The world of Bible journaling can be quite confusing because there are so many options out there. Today, I am discussing the type of Bible I use and the tools I use when reading. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to journal as long as you are spending meaningful time with the Lord.
Pick a Bible translation that speaks best to you. I prefer the Holman Christian Standard Bible. It is the version my pastor uses and it is claimed to be faithful to the original Hebrew and Greek while also remaining readable. At the time I purchased my Bible, there was only one Holman available and it was expensive so I settled on the ESV Single Column Journaling Bible.
After you settle on a translation, you will have a variety of sizes, styles and colors. I chose a single column journaling bible with a plain black cover. I prefer the single column format because it is easy to read and my illustrations are next to the text they are referencing. I also picked out my Bible based on size. I wanted something small enough to toss in a diaper bag.
I find a good Bible commentary to be helpful with reading my Bible. When I get to a passage I don’t understand, I enjoy reading more about it. Usually, there is some kind of historical or cultural significance that I did not pick up on. Commentaries are also great for linking passages back to other passages. You can use online commentaries or books, but be selective in choosing one. The Bible is God-breathed and authoritative. Commentaries are human written and therefore can actually contradict the Bible. When reading through scripture, always pray for wisdom and understanding from the Holy Spirit. Also, remember that the Bible was written for everyone, not just those that have been through seminary school. I use The Holman Illustrated Bible Commentary.
Last week, I mentioned that I do a lot of highlighting in my Bible. Ordinary highlighters will bleed through your pages. However, several people use them with no problem. I would definitely test out any pen, paint or highlighter in your Bible before using them. You can use one of the reference pages at the front or back of your Bible as a test page.
When I first started Bible Journaling, I used Crayola crayons. They worked to keep me engaged in my reading; however, they had a bit of grittiness to them.
ACCU-Gel Highlighters are my highlighter of choice. I like a Bible highlighter that works more like crayon because it will not bleed through the page. These are very vibrant. The colors do not rub off, but they will leave a waxy feeling to your page for a day or so (this goes away quickly).
I have seen the Zebra Eco Zebrite Highlighters recommended, but I have not used these.
Depending on where you plan on doing your Bible Journaling, you will need a way to store all of your tools. If you will always be journaling at the same desk and don’t need your tools to be portable, you can always use a pencil caddy and desk organizer for your supplies.
Otherwise, you will probably use some sort of bag for everything. Any bag will do for storage. Even a gallon size Ziploc bag works just fine. It is clear, so you can see everything at once and it is a very inexpensive option. Some people like to get a makeup case. Most of these have elastic holders designed for makeup brushes that allow you to keep your favorite pens organized easily. I personally use a zipper pouch from 31 Gifts.
Next week, I will discuss my favorite tools for illustrating the margins of my Bible.
*Please note, I get a small percentage of sales from the Amazon links above (except where noted). However, these are all products that I use myself and am personally recommending for my readers.