How to Color Code in Your Bible

I love highlighting in my Bible! Seeing all the pretty colors that represent all the important themes that I want to remember is so satisfying.

The fun part about highlighting is that there really isn’t ONE best way to do it. Once you deliver yourself from the boundaries of needing to mark up your Bible perfectly, you’ll be free to explore all kinds of possibilities without FOMO or fear you’re going to mess up. 

In today’s post, I’m going to share a few things to consider when putting together a Bible color code. 

1. Consider your Bible

The first thing I would consider is your Bible. What I mean by this is whether you’re using a Bible for a season, a specific purpose or for the long haul.

For instance, some will read and/or study the entire Bible in a year and will use a dedicated journaling Bible for that year. That way, they can write notes and highlight and have a record of their journey through the scriptures for every year. If you do something like this, you don’t have to stick to a color coding system forever – you can switch it up every year! You can choose different themes and categories every year depending on the season you’re in or what you’re focusing on in your study.  

If you’re highlighting in a Bible you’re going to keep/use for years, then you’re going to want to consider what themes and categories are going to matter to you in the long run.  

2. Consider time & convenience

My current highlighting code has 11 colors + 3 pen colors for the notes I write in my Bible. That’s extensive and not necessary for everyone. A simple 4 or 5 color code is just fine. It all depends on what’s most time effective and convenient.

While there isn’t anything wrong with an extensive color code, you should consider the practicality of it. Do you need to take your highlighting tools around and can you carry several colors with you? Is it going to be too time consuming to switch from color to color? While I do have lots of colors in my code, I’m not concerned with highlighting every single thing. I mark what I consider most important and helpful. This ensures that I’m not laboring unnecessarily over the text with my colors.

Choose a code that is the most practical for you based on your time and what’s convenient!

3. Consider symbols

Highlighting isn’t the only way to mark your Bible – you can use symbols too! I personally don’t do this because I have enough to keep me busy with colors. But! you can use different shapes and symbols to mark themes and key words. I would advise you not to get too carried away with symbols because they can junk up your text and be distracting. But choosing a few symbols to use alongside your color code may be super helpful in your study! 

4. Consider biblical themes

This is the fun part – deciding what themes or categories you’re going to highlight. Like I mentioned at the beginning, there isn’t a wrong way to do this. You can highlight anything you want to focus on. Here are some themes to consider using in your code:

  • God, Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, attributes of God
  • worship, prayer, thanksgiving
  • church, body of Christ
  • relationships, friendships, family, marriage,
  • prophecy, dreams, visions, future
  • law, covenant, character, oaths, justice
  • wisdom, teaching, instruction
  • miracles, promises, gifts of God, love, blessings, salvation, gospel
  • sin, death, evil, idolatry, wickedness, false teaching, temptation
  • rebuke, punishment, God’s displeasure, correction

You can pick any combination of these or any other theme.

Here are some other fun options – 

  • use one color for every book of the Bible (Genesis in blue, Exodus in orange, etc.)
  • use one color code for the Old Testament and a different one for the New Testament
  • mark prophecy and fulfillment
  • highlight metanarrative themes – (i.e. Creation, Fall, Covenant, Messiah, Church, Recreation)

With these considerations in mind, play around with options and combinations. Remember, there isn’t one right way to do this!

I’ve recently re-vamped my color code. I’m currently using it in my study through the books of 1 & 2 Samuel in our CLUB 119 study and I’m really enjoying it! Feel free to use it if you’d like!


How do you color code in your Bible? Let me know in the comments below!


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One Comment

  1. I started using your color code about 3 years ago. I will have to check and see what updates you made and update mine lol.

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