ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal Bible ( Sunday Reading )

ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal Bible makes for the perfect Sunday Reading.

ESV Illuminated Bibles on a table with plant in white pot

Have you seen the Illuminated Bibles by Crossway? They are called Illuminated Scripture journals and are a beautiful set of the individual books of the Bible.

You can buy them as individual books or as an Illuminated Scripture Journal Old Testament Set and an Illuminated Scripture Journaling New Testament Set.

I first heard about the Illuminated Journaling Bibles from a friend. They sounded interesting, but it wasn’t until I saw Jen, The Bookish Blonde, and owner of the Bookish bookstore, review them on Instagram that I knew I wanted to purchase the set.

Five years ago, I would have told you that I would never buy a journaling Bible. I could see the reason that everyone loved them, but they just weren’t for me back then. I was more of a leather cover basic black Bible kind of person.

Over the last few years, though, I have found the value in having different Bibles for different reasons. I love my Chronological Bible and have really enjoyed reading the Bible that way. I also have several study Bibles and two different journaling Bibles. I use and love them all.

ESV Illuminated Bible covers in all kinds of color

Journaling Bibles

I know a lot of people journal in their journaling Bibles, but I don’t. I am not an artsy person. Plus, I think my personality would have trouble drawing pictures in a Bible. However, I love having all the space to take notes and write down thoughts in my Bible.

In most Bibles, there is not a lot of room to make notes, but a journaling Bible has all kinds of room for writing things down. Even if you don’t like to journal, you might really enjoy a journaling Bible.

What drew me to the Illuminated Scripture Journals though was not just the journaling aspect, it was the individual books that I loved.

Individual Books of the Bible

The Illuminated Journaling Scriptures is a set of forty-six books that cover each book of the Bible or a few books cover several.

Most of the books of the Bible have their own book. Some of the smaller books of the Bible are combined into one book, like Colossians and Philemon or Jonah, Micah, Nahum, and Habakkuk, but the majority of the books of the Bible are individual books.

Psalm is a book. Proverbs is a book. The book of Ruth is a book.

I love the idea that I can just pull out the book of Psalms and read it. I can easily read it from start to finish. Reading the book of Psalms in a regular Bible is the same, but I like the sense of accomplishment I get from just pulling out a book of the Bible and reading it.

Because it is a journaling Bible, I can also write down notes and thoughts as I am reading it.

You can buy each book of the Bible separately, but you can also buy them as a set like I did.

Twenty Seven Volume Old Testament Boxed Bible Set

Twenty Seven Volume Old Testament Boxed Set

The entire Old Testament comes as an Illuminated Scripture Journal Old Testament Set. This is how I bought mine. I love how they look.

There is a set of Old Testament Illuminated Scriptures that is all black, but I loved the color version.

Nineteen Volume New Testament Boxed Bible Set

Nineteen Volume New Testament Boxed Set

The entire New Testament also comes in a boxed set. It is called the Illuminated Scripture Journal New Testament Set. Like the Old Testament Set, the New Testament set also comes in all black, but I loved the color set.

Not only are they beautiful but are also functional.

Scripture Journal Page

The Design

The covers and design on these books of the Bible are beautiful without being overdone. The inside pages are the same.

The pages are set up so that for every page of reading you have a page for writing or journaling.

Some of the pages have some artwork, but it is just a verse that has been written out in a fancy font. It is well done and does not take the attention away from what the Bible is. The focus is still on the Word of God, not on the art.

ESV Illuminated Bible journal page

The Quality

I was impressed with the quality of the Illuminated Scripture Journal Books of the Bible for the price. For under $200 I was able to purchase a forty-six-volume set of the Bible.

Will they be a Bible that lasts through generations, probably not. The books are softbound books. The binding is good, but not great. Because they are meant to journal in the pages are thick, but they are not super high quality.

This set of Bibles are meant to be used. They have a purpose.

If these books sit on the shelf without much use, they will last a long time, but if you are actually taking these off the shelf to read and use, they will show their wear and tear.

