Home > Blank Bible > The Blank Bible Chronicles, Part 5

The Blank Bible Chronicles, Part 5

Today I’m going to show you my ruined Bible as well as briefly discuss some accessories you will need to consider for the blank Bible, should you choose to build one for yourself.

The Ruined Bible

Now, I told you guys that I had the first Bible cut off too close to the words. Instead of 1/8″, I had 1/4″ cut off from the binding edge. If I’d had holes punched, this is what it would have looked like:

Holes would have been punched over the words.
Click here to see it LARGE.

See how the holes are over the words?
See it LARGE.

Notice how you can see the words through the hole in the blank. They’d have been cut off!

Now here’s the dumb move. I tried to figure a way to salvage my mis-cut Bible. I thought I could handle having it reverse-bound, meaning I had the holes punched on the opposite margin so I’d be turning pages left to right rather than the usual right to left:

Reverse-punched silliness.

I also told you I goofed by going ahead and having holes punched before stuffing. Here’s an unfortunate consequence where my blanks were concerned. Notice the missed hole punch at the edge of the pages:

Notice the furrow at the end of the page.

And also on the Bible itself:

Badly punched holes

Well, that’s one Bible relegated to the trash heap. The blanks turned out to be a “good” goof, because now I have pre-punched blanks that I can use to replace pages in the successful Bible. All I have to do is hand-cut the length to fit. And I can cut off the messed-up end to create a nice, clean blank. Now let’s go look at accessories.


Why would you need accessories? Isn’t that a woman thing, accessorizing? Apparently not. We guys are just as guilty about accessorizing, we just tend to do it with tools rather than jewelry, shoes, and purses. This blank Bible is no different! Why else do you go into places like Lowe’s, Home Depot, or the Lifeway on the SBTS campus? 😉

Jesus Saenz has written an excellent post about what to use for writing in your Bible. I encourage everyone, even those who don’t or won’t use a blank Bible, to read this post. Basically, Jesus says (no pun intended!) not to use pens, pencils, or highlighters! Using regular pens, pencils, and highlighters will actually end up destroying your Bible. Read his post for a clear explanation why.

Why is this even a consideration? Well, for starters, there’s a reason you want acid-free paper for your blanks and covers. You don’t want to ruin your Bible. Acid can eat through the paper, and given the thin Bible paper it won’t be long before the paper deteriorates and maybe even disintegrates. If you have Bibles from 50 to 100 years ago or even as soon as 20 to 30 years ago, you know what I mean. The pages disintegrate, pens bleed through and further deteriorate your Bible pages, ink smears and eventually wears down the paper, etc. Especially if you have one of those old Bibles that have been marked up, you notice the wear caused by ink. Further, you may notice the ink fades dramatically over time. So in addition to acid-free paper you need specialized tools, all of which can be had cheaply.

Tony Reinke (and Jesus as well), in his instructions to building a blank Bible, suggests that you use archival-quality pens to take notes in your blank Bible. Specifically, he recommends you use a Pigma Micron 005 pen. This is an artist’s and archiver’s pen. These types of pens are also used by draftsmen and engineers.

Archival-quality pen
See it LARGE.

The ink will not bleed through the page nor will it smear. It basically dries on contact as it uses pigment ink rather than dye ink. It is also an acid-free ink and thus won’t contribute to the deterioration of your Bible pages. The super-fine point will help prevent damaging your pages by punching through or denting as you write. You can buy this pen for less than $3 each at most art supply stores. I got mine at the Preston Arts Center on Bardstown Road for about $2.60 each. They come in all sorts of colors if you’re inclined to underline stuff. You can also go to Hobby Lobby and procure these pens. Hobby Lobby sells these in sets for about $15, so it’s a good buy.

Tony and Jesus suggest using the 005 pen for notetaking. This is because the super-fine point will allow you to maximize the notetaking space on the page instead of having big sloppy writing lines that take up most of your paper. Jesus suggests using the 05 size (not to be confused with 005) or smaller (03, 02, 01, etc.) for underlining.

Here’s an example of what my notes look like with this pen:

Bible with Notes
See it LARGE.

My notes.
See it LARGE.

Yes, I’m possessed of an ability to write tiny. These pens make it much, much neater and easier to read, really!

Now, we bring our Blank Bible Chronicles to a resoundingly fun close. Go forth and blank your Bibles!

Categories: Blank Bible
  1. David
    November 17, 2007 at 9:16 am


    Thank you for this series, including the mistakes. Because those with little technical ability like me might try this without thinking it through and end up with quite a few errors.

    Thank you,

  2. November 17, 2007 at 8:27 pm


    I do not know how else to contact you–I can’t find an email address. Mine is tdelaney017@yahoo.com. Email me and I will have yours 🙂 and continue our conversation there. God bless.

    Terry Delaney

  3. June 3, 2009 at 6:29 am

    This was a great and tedious representation of what some of us will do to write in our Bibles. You are indeed a kindred spirit to me. Thanks for taking the time to record and publish this process.

    When I was in college, I saw my professors having the same bible they’d used for years and I wondered “what would happen if they lost that bible?” I never wanted to lose my main bible so I started recording my margin notes on a word processor, later blogging them, and most recently, I’ve used smybaloo to tile icon the themes I find in Scriptures.

    I’ve been buying the ESV journaling Bible, writing with the pigma pens (no doubt) and at the end of a year, I’ll add to the electronic notes, give the Bible away to whomever I planned at the beginning of the year (thusfar it’s been nephews and a niece), and then I get to start with a blank slate (which is always awesome).

    Works for me.

    God bless you,

  1. January 3, 2008 at 6:57 pm

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