I don’t know about you but the more I experience God’s presence and grasp His promises in Scripture, the more I long to study His word. And the more I study, the more I realize I have so much more to learn!
I’ve shared several Bible Study methods I use on this blog, such as the Cornell Method, the APPLE method, TASTE, and of course verse mapping and Bible journaling. The Color Coding system is another way to dissect passages of Scripture. This marking system is simple and can be used by both novices and Bible study pros, too. I hope it helps you as you seek to focus your mind on the word of God and allow His truth to dwell in you richly.
What is the Color Coding Bible Study Method?
The Color Coding Bible study method is a system for marking Bible passages. It helps the reader dissect and understand Scripture. You will read through a chapter several times and each time hunt for a different concept to color code accordingly.
What materials do I need?
You need the following basic materials as you begin this study method:
- Colored pencils (I also like these gel pens)
- Bible (be sure it’s one you don’t mind coloring in)
- A Bible atlas (or the use of bibleatlas.org)
- Bible commentaries (access free commentaries at Bible Study Tools or Bible Gateway)
The Color Coding Study Method
To begin this study method, choose a chapter or portion of Scripture you wish to study. Since this method is more involved than some others, it’s important to break this up into manageable sections each day. I suggest working through a small book of the Bible and read around 8 verses a day. If your time is limited, you can break up the reading into even smaller sections.
First, read the entire passage without highlighting or color coding. Simply enjoy reading and processing God’s word.
After reading through the entire passage, underline all the names of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Trinity in blue. Also underline the attributes of God and His character traits in blue as well.
Read through the chapter or passage again, and this time search any commands, laws, or principles for life. Also look for references to obedience or spiritual growth and underline these mentions in green.
Then, read through the verses again and underline all references to eternity, heaven, or angels in yellow.
Next, read through the entire passage again and underline all names, times, places, locations, or numbers you come across in orange. It may be helpful to first look for proper nouns, such as ‘Lazarus’, and then search for times and numbers.
**Click the image below to download the complete Bible Coding Guide Bookmark:
Read through the verses again and put a black square around words or phrases that are repeated. Choose a coordinating color to shade inside the box for the same repeated phrase.
For example, in Psalm 148, the word ‘praise’ is repeated 13 times. For every time you see ‘praise’, draw a black box around it and lightly shade it inside with the color of your choice.
As you skim through the passage yet again, search for words that are contrasting in nature and circle them with red.
If marking Genesis 1, you would circle darkness/light, and day/night. Those words are opposites and portray God’s powerful creation of the earth.
For this next section, you won’t actually use colored pencils or mark anything in your Bible. Reread the verses again and pretend you are the author of this section of the Bible. Ask yourself, “Who are you?” and “Where are you?” This will help you gain further perspective on what was happening at the time and the context in which this was written.
Read through yet again, this time placing yourself in the shoes of the recipient of the message. Ask yourself, “What message was the author trying to convey to me?”
Look for references
Most Bibles are equipped with references or notes at the bottom of the page, in the back or even after each book of the Bible. While it may be tempting to ignore those notes, it can be beneficial to gain insight and clarification by reading them. At this point in your reading, take a minute to look for references on the verses you have been studying.
Finally, look for commentaries on the passage you have been studying. I take an “earn the right to consult the commentary” mindset. This means I always do my own study FIRST, before consulting a commentary. Commentaries can be helpful to gain clarity, further understanding and to make sense of the author’s meaning. Don’t forget, though, that the commentaries are written by mortal man and it’s important to find trustworthy sources.
The Color Coding Bible Study Method brings deeper understanding and clarity to Scripture. It’s a valuable study format that makes Scripture come alive and the true meaning of passages be made clear. As with any Bible study, be sure to process what you read and journal through how you will apply this to your life. Once you know and understand God’s word, the more you’ll long to follow His promises and to live them out each day.