The discipline of sitting down to mark your Bible and seriously considering its essential teachings will benefit you in many ways. Your faith will be strengthened considerably as you come to appreciate that your beliefs rest upon the foundation of what God says. It is one of the best ways to study your will find (2Timothy 2:15). In this article we will pursue how to best mark the Scriptures for the most effective studies possible.
What you mark will depend largely upon personal taste and need. Without a doubt the best way to do so is topically or by subject. Get all your Scriptures together on a subject or topic and assign a predetermined number, color or identifying sign to them and then chain them together. You should make your own index so you can find the first Scripture in your chain before beginning to mark your translation.
Probably the best place to get all the Scriptures together that you want to mark is in a topical reference work such as Strong's Exhaustive Concordance or The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. Nave's Topical has, for example, nearly four pages listing occurrences of the Scriptures relating to the God's day of rest.
One trick to effectively highlighting material is to underscore or underline important phrases you want to quickly access. Any number of quality fine-point pens can be used.
Before you begin placing a mark or two in your Bible, you need to determine the symbols you will use for each topic or subject. A star, for example, could be used to denote a prophetic passage. A star colored a certain color could be used to denote God's commands. A circle or other simple symbol could be used to easily mark and find promises from God. Squares could be used to denote messages directly from the Eternal and so on.
Chain referencing is accomplished by first collecting all the verses related to a particular topic you wish to chain and mark. Give the topic a number, such as #1 for forgiveness, #2 for praying and so on. Then transfer the list to your translation. Another helpful method of study is using a color scheme. Below is one color setup you could use.
|Light Blue||Prayer, Praying|
|Dark Blue||Healing, Sickness|
|Red||Sabbath, Holy Days|
|Light Green||Millennium, God's Kingdom|
|Dark Green||Man's Mortality|
|Black / Gray||Satan, Demons|
|Purple||Promises to Israel|
|Yellow / Gold||Commandments|
A small container, like one made of plastic, can prove helpful when creating the kit to mark your version of the Bible. A sample kit could contain quality pens or pencils for taking notes, pencils of various colors, mechanical pencils, rulers, and a pre-cut template that allows you to quickly make small symbols. It can also include paper towels for any messes that are made.
Fine-tip pens are usually best for taking notes, placing a small mark or for underscoring certain verses. It is suggested you do NOT use felt-based pens as they can bleed through thin Bible pages. Mechanical pencils could be used for outlining verses. Additionally, quality colored lead pencils could be used for such a purpose.