Having the right Bible is crucial to falling in love with God’s Word…
I grew up in church knowing I needed to spend time reading scripture, but I struggled. Not only in finding time to read the Bible, but mostly in understanding it.
The King James Version I grew up with used unfamiliar and outdated words, and when I tried the New American Standard version in Bible college, it didn’t resonate in my soul.
Though both translations are wonderful, it wasn’t until I picked up the New International Version (1984) that I found a Bible that “spoke my language.”
With a new NIV Study Bible in hand, I dove into the 2:7 Discipleship Course and God’s Word began to come alive! I found myself falling in love with the Bible – especially when I learned how to make that Bible my own.
In this Word Time video from the Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World DVD Study, I’ll share some of the things I’ve learned about choosing (and using!) a Bible.
Reading and Marking Your Bible
How to Use Your Bible
If you don’t yet have a Bible that you really enjoy and understand, I suggest that you go to your local Christian bookstore and look at the variety of different translations available. Consider upgrading to a study edition that has a thorough concordance and study helps as well as brief explanatory notes and commentaries throughout.
Then begin to make this Bible your own. When I began to underline and highlight scripture, my Bible became alive to me and a tangible record of my walk with the Lord!
Here are some tips to enhance your reading and study experience (adapted from Growing Strong in God’s Family: The 2:7 Series):
1. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak something fresh to your heart (Ephesians 1:17).
2. Read slowly, thinking of ways to apply what you’re reading to your life.
3. Using a pen, colored pencil, or non-bleed highlighter, mark things that stand out to you, such as words of encouragement, insights, challenges, observations, etc.
4. While there are different methods, here are a few simple markings you can use:
- [Brackets]—put around a phrase or place in margin to note a specific portion.
- /Diagonal Lead-in and out/—use within the text or in the margin to mark a longer passage.
- Circle—draw a circle around repeated words in a passage or to indicate the principal characters or themes of that passage.
- Underline—use to highlight words, phrases, or a sentence. For a block of verses, other markings are often less tedious than underlining.
When a verse really speaks to a situation I’m going through, I mark it with a star or make notes in the margins with a date to remind me of what God has said. This personal interaction with the Word of God has caused me to fall in love with the Bible even more.
I pray this exercise makes it come alive to you as well!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
I’d love to hear from you…How do you get the most out of your Bible reading?