Two Journaling Bibles: A Review!

After six years with the same Bible, I have invested in a new one. Bibles are not cheap, so it was quite a leap to make the purchase. The binding on my old Bible completely tore, and the entire thing was falling apart. Despite having this same copy of the Word through high school graduation, all of college, two trips overseas, and dating then marrying my husband, I knew it was time to move on.

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The first thing I was looking for in a Bible was plenty of room in which to write. As you can see from my old Bible, I write it in A LOT! I take notes along the margins, underline verses, circle key words, draw lines between phrases and words that are repeated, and so forth. I love it. However, I just did not have enough room to write everything I would have liked.

I began looking for a new Bible that could accommodate my superfluous note-taking habits. I also wanted it to be cute, and I really didn’t care for extras like devotions or concordances.

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So without further ado, here are my two favorite picks and little about them.

Single-Column Journaling ESV Bible

On the outside, this hardcover ESV journaling Bible looks like something you might find in an antique store. The pages are a slight off-white that make it easier to read. Width measured from the outside edge of each page to the text is about one centimeter shy of two inches, and the margins have very light dotted lines. It includes a ribbon bookmark, a Through-the-Year Bible Reading plan, and a table of Biblical weights and measurements. This Bible is the English Standard Version with some footnotes. It has a lovely lay-flat binding. I have noticed some bleeding through and shadowing when writing/highlighting.

Journal the Word NIV Bible

With a more vibrant color on the cover, this softcover New International Version Bible is very bright. It has a ribbon bookmark and a lay-flat binding, just like the ESV Bible above. This Bible has a preface about the translation and a page of Biblical weights and measurements. From the edge of the page to the text is about a 2 inch margin. In some sections (such as the Psalms), it is closer to 2 and a quarter inches. There are light dotted lines in the margins. I haven’t noticed any bleeding through or shadowing.

Ready for my results?

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ESV Journaling Bible

Pros:

  • Beautiful hardcover
  • Lovely off-white pages
  • I use the ESV at church

Cons:

  • Small font size
  • Some bleeding through and shadows
  • More expensive than some other options

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Journal the Word NIV Bible

Pros:

  • Bright softcover
  • Lighter/Easier to carry around
  • I use the NIV at work
  • Have not noticed any bleeding through pages
  • Less expensive than some other options

Cons:

  • Binding doesn’t seem quite as sturdy as hardcover Bible
  • Small font size

As you can see in the photo below, both Bibles and roughly the same size, are both single-column, and have similarly-sized fonts.  While I love the extra large margins, my only qualm with journaling Bibles is the small font size.

I’ve found that these two Bibles are very similar, however, with the hardcover comes a price increase of roughly $15. We actually used the ESV Hardcover Bible for our wedding guestbook, and it was perfect. Personally, I think that the NIV Journal the Word Bible will be exactly what I need for my everyday devotions and Scripture-reading, primarily because of the light weight.

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I hope this review helped! Do you have a favorite Bible, journaling or otherwise? I would love to read your comments and questions below.

21 thoughts on “Two Journaling Bibles: A Review!

  1. It’s interesting that you said the ESV Single Column Journaling Bible is more expensive. I got mine on Amazon and it was the cheapest journaling Bible available. I love it. It has thicker pages than any other Bible I have found, but I haven’t checked out the NIV one.

  2. Love this post. The pros and cons are so helpful. I lead two Bible Studies and many of my girls do Bible journaling. Personally, I don’t right now. I use a Bible from Proverbs 31 Ministry just an NIV nothing fancy.

  3. I’ve had my main Bible for around 20 years and love it. But I’ve also a year or so ago purchase a wide margin Bible. It’s nice to have a couple on hand.

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