Reading a Bible and writing both in and about the Bible go hand in hand. Some may think it is disrespectful to write in a Bible, but I see reading and marking in your Bible, when done respectfully, as evidence of the love and respect you have for the Bible.
Here are some basics on how to read your Bible and mark in it as you read.
First of all, I would suggest that you have two Bibles – one Bible for reading and another Bible for study. This is because Bible reading and Bible study require two different approaches.
This article will cover how to mark the Bible you use specifically for reading. My next article will cover how to mark in your Bible you use for study.
All you need to get the most out of your Bible reading is a Bible, a pencil, and a journal. Your reading Bible doesn’t need to have large margins or lots of study notes, but you may want to get a Bible with fairly large print so it will be easier on your eyes. I also enjoy a Bible that is leather bound as it is soft, flexible, and feels comfortable when I hold it on my lap.
I suggest using a pencil to mark in your reading Bible so that you can erase the marks after you finish your Bible reading for the day. The marks you make in your reading Bible are simply to help you find a verse that stood out to you while you read. After you finish your Bible reading, marking, and journaling for the day, you’ll want to erase the marks you made so they don’t distract you the next time you read the same passage from the Bible.
First, determine where in the Bible you want to read, and how much of the Bible you want to read each day. Some people start in Genesis and read all the way through the Bible and others skip around. If you choose to skip around, just be sure to finish one book of the Bible before beginning another one, and keep track of which books of the Bible you’ve read so that you don’t neglect to eventually read all of the books of the Bible.
Next, as you read, simply make a checkmark in the margin of the Bible next to the Bible verses that stand out to you while you read, or you can underline certain Bible verses or phrases that make an impression on you. At this point, don’t stop for long, just long enough to make a little mark as you go. You’ll come back to those significant Bible verses later.
After you’ve finished your Bible reading for the day, read back over the Bible verses that stood out to you that you marked. Think back to why those specific verses meant something to you. Then, choose the most significant verse from your reading that day, and write it in your journal. You may want to use a pen for this.
Next, write just a few sentences of your thoughts about the Bible verse you chose for the day. This may not seem important, but it will help you to get more out of your Bible reading if you focus on one main verse or thought for the day. Another great thing about writing a few thoughts is that over time you will see patterns of God’s dealing in your life. It’s fun and enlightening to look over my Bible reading journal and see how I’ve learned and grown in my spiritual walk over time.
Finally, erase the pencil markings in your reading Bible. This is important because the next time you sit down to read that same part of the Bible, you’ll want to see what God has to say to you now, rather than being distracted by the verses you marked the last time you read through the Bible.
Enjoy this simple method of reading and marking in your Bible!