- Single-column text of the New International Version (NIV)
- 500 full-color illustrated verses
- Wide margins and high-quality paper for notes, journal entries or artwork
- Index of illustrated Scripture passages
Zondervan is releasing the Beautiful Word Bible, a journaling Bible with 500 full-color illustrations included.
This story was shared on one of the Facebook pages I belong to that deals with Bible journaling. It is an awesome testimony to the power of journaling and being in God's presence. Please take a moment to read about how journaling helped this lady deal with her son's cancer treatments here.
In the last post I touched briefly on the materials you will need to begin your Bible journaling experience.
It depends on which path you want to take. You really don't have to buy anything that you wouldn't ordinarily have around the house if you don't want to.
You can use a notebook or loose paper and a pen or pencil. You can use an online Bible.
The important thing is that you begin your journaling journey and spend time with God.
If you want to go a littler further, there are other materials you may wish to get.
As mentioned in the previous post, if you plan to write or draw in your journaling Bible, you want to make sure you get the right kinds of pens and highlighters so that you will not have bleedthrough onto other pages.
Pigma Micron pens and Zebra Eco Zelite Highlighters have been highly recommended by journalers. They are available from Amazon.com, Christian bookstores and some craft stores.
For art work, you will probably want colored pencils or crayons. Some journalers really like Craylola Twistables, but I couldn't make them work for me. Probably a hand-eye coordination thing.
I chose to go with colored pencils, and I've been through several sets trying to find what works best for me. I started with Crayola pencils, and I would have been perfectly fine with them if I had stopped there. They get color on the page and look good. I tried both the regular pencils and the erasable ones and liked them. But then someone told me about water color pencils which can be used either as dry pencils or water color, and I tried those. I liked them better.
But my favorite by far are Prismacolor softcore pencils. They are expensive, but I have just been happier with the results. Go with what makes you happy or what your budget will allow. You are creating something for God.
I've mentioned before I don't paint. I just don't have a good place for it and I make a big enough mess with what I do use. So I can't recommend which watercolors or acrylics work best. However, elsewhere on this site, I've posted links to tutorials and other websites where the techniques are discussed.
If you like to draw or doodle, you can take it from here.
If not, there are some helps for you.
One method is to trace clipart that you find online and color it in. Or you could color directly on the clipart and glue it into your Bible.
Some journalers prefer to use stamps, and there are a lot of choices in Christian stamps online and in craft stores. You will also need to purchase a set of acrylic blocks to use as a base when applying stamps. These are also available online and in craft stores.
Or you could use rub-ons or colorful stickers found at Walmart, hobby shops, dollar stores and online.
Another option is to use digital stamps which can be found online. Very similar to clipart. Just print out and color and place in your Bible.
Several websites, including this one, have free margin strips for you to print out and use. Some have strips that you can color. These fit into the 1.5" margins of most journaling Bibles. They are an easy way to provide some color in your Bible, but your greatest joy will come from expressing your faith in your own way.
If you are more interested in digital journaling, you will need software. If you are already into digital scrapbooking, you may be using PhotoShop Elements for that, and that works great for digital journaling. There is a free 30-day trial for this software here.
Another option is PaintShop Pro. 30-day free trial is here.
Both of these programs run about $70 for the full versions.
The full version of Photoshop is much more expensive, but, of course, will do a lot more. You can buy the program or subscribe to the software online at Adobe.com.
As you learn more about journaling you may wish to try new things. Be sure to check out other blogs, and if you are on Facebook, check out some of the many groups dedicated to journaling in its many forms.
If you are among the journalers who want to draw or write in the margins of their Bible, there are a lot of options available.
Currently, I use the Crossway ESV single-column journaling Bible with the plain black cover. I chose this one because I could decorate the cover any way I wanted, and although I've gathered the stuff to make that happen, it is still just a plain black cover. I really like this one, though, because when you open it up to work on the pages, it lies flat.
That makes it easy to write or draw in the margins. I'm not a painter, so I haven't tried using watercolors or acrylics, but those who do tell me the Bible is good for that because it does lie flat.
The Bible has somewhat thicker pages than a standard study Bible, but you still have to be careful what you use on it. There are pens and highlighters made specifically for Bible journaling, such as the Pigma Micron pen (comes in black and several colors and in several point size tips) and I've heard the Zebra Eco Zebrite Highlighters are superior to others. No bleed through.
If you are going to do inductive Bible study (explained here you will probably want to invest in these.
As for paints, I'll leave those to the experts, but I do know it will require some page preparation beforehand.
While the Crossway ESV is one of the more popular journaling Bibles, it is by no means, the only one. Wide-margin journaling Bibles have been published in nearly every translation. So check your local Christian book store or Amazon.com to see what they have available in your favorite translation.
Some new Bibles will be making an appearance soon. Many have eagerly anticipated the arrival of the Tyndale "Inspire" Bible which contains 400 ready to color illustrations in the margins, colorable chapter headers and lots of space to do your own drawing. It was due to come out the first of February 2016 but delivery has been pushed back to mid or late March because of the demand.
The Inspire Bible comes in two options, the plain cover, seen here, and an illustrated cover.
On the heels of the Inspire Bible is a new Bible from Christian Arts Publishers called My Creative Bible in the KJV translation. It also comes in two versions, a plain cover and a decorated cover. It also contains 400 illustrations, with plenty of room to add your own.
This Bible is available for pre-order from Amazon.com and other retailers and is scheduled for delivery around March 1.
For those who just want more room to write or draw there are a couple of options.
The ESV interleaved Bible, with one blank page next to each page of text, is scheduled for release Feb. 29, 2016.
Available now is a loose-leaf Bible in the KJV translation. Journalers can add their own pages for their notes, sketches, etc.
Prices for these Bibles vary from store to store.
When I started this web site, I did not really intend to blog very much, if at all. I thought I might add a post here or there, but so much is happening in the world of Bible journaling, I figured I might need to have a way of communicating faster.
The main purpose of this site is still to point you toward other resources so that you can learn from the experts who have been doing this for a while. Believe me, I'm right there with you, learning from them.
So what I post here will hopefully direct you to someone with more knowledge.
The thing is...Bible journaling is such a wonderful experience, no matter how you do it. It's your time with God, your time for creative worship, and we are all going to be different in how we do that.
There is no one right way or wrong way. It's all about your relationship with God and how the spirit moves you to spend that time.
So...I'll be hopping on periodically to share something new or some crazy idea that has popped into my head that might make the experience more meaningful to you.
In the meantime...get messy and happy journaling!
My name is Dianne Smith-Harper and I'm a follower of Christ. I would love for you to walk with me on my Bible journaling journey.
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