Whether the motivation is the love of God or dread of the judgment, underlining or making notes in a Bible is not sinful.
While reading their Bible, some individuals like to underline important verses. Others take lengthy notes about what they learn, writing in the margins, between the lines, and anywhere else they can fit a few words in. Some people consider such annotations to be foolish or even sinful.
People who disagree with making notes in one’s Bible most likely hold that opinion out of a healthy respect for the Bible and a strong desire to avoid sacrilege. They might be troubled by scriptural cautions like in Revelation 22:18 which gives a strong warning not to add to the words of Revelation.
What Does the Bible say about Writing in the Bible?
The Bible doesn’t provide any explicit instructions about underlining or making notes of words.
Perhaps someone has taught you that writing anything in a Bible is sacrilegious. The misuse of Proverbs 30:5–6 is frequently used to support that claim. This “addition to God’s word” alludes to distorting God’s original message in order to make it express something He never intended. It’s completely the opposite when you make notes in your Bible. Writing down your knowledge of the material you’ve read will help you remember what you’ve learned.
Why Do We Consider Writing on, Highlighting, and Marking the Bible to Be Sinful?
Many of us learned to observe rules and laws in our religious upbringing in order to please God. We were taught that God would punish us if we sinned and that He would be furious with us if we did. A connection with God was not prioritized. Today’s Christians behave in a way that is dictated by this religious mentality of observing the laws.
God is a relational being, and establishing a connection with us is His top goal. However, we are not to obey His Word in the manner that religion suggests. God would rather speak to you by His Spirit and let you know what He wants you to do or not do.
God is not upset with you or holding out to punish you for annotating your Bible; rather, He wants to make sure that you comprehend what He has written.
King Davis concludes his Psalms by stating that “God’s Word Makes Him Wiser Than All His Teachers” (Psalm 119: 98–100).
Making notes in your Bible while you spend time in prayer and devotion to the Lord is okay. God wants us to understand His word, so if making notes in your Bible or underlining key passages would make that happen, do it. God doesn’t mind if you annotate your Bible because all you’re doing is reading it and trying to figure out how to memorize it, not altering what it says.
The sin would be to alter what the Bible says, which is impossible for you to do since you are unable to modify the copy you currently possess. God views adding or eliminating passages from the Bible as a sin, as revealed in Revelation 22:18–19.
RELATED: Is Not Reading a Bible a Sin?