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7 Best Journaling Bibles (and How to Use Them)

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Bible journaling is a new and creative way to engage with the Word of God. In Hebrews 4:12, Paul reminds us that “the word of God is living and active.” Journaling is a beautiful way to connect with God’s living word in an active way.

It can transform the way you engage with your Bible and help you build a stronger relationship with the Lord.

7 Best Journaling Bibles

Whether you like the King James Version (KJV) or the New Living Translation (NLT), you can find a journaling Bible that will inspire your creativity while meditating on God’s Word.

Here are some of the best journaling Bibles. Ask God for guidance as you decide which journaling Bible will work best for you.

1. KJV My Creative Bible

KJV Holy Bible, My Creative Bible, Faux Leather Flexcover
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1404 Pages – 04/11/2016 (Publication Date) – Christian Art Publishers (Publisher)

The KJV My Creative Bible is budget-friendly and has a beautiful layout. Christian Art Publishers used the King James Version to inspire creativity.

The poetic flow of the scriptures can unleash your imagination as you journal and meditate on the Word.

It has an imitation leather cover that comes in a variety of colors ranging from teal to floral. The KJV My Creative Bible is 8.2 x 6.5 x 1.8 inches in size.

It has wide margins, giving you ample space to journal or create artworks in honor of God. If you prefer to color in, you’ll find over 300 scripture illustrations that either cover a whole page or part of one.

It comes with 1,404 cream-colored pages with printed edges. The soft color, coupled with the 8.65-point black font, makes it easier to read. Use the ribbon marker to keep your place and easily close your Bible with the elastic closure.

The KJV My Creative Bible is perfect for those who want to start journaling. You can use the coloring pages to inspire your own creative works as you meditate on the Word of God. It’s also a great option for those who like wider margins.

2. NLT THRIVE Journaling Bible

NLT THRIVE Creative Journaling Devotional Bible
  • Hardcover Book
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1664 Pages – 09/01/2016 (Publication Date) – Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (Publisher)

The NLT Thrive Journaling Bible is geared for women. Sheri Rose Shepherd wrote it hoping to inspire women as they walk closer with God through reading their Bibles every day. She wants to help women build a stronger relationship with Jesus.

It comes with devotionals for every day of the year and 365 prayers to help you connect more intimately with God. Each of the 66 books comes with an introduction, and there are 31 Bible character profiles throughout the book to deepen your understanding of God’s Word.

You’ll also find 50 “Treasure of Truth” callouts to remind women of God’s love for humanity and the world He created. They are there to guide you as you learn to listen to God’s voice as you read the Bible and journal.

The NLT Thrive Journaling Bible has a pale blue and cream fabric cover. It has cream-colored pages for easy reading. The wide, lined margins give you room to meditate on God’s word as you write.

The lines aren’t ideal for those who want to draw. Fortunately, they aren’t very dark or thick, so you can work around them if you truly want to create unique drawings. It is 7.9 x 1.8 x 8.7 inches in size.

The NLT Thrive Journaling Bible is perfect for women who want to connect deeper with God through creative journaling.

3. The Message Canvas Bible

The Message Canvas Bible (Hardcover, Spring Palette)
  • Hardcover Book
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1536 Pages – 02/01/2017 (Publication Date) – NavPress (Publisher)

“The Message”, written by Eugene Peterson, comes with mixed reviews. Many feel it’s not an accepted or real translation of the Bible. However, Peterson never intended for his book to replace any study Bibles.

As a pastor of more than 30 years, he found that many people struggled to understand the language of the Bible, which discouraged them from reading. He was moved by the Lord to write “a reading Bible” to help people reconnect with the Word of God.

As a journaling Bible, the expert metaphors and storytelling help to inspire your own creativity as you study God’s word.

The Message Canvas Bible has two cover designs – Spring Pallete or Gold Leaf Faux Leather. It has 1,536 pages in total.

You’ll find over 300 illustrations throughout the book, including 150 hand-written scriptures. Some of the drawings span across two pages.

The many coloring pages are wonderful but might be a little too much for those who want to create more of their own artwork. The 8-point font is also a little small for some.

The Message Canvas Bible is an excellent option for those who want to connect with God’s Word in a language that makes sense to them. Journaling can help you deepen your understanding of God’s Word.

