Nelson KJV Journal Edition Bible Review
The single-column journaling Bible format continues its popularity with publishers and readers. And with good reason – it’s a great format for notes, artwork, thoughts, etc. Thomas Nelson has now entered the market with their own single-column journaling edition. I’m reviewing the KJV edition.
This edition is black hard cover with an elastic band just like the moleskine journals. It feels well-made. I think it would hold up well for daily use and carry. At its price-point it’s one of those Bibles you can use and not worry about what happens to it. It has a sewn binding and has no issues laying open to any page. The overall size is 8 x 6.5 x 1.5. It includes one ribbon.
The paper is the cream writable paper found in the ESV Journaling Bible. If I were to guess I’d say it’s around 38gsm. It’s excellent for use with markers, highlighters, pencils, pens, gesso, paint, etc. The pages in this edition are not gilted, which gives you the opportunity to do your own decorating.
There are 10 ruled pages in the back marked for notes. These will come in handy since there are no other helps in the back of any kind.
The text is presented in single column, verse by verse format. There are no pronunciation marks but it does have italics for supplied words. The font is 7.5 point. It’s red-letter, dark, and consistent throughout. The red is darker than most Bibles. Some pages have lines match and some do not. The paper is opaque enough that it doesn’t really matter that much. The columns are 3 5/8” wide and has around 80 characters across. Most lines have around 14-16 words. Verse numbers are not indented. The verses start a few spaces after the numbers, which makes the verses easy to find quickly.
The outer margin is 2” and has 40 lines for notes. The lines are faint enough to draw over but dark enough to help when writing notes. I was concerned about the inner margin. It seems like the text could get lost of the bend into the gutter, but this hasn’t been an issue.
The section headings are bold. I like the section headings. There are lots of them. I like that Nelson places a heading for each day of the creation week. There are 9 for Genesis chapter 1. The header includes the page number, book name, chapter number, and the first or last verse that starts on that page. Books start on a new page, so if there’s any space left at the end of a book you have a little bit of space for notes.
I’ve used it for reading and preaching and it performed well on both accounts. For reading behind the pulpit I didn’t have any issues losing which line to read next. The font was dark enough and the paper was opaque enough to make up for the small print.
If I Could Change One Thing
I’d like to see a KJV with a modern layout. This Bible would be a great choice for that because of its clean text. It would need to be in paragraph format, place poetry in stanzas, and indent letters. With the amount of section headings this Bible has it would look amazing.
Here are a few comparisons with the Holman single-column journal Bible. The Nelson has less show-through, but the Holman is a touch darker, so that plays a role. The paper is a darker cream than the Holman.
The Nelson is on the left.
The Nelson is on the right.
The single column journal format is a great choice for creating your own study Bible, journaling, art-journaling, taking notes, creating your own chain reference Bible, etc. The Nelson Journal Edition holds its own and is a great choice for anyone wanting a single-column journaling Bible in KJV.
Thomas Nelson provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review – only an honest review. My opinions are my own.
Thank you for your review. You picked the two Bibles that I was looking at to decide which to buy. I am still torn between which one to get. I want a bible to write notes and references in. I like the Nelson because the lines are lighter in the margin, but I like the Holman because of the white paper and dark black text and the more red, red letters. They both look like they have lots of Pericopes (Section headings). How is the paper comparison are they both about the same weight paper? Which one has the better Cover? Quality wise. I don’t expect too much for a $29 Bible but I would buy the better one.
Thanks again for your review.
Hi Fred. The paper does feel to be the same weight. I think the Holman cover looks better, but they’re probably about the same quality. They’re so close it’s hard to choose between them. The Holman has more pages for notes, so if notes are your goal then you’ll have more room in the Holman. Also, it has a concordance and maps.
I’m divided on these 2 bibles also. I like Holman’s white paper, indented verse numbers, and paragraph markers. I like Nelson’s wider line-spacing and text which doesn’t have any self-pronunciation. It’s a tossup. I really wish both publishers would have included the KJV marginal footnotes in the footer, like Crossway does their esv bibles.
Hi Randy. Is there a notetaking bible that has blank margins that are closer to two inches in size? Or one that the lines are so light that they would disappear? I have found one but the lay out draws a line between the margin and the verses…the art wouldnt flow with a line dividing it. Any suggestions would be great.
Hi Angela. The only one that comes to mind is the LCBP Note Takers. It’s larger than the standard journaling Bible: https://biblebuyingguide.com/lcbp-note-takers-bible-review/
I’ll keep looking.
thank you 🙂
Heya.. Can you show the difference between the Nelson jounal edition vs and Nelson journal the word editions? Apparently they’re slightly diferent but i cant find online how. Thanks.
Hi Kimberly. Sorry for taking so long to get back with you. Our KJV Journal the Word is large print and its the layout is much different. I’ve been looking for the one in this review to compare to the images of the regular Journal the Word provided at Christianbook. I think I packed it up somewhere and I can’t find it. The first page of Genesis looks exactly the same. I’ll post more when I figure out where I placed it.
Does the Holman Bible have pure white pages? Because they also look cream, though less so than the Nelson. I’m looking for a KJV Journaling Bible with pure white pages, but I’m really having trouble finding one. Are there any that you know of?
Hi Sherylee. The Holman does have a cream color but it’s not as yellow as the Nelson. I haven’t seen it in person, but I’ve heard the Personal Reflections Bible from Barbour has white paper.
The KJV Comfort Print Journal the Word Reference Bible from Nelson comes out in September and it will have white paper.
Thanks a lot for the help! I’ll definitely look into those!