Dig Deeper into Scripture (‘Journal the Word’ Bible Review)

Gold Brush Stroke

In the United States, the day we focus on giving thanks is almost upon us. And I’m giving away a Bible in the last of my Giving Thanks by Giving Gifts series.

The Holy Bible: God’s Word, His Gospel, His truth, His promises for us, His love letter to us. It’s fitting to give such a gift away this week, because the very words of God hold the very reason we have anything to give thanks for! 

The Holy Bible: The very words of God hold the very reason we have anything to give thanks for! Share on X

Journal the Word Bible

Journal the Word Bible, large print

Stepping Into a Journaling Bible

I journal often. I write in my Bible often.

Yet as much as I’ve journaled and as often as I underline and squeeze in thoughts in my Bible, I’ve never tried a journaling Bible. I’ve wanted to, but I guess I’m a bit scared.

It’s partly because I’m not incredibly artistic. Creating something visually appealing and meaningful takes work on my part. 

I see the beautiful images capturing the essence of Scripture verses by friends like Rachel Wojo and Jana Kennedy-Spicer and think, I can never do that. However, who said I have to create beautiful entries in a journaling Bible? After all, I rarely do so in my current Bible or even in my journal.

In a journaling Bible, I can continue to scribble out my thoughts if that’s what works for me. It’ll be even better, though, because I’ll have room to do so!

And then The Blythe Daniel Agency and The BlogAbout Network took away any final excuses I had. They provided a perfect opportunity for me to give Bible journaling a try by offering me two copies of the NKJV large print version of Thomas Nelson’s Journal the Word Bible … one to keep and one to give away. 

Journal the Word Bible, large print

So I’m going to try this thing called Bible journaling. And I’m going to give myself permission to be myself (not Rachel or Jana [although I love them both]) while doing so. I give you permission too!

If you like to create beautiful images or stylish entries around a certain verse, go for it. If you find more meaning in jotting down your thoughts as fast as they spill out, do that. When it comes to Bible journaling, do you!

You don't have to be artistic to use a journaling Bible. For Bible journaling do you, whatever that looks like! Share on X

So now for the lowdown on the Bible you could win! 

Journal the Word Review

Remember, I’m reviewing this Bible as a person who hasn’t previously used a journaling Bible. I’ve always squeezed my thoughts between the verses in my regular Bible.

So as a beginning journaling Bible user, the thing I appreciate most about the Journal the Word Bible is the abundant space available for recording my thoughts. It offers a wide outside margin to label, define, extrapolate, or expand a word or verse without crowding things together.

I really like that the margins have muted lines to keep text straight yet not be obtrusive when creating something more artistic.

Other features I like in this Bible include

  • a slick, elastic strap to keep this hardback version closed
  • an attached bookmark ribbon to mark your spot
  • the words of Jesus printed in red 
  • that the Bible lays flat when set on a table
  • footnotes that provide significant textual explanations, alternate translations, and New Testament citations of Old Testament passages
  • the easy-to-read aspect of this particular large-print version
  • the cream color of the pages, making it easy on the eyes

The aspect of the Journal the Word Bible I dislike the most is the lack of a concordance. For someone who often has tangent thoughts while in the Word, a concordance is a huge asset. I was truly disappointed to find it missing.

Other things I didn’t care for in this version of a journaling Bible include

  • the absence of maps or supporting documents
  • the relative thinness of the pages: dry highlighters and pencils are fine to use, although “wet” highlighters bleed through, and the text on the backside of the pages can be seen

Overall, the Journal the Word Bible by Thomas Nelson provides a great way to record your reflections and questions about Scripture verses. It offers room to express your heart visually and through the written word when a particular verse prompts a reaction. 

Used in conjunction with a good concordance and commentary, it would be a wonderful tool for processing what the Lord has to say through Scripture. The journaling aspect of this Bible also makes it a helpful tool for Bible memorization. 


So, ready to give Bible journaling a try? Follow the prompts in the Rafflecopter widget for multiple chances to win the Journal the Word Bible, large print edition, from Thomas Nelson Publishers, and be sure to share this opportunity!

Journal the Word Bible hardcover

a Rafflecopter giveaway

“Give thanks to the God of heaven! His love is eternal.” Psalm 136:26

Reflections: Do you currently have a journaling Bible? What do you most appreciate about it? How do you most often use it to express your thoughts: visually or in words? 

It’s been more than 5 years of counting and I’ve well passed 5,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! Here are numbers #5524–5544. Read my entire list by clicking here.

  • *Pleasantly surprised by the timing of the publication of a guest post I wrote; *Doing some in-depth research into aspects of Advent; *Connecting with online friends who guide and encourage
  • *Morning fog over the lake; *Privilege to pray over my children; *Connecting with a super nice lady from DHS who really cared and wanted to help
  • *Being able to offer a little support by serving at the funeral luncheon for a grieving family; *Taking senior pictures with Rachel; *Tucking my children into bed each night
  • *Walk-jogging in short-sleeves in Iowa on November 17; *Listening to the pheasants call as they glided across our prairie; *Cuddling & enjoying the antics of 5 cute little kittens
  • *Gifting #EverydayPraise to a dear elderly friend; *Introducing Mom to HuHots with Danny; *Talking future with my man
  • *Getting a start on my Christmas candy making; *The best comfort meal: split pea soup and cornbread with maple syrup; *Partnering with Hubby to show Danny and Joey how to play 500 (okay, so maybe they won more
  • *Morning Bible study and worship with Daniel joining us; *Thanksgiving tree put together; *Couple’s Bible study with fun, faith-filled friends


*affiliate links present in this post

*Two copies of this book were received from BlogAbout Network and Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are my own. 

By His Grace,



  1. Bettie G on November 21, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    I have a journal and a Bible, but have not tried the new combination of both together. I think the new ways to be creative in our Bible studies are all beautiful!

    • Julie Sunne on November 21, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      I agree, Bettie, as long as our main focus remains the reading and hearing of the words God has for us through His Holy Scriptures. I’m interested in trying this journaling Bible.

  2. Nicci on November 22, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Ohhhhhh I wanna win!!!!!!! 🙂 I am a subscriber 🙂

    • Julie Sunne on November 24, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      I’m so glad you are a subscriber, Nicci, and I hope you do win. 🙂

  3. Cecelia Lester on November 22, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    I like the idea of a Journal Bible. I prefer the NIV, so I will pass on the drawing.I like a Bible with maps or study helps. I thank you for your objectivity in your review.

  4. Nicci on December 5, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you soooo much!!!!!!

    • Julie Sunne on December 11, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      You’re welcome, Nicci. I’m excited for you.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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