Keeping Tabs: Locating Books and Appendix Sections in the New LDS Edition of the Bible
May 1981

“Keeping Tabs: Locating Books and Appendix Sections in the New LDS Edition of the Bible,” New Era, May 1981, 19

Keeping Tabs:
Locating Books and Appendix Sections in the New LDS Edition of the Bible

Note: The General Authorities have indicated one of the major reasons for the new consolidated meeting schedule is to provide time and opportunity to study the scriptures together. To assist families in this, this article has been prepared to provide an activity to help you locate readily the various books in the new LDS edition of the Bible.

Only the most expensive copies of the new LDS edition of the Bible contain thumb indexing. Yet most Bible readers agree the thumb index provided a method of quick access to specific books. This brief article suggests a simple, inexpensive method for providing ready access to the books of the Bible and the sections of the Appendix that many have found nearly as effective as the thumb index. The method suggests the use of five colored pencils in developing this system, but only a black pencil could be used if you so desire.

On page 23 you will note two sets of columns listing the full titles and the approved abbreviations of the 66 biblical books in the order in which they appear in the Bible. The first longer column lists the 39 books of the Old Testament; the other long column lists the 27 books of the New Testament and also headings related to sections of the Appendix. The titles in the longer columns on this page are spaced to fit the large print edition of the Bible which is about 6 by 9 inches. The shorter columns are to be cut out and used in regular-size copies of the Bible which are about 5 by 7 inches.

If you have copies of the Bible in both sizes, you will want to use both sets of lists. Otherwise you might want to share one set of lists with another member of the family or with a friend who has a copy of the Bible of that particular size.

When you have cut out the two lists of titles which are appropriate for the size of your Bible, follow these simple instructions for inserting the lists in the proper places in your Bible:

  1. Glue (or use rubber cement or sticky tape) the column listing the Old Testament books on the front right-hand endsheet of your Bible (the thick brown or black page connected directly with the front cover) so the top of the column is near the top edge (just below the curved corner), and flush with the right side.

  2. Glue (or use rubber cement or sticky tape) the column listing the New Testament books on the back left-hand endsheet (the brown or black page connected directly with the back cover) of your Bible so the top of the column is near the top edge (just below the curved corner) and flush with the left side.

You will note that the titles of several books in both the Old Testament and the New Testament are underlined in color, with a small square of the same color right next to the edge of the Bible. In order to provide a ready access system to the books of the Bible and to selected sections of the Appendix, all that remains to be done is to mark small colored squares on some of the appropriate pages of the Bible as indicated below. Five distinctive colors that show up well against the golden edges of the Bible have been selected, but you could use only black or some other single color if you so desire. If you mark the pages carefully and correctly as indicated, the markings should not detract at all from the outward appearance of your Bible.

For example, to mark the access entry to Exodus:

  1. Take a ruler and note the exact distance from the top of the page containing the columned list to the top of the small colored square next to the title Exodus.

  2. Turn to the first right-hand page after the beginning of Exodus (page 79 of your Bible).

  3. Take your ruler again and make a light mark at the very right-hand edge of page 79 the same distance from the top of the page as determined in step 1 above; then make a square below the mark in the same color (black) and about the same size as the square next to the title Exodus in the column glued in the front of your Bible.

  4. Follow the same procedures listed in step 3 above for the next four right-hand pages of the Bible—81, 83, 85, 87.

Now open your Bible to the page containing the glued column listing all the Old Testament books. Bend your Bible slightly (fanning the pages); look along the colored line under Exodus and you can readily see the exact place where the book of Exodus begins in the Bible. By placing your thumbnail where the colored marks appear at the beginning of Exodus, you can open your Bible directly to those pages.

Follow the same principles and procedures in marking the remaining Old Testament books underlined in colors. As indicated earlier you might either use the colors indicated or, if you don’t have pencils in those colors, you might want to use any single color such as black. By marking the books whose titles are underlined, you should be able to find readily all the other books in the Old Testament. After all, there is no need to mark Genesis as it is the first book in the Bible and can be located quickly without any marking system. Also, the glued column at the front lists all the Old Testament books in the order in which they appear. Thus, if you want to find a book that is not underlined, just note where that book begins in relationship to an adjoining book which is underlined and marked. Turn to the marked book, and then leaf to the book you are seeking.

