Bible Journaling Guide: How To Start Bible Journaling

September 25, 2020 6 min read

How To Start Bible Journaling

When you read the Bible, how many of the important things God is saying to you can you actually remember? No one can remember everything. As we are virtually bombarded by so many needs and requirements each day, it's often hard to recall anything that isn't vying for our prompt attention.

The spiritual discipline of Bible journaling offers a profound and creative way to keep God's teachings close to our hearts and at the forefront of our minds. In short, Bible journaling is the process of spending time with God and logging the sacred insights you receive from Him in your Bible's margins. For most people, the Bible journaling process begins by paying attention to God, with a highlighter and pen in hand, and purely registering what our Lord says in the pages of the Good Book or our spiritual journals so that we can more conscientiously hear, meditate upon, and implement God's words in our everyday life.

how to start bible journaling

Photo by Kelly Sikkema from Unsplash

In case you are wondering, although the term Bible journaling is reasonably new, the concept of Bible journaling is not, as we can find the instruction for registering God's words in the Scripture itself. In Habakkuk 2:2, the All-Powerful commands Habakkuk to "Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it." Similarly, in Jeremiah 30:3, the Lord directs the prophet to "Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you."

Hearing what God says to us, remarking how He's communicating with us every day, and registering those things are the heart and soul of all Bible journaling. The majority of Christ-followers start Bible journaling in their standard Bibles by underlining and highlighting keywords and passages. Nowadays, a growing number of people are uncovering the joy of adoring God on the pages of particular, wide-margin Bibles, also known as Journaling Bibles, that enable them to effortlessly record their thoughts and add certain artistic elements as well. 

If you are curious enough to start Bible journaling but aren't sure where to begin in the first place, you've clicked on the right blog post at the right time. Read along to find out how to start Bible journaling and get the most out of God's words.

Are You Allowed To Write In The Holy Scripture?

Most frequently, new believers are somewhat shocked at the idea that a believer could write in their Bible as they worry that writing in the Bible is in some way wrong or disrespectful. And whereas the Lord’s word is unbelievably influential to Christians, we don’t worship the Bible, but God’s word inside of it. We strive to interact with the Bible in a way that it gets inside of us and transforms and shapes us for the better. If writing and taking notes alongside meaningful passages can do that for you, then, by all means, you should write in your Holy Scripture.

For many decades, what we’d call Bible journaling was simply a cross between studying and devotional reading. Devoted Christians would make all sorts of underlines, notes, and highlights as they were touched and enlightened by the Bible. These spiritual notations could be in the form of little reminders, prayers, cross-references, and anything else that might help the reader recollect the influence a pericope or verse had on them.

This process can always remind you of how the Word Of God moved you the last time you examined a particular passage, and will undoubtedly document your spiritual growth. Bible journaling can be amazingly fulfilling, especially when you look back at your notes and underlines from over the years and acknowledge how God has transformed you.

Photo from Pinterest

What Do You Need To Start Bible Journaling?

If you are fascinated by this reflective Bible-reading discipline and eager to begin with it as soon as possible, here are the necessary tools you'll need. First things first, you'll need a Bible, a regular notebook or journal, and a pen. That is all. You can opt to take advantage of a standard Bible, or select one made especially for Bible journaling. The latter includes blank or lined space in the margins of the Bible for you to take notes, illustrate your faith, and some even include blank pages to let your faith shine through. Additional Bible journaling supplies include: 

  • Bible journaling tip-ins to add more space to your page
  • Page tabs to spot specific verses and passages
  • Colored pencils and markers 
  • Washi tape to decorate or embellish the pages 
  • Stamps and a stamp pad 
  • Stencils, stickers, and die-cut paper bits to add decoration
  • Paper glue

You may put a considerable number of supplies on your Bible journaling wish list, but always keep in mind that you don't need anything more than your Holy Scripture, a pen, and an open heart to launch your journey in His word. Once you've collected your supplies, you're now fully ready to start documenting your faith within your Bible's pages.

How Do You Start Bible Journaling?

Every Bible journaling process begins with a prayer. Ask for Our Lord’s guidance, and listen for His response. Look for an answer from Him if Bible journaling is a suitable way for you to seek and explore your faith. Once He answers, you will know the time is right to start your Bible journaling discipline. The only rule to Bible journaling you should know about is, there are no rules at all. 

You don’t need to be an artistic soul to create beautiful sketches, scrapbooking materials, stickers, and more resources to assist as you combine your faith and art. Always remember that Bible journaling is an intensely personal process, and there is no right or wrong. Bible journaling is a magnificent opportunity to grow closer to Our Lord.

You may set aside peaceful time for your private reflection, or you may even enjoy hosting a Bible journaling night for your friends and family and journal together as a group. The best place to seek inspiration is in your study of the Scripture by spending quality time with God in His word and prayer. Pray for wisdom and perceptiveness, and pray for a will to live out what you’ve learned. Don’t forget to ask God for insights that will be helpful for people around you as well. 

The great thing about this process is that it’s more about appreciating the Word than trying to get over a certain number of chapters. Read slowly and take your time to ruminate. When you get to a verse or passage that jumps out at you, it’s the perfect time to pause. Think about why this verse is making such a strong impression on you. Is it something you will need to remember? Perhaps it’s something you need to act on. This process is crucial to Bible journaling because you want to journal verses that deeply impact you. As inspiration comes from the heart - if something in the Bible sticks with you, journal it. 

Take your time to reflect on why and what this verse is speaking to you. Perhaps you know that you’re prone to do your thing, and you know you got to hide Our Lord’s Word in your heart. This might prove as a critical enough revelation that you want to document it through Bible journaling.

person in church holding the bible

Photo by Rene Asmussen from Pexels

You can illustrate the verse in a way that shows you its significant points. Instead of an illustration, maybe you’d want to sketch or write down the commitment you are willing to make because of this verse or passage. Don’t get the wrong idea as if Bible journaling is about creating illustrations and drawing images. You can always respond to a verse from the Bible through a note or a prayer as well.

Some Christians like to draft their idea on scrap paper ahead of time. Others want to prepare it with a pencil first, while some just let their inspiration lead them without much planning ahead of time. Your Bible journaling technique should always depend on your style and preferences. Always remember that there are no rules.

Additional Smart Tips For Enjoying A Successful Bible Journaling

Although there is no particular way of how the whole Bible journaling process should be, there are many smart tips and tricks to help you make the most of your experience. Our four favorite smart tips for Bible journaling include:

  • Never force the process, and don’t let it cause stress for you - journal only when inspired. 
  • Date each of your Bible journaling sessions, so you can look back later and reflect. 
  • Always keep your journaling supplies organized, so you have more time to create instead of searching for the supplies you need. 
  • Browse for inspiration on the Internet, but let your journal be your own.

Bible Journaling Is A Strong Act Of Worship

Bible journaling can be a potent manner to seek and respond to God in His word. Add this highly spiritual discipline to your repertoire and engage with what Our Father says to you and worshipfully respond. Start your Bible journaling experience today, and in the end, you’ll end up with a Bible that’s a legacy of your fruitful time spent with God and His word.

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