Back in 2019, I started a community project called CLUB 119 that was all about scripture writing. That project has since grown and evolved in ways I could never have dreamed!
In this post, I want to do a beginner’s guide to scripture writing or scripture journaling as it’s also called. There are different ways to do this activity and there are different outcomes to consider. My hope is that this guide gives you the tools you need to get started and make this a part of your journey in the Word!
Let’s get started!
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First, let’s talk about why scripture writing is a good practice.
As a writer and lover of words, I’m a big proponent of journaling, note-taking, and just plain old writing things down. And I’m not talking about whipping out the Notes app on your phone (even though I do love using digital tools!). I’m talking about old fashioned pen and paper. Writing things down on paper will always be good for our brains and over all productivity. (You can check out this article, this one, and this one if you’re nerdy like me and want more information!) The long and the short of it is that writing things down helps us engage with and remember information in a way that simply reading doesn’t do.
In Deuteronomy, Moses’ sermon to the children of Israel before entering the promise land, he instructs the people with these words –
“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statues and his commandments, which I command you, all the the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.Deuteronomy 6:1-9
Moses wanted to make it very clear how God’s people are to regard and handle the law that has been given them. They are to pass it down to the next generation. They are to talk about it in daily conversation. They are to write it out and put it in places where they will engage with it regularly. They were not to forget God’s law because God had made a covenant with them and they had promised to keep that covenant.
What does that have to do with us? I believe God’s word should be just as important to us today as it was to the Israelites on the edge of the promised land. We should take every opportunity to engage with God’s word so that it becomes something we talk about in our daily conversation and pass on to the next generation. We should keep His word in places that we’ll see regularly – on our bathroom mirrors, refrigerator doors, on out phones and computers, etc. Scripture writing is one of many ways we can soak up the goodness of the word so that it changes our hearts.
How does scripture writing work?
There’s no wrong way to write scripture. It can be as simple as picking a passage and writing it in a journal. You can get creative with crafty journaling spreads if that’s your jam. You can incorporate scripture writing into your Bible study. You can even opt for a scripture writing journal. Here are some ideas to consider –
- Choose a journal specifically for writing scripture and write a verse or two (or three!) every day.
- Write scripture on index cards or in a memory verse journal and use them to help you memorize scripture through out the week
- Try a themed scripture writing plan. You can find themed scripture writing plans on Pinterest and here on my blog. These are a great way to dig into what the Bible says about a particular topic.
- Writing out an entire book of the Bible is a great way to get really familiar with scriptures. Some good books to start out with are James, Hebrews, Esther,
- If you want to be really ambitious, you could commit to writing out the entire Bible! Cat Woods on Youtube has a whole playlist of videos where she shares her journey of writing through the text and it is definitely something that I’m considering myself!
- Get crafty! If you have a stash of stickers, ephemera, die-cuts, and other bits and pieces, you can create beautiful spreads for your scripture writing. It can be a lot of fun to create entries that reflect what you’re reading or learning from the text!
- Try one of the beautiful Write the Word journals from Cultivate What Matters. Each one has a simple layout for writing scripture with plenty of space for reflection, light Bible study, crafting, or whatever you’d like! You can check out the full, gorgeous collection here.
Things to consider when writing scripture
If you want to dig deeper in your scripture writing, feel free to consider the following. These aren’t necessary for this activity but if you want to beef up your time in the word and make it more like a Bible study, these can help do that!
1. Cross references
Depending on what kind of scripture writing you’re doing, you may want to consider including cross references with the verses you’re writing. This will help you understand the topic you may be writing about more fully. Chances are that the cross references you may have in your Bible may be included the topical scripture writing plan you’re working through but they’re worth checking and referencing in your entries!
2. Consider Other Translations
Again, depending on what kind of scripture writing project you’re doing, you may consider writing a passage in more than one translation. This is a great way to compare the word choices of the translators and learn some of the nuance in the meanings of the text you’re writing.
3. Consider Commentary
If you use commentaries in Bible your study, consider consulting your go-to resources for some notes on the scripture you’re writing. Jot down whatever is meaningful to you in your entry. When you look back, you’ll have some extra notes you can review!
Ready to get started?
I don’t want to over complicate this process because I want you to just jump in and get started. You can make this as simple or complex as you want but don’t let complexity keep you from just starting. So, here’s a simple to do list for beginners –
- Choose a scripture writing plan (one of mine, Pinterest, an entire book, a Write the Word journal)
- Choose place to write (blank journal or notebook, memory verse journal, cards, Write the Word journal, Bible study journal)
- Decide if you’re simply writing scripture or adding reflections, cross references, additional translations, or commentary (you don’t have to stick to one method – feel free to mix and match!)
- Gather your supplies
- Get started!
Scripture writing should be exactly what you want it and need it to be. It’s something that can adapt to your quiet time routine. Use it as a tool that will help you strengthen both your faith and biblical literacy.
What are your favorite ways to do scripture writing?