Bible study

CSB Notetaking Bible review – A great gift item

I recently became a member of the B&H Blogger team, meaning that I’ll be receiving a copy of a book once a month to review. While I did receive this book for free, I was not paid for this review, and all commentary is my honest opinion. This is my first review for B&H, and I think it’s off to a pretty great start, as I loved this edition of the CSB. Looking for a lovely gift, or a personal study Bible? This might be just the thing, and it will run you less than $40 on Amazon!



The exterior design on this CSB is lovely

I’ve been told many times that I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I have to admit that the cover of this lovely little Bible definitely influenced my opinion. Obviously with a book, particularly a sacred text like a Bible, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but a beautiful botanical print on the cover just makes me want to open this book more than a plain cover. It’s a gorgeous exterior design.  I see online that it also comes in a more standard bonded leather cover as well, for those who don’t like cloth covers or perhaps for someone who isn’t in love with the design of the cloth cover like I am (seriously, I’m a sucker for pretty things, and if makes you more enthusiastic about Bible study, that’s totally a win, right?)


Interior design is feminine and clean

On the inside, the Bible is simply designed like most modern Bibles. But the fonts combined with the exterior color scheme have a cheerful, feminine vibe to them that is really pleasant. The serif body text font is pretty easy on the eyes, which I appreciate after a long day at the office or studying. The volume is actually not that huge considering the amount of space that the additional lines for journaling takes up — it fits comfortably in all but my smallest bags and doesn’t weigh down my backpack or purse too much if I take it on the go. The standard concordance and Bible maps are included for handy reference.


Holman Christian Standard translation is modern and readable

The language in the CSB is definitely modernized for our 21st century vocabularies, but it’s translated with the “optimal equivalence” philosophy, which basically means that the translators seek to preserve exact, word-for-word language where possible, but also prioritize readability and comprehensibleness for a modern audience. I’ve read the CSB before, but this is the first one that I’ve owned. I’ve been using it every day since I received it in the mail a couple of weeks ago, and so far I’m really pleased with it — for comparison, my go-to translations are ESV and NIV, and I’m also partial to the ASV.

Handy as a journaling tool

The main selling point on this particular version of the CSB is the journaling space. I’ve always struggled with running out of space to jot notes in the corners and margins of the various thin line and other study Bibles I’ve owned over the years, but not this one! A generous margin and rules on each side of every page offer plenty of space to take notes, although the artsier Bible journalers who like to draw pictures or watercolor definitely should look for other, rule-free options. Additionally, the pages are really really thin to keep the book at a reasonable size and weight with all the extra page space, so I recommend a thin, light-weight pen to prevent showing or even bleeding through onto the notes on the other side of a page.


The verdict: great as a gift or personal study Bible

Overall I’m really in love with this Bible and I’ve pretty much made it my main Bible for now. According to the terms of the B&H Blogger program, I’m not allowed to sell the books I receive, only keep or pass them on to a friend, and let me just say that I am definitely hanging onto this little jewel for myself. Due to the beautiful design (and reasonable price — $35 or so on Amazon), I think this Bible would make a great gift. It’s also fabulous for the frequent notetaker like myself.


Thanks for reading! Do you have an absolute favorite Bible, or one with a lot of sentimental value to you? Let me know below!

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