Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Writing in Your Bible

So, do you write in your Bible? How about in your study Bible? I remember when I first decided to start writing in my Bible, to be honest, it took some time, since I was a little apprehensive about writing in a book that contained the Holy Scriptures. Perhaps that hesitance was a Catholic thing? Not sure. However, once I started to write in my Bible, it opened up the Scriptures to me in a new way. I began feeling like I was interacting with the text on much greater level than before. Not only was I scribbling additional notes and commentary that I found to be useful, but also thoughts and inspirations that came through my reading. Over time I came to develop a system of how I personally annotated my Bible.

I am curious to read if any of you regularly write in your Bible's. Do you have a system?


Krystle said...

I'm still quite hesitant to literally write in my bible, but I've still found ways to "dirty" my bible by highlighting and using post-it tabs.

I've even developed my own color coding system for my post-it tabs:

Blue - verses for God answering my prayers
Yellow - God always with me
Pink - God loves me
Purple - my favorite scripture passages/verses that inspire my life
Green - God comforting me and giving me hope

If I do feel inspired, I usually just jot those inspirations in my journal. I might jot down the main message and insert it in my bible, or even write it on a mini-post-it note so that it wont get lost from the passage.

I do have a separate devotional with the daily scriptures that I do annotate, especially during adoration or even during mass to remind me what hit me during the homily. Truth be told, I still feel weird grabbing my pen and devotional during mass (I think this is also one of those Catholic hesitance feelings), but I find it an awesome way of remembering those inspirations that hit during the homily. I've even used the church bulletin when I forget my book.

dmw said...

I write in my Bible, of course. My method is as follows: I use a red pen to underline important verses or write a vertical line in the margin to indicate a larger section is of note. To comment or annotate a verse or verses I place a circled number next to the verse(s). Somewhere in the margins, usually at the bottom or top margins, I write that same circles number and write my notes. Therefore, I make my own handwritten footnotes. While I use multiple translations in my study (RSVCE, NAB, DR, Gk), I put all my notes in my trusty original edition Ignatius Bible, a softcover so used and worn that the edges of the pages are yellow and brittle and the cover has come off so that I've recovered it with leather and attached Bible tabs. Never leave home without it.

Matt said...

I grew up Presbyterian, and was taught to never write in my Bible. It wasn't until I was Catholic that I did. Strange how that works, eh?

Theophrastus said...

Is that a photo of your Bible, Tim?

I find that I often draw little illustrations in my Bible. A visualization thing, I suppose. But some of my friends like my illustrations too, so I've made a gift twice of a personally illustrated Bible.

I used to take notes in Bibles, but I think I had to transfer those notes just one too many times. I greatly prefer pens to pencils, but because Bible paper is so thin , it takes a whole special set of pens to take notes. So, I gave up on handwritten notes and switched to electronic notes (I use the Logos computer program.) But when I see a gorgeous wide-margin Bible -- well, I get a hankering to start writing notes again!

Timothy said...


Yes, that is my NOAB RSV!

Christian said...

I use color coded post it tabs for about a dozen topics, positioned all around the edges location-specific. I then. Highlight the relevant passage in the matching color highlighter (some pages, have several different themes highlighted) and fine point pen or pencil for further notes in the margins. I use an Ignatius RSV portable compact, with the zippered cover to keep the tabs from getting too much abuse. It's super portable (fits in the internal pockets of my Saddleback Leather Briefcase perfectly) and the font is too small for extended reading, so it keeps this version useable for me.

Steve said...

I just can't do it. 8-) No matter how hard I try, I simply can't mark my Bibles with anything other than my fingerprints while turning pages!

Seriously. I keep notes, if needed, in a separate journal for easy reference.

Anonymous said...

LOL, I can't bring myself to write in a Bible - I even tried buying one that already had some writing in it - can't do it.

Colleague said...

I spent $200 on a Cambridge Wide Margin ESV about 8 months ago, I got some Pigma Microns to write in it, wrote a few notes in the margins based on some stuff I had been reading, but I ultimately canned that Bible like all the others I own for one reason or another.

I can't bring myself to write in any Bible, really. The above experiment was a failed one. I'm constantly beset by the realization that every inspirational reading is fleeting, every piece of scholarly information is completely hypothetical, and there is rarely anything concrete that needs to be written in my Bible. Underlining verses makes later readings confusing.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I can allow myself to do is a small line at the edge of the page to hihlight a speciel place. Just to make it easier to find.
And only do in my traveling bible.
But, no writing or underlining in the text itself, it is distracting and disurbing.

Anonymous said...

If you look at Revelations 22:18-19 it says to not add any words or subtract from God's words. Therefore, I would strongly forbid if I could anyone from doing so since you would be cursed by God according to the official text. So do not remove God's words or add to them! If you do, do not blame me if you are cursed because I warned you. If you already did, then just get a new one and leave the old one alone or throw it out.

Anonymous said...

My interpretation of that - is to actually change the verse - study notes are helpful and do not take from the actual words.

Bill Hicks said...

I do write in my bible. What is it that I write? I enjoy noting CCC references, pertinent saint quotes to particular passages, and Hebrew & Greek words in my bible. It is helpful for me for teaching scripture studies/men's group and evangelizing... don't need to carry a ton of notes around.

Anonymous said...

i see Christ in my dreams, he wakes me from my nightmares and calms me. i don’t need to write in my bible for Gods teaching is constantly on my mind and in my bedroom and reminds me everyday that ‘there is neither jew nor gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, we are all one in Christ’ . blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God. Next week i’ll tell you about my pilgrimage to Iona xoxoxo hugs and kisses, just another steward of God