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Is Bible journaling Biblical?

If you have been Bible journaling for any length of time and have shared it with others, you may have met some resistance to the fact you are writing and/or drawing in your Bible. Well meaning folks may have questioned, “Is Bible journaling Biblical?” and rightly so! It is a good question to ask.

However, you might have been accused that you are being disrespectful to God’s Word or even sinning by creating art in your Bible. Today, I’m going to share with you what the Bible says and what is people’s opinion.

Let’s look at what the Bible says:

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we cannot create something inspired by His Word next to His Word. The Bible does not even directly say that we cannot cover up God’s Word.

Okay, so why do some Christians have a problem with Bible journaling? The issue arises because they have a different opinion of how to treat something holy.

For many of those who believe Bible journaling is desecrating God’s Word, they see the Bible as inviolable because it is holy. To me, this sounds old fashioned, but that doesn’t make their view of holiness wrong.

For some, Bible journaling is not the right choice. I have a friend who is a Messianic Jew and she wouldn’t even highlight or underline in her Bible. With her traditional upbringing, it felt wrong in her heart. Did she tell me that what I was doing was wrong? No, because the Bible doesn’t say it is wrong: it is a matter of opinion.

Bible journaling being right or wrong is a matter of opinion, not interpretation of the Word.

Romans 14

One of the cool things that God talks about in Romans 14 is that there is an aspect to your walk of faith that is based on your personal convictions, meaning that some of what God does not directly address in His Word as wrong or right depends on your personal convictions. If you want to eat meat as a Christian, that’s great! If you want to be a vegan as a Christian, that’s great too!

Like many things in Bible, Bible journaling depends on your heart. For example: If I tell a guy friend, “Hey, you look good today!” because he is recovering from being sick, that is okay. If I tell a guy friend, “Hey, you look good today!” because I find him attractive and I want to see what kind of attention I can get from him, that is wrong.

There are other things that the Bible is very clear about: do not get drunk (Eph5:18), do not be quick to get angry (Jam.1:19), love one another (1 Jn 3:11), etc.

There is no “thou shalt not” in regards to Bible journaling. So, who is right and who is wrong? Neither. Bible journaling depends on the heart of the person doing it.

Speak in love

One of the most important things to remember when you meet another Christian who doesn’t approve of what you’re doing is to TREAT THEM WITH LOVE.

Ask them why they think that, if they have any Bible verses that support their views, and do not be quick to assume or disregard their opinion. In God’s eyes, the person you disagree with is more important than your opinion. Treat them as such.

What about these verses?

So, what if they bring up Proverbs 30:5-6, Deuteronomy 4:2,  Deuteronomy 12:32, or Revelation 22:18?

There are also some folks who believe when you even write a quick note or highlight in your Bible, you are “adding to God’s Word” like these verses above strongly warn against. Unfortunately, they are taking these verses out of context and trying to apply them to a situation that does not apply.

When we journal, we are not saying our art is a “new revelation” from God or that we should change what God’s Word says and add our art to all Bibles. That is the sort situation to which these verses would apply.

Our Bible journaling is not that. It is a personal act of worship, and while we may receive a personal revelation from the Lord or gain a deeper understanding of the Bible while journaling, we are in no way implying that our self-expression or interpretation of the Bible should allow us to change or edit the written text of the Word.

For example: In Exodus 20:17, the Bible says don’t covet what your neighbor has, so that means, I shouldn’t covet what my neighbor has. I am not allowed to change what the Bible says and my painting or journaling around Exodus 20:17 doesn’t do that.

Do you have questions?

These are hard questions, friends. In our culture, we are so opinionated, we often forget that disagreements should be handled respectfully, especially in the body of Christ.

I would LOVE for you to ask any questions in the comments regarding this. I am very passionate about this topic and I think it is important we have a safe place to ask the questions that are on our hearts.

Also, please share this with any of your friends who may have encountered the situations described above and have not known what to say in response. Let’s empower each other with Biblical knowledge so we can confidently spread God’s love through the creative expression of Bible journaling!

