Christians often use a pen and highlighter to make notes and mark passages in the Bible. But, for mixed-media artist Marjolaine Walker, she needs more than those writing tools.
A mother of four from Ottawa, Canada, Walker likes to use multi-colored pens, paints, stamps and clip art as she learns the Good News. Decorating her Bible is a way for her to relax while connecting with God, The Canadian Press reports.
“Some people definitely think it’s sacrilegious or whatever to make a mark in the Bible,” she said. “To me, a Bible that is read and studied does not look brand new. It just doesn’t.”
“I was just so on fire for it, but I didn’t want to share it with anyone because I thought this was wrong, I didn’t want to go to like Christian jail or anything. But once I did start sharing on my blog, it just kind of went viral from there.” Shanna Noel
As an artist, Walker reveals that her artworks are inspired by her faith in God. She pours her heart to every piece she makes and hopes that her work inspires other people. Her talents crossed over the common canvas and reached the pages of the Bible.
Her hobby called Bible journaling uses any artistic skill during Bible study. These can include drawings, beautiful handwritten notes, creative lettering, putting colorful stickers and painting in the Bible’s margins or interleaves, and some may even cover the Bible texts.
Bible journaling started in 2014 when Shanna Noel, a pastor’s wife, posted pictures of her own Bible art online. She didn’t realize that it would become a trend for other Christian women who also wanted to express their faith through art.
At first, Noel was hesitant about letting other people know about her creative note-taking process. “I was just so on fire for it, but I didn’t want to share it with anyone because I thought this was wrong, I didn’t want to go to like Christian jail or anything. But once I did start sharing on my blog, it just kind of went viral from there.”
Some may criticize Christians who do Bible-journaling. However, Joanne Fink, co-author of Bible Journaling: Creative Techniques to Express Your Faith, believes that there are no rules preventing Christians to personalize their Bible.
“In my mind, Bible journaling refers to the intentional practice of reading scripture and then writing or illustrating your response to that scripture. And it’s a way for growing close to God.”
Press, T. C. (2017). The Canadian Press. http://nationalpost.com/pmn/life-pmn/crafty-christians-apply-paint-stickers-stencils-and-clip-art-to-their-bible/wcm/f3660b06-18bd-4a88-9547-bcac81d7bbec
Mixedmediaartnet. (2014). Mixed Media Art. http://www.mixedmediaart.net/mixed-media-artists/mixed-media-artist-marjolaine-walker