How to Create and Use a Bible Highlighting System

Do you long to understand the Bible better? Do you sometimes come away from your reading not really remembering much of what you read? Using a Bible highlighting system is one way I have found to help me slow down and really notice what the Bible is saying to me.

If you are a visual learner, like me, then I’m sure color coding your Bible will help you get the most from your time in the Word.

I’ve seen other Bible highlighting color codes, but decided to make one that made more sense for me and how I think. In this article I’ll show you how to make a color coding guide of your own. And how to use it to mark your Bible.

*Be sure to read further to grab your free printable Bible Color Guide Bookmarks!

Bible highlighters color code for Bible highlighting system

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What is a Bible Highlighting System?

A Bible highlighting system is a way to mark a passage of scripture with certain colors in order to dissect it for deeper study. Marking my Bible in such a way helps me take a closer look at what I’m reading than I normally would.

Using a color coding system helps me focus more on what I’m reading in order to determine what colors to use in marking the passage. I also find myself reading the passage several times in order to mark all that I’m looking for in the passage.

That focus and repeated reading is what meditation on God’s Word is all about. And naturally, as we meditate on the Word, we are able, then, to hear what the Holy Spirit wants to speak to our hearts.

Is It Ok to Highlight the Bible?

You may be wondering if it is a sin to highlight the Bible. Personally, I don’t view it as a sin to mark the Bible, but rather one way to retain the Words of God in my heart and mind. That is what I believe is important. (Mark 4:15)

That being said, I also know that we should reverence God’s Word and treat it with the utmost respect. That’s why I would not allow my children to randomly draw all over their Bibles and deface it. But note-taking, color coding and marking the Bible don’t disrespect it, in my opinion.

However, if you are having trouble with the thought of writing and coloring in your Bible, you might like to do what I used to do. Go to a Bible website and download and print out portions of scripture you want to study, and mark on those pages. I did this for a while until I had developed my color coding system I use now. I didn’t want to have to keep buying Bibles each time I changed my mind about what colors I would use for each category!

My Simple Bible Highlighting Color Code

There are so many Bible color guides out there. But it seemed each one wasn’t quite what I wanted. So, I decided to make my own. My guide has 8 colors corresponding to 8 main categories.

My Bible Color Coding Guide

Here is my Bible color guide and the information I mark with each color.

  • Purple

Purple reminds me of royalty. So I mark with purple any reference to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and pronouns for each. I also wanted to find descriptions of God and instances of God’s sovereignty as I read, so I decided to include those topics in my Bible marking guide.

  • Orange

Orange is the color I use to mark anything to do with faith and grace. I also include miracles here as they require faith. I also use orange to mark repeated words or phrases.

For more help going deeper in your study of God’s Word, be sure to check out these effective Bible Study Resources!

  • Blue

I decided to use blue to highlight references to time, numbers, and people (not women). This is the color I use to write general notes in my margin and to underline in general.

  • Pink

Pink is generally the color associated with females, so I use this color to mark names of women. Pink is also my favorite color, so I use it to mark my favorite verses and promises.

  • Yellow

Yellow is bright and a color I associate with being happy. So, I use yellow to mark references to love, marriage, family, parenting, friendship, and any other relationships.

  • Green

I think of spring time and new life when I see green. I use green to mark verses that talk about salvation or verses to use when witnessing the gospel. Green is the color I also use to mark references to Christian growth and discipleship. I use green to highlight locations like city names, but also words like “the temple,” or “a cave.”

  • Black

Black is dark, and I use it to mark sins and sins’ consequences, as well as, any reference to the devil, temptation, and death.

  • Red

In traffic lights, red means “Stop!” It is a command and a caution. So, I use red to highlight God’s commands and warnings in scripture.

You are welcome to use my Bible Coloring Guide, or you could make your own. I’ll show you how next.

2 bookmarks for a Bible Highlighting System

Free Bible Coloring Guide

Download this Bible coloring guide pdf to print these bookmarks. Keep them in your Bible to help you dig deeper into God’s Word.

How to Make Your Own Color Coding Guide

We all make our own personal associations based on our life experiences. So my color associations may not be perfect for you. If that is the case, feel free to download my Bible Color Guide, and use the blank guide to create your own.

To make your own color coding guide…

  • First decide what types of information you’d like to notice more about whenever you are reading your Bible. Make a list.
  • Then decide how to group those topics together in a way that makes sense for you.
  • Finally, pair up those topic groups with the color that works for you in a way that you will easily remember.

You may use my blank color guide and fill it in with the items in your list, or simply use an index card to write out your marking guide. Just write it out on something small enough to keep handy in your Bible.

Scented Bible Highlighter Set from The Daily Grace Co.

Bible Marking Supplies

When choosing Bible highlighters and marking pens, it is important to look for ones that won’t bleed through thin Bible pages. I like gel highlighters for this reason. But lately I’ve begun using colored pencils more. I like that I can easily erase my markings when I realize that I’d rather have marked that word or phrase with a different color.

For writing notes I highly recommend Pigma Micron Pens. They come in a fine point that makes it possible to write super small in the margins of my Bible. The ink in these pens won’t bleed through the pages, either!

You may also want to get a journaling Bible that has wider margins. I use a large print Bible for my eyesight. But it is also good for marking because of the wider spacing between lines of text. But after years of note-taking, you can see that I may soon need to go to my wide-margin Bible. I just can’t seem to break away from my old friend pictured below.

Bible Marking “How-to” Tips to Get You Started

Now that you are armed with your Bible marking system and color guide, it’s time to get started. Here are just a few tips and suggestions to help you as you study.

  • Always start with prayer. Remember we are to be listening to God as we read and communicating with Him. So ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and guide you in your study of His Word.
  • Read the passage once without highlighting. Get the overall main idea of the passage before looking at it more closely.
  • Be sure to take note of the context of the passage by reading verses before and after your focus passage. Context is king when interpreting scripture.
  • Now it’s time to color the passage. As you read this next time mark those things that stand out to you, maybe something about God or a command or a promise that is particularly meaningful to you.
  • You may like to read through again marking still more information the Holy Spirit shows you.

Marking Your Bible

As a final suggestion, remember to have fun with your Bible highlighting system!

There is no right or wrong way to do this.

A color coding system is only meant to enhance your study, not be a source of stress. So, when marking your Bible, be sure to just mark as little, or as much, as you feel led to. Do whatever helps you to listen to your Saviour’s voice in the pages of His Word.

Drawing nigh to Him,



What study methods do you use and find helpful? Have you ever tried a color coding system?

Some study resources you may find helpful:

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