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ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals, Bringing light to God’s Word

ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals, Bringing light to God’s Word

When you think of illuminated religious texts, the lavish Book of Kells may come to mind, with its exotic pigments, intricate decorations, and ornate treatment of the gospel texts. Since the time of the early church, believers have expressed their great respect for Scripture by developing such beautiful works of art.

The practice of illumination – adding decoration to book manuscripts – dates back to the early fifth century and continued into the Middle Ages, when scribes, monks, and other artists used richly coloured pigments as well as gold and silver leaf to decorate the pages of books and Bibles. The glittering materials used were said to “light up” or illumine the text. By illuminating texts, skilled artists were able to beautify the pages of the Bible as a way to summarize, explain, and, ultimately, preserve its message.

Crossway, publisher of the ESV Bible, is now combining this great tradition of illumination with the discipline and practice of Scripture journaling to create the new ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals. 

The ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals pair the entirety of each book of the New Testament with a lightly dotted blank page opposite each page of Bible text. Wide margins and thick, opaque, cream-colored paper provides space to creatively engage with and reflect on the Word of God. 

Hand-lettered, gold-ink illustrations by renowned artist Dana Tanamachi are interspersed throughout the blank pages, inviting readers to add their own artwork or Bringing light to God’s Word. reflections to each page and to creatively engage with God’s Word alongside specific passages. These thin, portable notebooks have unique covers stamped with gold foil. 

Here are just three of the many ways readers can use the ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals to deepen their engagement with God’s Word and to enjoy the great beauty and richness of Scripture:

1. An artistic tool for Scripture engagement and remembrance

The ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals can be a useful tool to help sear the beauty and truth of God’s Word into the memory. By handwriting entire verses or passages of Scripture and creating unique artistic expressions of them, we can increase our ability to recall and remember the truths of Scripture in times when we need them most. As a student, I would often read and reread my assigned passages, hoping that repetition would enable me to capture what I needed. But the best way for me to increase my retention and enhance my learning was to write the words down myself. It’s as if the exercise of writing actually forged the material into memory.

2. A prayer journal

Sometimes we struggle to know how to pray. We desire to commune with God, but are simply unable to find the words. The ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals can be a useful tool to help us channel our thoughts and feelings Stephen Kopalchick, Director or Global Distribution, Crossway into words, and to seek God with things that matter deeply to Him. As we read Scripture, the Holy Spirit often shows us areas of our life that need changing or correction. Reflecting on God’s Word can also bring us great hope and encouragement. The ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals enable us to seek God in these ways.

3. A resource for small-group study and sermon notes

Today, many pastors preach expositionally, grounding their sermons and messages in the truths and riches of Scripture. In such settings, the ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals can be excellent tools for recording sermon notes that can be studied and recalled later during personal study time, and can be a great way to connect the spoken word to the text. In fact, since the ESV Scripture Journals have been released, some churches have purchased copies for all of their congregants to use in their study of individual books of the Bible.

ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals are available for purchase as individual books of the New Testament, or as a complete, 19-volume New Testament set.

Stephen Kopalchick, Director or Global Distribution, Crossway

 

 

 

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