4. The Enduring Word Bible

The Enduring Word Bible
  • Concordia Publishing House (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1600 Pages – 05/31/2018 (Publication Date) – Concordia Publishing (Publisher)

The Enduring Word Bible is an ESV edition and is for those who want to connect deeply with the Word of God. Use it to express insights God gives you or create artwork that depicts your understanding of the scriptures.

It’s a paperback copy with a teal, faux leather cover. It lays flat while open, making it easier to read, write, and draw.

You’ll find over 350 illustrations littered throughout the cream-colored pages of this Bible. The 66 books each come with their own, unique drawing that correlates with the overall message.

The Enduring Word Bible has 2-inch lined margins that are wide enough to freely write or draw your thoughts.

This Bible has a 9.55 font, making it easier to read for those who struggle with smaller prints. The cream-colored pages are thick, so none of the colors you use while journaling will bleed through.

It comes with a ribbon placeholder and an elastic enclosure. You will also find a presentation page that you can decorate if you plan to gift this Bible to a loved one.

When you work with God’s Word by journaling, you draw the scriptures deeper into your heart and mind, helping you live the life He intended for you.

The Enduring Love Bible is perfect for those looking to creatively expand their knowledge of God’s Word.

5. ESV Illuminated Bible, Art Journaling Edition

ESV Illuminated Bible, Art Journaling Edition
  • Hardcover Book
  • ESV Bibles (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1632 Pages – 10/31/2017 (Publication Date) – Crossway (Publisher)

The ESV Illuminated Bible is for the inner artist that lives within us all.

This hardcover version comes in navy, burgundy, eggplant, black, and green. They all have beautiful gold gilding. It’s 7.1 x 2.2 x 9.6 inches in size and has 1,632 pages.

The ESV Illuminated Bible comes with cream-colored pages to make it easier on your eyes while journaling. The thicker paper also prevents any colors from bleeding through once you start writing and drawing.

The black, 9-point font is excellent for those who prefer larger text when reading.

Renowned artist, Dana Tanamachi, created over 500 handwritten, gold ink illustrations for your coloring pleasure. You can enjoy meditating on God’s Word while coloring in one of the 50 full-page verse illustrations.

This journaling Bible has wide margins to give you enough space for creative expression and studying God’s Word. Many people love this Bible because the translation is accurate and simple to follow.

Use the ESV Illuminated Bible to change the way you meditate on God’s Word and learn new ways to hear God’s voice through scripture. Be purposeful in your journaling to reap the rewards.

6. The Promises of God Creative Journaling Bible (MEV)

The MEV Promises of God Creative Journaling Bible
  • Hardcover Book
  • Charisma House (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1120 Pages – 10/18/2016 (Publication Date) – Charisma House (Publisher)

The Promises of God Creative Journaling Bible is a fantastic option for those who enjoy the Modern English Version. It is clear and concise, helping you connect with God’s Word.

It measures 7.4 x 1.75 x 8.5 inches. The hardcover is aqua blue and has beautiful white detailing across the front and back. It has a sewn binding with a stunning white and yellow flower design running along the bottom.

The Bible features creamy, 38gsm thick pages that prevent any colors from seeping through to the other side. It also makes the pages easier to turn.

It uses a double-column layout with margins on each side. Some are filled with beautiful illustrations that you can color in while you meditate on God’s Word.

Unlike other journaling Bibles, this one comes with a mix of lined and unlined columns, giving you full artist freedom to explore the scriptures.

It also comes with nine blank pages. Each book of the Bible also has its own feature page that you can color in as you like.

The Promises of God Creative Journaling Bible is perfect for those who enjoy the MEV edition. The artwork is beautiful, and you have ample space to explore your understanding of the Word of God.

7. NIV Bible for Journaling and Verse-Mapping

NIV Bible for Journalling and Verse-Mapping
  • Hardcover Book
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (Publisher)

The NIV Bible for Journaling and Verse-Mapping is one of the most beautiful journaling Bibles. It features a cover design inspired by “kintsugi”, a traditional Japanese ceramic art.

It’s 7.09 x 1.97 x 8.46 inches in size and has a hardcover.

You can clearly read the 9-point font as it’s printed on slightly thicker paper and is creamy in color. Each page has a 2-inch margin to help you freely express your ideas as God speaks to you through His Word.

This Bible comes with a 32-page concordance at the back. All crucial words are indexed in alphabetical order with a contextual explanation to help deepen your understanding of God’s Word.

