Bible highlighting by topic. An idea and a question. (MERGED)


Is it okay to highlight certain verses in the Bible? It’s a small Bible given to me by an old man by the street.


YES DEFINATELY its a good idea to find things in a hurry or your favorite verse and there is nothing wrong with it just make sure the ink does not bleed through the paper or smear if it gets damp


I think you can get a special highlighter for use on thin paper. I remember seeing one in a Christian bookstore, but the one near us as since closed. I have never seen one in a Catholic book store. Maybe they figure we don’t highlight our bibles…I sure do underline and write in mine. Acutally I do write a lot in my study bible but not so much in the one I use for prayer.


Yes, there are definitely dry highlighters on the market. I get mine at the Christian bookstore. I have refillable markers - you buy the holder and when you need refills, you just buy those. You should be able to find them online or in the store.



Uh-oh! You’ve just learned one of the deep Protestants secrets! This is one of the ways that they appear to know so much about the Bible and can flip from book to book and verse to verse while most Catholics are looking in the Table of Contents to find out exactly where Philemon is!

As a Protestant (now converted to Catholicism) I had my Bible full of highlights, cross-references, notes in the margins, etc. If someone asked me a question, I could turn to one of my guides, find a verse, and then follow a pathway through the Bible because of my cross-references. Pretty impressive!

Shh! Don’t tell anyone that you learned their secret!


I see nothing wrong with it but I personally don’t do it.


A colored pencil in a bright shade would work as well as a highlighter and you wouldn’t need to worry it might “bleed through” onto other pages.


A person in one of my pre-baptism classes told me that if your bible is in pretty good shape, chances might be that you’re not. So, start highlighting to your heart’s content!


I’ve heard something similar, and would agree. Historically I think we Catholics have tended to treat our (typically one) “family Bible” as a sacred liturgical book, pretty on the shelf, maybe back in the day with pages to record births, baptisms, etc., but with a level of solemnity that removes it from day-to-day use. I think a modest paperback Bible that we’re comfortable underlining, making marginal notes in, and using for study, does a whole lot more good than a gilded, leather-bound version (as nice as those are) that gets no use at all.


If it’s not OK then this cradle Catholic has 30+ years worth of doing the wrong thing behind her. But as a previous poster mentioned, colored pencils are often a better choice for such thin paper. I have several colored pencils that I keep with my study bibles.


I like the idea of colored pencils.


[quote="Mattapoisett64, post:9, topic:336696"]
I think a modest paperback Bible that we're comfortable underlining, making marginal notes in, and using for study, does a whole lot more good than a gilded, leather-bound version (as nice as those are) that gets no use at all.


Paperbacks are perfectly fine, but I prefer a sturdier book for study. I have bad luck with such bibles (the glue always seems to come apart) and I've found a leather cover cloth covered kind can be found, reasonably priced, at a used bookstore. I got mine for ten dollars and it's still going strong. :)

I'm glad to hear about the colored pencil idea instead of highlighters, however. My Paulian epistles are starting to look bad from the bleed-through ink.


Do to the Bible what you gotta do to get what you gotta get out of it.

I used to have the goal of wearing out a Bible from reading it so much. I'm sadly a long way off. :shrug:


Love that!

I participated in The Great Adventure Bible study – great stuff!
One of the other members used an orange crayon. Don’t know if that might bleed through thin pages over time.

I used a ball-point pen & a small ruler (I’m fussy). And it ws handy to have a pen with multiple colors.

I have one Bible that is my study bible. Others are around for reading (NSV Catholic version).
And we also have a Catholic Study Bible which is chock full of notes. Many of the references Cavins gave in the GAB study were in this version. It also has a listing to figure out the daily readings for the lectionary.

I wish I’d gotten a larger print Bible for my study Bible, though. Now I’m kinda stuck since I’ve got so many notes already in it; too late to start over.

Nighty - night!


CatholicLife - great answers above, but a quick reminder for you only because I have lived a little bit longer than you. When you said “given to me …by the street” I just wanted to remind you to make sure it is a Catholic Bible you got. While there are comparative value in different translations you want to be sure what you mark up.

P.S. - the quote I heard about worn bibles was “You will often find that the person whose Bible is worn out, torn and tattered has a life that is not”


I realize I'm resurrecting an old thread here. But this is a topic about which I'm somewhat (very) obsessed. Does anyone have a particular system or particular topics they use for highlighting/marking?


OK, so I posted in another thread similar in topic to this one. However, what I want to comment and question on is slightly different, so I thought I’d start a new one.
I have an idea and a question, as I said. The idea is one I discovered while surfing on YouTube. The person that did the video called it beveling your bible. The idea is this: You take a particular topic you wish to mark in the bible and start with the first reference to it in scripture. You then highlight the verse(s). Then (provided this is your first topic), you also put a mark in the same color at the top edge of the same page as the verse you’ve just marked. Then, when you fan the pages a little, you can easily see all the pages you’ve marked.
The question I have is this: how does one determine topics then subsequently find verses pertaining to these topics to mark?


Oh, I feel like I should also say that subsequent topics would use page-edge marks further down the page.


Depending on how thorough you wanted to be, you'd end up turning your Bible into a rainbow, and then into a giant brown-markered book, since each particular verse could fall under the scope of multiple different topics.

This is where you would index the Bible via topic and keep the index in the back. Much neater. In fact depending on your particular copy, if you look in the back, there might be something like that already. :D


Method sounds similar to these.

I've used them before and they work great and help alot. Especially for apologetics. If you're looking for something more like "In times of Joy" or "In times of Suffering" the highlighting method might be better.

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