I’ve posted a few pictures to my Social Media pages of my Bible and have had a few questions come my way about why it’s so colorful or how I specifically color code it and if there is a specific reason etc. So what better way to share with you than on here?!
I first have to give credit where credit is due. About a year ago (maybe?) I came across a woman named Jordan and her blog SoulScripts and immediately fell in love with her style. I read her e-book called Brighten Your Bible Study and it changed the way I do my studying!
I tried her specific way for a few weeks but found it more and more difficult as I went on. Why? Because it was what worked for HER and HER brain. But I’ve adapted it to what works well for me! My style is definitely a break away from hers.
WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT and work/learn differently, so please understand that as you read articles like this one. What works for one person, is not necessarily what will work best for the next. Find your own style, figure out what works for you and go from there. It’s a learning curve and can get frustrating if you’re like me, but it’s worth the ride if it causes you to dig deeper and go farther in your studying.
I also want to address the question/comment of “Why would you ever write in your Bible!” “You shouldn’t be doing that!”. Again, everyone is different and will learn differently. The Lord speaks to us all about different things and challenges us in different ways. If you feel strongly about not writing in your Bible, please don’t. Whether it’s because you see it as defacing the word or maybe you used to and it became an idol, whatever the reason, if God has laid it on your heart to not mark it up, DON’T.
For me personally, it helps me hear Him clearer. It makes me dig deeper, it get’s me closer to His words and it makes me re-read it more than I would otherwise. When I go back I know what I’m looking for, I can see it in my mind and I find joy in looking at the pretty colors. I now look FORWARD to getting in the word instead of (before) just having another thing to do.
So here it is. My color coding mess that works for me.
I got a pack of mini-highlighters from Staples that work great on Bible pages (I tried to find the link but I can’t find them on their website. They are literally called mini highlighters and are the staples brand) and are perfect for traveling with me everywhere I go.
I start with ORANGE and read the text, highlighting every name of God I see. God, Lord, Jesus, Father, Teacher, King, Messiah etc. I do this because I love to see the different names of God pop out at me. In different translations, there are different names used in different places, so I try to find these sometimes and make notes of what that specific name would be/mean.
I read again and use PURPLE, highlighting any transition words. Therefore, because of this, etc.
PINK comes next, I highlight anything that relates to me as a Mother or a wife.
GREEN is for encouraging scripture. This could be anything from something I find helpful in that moment, in which case I would write with a pen on the side of the page why it encourages me (and draw a circle around it in green connecting it to the scripture). Or, encouragement for someone else. This lets me flip through the Bible and easily spot the scriptures I’d like to write in an encouragement card or letter or prayer.
Last but not least is BLUE and YELLOW, but mostly yellow. I use these two colors for passages that stick out to me for any reason. I generally write with a pen on the side of these ones as well. Either words that stick out, why, maybe a quote related or really anything that is on my mind. I say mostly yellow because that’s my go to, but if a page is looking VERY yellow, I’ll switch it up with the blue.
Here are a few examples:
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
Therefore is obviously in purple because it transitions from the previous text.
The pink part relates to me as a wife. My note beside it reads “It is important to stay open and honest in a marriage. If you can’t tell him things, who can you?! PRAY for each other, build each other up!”
The yellow is just pure good truth and a great reminder to us all. I love prayer.
“… You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5: 11b)
I think you get the point.
The only other thing I really do is try to find connecting points. In the bigger passage of above (James 5: 13- 18) the word ‘pray’ is used 7 times!! I have all of these circled and lines to connect them all. My note there says “Don’t underestimate the POWER of PRAYER! The word reminds us often for a reason.”
You can see all of that on the main picture of this post!
Some people would rather use a journal for these types of notes, and if that is what works well for you, wonderful! Get out that journal and write your heart out. For me, however, I have tried using a journal, and I either lose it or lose interest in doing it. I never look back at those notes and rarely even re-read the scripture they were about!
That’s why I love my journaling Bible. The big margins on the sides help give space for my brain to dump. It is the NIV, Journal the Word Bible and can be bought for about $50 CAD.
Some people use Journaling Bibles to do artwork on their pages which is amazing. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google “Bible Journaling” and be amazed at these people’s creativity. But that’s a whole other blog post written by someone much artsier than I!
I’d love to hear/see how you write or draw in your Bible! Feel free to leave a comment below and remember you are loved and cherished by a wonderful God.