Let’s explore options for the best journaling Bible, discuss their features and benefits, and how to choose the one that’s right for you.
Bible journaling is a fresh, new way to study, learn, and memorize God’s Word. In this article, we’ll explore options to find the best journaling Bible. First, we’ll take a look at journaling as a useful process. Then, we’ll discuss the features and benefits of journaling Bibles and how to find one that best suits you.
I often think about my friend and mentor from many years ago. He used to say, “Always pray with an open Bible on your lap.” For him, prayer was an ongoing conversation between himself and God. Moreover, the scriptures that he read in his Bible provided the pathway for that two-way conversation.
You’re on a journey with God, just like my friend from many years ago. God speaks to you through scripture, and you enter into the two-way conversation with our Lord. What a joy and comfort it is to read God’s Word and go to God in prayer.
Why Bible Journaling?
You might be wondering how and why journaling can be a beneficial component of Bible study and prayer. What does journaling have to do with your personal journey with God? Why would you want to add a journaling habit to your daily quiet time with God’s Word?
Well . . . let’s look at journaling as a pathway to wisdom. Counselors and therapists (including pastoral counselors) often recommend journaling to their clients. They suggest writing by hand in a journal for a number of reasons. To consider what the best journaling bible is for us, we need to think about what the benefits of a journaling bible would be and what we want to glean from doing it.
Benefits of Journaling
- Journaling helps you to organize your thoughts and recognize your emotions.
- Journaling helps you to resolve problems in your life.
- When you write by hand, the neuron connections in your brain make learning easier.
- Writing in a journal helps you to remember things (such as scripture passages).
- Journaling helps you to become more mindful.
- Maintaining a journaling habit helps you to become more self-disciplined.
What is a Journaling Bible?
For hundreds of years, people have been writing in the margins of their Bibles. As we read and study scripture, we naturally want to take notes or write our own thoughts. How many of us have underlined certain meaningful passages and noted personal revelations in the margins of our Bibles? But traditional Bibles provide little empty space on the pages for us to write.
Now, journaling Bibles offer a fresh approach to reading, studying, and responding to God’s Word. Bible journaling is an interactive experience where you write your personal discoveries, thoughts, and reflections directly on the pages of scripture. Journaling Bibles provide blank space for you to do this.
Journaling Bibles also offer opportunities for coloring beautiful images on the pages. As we add color with our own colored pencils or pens, we enter into a time of quiet and creative contemplation. We can meditate on God’s Word as we engage in the peaceful activity of coloring.
Perhaps you love to draw or create fine lettering. A journaling Bible is the perfect place for you to indulge your artistic side. You’ll enrich your quiet time with God as you add your own inspired artwork to the pages of your Bible.
You may also consider hosting a bible journaling ladies night. What a fun way to connect with other like-minded women!
What do you do when you’re Bible journaling?
- You can write personal reflections in the wide margins of a journaling Bible.
- Read and pray over scripture, then add your own reflections in the journaling section of the page.
- Be creative by adding artwork, beautiful lettering, or stickers to the pages of scripture that you study.
- Pray over God’s Word as you fill beautiful illustrations with color from our own art supplies.
- Activate your response to God’s Word through writing and drawing.
- Meditate on the message that God is speaking to you as you write or draw in a journaling Bible.
Getting Started with Bible Journaling
With many different journaling Bibles on the market, you have lovely options to choose from. Several are particularly appealing to women, because of their graceful artwork, soft colors, and attractive designs.
As with any purchase, you will want to consider your budget as you shop for a journaling Bible. Let’s consider the best journaling Bible for any budget on Amazon. I’ve selected 3 of the best that I could find representing 3 different price points.
The first is the best journaling Bible available on a budget. The second is better in some ways, but it costs a bit more. The third is more expensive but offers features that make it worth splurging on.
The Best Journaling Bibles
KJV Holy Bible, My Creative Bible
This Bible is published by Christian Art Publishers. It’s available at a budget-friendly price, and it offers beautiful features for writing and artwork. The translation is the King James Version. For many people, the poetic rhythms of the beautiful language in the King James translation are most inspiring.
