Have you ever marveled at the illuminated Bibles or Books of Hours lettered and painted by monks during the Middle Ages or the Renaissance? These gorgeous works of art use vivid paints and gold leaf to bring letters and Biblical scenes to life. We can see these today in museums, books or online…but how would you like to own your own copy of today’s version of an Illuminated Bible?
Today, I’d like to share with you about the ESV Illuminated Bible. FlyBy/Propeller Promotions sent me my very own copy (free!) to use and review, and they’re also going to be giving a copy away to one of my readers in a giveaway! Keep reading to learn more and to enter to win!
What is the ESV Illuminated Bible?
First and foremost, it’s the complete Bible (from Genesis to Revelation) in the English Standard Version (ESV). Housed in a slipcase, this hardback Bible is navy cloth over board. Inside, its smooth, cream-colored pages contain the Scriptures in clear, readable font. Each page has wide margins.
But then, there’s enormous visual beauty on many of the pages. The ESV Illuminated Bible is illustrated and lettered by artist Dana Tanamatchi. The illustrations include: beautifully hand-lettered Bible verses (over 250 of them in page margins), 50 full-page verse illustrations; 64 full-sized book opener illustrations; and over 100 additional illustrations. All of these are lettered and designed in gold.
But this Bible is not only designed to bring beauty to the reader’s eyes and Scriptures to the mind and heart. The wide page margins provide space for the reader to journal and take notes…but also to create art! Tanamatchi’s verse and book illustrations can be left as-is or the reader can color them in.
One additional bonus that I discovered as I was turning the pages of the ESV Illuminated Bible was that the illustrator, Dana Tanamatchi, included an illustration key for the book opener illustrations. I personally love to study art and to discover artists’ motivations for their artwork. Tanamatchi’s musings on her artwork made the lovely artwork even more meaningful to me, as I discovered that she’d illustrated Revelation with a door (reminding us of Revelation 3:20); 2 Peter with lanterns (for the prophetic word “as lamps shining in a dark place), Psalms with a deer (as the deer pants for the water), and so many more wonderful “Word” pictures.
How I used the ESV Illuminated Bible
I love Bible journaling; the practice of thoughtfully illustrating Scripture verses. I find that the process is peaceful and restful for me, plus there’s the additional bonus of the Scripture coming alive even more as I color and illustrate it.
For Bible journaling, I’ve used tempera paint sticks, colored pencils, and art pencils. With this Bible, I found that coloring pencils worked the best. The pages are on the thin side so the pencils don’t bleed through very much. I appreciated that because I still want to be able to read the Scriptures on the back sides of the illustrations!
I used three different types of coloring pencils; art pencils, Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils, and Crayola Twistables. Of the three, the art pencils and the Twistables were most effective. For some reason my erasable pencils didn’t lay the color down as well. The beautiful cream-colored pages might have been just a little slick to take the erasable ones. But the art pencils (think Primsacolor-type pencils) and the Twistables created beautiful effects. The colors did mostly turn out on the light side when they were applied to the paper.
So what could you do with the ESV Illuminated Bible?
- Well, Christmas is coming–and this would make a delightful gift for someone! (You could even include a set of colored pencils with the Bible!)
- You could display it on an easel, with the pages opened to one of the gorgeous Scripture illustrations
- You could use it in your devotional reading time
- You could do Bible journaling in it!
- You could even use it during family worship; give everyone some colored pencils and work on it together!
- And if you’re a person who’s not completely confident in your own artistic ability, the ESV Illuminated Bible will enable you to make beautiful art anyway!
You can enter to win!
FlyBy/Propeller Promotions has provided one copy of the ESV Illuminated Bible for one of you to win! Simply click on the pink “Enter Here” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form. Just follow the directions to enter! Giveaway closes on December 2, 2017. One winner will be selected from all entries. Best wishes!
You can also check out the ESV Illuminated Bible on social media
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.