Editor’s Note: We continue our series of blogs for those who are reading the Bible with us cover-to-cover this year. Interspersed with our thoughts on our daily reading, we want to provide some tips about reading the Bible in general. Today we want to explore …

When packing for our journey through the Bible, be sure to pack …

Any Particular Equipment Necessary

On many vacations and journeys, those traveling want to experience or explore, not just “sight-see.” Some journeys may include mountain climbing. Others may go deep sea diving. And yet still others will go on long bicycle trips.  Each of these journeys requires specific equipment that makes the trip effective, efficient, and enjoyable.

We will need to possess some specific equipment (reference books) to make our adventure through the Bible more enjoyable. Among the most important, it is important to have:

–      Bible handbook – this book explains what is happening in the text book-by-book, chapter-by-chapter, in the same order as your Bible. We recommend Unger’s Bible Handbook (Moody Publishers).

–      Bible dictionary – this book provides an explanation of words or events, people and places that are not commonly known today. We recommend the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Holman Reference).

–      Bible map book – this book will provide details on maps based on the time period you are currently reading through. We recommend The New Moody Atlas of the Bible (Moody Publishers).

–      A blank notebook or journal – this book will be your notes, thoughts and records of your experiences, questions and discoveries along the way. We recommend a multi-tabbed notebook of a similar size to your Bible.

–      Highlighters – several different colors of highlighters can be coded by you to mean different things.  Once you have highlighted a passage in a certain color, you’ll know immediately the significance or topic before you re-read the passage again.

–      Colored pens – just as with our highlighters, different colors of ink can indicate different topics or different discoveries.  Perhaps red for the words of God, green for instructions making life easier, etc.

–      A Bible you feel comfortable writing in – we suggest purchasing a “wide margin” Bible.  These are designed with the traveler in mind. Their larger margins allow you to make notes as you read.  Whatever Bible you purchase, it will become very important to feel comfortable writing all through it.  If you have difficulty with the idea of writing in it, think of the Bible more as a textbook. How you write and what you write in your Bible is up to you.  Be sure that what you write helps you when you go back and review your journey. We recommend the ESV Journaling Bible as a first time choice.

It is our hope that this background information helps a bit as you read on in the Bible. We will continue our study through the Bible with our next installment: “The Book of Numbers: The Book of Failure” on Friday.

For daily insights into the passage we are reading together each day, you can follow Dr. Smith on Twitter and on Facebook.

You can obtain more help from the FREE Bible reading schedule on our resource page. In His Image is a daily devotional that also follows our reading schedule and expresses the Biblical truth: “God Created You to Love You.” You can find this resource on the side bar of our website.