Jeremy Sarber / The Bible Readers Podcast

The ESV Scripture Journals are ideal for sermon note takers

During my Sunday sermons, I love to look at the congregation and see people taking notes. Not everyone listens best with a pen and paper in hand, but many do. Perhaps many more people would if they gave it a chance. My wife, for example, is a diligent note taker. She can nearly reproduce my sermon’s outline without ever seeing it.

As I prepare to release the debut episode of The Bible Readers Podcast, I hope listeners will make use of the material as they would a sermon series from their own pastor. I’d like to think they’ll open their Bible with me, follow along, and maybe even jot down a few notes as we go. We’ll make our way through the entirety of Luke’s Gospel during the first two or three seasons of the podcast. Surely, a handful of people will listen at home or the local coffee house where they’ll have an opportunity to take notes.

Most of us likely use a separate notebook when recording sermon highlights. We juggle both a Bible and journal on our laps unless you happen to own a journaling Bible. The problem with journaling Bibles is that they have limited space for writing. The ESV Interleaved edition might be the exception, but even it provides only one blank page for every forty verses of Scripture text. Plus, it’s a huge book which better serves as a pulpit Bible than the one you carry with you. See for yourself in my comparison of several Crossway Bibles.

The ESV Scripture Journals

Speaking of Crossway, publisher of the English Standard Version, they continue to set the standard for all Bible publishers by once again creating what promises to be a functional, albeit specific edition of God’s word. The ESV Scripture Journals are “individual books of the New Testament with lightly lined blank pages opposite each page of the biblical text, allowing readers to take extended notes or record insights and prayers directly beside corresponding passages of Scripture.”

Though I’ve not seen one with my own eyes yet—I can only pre-order them until their late-March release date—they offer 11.75-point type, cream-colored paper, single-column text, and lay-flat binding. These features are comparable to Crossway’s Reader’s Bible which is more than enough to make me giddy. Add ruled blank pages to the equation, and I become excited enough to embarrass myself in celebration.

Imagine how useful, not to mention convenient the ESV Scripture Journals will be if (1) your church uses the ESV Bible, (2) your pastor preaches verse by verse through entire books of the Bible, and (3) you enjoy taking notes during sermons. Of course, you may love these journals in your personal study, too.

Perhaps you’ve already added the Luke Scripture Journal to your wishlist in preparation for the first season of The Bible Readers Podcast. That may be wishful thinking on my part, but it would make a perfect companion. I may give away a few copies to members of The Bible Readers Community.

No longer will you need to balance a separate notebook on your lap or carry an oversized journaling Bible. You’ll have everything you need in one lightweight, 5.75” x 8” paperback book with large type and opaque pages. The ESV Scripture Journals are a sermon note taker’s dream come true.