do you use a ‘journalling’ bible?

I bought another bible.

It was a bit of an impulse buy. It’s actually a journalling bible. I’ve seen wonderful creations made from these bibles: people using them to create works of art as expressions of worship.

I ordered this one online so I didn’t really know what it was like. It was at discount price. I adored the colour, liked the idea of a tactile cloth bound cover and there didn’t seem to be an NRSV option (my usual preference) so NIV was my second choice.

(Plus we already have four NRSVs between us – three are mine. One is a soft cover, with apocrypha, used when studying theology. It is very tattered but much-loved! The other a hardcover version (no apocrypha) usually by my bedside. The other is exactly the same as my ‘college bible’, but a hardcover which I picked up in a charity shop, thinking I would move to that one to study. To be honest I usually still return to my tattered old softback!)

Anyway. Back to this bible.

I think I’m getting older. The text seems very small. Should a thirty-something need to squint?!

Also, the margins are lined, which is great for note-taking, but perhaps not so good for drawing or colouring.

Both these factors I would have known about if I’d actually read the reviews, of course. Impulse buy.

I’ve decided this doesn’t really matter for now, as I’d like to use this bible as a focus for my reflections on my new book. Note-taking is really what I want it for; I’ve already started using in this way. By having a primary focus for this bible – looking at themes relevant to the book, it’s become a resource.

Just because I’m not using it as an art journalling bible doesn’t mean I don’t indulge in a few different colours on occasion, or doodle something relating to the verse. I suspect it will become a bit of a hybrid, partly something for meditation, partly something for study.

So I won’t be creating glorious works of art on the pages of this bible, nor reading for extended periods (not without my eyes watering) but I hope that my ‘impulse buy’ can become a way of expressing my thoughts and aiding my study nonetheless.

What I’m not going to do is feel frustrated that I don’t make something as beautiful as perhaps someone else would. (Imagine comparing your bibles! What a bizarre folly that would be, but so easy in this culture, as we compare – and dare I say ‘covet’ –  everything.) This is my journaling bible and I’m using it for my journey. However if you want to find some inspiration as to how people do use these to create works of inspirational art, just Google ‘bible journalling’ (or ‘journaling’!) and you’re sure to find some!


Are you a ‘bible journaller?’ Do you draw or write or both?

6 thoughts on “do you use a ‘journalling’ bible?

  1. boucherpye says:

    Hodder just published several new journalling Bibles. They sent me (as a book reviewer) a red polka dot one very similar to the one you have – but no lines on the sides. The one I would have been more interested in was their art journaling one – but I’m not sure if I would use it or not actually. I do enjoy coloring books, but maybe not in a Bible? Let us know how you get on!


    • Lucy Mills says:

      Yes. Some things I love the idea of – art journaling, etc – but will I really get around to it? Just because I think it looks beautiful, will I actually do it myself? I’ve got tons of crafty stuff I’ve ‘fallen for’ over the years but just haven’t used recently.

      I think I will use this mainly for note taking. … but we will see!


  2. Rosalie Squires says:

    I think I’d find the narrowness of the margins very frustrating with my large untidy handwriting – all my journalling is done on computer. At least that way I can come back to it a year or two down the line and actually manage to read what I’ve written!


  3. journojohnson says:

    It’s great to write down the things – words or pictures or thoughts God gives you or the things he does in your life. Such an encouragement later on, especially when you’re feeling a bit down.


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