Bibles with Blanks

Building a Blank Bible (part 1)

As promised, this week I’ll be showing you how to build your very own Blank Bible. But first, why would you want one? I don’t know of any publishers who make them and it’s a little time consuming to build. So why go through the work?

Well, there are several reasons actually.

The most important reason being you can keep those precious biblical insights close to the texts they originate. I have a drawer full of notes I’ve scratched out while listening to sermons over the years. And even at times I’ve used a Moleskine notebook for the same purpose. However, notecards and notebooks are scattered and disorganized. Unless I specifically recall a sermon on a certain text, the notes are largely forgotten in a large stack.

Owning one Bible with enough room to hold your personal notes close to the Biblical texts means the next time you study Ephesians you will have the notes from a Bible study on Ephesians five years ago.

Second, a Blank Bible is a great place to collect the fruit of your own meditation. Don’t fill the Blank Bible with notes you can find in any commentary. Make the notes in this bible flow from your own personal reflection and let the commentaries point out the exegetical and technical stuff.

Third, it’s a simple fact that we remember things better if we think about them and write our recollections down. Journaling is a good example of this and the Blank Bible affords enough space.

Fourth, just as Jonathan Edward’s Blank Bible is now a national treasure, your insights may also be treasured by someone else. Whether you leave the Bible to your spouse or children or grandchildren, when you are gone your Bible will continue to speak. So think and write clearly.

Tomorrow … the first attempt at the Blank Bible. And since there will be a second I’ll assume you already know the first was a failure.

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21 thoughts on “Building a Blank Bible (part 1)”

  1. Great to find your site through the ‘related/tags’ feature of WordPress. A study bible with sufficient notetaking space is a great asset. I have an NASB that was bought for me many years ago that had removable binding screws so that notepaper could be inserted anywhere. It was an excellent product because it looked like a fully leather bound bible rather than simply a folder or ring-binder.

    I would love to replace it, but the nearest I can find are NIV/KJV loose-leaf editions from http://www.CBD.com (eg ISBN 1565633202).

    Looking forward to the next installment of your project!

  2. […] If you fancy a loose-leaf bible you can check outhttp://www.cbd.com who have several editions (US letter size NOT A4 – which is a shame for UK customers!). However, you might also like to check out the articles on the Shepherd’s Scrapbook blog which attempt a DIY version of the ‘blank bible’. He’s just published the latest article and seems to have created a superb item – truly a ‘personal edition’ of the Bible. […]

  3. […] Reinke’s Scrapbook began as a storehouse of quotes from great theologians.  If you visit his site you will see a massive category list where he has compiled quote after quote from various theologians-all filed in their appropriate groups.  This is a tremendously helpful and edifying resource on its own. Recently, however, Reinke has also been blessing the blog community with his own writing.  The most popular of which was Reinke’s “Blank Bible Project.”  Reinke, following the example of Jonathan Edwards, builit his own “Blank Bible” and documented the entire process in a three-part series.  This project received wide-readership in the blogsphere as the ESV blog learned of Reinke’s project and featured it on their site.  […]

  4. […] I was first made aware of Tony Reinke’s excellent blog (The Shepherd’s Scrapbook) after he had posted some kind words about Graphe (which, by the way, has been shrunk down so that it should download a bit easier now). Tony shares with me a healthy appreciation for our Puritan forebears. In the past couple months, he’s taken on two fascinating projects. The first (parts 1, 2, 3) is his attempt to show how to recreate Jonathan Edwards’ Blank Bible. […]

  5. I am going to get an interleaved bible made for me. If you get india paper and a rapidiograph pen, you can get a bible that is in one volume, with a real leather binding, and all the interleaving you could possibly use. I know that it will cost a lot of money, but after all I am planning to enter the ministry and I ought to spend more time with me Bible than with anything else anyways right? Yes, Jonathan Edward’s blank bible was simply a resewn smyth-sown binding, and there are companies that will do that for you. The big thing is to find the blank india paper which I am currently working on. I have already found a place that will sell me an unbound oxford bible on the india paper, trying to get a wide-margin out of them.

  6. […] In August we ran a short series on how to make a Jonathan Edwards blank bible – how to cut and rebind a bible with blank pages interwoven for note taking (see part 1, 2 and 3). I was hoping at least 10 of my friends would find it useful. At least a few readers would be entertained at some hombre loco who took a table saw to new bibles. […]

  7. Would like to get some of that good music you have listed on your i-pod. I am a missionary to the Quechua en the Andes of Peru. It gets pretty discouraging at times.
    I really appreciate the live songs from “NA07”??
    Thank you,
    Larry
    Hinterland missions with MTW

  8. Have been trying to locate blank india paper for an old oxford loose leaf bible not the screw in type but the 4 prongs. Any idea where they might turn up?
    Thanks AL

  9. Same here, I’m trying to find high quality india paper to use for interleaving. Anyone know of a source?

  10. I made a blank(?) Bible, but I didn’t know you called it that. I started with a large loose leaf folder. Then I photocopied each page of a Bible on one side of a leaf of paper, with generous margins, and left the second side blank. So then I had one blank sheet plus margins for every sheet of Bible text. I didn’t so much use it for sermon notes, as I come from the Martyn Lloyd-Jones school of thought. He didn’t agree with people taking notes during sermons, as he believed that a sermon is designed not to teach, but with the Holy Spirits help to make a spiritual impression on the soul. But when I read or heard someone making a pithy or winsome comment on a passage of scripture then I added it along side the appropriate section. By the way you should be able to get india paper from any good art supply shop, if they do not stock it they can order it in.

