Do you write, highlight, underline or mark in your Bible?

Yes - Please comment on what you do and share any suggestions.
80% (2733 votes)
20% (686 votes)
Total votes: 3419

Joshua Infantado

Joshua Infantado's picture

I used four categories in marking my bible; prophecies, christian living, doctrinal, and things nice to know. Every category has a corresponding color.:)


newt's picture

Hello - I like to underline scriptures pertaining to my personal salvation (doctrinal issues)for easy access to remind, guide, & direct my life. I have found it's a tendency of mankind to add and/or take away from God's Word.

dick lee

dick lee's picture

I underline special quotes in the bible so when I come to that page again I reread the words. For instance the Lords prayer I have color coded so I will remember it. I also find the different meanings of words in the center column and draw a line to the misunderstood word in the passage. It has helped me to understand the bible considerably when I come back to those pages that have been marked. Acts, the words from Paul and most of Jesus statements have been underlined. Also Psalms the prayers of David are also marked along with many other passages through the entire bible.


sa's picture

Hello, well I use to just notice people had markings in their Bible but didn't know why, it just looked important to me. Not until later did I understand Gods words, where they can be found, what to underline, what to color etc,,, etc. Now when I study,, I underline hints or clues in certain colors so that the same color hint about what i want to know will be easy to find and I also do the same for the sources in which I may need to understand it a bit more. Like concordance or something even in the church literature I do that. But what Christ says I keep in red to match the bible as it also shows his sayings in red.


Garry's picture

My King James Bible is quite old (1943), leather bound and very special. I can't bring myself to deface it, so I keep a notebook, with it, and anything I want to lookup in my Peake's Commentary, or Strong's, I make a note. I will even copy verses into it, that I find uplifting. Nothing else goes into that notebook, that's all it's for, if I find out my wife has been tearing pages out for shopping lists, there's trouble ;-)


KARS's picture

All the above and draw pictures too. For example the promise to Noah never to flood the earth the same again. I drew and colored a rainbow on the page. In Revelation if my memory services me right, there is an angel with a rainbow above it's head. Again I drew a small rainbow. Things like that.


dusty's picture

I gave up trying to place notes in my "inspired" margin :) because there were just too many notes for the space available. I am now in the process of assembling my own Bible by coping the scriptures from my Bible software into my word processor. I format it in two columns just like a standard Bible. Now, instead of writing in the margins, I place my comments as footnotes. If it is an especially long comment I will place it as an endnote.

I use the NIV for the OT and the NKJV for the NT. However, if I find a particular verse or passage is better rendered in another version I will insert it with a notation as to its source.

When I finish a book I print it out, 3-hole punch it, and place it in a loose-leaf notebook. It's not something that lends itself well as a "carry-to-church" Bible but no one there wants to discuss the Scriptures anyway. For a "turn to the scriptures in the sermon" Bible, I use my little Acer 10" netbook with my Bible software installed.

Larry Hardison

Larry Hardison's picture

I started color coding my Bible shortly after being baptized in the late 60s. I have used 12 colors: Lt Blue=Holy Spirit; Dk Blue=Church of God; Yellow=Resurrection/2nd Coming; Lt Green=Blessings/fruit/love; Dk Green= Millennium; Red=Satan/sin/curses; Purple=God/Jesus; Orange=Science/Christian living principles; Gray=Prayer; Brown=Israel in prophecy; Black=Healing/health (now use pink for this subject); Violet=Commandments/statutes.

When I color I use a vertical bar about 1/4" wide so that if a verse covers more than one subject I can color another bar or so as needed. When marking verses pointing to Jesus Christ I would use a large "C" to differentiate from God the Father at the beginning. When marking verses regarding the 2nd coming I would use a large "2" at the beginning. For Satan I would use a large "S" and for demons a large "D" at the beginning of the bar.

I have done some underlining but without consistency. If I want a word or phrase to stand out I will circle it.

Though this sounds complicated it allows a quick visual scan of the Bible, and, coupled with a chain reference gives one the ability to discuss and illustrate a complete subject.

laura rowles

laura rowles's picture

My Bible is definitely one of my most prized possessions. It was my Mum's Bible, which she treasured, and I began using it after she died. She had colour-coded it and written lots of notes in the margin, as well as included lots of typed inserts on various sources. I've learnt an awful lot from this Bible, and I reckon that I've doubled the amount of notes that my Mum put in it now. It's starting to fall apart a bit now, but I'm going to keep patching it up!


KARS's picture

Oh here is another thing one can do. I take a pen and write a long scripture chain about a subject word. Say for instance ROCK, which of the scriptures relate to each other? There is a long list of scriptures listed in a concordance. So to chose the right chain one would have to read the connection and similarities. Let's say I begining in the book of Duet. then write in the margin the next reference, say it's 1 Sam.. Then when I reach the last scripture I write in the margin the first one I found, thus creating a scripture chain. Get it?


Arimus's picture

I make clarifications, corrections and references to and for the translational errors, apparent contradictions, similarities and personal understanding.

Michael Gardner

Michael Gardner's picture

I have a New King James Version and I have it marked with underlines AND different color markings. Also, I have notes added on many of these pages. I have had this bible for perhaps 20 years.

I also have an bible software with about 15 or perhaps a few more versions. Most of them were free to download, but I have two that I purchased (NKJV and ESV). With this I can do comparisons, have different versions parrelleled and use underlines and highlights of just about any color I can make up.
And if I do not like a color or if I want to erase them and start over, I can so this in a few seconds a page on ALL markings.

For bible software is perhaps the easiest my bible studies and take notes on scriptures during Sabbath services.

Michael Gardner

Michael Gardner's picture

This is a question about the "LIKE" button. There has been several comments that I think are very good ways to mark scriptures, but when I pushed the like button it says "you have given this a thumbs up" but the button says "UNLIKE" with a line through the thumbs up icon. I find this to be confusing to me.

Could this be explained to me?


Michael Gardner


charmin46's picture

I sometimes write down scriptures that stand out. It sometimes gives me a double blessing to go back and re-read hem after i write them down


KARS's picture

They sure do Charmin.


triciabrown's picture

My husband is new to religion and was baptised in Sept. 2011. Before he started to care to understand the bible and God he knew nothing. Now he is learning alot and trying to do the things instructed in the Bible, so he got out some highlighters. One color is for bible prophecies, another color is for the recognition of holy days and why not to partake in holidays. Another color is for versus that we like and hold dear to us. And the last color is for the versus that people misuse everyday and general ways we are suppose to live our lives. He started this so he could keep stuff clear and be able to follow all the versus that partain to these topics. He is very organized when he wants to be!

Heather Disher

Heather Disher's picture

What a neat discussion! I have several translations, but my favorite for personal reading is the NLT. I find that I get so much more out of it and it just speaks my language! I underline what I call "Take Home Messages:" Things that God emphasizes as being the most, the best, the greatest, things like that. Lists are always good, too (Fruit of the Spirit, weightier matters of the law, Ten Commandments, Two Great Commandments, etc!) Since it is mostly my reading Bible for just sort of decompressing, it is nice that I have my THMs underlined to get me on track as I read through!

Lena VanAusdle

Lena VanAusdle's picture

for the longest time I used a narrow margin KJV Bible, and I learned to write VERY small, those notes are precious, but very difficult to read. I recently got a wide-margin NKJV Bible, and I am in the process of transferring my notes. I tend to write down corresponding scriptures, relevant historical or biographical information and sometimes clarification/expounding information.


ucgadmin's picture

Hi Michael,

It becomes an "unlike" after it is liked so you can change your mind.


LoneRanger2007's picture

At first, in 1985, I did. It became too hard to keep track of what was what. Today, I use more than one Bible version so marking one is not an option. I much prefer using Bible software, my favorite is ESword. I can compare various versions and lookup word meanings for a much deeper look at what the scriptures really say. For instance, the Good News Bible is the only one I have found that renders Genesis 1:14 correctly:

Genesis 1:14 GNB Then God commanded, "Let lights appear in the sky to separate day from night and to show the time when days, years, and religious festivals begin;


dusty's picture

Thanks Lone Ranger 2007 for the heads-up on the Good News Bible--aka Today's English Version or TEV as I found out when I tried to find it on my Bible software web site. But find it I did and it is now in my library. The word "seasons" in all other versions is translated from the Hebrew "mo'ed" meaning "an appointed or commanded assembly" or or per the GNB, a "religious festival". This verse makes plain that, according to God, the sun marks the days (sunset), and the year (spring equinox). And the moon, i.e. the 1st new moon of the year (Ex. 12:2) marks the beginning of the count to the annual Holy Days.


