Jeremy Sarber

The best notebooks for Bible study: ESV, KJV Scripture Journals

I’ve said it before and I don’t mind repeating myself. The best way to study the Bible is to study verse by verse, one book at a time. Ask me where to go to learn more about a given topic, and I’ll point you to an entire book rather than an isolated passage because there are no isolated passages. Each one has context, that is, the book in which it’s found. The full meaning of a passage will reveal itself only after we’ve slowly and carefully examined the whole book.

I won’t belabor the point. If you’ve ever tried it, you already know. If you haven’t, there’s only one way to find out whether my suggestion has any merit. You’ll have to pick a book, grab a pencil, and get to work. Immerse yourself in that one book for as long as it takes. Prayer and perhaps some coffee is recommended.

I’ve employed this method for years now. I have studied and preached through Genesis, Exodus, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Daniel, Jonah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Galatians, Ephesians, James, 1 Peter, and 1-3 John. I’ve also enjoyed a few less-intensive studies through Ezekiel, Hosea, Malachi, Acts, Romans, 1 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, Jude, and Revelation. That’s not to say I haven’t strayed into many topical studies, but I always come back to one book at a time.

You can imagine my glee when Crossway, the makers of the ESV Bible, first published its series of ESV Scripture Journals—the Bible text on one side, a blank page for notes on the other, all in conveniently sized, beautifully produced notebooks. I think I ordered my first copies the very week they debuted. I’ve purchased many more since, buying them for myself as well as every member of my church. I was even stirred to create a line of KJV Scripture Journals after someone remarked, I wish someone made those with the King James Version. I would love to use them.” Your wish is granted. Enjoy. I know you will.

While you could buy them one at a time, I like the idea of putting an entire set on the shelf. The empty journals will call out to you, Read me. Fill me with notes. There’s a wealth of spiritual treasure up here. What are you waiting for?”

If you’re a pastor committed to expository preaching, do what I’ve done in the past. Buy a corresponding journal for everyone in your church. Then, watch young and old alike follow your sermons with greater attention than ever before. You’ll also find their extracurricular study increases. These simple notebooks have proven to be tremendous tools in my experience.

In short, verse-by-verse book studies plus Scripture Journals equals edified, growing believers.

For your convenience, I’m listing all of the available journals here with links to online retailers. (Note: Westminster Bookstore offers discounts when buying in bulk.)

KJV Scripture Journals

This list is short, but I’m working to expand the series as we speak.

ESV Scripture Journals