This year, our church is studying the Old Testament in Sunday School. I am excited to really dive deep into it and learn new things this year.
I have not always been a diligent scripture reader. I have gone through different periods with my scripture study (as I am sure you have too). I have periods of sporadic study and periods of consistent reading. I ended last year on a good streak, and I am excited to keep that streak going into the new year.
I will take you along as I study the Old Testament this year. I will share some insights, resources, and favorite passages. The Bible is full of information about God and His plan for us, and I am always surprised when I learn something new as I reread it. The way the Bible is written allows us to gain an understanding of so much more than the stories written. How amazing is God that He gave us this book to teach and guide us through this life?!
I am the type of person who likes to write notes in my scriptures. My pages are full of insights, quotes, glue-ins, and cross-references. I have gathered a list of some supplies that I like to use for you. Use what works best for you. It takes time to find what your style is.
Scripture Study Supplies
I like to use a journaling Bible. They have dedicated space in the margins for notes. When I use a standard Bible, the pages get overrun, messy, and confusing. A journaling Bible allows me to write large enough to read, add quotes, and journal right in my Bible.
My husband gifted me a new journaling Bible for Christmas. He purchased it here (affiliate link). I am using the NIV and KJV translation to study right now. I have found that referencing different translations allows me to understand words and phrases better. That brings me to the next item on my list. . .
The Parallel Plus App
This app is free, and it allows you to compare verses from different translations side-by-side. The app has the most popular versions and many versions I had never heard of. It also has Greek and Hebrew translations.
Pens & Highlighters
Bible pages are thinner than regular paper that we are used to. So, it is necessary to choose pens and highlighters that will not bleed through the pages. Most gel pens are safe for writing in your Bible. I like the Paper Mate Ink Joy gel pens. You can find them at almost any Walmart, Target, or office supply store. I got mine on Amazon (nothing beats having it delivered to your house when you have 2 little kids at home). The link is here (affiliate link).
I also use a boring old black ballpoint pen for most of my notes. I like to write in black and highlight it with the same color as I highlighted the corresponding text.
When it comes to highlighters, you should avoid the highlighters you used in school. Those will bleed right through your pages and make it difficult to read the next page. I like to use highlighters designed for scriptures. They are called gel highlighters, but they are different than gel pens. Here are the ones I recently bought from Amazon (not an affiliate link). I really like how smooth they transfer onto the page, and they are pigmented enough that I do not feel like I need to go over the words multiple times.
I am the type of person who cannot stand to underline unless the line is straight. So, I always have a ruler with me when I am reading my scriptures. Right now, I use an old ruler I found lying around our house. It is a little bent from my toddlers playing with it, but it does the job.
I love to use sticky notes when I need to write more than my margins allow. I can write it on a sticky note and fold the edge to save space.
My favorite sticky notes are the 1 inch by 3 inch Post-It notes. Here is a link to some on Amazon (affiliate link).
This list gives you the basic supplies to get started. I use other things while I study like washi tape, glue-ins, and brush pens. Those are extra supplies I like to use to be more creative with my notes. You have to find what works for you, and it is okay to go through a few different styles until you find one you like.
I can’t wait to share this journey through the Old Testament with you. As we go, I look forward to hearing your thoughts and insights.
Follow along on Instagram for more of the journey. I can’t wait to see you there.