KARS's picture

When I first opened this Bible and started reading it; I thought I was speaking to a fellow Southern Californian. Guess what, he was. This one talks to me the best.

"You are to begin your calendar with this month; it will be the first month of the year for you." SH' MOT (EXODUS) 12:2 JCB
However, because the church uses NKJV that is my priemer choice.
My hubby said to be careful because each translation has it's own personel agenda. So I pray before I study.


LoneRanger2007's picture

Dusty, not only does GNB make it plain that God set the sun and moon to help us keep the correct cycle of the Holy Days, it plainly shows that the times for the Feasts of the Lord were established before the weekly Sabbath. So, those who keep the Sabbath and reject the Holy Days are in grevious error (SDA's and such).

Kars, I like ESword for just the reason your hubby states, all versions are translations of other translations, we don't have the original manuscripts. Thus, multiple versions are a necessity for learning exactly what the scriptures are really saying, as is word study.

After so much time in WWCG, I think in KJV or NKJV (I haven't used an NKJV for a long time), that is the wording I remember for looking up any verse you want to think of.

ESword is free, by the way.


LoneRanger2007's picture

Dusty, another eye-opening section in the GNB/TEV is Matthew 5:17-19.


KARS's picture

lol :o) Can't help it.
Loneranger 2007 have I got a surprise for you.
We do use Esword, Strong's Concordance, Greek Moffitt translation,The Minor Prophets,and Vine's Strong Dictionary among other things. And we were both at WWCOG-Pasadena since 80.
Nice to have you on board.
Have a good Sabbath everyone.


dusty's picture

Yes, the GNB/TEV rendering of Matthew 5:17-19 is very clear and unambiguous. However, in Lev. 23 I was disappointed that it’s translators followed the KJV tradition of not distinguishing the difference between the Hebrew words “mow’ed”, meaning “appointed times” or “commanded assemblies”, and “khag”, meaning, “feasts” or “festivals”. It’s the NAS that gets the “atta boy” here. It correctly translate all “khags” as “feast”, and in vv. 2, 4, 37, and 44 the NAS properly renders “mow’ed” as “appointed times”. Just goes to prove that no translation is perfect.


amyhunt's picture

I used to find it hard to write in my bible and highlight but I have recently found that it is really beneficial. I have highlighted a lot of scriptures on e-sword which I use a lot for ABC classes. When I return home and buy a wide margined bible I will come up with my color cordinated system.


LoneRanger2007's picture

dusty, "no translation is perfect"...that is for sure! I hesitate to ask if anyone has used Fred Coulter's version or Jacob Myer's version? I personally have not looked at them.


Robmeijer's picture

Yes, I under line in my Bible.

I try to make study lines.
For example, on the subject of the Sabbath. Then I start with a text and refer by that text to the next and so on.

This is a great help if you want to help people to understand the Bible.

God bless you,

Rob Meijer from the Netherlands


dusty's picture

Lone Ranger: I am not familiar with Jacob Myer but I have perused the Fred Coulter Version. It is more or less just a new New King James with all the old KJV mistranslations such as in Genesis 1, Exodus 12 and 34, Leviticus 23, and Deut. 16. The FCV’s main claim to fame is that the books are in the original order. That does have some advantages, especially in the NT, which encourages those new to the Truth to read the General Epistles before reading the Epistles of Paul, which is as it should be. It lays the groundwork for rightly understanding some of Paul’s more difficult passages.

Ken Murray

Ken Murray's picture

Yes, one of things i found valuable from my teenage years, was to mark my Bible.

Now i am 62yrs old and am still marking things that give me a deeper understanding and cross-referencing them to other scriptures.

Recently, i scanned an uploaded my 43yr old KJV, with all its notes, onto Scribd, at:
**Link removed to comply with comment policy**

It has proved to be quite popular, with many downloads.

Susan Durnil

Susan Durnil's picture

Oh, yeah. My bibles are all marked with highlighter, underline, and notes in the margins. Now that I have a NASB on my Nook color, I can still highlight important passages and add margin notes to my Nook.

In whatever bible I use, the passages used for Passover are pink, to make them easy to see when I'm looking for something to study.

