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February 13, 2008



I love the calfskin ed!!! Although I have not yet been able to overcome the "square - look" of the journaling bible since I have always been a rectangular bible guy. Though I struggle because the anal side of me LOVES the lined margins. I considered rebinding a journaling bible and cutting an inch off the sides to make it more rectangular looking. THe small print used to be hard for me but the new ed. have a larger type which works good.

I only wish the ribbon was satin material (I have never been fond of moleskin ribbons)

Dave Swain


Awhile back, I left a comment about the different types of bindings which you subsequently turned into a post. The Journaling Bible is exactly what I was trying to describe with what I called the "hybrid." I don;t know what the glue is for, other than maybe to keep the colored bands attached to the text block instead of sewing them to it as on a more traditional binding. Either way, they still open up flat and the pages don't come out like a normal glued binding, so it seems to get the job done.

Greg Terry

Hello, Mark:

Thanks for the great reviews. The ESV journaling Bible looks like an interesting product that might finally get me to write my own notes in a Bible. I've been contemplating an ESV for a while now. I've been more into the NRSV and lately the RSV. The ESV seems a logical step from that.

I noticed in my local bookstore that there are some thinlines and compact editions with the 2007 text. I've discovered the easy way to differentiate is the color of the ESV logo: light blue = 2007 text; red = first edition. Are you aware of any of the other editions being printed with the 2007 text?

Thanks again!


Michael Swoveland

I think I like that, too bad it only comes in ESV. I do not so much care for the ruled margins. I have a set of Pigma Micron pens and tend to take notes so small that I can almost read them. I am a little over verbose with my note taking, so I try to use as little space as possible.

Mike Zimmer

Dear Mark,

Thanks for the great review of this edition, and for all your reviews of other editions! However, now I'm torn, I'm starting a bible study group at my church and I was all set to use the Moleskine style journaling ESV. But the siren call of calfskin now reverberates in my brain.

Is the Moleskine-inspired version feature a sewn binding? I can't remember from my last visit to the Christian bookstore. That might be the deciding factor, because of my near pathological aversion to glued bindings of any kind.

Keep up the great work!

J. Mark Bertrand

Mike -- My hardback seems to have the same kind of hybrid binding as the calfskin version, so you should be good either way.

Jeffrey L. Cook

I was just wondering if anyone had a journaling bible ESV that was Brown Leather that was wrap around with a strap - and if so is the quality good?


Casey Gorsuch

I have 4 or 5 black and also red Moleskines and all of mine have yellowish paper, not white. Bizarrely, one storyboard Moleskine that I have actually has yellow ink printed over the thicker pages so that it matches the other styles, but when I erase on it the actual white paper shows through. I wonder if Crossway was trying to match the color of these.
Yeah, I'd like a red ESV journaling bible as well... that would be pretty cool.


I'm considering one of these Bibles but want to know about the quality of the pages in terms of writing. Are the pages fountain pen friendly? Any feathering or bleed-through?

Thanks for an interesting site,

Louisville, KY


I noticed today -whilst at the Christian bookstore- that the Journaling Bible has the OLDER ORIGINAL ESV text, not the updated version.


I just received my brown natural leather ESV Journaling Bible today, and it is really nice. The leather is very smooth and has a deep brown color that is just right. It is far superior to any bonded leather binding I've had. I love how the flap wraps around the front of this Bible. The leather strap will take some getting used to, however. It comes separately in the box and you have to tie it on yourself. This is a good quality Bible to have. Please note however that pictures you see on the websites of this
Bible are taken under a very bright light. Under normal light the leather will look darker.

Leather Journals

That is great. I'll have to order one or something similar to it in the near future.


FYI, this item is now on sale at evangelicalbible dot com.

ESV Journaling Bible; Calfskin Leather, Black
Usually $75.00 Now $33.75
Save: 55% off

Jonathan Ammon

I bought this for a friend and it is phenomenal! The calfskin has a wonderful feel and I am absolutely crazy about the cream pages and the raised bands on the spine. Slightly thicker pages might be nice, but the square look doesn't bother me at all. Finally a wide-margin you can carry! I wish I would have checked evangelicalbible.com first though. I got mine for a little more than the $33.75 listed above.


Mark Edwards

Alas, I got this Bible thinking I would write out my thoughts on certain doctrinal issues, and I find the print is so tiny, that I cannot read it even with my glasses. I should have checked the dimensions of the bible closer, I guess.

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  • J. Mark Bertrand is the author of Back on Murder, Pattern of Wounds, and the forthcoming Nothing to Hide, crime novels featuring Houston homicide detective Roland March. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and lived in the city for fifteen years. After one hurricane too many, he and his wife moved to South Dakota. Mark has been arrested for a crime he didn't commit, was the foreman of a hung jury in Houston, and after relocating served on the jury that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead.

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