Barbour KJV Journaling Bible – Review
The KJV Journaling Bible from Barbour Publishing is made specifically for journaling. It has a clean text with section headings and a wide outer margin to record your thoughts. The star of this show is its paper. This is the thickest paper I’ve seen in a Bible.
- Thick paper for writing
- Ruled outer margin
- Small text for its size
- Presentation page
- Imitation leather
- Sewn binding
- 60 gsm paper
- 2 inch ruled outer margin
- Verse format
- 8-point font
- Red letter
- Section headings
- One ribbon
- 5 x 7 x 1.75
- ISBN: 9781628369564
- MSRP $39.95
Cover and Binding
The cover on my review copy is imitation leather. It is two-toned brown and burgundy with a design across the middle. It is stitched around the perimeter. The liner is a light brown paper that looks nice against the darker brown of the cover. The binding is sewn. It has no problem lying flat. It will have to be broken in for Genesis and Revelation to lay flat, though.
Paper and Print
The paper is what sets this Bible apart from all the rest. It is 60 GSM – the thickest paper in any Bible I’ve reviewed. It feels like writing paper. It is a joy to read from ad touch. Turning pages was much easier with this paper. I enjoyed writing in it. The font is 8-point. The words of Christ are in red through Revelation. The red is about a medium color. The print is consistent throughout. I would like it to be a little bolder, but that’s just my preference. There are no pronunciation marks to clutter the text. The Old Testament has italics, but the New Testament does not.
There are three columns per page. The column on the outside is ruled for writing. It is 2.5 inches wide and has 2 inch ruled lines that are .25 inches apart. The next two columns in the text. They are 1 5/8 wide. There is a .5 inch inner margin which brings the text out and keeps it from being lost in the gutter. There is .5 inches clear at the top if you want that for something like a timeline or page summaries. The bottom only has 3/8 inch, so that will be harder to use.
The top of the page contains the first verse that appears on the left page and the last verse that appears on the right page.
Section headings are in bold type in all caps. They stand out really well. I found them helpful for separating the text and for finding things quickly. There are lots of them, which helps a lot since there are no other notes or references within the text.
Books start on a new page. This leaves several pages empty that can be used for notes. This is good space for sermon outlines, etc.
There are 15 pages of helps in the back that also have ruled margins. The helps include:
- Book-by-Book Summaries
- Where to Find Key Stories and Events in the Bible
- Key Bible Characters
- Important Women of the Bible
- Bible Passages for Times of Personal Need
- Overview of the Bible
Most of the helps are not something I would refer to often, but some of them are helpful to have. I especially like the key Bible stories and events. I would like to see blank paper in the back, but some of these lists might be something I would write anyway.
The book summaries have info about the name of the book, when it was written, who the author is, in a nutshell (one sentence description), and where it appears in the Bible. Some have claim to fame, which highlights a famous story or unique feature.
I read with it while sitting in my chair, carrying in my hands, sitting in the car, and sitting at my desk. Even to be as large as it is there were no issues with holding it for reading. The wind didn’t blow the pages around. It actually seems light for its size. I enjoyed reading from it. The thick paper is easy to handle.
The only difficulties I found in preaching with this Bible is the text is kind of small for reading from the pulpit and the chapter and verse numbers in the header are a little too close to the middle of the page. This made it difficult to find the verse I was trying to turn to. It wasn’t bad, though. I just had to open the pages a little further than normal while I was looking for the verses. This was helped by the thick paper being easy to turn. I could hold several pages with one finger and let them drop one page at a time with ease. I would have liked the text to be a little bolder, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I would preach from it again. Another issue is I don’t have it broken in enough yet to lay open in Genesis. I’m sure it will break in and not be an issue.
This is a good Bible to use to create your own preaching Bible. There is enough room in the margins for bullets, definitions, chain references, etc., as long as you don’t mind them being in the outer margin. There are several almost empty pages at the end of some books that can be used for sermon outlines, lists, charts, etc. Sermon notes on 8.5 x 11 sheets fold over and fit into it with room to spare.
The primary purpose of this Bible is journaling (hence to name). I enjoyed writing in this Bible more than any so far. The paper is made for it. It’s even thicker than other wide-margin Bibles. It’s more like actual writing paper.
Tips on Journaling
I can think of many ways to use this Bible. The paper begs to be marked and written in. The lined margins can be used for a lot of things like journaling, adding your own notes, references, etc.
For journaling, you simply write your thoughts about a verse or passage. You can write about how it applies to you, how you will apply it, what speaks to you, etc. I like to write references and make topical chains.
My favorite marking technique is color-coding with color pencils. Even if you wanted to leave the text clean of marking you could write lots of notes and thoughts in the wide margin. You could use the top half of the page for the first column and the bottom half for the second column. Another option is to just write and see what happens. Not every verse will need something written about it. You might instead write about the passage rather than the verse. There is enough space between the text and lines to write references or symbols.
Here is a list of marking and writing tools for your Bible:
Here’s a good book on writing in your Bible:
Writing in the Margins: Connecting with God on the Pages of Your Bible
And of course here’s mine:
The KJV Journaling Bible from Barbour Publishing is a fine example of what a journaling Bible should be. It can even be a fine study Bible – just add study. Spend some time filling in the ruled margins and you can have a fine study Bible that’s all yours. This is a Bible worth putting that kind of effort into. I would like to see this in a premium leather. Since it’s not, it’s worth getting rebound once you wear it out.
Barbour Publishing provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review – only an honest review.
This looks amazing. NASB please
I am always amazed by the appeal of writing in a bible. For me it gets in the way of clean further readings, indeed I find them prejudicial to a further fresh and clean reading of the passages. I have yet to have gone back to marked up books and truly say to myself that it was necessary and helpful. I don’t like commentary either for the same reasons unless reading and cross referencing has been done first. The bible, with the Holy Spirit’s assistance will in due time interpret itself. For those of you all who mark up your reading, this looks like a good bible for that, but it is not for me.
Yours in Christ
Writing notes helps me remember things. It’s a way of being active rather than passive in study, and it also requires me to formulate my thoughts so as to be able to record them logically. I don’t necessarily refer to them later.
Good Day, I live in South Africa where can I buy a KJV Journaling Bible? This looks awesome, I think if more people were to journal in the Bible more people will remember what they read.
Hi Nadia. I agree. Journaling is a great way to dig into God’s Word. I’m not sure where to buy it in SA. I would check Amazon.com. If they don’t have it you might want to contact Barbour Publishing.
Randy, It looks like there is not quite enough room in the inner margin to accommodate converting it to a spiral bound bible. This would be ideal, as, blank pages could be inserted in between pages if needed for expansion. How does it compare to the inner margins of the ESV which you used for your spiral bound bible?
Hi Dave. I think you might be referring to an interleaved Bible project that I shared called the Blank Bible (I never actually made one). Could this be it? https://tonyreinke.com/2006/08/17/building-a-blank-bible-part-3-the-blank-bible/
I think it’s an excellent idea to create this with a journaling Bible. Unfortunately I think you’re right about the inner margin of this Barbour. That’s unfortunate too as it has some of the thickest paper available.