Do you study your Bible? I don’t mean devotional reading. I mean, do you sit down with your Bible, a journal, Greek/Hebrew resources and some commentaries, to unpack God’s word? If you are a serious student of God’s word, you’ll love this journal. Pastors study to prepare for sermons, Teachers study to instruct, Evangelists study to make the gospel known, Apologists study to make reasonable arguments, Christians study to be discipled. As Christians we all should be studying God’s word. Out of the available tools we have at our disposal, recording our thoughts on paper is one of the most effective ways of revisiting them. Considering the above callings, it is very beneficial.
As a student, I’m often frustrated with the journals available on the market today. They don’t open flat. You always are fighting the cover of the journal. They are small. You can’t fit all of your thoughts from the entire Bible in one journal. You end up with several unmatched journals floating around your house. It ruins the continuity. I also find that I lose them. If you are going to a few different places in your Bible during a lesson, you have to remember which journals you wrote in. You have to gather them and bring them with you. The covers are usually flimsy card paper or moleskin.
I realize some of you might be wondering what the fuss is about. “Isn’t that why the invented wide margin Bibles?” Well, yes and no. Anyone who has used a wide margin Bible has run into the problem of not having ruled lines. This might not seem like a big problem to those of you who have been blessed with the “spiritual gift” of beautiful handwriting. (just kidding. I know that is not one of the gifts.) No ruled lines, is a real problem for me. My notes meander all over the margin, not to mention that there is never enough room for some of the most elementary notables to be notated 🙂 While, wide margins have their place, they don’t fit the bill for some of us. Space is the next issue with wide margin Bibles. There is never enough blank space for notes. You can never seem to get all of what you are thinking down on the paper next to the verses you are meditating on.
I often wonder what will happen to all of my journals? They are all disorganized, and haphazard. Will my kids toss them out after I’m gone? Will they know what is in them? I want to have my all of my ruminations in one volume, organized, durable, functional, and easily referenced. On more than a few occasions, I’ve wondered if that was too much to ask. After talking to several other Christian friends over the years, I found that I wasn’t alone. We just consigned ourselves to the notion that our notes would forever be a collage of our faith journeys.
I’m glad to say that someone has finally remedied this malady. The JOT Bible Life-Notes is the perfect receptacle for your meditations, ruminations, and contemplations. It matches your Bible in looks and size. It is a fitting companion to bring to the pulpit with your trusty Bible. It looks like a Bible, but it isn’t.
It matches the Bible book, chapter, and verse. For every verse of the Bible there are two ruled lines with the verse number next to them, printed on fine, acid free, highly opaque, 42 g.s.m. Bible paper! I mean what!? You’ve got to be kidding me! That is far superior to most paper used in Bible printing, and they have an entire journal made from it, sweeeeeeet! I don’t know if you can tell from the pictures, but I am a pencil masher. I tend to push pencils and pens through the page when I write. If I am writing on thin paper, fogehtaboutit… I hope you can tell from the pictures that this paper holds up to pencil quite well. I would recommend pencil, as you can go back and edit notes later on. We are always learning more, every time we read the Bible so sometimes you have to go back and add things to your notes or fix misunderstood verses. Pencil erases nicely from this paper without leaving the paper wounded.
I did write notes in John 1 in black ink. This section of scripture will always assure me of Christ’s power, and the truth of God’s Word. This is what it looks like when you use ink. Just be sure it is something you aren’t going to change. I will only use pencil for the rest of my notes.
The printing of the lines and features of this journal is done in a consistent fashion. I haven’t noticed any breaks in the lines. The page edges are gold gilt.
The JOT comes in a heavy duty two piece box that should be retained for storage. It is seriously built better than most Bible boxes.
The cover is supposed to be genuine leather. I can’t place it though. It seems too nice to be pigskin leather, but it is tougher than other cowhide leather covers. Regardless, it is flexible and durable. It is a work of form and function.
The binding is a smythe-sewn spine in a case bound cover. The spine of the JOT Bible Life-Notes is ornamented with five raised spine hubs. The perimeter is stitched. There is a presentation page in the front that includes a spot for you to write your contact information incase you lose your journal so that the person who finds it can get it back to you.
There are three ribbon markers in, black, red, and blue. This thing is pretty much built like a quality Bible, but beefed up for note taking. Again, to be clear, THIS IS NOT A BIBLE, IT IS A JOURNAL!!! Don’t buy this thinking it is a Bible. I know it looks like one, but it isn’t.
So just to recap the high points here; durable, useful, all your notes in one place, attractive, helpful, heirloom possibilities, preaching aid, study tool, memoirs from time with God’s word.
To be honest there is only one drawback that comes to mind. It is a hefty tome, but if you know anything about book design, you’d know there are finite attributes that are interrelated. When you change one thing it affects the others. Using thick paper, and giving us room to write, necessitates a larger volume. It can’t be helped. I’d much rather have ample room along with function and form than have all form. This thing is meant for work and does not need to be forgiven for that. So if you are in the market for a high quality depository for all of your meditations instead of just a smattering of them, this is the journal for you. Give it a try and recommend it to your friends, I know I am. Make sure to check out all of the close up pictures I took of this journal on my flickr page here. You can purchase yours on Amazon. You can also check out their site here.