15 Bible Journaling Ideas for Beginners

Are you new to Bible journaling? Try out these 15 Bible journaling ideas for beginners, to make the most of your creative Bible study time.

Bible journaling ideas for beginners

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I think there are only two universal truths about Bible art journaling, that apply in every situation.

TRUTH #1: The primary purpose of journaling, should always be to study God’s Word on a deeper level, and grow in relationship with Him.

TRUTH #2: There is no one-size-fits-all way of Bible journaling! What you write, the study methods you use, the art you create, the supplies you wield… your way of doing things is completely unique to you. As per TRUTH #1 above, whatever helps you process, understand, and apply the Scriptures in your life, is good.

Ever since I began Bible journaling in 2016, my process has developed and changed over time. But what I keep learning (and re-learning), is that studying the Scripture takes precedence over the supplies I use and the art I create. Spending that creative time with God, and learning from Him—that’s where it’s at!

So, if you’re just beginning this journey for yourself, and you’re wondering “What do you need for Bible journaling?”, my answer is “Not a lot!”. You only need a journaling Bible (or notebook), some pens to write with, and then maybe something to color with. Beyond that, it’s up to you to decide what other tools or supplies you’ll use (if any).

The real Bible journaling challenge is… what will you actually write or create in your journaling Bible, to deepen your appreciation and understanding of God’s Word?

15 Bible Journaling Ideas for Beginners

To give you some ideas, I decided to take a look back at some of my favorite Bible journaling pages that I’ve created over the years. And the resulting 15 Bible journaling ideas for beginners represent a variety of different study methods and artistic techniques.

In the past, I’ve covered Bible study prompt questions, what to write in a Bible journal, as well as countless artistic Bible journaling tutorials. However, the ideas I’ve come up with for this post are more like a combination of STUDY + WRITING + ART, all rolled into one. I hope these Bible journaling examples spur you on, to dive deeper into God’s Word through journaling!

1) Color as you meditate on the Word

Coloring is, of course, the easiest of all Bible journal ideas! And since it’s also a relaxing and therapeutic activity, it can be a great opportunity to ponder and pray over the meaning of the Scripture you’re studying.

Bible journal - 1 Corinthians 13

You can always color the illustrations in a coloring Bible, or create your own art on a blank page. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, either… just a few shapes or lines will do. You can even ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you!

2) Use printables to write out the verse

Sometimes, your goal in journaling might be to simply memorize a Scripture. You may want to create some beautiful art in the margin, to depict the verse and etch it into your mind. And, one easy way to do that, is with Bible journaling printables!

Psalm 119 sweeter than honey Bible journaling page

It’s easy to trace or paste these free printables into your journaling Bible, and then color or embellish them however you like. (In the example above, I used a black Pigma Micron pen to trace, and glitter gel pens to fill in the color).

3) Make a personal statement

Up next in these Bible journaling ideas for beginners, is to apply the Scripture to your own life experience. This 2 Corinthians 12:9 page means a lot to me, since I have narcolepsy, and I very much identify with Paul’s experience of God’s grace being sufficient even in his weakness.

God's grace is sufficient - Bible journaling

We all have Bible stories and verses that resonate with us, for very specific reasons… so when you encounter a Scripture like that, use your journaling time to write it all down, celebrate it, thank God for it, and so forth.

(By the way, the Gelatos I used for this page are pretty much my all-time favorite Bible journaling supply. If I had to pare down my supplies to only a few essentials, Gelatos would definitely be first in line. If you want to try them for yourself, get this Gelatos Bible journaling kit! It’s a great introductory kit for beginners.)

4) Bring Scripture to life with symbolism

When you’re trying to decide how best to bring a verse to life, don’t forget about the power of symbolism! Things like BUTTERFLIES = RESURRECTION/NEW LIFE, or A SHEPHERD’S STAFF = GOD’S PROTECTION OVER YOU, or even a RAINBOW = HOPE/GOD’S PROMISES… those things can really drive the point home.

Bible journaling on 2 Timothy 3:16-17

For example, with this page, I chose a lighthouse to symbolize God’s Word providing light for my journey. And the lighthouse was relatively easy… just a simple stencil, colored with Gelatos.

5) Journal what you’re feeling

If you find yourself feeling very strong emotions, either about a life event, or a particular Bible story, tap into that! What you’re feeling in the moment can yield a great supply of Bible journaling ideas, and can help you capture that emotion on the page.

Bible journal with red spray ink

Back in Easter 2016 (when I was still a newbie Bible journaler!), I saw The Passion of the Christ for the first time. If you’ve seen the movie, you can probably imagine how moved I was by such a vivid, life-like depiction of Christ’s crucifixion. So, when the film was over, I took that emotion straight to my Bible.

6) Cover up ‘mistakes’ creatively

Now, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, in Bible journaling, mistakes and boo-boos are inevitable! Sometimes, you have to just let it be… but other times, you’ll find some great opportunities to make the best of it.

