As the practice of Bible journaling continues to grow so do the questions for Catholics. You see, there is only one Bible that contains all 73 books and is designed as a journaling Bible–and it’s out of print–The NRSV Notetaker’s Bible. The options are to go ahead and purchase the The NRSV Notetaker’s Bible or learn to journal in a “non-journaling” Bible. This past Sunday I spent some time journaling in both options–same verse, same idea, different Bible. Let’s look at Bible journaling two ways.
Bible Journaling: Two Ways
I chose John 6 as my starting place to journal, especially verses 48, 50-51, and 53-58.
I wanted to spend some time over the weekend in some solid teaching of our Lord. After a tumultuous week I needed not only solid ground but promises of life and John 6 was my go to. I needed the reassurance to keep doing what I’m doing–keep receiving our Lord…Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist, to go to Jesus. Anyway, back to peace and Bible journaling. In addition to using my Bible journaling supplies, I also wanted to incorporate a couple of lovely holy cards I had in a drawer. (Please tell me you have a drawer of holy cards–not sure what to do with them all but can’t and won’t throw them out.) So I incorporated these beautiful holy cards representing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the point of Consecration.
The first Bible journaling example is from the The NRSV Notetaker’s Bible. This Bible has wide margins with plenty of room to journal, compose prayers, offer thanksgiving or doodle. I decided that in both Bibles I wanted to use the color purple. As I’m highlighting in my regular Bible, I chose the color purple to represent Jesus Christ; the color purple symbolizing royalty and Jesus being my King–it seems fitting. I began by applying a thin coat of acrylic paint to the page, careful not to cover the actual scripture–this is a personal preference. If you look around Pinterest at Bible journaling, you’ll see examples of people who cover the scripture text with their art supplies and those who don’t; I’m in the don’t camp.
Next I used some stamps and archival ink, some stickers and then I used one of my favorite Bible journaling supplies, washi tape. I took that beautiful holy card and fixed it into my Bible using washi tape. I also added some tape around the edges of the card because it was an old, beat up one. This is an excellent way to adhere holy cards, notes, whatever, into your Bible. Things stay put, but you can adhere it in such a way that it easily lifts up so no cover up of the scriptures. It literally adds another layer, another dimension to your Bible.
In my regular, although large print Bible, I started by using a colored pencil to highlight the verses I was spending time with. I wanted to use the beautiful purple acrylic paint, but again, I didn’t want to cover the scriptures so I applied it to the back of the holy card. Next I used my stamps and archival ink. Then it was time for some washi tape. In this Bible journaling page I used the washi on the edge of the holy card to adhere it in my Bible and I placed a piece at the tops of the two pages containing the verses I was spending time with.
I am pleased with both Bible journaling entries. I hope this will give you some encouragement that you don’t have to have a journaling Bible in order to practice the art and spiritual practice of Bible journaling. The same ideas and even supplies can be used interchangeably and beautifully.