Book Review: “Acts Journible: The 17:18 series”

romans journible
A Romans Journible

This is a Journible.

Is it a journal? Yes.

Is it is Bible? Yes.

It’s a Journible.

What is It?

Let me explain. Basically, the Journible is a hardback journal meant for writing out the text of Scripture. The top of the pages have the section of Scripture meant to be written out, and  verse numbers to guide the writer along.

I’d seen this before and always thought it’d be a neat thing to use–but I actually was totally wrong about what it was. I thought it was the complete text of the book–I thought that the Acts Journible was the complete text of Acts–just with extra space on the sides for writing, commenting, drawing, doodling, or whatever. I was wrong. The book does not supply the text, you supply the text. This is the journal aspect of the idea: you journal the actual text of Scripture.

On the left side of the page there are questions related to the text you’re supposed to be writing. They’re meant to take the reader deeper into the Scriptures through cross references or questions for further study.

What’s it for?

The publisher writes on the inside cover:

Why the 17:18 series? In Deuteronomy 17, Moses is leaving final instructions concerning the future of Israel. As a prophet of God, Moses foretells of when Israel will place a king over the nation (v. 14). In verse 18, the king is commanded to not simply acquire a copy of the law (the entire book of Deuteronomy) from the “scroll publishing house,” but to hand write his own copy of the law. Thirty-four hundred years later, educators are “discovering” that students that physically write out their notes by hand have a much greater retention rate than simply hearing or visually reading the information. Apparently, God knew this to be true of the kings of Israel also.

Essentially, the Journible is aimed at bringing Christians back to the text of Scripture, and encouraging readers to slow down and and write it out.

Evaluation

You must understand that I was totally surprised by what it actually was, and for that reason was, at first, a bit disappointed. I thought it was going to be the complete text of Acts and when it didn’t have any text of Scripture in it I was a little bummed. But as I read the inside cover and learned what the thing actually is, I started to like to idea. So that night, I started writing.

I’ve been doing it regularly for almost a week, and I like it. In a world that pushes efficiency and rush, I appreciate the push to get people in the habit of being a “scribe” of Scripture. The process of physically writing–not typing–is slow. It forces one to think about what’s there. It is a form of meditation, where you linger over each word, each letter. In the process, you see things you haven’t seen before, and it stays with you.

Now, having said that I like the process, I like the idea, and I would wholly recommend it to anyone interested, I have a few suggestions to make it a better product. Here’s what I would do:

  1. I’d eliminate the questions on the left hand page and use it for more scribing space. This would make the book half as thick. Also, the questions take away from the journal-ness of the product. When I’m journaling, it’s me, my thoughts, and God. I don’t want any other voices to be asking me questions or distracting in any way.
  2. I add the entire text of the book the end. This would make it duly functional. Not only would you be able to scribe without carrying around both the Journible and your Bible around, but you’d be able to mark up the text like a mad-man.

Conclusion

I highly endorse the process of “scribing,” though I don’t think I’d ever purchase one of these, unless they made the two changes I listed above. Really, you’re actually just buying a journal with a light study guide and a few directions for where to write.

As someone to teaches and preaches the Bible every week, I’d be very interested in purchasing Journibles if they made them like I described: with the text of the book I’m preaching through, enough space to doodle and mark and write, space to scribe it out, and no study questions.

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