In this post: If you aren’t familiar with bible journaling, it’s easy to begin. Here, I’m sharing tips & resources that will help you start.
Bible journaling is a great creative outlet for many people that enjoy reading scripture, plus it can help you concentrate and really remember what you’re reading. If you aren’t familiar with how to do it, it’s an easy thing to begin. In this post, I’m going to share tips and resources for how to get started.
What is Bible Journaling?
Bible journaling is also a way to combine your love of God with your creative talents.
“Bible journaling is all about reading and studying the Word, letting it lead you to be creative in the ways you memorize and record Scripture.” [source]
I personally began using a Bible Journal to take sermon notes a few years ago. It helps me to call out important phrases or points and also to include some of the history that our pastor teaches with each sermon.
Is It Disrespectful?
I don’t believe so.
Listen, if you cannot possibly bring yourself to write or doodle in your Bible, then don’t.
But I believe that God designed us as creative beings. He also designed us to learn in different ways. If you’re one that learns best visually, then Bible journaling can assist you in really learning and absorbing God’s word.
And that is NOT disrespectful.
Benefits of Bible Journaling
So, why do so many people love bible journaling right now? There are many benefits that affect different people, depending on who you ask.
- Assists with focusing on your daily scripture reading
- Better connect and understand with the words in the bible
- Opportunity to let your creativity flow
- Shed the idea of perfection and focus more on your relationship with Jesus
Convinced that it is something you want to try? Then let’s move on to how to start!
How to Get Started
When you have all your supplies on hand (which we’ll get to in a second), it’s time to start considering your first piece of bible journal art.
You’ll want to start small, practicing your different techniques to gain confidence. You may decide which route to begin with, such as hand lettering, stenciling, or free-hand drawing.
Hand lettering is a very common practice in bible journaling. Many like to develop new styles of writing to create embellishments and decorations along the printed text in the bible.
Good resources for learning more about hand lettering include:
- Complete Guide to Bible Journaling
- Free Beginner’s Guide to Hand Lettering
- 10 Hand Lettering Tutorials
Step-by-Step Bible Journaling for Beginners
1. Take the time to find a verse that you are familiar with. Maybe even pray about where to start. It doesn’t have to be a favorite verse (you may want to save those for when you are more experienced and feel more comfortable decorating your bible). Find the page in your journaling bible that features this verse.
You could start with these 10 Bible verses for when you can’t sleep at night – especially if you’re looking at journaling when you’re wide awake at 3 am!
2. Reread the verse multiple times, considering what the words on this page mean to you – and how you want to express the meaning with art. Decide how you want to decorate the page.
3. Have fun, detailing your interpretation with a creative representation right in your bible (or notebook if that’s what you choose to start with).
That’s really it! Bible journaling isn’t a difficult task, and it can be a fun way to learn more about scripture…as well as a great way to express yourself and your faith.
Bible Journal Prompts
Looking at a blank journal page can be daunting if you don’t know where to begin.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. Write these ideas down and then seek out scriptures to help and guide you in these areas:
- what are you thankful for today? this week? this month?
- what are your favorite scripture passages?
- where do you need to trust God more in your life?
- what are you questioning? frustrated with? doubting?
- what is your calling?
- what areas in your life you need God’s help changing?
- where do you need to seek God more in prayer?
- do you need to ask for forgiveness for anything in your life?
- do you need to forgive others?
- are there relationships in your life that could use God’s guidance?
Basic Supplies for Beginners
The basics that you will need to begin are:
- a bible with large margins
- a pen that is safe to use in your bible
- other embellishments (see below for ideas)
First, you’ll want to find the right bible to begin your journaling. One that has a side margin for art on each page is ideal, especially for beginners. Having this space to create can remove the discomfort you may feel about marking up your bible. Alternately, there are journaling bibles with entire blank pages for doodling and creating. But most beginners find this to be too much blank space.
I personally use the ESV Single Column Journaling Bible in black, by Crossway.
Tip: If you are really feeling unsure about your creativity or writing in a bible, you can begin with a simple notebook alongside your current bible. Once you get more confident, you can switch to a journaling bible if you wish.
The Best Pens for Bible Journaling
You can use stickers or stamps to decorate your bible as well. If you’d like to add more color, you may want to give watercolor pencils, colored pencils, or multi-colored bible highlighters a try.
The idea is for you to express your learning and love of scripture, using your bible as the canvas.
What Does a Bible Journal Page Look Like?
The great thing about Bible journaling is that no two pages or Bibles will ever look the same!
Your pages will look different than mine. In my Bible, each section looks different – some pages contain elaborate drawings, while others are filled with rushed notes taken during a fiery sermon.
If you want inspiration, you can google Bible Journaling and then select images. You’ll find all sorts of ideas. You could also check out my Faith and Encouragement Pinterest board too!
One Important Thing to Keep in Mind
The purpose of getting creative here is to really dig into and internalize key Bible verses and truths.
Don’t let perfectionism – in how your doodles look, in your hand lettering – overwhelm you.
Over time, you will naturally “get better” at journaling. Your sketches will get prettier and more creative. Your lettering will flow more naturally.
In the meantime, let your Bible journal be calming and comforting!