Using AI for creating reading plans in SAB

Have you thought about adding some reading plans to your Scripture app but decided that it is too hard or time consuming?

I am helping an intern build some Scripture apps for NTs that were completed a while ago. To give the apps more value, we decided that we wanted to include a variety of reading plans. To save time, I decided to employ ChatGPT 4o as an assistant in the development of the reading plans.

I started a new prompt and told Chat (that’s my not-so-creative name for my chat) that I wanted to have it develop some reading plans and would be giving it some encodings and other information before I would give it the first plan description.

I told it that the plans are encoded in a text file with the following markers. Name = \id (e.g., Acts14), Title = \title (e.g., Acts 14-day Plan), Description = \descr (e.g, \descr Read through the book of Acts in 14 days.), Day = \day (e.g., \day 2), Reference range = \ref (e.g., \ref Act 1 \ref Act 2:1-19).

I then uploaded a list of Bible books with the appropriate 3-letter abbreviations and told Chat what the document was.

I was then ready to start creating my reading plans. I would tell Chat what book(s) or topic was going to be used and the pertinent information. So for a 14-day plan on reading Luke, I asked Chat to "create a 14-day plan reading through the book of Luke. The ID is “Luk14”. The title is “Luke 14-day Plan”. The description is “Read through the book of Luke in 14 days”

Chat then quickly created the plan which I was able to copy into a text document and save in my Reading Plans folder for the intern to include in all of the apps he will be building for us.

In addition to simple “book” plans, I was able to create a 5-day Advent plan (one day a week) which Chat creatively included some sections in Rev 21 and 22 for the last day which was unexpected but nice, a 40-day Lent reading, a 7-day Christmas story plan, an 8-day Holy Week plan, and a 30-day miracles plan.

While a few plans needed run a second time because Chat didn’t include the full reference range I wanted, I was able to create 12 reading plans in about an hour.


If you want to do this yourself, here is some text to copy into your initial prompt for a general AI conversation or in the system box if you are using an API key. I have also found that it is best to specific all of the book chapter range, even if you are wanting a whole book (e.g., “Mark chapters 1-16” rather than just “the Book of Mark”).

Bible reading plan generator.

SFM formatting

ID - \id
Title - \title
Description - \descr
Day - \day
Day’s reference range - \ref

Bible book abbreviations
Genesis - GEN
Exodus - EXO
Leviticus - LEV
Numbers - NUM
Deuteronomy - DEU
Joshua - JOS
Judges - JDG
Ruth - RUT
1 Samuel - 1SA
2 Samuel - 2SA
1 Kings - 1KI
2 Kings - 2KI
1 Chronicles - 1CH
2 Chronicles - 2CH
Ezra - EZR
Nehemiah - NEH
Job - JOB
Psalms - PSA
Proverbs - PRO
Ecclesiastes - ECC
Song of Songs (aka Song of Solomon) - SNG
Isaiah - ISA
Jeremiah - JER
Lamentations - LAM
Ezekiel - EZK
Daniel - DAN
Hosea - HOS
Joel - JOL
Amos - AMO
Obadiah - OBA
Jonah - JON
Micha - MIC
Nahum - NAM
Habakkuk - HAB
Zephaniah - ZEP
Haggai - HAG
Zechariah - ZEC
Malachi - MAL
Matthew - MAT
Mark - MRK
Luke - LUK
John - JHN
Acts - ACT
Romans - ROM
1 Corinthians - 1CO
2 Corinthians - 2CO
Galatians - GAL
Ephesians - EPH
Philippians - PHP
Colossians - COL
1 Thessalonians - 1TH
2 Thessalonians - 2TH
1 Timothy - 1TI
2 Timothy - 2TI
Philemon - PHM
Hebrews - HEB
James - JAS
1 Peter - 1PE
2 Peter - 2PE
1 John - 1JN
2 John 2JN
3 John -3JN
Revelations - REV

Sample 1:
Prompt: A 14-day plan for reading through the book of Luke (chapters 1-24) in 14 days. ID = LukPlan14, Title = Luke 14-day plan, Description = Read the book of Luke in 14 days

Output reading plan

\id LukPlan14
\title Luke 14-day plan
\descr Read the book of Luke in 14 days
\day 1
\ref LUK 1
\day 2
\ref LUK 2:1-3:22
\day 3
\ref LUK 2:23-5:11
\day 4
\ref LUK 5:12-6:49
\day 5
\ref LUK 7:1-8:39
\day 6
\ref LUK 8:40-9:62
\day 7
\ref LUK 10:1-11:36
\day 8
\ref LUK 11:37-13:5
\day 9
\ref LUK 13:6-15:32
\day 10
\ref LUK 16:1-18:17
\day 11
\ref LUK 18:18-20:18
\day 12
\ref LUK 20:19-22:23
\day 13
\ref LUK 22:24-23:25
\day 14
\ref LUK 23:26-24:53

Sample 2
Prompt: A 4-day plan for reading through the book of Jonah (chapters 1-4) in 4 days. ID = JonPlan4, Title = Jonah 4-day plan, Description = Read the book of Jonah in 4 days

Output reading plan:

\id JonPlan4
\title Jonah 4-day plan
\descr Read the book of Jonah in 4 days
\day 1
\ref JON 1
\day 2
\ref JON 2
\day 3
\ref JON 3
\day 4
\ref JON 4