The tiny Bible pictured above is the second of its kind I owned. The first, which my husband gifted to me on the occasion of the birth of our first child, proved the perfect size to hold in one hand and read aloud to a nursing infant. Alas, it’s greatest strength proved it’s fatal flaw. That Bible accidentally ended up in the laundry immediately following the birth of our fourth child, the unfortunate victim (I mean the Bible, not the baby) of its own diminutive size versus the mountains of laundry a family with 4 boys under the age of 6 is bound to produce. The birth of our 5th son warranted the purchase of a nearly exact duplicate which I found equal to the task of being easy to hold with one hand while reading aloud to a nursing infant. Precious hours of nourishment for mommy and baby both.
In 2016 I marked the New Year with a new Bible and a new resolve to read through it again. This time I wasn’t bound to a baby in a rocking chair and opted for one of those new fangled clunky ESV Journaling Bibles that Crossway was becoming famous for. Finally, I had plenty of space in which to sloppily scrawl my notes, making my Journaling Bible the least Instagram worthy in all of Bible Journaling history. With that kind of reckless abandon you can only read through your Bible a couple times before it just becomes an illegible mess, such as is highlighted in the picture below.
So in 2019 I was thrilled to start the year with a complete set of Crossway’s ESV Scripture Journals. Now I could study a single book and mark it up to my heart’s content and not ruin a whole Bible in the process. Because each book of the Bible is bound individually it’s so convenient to carry whichever one your studying from or memorizing with you wherever you go. They also make great gifts. We gave away a number Gospel of Johns to folks we were evangelizing and who were shy of tackling the whole Bible. To just be able to hand the book of Philippians to a sister who is in the pit of discouragement and say “hey, read this little book” made it so easy to get the Word of God into other people’s hands. The downside to these Scripture Journals (pictured below) is that being individually bound you’re not likely to be carrying around the whole Bible with you in that format.
Enter 2020. And a whole new chapter in my Bible story. Yesterday I received in the mail the brand new ESV Journaling New Testament, Inductive Edition. A mouthful to be sure but title aside it has all the space for notes as the Scripture Journals, only in a completely different format, but it’s bound in a single volume. At least half of it is. Apparently they’ve only published the New Testament so far and I’m dying to get my hands on a companion OT. Hurry up Crossway! I really, really like that the space for taking notes is in between each line instead of just in the margins like the Journaling Bible or on the opposite page like the Scripture Journals. Take a look below at all those clean, luxurious blank spaces for me to mess up with my embarrassing sloppy scrawling. Or maybe I should take a cue from Steve Lawson and take up writing everything neatly with a fountain pen. After all it is a new decade. No better time to start strange new habits than the present.