Just a couple weeks ago, I gathered up an assortment of Journaling Bibles to review and compare them (in this post) so that anyone contemplating which to purchase had a side by side analysis from the same set of eyes. Well, since then, another arrived in the mail.
It is called Praise: A Creative Journaling Bible. The presumably hand lettered font on the cover is lovely. Inside is a King James Version Bible with three hundred illustrations by artist Laura Elizabeth Marshall. Some of the illustrations have a similar look and feel to my style, but a couple seem rigid and bordering on clip-art-ish. The cover is advertised as keepsake-quality, imitation leather with a debossed title – but to me, it just feels like a ultra matte litho cover without the matte coating on the title. The wide margins have black lines, except on those margins which come with illustrations. Since I like to draw in my Bible, I prefer the faint lines that you find in most wide margin journaling Bibles. However, edges of the book feature a lovely gold gilding. In summary, this is a great journaling Bible for someone who needs the nudge of some illustrations already in the book and wants a King James translation.
Additionally, I looked into other languages. I already knew of versions of wide margin Bibles in British English (or the Queen’s English), as well as German and Spanish. Also available in wide margins, is an Afrikaans Bybel, which is in one of the languages spoken in South Africa, as well as, one in Greek.
It seems that more and more translations are being released with a variety of designs each quarter, if not sooner. I already have my eye on my next Bible purchase. While I am intrigued by the claims of thicker paper in the Journal The Word Bible, I already have a great King James Version of a journaling Bible with blank margins and am leaning toward the NLT Reflections Bible for my next purchase. Why? Because I like a Bible where I am the artist. I have heard of girls who do a page in each other’s Bibles, and I love that idea because it serves as a reminder of the Christian friendship that can help hold you accountable to growth in your faith journey. I appreciate that there are Bibles that have designs to be colored in by those who don’t want to draw their own images, but that is not where I am at and how I learn. I and the type of learner who needs to ponder what the scripture will look like and create it myself. Sometimes that means that I illustrate an image, and other times it means that I simply write words on the page – either a word that sticks out to me, another translation of the verse I am studying, or a prayer. Since the translation that I have been drawn to most lately is NLT, the Reflections Bible with it’s 2 ¼ inch margins which have only lightly ruled margins makes the top of my wish list. Until then, I still have some blank pages in mine.
The frequency of when to switch Bibles for Bible Journalers is a big question. I don’t use very many stickers and only add a tip-in when I need more space on a page because I did another part of that page already or revisited a passage through a sermon or Bible study. Nor do I washi tape the edges of each chapter, which adds a lot to the bulk. That means that I have a lot of entries but am still able to close my Bible. Others use the point of their Bible not closing being the time to switch to a new one, while some Bible Journalers use a time period, like a calendar year, to use a particular Bible. For me, since I have flatter designs – which, don’t get me wrong, it does bulge a bit – I use the blank pages as targets for study. If I am in the mood to journal in my Bible and am not drawn my by daily devotional, and have already done something with my weekly sermon notes (or perhaps are still pondering them), I can flip through the book and let the Holy Spirit lead me to one of the blank pages and jump in.
Some of my Bible journaling entries get posted on my instagram, @thephotocottage, but others are between me and my Lord. I feed off creativity, so I would love to see some of your Bible journaling creations. So, please comment or reach out.
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