I’m I Bible Nerd And I NEVER Highlight Bible Verses

closeup of bible with highlighted verse

5 Reasons I stopped Highlighting Bible Verses

When I first became a believer, there was no better feeling in the world than getting a new bible and a new pack of highlighters. Forget the shield of faith and the breastplate of righteousness baby…I have highlighters! Not just yellow and pink mind you. I was prepared to highlight bible verses with colors like green, purple, teal, and orange. Boomers that used highlighters in the office all week could really cut loose with those wild colors on Sunday. After a couple of years however, I stopped, here’s why.

1 – Highlighted Bible Verses Were A Distraction

Those highlighted verses were distracting. What I mean by that is, those bible verses always jumped off the page in glaring highlighted fashion. If I was reading a particular chapter and a verse in an adjacent chapter was highlighted, it would cause me to stop, read that bible verse, ponder it a bit, etc. It was a distraction, and would cause me to lose my focus on what I was supposed to be reading.

2 – They Detracted From Other Verses

Highlighted verses often detracted from the bible verses around them. So if I highlighted Romans 8:28 as we all do, verse 8:29 gets lost in the glow to so speak, perhaps even ignored as I read through that chapter. Verse 8:29 is a rather critical partner to verse 8:28…but it disappears a bit if I highlight just one verse. I actually found myself inadvertently skimming over highlighted bible verses.

3 – The OCD Factor

Without a doubt, there is the OCD factor for me when it comes to highlighting bible verses. Uneven and sloppy highlighting, colors that weren’t uniform, overlapping highlights….it was just too much. I ended up with messy, distracting pages that made reading my bible difficult.

4 – Forgetting Why A Verse Was Highlighted

It’s one thing to have John 3:16 highlighted, but why did I highlight 1 Kings 10:29? It had to have been part of a sermon, but what was it about? Why did I highlight this obscure bible verse? Once again I would myself distracted when I should have been reading or studying.

5 – It Prevented Reading With Fresh Eyes, Mind, and Heart

Far and away the most important reason I stopped highlighting bible verses is that over the years I have found that I gain a fresh understanding of God’s word when I read it, or hear parts of it being exposited. Highlighted bible verses tended to prevent that for me, keeping me stuck in whatever thought pattern those highlights represented at that time, or for that sermon.


For me, personally, I don’t need highlighted bible verses to enjoy and digest God’s word. I found highlighting to be distracting and annoying, however, everyone is different. Do whatever it takes to ensure your own growth and maturity in the Word. Never give up reading and studying the bible.

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