Some days my old school wrestler emerges in my life. When I lack discipline to study, read, exercise, love my family well - I can get a bit hard on myself (all the psycho-anaylyzers, please hold the e-mail, God's grace is real to me).
Many days I can boil down what needs to happen in my spiritual life to a simple phrase - Read your stinkin Bible! I always thought having one of those big margin bible for all my scribbles would be nice - but usually you need a private fork lift and a good back to lug those chunks around. Seeing my back is a bit jacked up from time to time and I own no large warehouse arranging vehicles, I have stuck with my ESV thinline for reading the Scriptures. Well, the dream of a compact, big margin Bible made for writing your thoughts and comments along side the Bible has now become reality.
Crossway has just published the ESV Journaling edition, available in both hard back and calf-skin (for those who have bank and nice tastes). I received mine this past week and have been very thankful for this edition of the best translation available today (ESV). Here are a few of the features I really enjoy:
- Text Size: Small, 7.5 pt font. I love small fonts, so at least for a few more years the text is fine on my eyes. I like the clean look of the pages, but the text may be small for some.
- Two inch margins: The margins on each side are ruled and very wide. The ruled lines are a bit small, but I write small and find this an asset rather than a hindrance. Some may want to use two lines.
- Additional materials: The Bible has some great instroductory material to the Old and New Testaments, a topical listing entitled What the Bible Says About, book introductions to each biblical book (though these are at the back of the Bible, not at the head of each book), a yearly reading plan offering five chapters each day including OT, NT, Psalms, an article on the gospel entitled God's Plan to Save You. Obviously, the publisher wanted to keep this edition compact, but while doing so they still managed to pack some nice features into the journaling Bible.
- Coolness: The original hardback format is just cool. It looks like a fat moleskin with a sturdy elastic strap to keep it compact and a black ribbon for marking your place. This little gem has a high cool factor. Did I say this was a cool looking Bible?
Here is the sample of a page provided by Crossway:
So far, I have been scribbling running verse by verse commentary in my two inch ruled margins. Others may want to journal prayers, thoughts about life, letters to God, etc. Most importantly, this may just help you Read your stinkin Bible. In doing so the wild and fantastic God of the universe may just grab you and throw you out into his mission. Then life just ceases to be normal. Read the book.
One last thought. I like this little edition so much that I think if Jonathan Edwards were alive, he might have just used a bunch of these little black books instead of the hand-sewn interleaved Bible which he used to write down thoughts in his tiny script.
Highly recommended, you can order here:
The ESV Journaling Bible, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2006) 1074 pages.