Writing in your Bible can be one of the most effective tools to understanding and learning from the Word of God. I strongly encourage you to get over your fear of writing on its pages! Here are my top reasons why we should begin to mark our Bibles up:
- One of my biggest goals in my spiritual walk is to really get to know the scriptures. I don't want my Bible to get dusty, and I certainly don't want it to only be used when I attend church. Our Bibles are the best set of instructions for life you can find. Wouldn't you want that kind of manual to stop sitting on a shelf and become your companion? Marking in our Bibles allows us to highlight what we feel we need the most in our lives. By the time our Bibles fall apart with use and an abundance of notations, we will have a record of our growth as women living our lives for Him!
- A well loved and written in Bible is a treasure! Wouldn't you love to be able to have your great grandmother's copy of the Word with all of her reflections and responses written in the margins? Your Bible, your companion, can be passed on to your children and their children and can be used to inspire them to really get to know the Word and encourage them to build a stronger relationship with God.
- Systematic Bible marking is useful when leading others to Christ. It allows you to find particular scriptures quickly and gives you notes to refer to when you are talking to someone about the Word and are answering any questions they may have.
- Difficult times in our lives often lead us to reading the same verses or chapter over and over again for comfort and strength. Sometimes joyous events in our lives lead us to reading psalms and verses of praise and thanksgiving. Highlighting, dating, and writing a few words next to these verses can serve as a journal by reminding you later of what impact the verse had on your life at that time.
I suggest developing a system to use when you begin marking a new Bible so that the colors are consistent throughout the whole Bible. My favorite tools to use are colored pencils, highlighters, and the marker type pens. Make sure you test your writing utensils on a blank page to check for smearing and bleed through before you begin writing notes all over the place :)
These are my favorite pens to use because I love the colors! However, they do bleed through the pages a little bit, so keep that in mind. It isn't terrible bleed through and doesn't bother me too bad.
I also suggest creating a color coding key to keep in the front of your Bible to keep track of what each color means. I recommend coming up with a list of topics you want to focus on and dedicating a color to each topic. It's always a good idea to dedicate an extra color to a general observances category in case you want to make note of something that doesn't fit into one of the other topic categories.
I just purchased a new ESV Study Bible and I am in the process of developing a new system for it. I will post my key and a review of my new Bible soon!