Review for the NLT Ispire Journaling Bible – a beautiful Bible packed full of illustrations for coloring and wide margins for adding your own doodles, pictures and notes.
A couple of years ago, I discovered the Inspire Journaling Bible, and immediately placed an order for the flexibound version. I initially bought it for the coloring pages sprinkled throughout the book. You see, I love coloring, particularly Bible verses.
And this lovely Bible did not disappoint! It has over 400 pictures to color. Most of these are pictures in the margins, but there are several full page or half page illustrations.
And now I am just starting to draw / trace my own designs in the margins and so I am finding that this Bible is a great journaling Bible for beginners.
So let’s take a look at the pros and the cons.
Inspire Journaling Bible – The Pros
This Bible has been getting raving reviews on Amazon. When I last checked, there were well over 900 reviews and more than 800 of those gave it a 5 star rating. Let me show you why! 🙂
Please note – this post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase through my link, you pay nothing extra, but I receive a small commission. Thank you.
This NLT Journaling Bible is very feminine and pretty. Just take a look at the cover and some of the pages. (Please note that I bought the flexibound version. The other versions have a different cover and the pattern on the side is different):
The endpages including a lovely dedication page:
There is a really pretty design on the outsides of the pages:
And of course, there are the many delightful illustrations throughout the book. Here are some of the ones I have colored. Scroll down a little to see more about the coloring pages.
The NLT Inspire Journaling Bible is a great size for carrying around – not too big or too small. (6.5″ x 8.25″ x 2″ / 16cm x 21cm x 4cm) – the box it comes in is a bit bigger. Weight without box: 2lb 3oz / 1 kg.
Some people received their Bible in a protective sleeve. Mine came in an opening box. Either way, it is great to be able to store such a beautiful book in a solid container for protection.
The Bible has a smyth-sewn binding. (Smyth-sewn? I had to go look that up!) Basically it is a method of stitching the pages together so that the book is very durable and is able to be opened completely so that it lies flat and stays open at the page you turn to (except for the very end pages). This is essential for when you are coloring or creating on a particular page. You don’t want to be battling with a Bible that keeps wanting to close!
Inside the Inspire Journaling Bible
The NLT (New Living Translation) is is a thought-for-thought translation making it an easy to read and understand. It is a very suitable version for reading aloud or for your own private devotions. I love it for general reading but when I really want to study the text, I prefer to turn to one of my other versions.
The margins in my version are about 2 inches (5cm) wide. You can use the margins for adding your own pictures or for writing notes as you read the Bible, listen to sermons, do a word study, or for recording prayers.
There are a few footnotes about some of the words and phrases which have been translated, some explanations about different manuscripts’ wording, some cultural and historical information to help the reader to better understand the text.
There is an index of the coloring pages available in the last few pages. This makes it easier to locate the pictures you have already colored or even to make a note of the next ones you want to color.
The Coloring Pages
- Each book of the Bible has a decorative heading and a focus verse from that book.
- Many of the illustrations are word art, which gets you focusing on the words of the Scriptures rather than on coloring pictures. (And I must confess to having a bit of a fascination for fonts 🙂 ) But there are also the ever popular flowers, butterflies and other pictures to help make the verse more visual.
- Not every page has a design to be colored. This enables you to write your own notes or draw your own design.
- With over 400 illustrations to color, this Bible should keep you going for quite some time! When choosing colors for your coloring pages, you could consider looking at color theory to find colors which go together well. If you are using color on two facing pages,I think it looks very effective if you match colors. And if you color-code your Bible, you may like to match the colors you use for your highlighting.
- These illustrations are suitable for all ages, making this Bible suitable for any of the females in your life. And even some males may like it too.
- Even if you don’t think that you are artistic, I recommend you pull out some coloring pencils and have a go at coloring some of the beautiful pictures in this book. If you really can’t bring yourself to color, you can just leave the illustrations as they are with out coloring. You will still have a beautiful book. And remember, you can still write notes in the wide margins.
- As you color, you can be filling your mind with the word of God by meditating on the verse. I always recommend reading the verse in context (that is, read the surrounding verses) to get a proper understanding of what the verse means.
Here are some of the illustrations already colored (from my pinterest board)
Inspire Journaling Bible – The Cons
Font and Picture Size
I find the font size quite readable, but it may be a bit small for some older people to read. However there is a different version with larger print size. This large-print version has the same content as the regular version, just bigger (larger font size and line-art illustrations).
Some of the designs are quite small and you may find it difficult to color inside the lines. So why not try coloring outside the lines. This can look quite stunning. Alternatively, the large-print Bible has bigger illustrations.
The pages are quite thin. Of course many Bibles have thin pages because of the number of pages in them! (If the pages were thicker, it would be a very fat Bible and be much heavier.)
But this does mean that you do need to be careful about bleed-through. But because most of the pictures are in the margins, even if the color does bleed through, it will only affect the margin on the page on the other side. Here are some suggestions:
- I have found that using my colored pencils caused no problems. I do use a sheet of card or paper behind the page I am coloring, but this was only to avoid denting the next few pages because the pencil shows on the other side only very slightly.
- If you really like to use pens, the first few pages and the last one are thicker and come covered with pictures of flowers, butterflies, and birds.
- You could first draw a design on some translucent paper (such as deli paper) which you can see through. You then can use pens or paint on this paper, cut it out and glue it into your Bible.
- Some readers paint their pages first with and even, thin coat of Golden Acrylic Satin Glazing Liquid. Make sure you let the glazing liquid dry completely before drawing on it or closing the Bible.
- If you find that a medium you use has bled through to the back of the page, you could always print out a design on just normal paper, color it, cut it out and glue it over the back of the bleeding design.
- Actually, thin pages are very helpful when tracing a design into the margin. 🙂
Some Things you Won’t Find in the Inspire Journaling Bible
There are no detailed study notes, cross-references, concordance or Bible maps. If you want these, you’ll have to get a different version or get some other reference books to use along side this one.
Final Thoughts on the NLT Inspire Journaling Bible
Once decorated, the Inspire journaling Bible would make a gorgeous family or personal keepsake. One reader suggested getting each of her family members and friends to choose a favorite Bible verse illustration, color it, sign it, and date it.
This Bible would also make a delightful gift. There is a gorgeous gifting / dedication page with illustrations of flowers and birds. Even if the recipient isn’t into coloring, the illustrations make the Bible look really attractive. It would make a great gift for a teenage girl to encourage her to read her Bible.
I love the Inspire Journaling Bible for coloring but it is also a great introduction for those interested in getting into Bible journaling with many beautiful illustrations to inspire and many blank margins to try your own journaling. Coloring the provided illustrations freed me up to not worry about ‘messing up’ the Bible with my own designs.
You can buy this Bible from Amazon.
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What do you think? Have you tried Bible journaling?