Bible journaling cross

Bible journaling examples - floral cross

Case in point, the ‘love ran red’ page in #5 above, resulted in a very distinct pink cross showing through on the backside of the page (even though I used gesso to prep the page, that red Sharpie ink still showed through!). So, four years later, I went back and added a floral cross to celebrate Christ’s resurrection (and also, the hope for an end to this pandemic!).

7) Use Pigma Micron pens to add detailed notes

Sometimes, it’s good to take notes! If you have a Scripture that’s especially complex, I recommend taking some extra time to study up on it, and record what you learn.

You don’t even have to do it all at once! In this armor of God page, the art in the margin came first. And then over a year later, I did an in-depth Bible study about the armor of God, which yielded so much insight, I figured I should write it all down someplace… and it just worked out perfectly that I still had plenty of space in my Illustrating Bible to include those notes.

Bible journaling - armor of God stamp set

By the way, if you only get one kind of Bible journaling pens, I highly recommend Pigma Micron pens! They come in various tip sizes, right down to a super-fine tip that’s perfect for fitting a lot of writing into a small space.

8) Create abstract designs with gel plates

Okay, so earlier in these Bible journaling ideas for beginners, we talked about symbolism as a way to bring Scriptures to life. But, what about those Scriptures that you really have no clue about? Or maybe you’re just not feeling inspired? In that case, just do something abstract.

I know that doves and/or fire is used in the Bible to describe the Holy Spirit, but in this case I wasn’t feeling like doing either of those things, so I went with a simple abstract design made with gel press plates. Which actually ended up reminding me of a descending dove anyway!

9) Put white on a dark background, for a bold statement

One of my favorite Bible journaling ideas that I’ve discovered, is to create a dark colored background (usually with acrylic paint mixed with glazing liquid), and write on it with a white paint pen. Of course, there’s more than one way to accomplish this, but the effect is the same… there’s just something about white-on-dark that really POPS!

Bible journaling prompts - Jesus paid it all

And no matter how many times I revisit this page, the message still pricks my heart: Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe!

10) Use alpha stamps to create your own lettering

If you want to create your own Bible lettering, of course you can always learn hand lettering. But, for an easier route, use alphabet stamps!

Matthew 4:4 Bible journaling page with alphabet stamps

Just a few basic sets (I got mine from Sweet n’ Sassy Stamps) will go a long way. You can see how most of this Matthew 4:4 page was created with alpha stamps.

11) Use verse mapping to understand the Scripture

Speaking of great Bible journaling ideas for beginners… verse mapping is one of those ideas I wish I’d known when I first started journaling. Anytime I have a verse that I want to understand better, or perhaps it’s a familiar verse that I want to dig deeper into, I use verse mapping.

Micah 6:8 Bible journaling and verse mapping

Essentially, it’s all about breaking down the key words in the verse, and researching definitions, synonyms, and even the original Hebrew or Greek words, to gain a better understanding of the verse. Then, once you’ve done a verse map, you can record what you learned in your journaling!

12) Create light vs. dark contrast

This idea is very similar to #9 of our Bible journaling examples above, in that it incorporates light and dark together on the page. Only, with this technique, you can choose to highlight part of the page with lighter colors, and part of the page with darker colors.

Bible journaling example - Psalm 19

Honestly, I really didn’t intend for this Psalm 19 page to be day vs. night. I started with an all light blue page (just some light color, so the text was still visible), and then added the dark blue to depict the heavens. But then I noticed in 19:2, it says “day after day… night after night”. And so, I made the light blue like the daytime sky, and the dark, like the night sky!

You could easily use the same concept to depict other contrasts, like spring vs. winter, or death in sin vs. new life in Christ.

13) Keep it simple, sweet

You know I couldn’t list these Bible journaling ideas for beginners, without mentioning some time-saving Bible journaling techniques as well. Let’s face it, we all have busy days when maybe we don’t have as much time as usual…

Psalm 27:13-14 wait for the Lord

To that end, you can always keep it simple, with a partial page, and/or the bare minimum of supplies. For me, that usually means some colored pencils, and maybe some washi tape. By sticking with only the simplest supplies, and the smallest portion of the page, you can save quite a bit of time (as opposed to doing a whole detailed page).

14) Just. PRAISE. GOD!

Speaking of simple Bible journal ideas… one of the most essential things you can do in your journaling, is simply to praise God! This would be an especially good route to take, if you’re feeling down, and need to be reminded of God’s love, faithfulness, grace, awesome power, and so forth. You can do something general, like this Psalm 113 page, or find a Scripture that speaks to a particular characteristic of God… and then praise Him for that.

Bible journaling watercolor page on Psalm 113

15) Bookmark your pages with tabs

And lastly, when you finish trying out all these Bible journaling ideas, make some tabs to bookmark your pages! It’s doesn’t matter as much what materials you use, just that you’re marking your journaled pages to easily refer back to later.

Bible journaling tabs

The only question now is: Which of these Bible journaling ideas for beginners are you most excited to try?

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