Matthew R. Perry

ESV Journaling Bible (A Review)

In Book Review, ESV on July 14, 2006 at 7:35 pm

I purchased an ESV Journaling Bible this past week.  I confess, I am an ESV apologist.  I preach out of the ESV exclusively — and I am thankful that many of our congregation now have a copy of the ESV.  I hope within the next year we will replace our King James Version pew Bibles with the ESV Pew Bibles, but we shall see.

I noticed the ESV had recently release a Journaling Bible.  At the ESV website, they describe the Journaling Bible as “a unique format with wide margins and ruled lines designed for writing prayers, observations, sermon notes, and personal reflections. It also includes a one-year Bible reading plan.

  • Size: 6.25″ x 7.25″
  • 7.5-point type
  • Words of Christ in black
  • Ribbon marker
  • Wide margin with nearly 2 inches of ruled writing space
  • No center-column reference system
  • Not thumb-indexed.”

What encouraged me to purchase this is the 2″ of ruled writing space.


Although I do not feel having this area ruled is necessary, it is such a big help to have the space.  I preached from this edition this past Wednesday and was able to write down the basic thoughts of my sermon in expanded form.  What a huge help this is!

If you have trouble with small print, don’t buy this!  I’d wait and see if they will put it in a version with a larger font. 7.5-point type is exceedingly tiny.   Since I’m 34, Lord willing I will have good, strong eyesight for quite a while.

Another item I like about this is that the words of Christ are in black.  Having Christ’s words in red gives the notion that all the words in black are important, but the words of Christ are more important that the rest.  Yet, the Spirit inspired it all (2 Timothy 3:16) and it is all equally the Word of God.  We must pay special attention to all of it!

I see myself writing in this edition frequently in my studies, then buying another when I have filled up this one.  My desire is for my children and grandchildren to pull out this edition and see what their dad/granddad considered with each passage he read.

  1. That’s a great edition of the ESV. If I were looking for an ESV to take notes in, this is the one I’d buy. Print’s too small though. I’m 38 and my eyes started going two years ago. I hope yours hold out.

  2. I finally held one of the ESV Journaling Bibles in my own hands at the SBTS book store. I have to admit that it’s a really nice edition. I was surpised at how small and compact it is, which I guess explains the 7 pt. print. I like the padded hardcover binding and the elastic band to keep it together.

    One day, I’ll write about what I think would make the perfect note-taking Bible, but the ESV Journaling Bible is an extremely well-thought out publication.

  3. I now have a copy and really enjoy the size. I am lucky to be able to read the print with my reading glasses, the tri-focus glasses do not work. I plan to use the Bible with my confirmation class at our church, so they can write notes as we study. Also the best place to order the ESV is westminister seminary bookstore in Penn. The prices are great.

  4. I found your post while searching for reviews of the ESV Journaling Bible. Just wanted to let you and your readers know that the Westminster Bookstore ( at Westminster Theological Seminary has this item for just $17.99 (40% off). In fact, all of our ESV Bibles are 40% off every day.


  5. Mark:

    Yes, indeed! I purchased this ESV edition at WTS. Great service! I have linked to you guys at my Book Retailers section.


  6. Hi!
    Do you think this Bible would look alright with Tabs in it? I am so used to thumb-referencing and quickly being able to go to the book I want to go to. Perhaps silver ones?

  7. I think the tabs would do OK, but you might consider looking at getting it thumb-indexed and judging whether the indexing would cut into the journaling lines.

  8. […] Did you like this brief introduction? Find out about it in full detail here. […]

  9. Thanks for this great review of the ESV Journaling Bible and most importantly thanks for the note about the small print. I was just about to order one and I know now that I will have to wait and hope they do come out with a larger print version. I probably would not have thought of that because I was so excited about the Journaling… I only use large or giant print Bibles, just can not see the little words that swim around on the pages!!

  10. Oh my!! After going to the website and looking at this Bible, I just don’t know if I can wait for a large print version…. might just have to get one and hope for a large print in the future!!! Very Nice!!

  11. Thanks for blogging about it. I have the habit of writing in my Bible and am finding it hard ot part with my previous NASB even though the pages are starting to fall apart. The notes and reflections written over the years are priceless.
    The journaling Bible is a great idea and I think I’ll get a copy for my Bible reading/study plan next year.

  12. After reading the posts about small print I would like to say that I have no problem with it, and I have poor eyesight. The print is very clear and the off-white paper is easy on the eyes. For me the lined note space is perfect. The compact format is perfect too. I love it just the way it is.

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