Three years after graduating from college, I was finally settling into my extremely difficult job of teaching needy junior high kids choir. So, I decided to join a Bible Study in my area. They were studying books of the Bible I had never studied before: Habakkuk and Micah, Zephaniah and Haggai. Fascinating!
I read the Bible and the study notes. I answered the questions and listened to the weekly lecture. And, I fell in love with God’s Word once again.
Isn’t that the way it goes? Ups and downs in life. We’re closer to God and then further away. We read the Bible daily, and then sometimes not for months.
That’s the main reason I want to share the ESV Illuminated Bible review with you today. I’m hoping that it will encourage you to get back into God’s Word. Or, if you have never had a habit of reading it, to start reading it!
–>>You can also enter to win a copy of the ESV Illuminated Bible at the end of this post.<<–
What you’ll find in the ESV Illuminated Bible
The ESV Illuminated Bible contains the full English Standard Version of the Bible on thick cream-colored paper. There is a single column of text and a very wide margin. Some of the margins include elegantly hand-lettered gold ink verses of Scripture that correlate to what is on that page.
Overall, there are 500 gorgeous illustrations by renowned artist Dana Tanamachi. Some are full-page illustrations. You’ll find one at the beginning of every book of the Bible. At the end, there is a description of what each illustration is.
Who is Dana Tanamachi?
More Features of the ESV Illuminated Bible
- Hardback and Cloth-Covered
- Comes with a Cardboard Slipcase to carry it with and keep it safe
- Wide margins make it easy to journal or add artwork to the pages in order to understand the passage better.
- The verses that are “illuminated” are perfect for memorizing! Use those to work on memorizing Scripture.
- Has a ribbon bookmark
- I love the beautiful “presented to” page at the front of the Bible
- 9-point Lexicon black letter text
- 2-color printing
- 64 full-page, custom book opener illustrations
- 50 full-page verse illustrations
- 250+ hand-lettered margin verses
- 100+ other illustrations throughout
What I Liked
Journaling Bibles help me dig deeper into God’s Word. I love reading and re-reading (i.e. meditating) on the Scripture to really understand what’s being said and what God wants me to get out of the passage. Here is an example of how I do this:
The margins at the top, bottom, and sides are generous and will allow for ample writing, artwork, stickers, etc. I used some gel pens, and they didn’t bleed through!
I decided to give this Art Journaling Edition version of the ESV Illuminated Bible to my artist daughter since I already have a journaling Bible. Here is her first experience of adding artwork to it. I can’t wait to see what else she does!
What I didn’t like
There are no maps. I always like maps in the Bibles I use. Also, the references at the top of the pages are indented which makes it very difficult to flip through quickly to find a passage. You have to slow down to look into the middle of the pages–definitely should be fixed if these are ever reprinted.
Giveaway of the ESV Illuminated Bible
(Giveaway has ended.)
Enter on the Rafflecopter app below. Continental U.S. residents only, please. Winner will be chosen on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
Crystal Arcand says
ESV is my favorite version, and I really like the format and design as a typesetter.
Fantastic idea! Thank you for the opportunity!
I have wanted a journaling Bible for awhile now. This one is really beautiful! I would really like to use it for our family devotion and Bible study times. How wonderful it would be if my husband and all four kids could join me in journaling and illustrating it. A family Bible!
Krissy McLean says
I would love to win this because I’ve recently become interested in studying with the ESV and this Bible would be great to keep notes in.
My husband is a bi-vocational pastor and graphic artist. He had just mentioned today he’d like one of these!
This is gorgeous! I can imagine really be motivated to take notes and be creative while reading this bible.
Lydia Joy Slater says
I am interested in going through the whole Bible once again, and also am interested in the job naming aspect.
Dana Matthews says
I would love to share this with my niece Gracea. Learning to journal would enhance her walk with Jesus.
Corrie D. says
This Bible looks beautiful! Thank you for this giveaway opportunity!
Cindy Fontenot says
This is a beautiful cover for our Treasure! I would love to win it! Thanks!
Gina @ Oaxacaborn says
This is so gorgeous! I’ve always been fascinated by medieval illuminated manuscripts, and this is such an accessible way to enjoy similar loveliness.
Shera R says
What a beautiful Bible! Thank you for sharing.
April D says
It is absolutely beautiful! I would love to use this as our family Bible for our nightly prayer time. We often read from the Bible, as well, and it would be a wonderful way to allow the children to take turns taking notes that our family can remember forever.
Amy Lehman says
This bible looks gorgeous. I would love to own this. Thank you for the giveaway.
Beth S says
I like ESV because it easier to understand., This Bible is beautiful.
Striking. How meaningful to see the Word displayed so gloriously!
Jessica Elliott says
I’ve never tried a journalling Bible, but this one looks great.
I love the designs and beautiful illustrated phrases/verses inside, and also the spaces to add your own journaling comments/pictures.
Kim Forthofer says
What a beautiful Bible!
The Bible is beautiful and I love reading the Bible
Rebekah G. says
It would be great to win this Bible. I would love to use it for my Bible study.
Lisa Joy Starr says
When getting my bachelor’s and master’s degrees thru Liberty University online, I had to take many theology and bible courses and every professor I had told us that there were 3 translations that closely aligned with the original text and ESV was one of those translations. I have a couple of journaling Bibles, one of them has nothing to color, but this one is very beautiful.
My husband prefers the ESV, and his Bible was recently stolen (they must have needed it!). I would love to be able to give him a new Bible, and see how he likes the wide margins.
The ESV is my favorite version of the Bible, and the Illuminated Bible is just beautiful!
Our church uses the ESV, and my daughter has asked for a journaling bible.
Looks like a neat gift.
Jennifer Hodge says
I really love this Bible. I wonder though if I’d be able to write in it? It’s so beautiful!
Judith Martinez says
I’ve been wanting to have an ESV on hand for a long time and this would be a beautiful option.
Delia Jones says
We studied the Middle Ages last year & I enjoyed reading about the monks illuminating scripture. This is a nice modern spin on that.
Jessi Strom says
Patti P says
I would like be this Bible for its beautiful illustrations and journaling space.
Stacy R says
I love the ESV translation. I found your blog through a link on facebook. Thanks for the chance to win a Bible and for your thorough reviews! Much appreciated!
Ashley Dryja says
This will be my first journaling Bible. It’s beautiful and looks like it would withstand my doodling. Thank you for the chance to win!
I love the cover, it’s so pretty!! I’d love to win this, I have the perfect person to give it to… it would be her first Bible and she would love it!
MARY M says
I would like to have a copy of this Bible. I have read about the ESV Bible and it sounds like a good one
Teresa Guel says
Lovely, thank you for the opportunity !
Sarah P. says
I would love to win this Bible. I have been using a Bible app for a while, but I really prefer the paper versions. I have seen some beautiful NIV and NKJV versions, but I would really prefer an ESV. Thanks for a chance to win!
This looks really beautiful.
Amy Toombs says
This is such a beautiful way to do my daily reading!
Heather s says
I would love to have a bible like this to have room to take notes and decorate pages a bit!
Looks like a great bible!