What Is A Bible Journal?

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What is Bible journaling? Glad you asked! Check out the idea and some examples of Bible study using journaling techniques!

I can’t remember how long ago it has been, but within the past few months, I began to see open Bible pages with large side margins in my Pinterest feed. And what made them so noticeable was that within this large side margin, beautiful hand-crafted letters and artistic elements echoed the meaning of the passage.

I grew up highlighting and underlining Bible verses in my Bible and I have an entire box of my old Bibles with tons of scribbles, half of which you can barely see now. But this new way of highlighting and scribbling caught my attention.

Rachel Wojo's Bible Journaling Pinterest Board

Now, let me be fair, and say, that I didn’t run out and buy art supplies and  I haven’t tried to do more than take a sharpie and write a verse in artistic lettering. In fact, when I was in elementary school, apparently I read too fast and too much so my teachers thought that art would be a good thing to help me enjoy life in a different way. Guess what? I wasn’t a horrible artist;however, I LOVE to study the art of others. The beauty and meaning intrigues me. I truly appreciate the creative touch of others on whatever medium they choose.

I said all that to say: There are many wonderful ways to read and study the Bible using journaling techniques.

  • You can highlight and write in the side margins in your normal handwriting, the way many readers have done it for years.
  • You can use the wide-margin Bible and expand your notes to include artistic elements, either stamping, drawing or any other medium you enjoy.
  • You can journal through Bible study journaling, either writing in a separate journal or using a journal-type study.

    My new friend, Kari, just happens to teach and write incredible Bible studies that use art and doodling techniques. I can’t remember the last time I hosted a guest post on the blog, but when I heard that she had written a new study on Galatians, I couldn’t wait to share her words with you because she is one great Bible study chic!

Enjoy her post and be sure to enter the awesome giveaway available for a short time!


How My Bible Journal Ruined Me

Hi, my name is Kari and my Bible journal ruined me.  It changed me from a scattered  Sunday note taker to pulling out hands and feet application from God’s word.  It gave me a thirst to dig in deep for knowledge and action.   It ruined my comfortable go to church Sunday, take notes, go back to life Monday existence.

I started my very first Bible Journal a few years ago when I finally got tired of writing and losing notes on great insights from sermons or books.  I’d jot them down on whatever piece of paper was handy from random notebooks to backs of receipts or church bulletins.  Then they’d get lost.  So originally I created my Bible journal just to be a place to gather all those bits of thoughts and keep them in one place.

I quickly began to realize, however, that keeping a Bible journal also helped improve my learning.  At first, it was just words and lists, but then I began to take a “less is more” approach and distill and condense thoughts and texts to a more visual format and found that I was remembering more and was able to pull out some real life application…which meant my days of comfort and safe were ending.  My introverted, quiet loving self didn’t like that much.

It’s a scary prospect… to have your Bible take you from your comfortable, safe life into the lives of other people.  Part of me just wants to continue to write good points about the Greek form of the word LOVE on the back of an envelope that I throw into the recycling bin a week later.  It’s hard to take that Greek form of love and form a to-do bullet point list that requires action.

But when I get to see my Jesus face-to-face, I don’t want to point out all my notes to Him.  Or explain my plans to do something.  I want to be ruined for normal.  Damaged goods.  Battle worn.  I want to cross into heaven with scars on my knees, broken nails, and a heart full of love and joy from proving God’s word in the reality of my world.

As I was creating these action lists the Bible in my journal, I found it was a technique anyone could use.  I tested it out on my boys.  They loved it.  I shared it with a group of women on Facebook and got great feedback.  So I started writing out how to dig truth, promises, and action out for others and eventually the Journal and Doodle through the Bible studies were formed.

Bible Study Special Ends May 30!

This week is the release of the newest study on the book of Galatians.  It’s exciting because it has been totally reformatted to make it even more actionable and real-life usable.  It helps you dig in deep, chapter by chapter.  In each chapter we’ll work in our Bible, reading and titling each chapter.  Then we’ll work in our journal with simple doodles, overviews, and journaling prompts.  And we end each chapter pulling out real life application and reflection.  Many chapters have a “Going Deeper” section that you have the option of working through also.


There are free videos to take you step by step through the doodles, and there is no daily schedule.  You can work as long or short as you need.  No guilt.  Just grace.


Today and tomorrow only, I’m hosting a giveaway for Kari! YAY!

