Journaling Bibles have grown in popularity. In recent years, some have chosen to add artwork to their Bibles as part of their meditation on the word. The NIV Artisan Collection seeks to enhance this with its own stylishly designed exterior and wide-margin interior. If you’ve been seeking a journaling Bible like this one for a daughter, granddaughter, or Bible class student, here are some pros and cons to consider:
- Beautiful cloth-over-board hardbound cover with foil embossing
- Gold-leaf pages
These pages look blue when Bible lays flat, but it complements the gold-foil emboss on the cover of the bible.
- The binding allows the Bible to lay flat which is nice both for adding artwork or notes and/or reading. It does not try to shut on you even when you are in Genesis (at the beginning) or in Revelation (at the end)
- Wide, lightly lined margins, for artwork & notes
(For my artwork, I used Micron Bible Pens and Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils.)
- Lined section in the back of the Bible for additional notes (11 pages)
- Space between chapters for additional notes and/or artwork
- Typeface. The font is called “Exclusive NIV Comfort Print typeface 9.5 pt.” From a style standpoint, the font has some personality, but from a readability standpoint, it’s terrible. The font is far too bold and fatigues the eyes. Its boldness is not mitigated with wider line spacing or an increase in size, which could potentially assist in making this easier on the eyes. Like all bibles, there is a certain amount of show-through from the previous page, but this further aggravates the problem. (My oldest daughter did not seem to mind the typeface, but my middle daughter found it irritating.)
- Occasional show-through from writing—even with “Bible” pens and pencils.
- Limited tools for study. While this version does have the occasional footnote, there are no cross-reference notes in the margins or at the foot of the page. This Bible does not include a concordance or any maps. The only study-aid included is a table of weights and measures following the book of Revelation.
- Words of Jesus in Red. Again, this is a readability issue. Depending on your preference this could be a pro or con. (My personal preference is to have the entire text in black because it is easier for me to read.)
- Prophecies in the New Testament are slightly indented but not italicized. This might not be a con for you, but I like to see prophetic references emphasized in the New Testament either by use of italics or strong indentation. That is not done in this Bible.
This NIV Artisan Collection Bible would be a great choice as a gift for a girl who enjoys hand-lettering or artwork. With the exception of the typography, the overall design is beautiful and I was impressed with its binding and quality paper. The typeface would prevent me from purchasing this Bible because ease of reading is of paramount importance to me in any Bible. This, again, is only a personal preference. I hope the pictures provide you with an idea of how the text appears for your own evaluation. This would not be a good study Bible if you need cross-references or other study tools, but if you prefer not to read without footnotes, this is an excellent choice for you.
Visit Bible Gateway to find other variations of this Bible in the Artisan collection. There are two additional styles for adults and there is an additional option of choosing the NRSV translation. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below!
I received a copy of this Bible for free as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid for the purpose of honest, unbiased review. I received no monetary compensation for this review. This Bible is available for purchase at Bible Gateway. I do not receive any affiliate money through clicks or links.