If you want to mark your Bible so every book can be located precisely and quickly through this marking system, you can do so by following the same principles and procedures outlined for the marking of Exodus. Again, you may decide to develop your own coloring system to supplement the one on the printed lists, or you may want to use a single color.

Marking the Books in the New Testament

The same principles and essentially the same procedures should be followed in marking the books of the New Testament so you can turn to them quickly. However, you will want to note the following differences.

The glued list of New Testament books is in the back of the Bible, so you should color the squares along the left-hand margin of the pages.

Marking Sections of the Appendix

Quick access can also be obtained to the major sections of the Appendix. The column that lists the 27 books of the New Testament (which would be glued in the back of your Bible) also lists several major sections of the Appendix. By marking these sections and pages, you can gain—

  1. Three ready places of access to the Topical Guide, where entries begin with the letters A, H, and R. Inasmuch as the Topical Guide is arranged alphabetically, you can then quickly find entries beginning with other letters.

  2. Three ready places of access to the Bible Dictionary: where entries begin with the letter A, and at the special sections headed “Chronological Tables” and “Harmony of the Gospels.” As Bible Dictionary entries are arranged alphabetically, other entries can be located quickly.

  3. One access to the Joseph Smith Translation section.

  4. One access to the Gazetteer with its accompanying maps.

Following are colors to be used and pages to be marked to provide ready access to these sections of the Appendix:


Section of Appendix

Pages to Be Marked


TG “A”

pp. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 of the Appendix


TG “H”

pp. 196, 198, 200, 202, 204 of the Appendix


TG “R”

pp. 406, 408, 410, 412, 414 of the Appendix


BD “A”

pp. 600, 602, 604, 606, 608 of the Appendix


BD “Chronological Tables”

pp. 636, 638, 640, 642, 644 of the Appendix


BD “Harmony of the Gospels”

pp. 684, 686, 688, 690, 692 of the Appendix



pp. 796 (blank), 798, 800, 802, 804 of the Appendix



pp. 816 (blank), 818, 820, 822, 824 of the Appendix

Access to other sections of the Appendix can be gained by following the same principles and procedures as outlined above. However, you will probably feel the entries listed will be sufficient to provide the quick and easy access to your Bible which you desire.

If you use only the colors suggested in the printed lists, the pages you should mark and the colors you should use are as follows (both Old Testament and New Testament books are included)

Old Testament (Red)


pp. 191, 193, 195, 197, 199


pp. 635, 637, 639, 641, 643


pp. 943, 945, 947, 949, 951


pp. 1163, 1165

New Testament (Red)


pp. 1242, 1244, 1246, 1248, 1250


pp. 1480, 1482, 1484, 1486

1 John

pp. 1556, 1558, 1560, 1562

Old Testament (Brown)


pp. 309, 311, 313, 315, 317


pp. 669, 671, 673, 675, 677


pp. 1027, 1029, 1031, 1033, 1035


pp. 1181, 1183

New Testament (Brown)


pp. 1272, 1274, 1276, 1278, 1280

1 Thessalonians

pp. 1498, 1500, 1502


pp. 1566, 1568, 1570, 1572, 1574

Old Testament (Blue)

1 Samuel

pp. 383, 385, 387, 389, 391


pp. 715, 717, 719, 721, 723


pp. 1099, 1101, 1103, 1105, 1107

New Testament (Blue)


pp. 1324, 1326, 1328, 1330, 1332

1 Timothy

pp. 1506, 1508, 1510, 1512

Old Testament (Green)

1 Kings

pp. 463, 465, 467, 469, 471


pp. 845, 847, 849, 851, 853


pp. 1137, 1139, 1141, 1143, 1145

New Testament (Green)


pp. 1366, 1368, 1370, 1372, 1374


pp. 1522, 1524, 1526, 1528, 1530

Old Testament (Black)

1 Chronicles

pp. 549, 551, 553, 555, 557


pp. 861, 863, 865, 867, 869


pp. 1151, 1153, 1155

New Testament (Black)


pp. 1188, 1190, 1192, 1194, 1196

1 Corinthians

pp. 1438, 1440, 1442, 1444, 1446

1 Peter

pp. 1544, 1546, 1548, 1550

Photos by Eldon K. Linschoten