We’re giving away one free copy of the DIY Bible Journal workbook AND the Galatians study to one blessed winner.  The workbook is designed to take you by the hand and guide you into creating your first Bible journal and get you over the “staring at a blank page syndrome”.  It’s fun, fast, and will give you lots of ideas as you continue the journey.  It’s designed to go hand-in-hand with the Doodle and Journal studies. Just follow the Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway!

Don’t forget to check out Kari’s awesome Bible studies and also, be sure to check out my new Pinterest board on Bible Journaling!

Have a thriving Thursday!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I tried to subscribe but it kept telling me to enter a valid email. Guess I’ll have to try from desktop. I would love to study Hebrews this way.

  2. I love both of your websites. I am working on Kari ‘ s Romans study now.

    Looking forward to the Galatians study, too! Thank you, Rachel, for hosting this guest blog.

    Sincerely, Lisa

  3. Jennifer Holman says:

    Excited for this Study!!

  4. Jennifer F. says:

    I am finding myself drawn to the Colossians/Philemon one because you don’t often hear from these small (but just as important) books in the Bible. And… they will be perfect for me and my children to study together this summer!

  5. I really like Galatians! Ephesians and Philippians would be other great studies!

  6. {My First post was overexcitement and because I truly had a question about it :o).}

    I believe that I would love the Philippians Bible Study as I have always based my life on Philippians 4:13. Because I know that with God nothing is ‘impossible’ as the word itself states that ” I’m Possible”.

    Through this verse I have learned that “I’m Possible” in all sorts of situations that my flesh would not have normally thought to do or become but with God’s help I have become an Overcomer in so many things that most people would have simply given up in. For example, my daily fight with agonizing Physical Pain caused by the plethora of physical Rare Illnesses that I have. But with God’s strength I am still here and still positive. God is sooo good and loving!

  7. Oh, My ! This is exactly what I have been following on Pinterest! I love it! Thank you so much for the chance to win {{{hugz}}}. P.S. in the event one does not win where can we go to get this anyway?

    1. If you are looking for a Bible journal, I’m going to post my recommendations on Monday. I went to the Lifeway Christian bookstore today and I’ve been scouring online for options. For Kari’s studies, check out her website; they are awesome!!

  8. I have always enjoyed your blog posts. Thank you for the time you put into it. You really touch so many people. I also want to thank you for featuring Kari. Her post really spoke to me today through these words

    “But when I get to see my Jesus face-to-face, I don’t want to point out all my notes to Him. Or explain my plans to do something. I want to be ruined for normal. Damaged goods. Battle worn. I want to cross into heaven with scars on my knees, broken nails, and a heart full of love and joy from proving God’s word in the reality of my world.”

    That really struck the nail on the head for me. I am interested in the Galatians or Ephesians study. Thanks again for all you do!

  9. I love to journal , but to have this bible jornaling wouldbe sunch a blessing and growth in my walk with God and the place Im in right now…Im praying for Gods favor to be chosen for such a time as this:)

    Blessings Ladies and Good luck to all…

  10. I’d like to dig into Romans. Thanks for introducing us to Kari!

  11. Love this site

  12. Just started really journaling myself and love your ideas

  13. I have really wanted to start bible journaling but have been a little intimated because I am not much of an artist. This looks great!

  14. Kimberly B. says:

    I’d like to do the Romans one 🙂

  15. I love personalizing verses with my name in them. This looks like a fabulous idea. James would be an eye opener and quite interesting.

  16. Mary Roberts says:

    The bible study package. I’m a new believer and have been diving into studying.

  17. Thanks for developing another study! I’ll enjoy working on this one during the summer.

  18. They all look interesting but I think I would enjoy Philippians.

  19. Love the idea of Bible journaling!!

  20. I think I’d like them all as I have no idea which one appeals to me the most! Looks like a neat way to study the Bible!

  21. What a great giveaway! Wanting to start doing faith art.

  22. Polly Schneider says:

    I like them all, burning think I would like to start with Romans. I love this idea.

  23. I recently purchased an ESV journaling Bible. Right now I’m reading through Proverbs and really enjoying the journaling aspect of it. I can connect with it and remember more when I’m done. I also am able to flip back and see what I’ve drawn and remember why it was called to me at that time. I’d love to go through the Galatians study. I remember studying it in school and need to go back and refresh.

  24. Rhonda Hodges says:

    I would love to do them all! I am not artistic and don’t even know how to doodle, but when I looked at some of her pages, I thought I could maybe copy some of her doodles and learn from them. Looks like so much fun and a great way to learn the Bible.

