I have finally found the perfect Bible and supplies for my personal and corporate Bible study, so I thought I would share them with you.
First, let's look at my King James Bible. I have two that I actually use: one to read at home & church and one to write in for my personal Bible study. I purchased them from Local Church Bible Publishers in Lansing, MI. My reading Bible is their 355 Hand Size Standard Bible. I love the size (approx. 9" X 6"), the red edges, and the self-pronouncing text. It is a beautiful, smythe-sewn Bible in black leather (cowhide). I highly recommend this Bible. My personal study Bible is their 400 Mid Size Note Takers Bible. This Bible is also smythe-sewn in black leather, but it's a little bigger in size (approx. 10" X 7") with gold edges. I like the fact that there is just one column of text per page which leaves a 2.5" margin for notes, but it doesn't include a self-pronouncing text.
I use the Pentel 8-Color Mechanical Pencil and the Pentel Graphgear 1000 Drafting Pencil (0.3 mm) in my Note Takers Bible. I prefer using a colored pencil rather than a highlighter so that there's no bleed-through or wrinkling of the pages and a 0.3 mm drafting pencil to write so that my writing is small and neat. I have always favored a pencil over a pen.
I also keep a separate journal for sermon notes, book quotes, favorite hymns, prayer requests, etc. I purchased my journal at our local Office Depot. It's a 5.25" X 8.25" Foray journal with grid paper, elastic strap, and back pocket (similar to a Moleskine, but cheaper). I like darker writing in my journal, so I use the Zebra M-301 Mechanical Pencil (0.5 mm). In the back pocket, I keep my Staedtler Sketch Master Template so that I can make straight lines in my Note Takers Bible and journal. I also use the template to make different shapes in my journal for emphasis or easy reference. I skipped the first page of the journal to use as a table of contents and numbered the remaining pages. I don't add every page, but if I take copious notes on one subject or copy quotes from a book, then I will add the subject title to the table of contents and note the page.
I also found a solid book on systematic theology from a Baptist perspective: Manual of Theology by John L. Dagg. There are 8 books in Dagg's Manual of Theology, which correspond nicely to the eight colors in my Pentel 8-Color Mechanical Pencil. Therefore, each book has its own color:
- Study of Religious Truth--Green
- Doctrine Concerning God--Light Blue
- Doctrine Concerning the Will & Works of God--Dark Blue
- Doctrine Concerning the Fall & Present State of Man--Brown
- Doctrine Concerning Jesus Christ--Red
- Doctrine Concerning the Holy Spirit--Pink
- Doctrine Concerning Divine Grace--Orange
- Doctrine Concerning the Future World--Yellow
I've placed a color legend in the front of my Note Takers Bible, and as I come to a verse that supports a listed doctrine, I underline it in the appropriate color. I'm also outlining the books in my journal and including the Scripture references.
It has been a long road, but I'm very pleased with this set-up and thankful that I have the time to dedicate myself intensely to the Word of God.
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which ye also are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly in all wisdom," (Col. 3:15-16a).