Crossway ESV Single Column Journaling Bible Review

Crossway’s nice ESV Journaling Bible is now available in single column format. All the basics are here: sewn binding, paragraph format, single column, ruled lines for notes, cream paper, and a bold font. It is available in both Moleskine and cowhide. I am reviewing the Moleskine edition.


  • 2 inch margin
  • Single column text
  • Paragraph format
  • Font is bold and readable
  • Thick paper with cream tint
  • Sewn binding


  • Text is small
  • No extras (references, concordance, maps)

Features include:

  • Moleskine
  • Bold 7.5  font
  • Cream paper
  • Sewn binding
  • Headings
  • Ribbon marker
  • 8.25 x 6.5 x 1.5
  • 2 inch margin
  • 1344 pages

It is available from:

Christianbook: ESV Single Column Journaling Bible(Black)

Amazon: ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (Black)

Cover and Binding

I’m reviewing the black Moleskine edition. It seems to be durable; this Bible is meant to be used. It has an elastic strap to keep the Bible closed.

The binding is sewn, allowing it to stay open and lay flat when opened to any page. You won’t have to hold the Bible open to write in Genesis or Revelation. This is essential for journaling.


The font is small, but it’s still very easy to read because it’s sharp and bold. I’ve seen reports of around 7.5 but that could be the leading. I usually want a larger print font, but I haven’t had any trouble reading this text (except for after a long day of looking at a computer screen). If I could make one change it might be to increase the font size, but this small text will not keep me from using it.

The verse numbers and headings in the text are even bolder. I like that a lot. Bold verse numbers greatly help when looking for specific verses. The bold headings stand out and help break up the page, giving it a better designed look.


The text is in single column, paragraph format. Poetry is set in verse. Verses that are Old Testament quotes are centered, making them stand out from the rest of the passage. This layout is beautiful. It makes the text much more readable because it feels natural.

The outside margins are lined for writing. They are 2 inches wide and have a line for every line of text. The ruled lines are narrow ruled, so you’ll have to write small.


The paper is thick and opaque, and has a deep cream tint. At first I thought it was too dark, but after using it for a few days it has become my favorite paper in any Bible. Some ghosting does show through, but I believe that’s due to the boldness of the text.


There are footnotes at the bottom of the page that are keyed to the text with numbers. The footnotes go throughout the whole Bible, but the references are only in the New Testament. Footnotes include alternate translations, Hebrew and Greek explanations, explanatory notes, and technical notes.

There are two types of cross-references. There are references for parallel passages in the Gospels, and there are references for Old Testament quotes in the New Testament. References are keyed with letters.

Footnote and reference keys are not in bold, so they blend with the text. This helps keep the text readable.


It doesn’t have very much in the way of extras, but it’s fine for the purpose of a journaling Bible. This way there are not a lot of distractions. ‘

There is a table of weights and measures. It also includes monetary units. It show Biblical units, American and metric equivalents, and Biblical equivalents.

There is a daily reading plan that gives you a passage from the OT, Psalms, and the NT. You can keep up with where you are by the date that’s printed in the reading plan.

There is one ribbon. It would almost be nice to have three ribbons – one for each portion of Scripture in the reading plan, but since the reading plan has the date it’s not that necessary. The ribbon is long enough to be useful.


I find that this is the Bible I pick up to read more than any Bible I own. I love the layout, the paper, and the print. This is now the standard that I compare all Bibles to. It feels durable and looks great. I would like to see a version of this Bible in every translation. It’s an amazing Bible at any price. It’s even a great Bible for taking notes and just using like you would a regular wide-margin Bible. I highly recommend this Bible for journaling, note-taking, and general reading.


Crossway provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review- only an honest review. My opinion is my own.

Crossway’s ESV Single Column Journaling Bible is available from:

Christianbook: ESV Single Column Journaling Bible(Black)

Amazon: ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (Black)


About The Author

Randy A Brown

WordPress writer by day, Bible reviewer by night, pastor all the time. And there's also that author thing.


  1. Nate

    Is there more room for writing in a wide margin bible or a single column journaling bible?

    • Randy Brown

      Hi Nate. Good question! I’ll take some measurements and let you know. I’ll compare it Crossway’s wide margin edition.

    • Randy Brown

      Hi Nate. I compared the writing space for John 1:1-18 between the SC Journaling and the ESV WM. Here’s the writing space in inches:

      SCJB: 1 1/8″ wide x 2 1/2″ high, giving 2.81 square inches.

      WM: 1″ wide x 6″ high, giving 6 square inches for the same verses. There is another 1 1/4″ from verse 18 to the bottom of the page for writing. This writing space is on the inner margin, so it might be difficult to use some of it. The wm edition also has a larger print.

      Here’s the wide margin edition that I compared it to: Crossway ESV Wide Margin Bible

  2. Bristol Sunset

    Thank you for this thorough review! I really appreciate seeing the interior photos.



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