  25. love this idea!

  26. Charlotte says:

    I’m a note-taker – but, I’ve not done Bible journaling. Will definitely have to try this! Am interested in the Philippians and Ephesians studies as well as the DIY Bible Journal Launch Special.
    Thank you for so graciously doing a “give-away”.

  27. Rebekkah Kober says:

    I’m interested in the new study on Galatians. I’d like to see what things have changed in the new format – and I love that there are videos posted!

  28. I am interested in Journal through Luke because it is my favorite Gospel.

  29. Linda St Myers says:

    Would love to have this…have started doing this in my Bible.

  30. cathleen rafalko says:

    I prefer bible studies from the bible directly. I feel like I want to hear what Father has to say to me and not read someone else’s thoughts on the scriptures when I study. THanks for your blog and devotions. You are a blessing to Us. 🙂 xox

  31. Ashley McBrayer says:

    I love this idea!! I am drawn to Romans right now!

  32. I have been wondering what all those pinterest posts were (I just thought those people’s bible had really large margins already)! This is so cool!

  33. I would be thankful with any study. I am in extreme financial struggles an unable to purchase food or gas for my car much less this sort of treasure!!!

  34. I like the Journal and Doodle through Galatians and DIY Bible Journal Launch Week Special. It looks really great and love the idea of doing doodles while reading the Bible!

  35. Michele R says:

    What a fun giveaway. Ephesians would be a good one!

  36. This would be a great tool to utilize and keep everything together.

  37. I would really enjoy this journal bible. I love to read the God’s word and draw.

  38. This looks like it will be beneficial to learning the bible as this is something that I am struggling with alot. Thank you. I hope I will be able to win it!

  39. Kristi Veitenheimer says:

    This looks like a very intriguing way to work through a bible study!

    1. Kristi Veitenheimer says:

      I think I’d like to try Kari’s Bible Study Package and get all 7 studies at once!

  40. This is a neat idea.

  41. Please please please pick me! I would love to win this journaling Bible!

    1. Just to clarify, the giveaway is the study guide and journal guide. An actual Bible with journaling type pages is not included for this particular giveaway. But perhaps in the future!

  42. Good Day Ladies!!

    I am a new Christian and it has been such an amazing journey walking with Jesus so far! That means Bible study is a new concept to me. I am doing one with a friend about Johah at the moment and LOVE IT!

    All of the Bible studies intrigue me but the Journal through Luke jumps out at me most! But all of them I bet are just amazing!

    Thank you Rachel for your inspirational emails and Keri for these wonderful resources!


  43. Gale Wilkinson says:

    I love these Bible studies.

  44. I think I would start with Romans. We are currently studying it in an adult bible class at church.

  45. Thank you for your website, I love your monthly verses. Thank you!!

  46. Melissa Walker says:

    This is definitely a God whisper moment for me! I literally just posted on my personal fb page last night that I wanted to get into journaling and I have NO IDEA how/where to start! Then, in my email today…BAM! This post! lol

    I love the idea of a bible journal. When I checked out Kari’s blog, probably due to my minor OCD, I was instantly drawn to the bible study to journal through Matthew (because why not start with the first book of the NT and keep things in order, right?!), but really, they all look interesting to me, and all appeal to me on different levels.

    I love the pics she shared of her personal journals, and all the different ways to do it. It shows me that I can really start anywhere…there is no perfect or right way to do it. I just need to do it!

  47. Barb Anderson says:

    My husband just gave me a new journaling Bible for my birthday so I could begin journaling – so excited to see these Bible Studies because I wasn’t sure where to start!!

  48. I love this idea. Cant wait to try it!

  49. Stephanie Dial says:

    I would be interested in the Corinthians or Philippians study.

  50. Rebekah Simpson says:

    I can’t decided which one! I love all of them!

  51. Jennifer O says:

    I’d start with Philippians. It’s one of my favorite books in the Bible. So many practical truths to live out.

  52. Gabby Lozito says:

    Such a great and beautiful idea! I love it!!

  53. Loving the emails from this blog – excellent

  54. Margaret Mayfield says:

    All of the studies look good!

  55. Ephesians, Romans or Galatians…God has been laying this on my heart in so many ways recently and then to get this blog post from Rachel confirmed in my heart that I need to take a step and do this. So excited!

  56. If I had to choose, Romans. It’s a book of the bible I haven’t read completely yet, much less sat down to truly study it.