I don’t consider that a bad thing though. I want to read my Bible. I want it to show wear and tear. I want my Bibles to look like I love and value them. I bought this set of Bibles to read and enjoy, not to pass last for 200 years.

If you want an heirloom Bible, this is the Bible for you. If you want a set of books of the Bible that you can read, write, and love this is a great option.

ESV Illuminated Bible books next to a plant

A Great Gift

The Illuminated Books of the Bible would make a great gift. I plan to buy a few books of Psalms, Proverbs, Ruth, and a few others to keep on hand for gifts.

An individual book of the Bible would be a perfect gift for a graduation gift, a birthday, or just a thinking of you gift.

I also think it would make a great get-well gift. A Bible can be heavy and a little awkward to carry around when you aren’t feeling well or don’t have a lot of strength. You can read the Bible digitally, but for most people, it is not the same. I think many people that are in the hospital or recovering from surgery would find it a treasure and encouragement to receive a book like one of the Illuminated Bible books.

The Name

Let’s talk about the name for a minute. I struggle so much when I was writing this post with the name of these Scripture journals. This is not meant to be picky or overly technical but to explain a little bit about the name.

I have been in the online world long enough to know that someone will point out my error in writing this review of the Crossway Scripture Journals.

I also know though that a lot of people won’t realize or understand the difference. Christians often take for granted that people know exactly what the Bible is, but that is not the case. Not everyone is familiar with what the Bible is or what the actual word Bible means.

Crossway calls these the Illuminated Scripture Journals. A lot of people are calling them the Illuminated Bibles or Illuminated Books of the Bible.

The Bible is a group of books. Proverbs is not The Bible. Matthew is not The Bible. They are books in the Bible. The Bible is made up of all the individual books. Those individual books altogether make it The Bible.

It takes all the books of the Bible to make it The Bible. It is one complete book.

So technically this set of books is not the Bible. They are scripture journals or they are individual books of the Bible meant for journaling. But that is not what most people call them.

Because of that, I used various terms when I wrote this review. The set I reviewed is the Illuminated Scripture Journal Boxed Bible Set. There is also an Illuminated Bible, which is the Bible as one book.

Have you seen the Illuminated Scripture Journal Boxed Bible Set?

ESV-Illuminated- Bible

4 thoughts on “ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal Bible ( Sunday Reading )”

  1. Wow! These are gorgeous! I had not seen them before. I am also not a Bible journaler. I do write in my Bible, but nothing artistic. I have been using the New Inductive Study Bible. It was made to mark in, using the marking method created by Kay Arthur. I like that it has wide margins. But, this is the Bible I keep at home and read. I have another that I would take with me that is lighter and mostly free of writing. I also like the idea of having different versions to read through. I could see how it would be satisfying to pull one of those off the shelf and finish it. Thanks for sharing these!

  2. I’d been eyeing these in the store for a long time, but like you, I’m not an artsy journaler, so I only admired the idea of them. Then my sister sent me the New Testament set for Christmas last year and I love all of the same things about them that you mentioned – the colors, the space for writing notes, the ability to take just one book at a time (which makes it very easy to slip into my purse and take along). The Old Testament set is on my wish list.

    Thank you for the idea of gifting individual books. I love that! I have a friend who’s just finished her last round of chemo and throughout her cancer this winter, she’s continually encouraged others with scripture, prayers, and what God is teaching her through this. A gift of a couple of these books would be perfect for her and would lift her spirits in the same way she uplifts others. Thank you for the great suggestion!

    • What a great and thoughtful gift for your sister to give you! I am so glad that you are enjoying the Scripture Journals as much as I have. It sounds like it would be a meaningful gift for your friend too. I am sure she would really enjoy it.

  3. I have seen these for several years and finally bought one at the end of last year. I am studying the Psalms in depth this year and am using the scripture journal for that book along with several commentaries. I like the stand-alone nature of it as well as the “clean” look of the pages and the space for notes. (I’m also not a draw-in-the-Bible person, but maybe the Psalms will inspire me enough that I can get over that! I think the fact that it’s not an actual Bible will help.) I can really see myself using these to study other books in the future.


Leave a Comment