How to Navigate Your Thumb-Indexed Thompson Chain-Reference Bible

(Click here to see the story of how I lost and found my original Thompson Chain Reference Bible)

Right on the heels of my video on my King James Study Bible, Second Edition Comparison, I’m very excited to be doing a video on how to navigate thumb-indexed Bibles (Thompson Chain Reference Bible or otherwise)!

In this video, I’ll be showing you some great tips I’ve learned over the last 15+ years of owning a Thompson Chain Reference Bible (Original Edition)* for knowing exactly where to find the best features in this bible using a standard thumb-indexed system of navigation.

I’ll also be sharing some other tips and tricks on simple methods of note-taking and study you can easily apply to your own Bible studies.

Thumb Index Tips (Thinking Backwards)

  • For thumb indexes (T.I.) with more than one book (1-2 COR. GAL.): to find the last book, go to the next T.I. (EPH. PHIL. COL.) and flip BACKWARDS instead of forwards.
  • Go to “INDEX” or “A-Z INDEX” T.I. and flip back one page to find “Principles of Bible Study,” “Best Methods of Study,” and “Comprehensive Bible Helps” index.
  • Go to “HELPS” or “CHAIN INDEX” T.I. and flip back one page to find a blank page for taking notes.
  • Go to “ARCH” T.I. and flip back a few pages for useful study tools and “Places for Religious Worship” section.
  • Go to “CONC.” T.I. and flip back one page to easily find #4452—The Glossary of Old English and Archaic Words.
  • Go to “CONC.” T.I. and flip back to before the Glossary to find the Hebrew Calendar.

Bonus Tip:

  • To create your very own Thumb indexes, utilize post-it notes: Place the post-it note to the RIGHT side of the page sticking out just over the tab for the NEXT set of books. This overlapping creates a new thumb index!

“Thumb Index Tips” and “Bonus Tip” © 2014 Eric Beaty

CLICK HERE to get your own Thompson Chain-Reference Bible today!

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*Update, 2-20-23: In 2020, Zondervan Publishing House bought all rights to the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, previously owned by Kirkbride Bible Company. They’ve since released an Original Edition (the one I recommend) and a Comfort Print Edition (which I highly do not recommend). It’s worth noting that most if not all of the tips mentioned in this post will not work with the new Comfort Print Edition. To see a recent video series I’ve begun on this very subject, visit my YouTube channel “Stewards of the Word.”

Question: Do you have some tips on navigating Thumb-Indexed Bibles you would like to share? If you own a Thompson Chain Bible, what are some of your favorite features?  Leave a comment below and tell us all about it. 

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