12 Ideas to Write in Your Journaling Bible

What to write in a Bible journal? You’ve got the Bible open in front of you, but you’re just not sure what to put on the page. Or maybe, you’re tired of just writing the verse in the margin word-for-word…and you want to go deeper. Either way, these 12 ideas will inspire you to use your Bible journaling time to truly understand and remember the Scriptures.

what to write in a Bible journal

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What is Bible journaling? I mean, what’s the point?

Let me ask you this: Have you ever become frustrated with yourself, because you read a Scripture passage yesterday, and today you can’t even remember what you read? Bible journaling uses creative art, to record and process what you’re learning, so you can easily recall and refer back to it later. Of course, there are other benefits—like gaining a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, and just spending time worshiping the Creator. But what I love most about it, is that it helps me to remember what I’ve studied, much more than just reading or taking notes.

How do I start Bible journaling?

If you’re new to Bible journaling, all you really need to get started is simply a Bible, a notebook, and something to write with. But most importantly, bring your heart! A desire to spend time with God, and to study His Word through creativity, is the single most important thing you need.

Once you get more into it, you might want to purchase a dedicated journaling Bible, and some additional Bible journaling supplies, such as:

But don’t worry about getting a bunch of supplies at first. Start with only a few basics, and you can always add more later.

What do you write in a journaling Bible?

When I first started Bible journaling back in 2016, I thought that you’re supposed to just write out a verse in the margin, in an aesthetically pleasing way. Make it look pretty, and that way you can remember it more easily. Which is great! I mean, writing out a particular Bible verse can absolutely help you memorize it and recall it better than just reading alone.

But, after a while I started to wonder, shouldn’t I be doing something more? If Bible journaling is all about studying God’s Word on a deeper level, then I really want to break down the meaning of the Scripture and how I can apply it to my life.

So, I started incorporating a wider variety of Bible journaling methods into my study time. And it’s been so helpful!

The verse below is just one example: To distill Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 12:33-37 down to a few words that would be easy for me to remember, I just put “store love, speak life”. Anytime I think of those four words, I remember what Jesus said, that I need to fill myself up on His love (and stop filling myself with negative things), so I can speak words of encouragement and truth.

what to write in a Bible journal - store love, speak life

What to Write in a Bible Journal: 12 Ideas to Inpsire You

One of my favorite benefits of creative Bible journaling, is that it helps sear the message of what you’re studying into your brain, much better than just reading alone. I hope that as you study the Scriptures, these twelve Bible journaling prompts will help you to process and record what God is teaching you.

1) Write the Scripture out word-for-word.

As I mentioned before, this is the most basic thing you can write in the margin of your journaling Bible. It will help you to remember the verse, and make it easy to refer back to later.

2) Better yet, add a different version!

Instead of writing the verse in the same version that your journaling Bible is in, you can write it in a different translation that brings greater meaning and comprehension for you. I personally LOVE the Amplified version (AMP) for its’ breakdown of the original Hebrew and Greek meanings of the words, and also The Message (MSG) for it’s modern paraphrasing of the Scriptures. You can find those, plus dozens of other versions for free on Bible.com or in the YouVersion Bible app.

3) Paraphrase it in your own words.

Read over the verse you’re studying. What does it mean to you, where you’re currently at in life? Sum it up in your own words.

4) Do a verse map of the Scripture you’re journaling about.

Verse mapping is a great study tool that can help you break down the meaning of a particular verse, and identify how that verse applies to you. Once you’ve done a verse map, then you can take the resulting statement, and write it in your journaling Bible.

Bible journaling ideas - verse mapping

Bible journaling example

5) Speaking of what to write in a Bible journal… Make a list of all the key attributes, people, places, or things in the verse!

This option is especially good for verses like 1 Corinthians 13 (the characteristics of love), Galatians 5:22 (the fruit of the Spirit), or Philippians 4:8 (positive things to think about), which contain a string of important words or ideas that you want to remember.

6) Pick out the aspects of the Scripture that most resonate with you.

For example, in the story of David vs. Goliath (1 Samuel 17)…what do you most admire about David in this story? What key lessons do you want to take away from it? (For me, it was David’s tremendous confidence in God, and his choice to not brag about his own abilities, but instead to acknowledge that it was God who would give the victory).

Bible journaling prompts - David vs Goliath

7) What do you write in a journaling Bible? Well, how about some song lyrics or a great Christian quote?!

If you find yourself at a loss for what to write in a Bible journal, this is a great option. Does the Bible passage you’re studying bring to mind a favorite hymn, or some poetry you’ve read before? Or perhaps a quote from a famous Christian like Billy Graham, or C.S. Lewis? If it adds an extra layer of comprehension for you, or sums up the meaning of the Scripture, then write it down!

8) Write a heartfelt prayer.

Sometimes, if there’s something in the Scripture that I know I need God’s help with, I’ll write a prayer. Something like “Lord, help me to…” or “Holy Spirit, lead me in the right direction…”. It could be a prayer about applying His Word to your life, interceding for someone you know, or asking God’s help with a particular dilemma you’re dealing with.

9) Give yourself a call-to-action!

If there’s a lesson you know you want to apply in your life, write it down. For example, I was totally inspired one Sunday as my pastor did a sermon on Mark 14:3. So I went home, and did this very simple journal that just says “give it all to Jesus”. This is something that I need to do every day, to make that choice to give ALL of myself to Jesus, and not withhold anything.

Bible journaling ideas - give it all to Jesus

10) Let yourself be inspired by the words in a stamp set, Bible journaling kit, or sticker sheet.

Don’t get me wrong—when it comes to what to write in a Bible journal, the Word should always be your primary inspiration—but sometimes it can be helpful to get ideas from the materials you’re working with. For example, this Timeless Hymns stamp set from Sweet ‘n’ Sassy Stamps has traditional hymn lyrics that can be applicable in many different Scriptures.

11) Tie it all together, with an easy to remember phrase.

If you’re studying a more complex passage, ask God to help you distill it down to something you can understand and remember more easily. Case in point, for years I couldn’t wrap my head around Jesus’ declaration that we are the “salt of the earth”. Um, what in the world does that even mean? But as I sat down to Bible journal one day, God gave me these short-and-sweet definitions of what it means to be salt and light. I can always remember, that SALT = the flavor of God’s love, and LIGHT = showing the way to Jesus.

creative Bible journaling - salt and light

12) Or, write nothing at all!

If the verse(s) you’re meditating on speak for themselves, than you can just create art that highlights that. Make the Scripture the focus of the page, and just let it shine.

I hope these ideas for what to write in a journaling Bible have inspired you, to go deeper in your study of God’s Word! Whatever you choose to write, let it be something that helps you remember the Scripture and apply it in your daily life. Use your journaling time as a way to connect with God and learn from Him, and you can’t go wrong.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Christy March 20, 2020, 7:51 pm

    I usually just use my Bible App, but the thought of Bible journaling has me intrigued now! I might have to pull out my actual Bible and give it a try. Great post!

    • Barbara Austin March 20, 2020, 10:01 pm

      Thanks Christy! It really has made such a difference in my appreciation for, and understanding of, God’s Word. Definitely give it a try!

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