Today I want to share with you some tips I’ve learned over the past few years on how to strategically mark your Bible to help you have a deeper Bible study time with the Lord.
So, one of my favorite teachers in high school was my geometry teacher. Honestly, at that time I wasn’t super fond of her. She was strict and didn’t succumb to the adolescent shenanigans my classmates and I tried to get away with.
However, now I’m very thankful to her. Of all the teachers I had in high school, I learned the most from her.
To help us memorize those pesky theorems, she would go to the whiteboard with multiple Expo pens in hand. Using different colors, she would draw shapes, lines, and angles for each step of the theorem. These markings helped us to see the full puzzle while also seeing each piece of it.
Mark Your Bible for Deeper Bible Study
In a similar way, when you mark your Bible you are able to see the smaller details. Therefore, we are able to dive into deeper Bible study and gain a broader understanding of the precepts we are studying. This is one of the many reasons why I love the Inductive Bible Study process!
Mark These Words In Your Bible
Here are the different words in your Bible you want to watch for and mark in a strategic way.
Mark the different people in your bible. Use a distinctive marking for each person (author, recipients, God, Jesus) in the text you are studying. It’s also good to create some universal markings throughout your Bible.
note: I always mark references to “God” with a purple triangle, “Jesus” with a purple cross, and the recipients with a red ‘R’.
Keywords are words that are repeated or words that would change the meaning of the text if you were to take them out. Mark each keyword in a distinctive way.
Time Reference Words and Geographical Locations
Mark time reference words and any geographical locations. These references help you to discover the historical settings and are important for keeping the scriptures in their original context.
note: I mark all references to time with a yellow clock.
Comparisons, Contrasts, and Words of Conclusion
Mark any comparisons, contrasts, and transition words. You can mark these the same way throughout your Bible. Looking at these words helps you to determine the main points the author is making.
Highlight These Phrases In Your Bible
Then, after I go and mark the words above, I like to go back through the passage with some different colored highlighters and highlight some specific phrases.
Are there any commands that the author gives the recipients? Highlight all commands in one color.
Are there any exhortations the author gives? Highlight exhortations in another color. Sometimes, exhortations can also come in the form of a command.
Are there any warnings in the text? Pay attention to these and highlight them in another color.
Promises of God
Look for sentences that contain the words “I will” or “God will”. These are the precious promises of God that we want to make sure we don’t miss. Spend some time pondering, praying, and praising Him for His promises. Highlight all of God’s promises in another color.
Below is an example of how I have marked some scripture.
You can see how these markings make the scriptures come to life!
Make a List for Deeper Bible Study
After you have gone through your passage and marked these words and phrases, this next step is important – and fun! Asking yourself the 5 W’s and H questions (who, what, when, where, why, and how) make a list of everything you learn from each person and keyword. You have theses words marked in the text it is very easy to spot each reference.
Let’s Make a List Together!
Looking at the image again, let’s make a list of everything we learn about the Corinthians.
- They have been sanctified in Jesus
- Are saints by calling
- They call on the name of Jesus, He is their Lord
- Paul thanks God for them
- They were given grace in Christ Jesus
- They were enriched in Christ in all speech and knowledge
- The testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in them
- They are not lacking any gift
- They eagerly await the Lord Jesus
- Jesus will confirm them blameless until the end
- God called them into fellowship with Jesus
Isn’t that awesome! It’s amazing what you can learn as you mark your Bible.
So, I know that not everyone wants to go and mark up their Bible.
I get it.
That’s why it’s a good idea to have a Bible that you use specifically for marking in. I recommend this one:
Marking my Bible is a skill I learned through Precept Ministries and have been developing for awhile now. It takes practice.
Let me encourage you to start small. Choose one chapter, read through the verses and circle any references to the recipients. Then, make a list like we did above.