I’ve always loved Bible journals.
I find it so helpful to write down my thoughts on Bible verses as I meditate on them. Something about putting pen to paper forces me to think more deeply about what I’m reading. It slows me down. Forces me to clarify my thoughts. Doesn’t allow for fuzzy thinking.
The problem is that I’ve always had trouble finding a good Bible journal. For many years, I simply used a Moleskine journal. That was somewhat awkward, however, as I had to figure out a way to hold both my journal and Bible, all while drinking a volcanically hot cup of coffee.
The actual Bible journals (aka Bible and journal in one) I’ve used have been okay, but there usually isn’t enough space to write everything down. So I end up writing sentence fragments that I can’t understand later.
All this to say, I was tremendously excited when I discovered the ESV Scripture Journal.
Inside The ESV Scripture Journal
The ESV Scripture Journal is, hands down, my favorite Bible journal. To make a nerdy Lord of the Rings reference, it is the one “ring” of all journals. Nothing else can hold a candle.
There are several specific reasons I love it.
Ease of Journaling
First and foremost, the ESV Scripture Journal is really easy to write in. Each book of the Bible comes in its own individual journal. Within the journal itself, there is a page of Scripture on the left hand side and then blank lined paper on the right hand side.
This layout makes it really easy to write my reflections next to each verse. I don’t have to try to hold a Bible in one hand and a journal in the other, and I have more than enough space in which to write.
The ESV Scripture Journal reminds me, in some ways, of a soft cover Moleskine journal. The paper is creamy, both in color and to the touch (if that makes sense). The texture of the paper causes my pen to glide over it rather, which makes writing more pleasurable.
The covers are thin cardboard which bend nicely without actually creasing. In some ways, it would be nice if the covers were hard, but I can’t imagine how much that would cost to produce. I’ll take the soft covers.
If you really want to nerd out about the specs, here’s what you need to know:
- 11.75-point Trinité type
- Single-column, paragraph format
- Thick, opaque, cream-colored paper
- Full, lightly ruled blank pages opposite each page of Bible text
- Wide margins
- Lay-flat binding
- Cover stamped with gold foil
They Look Great On The Shelf
If you’re a book lover like me, there’s some really satisfying about seeing a full box set of books on a shelf. The ESV Scripture Journal set is no exception. It just looks really darn good sitting on my shelf.
Let me be clear on one thing. The Old Testament and New Testament sets combined do take up a fair amount of room, so you’ll need to clear out some shelf space.
That being said, it “sparks joy” (to quote Marie Kondo) when I see the full Old Testament and New Testament sets sitting on my shelf.
Using The ESV Scripture Journal
Personally, I use the ESV Scripture Journal in my devotions. I take my time, reading passages of Scripture and then jotting my thoughts down in the space on the opposite page.
I could see all kinds of uses for them in addition to personal devotions. They would be perfect for taking sermon notes. Group Bible studies would also benefit greatly from using them. If you’re the artist type, you could draw doodles in the space for notes.
Really, you’re only limited by your creativity.
Buying Individual Journals
I would imagine that some of you see the price tag for the full set and don’t want to shell out the cash. The good news is that you can buy them individually as well for much cheaper (as little as $5.99).
So, for example, if you want to start with Genesis, you can buy just that journal. Then you can move on to Exodus, and so on. I’ve included links to each book below.
If you benefit from bible journaling, I can’t recommend the ESV Scripture Journal highly enough. In terms of quality, practicality, and aesthetics, you can’t beat it. If the price tag intimidates you, purchase one volume at a time and make your way slowly through the Bible, savoring each verse.