Someone recently asked in a comment on some post or other about how I mark my Bible.
I describe the color coding system I use in a post over at Christianity.com. Here’s the introduction:
Do you have a system for marking your Bible as you study? Over the years, I’ve found that if I want to layer reading upon reading and go deeper each time, it helps me to mark my Bible and build on my earlier study notes.
As I read the Bible, I try to make note of repeated words, resumed themes, quotations of earlier passages, and other key ideas. But I don’t want simply to see them and move on. I want to highlight them. This helps me recall connections I’ve seen, and helps me find those key ideas later. Whenever I want an uninfluenced, fresh reading of a Bible passage, I use an unmarked copy.
I try to read large chunks of Bible all at one sitting, whole books if possible, and thoroughly mark them up as I go. Doing this book after book brings out the interconnectedness of individual books and the thick intertextuality of each book of the Bible with all the others.
So, here’s what I like to do when marking my Bible. I use a mechanical pencil, a set of colored pens, colored pencils, and occasionally a highlighter to note things. As I’ve done this over the years, I’ve developed a color code for key ideas:
Jim, thanks for sharing. I’m impressed by the color code, but coming from you, that shouldn’t surprise me. Do you use the pens in that picture? I ask because I have found that the best pens for marking up Bible paper are those Sharpie pens, which do come in different colors (though perhaps not as many). I don’t like it when pens bleed through, so I’m wondering if those pens work well for you.
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