Yesterday I received my free advance copy of the new Inspire Bible after winning a contest on the Inspire Bible Facebook page, and I wanted to post a review on my blog about it so others can get a glimpse of it before it releases on March 22. I was really excited to receive the hardcover version of this Bible, and it is definitely better in person than anything I have seen and exceeded my expectations.
The hardcover has the butterfly pattern on the endpapers, which initially drew me to this Bible when I first saw it a couple of weeks ago, since butterflies are one of my favorites. There is an imitation leather version with a fully-illustrated cover and simpler design on the endpapers as another option.
I think the biggest thing that surprised me about the inside was that even on the title, introduction, and index pages there are illustrations, which would be great for testing out new supplies before trying on an actual passage. There was a lot of attention to little details that make this Bible even better.
The inside front and back covers are completely covered with beautiful illustrations. My husband joined me in coloring the inside front cover as my very first coloring in my new Bible. We used Crayola Twistable Colored Pencils and Prismacolor Pencils. This was such a great experience coloring together, and I am sure we will do it again.
The actual pages of the Bible are still thin compared to normal coloring books, but slightly thicker than my ESV double column journaling Bible. You can see some shadowing of the pre-printed illustrations, but I didn’t find this too bothersome. On the blank pages, the margins are lined, and on pages with illustration, the margins are unlined. The Inspire Bible is also about an inch taller, since it is single column and the font size is larger at 8.65 point font. Since this is my first single column journaling Bible, I don’t know how it would compare to other single column versions.
Another thing that I was happily surprised about was the Index of illustrations in the back. This is very useful for finding each page with an illustration in both the Old and New Testaments.
The New Testament had more full page illustrations in it than the Old Testament, including the only two-page one-illustration spread (there are other places in which illustrations are on a two-page spread, but they are two separate illustrations).
Another thing I liked about the illustrations themselves is that they vary in style throughout the Bible. Florals, birds, lettering, scrolls, hand-drawn scenes, mini castles, crowns, sheep, and even a deer are just some of the things to be found. But there is also plenty of space to add my own illustrations, lettering, embellishments, and journaling. There are over 400 illustrations according to the publisher, which is only about one-third of this Bible. For the most part there was a good balance between blank and illustrated pages, but some parts in the Old Testament I noticed were a bit sparse on the illustrations, while the New Testament is on the heavier side for the illustrations to blank pages ratio.
One thing that I don’t like so much is that some of the more intricately detailed illustrations have very small details that are hard to color unless you have super sharp or thin points on your colored pencil. I don’t have much experience with new adult coloring books, but I think this is a common problem, and I wouldn’t consider it a deterrent to getting this Bible. Another drawback is that I would consider both the outer cover, endpapers design, and a majority of the illustrations to be on the feminine side, which may prevent some people, especially boys and men, from wanting to own this Bible. I hope that eventually a more neutral design will be offered.
Overall, I highly recommend the Inspire Bible, and had I not received it for free by winning their contest, I would have eventually purchased it myself. The Inspire Bible is available for preorder on Amazon and other Christian retailer websites where Bibles are sold, and it releases March 22. You can also watch me flip-through this Bible here.
(Side note: I was not asked to do this review or compensated in any way in exchange for a review; I merely wrote this to share my personal feelings on this new Bible for others. I won my free copy on my own merit.)