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All you need is a Bible, access to the Internet and a handful of colored pencils…..

A BIBLE

Choose a version of the Bible that you like to read. In order to use the online study notes and concordances it will work best if you choose a version of the Bible that was translated from the original texts (like the NIV, New Living, New King James) and not a paraphrase (like the Living Bible or the Message.) I really love wide margins for extra notes so if you have access to that it will be helpful. I use a square shaped Zondervan Bible with generous side margins that I like; it has plenty of room to note connections.
From a purely aesthetic point of view, I recommend a Bible that feels comfortable in your hands. Less textbook and more old-found-journal. In a totally reverent and ok way, my names of God Bible feels to me like a family heirloom blanket that everyone wants to use around the fireplace at Christmas. I am somehow connected to the history of it even though I wasn’t there at it’s beginning. It’s story gives context to mine. It is comfortable to sit with.

If you are going to color code the names, I would suggest starting this project with a Bible that doesn’t already have a lot of underlining or highlighting in it. You are going to end up with color-filled pages and it will be easier to recognize specific names and the connections to the story if you don’t already have other passages marked with the same colors. A newer good binding is important too – you are going to want to hang on to this copy of the Scriptures for a long time.

ACCESS TO AN ONLINE CONCORDANCE

I am a huge fan of www.blueletterbible.org. It contains several versions of the Bible along with links to Strong’s concordance, dictionaries, and other helpful resources. It is a free website. (If you find it as useful as I have, you may want to support it financially in the future via the link on their site.) If you are familiar with another online concordance that will work as well – you will just have to adapt the instructions here to fit the site that you use.

Another great website to become familiar with is
www.hebrew4christians.com. As Christians we have such a rich heritage in the customs and traditions of Jewish history. Christianity was birthed in and grew up in a Jewish community. I love this site because it invites Christians to experience God's story from the perspective of its Jewish origin. The section on the Names of God is authentic and insightful.

For more information on using the Blue Letter Bible website, click on the link below.

COLORED PENCILS AND A SHARPIE

If your are going to color code the names of God you will need:
Colored Pencils: 20-25 different colors or at least different shades of color. I started this project a little bit haphazardly and part way in I realized that I was not selective enough about all of the colors that I would use. Some names are only mentioned in the Bible a few times and others occur hundreds of times. Choose distinct colors you love for names like YAWEH, Elohim, and El. Those names show up a lot. I will show you a reference tool that records the number of times each name occurs in the text so that you can chooses the colors that you would like to use.

A fine tip black Sharpie to label your pencils is important as well. Originally I started a little color chart in the front of my Bible, writing each Hebrew name in the colored pencil that I was using to mark the text. It looks pretty and I like that I have it there, but it is not a totally reliable reference. It got too hard to tell, for instance, which shade of blue I was using for El Shaddai and which one was for Jehovah Shalom. I ended up with a bunch of little “test marks” to make sure that I was using the right colored pencil and it got a kind of messy. Eventually I labeled each pencil with a Sharpie to include the Hebrew name and the Strong’s concordance reference number - a much better system. This will make more sense once you start the process. You can mark your pencils as you go along so don’t worry about it now – just make sure you have a permanent marker on hand.