Writing in your bible (Merged)


I was reading the bible and liked a specific verse. I have heard that it is disrespectful and I have heard it can be a good thing because it shows you are digging into scriptures better.


As long as it’s your copy, I don’t see a problem. Isn’t the paper sort of thin, though?


Yeah it’s thin! But I don’t think it would go through…


Yes. They have "dry" highlighters just for thin Bible paper. Check Christian Book Distributors. I more often use a pen with a used up gift card for a straight edge.


It’s not disrespectful if you’re doing it for study or devotional purposes.

(Of course, if you’re worried about paper quality, a pencil is an equally good option.) :wink:


They sell Bible highlighters on Amazon as well.


I underline things in pencil which I can erase if I have to.


It’s perfectly fine as long as for devotional purposes


I actually keep multiple Bibles for this purpose. I keep the “clean” Bibles for devotional purposes and the “dirty” ones for apologetics and study.


I would echo the above poster’s suggestion of having a study Bible specifically for that purpose.


I have a Bible that I use to study with and have it all marked up but I also like to have a nice clean Bible just simply for reading at night. After trying loads of different highlighters I would recommend ‘pilot frixion light erasable highlighters.’ most highlighters bleed through Bible paper but I find pilot frixion highlighters are fantastic and have no bleedthrough with Ignatius RSVCE2 Bibles and probably most other Bibles too. They come in yellow, orange, green, pink, and blue and are available on amazon.

The reviews are not great on amazon but thats only because people dont think they erase properly on certain types of paper, but for highlighting and no bleedthrough they are great.


Ever seen Mother Angelica’s bible when they rerun her show on EWTN? Its all marked up with notes and highlights.


I use erasable colored pencils so I can not only highlight, but do it in a systematic way, such as green for Holy Spirit passages, red for salvation passages, etc (my own arbitrary color scheme).

It’s a carry-over from my Protestant days, I suppose. The first time I tried highlighting verses was when I was in high school and I used a fat red pencil. I was very sloppy and ended up obliterating the verses I wanted to highlight!

Now I use a small plastic ruler to avoid crossing out those verses and I have a set of mechanical pencils with matching color leads by Pilot called Eno which keep the lines thin. I also stick a plastic sheet under the page to keep it from grooving the page underneath.

Colored pencils don’t smudge like graphite pencils.


Absolutely! Mine is a messof highlights and notes in the margins. I also keep a small spiral notebook in the case with it for notes and to write down inspirations from the Spirit.

God bless


I used to highlight my Bible and find nothing wrong with it. I don’t anymore because I found my eyes immediately going the highlighted passages and ignoring the rest.


Bible is not that piece of paper or exact book, but revelation… My current bible is my 4th one (not counting digital version in my reader).


I’m on my second highlighted Bible: platytera.blogspot.com/2013/02/a-cheap-bible.html%between%


Thanks for sharing this. Coming from a Protestant background I was pretty much raised to mark up my Bible to use to defend my faith. As a Catholic I don’t see a ton of people highlighting or even, I hate to say this, reading the Bible.



Re: Catholics, I think it varies. My family is full of avid readers, but we just don't mark in books. Nothing against those who do. Marginalia, glosses, and highlighting are honorable practices.But we try not even to crease the spine or pages, so you can see that my family wasn't going for marking up books with notes! (And yes, sometimes it's embarrassing to explain to an author that is signing a book that in fact it's not a new copy, but in fact has been reread a great many times.)

I think the only time I've ever marked up a book was back in the 90's, when the publishers were shifting between printing systems and huge numbers of typos and spellcheck errors were appearing routinely in books. I would very carefully make corrections, trying to go with the font to make them invisible.

More recently, I've had some big projects that actually necessitated marking a book with a highlighter, and it was pretty traumatic at first. Luckily the paper was pretty yellowish to start with, so I could tell myself that the yellow highlighter wasn't that bad. It's actually faded into the pages now, so it's almost like new. Except not, alas.

So yes, when I first found out that people marked up their Bible, which is to say, a book even more precious than other books, it sounded really weird. Also, it sounded logistically impossible, because most of our family's Bibles didn't really have margins or spaces between the lines.

So yeah, mostly I make mental notes. Haven't usually needed any other kind. But when I do need to, I now have electronic copies of my sources, which are a lot easier to annotate without destruction.

However, it should be noted that the original, normal way to write out or print a Bible was to put in all sorts of interlinear and marginal glosses on meanings, patristic quotes, etc. The way Protestants mark up their Bibles would appear to be a survival of this medieval Catholic habit.

So... if you want to mark up a Bible, mark it up. But if a Catholic's Bible looks unread, they might just come from a neatnik family where books were always held precious. There's no way to really tell.


I got my bible marked everywhere, and I also have page markers, ribbons, paper clips, devotional cards for markers. So, I hope it’s not a bad thing.

God bless

jesus g

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