Bible Journaling?


Is there a general consensus on Bible journaling? Is it more of a Protestant thing?
I’m looking for a new Bible because I had a Protestant version that someone got me as a baby for Baptism (NIV or NLT? I think but I don’t remember) and recently gave it away. I’m not sure what translation would be best for me, I’d like an accurate one but I’m not really looking at studying the Bible hardcore.
Blessed Is She, a Catholic women’s organization has a Bible that I forget the translation but it’s a journaling Bible and

I’m wondering how the Catholic Church thinks about writing in Bibles like that? If it’s okay, can anyone tell me how that may have helped them to have that in their Bible?


I have an inexpensive paperback bible I use for underlining and writing notes in the margin.


It seems to have started in Protestant circles, but OSV has published an edition of the NABRE that is single column, with lined margins for you to write in.
A lot of people who talk about “Bible journaling” seem to actually be more into artwork. That lets me out, but I do like to write notes.


Certainly Bible Journaling is popular with Protestants. Most Protestant activities center on Bible Study, so it makes sense that many available resources would be Protestant.

Be that as it may, I don’t see anything wrong with a Catholic keeping Bible notes either in their bibles or in a separate journal. The Catholic Journaling Bible looks like a good option.

I, personally, keep a Bible journal where I write down insights to help process what I am reading. I’ve never been big on writing in my Bibles other than underlining or highlighting.

In terms of translations, there are a lot to choose from NABRE, RSV-2CE, Douay-Rheims, Jerusalem, etc.


I have a hard backed notebook that I use for noting anything I feel I should when reading scripture referencing the particular chapter or verse that it relates too I find it works well for me and the notebook I use I get from a local supermarket for a couple of quid each


#metoo. For shorter handwritten notes, I use an ordinary notebook. For longer notes, when I’ve wanted to look at several different sources to clear up a doubt, I use a computer and once I’m confident I’ve answered my own question, I print it out – sometimes just a single page, sometimes up to four or five pages.


I think that you have posted a two-prong question:
Bible journaling and Bible version

Bible journaling?
Have you ever visited a Catholic church (parish) where stained glass windows are still present? Most offered the illiterate and “uncultured” a visual Bible. Also the Readings (Old Testament, Psalm, New Testament, Gospel) are set to immerse the Celebrants of the Mass into the Word of God.

Further, while the Church has Taught against personal interpretation of Scriptures, the Bible has been made assessible to all throughout Church history.

…Bible version?

It depends upon the person; though I have own several Bibles throughout the years, and while I use on-line Bibles to do research and to cite while working on-line, my preferred version is the Jerusalem Bible (Spanish 1975 - based on the French 1973)–it has a built-in concordance and ample footnotes; it also retains some text in Aramaic.

What you have to watch out for are for versions that are anti-Catholic and those who have “inclusive” language where the attempt is to homogenize text (ie: brethren becomes brothers and sisters; ‘Jesus, read from the scrolls’ becomes ‘Jesus read from the Bible’ and ‘Peter said, let’s build three tents’ becomes ‘Peter said let’s build three huts’); check to see if the version is approved by the Church; and, finally, get a Bible that you can understand (I use the DRv, but it is Old English so when citing a I will also use the NIV for its modern English).

Maran atha!



I’ve always made notations in my Bibles, but I was Baptist until two years ago. I still do so - I highlight words or important phrases, notations to other Bible references, etc. It helps when I re-read years later. I have a Bible I used in elementary, junior, high school, various stages of adulthood. My latest is the RSV and NAB. Jeff Cavins has an RSV coming out in September that aligns to his Bible Study on Salvation History.


I “journal” with yellow marker and underline with black ink.


I do it the same way.


Hello Footprints,
While Bible journaling is very popular among Protestants, it is a modern permutation of the ancient Christian practice of meditating on scriptures which has been practiced in the Church since it’s inception as it had been a well established practice of the Jews at the time of Christ. There are two main forms of Bible journaling. The first is more of a self Bible Study in which you journal notes pertaining to the scriptures to better help you understand them. In this, I would recommend a study Bible. The Ignatius Study Bible is one of the best I’ve found, although it is broken up into many sections as the whole Study Bible is too big to be bound together in a single volume. The second pertains to a more spiritual context. In this, you reflect upon the specific message the Scriptures present to you at your specific point in your spiritual journey. This last one is heavily influenced by the Catholic practice of Lectio Divina (which translates as “Divine Reading”). There are Lectio Divina Bibles which pose questions to help facilitate this method of prayer and reflection. Paulist Press puts out a good one called “The Catholic Prayer Bible: Lectio Divina Edition” which uses the NRSV translation.

God Bless,
Br. Ben, CRM


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