  11. Larry,
    .
    I happened to see your mention of your work with the Quechua in Andes of Peru. You might know my brother Lloyd (Daniel) Rogers who works on the Ecuador side, and who lives now in Quito, but previously was in Shell etc.
    .
    He has been in Ecuador for over 40 years, you probably have a huge amount in common! Let me know if you have crossed paths??
    .
    blessings, john rogers

  12. I too have a NASB with removable binding screws and found it excellent as it just looked like a large Bible but after a few years of extensive hard use the cover split so I decided to have it rebound. BIG MISTAKE, they glued the pages together, lost a plastic locating strip and cross threaded one of the screws! They did unglue the pages when this was pointed out but due to the missing locating strip and damaged thread on one of the screws I seldom rearange the gold edged lined notepaper pages – a pity, especially as the work cost more than the original Bible.
    I have searched the internet to find a replacement but like you can only find folder / ring binder versions.
    If someone were to produce such a Bible again they would be assured of at least two sales!

 

 

 

 

Blank Bible Project #1 (August, 2006)

Our first successful blank Bible was built from anESV Classic Center-Reference. The final product was an excellent 3-volume set that is now my primary Bible for personal study and reflection. The comments on these posts contain some very helpful input from others.

– Building a Blank Bible (part 1): Intro
– Building a Blank Bible (part 2): The Failure
– Building a Blank Bible (part 3): The Blank Bible

——————–

Blank Bible Project #2 (November, 2006)

Using the ESV Reverse Interlinear New Testament, we created a 2,700 page, 4-volume New Testament for serious students.

“It is awesome to know that God, through His Spirit, can fill every blank page through humble meditation as the “living and active” Word of God comes alive. Each blank page represents our anticipation that God will open up His Word to reveal more of the width and height and depth and length of God’s love in the Cross!”

– DIY: Blank Bible (part 1): Intro
– DIY: Blank Bible (part 2): Cut, Rip, Clamp, Saw
– DIY: Blank Bible (part 3): Slice and Stuff
– DIY: Blank Bible (part 4): Punch and Bind

We ran a contest to win this Bible and you can read the finalist essays here and meet the winners here.

“Your website article on constructing an interlinear note-taking bible is an incredible adaptation designed specifically with the busy pastor in mind. Not only would this allow me to retain some semblance of Greek proficiency, but would also allow the great advantage being able to record my thoughts on Scripture while occupied with various pastoral tasks (sitting in the hospital waiting rooms, waiting in the prison/jail visitor lobby, or stealing an extra 15 minutes in the local diner after a pastoral care lunch appointment). It has the potential of being a portable, conveniently-sized, and organized record of years of reflection on the Holy Word.” – Pastor Joshua G. (Indian River, MI)

——————–

Blank Valley of Vision (November, 2006)

The same principles can be used to turn any book into a journal. We did this very thing recently with The Valley of Vision from Banner of Truth. You can see photographs of the project here. We ran a contest to win this book and you can read the finalist essays here and meet the winner here.

——————–

Spiral binding books

Even if you don’t add blank pages, spiral binding makes any book easier to read. I spiral bind important books that I want to lay flat on cardio machines at the gym.

——————–

What are you working on?

Enough about us. What creative projects are you working on? Readers have been hacking apart Bibles and books and creating some unique blank projects of their own. Care to share photos of your project? Please email us and let us know what you are working on.

– Stephen followed our instructions perfectly and created a pair of nice Blank ESVs. See his blog for the entire series, The Blank Bible Chronicles for more info (and nice pics to boot).

– Justin built a 4-volume “Blank ESV.” Looks like he used 3:1 spirals as opposed to the common 4:1 spirals. Very nice work! See pics here.

Marcia built an 11-volume Blank ESV Reformation Study Bible. See pics here.

Already have notes in them!!!
Marcia: This is my ESV Reformation Study Bible, formerly in a nice hardcover, now separated sheet by sheet with two piece of note paper placed between each sheet. The goal is to fill up the paper with my own notes and cross references as I study. If I run out of space I will have to remove the coils and have new paper inserted. I may also just put them in 3-ring binders.[IMG_9165.JPG]

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Blank Bible pictures

tsslogo.jpgMarcia over at the Ruminations and Ramifications blog just completed a Blank ESV Reformation Study Bible in 11-volumes. Wow! And it looks great, too. Check out her post here for pictures. Marcia recently wrote to thank us for the Blank Bible Series we posted last year. Like Jonathan Edwards, you can make a custom note-taking Bible. Begin by reading the TSS Blank Bible series index.

