What To Do When You Get a New Bible

Earlier this month I got a new Bible.

I got my old Bible in 2015 (9 years ago), and I have loved it dearly.

Over the years I’ve been seduced by newly released Bibles, or study Bibles that have all the latest and greatest features. I have a whole shelf of them that have been received, flipped through, and set aside while I went back to my everyday Bible.

In 2016 I recorded a video about it because it had become my favorite Bible. Check it out:

What I love most about my old Bible was all the notes and highlights it’s acquired over the years. It’s not just God’s Word, but a conversation between me and Jesus.

Reasons to Buy a New Bible

There are several reasons to buy a new Bible. As I mentioned, I bought several because they were newly released and had great features.

I’ve also read that many people buy new Bibles every year. Like journals.

Other’s purchase them when their old Bibles are full. There is no more room for artwork or notes. Or they are coming apart at the seems.

So what led me to purchase a new Bible?

My age.

I hate writing that, but I’m getting older and my eyesight isn’t what it used to be. I can no longer read my old Bible without glasses on.

Which meant I either had to carry my glasses everywhere I went, or break down and purchase a new one with larger font. Which is what I did.

While on my search for a new Bible, I started off just looking for the Bible I had with larger font. It’s been my favorite Bible and I’m having trouble letting it go.

No matter what Bible I chose, I knew it would be missing all of my notes and highlights from the past 10 years. I knew it wouldn’t be the same thing.

That said, I also knew it would be like starting from a blank slate. There will plenty of room for new conversations with and notations about Jesus.

I did notice after I had already ordered my new Bible, the pages are ready to start falling out of my old one. It would have need taped or rebound if I planned to keep using it as my everyday Bible. This just confirmed my purchase of the new one.

So which Bible did I choose?

About My New Bible

I purchased the NIV Journal the Word Reference Bible with Comfort Print.

I’ll be honest. I almost didn’t purchase this Bible because I think it has a really ugly cover (does that make me vain?) and I don’t like Bible cases, so I knew it wouldn’t be covered up. That said, when it came it is prettier than I thought it was online.

I also have been using the ESV because that’s what my pastor uses. However, I grew up with the NIV and generally think it’s a good translation. So while it wasn’t my first choice, I’m not opposed to it.

Those two things aside, what I love about my new Bible is that it has the reference notes. It has cross references throughout that I had wished for several times in my old Bible. It also has a dictionary/concordance in the back that my old Bible didn’t have.

However, it’s not a study Bible.

It’s a journaling Bible.

It doesn’t have notes from any other authors, but has plenty of room for me to make my own. Instead of it being the Dr. David Jeremiah Study Bible, it’s my Bible: Heather’s Bible.

What To Do When You Get a New Bible

So what do you do when you get a new Bible?

I did a Google search and got a few really good ideas.

1.) Pray Over Your New Bible

The very first thing you should do when you get a Bible is pray over it. Pray when you’re picking it out. Pray when you hold it in your hands for the first time. You can also write a prayer in the front of your Bible asking God to speak to you through His Word each and every time you open it’s pages. Say a prayer that you will come to His Word seeking Jesus.

I got this idea from Bethany at Southern Culture – and it’s by far the best advice I got for getting a new Bible. I wrote mine on a sticky note first and stuck it on one of the front pages, but went back later and wrote it on the page.

2.) Break in the Spine

I don’t think breaking in the spine matters much when you have a hardback or leather bound Bible, so I didn’t do this. However if you purchased a paperback Bible I would definitely recommend it. You can see a video of how to do this here.

3.) Write in Your Name & The Year

Because I wrote my prayer over my Bible on a sticky note and stuck it to one of the opening pages, the first thing I actually wrote in my Bible was my name.

In ink.

And I messed it up.


I was able to salvage it though. I think I was just too excited to really pay attention to what I was doing, which is why I originally wrote the prayer on a sticky note.

The other thing I wrote in it was the current year. That helps me keep track of how long I’ve had a Bible. I wrote it in the top corner on the inside of the front cover.

Full disclosure: I’m always nervous about marking in my Bible when I first start. But I know it’s going to end up with markings on virtually every page, so I try not to worry too much about it. But those first few markings are nerve-wracking.

4.) Separate Pages & Add Bible Tabs

Several people reminded me that the pages of some Bibles stick together. So they said one thing they did when they got a new one was to flip every page. This sounds like a lot of work, but I totally get what they’re saying. My Bible didn’t have any gilded pages or anything to make them stick, so I skipped this step as well.

That said, if you wanted to transfer any notes/highlights to your new Bible, this would be a great time to do that. You can also go ahead and add in your Bible tabs and any other markings/bookmarks you want carried over from your old Bible.

My old Bible didn’t have the books of the Bible as tabs on the side, instead I had bookmarked some of my favorite passages with unlabeled tabs. It worked well for me, but I did decide to use Mr. Pen’s Bible Journaling Selah set for this one. It came with beautiful tabs to use so I spent hours putting those in. Note: I don’t recommend this kit. If you want more details, please contact me.

5.) Add Sticky Notes for Later

This is a tip I saw several others share. You can place sticky notes in the front of your Bible for later use. The Word Nerd shows a quick example of this here.

You just take a small section of your sticky note pad and place it in the front of your Bible. Then you always have sticky notes later on when you want to mark something or place a note that’s not permanent.

I chose to put mine in the back of my Bible rather than the front.

Do You Have Any Tips To Make Your Bible Your Own?

All that said, I would love to hear from you.

  • What kind of Bible do you have?
  • How long have you had it?
  • Is there anything you do to make it work best for you?

Join the conversation in the comments below!


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