament. It enables people to get the big picture of God’s Word and in the process develop a weekly Bible reading habit.

There are, of course, other combinations of Scripture that could form an overview like this but with a different theological focus. A number of (arguably important) books do not feature; this is not to dismiss them — it’s just the nature of a programme like this. Someone must select and we must jump in somewhere else we’ll never get started!

How does it work?

Each week we’ll use the SU Bible Reading Method to explore five passages based around a weekly theme (each passage is 1-2 chapters long, taking up to 15 mins to read); this also leaves us two days grace each week for those busy times! Each month as many of us as possible will also get together to discuss what’s struck us from our readings and pray together.

The E100 Challenge takes readers through all of the major types of biblical writing including Historical books, Poetry and Wisdom Literature, the Prophets, the Gospels, Acts, the Epistles and Revelation.

SU Bible Reading Method
PRAY: before you read, ask God to help you understand.
READ: the passage for the day SLOWLY, perhaps more than once.
REFLECT: on the passage. Write your thoughts in a journal.
What do you learn about God; humans; how we should/shouldn’t be?
APPLY: what God teaches you from His Word to your life.
PRAY: again, asking God to help you live out His Word.

When does it start?

The journey starts w/c 2nd January 2023. If you’re seeing this in early Jan you could catch up so do still get in touch. There’s various resources that can help you listed below (free or second hand) — from a simple outline of the programme to a book with daily devotions (to supplement your own reflections).

You’ll need
a translation of the Bible you’re comfortable with (do ask for advice);
somewhere to make notes; at least one of the resources below.


E100 Reading Plan — Free PDF leaflet listing passages and contains a reminder of the SU reading method

YouVersion Bible app (free) also includes E100 reading plan but with no devotional text. This app can also be used for audio playback.

Essential 100 book with devotional text ( — paperback, hardback and Kindle For other used books sites: Google ‘Essential 100’, select Shopping tab

E100 Youth version PDF available on request (if you can’t find the book)

Big Bible Challenge — child (7-11) with guide / family version of E100 programme

How do I take part?

Contact Kevin to make a commitment and he will add you to the mailing list

What next?

Download the E100 Reading Plan (above) or request a printed copy

Choose a translation of the Bible you’re comfortable with (do ask if you need advice)

Commit to making this a priority in your week and consider how you’ll make this work. Last thing at night in bed is not usually the best setting (!) but putting time aside in the evening and carrying your reflection through to the next day can work well.

Think through where and when you’ll read and how you’ll make notes — paper or electronic journal / Journal Bible. Get yourself prepared.

Consider if any of the other resources above might be helpful to order/print

Pray that you’ll be open to what God has to say to you and you’ll stay the course

Contact Kevin if you have any other questions


  1. Margaret Parkins

    Keeping up with the readings so was happy to be reading the Holy Week
    scriptures during last week. Nearly 3/4 the way along now!

  2. Margaret Parkins

    How emotional Joseph’s brothers were when they realised the man they were speaking to was their own brother. They just did not expect him to be their own blood relative in such a high position in Egypt, so didn’t recognise him.
    Reminds me of Mary at the tomb, she didn’t expect the person to be Jesus Christ until He spoke her name , “Mary”

  3. Margaret Parkins

    Genesis 1—-All the first verses say “and God said—–” and then, when He makes mankind it states “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” That shows that our Lord Jesus was “there at the beginning,” as we read in John’s gospel.

  4. Mark Leonard

    Genesis 1&2: God created the Universe out of nothing in to making everything. All this in six days! With it all being unique and original. #mindblowing

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