Peace and love,

Amanda

About Author

Amanda Schenkenberger

I'm a wife to a hard working man and a mama of four little adorable boys. We live near Portland, Oregon and we love it. Portland has a great vibe and we love sharing the good news of the gospel with the people here.

I'm a stay at home mom first, then a work at home mom. The kids have to come first. I love people, hiking, coffee, converse, and Jesus. I also love coffee. And another favorite thing of mine is coffee. :) If you like coffee, we should be friends.

My one ridiculous dream I'd really like to come true is to collect one of every Starbucks mug that is related to a city or country.

Have a blessed day!

12 Comments

  1. Very enlightening-THANK YOU!! I’ve been wanting to try out Bible Journaling for a long while now and was slightly hesitant. However I do feel like if I started months ago when I had planned – I’d actually be much deeper in Scripture. I do believe that Bible Journaling will help me meditate on the gospel. I say that because I, personally, am more likely to remember a verse if I write it down or implement it into my schedule somehow. I am really glad I stumbled upon this post!!

    1. Hi Tina,

      I’m glad that you found this post, too! Writing and implementing Scripture in my life also helps me live out the gospel, and that is one of the reasons I love Bible journaling! I’m happy to hear you’re ready now. Please let me know if you have any questions and I would love to see your first entry if you feel called to share it. 🙂 You can email me at amanda@move-the-mountains.com

      Blessings,
      Amanda

  2. I have no problem writing, highlight, or drawing in my Bible. I have done inductive study for years. I find that what bothers me when I view others’ pages is that the artwork seems to overpower the Word and it almost seems to become an addiction, including purchasing of materials. I have enough addictions in my life–yarn, writing instruments, etc. I don’t need another and that frightens me.

    1. Hiya Connie,

      I know exactly what you mean about having Bible journaling become an addiction and buying supplies feels like a need more than actually being in the Word. I think it is so important that we are painstakingly aware of what would draw us away from being in love with God and His Word and it sounds like you are. That’s wonderful!

      Everyone has different “vices” that would interfere with their relationship with God and I think it is important not to assume what would be a problem for us to be a problem for others. For some, owning too many Bibles could be a vice! I think being in the Word with the inductive method is absolutely wonderful as long as it serves its purpose of bringing you closer to God and increasing your understanding. 🙂 Thank you for your comment.

      Blessings,
      Amanda

  3. This was a very interesting read. Thank you so much for sharing! I was to intimidated to start journaling on my own, so I broke down and bought one that already had illustrations in it. Congrats on your new little bundle of joy. I very much want to start bible journaling but the Bible is a huge book and I have no idea where to start. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Michelle,

      It’s my pleasure to share! Illustrated Bibles are a great option for those who don’t really know where to start for Bible journaling. I’m glad you took the leap but getting started can still be challenging. Like you said, the Bible is a big book! I would encourage you to start in James or John. Those are great books to dive into!

      Much love,
      Amanda

  4. So well said! As Christians we should always lead with love, no matter the topic or situation. You covered so much of that darn elephant, so very well! Obviously I LOVE to journal in the Bible but in all honesty I’ve purchased specific bible(s) to do this in. Probably more Bibles than I’ll ever need but, hello, GIFTS! I keep my originaly Study bible just highlighted n my notes from baby Christian to big girl Christian bc it’s special. So to anyone on the fence about this topic, do the same ~ keep your special Bible special and get one (from Amanda🤣) to use as a different form of worship understanding that we’re are not adding to God’s word only emphasizing the revelation God has given you or verses that are special to your walk ad a Christian!

    1. Such great advice, Carla! You are always so full of wisdom! Thank you for sharing.

      Much love,
      Amanda

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words, Sherry! I will share it on Facebook now but you are always welcome to share by copying the URL. Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Much love,
      Amanda

  5. I love studying the Word, and I love Bible Journaling. I have a Bible for both occasions. I use my study Bible for studying and then whatever God shows me, I journal it in my journaling Bible. I hope this helps anybody that’s on the fence about wanting to incorporate their artistic abilities, but afraid of defacing the Word of God!

    *Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. -2Tim 2:13*

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