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For those of us who read the Bible, we know that there are many ways to read and study the scriptures. I’ve always read the Bible and have often used themed study guides, workbooks, and Bible Journals. A few years ago a trend started, called Bible Journaling. Let’s learn the difference in the two and how to use both methods in a frugal way.
What is the basic reason to use a journal or journal in the Bible itself? Christians study the Bible to understand the scriptures. We want to know what God has said in his word. The more we study the Bible, the better we will remember it and be able to live out the commands of scripture.
When I was growing up, children went to Sunday School where we were given small booklets. In these booklets we had lessons. Each week before going to Sunday School we were to read the lesson and fill in the blanks (workbook style). Then, the teacher would go over the lesson with us and there would be discussion time. This was a great way to teach young people how to learn from the Bible.
As an adult, keeping a Bible journal was a new idea. It was basically an empty notebook that you kept with your Bible. Anything that was important to you could be written in the journal. Some people like to write an outline-style and then fill in notes that they wanted to remember. Some of us liked to just write down whatever we felt were the highlights.
These Bible Journals could be anything from a spiral bound notebook to a leather bound blank book. Now, there are journals of every type available in department stores, online stores, and Christian book stores. The sky is the limit on cost and design. Everyone can select what fits their wallet and/or artistic tastes.
Whatever you write in your journal is obviously more important than whether or not it’s inexpensive paper or the finest in leather. We know that it’s also not what God cares about. He looks at the heart. Here are a few types that you can check out:
- Hardcover Spiral Lined Journal – 32 different covers to choose from $9.99
- Paperback Journal with categories $5.99
- Leather Lined Journal $26.95
- Dotted Grid Journal $8.99
These are just a few. If you want to start a Bible Journal, you might prefer to get more than one. If you like taking notes, you will probably fill one in quickly. If you like to have things that match it would be attractive to have them in the same style.
Bible Journaling refers to journaling inside your Bible. I think one of the top benefits of journaling in your Bible is that your notes will always be with your Bible. Separate journals can get misplaced and easily complicate things. Remembering to take your extra journal with you when you go to church, Bible study, or travel isn’t always easy.
Another benefit of journaling in the Bible is that each time you turn to a page with notes/journaling, you’ll see what you wrote before. This will bring to mind what you learned the last time you were studying the same passage of scriptures. That just won’t happen if the specific notebook/journal you wrote in isn’t with you each time.
When I first learned that people were drawing and writing in their Bibles, I didn’t exactly like the idea. It seemed wrong to write or draw all over the pages of the Bible. But, then I was reminded of the early copies of the Bible and how scribes would use illustrations and beautiful colors and penmanship to make the Bible lovely. This made me favor the idea.
Some people like to just underline, highlight, or make small notes in the margins of their Bible. Others have drawn lovely pictures as well. I’ve seen the artwork go right over the passages, but only drawn lightly. In this way, it’s still easy to read all the words.
Another great way to do journaling in your Bible is to get a wide margin Bible or a special Journaling Bible. These give plenty of extra space to create whatever you want on each page. Then, black and white or vivid colors can be drawn or colored in with special pens or colored pencils. Here are a few examples:
There are so many more styles and translations out there. I’m sure you will find one that you like. Whether you like using a Bible Journal or a Journaling Bible, the important thing is that:
Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. Ps.119:11
@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman