Archive for the ‘ESV’ Category

ESV Study Bible

Crossway has just launched the website for the new ESV Study Bible, the Bible is set to be released in October of 2008.  Check it out here.


Features of this new edition include:

  • 25,000 plus notes
  • Over 40 color illustrations
  • Over 200 full color maps
  • 200 plus maps
  • 80,000 cross-references
  • Over 100 articles and introductions

More importantly, in my opinion, is the high quality with which Crossway has planned into the production.

  • All editions will have a Smythe sewn binding
  • Printed on high-opacity, high-quality paper.  This means no bleed through!
  • The text is in single column, 9pt.  The notes are double column 7.25pt
  • Full color maps and feature articles throughout.

The ESV Study Bible will be available in 8 editions.  Hardcover, two TruTone, two bonded leather, two genuine leather and a calfskin.  Thats right, a calfskin edition right out of the starting gates!

TruTone Brown

Although I recommend the use of a study Bible, I haven’t really used mine as of late(Reformation Study Bible, 1599 Geneva Bible.)  From a cursory view of this edition, I look forward to owning one and making good use of it.

Sample page

Sample page

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I finally received my long awaited Personal Size Reference ESV. Long awaited because I have been looking forward to this layout since it was announced late last year.First things first, the inside of this Bible is of more import than the whole package. As much as I like premium leather bindings, of which this is not yet available with, I am more interested in the layout of this Bible. It is a single column paragraph format rather than a double column paragraph or single column verse per line like the Single Column Reference ESV.This edition is the genuine leather, which is very stiff! You need to take care in opening this genuine leather cover. Crossway also offers these in TruTone which is a synthetic leather but much, much softer than this. Sadly, only the genuine leather has a sewn binding. On the one hand you get a stiff cover with a sewn binding and on the other you can get a stiff(glued) binding with a soft cover. For those interested in sending this edition off to be rebound, I would suggest you start with the genuine leather edition only because of the sewn binding.The only thing I liked about my old Life Application Study Bible was the format, it was a single column paragraph layout, which to me makes reading easier. In this format the Bible is laid out much like a novel rather than a reference book. I believe this will help in Bible study and in gaining a better understanding of the context as opposed to just using verses for proof texts.This edition is very similar in size to the Cambridge Pitt Minion and Cambridge Cameo. The text block is 7.25″ x 5″ x 1″, making it slightly taller and wider than the two Cambridge Bibles and just as thick as the Cameo. The interior layout is just what I had hoped it would be. The font is very readable(7.4pt), this Bible doesn’t seem to suffer from the uneven print like my Thinline Cordovan does. The cross references are in the gutter, that is in the spine, rather than on the outside edge. This is a great idea that was carried over from the Single Column Reference. Another detail that was brought over was the three line border that goes around the text itself keeping it separate from the cross references, the title and page number that are on top and the textual variants on the bottom. The title at the top of the page uses a different font from the text and the chapter numbers are a dark gray, the pericope titles are in italics. The book introductions are in gray, which I do not like. Speaking of another thing I didn’t like… the ribbon. Once again Crossway puts in a cheap, thin ribbon and to make matters worse, they only use one.Now to the readability. I already like it far better than the Pitt Minion, and I really like how readable the Pitt Minion is for such a small font. That has more to do with the single column than the larger font of the PSR. Even when compared to the Cameo, which has a larger font than the PSR, the PSR has a cleaner look.Overall, I really like the Personal Size Reference ESV despite some of its shortcomings, the biggest of which is the cover/binding issue. Do you take the stiff binding with the soft cover? or do you take the stiff cover with the loose binding? In my opinion just drop the extra coinf for the genuine leather, even if it is stiff. The cover will eventually soften up but the TruTone will never sew its binding.

For a much better review, check out what my homie, J. Mark Bertrand had to say.  Check out pics at my Flickr page.

post script:

do not use an archival pen larger than .03 especially if you are using black

If you would like to see this edition in calfskin, check out this post:  Open Letter to Crossway

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The Foolish Galatian is giving away his Reformation Study Bible Blank Bible Project!

A blank Bible is based on the work of Jonathan Edwards, who had a Bible with blank pages in between each page of scripture.  This is the ultimate study Bile.

Matt has made a blank Bible using the Reformation Study Bible and you can win, all you gotta do is write a short essay. eazy ’nuff!

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Somehting New From Crossway

As the release date for the Personal Reference ESV comes quick upon us, there is news regarding the genuine leather edition. Early last week I received email confirmation that the Personal Size Reference genuine leather edition will have a sewn binding! That is good news not just for those of us that will be looking to send it off to be rebound but also for those looking for a high quality Bible at a good price. The genuine leather has a msrp of $44.99 but retailers like Amazon, Monergism Bookstore and WTS Bookstore will be sure to have it discounted prices. Both Monergism and WTS offer ESV’s at %45 off. There was also news that these editions will have higher quality paper.


On another note, the Compact TruTone edition has been reworked into the new Deluxe Compact TruTone edition. It features a slightly larger trim size, larger font size, and most importantly it will have a sewn binding! This will end up being a very durable and long lasting edition. The TruTone has been well received and is very durable and has now been wrapped around a sewn book block.

I think Crossway just hit a home run! Congrats to them for striving to put out quality products.

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R.L. Allan ESV, NOW in America

If you are interested in owning a Bible that is worthy of being called a Bible, then look no further than what is offered by R.L. Allan & Son Publishers of Glasgow, Scotland.

And if you are interested in owning an Allan’s Bible in the ESV translation then check out Evangelical Bible. They are now the sole US distributer for Allan’s ESV. They offer a %5 discount on these editions as well as free shipping.

Call or email Paul for more information.

My Homie, J. Mark Bertrand wrote a review of the black and the tan.

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Dear Sirs,

As a loyal user of the ESV, I want to commend you on the work that has been undertaken in producing such a usable translation that is faithful to the ancient manuscripts, faithful to the tradition of English Bible translations going back to the work of William Tyndale and for publishing a translations that is very readable. I feel it safe to say that the ESV has a very loyal following.

Much of the success of the ESV has to do with the translation itself. As I have already stated, it is easy to read while retaining the literary qualities that make reading a joy. The other reason for the success is the many editions that have been released that appeal to a wide spectrum of end users. There is nary a void that can be filled by a new ESV edition that isn’t already available.

This leads me to the reason for writing this open letter to you. There are many, including myself, that await anxiously the arrival of the new Personal Size Reference ESV that is expected to be released Feb. 29. As well you know, it will be available in four editions, one in genuine leather and three in TruTone. There appears to be a glaring omission, that of a calfskin edition.

I entreat you to consider publishing such an edition, in both calfskin as well as Cordovan. There are many that consider your premium leather editions as some of the finest Bibles available today. Dare I say, you would be remiss in not making the Personal Size Reference ESV available as a premium edition. There is much anticipation of this new edition and I am sure that it will be quite popular and as such there has already been talk by customers who are willing to send this edition to be re-bound. A custom re-bind can add upwards of $100 to the cost of a Bible. The final cost of a custom re-bind, including the cost of the Bible can be close to $200.

Sirs, I ask that you consider publishing the Personal Size Reference ESV in a premium leather, a Smythe sewn binding and leather linings. I am certain that it would be a very popular edition and we all would be grateful in not having to go through a re-binder to have another fine ESV.


Jesús Saenz


please leave a comment, or just your name if you would like for Crossway to publish the PSR in a premium leather. feel free to copy or link to your blog

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I was meaning to write a review of Crossway’s Thinline ESV in Cordovan leather for quite a few months but you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men. I was again reminded of my intended review when I was asked about the calfskin leather that Crossway uses for their Bibles in the comments section of my review of the Pitt Minion NASB. Now, the pictures of all my Bibles already saved on my computer all I needed was a spare five hours to type my review. (Five hours because I do not know how to type plus I am hampered with fat sausage fingers)

The name Cordovan comes from the leather that is used. Although this is not true Cordovan leather it was made to resemble it. Cordovan leather is actually made from horse hide, specifically a section from either side of the horse’s rump. Real Cordovan leather is very expensive as shoes made from it can easily cost over $500.00. The reason for it’s expense is the fact that it is a process that is time consuming, requiring a lot of hand work and with the advent of the horseless carriage, there are fewer and fewer horses around. It’s not just the rarity of the leather but the quality of the finished product. Cordovan leather is soft, luxurious yet very strong. It has a beautiful color and a sheen that only gets better over time. The name comes from Córdoba, a city in the southern province of Andalucia in Spain where this process is believed to have had its beginnings.


Sadly, I have yet to see a picture that truly does justice to this fantastic leather. I have spent many hours trying to fully capture the color, look and to transcend the feel of it through pictures. These pictures were the best I could come up with, you can click on the images to enlarge. Even though these Bibles are not made from real horse hide, and I do not know whether or not this leather underwent the same tanning process to produce real Cordovan leather it nonetheless is the softest Bible leather I have touched. Softer than other calfskin from Crossway, Lockman or Thomas Nelson; even softer than the goatskin from Cambridge or R. L. Allan.

Comparing Bible leather can be like comparing apples to oranges, there are many factors that go into the feel of the leather as an end product. This Cordovan calfskin is smooth, the grain has been removed. One of the features I like about goatskin is the grain, even the other calfskin Bibles I have all have visible grain with some even looking striated. But this Bible is smooth and buttery, the only visible lines in it now are the creases that have developed with use which gives the leather cover even more character. In other picture that I have seen the leather looks like plastic or in the very least, patent leather. This is not the case! My lil’ Bro Mark was here from Hawaii during Thanksgiving and he brought his Classic Reference in Cordovan and it was just as soft and buttery as my Thinline.


As I’ve already mentioned, the leather is smooth and it has a sheen to it. It is not however as slick as the goatskin used by Cambridge and R. L. Allan. I compare it to the goatskin because of the finish. The black calfskin used by Crossway is flat or matte and it has a feel that one would expect, the goatskins have a finish that has more sheen and feel a bit more slick but this Cordovan, although slick has a more tactile feel than the goatskin but much smoother than the calfskin. One needs to be held to truly appreciate not just for the feel but also to appreciate the color and the great detail of real stitching around the edge in a gold thread which is complimented by the gold ribbon marker, gold stamping on the spine and the gilded edges. Once you open the Bible the leather lining with the grain is a great compliment to the smooth cover.

The Thinline Cordovan like the other premium leather Bibles from Crossway is Smythe sewn. It measures 5.5″ x 8.5″ x .75″, a real thinline Bible. It does not have cross references even though it is in a double column, paragraph format. The font size is 9.5 and is very readable. The paper is the thinnest used by Crossway at 19 lbs. or .0013″ thick. Although thin, bleed through is not problematic unless there is a lot of open space. I haven’t written in mine at all so I can’t recommend with certainty which size pens to use, but if you want to underline in it, maybe you should buy the Classic Reference. If you insist on writing in the Thinline, start with a .005 in an inconspicuous spot like in the concordance. The Cordovan Thinline is also the only premium leather ESV that is red-letter, a bonus for some a scarlet letter for others. It also has presentation pages and maps.


The Thinline Cordovan may not be for all. It is not suited for extensive note-taking or underlining, the Cordovan leather may be too delicate for a careless toss into a busy book bag with paper clips, staples, pens with chewed tops and a half eaten Power Bar. It is however a great example of Bible craftsmanship that should last a lifetime, and not just that it is a bargain luxury that can be had for less than $100.00. Click here.

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There were a few rumors as well as bloggers who were pushing for a John MacArthur Study Bible in the ESV translation.  Previously only available in the NASB as well as the NKJV, this study Bible with notes by John MacArthur, whom is widely considered to be one of the greatest living teachers and preachers of God’s word will now be available in a translation more popular than either the NASB or NKJV.  There is no release date of this edition, but there was an agreement reached between Crossway whom publish the ESV and Thomas Nelson Publishers whom publish the MacArthur Study Bible.

Phil Johnson dropped the 411 on the Fide-O blog.  You can peep it here.

BTW, I mean no dis-respect for John MacArthur by calling him Johnny Mac. 

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ESV Bibles Now 45% Off MSRP

My Homies at Westminster Theological Seminary Bookstore now have their entire line of ESV Bibles at 45% off.  Click here.

You can now get a Classic Reference or Thinline Bible in premium calfskin for less than anywhere else, even with delivery charges.  The Thinline is only $82.49!

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The Best ESV Bible Ever Made

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Is it possible that the best ESV Bible has already been made? Best, is of course purely subjective but this is my blog and according to me, the best ESV ever made, is no longer being made. I do not know when the decision was made by my friends at Crossway to nix the Heirloom Reference Edition they decided to no longer print this edition again once their stock was depleted. It is possible that the HRE fell into a black hole between the Single Column Reference and the Large Print Bible. Crossway are not a large publisher and there may have been features that overlapped between these large format editions and maybe they decided to continue forth with new the new editions that would contain the updated ESV text. Or maybe the HRE was a poor seller… I do not know.

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The Heirloom Reference measure in at 6.5″ x 9.25″ x 1.5″. It is slightly larger than the SCR but it is a little thinner, making this edition easier to carry. The paper is among the heaviest paper used by Crossway for any of their editions. It is 27 lbs. paper that is .0020″ thick making it thicker than the paper used in either the SCR or LP. Thicker means more opaque, there is little to no bleed through and holds up quite well to the 05 tip of a pigment liner. The font size is 10.2 which is the largest print available in a non-Large Print edition. It is a double column paragraph format with center column references, a concordance, maps and presentation pages. The best feature in this edition are the wide margins. Well, they are not true wide margins at around 1″ wide but with the use of a very thin pigment liner are quite usable. It also has two ribbon markers.

