If you read the Bible, and especially if you study it, then you'll probably find yourself spending a fair amount of time flipping around looking for the verse you wanted to read. They sell Bibles that have this built into them but you may not want to buy a new one just for this feature (and a lot of times you'll get used to reading a particular Bible and jot notes in it... and want to keep the same one). About 10 years ago I learned this trick to help you quickly find the verse you want--it's called indexing the edge of your Bible. I originally heard it called "Laddering your Bible" but it doesn't look like a ladder at all, more like stairs.

One thing to note is that this tool doesn't help you with the order of the books necessarily so if you don't have an idea of the general order then this tool may not help you much. If you have a general idea of the books of the Bible then this will help you open up the Bible within a page or so of where you want to go.

You will need:

  • Any Bible, but a soft-back works best
  • pencil and eraser
  • fine-tip black permanent marker
  • ruler

If you like this tutorial, check out my website for 300+ more "how to's": ShareYourRepair.com. Better yet, join me in writing at ShareYourRepair.com!

Step 1: Group the books of the Bible

The books of the Bible vary greatly in length so we have to find a way to break them up into groups groups that are about the same number of pages (and physical thickness).  Therefore, we'll have enough room on the edge to write an abbreviation for the book/group name.  You can't break them up evenly without grouping too many New Testament books together but they can be grouped in a way that makes sense and allows room to label them.   You don't have to reinvent the wheel because someone has already done it for you (and for me, for that matter).  Pictured is a list of the books of the Bible (in chronological order), grouped so that the group is thick enough to work for this project.  The first column is the abbreviation we are going to use for the group.  If you are Catholic then this list is missing the Apocrypha but you can read this tutorial and then figure out how to add them in yourself.
exelente idea
Thank you for this. It seems like a good system. It should be useful to many.

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Bio: I love to fix things and write about the repairs so others can do it too. Check out my website, ShareYourRepair.com for hundreds of ... More »
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