Thinking about Bibles

I have continued to think about what I would want in a Bible.  I continued to think about Bible design after my Random Research Friday a couple of weeks ago where I researched a new note-taking type Bible.

I have continued to develop the idea.  I recently compiled a list of qualities (both design and production) I would like to see in this Bible.


  1. Single column, paragraph form
  2. Parallel translations – literal and dynamic – ESV and NLT
  3. Jesus’ words in red – I love the deep red text I find in some Bibles.
  4. Cross References – I have not decided yet to use both or only one (my mockup shows both)
  5. Footnotes
  6. Left page would be the text, right page would be blank for note taking (very much like a blank Bible)
  7. Possible alternative version where blank right page would contain multiple commentary text for those are not note takers


  1. High quality production materials only: soft leather, sewn binding, quality paper
  2. The goal is to make a solid Bible that people can use for 50 years

Below you will find a link to a PDF mockup I created (first draft.)  I continue to get excited designing and researching more into this project.

Trey Gourley – Bible Mockup PDF

  • I like the concept. Having one text above the other makes comparison more difficult than ha ing parallel columns. And being left handed I would prefer the blank page to be on the left. Would itesson print complexity to have text pages be front and back with blank pages interleaved when bound?

    • David,

      There are Bibles out there that are similar to what you are describing. Most are created by hand and are called “blank Bibles”. There is a loose-leaf Hendrickson ESV Bible that you could put 3-hole punch paper in between the Bible paper.

      I have given a lot of thought to a two-column layout compared to a two-paragraph layout. I am starting to see more and more Bibles moving toward a paragraph layout. I can see the benefit of side-by-side also.