How I Annotate My Bible
If you've been following along with me on instagram, then you know that I am a lover of journaling bibles! I like to write and draw all over my bible, to enrich my learning, so I figure I should show you what it is that I do. So come on and dig into the word with me!!
Note: I, in no way, have the market capitalized on the perfect way to study the bible. I have, however, found a way that works for me.
To start off, the most important thing to do is Pray. Understanding God’s word fully comes from the Holy Spirit, and not by our own simple understanding. I encourage you to pray however you need to that lets you release to God. Pray aloud. Pray in your mind. Write your prayer in a journal. However you need to pray, do it, as long as you are sure to pray.
The first thing I do after praying is read the entire chapter. If you are studying a particular passage, then it is best to read the whole chapter through at least once. This helps give a broader picture of what’s happening. Depending on the book and chapter, it may be more helpful to read the chapter before it. But at the very least, read the entire chapter. Do not rush, but instead read with the intention of understanding. If there are words you don't get, it‘s okay, we will look them up later.
Next, some important questions to ask are, 'who is writing this passage?' and 'who are they writing it to?'. Again, this adds to understanding the broader picture, understanding the context. It’s not good to just pick and choose what the bible says, but in order to understand what God is saying to you, understanding the circumstances of the passage is key.
For added understanding, I reference books by outside authors. I have a bible handbook from undergrad that I like to refer to to see if there is anything really important of note to write in my bible for the next time I come upon the passage. The Bible handbook I have is entitled Halley’s Bible Handbook Deluxe Edition. It is okay for my purposes, but sometimes I do wish it went a bit deeper. In the future, I likely will acquire another Bible handbook or commentary. Other books I like to read for biblical insight include Patriarchs and Prophets and Prophets and Kings by E.G.White.
Alright so now onto the passage itself!
I go through passage again line by line. If other verses in the bible connect or come to mind, I read them, and then come back to main passage and write those verse sources down next to the passage I’m reading.
If there are any words that I don't know the meaning of, I look it up and write it next to the passage. I write in the margins of my Bible not only because it helps me remember, but also, the next time I come upon the passage, I don’t have to research all over again.
I highlight and/or write in purple characteristics, attributes, and names of God. This was originally part of an Old Testament challenge given by Coffee and Bible Time, but as I continue studying, I’ve kept it up.
If there is a particular text of importance or that I wanna memorize, I write it out completely. And if the passage links to a song for me, then I write some of the lyrics in the margin with music notes.
I also write out key points or reminders that stand out to me. I especially circle, highlight, and/or write promises of God. This helps me stay grounded in and by The Word.
For a visual head on over to my IGTV where I posted a video showcasing some of the steps above.