Bible Journaling: 5 Ways To Start
An Introduction to Bible Journaling
“For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12)
While many believers today will recognize the necessity of reading the Bible is important, it is also common for believers to struggle in developing a habit of reading and studying the Bible. While memorization is also a good practice, it mostly commits the words to memory and not much else. One method to combat forgetfulness and complacency when reading the Bible is to start Bible journaling. Through writing out thoughts and questions, a believer can begin to critically think about the scriptures and begin to plan how they may directly apply to their life.
What is Bible Journaling?
Bible Journaling is a revitalized way of taking in the Word of God. It is done by reading the Bible in a devotional way then putting time in to responding to the Word of God through writing. This also has a creative aspect to it as people who read the Word of God express themselves through responding with colorful and meaningful images drawings and captions in the Bible’s margins. For example, often times grandparents or seniors who own a well-loved Bible, the kind that is dog-eared from all the reading, has little handwritten notes in the margins and highlights or underlines on some passages, and has prayer requests too.
Bible Journaling Ideas:
Since this is a personal process, there’s no requirement or expectation to be professionally artistic as a wide array of methods, techniques, or approaches can be utilized. There are two main aspects of Bible journaling: One is related to the expression of the thought and the other is related to the content of the writing or art.
When it comes to self-expression, it varies from person to person, some prefer to write or draw in the margins, hence the popularity of wide-margin Bibles. Others may experiment with stickers, washi tape, and maybe die-cuts to label their thoughts and questions. Another method is working over the text, which gives one more surface area to work with. This means that the art or design is more transparent. It can be achieved by using light mediums such as colored pencils, watercolors, or highlighters. It’s also important to use light colors when going over the text.Additionally, there are individuals who prefer to not mark nor write on their Bible, therefore, an alternative would be to use a notebook to record thoughts and questions.
When it comes to content, it also varies from person to person. Journaling has changed in terms of how and what a person journals. One form is through prayers as writing down a prayer or keeping a list of prayer requests can be helpful in growing in faith. Some believers like to echo God’s promises back to Him through journaling down their thoughts. If someone is trying to study or understand a verse or passage, they can also rewrite the scriptures. Using a form of calligraphy or typography on the margins of their Bibles or on bookmarks is able to help bring focus to a believer’s thoughts as they meditate on the meaning of it while rewriting.
Some believers may also like to incorporate their Bible study notes or sermon notes into their margins of the Bible as it also livens one’s notes and makes it more enjoyable to read. For example, if one had notes about Jericho, one could include a map of Jericho or even add stickers to it. For the more musical in nature, they may use lyrics as their own form of creative worship and meditation. The lyrics of a worship song reflecting a believer’s love and appreciation toward God can be written in the margins of the Bible and serve as a reminder for in times when we feel downcast. Lastly, for those who prefer more visuals, drawings, or diagrams to express their thoughts toward God, they can form creative pieces of art as doodles or paintings.
Journaling in one’s own Bible can aid a believer in growing in knowledge and faith as thoughts and questions can be written and recorded for later reference. For believers, it is critical to develop a habit of reading and studying the Bible so as to gain understanding and wisdom. In John 1:1, the word is God, yet this does not mean the physical pages of the Bible are considered the Almighty Himself but in fact, means the heart of God found within the understanding of the scriptures. Rather than only memorizing verses, a believer is encouraged to challenge themselves to think of how God’s word applies to their life and how they can continue to walk in obedience to God’s commands.