It’s here! The new (and only) Catholic Journaling Bible is here and it’s beautiful! We’ve been waiting right? And this lovely Bible was definitely worth the wait. Now before I get into the details of this gorgeous Bible, some of you may be wondering, “What’s the big deal?” Well, the big deal is there are many Catholic women who want to journal in their Bibles, whether artistically with paints, stamps, tip-ins, and washi or writing down thoughts and reflections as they read, or a combination of both. Up until now, there has not been a specifically Catholic journaling Bible; a Bible that contains all the books of the Bible, also known as the Apocrypha. The wait is over for an authentic Catholic Journaling Bible so let’s get started! Oh, if you’d like to know more about why so many of us practice the spiritual discipline of Bible journaling, I have an ebook, Bible Journaling Tips, Inspiration, and Permission, explaining some of the reasons why and even how to get started.
The new Catholic Journaling Bible is a hardback Bible. According to the website, “The Bible is 6.25 x 9″. It has an Imprimatur from James A. Hickey, S.T.D., J.C.D., Archbishop of Washington. This Catholic Journaling Bible has no additional reflections. It has only the footnotes and endnotes from the NABRE text.” That’s the official word and specs, now let me share some pictures and first impressions with you.
First, the Catholic Journaling Bible is sturdy without being heavy and cumbersome. What this means to me is, I can take it with me when I sit in the car at piano or soccer practices and not worry about it getting “hurt.” It also means if I see a child carrying it, teen or toddler, my heart won’t stop beating and I won’t stop breathing for fear they will “hurt” my Bible. Are these feelings fairly common? Or am I the only one?
Next, the paper. I have a large print Catholic Bible I love, but the pages are tissue paper like, do you know what I mean? I like the sound when I’m turning the pages, but it’s difficult to find pens or highlighters that don’t bleed through. I will always refer to it as my forever Bible though because of the large print which I know I will need eventually. And that quickly brings us to font size. I don’t know what size the font is, seems like a standard font size, which gets smaller and smaller the older I get, but that’s on me and not the Bible! So the font is comparable to other Bibles. As I mention on my Bible Journaling page, if you’re looking for some slick, well put together Bible journaler, I am not your girl. If you’re looking for someone who loves God and His beautiful, amazing, and wonderful Word, I am totally your girl! I may not know font size, but I know look and feel.
On to the layout in the Catholic Journaling Bible. This is a single column journaling Bible, which means exactly what it sounds like, the scriptures are in a single column on the page. Next to the scriptures is a two inch wide, lined margin. The lines are dark enough that if you’re writing and note taking as part of your journaling, you have lines to follow. They are not so dark, at least in my opinion, that if you’re getting your creative on with stamps, stickers, paints, and washi, the lines interfere. Best of both worlds in my, “sometimes I write and sometimes I paint–color–draw in my Bible,” opinion.
At the bottom of the page, the footnotes are double column and amazing so far! Normally when I’m journaling or studying particular verses, I have a plethora of tabs open on my computer comparing translations and notes. When I briefly did a little written journaling in Philippians the other night, I was pleasantly surprised at how thorough the footnotes were. My favorite three references when I’m studying the Bible are the Haydock Bible (also found online here), the Ignatius Press Study Bible (New Testament), and the English Standard Version for cross-reference, found here online. As I worked through Philippians 4, I didn’t feel slighted or cheated in the footnote department.
Now let’s talk about the pretty little details, the gold embossing, the botanical illustrations, and the hand lettering. I could easily sum this up by saying they are just the right touch to this gorgeous Bible. Pretty and decorative without being intrusive or overpowering. The soul, whether it is aware of this or not, is always drawn to truth and beauty. This Bible possesses both in the supernatural and natural forms. The scriptures state the Word of God is living and active and this beautiful Bible is a fitting dwelling for God’s Truth.
I did an informal pen test in the back of the Catholic Journaling Bible. There really wasn’t a clear winner or loser. I was looking for how much the pen bled through or left shadowing on the back side of the page. If I had to choose a loser, I would say the Papermate Flair. And if I had to choose a winner, I mean really had to, I would probably choose the Papermate Inkjoy 300, partly because it’s retractable so I couldn’t lose the lid. Just telling you like it is. Here’s a list of the pens I tested, with links. This may be trial and error for you though. Bleed through and shadowing can bother different people differently.
As I mention in the flip through video below, I will be journaling and verse mapping in the Catholic Journaling Bible this year. And as part of that, I will be showing you more of my journaling, both artistically–if you can call it that, and verse mapping now that I have these margins to keep all my Bible journaling notes contained in one place!
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I will try to answer them for you or you may find what you’re looking for on my Bible Journaling page.
Here is a link to another blogger who performed her own pen test in the new Catholic Journaling Bible.