- Imitation leather, flexible cover in lovely teal color, floral, and more
- Beautiful silver lettering on the faux leather cover
- Wide margins for journaling, taking notes, or artwork
- Over 300 full-page or partial-page scripture illustrations that invite coloring
- 1404 printed page edges
- Ribbon marker attached
- Elastic closure included
- Size = 8.2 x 6.5 x 1.8 inches
- Black lettering on cream-colored Bible paper makes reading easy on the eyes
- Easy-to-read 8.65 point font
Why you might select this journaling Bible:
- You want to get started with Bible journaling, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money
- You appreciate the classic and simple cover design
- You enjoy coloring as a peaceful, meditative activity
- You’re drawn to the many beautiful illustrations that you can color in this journaling Bible
- You appreciate the wide, blank margins provided for expressing yourself through writing and drawing
ESV Illuminated Bible, Art Journaling Edition
I’ve always been fascinated with reproductions of illuminated scriptures created by monks during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The gorgeous, flowing lines of the illuminated pages appear to reveal the artists’ worship and praise to God. This ESV journaling Bible published by Crossway reminds me of those ancient Bible pages. From the flowing, gold-ink design on the cover to the many gold ink illustrations throughout, this journaling Bible inspires a sense of beauty and appreciation for God’s Word.
- Over 500 hand-lettered, gold ink illustrations
- Illustrated by world-famous artist Dana Tanamachi
- 64 full-page custom illustrations
- 50 full-page illustrations of your favorite scripture verses
- 250 hand-lettered margin verses
- Wide margins for taking notes, writing reflections, or adding your own artwork
- Cover is cloth over board in navy with beautiful gold illuminated design
- Easy-to-read 9 point font
- Black lettering on thick, cream-colored paper is a help for tired eyes
- Smyth-sewn binding for durability
- Compact dimensions (7 x 2.2 x 5.2 inches) make this Bible easy to slip into your purse or tote
Why you might select this journaling Bible:
- You’re interested in selecting a lovely and inspiring journaling Bible at a reasonable price
- You appreciate beautiful art illustrations
- You’re drawn to the classic and graceful lines of the gold ink illustrations
- You want to add your own color, drawings, and written reflections to the pages of your Bible
- You appreciate the beauty of this Bible’s cover – it looks gorgeous even when it’s simply lying on your nightstand
Tyndale NLT Inspire PRAISE Bible
This journaling Bible by Tyndale is a feast for the eyes. Gorgeous, inspiring artwork is included throughout. The pages of this Bible invite you to journal your thoughts and to engage your creativity.
- Flexibound cover – flexible, leather-like cover is sturdy but lightweight
- Single-column setting with wide margins for journaling
- Over 400 line-art scripture verses for you to color, thereby enhancing memorization
- 19 full-page illustrations to color
- 32 see-through journaling pages spaced throughout the Bible for tracing and adding colorful artwork
- Compact and portable – 6.125 x 7.875 inch size
- Thicker paper allows you to use art supplies without bleeding through
- 3 sheets of PRAISE stickers included for decorating the pages
- A pocket in the back provides storage for journaling supplies
- Beautiful designs with a soft, purple color theme
- Easy-to-read 8.65 font on warm white paper
Why you might select this journaling Bible:
- You love to express yourself through visual art
- Beautiful colors and designs inspire you
- You love decorating, coloring, designing and drawing
- You want to respond creatively to God’s Word through writing and artwork
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Journaling Bible
When choosing the best journaling bible for you, consider which English translation of the Bible you want to read. The designations of Bible translations might read like alphabet soup. You want a Bible that you will understand, and you want it to be the best English translation from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin. You might want to check with your pastor about which translation is most recommended.
- KJV – King James Version – 17th century English translation
- NKJV – New King James Version – 1982 update of the KJV
- NIV – New International Version – 1978 English translation
- ESV – English Standard Version – 2001 version derived from Revised Standard Version (RSV)
- NLT – New Living Translation – 21st century translation into modern English
- Hardcover, flexibound, or paperback? – If you plan to take the Bible with you to church, to work, or when you travel, you might want to invest in a sturdy hardcover or flexibound version.
- Size (dimensions) – Again, portability is the issue. A Bible with smaller dimensions will fit into a tote or purse.
- Font size – Check out the font size when you’re shopping. Typical font size range from 8.5 to 10 points.
- Large print – Some of us need a large print version to comfortably enjoy reading a page of scripture. Large print versions are available.
- Artwork and opportunity for coloring – Some of the journaling Bibles provide lovely artwork that you can color. Explore your creativity!
- Material, color, & design – There are so many beautiful journaling Bibles available. Personal preference will help you select the one that like the most.
God is alive, and God’s Word is a living Word. Keeping these facts in mind, it seems absolutely appropriate to respond to scripture by writing and drawing or coloring beautiful images. We can read, study, and pray over scripture. With a journaling Bible, we can record our own responses right there in the pages of God’s Word.
You might also like: Bible Art Journaling Ideas, For Beginners
Written by Carol Benton
Carol Benton is a baby boomer, retired college professor, and freelance writer. Check out Carol’s blog at http://www.scribblingboomer.com/.
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