You’ll find 32 pages explaining the art of verse mapping scattered through this journaling Bible. It encourages you to pray when searching for a verse to meditate on, ponder other translations to fully understand the context, and reflect on it.

Using this method helps you slow down and listen to God’s voice as you read His Word. You can also color in any of the unique scripture illustrations to relax with God. The creative prompts can help you when you feel stuck.

You can keep track of where you are with the attached ribbon and keep it closed using the elastic band it comes with.

The NIV Bible for Journaling and Verse-Mapping is perfect for those who want to deepen their understanding of the Word of God using a unique technique.

How to Use a Journaling Bible – 7 Ideas to Inspire You

Your journaling Bible is there to help you draw closer to God through studying His Word in a creative way.

Remember to grab all your tools before getting started. That way you won’t get distracted while trying to meditate on God’s Word.

Here are seven ways to use your journaling Bible in a meaningful way.

1. Before You Start, Pray and Connect with God

 Man praying holding a cross on black background

Begin by praying for guidance as you sit down to read your Bible and start journaling. You might hear God’s voice calling you to a particular scripture.

Once you have a scripture in mind, begin to think about what it means to you in this current season of your life. You might even consider reading other translations of the same verse to find more clarity.

The next step is to focus on words within your chosen scripture that stand out to you. As an example, in Psalm 23:2-3 from the NIV Bible, the words that stand out to me are “green pastures,” “quiet waters,” “refreshes my soul,” and “right paths.”

With your chosen words in mind, imagine how you would represent them on a page if you plan on drawing or begin journaling on why those words spoke to you. Listen to God’s voice as you work.

Using your journaling Bible in this way will help you deepen your connection with God and His Word.

2. Go Old School – Use Underlining and Highlighting

Highlighted paragraphs in an open bible journal

You can use your journaling Bible in a more traditional way. Not everyone feels comfortable writing or drawing in their Bibles. Some prefer to simply underline or write small notes in the margins.

You can use your journaling Bible in the same way. You don’t have to color in the illustrations or create your own ones.

Developing a deeper connection with God’s Word is the goal of reading your Bible, so you don’t have to create extravagant artwork if it doesn’t sit right with your spirit.

3. Use stickers to Decorate

When you first get started with your Bible journaling, it can feel daunting to create your own texts and images. Using stickers is a fantastic way to add a little something to your notetaking as you slowly develop your practice.

Some journaling Bibles come with sticker sets to inspire your creativity. You can also go to your favorite local Christian book store and buy sticker sets there.

4. Get Creative with Painting

Most journaling Bibles have slightly thicker paper. This not only makes it easier to turn the pages but also gives you more creative freedom. The ink you use while drawing won’t seep through to the other side.

Use watercolors and try painting in your Bible. It might feel strange at first, but you can create beautiful artworks that stand out.

It’s better to avoid paints like oils or acrylics as these won’t dry fast enough and will go through to the other pages.

5. Use It As a Wedding Guest Book

A wonderful way to use a journaling Bible is to leave it on the guest table at a wedding.

Your loved ones can take some time decorating the illustrations or creating artworks around scriptures that they feel God wants the newly wedded couple to remember.

Later, the happy couple can read the Bible together and reflect on the beautiful messages their friends and family wrote for them.

Together they can meditate on God’s Word and ensure they keep Him at the center of their marriage.

6. Use Your Current Life Events for Inspiration with the Word

couple hands studying bible journal together

Sometimes when you pick up your Bible you aren’t sure where you need to go. You pray but feel like you can’t hear. In these times, you can turn to your current life events and think about where you might need some guidance.

You might find that you need wisdom, so your turn to Proverbs and start reading. Before you know it, God will speak to you. The right scriptures will reveal themselves to you and can help you overcome whatever challenges you’re facing.

Journaling Bibles help you connect with God’s Word and provide a unique way to meditate on the way we should live our lives.

7. Take It With You on Your Travels

Another fantastic way to use your journaling Bible is to take it with you on your travels. As you meet new people and meditate on God’s Word together, you can ask others to write in your Bible.

You can create beautiful memories and keep God’s messages from others close to your heart. Using your Bible in this way brings it to life.


God’s Word is living. Studying God’s Word in a whole new way can help you draw closer to His love and grace.

We should engage with it every day of our lives. Using a journaling Bible is a unique way to learn more about the promises God makes to all of us.