Arthur Ward

Arthur Ward's picture

I simply use a ink pen and yellow hi-lighter. I use a card, similar to credit card to keep the lines straight with ink pen, while be able to freelance with hi-lighter. Things that need specific attention will get both treatments. Notes made are perforated and outlined with pen so that the words in the Bible are not crossed through. Often on an angle with card. One color is all I'll use as too many tend to make my Bible not look good if someone other than myself picks it up to read.


Hergenroeder's picture

I also like to color code! Good from bad, GOD from evil.


wqmarr's picture

Marking or not marking in your Bible is a very personal decision. I was taught in school you don't write in books, use a sheet of paper. A Bible is different and took me a while to make any kind of marking in it. Allow me to share some considerations with you. YOU must decide whether you are going to highlight, underline or write notes; someone else can't decide for you. Some people underline anything that impresses them at the moment without and regard of organization. I personally underline using specific colors for areas of thought: Salvation, Blessings/God Speaking, Growth/New Life, General Counsel/Warning, General Items to Remember or Share, etc. I use black and red to reference one verse to another and make short notes (usually only a few words). This keeps my Bible clean and neat (now). A couple I have used before, are fine but some areas that I marked before overlaps, goes further than I want it to now, or was someone else's justification of Bible teachings that upon further study was contrary to scripture. For example: Eve didn't eat an apple, it was forbidden fruit; Cleanliness is next to Godliness, you will find Godliness and cleanliness in the Bible but not one directly related to the other in the scriptures. If you have any questions, ask me or any of the well qualified Elders of this ministry.


Nike's picture

I highlight and make marks to remind me of scriptures important to topics of interest. I also use tiny sheets of paper as notes and insert between pages or chapters having passages of note for reference.

I have this feeling since you ask the question, that marking the Bible passages reflects the areas in life that interests one and knowing what the Bible says about these interests. It indicates the impact the Bible has on one. Having no indication as such may also imply that the Bible has no impact on one's life.

Thank you.


jeff41005's picture

I use the margins to link verses throughout the Bible in a (same) subject manner. For example, I am currently reading from Proverbs and each time I find a verse relating to finances I will write in the margin other Bible verses on this same subject. By the time I reach the final verse on this same topic I will write the first verse I came to in the margin so that it takes me back to the beginning of my thought pattern. That way as I study or share scripture with someone I can easily show from both Old and New Testaments verses relating to each other. This is especially good when dealing with the law, feast days or any other topic which most people feel we are no longer obligated to obey. Another "linkage" I have done is from Genesis when God told Cain that sin is "waiting at the door." I have linked this to 1 John 3:4-12. This example shows that since sin is lawlessness, the law was in effect prior to Moses/Sinai and 1John even references Cain in verse 12. This process helps greatly with sharing the truth with those who don't believe as we do.


nobraid's picture

GOoD day everyone, yes I highlight and underline and write in the margins, as well as keep a notebook. I am retired because of a disability and study the Word of God ,well all the time, but most frequently between the hrs. of 3am till 6am everyday. I ask for God's Holy Spirit to take me where I need to be ,not for me first , but where I can best be "used" in the service of God,because when you give of yourself to others without looking for anything in return, your rewarded in ways you can't even imagine. The Word of God, by high lighting it, always reminds me of where I was, where I am and where I'm going, and that in turn give me my "duties" so to speak for the day. I tell everyone that "I work for God" now because of my disability and always get a Great response from them ,along with prayer requests, which I do even without being asked. I've also noted that when I am reading my high-lighted bible out in public, I have people come up to me, see the verse or scripture I have high-lighted and they tell me "that's just what they needed" In closing I just want to say "God is AWESOME" in the way He works, you just have to let in into your heart. Have a GOoD day everyone.


zechash's picture

No, I pursher a set of coloring pens with instruction to color blessing one color, thankgiving another color,...etc. I could not discorn between the different texts.


dawkins's picture

Yes it helps me remember scripture that is important to me. I highlight and put the date to remind me when and what the Lord spoke to me about...when reading a scripture on that day in my life. It helps me see my growth and keeps me focused.


jeff41005's picture


I have used both Fred Coulter's and Jacob Meyer's versions. You are correct that no translation is perfect. I did not like Mr. Meyer's version. I felt some of his translation fell short of being true to the Word. Regarding Fred Coulter's version, I think this is one of the best translations and he has great notes included. The only problem I have with this is the size to a bit too big. I wish it were a smaller size, but other than this I find it a good translation for the most part.


