Our small groups this fall are doing an inductive Bible study that involves a lot of note-taking and marking things (think colors, symbols, notes) in your Bible. There are things I love to mark in my Bibles, but I didn’t really have a Bible with enough margin for what I wanted to do with this study, so I shopped around for some Bible journaling tools and thought I would share them with you!
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It’s actually pretty fun to make your Bible messy with markings – it means it’s well-loved and well-used. But here are a few great tools for Bible journaling and inductive Bible study you can use if you’d like to keep your main Bible pristine, or if you find you want more room to write and journal – without making it hard to read the text!
(My favorite is at the end!)
The NIV Illustrating Bible is the complete Bible text, in a beautiful spiral-bound format with extra wide margins for Bible journaling or illustrating. If you want to have one Bible with all your journaling in it, this is the one.
The downside is that all that extra space makes for a pretty big book (and a pricey one compared to some of the options below).
If you love the idea of the Illustrating Bible but don’t want to carry around that massive book, you can also buy smaller selections of it! This is what I originally stumbled upon; my small group is going through the Gospel of Mark and so I loved this version of the Illustrating Bible with just the Gospels. (You can also find one for Psalms and Proverbs.)
Another great option for Bible journaling and inductive Bible study is the NIV Beautiful Word Bible Journal. This is a small journal with the Bible text on one page and a blank page opposite, and since it only has the text of one book (I got the one for the Gospel of Mark), it’s pretty thin and easy to carry around (and a much more friendly price point too). For those of us who end up carrying around a study guide, a journal, and a Bible, this is a great find. You’ll also find occasional illustrations from the Beautiful Word Bible. It IS pretty girly, so if that’s not your flavor you’ll want to keep reading!
This one is my personal favorite. The format is similar to the NIV Beautiful Word Bible above (one book of the Bible, Bible text on one page, and a blank page opposite), and the price point is comparable too. But I ended up deciding to use the NLT Filament Bible Journal for my personal study because a) I like the NIV but I LOVE the NLT translation, b) It doesn’t have the pretty illustrations (I wanted more space to write), and c) it’s not so girly 😂. I’ve just started using it, so it remains to be seen if there is enough space to write without using another notebook (I might have a lot of words or something), but so far it’s just right. It also gives you access to some neat Bible study resources through the Filament app (I haven’t checked them out yet, but I did see one of my students using them!). And I love that I can just take my slim Bible journal (with both the Bible text and the notes) and my slim little study guide to small group. When there is a little more in there, I’ll come back and post some pictures!
One of my small group leaders is trying this journaling Bible.
I also liked this Journal the Word New Testament – similar to the Filament and Beautiful Word journals above, it has Bible text on one page, and space to write on the opposite page, but this is the whole New Testament (available in black and floral versions).
If you try any of these (or similar tools), I’d love to hear about it! What are some of your favorite tools for taking notes during Bible study?