I color in my Bible (CSB Notetaking Bible Review)

This is my 2nd Bible review for BH Bloggers! This time around I received the CSB Notetaking Bible:

 I love that these Bibles lately have been coming in boxes. I love these boxes for keeping my Bibles safe and protected from the elements! Here’s the Bible itself:

Isn’t it pretty? I’m a sucker for light green and flowers. I want a bedspread with this color/floral combination, please!

The Bible itself is a CSB translation, which I already have been using thanks to my She Reads Truth Bible. I like it a lot! Like the SRT Bible, it has a One Year Bible plan, a Concordance, color maps and charts, and a readable (8pt) font. I thought the font would be too small at first, but thanks to the style of the font, it’s easy to read despite its smallness.

One of the draws to this Bible is in the name: it’s single-columned and designed for notetaking, with wide (1.75 inch) lined margins:

Per the back of the box, you can use your margins for a variety of things, including “make observations, record insights, raise questions, and suggest to yourself additional exploration of the text.”

It’s usable for sermon notes, writing out scripture, study notes– whatever kind of notes for Bible reading you’d keep in a separate journal or notebook can be done right alongside the scripture here!

As a Bible journaler, I use my wide-margined Bible for art/creative journaling. I decided to test that out with this Bible since it’s the first wide-margined Bible I’ve had with lined paper. I was curious if the lines would be helpful or distracting when it came to lettering or painting/coloring.

The verdict? I liked them! ESPECIALLY for lettering/wording things. I’ve always had handwriting issues, and writing in a straight line has been one of those issues– writing on unlined paper meant my writing would always end up slant or crooked. The lines helped me keep my lettering much straighter, along with placement of my letter stickers:

And? Once I painted/wrote over them, the lines were mostly not noticeable– they faded into the background (literally). They showed up a little more on the lighter background of my 2nd entry, but they didn’t bother me.


So far, I’ve only done 2 entries in this Bible. The 1st one was Advent inspired, and Bible-wise, it didn’t go so well.

I used gelatos (my FAVORITE coloring tool for Bible journaling) but for some reason, the gelatos just didn’t get along with the paper in this Bible. the page immediately scrunched up, making it look wrinkly.

The other thing I noticed is that the color from the gelatos wasn’t showing up well. Like, I’d color the page, but the page wasn’t absorbing the color if that makes sense. So I added more color, which ended up causing THIS to happen:

Yep, it ripped. Now, I’m not exactly the most gentle person when it comes to artsy stuff in general, but I take extra care with my Bible journaling– so I was surprised this happened! Then, THIS happened:

It’s kinda hard to see between all the color, but the page tore. Right. in. the. middle. of. the. page. I WAS NOT HAPPY. I literally taped it back together. I started to wonder if this Bible was going to be okay for journaling at this point if the pages rip so easily.

Once I finished, I liked the end product, but overall, wasn’t impressed with the quality I was able to achieve thanks to the wrinkled/ripped page.

 (the quote is from an advent poem by Madeline L’Engle, “First Coming”)


I did a 2nd entry a few days later, for My One Word.

Instead of using my gelatos, I used my IF watercolor set for the background. It still wrinkled (grr) but it was very minimal compared to the first entry.

And yes, I know using gesso or a primer would help avoid wrinkling altogether, but I don’t have the kind of patience for that nonsense. It’s not the wrinkling that bothers me as much as the scrunching up of the page, making it hard to paint/write on. I’ve not had that issue with my other journaling Bible.

Once the background dried, I used my alpha stickers for the words (and used the lines to mostly line them up, though some of the letters wouldn’t cooperate).

I used  Faber-Castell artist pens and a sharpie to letter/fill in “bold,” and to write a little prayer card (the “2018” underneath). I used my tape runner to tape “bold” and washi for my prayer so I could open it up and read it.

No rips or tears on this entry, and minimal wrinkling! Now this Bible holds journaling promise again.

Entry #1 had some minor bleedthrough, and the 2nd one was only noticeable if you looked up close (and even then it’s not too bad!).

Overall, it’s a good Bible– great for note-taking, sermon-writing, Bible study, and more. Though honestly, I would not recommend for Bible journaling, unless you do not plan on paint/watercolor. I’ll keep using it, but will tread lightly with my creative endeavors. If I was purchasing a new journaling Bible, I’d want one with thicker, more sustainable pages, but overall, it’s a great Bible I’d recommend for all the other things!


*I received a copy of this Bible from B&H/Lifeway Bloggers in exchange for an honest review 

* affiliate links used in this post 

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