Marking your Bible is a great way to study God’s Word in-depth. Marking helps us to see the finer details of the text, while also getting an overview of the main ideas and themes. There are some simple Bible marking symbols you can use when marking keywords in the Bible

When I began learning the Inductive Bible Study Method, I was so incredibly overwhelmed with this idea of marking my bible. 

How should I create my markings? What keyword symbols should I be using? And how in the world do I keep track of it all? 

However, throughout the years the Lord has helped me to grow so much in using this process. I thought I would share some tips with you that I have picked up along this journey. 

Symbols to Mark Your Bible

7 Tips for Creating Bible Marking Symbols

1. Just Get Started

The greatest encouragement I can give is to tell you to just get started! Pick up your Bible and a pencil and start marking one word in one chapter.

A great place to start is the book of John chapter 1. Mark every reference to Jesus (including pronouns) with a cross. Use a colored pen or even just a pencil. You will be amazed at how much more you see once you have the scripture marked. 

2. Marking Your Bible Takes Practice

Know that marking keywords in your Bible is a skill that takes some practice. There is no perfect way to do it or perfect symbols to use, but it does take some time to discover what works best for you. But, once you begin you’ll find that you will quickly settle into your own system. 

You may even find that you start off very slow. That’s ok! Like anything else, the more you practice the more efficient you will become. Be patient and give yourself lots of grace when you first begin. 

3. Use Simple Bible Marking Symbols

You want to mark keywords in the Bible using symbols that are simple. My artistic ability is very limited. I have some friends who are able to get very intricate in their markings, but many of them have told me that they prefer to keep their markings simple because it allows them to move more quickly through the passage they are marking. 

So, my advice is to let your creativity flow while still using simple symbols. 

Remember, the goal here is to mark your Bible in a way that helps to bring your eye back to these certain keywords. The next step in the process for inductive Bible study, after completing your markings, is to go back through and make a list of everything you learn about each keyword. When you move on to this next step, each keyword reference will be easy to identify because you have marked them in a distinctive way.

Download this free Bible markings pdf
Bible Marking Symbols pdf

4. Use Bible Marking Symbols that Are Easy to Remember

Not only do you want to use symbols that are simple,  but you also want to use ones that are easy to remember. This also takes some time and practice of using your symbols so that you begin to memorize them. 

It’s also helpful to use symbols that remind you of the word you are marking. For example, I like to mark references to ‘God’ with a purple triangle because purple is the color of royalty and a triangle is a sign for the trinity. 

I like to mark any references to time with a yellow clock. I mark references to the author of a book with an ‘A’ – A is for ‘author’. 

So, try to think of symbols that make sense to you for each keyword you mark.

5. Use Your Bible Markings Consistently

There are many common keywords in the Bible that you can mark consistently. 

Faith. Love. Salvation. God. Jesus. Prophecy. Covenant… to name just a few.

These are examples of keywords that are threaded throughout many books in the bible, therefore you want to mark these in a consistent way. 

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Inductive Bible Study Printables PDF

6. Inductive Bible Study Color Code

Another idea is to categorize your symbols by color. Use different colors to mark keywords related to any specific topic or person.  I tend to use symbols that are purple to mark words that relate directly to God. 

  • God – purple triangle
  • Jesus – purple cross
  • Prophet – purple ‘P’
  • Tabernacle – purple house

Also, I like to try and use symbols that are black to mark words that relate to sin.

  • Sin – black circle
  • Death – black rectangle
  • Curse – black dash

7. Use Highlighters for Longer Phrases

As you go through and mark keywords in the bile, there are also some key phrases you want to mark as well. For these, instead of using symbols, I prefer to grab some different colored highlighters and mark these phrases that way. 

Here are highlighters I like:

Phrases to Highlight

  • Warnings (red)
  • Commands (orange)
  • Exhortations (green)
  • Promises of God (purple)

Are you ready to get started? I hope you are encouraged to dig a bit deepr into the scriptures. The Lord is pleased when we dedicate ourselves to the study of His Word. He will bless your diligence and faithfulness.

Summary for Creating Bible Marking Symbols

  1. Just Get Started
  2. Bible Marking takes Practice
  3. Use Simple Bible Marking Symbols
  4. Use Symbols that Are Easy to Remember
  5. Using Your Bible Markings Consistently
  6. Color Code Your Markings
  7. Use Highlighters for Longer Phrases

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