Over the years, I have met a few people — very few — who were convinced they should not write in their Bibles. Perhaps they thought the inspiration of Scripture prohibited human intrusion, even in the margins. Or maybe they simply wanted to preserve the pristine condition of a new Bible.
On May 16, 2019, I posted an entry on this blog titled “One of My Greatest Regrets.” It described my inability to locate my grandfather’s “nuts and bolts” Bible, a Thompson Chain Reference Bible he had read and used so frequently that the pages were falling out. He solved the problem by fastening it together by drilling holes through it which he secured with nuts and bolts. I wish I could find it, not merely for the sake of novelty, but so I could read his personal notes written in its margins. He was, after all, the first of four generations of preachers.
Also in that May 16, 2019 post, I described my intention to leave behind for my descendants a personal Bible that included my notes written in the margins. For some reason, I did not think as I was writing that I have already done this to a certain degree. This is because I wrote the study notes for Psalms, Proverbs, Hebrews, James, I Peter, II Peter and Jude in the Apostolic Study Bible. I also possess numbers of Bibles I have used over the years that include my handwritten notes.
I included in the earlier post pictures of a new Bible specifically designed to be written in. The picture above shows some of my first use of this edition of Scripture. In order to avoid bleed through when highlighting, I am using Prismacolor Premier pencils in canary yellow [PC916]. For the notes, I use the Uni-ball Signo Ultra Micro 207 pen. The pencils can be purchased at Hobby Lobby or on Amazon. The pens are available in office supply stores.
As you can see in the picture above, my current project is focused on the witness to Jesus found in the Old Testament.
I do believe in writing in my Bibles. My experience is that if I don’t make notes of the insights that occur as I study, these insights slip away. It is a sign of respect for Scripture to do what we can to retain the treasures that open to us as we read God’s word.