Monday, January 4, 2016

What is Bible Journaling?

bible journaling, bible, art,

Welcome to my very first Bible Journaling post! Today I thought I'd tackle the most basic question. What is bible journaling anyways?

Bible journaling is a type of art journaling which involves making art as part of your journaling process especially in a book or notebook. In bible journaling, you are using art as a way to illustrate, understand or meditate on the scriptures. Many people create these works of art directly in their bibles but you can also journal in a notebook.

Journaling entries can be as simple as writing out a verse in the margin using pens in different scripts. Or it can spill over into the entire page and include a variety of fun supplies! You can also include great quotes, song lyrics, prayers or study notes as part of your journaling. It's really up to your imagination!

The goal of bible journaling is to help you connect with the scripture on another level. It's great for creatives, visual learners or anyone who wants to help hide scripture in their heart. You do not have to be an artist or own lots of fancy art supplies.

If you've never done anything like this, it can feel a bit odd doodling in your bible. I grew up in a church where you were expected to keep your bible pristine and perfect looking. As an adult, I became part of another church that was heavy into bible study so I quickly became comfortable making bible study notes in my bible but that was serious bible stuff. Making art in my bible seemed a bit, well, wrong when I first started.

But when I really thought about it, I realized that God is a creative God. He made this planet, all the living creatures on it, all of the gazillions of stars and beautiful galaxies! As human beings made in His image, we were blessed with that creative nature too. In fact, the first time the bible mentions the Spirit of God filling someone in the Old Testament is Bezalel in Exodus 31. He was given artistic ability to be able to make the ark of the covenant, the robes for the priests, the tent for the ark and alter. I can't imagine that a God who took all of that effort to create all of that beauty would be upset about us making beautiful things for Him!

I've always been more of an analytical person and I read very fast. I've always struggled with taking my time and really pondering scripture rather than just reading to get it done. Bible journaling has helped me slow down and really focus on a small section of scripture. I'm also terrible at memorizing things and I feel like bible journaling has helped me remember scripture better.  

I'm so excited to start sharing more of my bible journaling pieces with you! In my next post in this series, I'm going to go over some of my favorite journaling supplies and give you some ideas for where to start. Until then, you can check out my bible journaling Pinterest board for some more inspiration.


  1. I love this! Have my eye on a new Bible for Journaling like this, but the type is too small. Not practical. They need to come out with a large type Journaling Bible for the over 55 types. So, I have my artsy journals for all the fanciful stuff and jot my notes in the text as I find room in my decades old Amplified. I'm posting and podcasting in this month on the link between creativity and joy, so your post here fits with my meditations today! Joy!

    1. Yeah, I haven't seen any large print journaling bibles. I think it may be in part due to the fact that the extra space required for journaling plus the large print would make for a very large bible. You could look for a note takers bible (which will have smaller margins than a journaling bible but still more margins than a regular bible) that may have larger print than the journaling bibles.

  2. Very cool! I had low-key wondered what you had been doing with that, and I had thought maybe it was wide bookmarks? I also like how, because the paper has been altered, it'll be easier to find the sections that are meaningful for you!

    I wish you lots of luck and fun with this! I can't imagine a God that would frown on beauty and creativity. I could also see this as a private meditation-type craft, or I could see a group exercise (like a sewing bee type of craft). Or perhaps having more than one person work on the same section, and then discussing how the lines gave inspiration for the art, as a way to better understand it coming from multiple perspectives.

    I hope it brings joy to your life.

    -- Tegan

    1. I'm part of a few Facebook groups that do challenges on particular verses or themes and it is pretty fun to see what everyone comes up with. :)

  3. Your pages are absolutely beautiful. I especially like the peacock one.

    Happy creating in 2016!

    ♥ Jessica

  4. Very, very cool! Can you recommend any editions that are designed for journaling?

    1. I'm going to be doing a whole post on supplies soon. Mine is an ESV Single Column Journaling Bible by Crossway. I love it and it comes in a variety of covers. If you have a translation preference, I've also seen NIV, KJV and NKJV journaling bibles and I think NLT will be out in February.

  5. This is soooo cool. It reminds me of a kind of modern version of the Lindisfarne gospels :)