We’re on a mission to read the entire bible in 2017. More about that later, although you’ve probably seen it if you’re connected with us on Facebook.

As we get ready to start a new strategy, here’s a great tip to take with you from the very beginning: highlighter coding.

Step 1: Get a New Set of Highlighters

I’m a nerd and I get excited about things like a new set of highlighters, but even if that’s not exciting to you – do it. Get the most colors you can find. Most big sets will include yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, and pink.

If your bible has those crazy, super-thin pages, there are highlighters for that. You might have to order some, or go to a Christian bookstore to find them, but they exist.

Step 2: Pick Themes

The more colors you have, the more themes you get to pick, which is why more is more. Think about big themes or ideas – things you want to know more about. Some suggestions:

  • The love of God
  • Finances/money
  • Jesus in the Old Testament
  • Prayer
  • Worship
  • The end times
  • The promises of God
  • Women in the bible
  • Holy Spirit
  • The people of God (Israel/the Church)

There are lots. Pick as many has you have highlighters.

Step 3: Create a Key

You can do this on a Post-It note that lives on the inside cover. Just assign a color to each theme. It can be helpful if the color is somehow associated with the theme, but as long as you have a note stuck in your bible somewhere it’s not a big deal. Your key might look like:

  • Green – Money
  • Pink – Women in the bible
  • Purple – Worship
  • Yellow – Prayer
  • Orange – Holy Spirit
  • Blue – The love of God

Step 4: Highlight

Keep those highlighters with your bible, and highlight as you read!

Why Color Code Your Bible with Highlighters?

By the end of the year, you’ll have read the entire bible. That means by the end of the year, your entire bible will be color coded. This is awesome for three reason:

  1. It will help you read. If you’re always aware of those themes and always watching for them, you will be reading more thoroughly and more comprehensively. You will be aware of how much of the Old Testament is about, or in reference to, Jesus. You will see how early in scripture God starts talking about money. You will notice all the ways people pray. Etc. Things that you normally skim over will stand out as you assign it a theme.
  2. It will help you reference things later. If, a few months later, you’re having a hard time getting into prayer, or connecting with God in worship, or believing that God loves you, or sharing your faith with someone who thinks God hates women … you can quickly and easily flip through your bible and find scripture that talks about those subjects.
  3. Your bible will look awesome. Seriously. Especially those pages that hit on a few of your themes and they’re all different colors. Your bible will look hardcore.

Now is the time! We’re getting ready to strategically read through the entire bible, so get you some highlighters and get started!

Bible Reading Plan

There are a lot of read-the-bible-in-a-year plan and you are welcome to use whichever you like. Redefined is using The Bible Project’s reading plan. You can download their app on your smartphone, print a PDF of the plan (or pick one up at Redefined), and/or subscribe to the video playlist on YouTube.

We like this plan because they’ve rearranged a few things to help you understand the bible as one big story, and we need that. They also have a lot of killer videos that they’ve worked into the plan to help understand those big picture ideas. It’s pretty cool.

If you’re starting late, you can always just stay a couple days off schedule, or you can hustle for a few days to catch up, but do it.