Thank you, Marcia, for the kind comments!

Tony

5 thoughts on “Blank Bible pictures”

  1. Have you looked into having a binder make a blank bible (you supply them with the paper and the bible – they unbind the bible and insert the paper – then have it rebound).

  2. Hello Mason! People have approached the Blank Bible in several different ways. Some have brought their Bible to Kinkos and had everything done for them. I personally enjoyed the assembly process. The TSS Blank Bible Index should give you other ideas on accomplishing the task. So, yes, a binder could do it all for you. Blessings! Tony

  3. That makes me glad I use Laridian’s PocketBible on my PDA. All the notes I want and it never gets bigger!!

  4. Hi, I have been looking for 16lb paper for making my unbound bible. I found some pads bound in 100 sheets that are regular size copy paper that I can cut down. You can get 12 pads for under 15.00. I think it will work fine and cut down on the thickness. Here’s the web link.
    http://www.business-supply.com/memorandum-pads-plain-16-lb-8-1-2-x11-100-sheets-white_SPR5081SP_product.html?src=nextag
    If anyone has found lighter weight paper would you please make a post? Thanks, Mary from Idaho

 

 

 

 

Justin Taylor announced that Yale has posted a free, searchable version of Jonathan Edward’s Blank Bible.Edwards cut out small pages of scripture and then pasted them into a big blank book, and then wrote commentary on the scriptures. Yale has converted this book into web pages.  The Blank Bible’s Index Page has several links to background information on the book, and then lists links to each of the books of the bible beneath the intro. So its easy to click on [Genesis] to see Jonathan Edward’s commentary on it. Or on [Mathew], or the [New Testament], etc. I wasn’t able to find actual scans of the Blank Bible, but those probably are not as useful.This is a great addition to the John Calvin and Martin Luther commentaries I previously shared. I need to figure out how to make one of these blank books with inline bible pages.By: Wyatt Houtz

TSS Blank Bible Index

“Such industry! Economy! Edwards would surely approve.”

– Jonathan Edwards Center, Yale University

This blog is noted for a geeky series on making your own Jonathan Edwards Blank Bible.

The goal is to disassemble a Bible, add blank pages for notes and then rebind it all together. It’s relatively cheap, fun and taking the world by storm. So grab a Bible, gather the family and dust off the table saw.

——————–

Blank Bible Project #1 (August, 2006)

Our first successful blank Bible was built from anESV Classic Center-Reference. The final product was an excellent 3-volume set that is now my primary Bible for personal study and reflection. The comments on these posts contain some very helpful input from others.

– Building a Blank Bible (part 1): Intro
– Building a Blank Bible (part 2): The Failure
– Building a Blank Bible (part 3): The Blank Bible

——————–

Blank Bible Project #2 (November, 2006)

Using the ESV Reverse Interlinear New Testament, we created a 2,700 page, 4-volume New Testament for serious students.

“It is awesome to know that God, through His Spirit, can fill every blank page through humble meditation as the “living and active” Word of God comes alive. Each blank page represents our anticipation that God will open up His Word to reveal more of the width and height and depth and length of God’s love in the Cross!”

– DIY: Blank Bible (part 1): Intro
– DIY: Blank Bible (part 2): Cut, Rip, Clamp, Saw
– DIY: Blank Bible (part 3): Slice and Stuff
– DIY: Blank Bible (part 4): Punch and Bind

We ran a contest to win this Bible and you can read the finalist essays here and meet the winners here.

“Your website article on constructing an interlinear note-taking bible is an incredible adaptation designed specifically with the busy pastor in mind. Not only would this allow me to retain some semblance of Greek proficiency, but would also allow the great advantage being able to record my thoughts on Scripture while occupied with various pastoral tasks (sitting in the hospital waiting rooms, waiting in the prison/jail visitor lobby, or stealing an extra 15 minutes in the local diner after a pastoral care lunch appointment). It has the potential of being a portable, conveniently-sized, and organized record of years of reflection on the Holy Word.” – Pastor Joshua G. (Indian River, MI)

——————–

Blank Valley of Vision (November, 2006)

The same principles can be used to turn any book into a journal. We did this very thing recently with The Valley of Vision from Banner of Truth. You can see photographs of the project here. We ran a contest to win this book and you can read the finalist essays here and meet the winner here.

——————–

Spiral binding books

Even if you don’t add blank pages, spiral binding makes any book easier to read. I spiral bind important books that I want to lay flat on cardio machines at the gym.

——————–

What are you working on?

Enough about us. What creative projects are you working on? Readers have been hacking apart Bibles and books and creating some unique blank projects of their own. Care to share photos of your project? Please email us and let us know what you are working on.

– Stephen followed our instructions perfectly and created a pair of nice Blank ESVs. See his blog for the entire series, The Blank Bible Chronicles for more info (and nice pics to boot).

– Justin built a 4-volume “Blank ESV.” Looks like he used 3:1 spirals as opposed to the common 4:1 spirals. Very nice work! See pics here.

Marcia built an 11-volume Blank ESV Reformation Study Bible. See pics here.

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