  57. I think I’d pick Colossians because it’s one of my favorite books and I’m curious to see how I would use this tool to give it fresh eyes.

  58. Looking forward to this study over the summer. These studies really feed my spirit. They are very special. Thank you for putting them together.

  59. I love the idea of drawing along with notations; I’m an artist so this idea fits me perfectly and I think it will help me spend more time with Bible study!

  60. So excited about this!

  61. I want one of everything please (: I would really love to journal through Philippians

  62. Love this idea!

  63. This would be great to win!! Love it!

  64. It would be Philippians for me because my blog’s foundational Scripture is Phil. 1:9-11!
    Even if I don’t win, I can see me making a purchase! 😉

  65. I am really drawn to the Ephesians or Galatians studies although I am a ‘returning’ Christian after many ‘lost’ years so I should probably start with one of the gospels. Decisions!

  66. Stefani Wilson says:

    I’m wondering- what is the best type of Bible to buy for one to start Bible journaling?

    1. I’ve been looking at them online, Stefani, but I was actually going to go to the Lifeway so I can really see which one I like best. Also, you want to be sure to get the Bible version you desire. Here’s one I have my eye on: http://www.lifeway.com/Product/journaling-bible-esv-p005609882 And you can see the interior pages of this one: http://www.amazon.com/Single-Column-Journaling-Bible-Black/dp/1433531917 From what I’ve priced, they all seem to be about $30 for the average margins, etc. The trick is to watch the shipping charges.

  67. Stefani Wilson says:

    I am very interested in the Philippians & Ephesians equally because they are 2 of my favorite books in the Bible- I have practically every word highlighted!! I’ve been seeing Bible journaling on Pinterest & have thought of giving it a try, I love to look at all the beautiful pages!!!

  68. ann borgquist says:

    I too have seen the journal bible pages on pinterest….I loved the idea of doodling notes to make the scriptures come alive….

  69. I am intrigued by the Journal and Doodle. My daughter, (11) loves to doodle and this might be the right thing for her!

  70. Jeri DeGroot says:

    I follow you on Pinterest and I love the Bible pages you have been posting! I am so appreciative that Kari’s studies are affordable!!! I get a little discouraged when I look at Bible Studies and they are expensive, (to me). That is why I love, love your monthly readings also!!

  71. I just started Bible Art Journaling and love it!

  72. Philippians is one of my favorite books of the New Testament. I am going to try journaling that.

  73. I’m new to studying the bible and after a few very longer and directionless years, I realized I was ready to be a Christian again. I absolutely adore your books and I can’t wait to get to a desk top so I can enter the give away. Thanks for being awesome!

  74. Diana Estep says:

    The study journal on Matthew looks great. Since Matthew is one of the 4 anchors of the NT it is important to understand it

  75. Journaling is something I want to do for myself as well as my kids. I want a more in-depth study for myself and I want a legacy to leave for my kids. This is a creative way I can express myself while giving them a part of me that they can learn from forever.

  76. I am doing her Ephesians study now and I really love it. I would like to do her study on Luke next because I want to learn more about Christ and his life.

    1. My kids loved Luke- I have a free children’s Bible reading plan and we kept talking about his medical background since they are familiar with the medical field because of my husband. 🙂

  77. Diana Estep says:

    Sounds like a great giveaway and thank you so much for doing it!!!
    Bless you

  78. This sounds like a really interesting and fun way to study! I’m new to all of this though… what is a “Rafflecopter” and how do I follow it to enter the giveaway? I don’t see anything on the page for entering.

    1. Sometimes Rafflecopter won’t show up on a mobile device. It’s just a little program that allows me to manage the many entries without missing anyone. Keeps the giveaway fair. 🙂 Let me know if you have any further questions!!

  79. I just discovered bible journaling not that long ago, and love it. Thanks for the chance to win!

  80. Matthew or Ephesians. I have “read” through these, but it would be great to study them in depth!

  81. Aubrey M. says:

    I’m curious about the Journey through Romans. I was raised Catholic and my husband was raised Baptist. He knows his bible verses and I do not. This would be a great starting point!

  82. Hazel Jordan says:

    Luke or Romans… What a unique way to read and learn the Truth.

  83. Jennifer D. says:

    Journaling is something I need to do more often. This looks like fun journaling!

  84. I love your website!! Thank you!~

  85. Romans or Philippians. I’m drawn to both of those books right now! This is such a neat idea!

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