Zondervan and Passion Publishing recently released their new NIV Jesus Bible Journals. Based on The Jesus Bible, these journals have the Biblical text, study material, and lots of room for journaling of any sort all in one book.
We were sent a copy of the Genesis journal for review.
ISBN 9780310456216 Printed in China
Zondervan provided this journal in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.
These books are available at (includes some affiliate links)
and many local Bible bookstores
So far they have produced 14 different journals in this series that include 30 of the books of the Bible. The books currently available are
- The Minor Prophets (Hosea through Malachi)
- I Corinthians through Colossians
They are also available in a 5-volume selected books from the Old Testament set and a 9-volume selected books from the New Testament set.
Construction and Materials
These journals measure 8″ x 5 3/4″. The Genesis one is almost 1/2″ thick and weighs 9.4 ounces. They have sewn signatures glued into thick cardstock covers. The covers are dark gray with the names of every book of the Bible listed in light gray except the book (or books) in that journal. That book name(s) and the name of the journal set are done in a metallic copper. They do not lay flat on their own anywhere in the journal.
The paper is 100 gsm and cream-colored. It is much thicker than what is in most Bibles but doesn’t have the coating that most Bible paper has to resist water and oils from our hands. Randy has used most Bible safe pens on similar paper with great success but I wasn’t sure how other art mediums would work.
All of them except the Tombow did really well. There is a bit of waviness underneath the wet mediums but no show through and of course the Pigma Micron did great. The Tombow did bleed through, especially at first when I was being a little heavy-handed. I would definitely recommend testing things on the back few pages unless you’ve used them successfully on a variety of Bible papers.
Layout and Typography
The Biblical text is found on the left-hand pages and is laid out in single-column paragraph format with section headings in bold.
Lists look like lists and quotes are offset. The only footnotes are the NIV translation notes. Each journal contains the full NIV text of the book (or books) included.
A 9.5 point version of the NIV Comfort Print font is used. Six lines of text and nearly six spaces between lines fit in the height of a penny.
Most of the right-hand pages are blank with just light lining (39 lines to a full page) to help keep your journaling neat. There are also a few extra blank pages in the back. These are nice for longer notes, hand-drawn charts, or testing pens and art supplies.
The Jesus Bible (which we missed reviewing somehow) was written and designed to help show you more about Jesus in all 66 books of the Bible. The study helps in these journals are taken directly from The Jesus Bible.
The short sidebar articles from the Bible are found at the top of the righthand page across from the main verse it is about. The rest of the page is lightly lined. The longest of these articles take a little less than half of the page so there is still a decent amount of room for notes.
Many of the full-page articles from The Jesus Bible can be found near the back of the journal complete with their own index. In Genesis, this is 13 longer articles.
These are laid out with the article on the left-hand side and an empty lightly lined page on the right for notes.
Also included is the book introduction(s) from The Jesus Bible. These give an overview of the book and some specifics of how the book reveals Jesus. They also give dates of a few events in that book to help you place the book historically.
Overall this is a nice set of study notes. I like the Jesus as the center of scripture focus.
Comparison to the NKJV Bible Journals
I thought I’d compare the NIV Jesus Bible Journals to the NKJV Bible Journals that Randy reviewed last September. They have the same sewn signatures glued into a cardstock cover binding and the covers seem about the same thickness. The covers on The NIV Jesus journals have a slight coating that will probably resist water better but are more likely to show fingerprint smudges
The smaller font size in the NIV Jesus Journals means they are thinner even with the added study material.
Both have 100 gsm paper. The paper in the NIV Jesus Bible Journals is obviously much more cream-colored. They also have more lines closer together on the journaling pages (perhaps to match the smaller text). Even though there are more lines they would be easier to ignore since they are noticeably fainter in color.
Final Thoughts on the NIV Jesus Bible Journals
The NIV Jesus Bible Journals are a nice set of journals. The glossy, lightly textured covers and lightly lined pages that work better for lettering and artwork than more obvious lines are two of my favorite features.
I like these small journals with thick paper and lots of journaling space for book by book studies of the Bible. I also think this style of journal is much easier to use for those who are nervous about writing or drawing in their Bibles and encourage people to interact with God’s Word. The NIV Jesus Bible Journals are particularly nice if you want devotional/study material in your journal along with the Bible text.