c5's picture

When i bought our KJV Bible, we (hubby and I) made sure it was wide margin and large print. None of that sort was available locally so we resorted to the internet and had 2 delivered. It was for the purpose of writing notes. I underline, highlight, make notes and references. I also make a "string" of verses and start with the topic and the first verse noted at the back. For example the Passover ceremony, I put "Passover" and wrote the first verse next to it. At the end of the verse I write a right arrow then the next verse. Whatever the end of the verse, or series of verses, is, I write another right arrow and the next verse...etc. With other topics, like the Fundamental Beliefs, I write the "coming from" verse with the left arrow (<--) and the "going to" verse with the right arrow (-->) but I also have the general code of the topic beforehand like "FB1" to mean Fundamental Belief #1. At the back of the Bible I have the first verse noted next to the general code.


LoneRanger2007's picture

Since my intitial comments, I have upgraded to a Droid Razor. Now I have "My Sword" and 2 other Bible version programs with word/verse search available wherever I go. And in the one I can build study topics and notes about different subjects.

(Now if I can just figure out how to sync that with my laptop!!)

What a great tool!

James Wilson

James Wilson's picture

Ever since I can remember, family, school teachers, we were taught not to deface books, I remember important sections, others I make notes, with the advent of computers this task has been much easier.


grnjllybn's picture

To make markings or to write in or on the pages of the Bible, is, in my opinion, defacing the Word of God. I use sticky notes and let them show above the page like little bookmarks.
They are easily removed without damaging the pages.
I only use the KJV or the NKJV


KARS's picture

Hi everyone!
I have posted a few times before. I have one Bible that I go all over the place with. It's my NKJV. Now, I may not be an art major but I do have a system in my book. To others it may look bizarre, however, there is a system to my madness. lol :o)
When God or someone else talks about love or heart, I draw a heart. If it is a dark heart; then a black heart. If I find rainbows in the scriptures I draw rainbows. I drew a boat for the ark, and soforth. Now, when I am studying a word,say, "Rock". Then I look up every single word that I can find about God being our rock and in pen write down every single scripture reference on the side of each page. Making myself a scripture ring. So when I look up the first scripture my notes with take me to the next, and next, and next until I reach the last one. Then the last one takes me back to the first.


dawkins's picture

Dido KARS I'm with you I too have a system to my madness... I think everyone has their own system, way etc. It's all about ones own relationship/communication with his/her God/Higher Power. I remember some years feeling bad about marking in my Bible but that changed the more I felt the Lord speaking to me as I read. this is my 3rd yr of reading through the Bible in a yr. Each day I read an OT, NT, PS, & PRV. I highlight/mark what I feel is being said to ME that day and I also have a spiritual journal that I write in when it really hits home. I started that when I was about 11 yrs old because of growing up in a dysfunctional family and feeling so misunderstood my conversations with God kept me...if you know what I mean. I don't think God is bothered by if we mark in our Bibles...He just wants us in one. God bless everyone till next time


djbartch's picture

I make notes about alternative definitions, clarification, relevant historical information, and additional scriptural references. I've also started jotting down when I hear a scripture explained in a way that changes how I look at a scripture or how it has personal meaning for ME. I also use the blank pages & margin space in the concordance to keep my own topical index, especially for the topics that are often asked about. (Be ready to give an answer!) I'm so very thankful for my wide-margin NKJV!


insideout's picture

I used to underline everything I felt I understood or was "enlightened" to, or felt I had a "deeper" understanding of. However, now I have an electronic edition of the Bible, with a couple of different versions. When I want to study with Strong's, I use that version to look up the Hebrew/Greek definition.
I use the NKJ for all other references. I copy them into a document in word, title it, and put it in a relevant folder. That way, when I want to study, say the relationship between the heavenly Temple and the earthly Temple, or say their relationship to the Tabernacle of Moses, I can easily find ALL references to that subject. It makes studying so much easier.
I can look up a word, say Tabernacle, and all verses containing that word are found. Wow, sure saves me a lot of time, and without having to flip from chapter to chapter, or looking up what few cross-references are in the margins.
I advise all who study the Bible to download one of these programs, as they are very beneficial in studying God's word, plus, your Bible stays neat and clean.
I had so many verses and passages underlined, it became difficult to find again what I was looking for.


bluegrassbassist65's picture

i use a yellow highlighter on passages that mean alot to me and use a pen to emphasize parts of passages or words of scripture that bring a verse to life.

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