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During the year, I have been reading through the Bible in one year. I have a one-year Bible that was gifted to me at Christmas during my senior year of high school. I have read through it a few times over the years, but I added journaling to this year.
I had seen all the artistic journaling of others online, but that is totally not me. I am not an artist, so I had to find what worked for me.
Also, I did not want to write in the Bible I am currently reading. What did I do? I used a cute notebook and wrote my notes in it. On the front of the pages, I wrote notes from the Old Testament. On the back of the pages, I wrote my New Testament notes. A couple of days ago, I ran out of pages for the Old Testament. This morning, I ran out of New Testament pages. Now, I am using a little notepad, and I am going to washi tape them into the notebook.
What is Bible Journaling?
Bible journaling is about reading and studying the Bible and allowing it to lead you to be creative in the ways you memorize and record scriptures. Sometimes it is very artistic, as I’m sure you’ve seen online, but you can simply write words as Bible journaling.
Think of it like this. You probably own or have seen an old, dog-eared Bible of a grandparent or great-grandparent. They lovingly wrote notes, underlined scripture, penned prayers and prayer requests in the margins, and sometimes highlighted phrases. This is a form of Bible journaling. If you can do any of those things, you can start Bible journaling.
Bible journaling is a way of studying God’s word that allows engagement and allows you to read, pause, reflect, and respond to what you have read. It is possible that journaling as you read the Bible can strengthen your prayer life. It is definitely a record of what God tells you as you are reading and studying His word.
Although Bible journaling is a great way to connect to the scriptures, it should not be used to replace your regular studying. You need to continue to dig deeper into God’s word, but you can use journaling with this.
You can use Bible journaling as an act of worship. Seek God through His word and respond to what God is showing you.
Just remember that you can do this without ever writing in your Bible if you aren’t comfortable with that.
8 Ways to Use Bible Journaling
Write prayers in the margins. Put a date with them. When they are answered, come back and write the answer and the date of the answer.
Write down what God speaks to your heart during your Bible time.
During a church service, write down sermon notes near the scripture the pastor is using.
Continue with your current Bible study or devotional. Write or illustrate a verse that stands out to you in what you are studying.
Study the Bible by topic using the concordance. Make notes of how the verses connect to one another.
Read Christian living books. When there are scripture references, make note of the book and the reference in the margins of your Bible.
What are the Benefits of Bible Journaling
It helps you rid yourself of an idea of perfection and instead gets you to focus on your relationship with Christ.
This can assist you in focusing on your daily scripture reading.
When you read a passage that you have journaled, you can revisit what you have learned. Go back through your notes and see how you have changed. You can also see what God has taught you and how He has changed your life.
Finally, it can help you process what you are reading. It will allow a deeper connection to the word of God and how it relates to your life.
Is Bible Journaling Disrespectful?
The answer to this depends on you. Some people will feel comfortable writing on every page of their Bible and coloring over the printed words. Other people, like myself, will stick to writing in the margins. At the moment, I don’t feel as though I can write over the printed words, but I know that I can use the margins. I will also be using a pen to underline passages, but my personal notes will be only in the margins at least in the beginning.
I suggest that you pray about it. Ask God how He wants you to journal. He may tell you to start in a notebook like I did this year. Or He may give you permission to go all out and paint, color, write, and stamp on the pages and words in a journaling Bible. You just have to ask Him what you can do. It’s a personal thing between you and God.
What are Some Tips Before Beginning to Bible Journal?
Don’t get stuck on the creativity and forget to focus on the scriptures. Figure out the best method of Bible study for yourself and use it.
Allow Yourself to Journal
Think about your reasons for journaling. Give yourself permission to write what is in your heart.
Comparison is the thief of joy. When you compare yourself to others, you lose the joy you have in what you are doing for yourself. God is only concerned with the heart, not the art. You are free to take inspiration from others, but don’t try to copy them and compare yourself to them or their style.
Make Friends with YouTube
There are a lot of step-by-step tutorials on how to begin Bible journaling. For the more advanced journaler, there are ideas and options for stamps, inks, photo transfers, and napkins that you can use in your Bible journaling journey.
What Supplies are Needed for Bible Journaling?
Wide-margin, Journaling Bible
You can use a regular Bible and separate notebook, or you can purchase a journaling Bible.
Pens and Pencils
This is possibly the hardest and most important decision you will make. Be sure to check for pens that are specifically marked as “no bleed” and have archival ink. Any pens used will need not bleed through because it will affect the back of the page and possibly the pages around it. They need to dry quickly so that you can avoid smearing on you and other pages.
In my research, and in scrapbooking, I have seen a lot of people suggest Micron pens. If you aren’t ready for pens, you can use colored pencils. Most of them can be erased, and they add colors to your journaling. The ones linked here are the ones I have been using for about 2 years, and I love them.
You can underline verses and sections. You can use a ruler for this.
This tape can be used to add accents to your journaling pages or you can tape notes that you write on cardstock or paper scraps.
Tabs mark the books of the Bible to help you flip to a passage more quickly.
Cardstock is a great place to write notes. You can attach it to the page with washi tape. Tape down only one edge of the cardstock, and you can flip it to see the scriptures underneath.
Highlighters are great to have because you can use them to give the page a little bit of color, but you can still see the words underneath. If you use the right kind, like these, they will not bleed through.
A lot of people use these sparingly. Others, however, have a specific key for how they highlight their Bible. For example, they will use blue for God’s promises, pink for prayer, and yellow for prophecy.
Bible Journaling Kit
If you don’t want to purchase the pieces separately, you can get started with a journaling kit. It even includes stencils you can use for your Bible journaling.
Bible Journaling Stickers
Bible stickers are great for placing a creative note in your Bible when you are journaling.
What are the Steps to Bible Journaling?
You should do this before reading your Bible every time. Ask God to reveal something for your life or something you haven’t noticed in the verses previously.
Read and Reflect
Read slowly, and when something sticks out in the reading, pause. Reread the passage a few times. Ask yourself a few questions.
Why did this stick out to me?
Do I need to act on this?
Is this something I need to remember?
Does this speak to a current situation in my life?
Figure Out How to Conceptualize the Passage
After pausing and answering the questions above, decide how you want to note it. This is where your creativity will come into play. An important note to remember is that Bible journaling isn’t about just drawing images in your Bible. You never have to draw, and sometimes you may need to simply write a prayer or notes about the passage. Journaling is about making a connection with God and His word.
Draw or Write Notes
If you are drawing, you may want to sketch it in pencil first or do a draft on paper before adding ink to make it permanent. If you aren’t drawing, write out your note. You can always write it in pencil and trace over it in pen or marker.
I am looking forward to my deeper journey into Bible journaling this year. I hope that you will join me on the journey. My plan is to keep you updated about my Bible journaling journey. Maybe we can enjoy the journey together this year. I am excited about my new journey next year.
In the comments, let me know what Bible you are using. Are you going to get any of the pens or anything from the tools in this post?