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12 ways to kick-start your Bible journalling habit

Author: Bible Society, 5 February 2020

Bible journalling is all about engaging deeply with Scripture. It’s a way to immerse yourself in the words, ideas and imagery in a passage to reveal different layers of meaning. Don’t panic if art and drawing isn’t your number one skill - there’s more to Bible journalling than pretty pages.

Where to start? Here are some suggestions to help. Try using at least one of these techniques on any bit of the Bible you’re studying.

We recommend trying these two passages to get started! Psalm 139.1–18 and Colossians 1.15–23.

Begin by reading the passage prayerfully. 
Ask God to speak to you and make something specific stand out.

1. Try reading the passage several times in different ways: e.g. quietly, dramatically, slowly, etc.

2. What image / imagery stands out? Feeling artistic? Bring the images to life by illustrating them. You can use the margin or cover the whole page.

3. Use different colours to highlight the descriptive words in the passage. Choose colours that match the meaning of the words.

4. Do certain verses stand out to you or encourage you? Are there verses you want to memorise? Highlight them or try writing them out in fancy calligraphy or interesting lettering.

5. Does the passage tackle a complicated idea or argument? Is it telling a story? Try summarising the key points or key events in the margin.

6. Has the passage moved you in some way? Has it shown you something you need to change or do? Write a prayer about it in the margin.

7. Look for and underline repeated words and phrases. What is the writer emphasising?

8. Look for big biblical themes in the passage and highlight them in different colours: e.g. blessing, God’s promises, God’s love, sin, forgiveness, prayer, wisdom, worship, etc...

9. Look for instructions given in the passage: i.e. things to do and things not to do.

10. Look for turning points in the text and highlight them: e.g. ‘At one time you were ... But now ...’

11. Is the passage using past, present and future tenses? Colour code bits about the past, present and future. What does this emphasise in the passage?

12. Look for the use of contrasting language or imagery in the passage. Highlight it and write down what it emphasises.

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