NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible Review

NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible Box

Today I’m looking at the NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible from Zondervan. It uses the 1995 NASB text and is the first journaling Bible in the NASB translation.

ISBN: 9780310451204    Printed in China

Zondervan provided this Bible in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.


This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)



Church Source

and many local Bible bookstores


Table of Contents

    1. Video Review
    2. Construction and Materials
    3. Typography and Layout
    4. References
    5. Other Features
    6. Final Thoughts

Video Review

Table of Contents

Construction and Materials

NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible Cover

The copy I have is the brown leatherlike over board. The back, spine, and a small part of the front are a deep reddish-brown (almost cordovan) and the rest of the front cover is a lighter shade of reddish-brown. It has several lines of decorative gold stitching on the cover. There is even a single line of gold stitching around the perimeter of the inside of the cover.

NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible Ribbons and Page Edges

The name of the Bible and the publisher are embossed on the spine. It weighs 2 pounds and 14 ounces and measures 8 1/4″ x 6 1/2″ x 2″ and comes in a thin cardboard slipcover. This is a fairly typical size for journaling Bibles, which I think does a good job of giving you enough room to write or draw in while still keeping the Bible carriable.

NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible Paper

The paper is very white and we are guessing it to be in the upper 30s gsm (maybe even 40). It has a sewn binding. One of the attached 1/4 inch wide ribbon bookmarks is brown and the other is gold.

This Bible is also available in a black hardcover edition with an elastic strap.

Table of Contents

Typography and Layout

The NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible is laid out in a single column, verse-by-verse format. Poetry is set in stanzas and large quotes are offset. The header has the guide verse in the outer corner and the page number next to it, toward the center.

NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible Text Size

This Bible has an 8.5 point font. 6 lines of text and 6 spaces between lines fit in the height of a penny. It uses the NASB Comfort Print typeface.

NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible Ink

There are three colors of ink in this Bible. The words of Christ are in a bright red. Section headings, chapter numbers, the pilot references, and the header are a darker red ink. Everything else is in a nice medium black.  The ink darkness is consistent throughout. I love the dark red shade of ink used in this Bible. Not only is it a favorite color of mine, I think it does a good job of making the text that uses it easier to find while not being too distracting while just reading the Bible.

There are very few footnotes, all of which are translation notes. The footnotes use a smaller text and are separated from the biblical text by a thin black line.

NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible Layout

This Bible has 2 inch wide outer margins. There are 40 light lines about 1 3/4″ long in each margin. I think the lightly lined margin is the best choice for an all-purpose journaling Bible. There is enough of a line to help keep notes and hand lettering neat and even but not so bold of a line as to interfere with any charts or drawings you choose to put in the margins.

Table of Contents


NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible References

Only a handful of journaling Bibles includes references and this is one of them. The references are in the inside margin.  They are spaced evenly and centered vertically on the page. This centering makes a neater looking page and gives you space for writing at the top and bottom. I personally prefer the references directly next to the verse because I can find them easier, but the dark red pilot verse numbers and clean layout make these almost as easy to use.

Here are a few example references to help you compare:

  • Genesis 1:1 – Ps 102:25; Job 38:4
  • Deuteronomy 6:4 – Deut 4:35, 39; John 10:30
  • Isaiah 9:6 –John 3:16; Matt 28:18
  • Matthew 28:19 – Matt 13:52; Acts 2:38
  • Mark 12:29 – Deut 6:4
  • John 1:1 – John 17:5
  • John 3:16 – Rom 5:8; Eph 2:4
  • Acts 2:38 – Mark 1:15; Acts 8:12, 16
  • 1 John 1:1 – John 1:1; 2 Pet 1:16


This is definitely a journaling Bible first and a reference Bible second with only 1 or 2 references for each verse that has them.  There are enough references here to be useful most of the time, except when running references is your main focus.

Table of Contents

Other Features

This bible has 5 small but useful extras in the back. All five make good starts for Bible study or for finding verses to meditate on and journal about in certain situations. None of these lists are large and further study helps from a source outside this bible will sometimes be necessary.

NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible Lists

There are two charts, the “Miracles of Jesus” and the “Parables of Jesus”. These are laid out like a harmony of the gospel with a column for the name of the miracle or parable and a separate column for each of the gospels. This is very helpful for identifying which ones appear in the Bible more than once. It’s interesting to note that none of the Parables appear in the book of John.

There are two similar lists to help you deal Biblically with difficult aspects of life: “Perspectives from the Bible” and “Promises from the Bible”. Both offer a small list of Bible passages for a range of topics. Perspectives seem to deal more with situations: for example when you are seeking God’s will, when you are tempted to be bitter, and when you start a new job. Promises focus seems more about personal feelings like when you feel dejected, when you are sick, and when you doubt.

List of Prayers in the Bible

“Prayers of the Bible” separates many of the prayers recorded in the Bible into small lists (like prayers from the prophets and prayers of the New Testament) with brief descriptions and references.


Table of Contents

Final Thoughts on the NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible

NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible

The NASB Journal the Word Reference Bible is a good basic journaling Bible like all the Bibles in the Journal the Word Series. Thick white paper and wide lightly lined margins make it great for journaling with words or artwork. The addition of references, red letter, and some thematic lists of verses make it useful for more than notetaking. Two nice but basic covers make it suitable for anyone to use and carry.

Knowing that many preachers like the NASB, Randy took a look at this Bible for that purpose. He thinks the print might be too small for most preachers. However, it has many of the other features of a good preaching Bible; good print quality, thick easy to turn paper in a good color, and stays open on any page. If you like the NASB, want room for notes, and don’t have problems with the smaller text you might want to consider it.

Overall this is a great choice for anyone who wants a NASB Bible to journal in (using words or pictures). I am so glad to finally see a NASB journaling Bible available to those who have been wanting one for years. And I hope that publishers continue to add new translations and combinations of features to their journaling Bible lineups.

Table of Contents


This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)



Church Source

and many local Bible bookstores



Zondervan provided this Bible in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.


Photography by Lucinda Brown

About The Author

Lucinda Brown

Homemaker, Pastor's Wife, and former homeschooler (my kids graduated). I love to read (especially God's Word) but am a reluctant writer. Besides reading I enjoy cooking, gardening, and a large variety of crafts. I don't consider myself an expert at any craft and am always finding new crafts and art mediums I want to try.


  1. Alexander thomson

    Thanks for this review! I don’t suppose that this Bible comes in a black-letter edition? I’m afraid I don’t share the American liking for red-letter Bibles!

    • Randy A Brown

      I don’t think it does.

  2. wade hooper

    Thank you so much for your review. I have used the same NASB study bible for the past 38 years. I am a Bible teacher / pastor and I’m on the hunt for NASB 1995, journaling Bible, large print 10.5, like read letter, like maps, like harmony, LIKE thick paper for note writing. It would appear that the Journal the word is the only option that I have for now?
    I could possible go 1901 version if it had larger print and more of the options that I am looking for?



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