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The calfskin edition is bound in thick, tough yet soft leather that has been aging amazingly well. It keeps getting softer. The calfskin edition is also Smythe sewn allowing to open freely and flatly, it can also be folded over unto itself which is not possible in most other large Bibles. The calfskin edition is harder to come by but the bonded leather and the hardback can still be had for ridiculously low prices. It has been difficult to find a proper replacement for the Heirloom Reference Edition with either the Single Column Reference or the Large Print Edition, in fact to ensure the longevity of my HRE, I rarely take it out of the safety of my house. Trying to replace all my notes and a Bible that is no longer in print would be quite the task.

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Heirloom Reference Edition

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Famous or Infamous?

Earlier this year I began looking for a new Bible. I had been more than a little disappointed with my most recent purchase which at that time was a little more than a year old, a Life Application Study Bible. It is a large book at 6.5″ x 9.5″ x 2″, bound in bonded leather and the spine is glued. The price of the Bible was around $70.00 which to me at that time seemed like a lot to spend on a Bible but thought it was an investment. Sadly the Bible didn’t last quite as long as I had expected. Thus began my search for my next Bible.

I started looking for a new study Bible as well as a new translation. I decided on The Reformation Study Bible(ESV) but along with it I also was interested in and bought the 1599 Geneva Bible after reading a review by J. Mark Bertrand. He had an entire section in his blog that was all about Bibles, nice Bibles. I read and re-read all he had written about Bibles and I finally had an understanding of what a fine binding was. Ever since buying my first Bible I wanted a truly nice Bible but didn’t have an idea of what that was as most Christian bookstores do not usually stock premium Bibles.

Thankfully there are companies that still make these very expensive books and people like Mark Bertrand who take the time write about and photograph them. He now has a new site that is strictly dedicated to this pursuit. Here, Bibliophiles can talk about the aspects of Bibles and Bible design that are of interest. Recently, one of the regular commentators to the blog sent a picture of his stack of Bibles to Mark. After posting in the comments section all of my recent acquisitions, Mark asked me to send him a picture of my Bibles so he could write about as well. Read it here. I guess this sort of shopping spree is unusual. Hmm, thats just odd!

From top to bottom; 1) Cambridge Pitt Minion NASB goatskin

2) Cambridge Cameo KJV blue Morocco

3) Lockman Wide Margin NASB blue calfskin

4) Crossway Deluxe Heirloom ESV black calfskin

5) Crossway Single Column Reference ESV black calfskin

6) R L Allan Reference ESV black Highland goatskin

7) Crossway Thinline Cordovan ESV calfskin

8) Lockman Wide Margin NASB black calfskin.

J. Mark Bertrand is my homeboy!

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In the previous post on Crossway’s Single Column Reference Bible I did something that led me to write this. I used to work as a machinist in the aerospace industry, although that didn’t last long I still have some of my old tools including my micrometers. Since I was writing about the SCR and the biggest issue in the minds of possible customers to this fine Bible is the thickness of the paper. I brought out my two micrometers, one is a cheap, no name brand $20 throw away that I haven’t yet thrown away. The other is a Swiss made Etalon Series 260 model 71.115899.

It took me a little longer than expected to re-learn how to read these micrometers. I measured the paper on the SCR and it came out to .0017″ thick. I measured the paper carefully so as not to damage the paper nor to compress the paper and get a bad reading. There is a chance I didn’t read the micrometer properly but that may not be as important as long I was able to demonstrate a difference between various Bible paper. I decided to measure all my Bibles and found something very interesting. The paper used on the SCR is not the thinnest and it seems to be the standard. I measured paper from several different publishers and paper thickness is not the culprit as much as opacity is. I have discussed the right type of pens to use for writing in your Bible but there are those that do not write in their Bibles yet bleed through is still an issue for them.I am not an expert on paper. I know that is made of wood pulp along with other items such as cotton or linen, binders and chemicals to whiten or color the paper. Bible paper is made thin for obvious reasons, the Bible is quite a lengthy book. Were it to be made with regular book paper the Bible would be about 3″ thick. Imagine trying to street witness with a Bible that is over 3″ and weighs over 5 lbs.


Cambridge Pitt Minion Reference Bible NASB..0013″-

Classic Thinline Reference Bible ESV..0013″-

Tyndale Life Application Study Bible NKJV..0014″- Cambridge Cameo King James Version (out of print)


Tolle Lege 1599 Geneva Bible..0017″-

Lockman Foundation In Touch Ministries Wide Margin Edition NASB..0017″=

R L Allan Cross Reference ESV..0017″-

Ligonier Ministries The Reformation Study Bible ESV..0017″-

Crossway Single Column Reference Bible ESV..0020″

Crossway Deluxe Heirloom Bible ESV.The Deluxe Heirloom is sadly out of print. After the remaining stock on hand is sold there will not be any more made. This Bible was printed on 27 lbs. paper with wide margins and a 10.2 size font, a great edition for note takers. Of the Bibles with the thinnest paper, there wasn’t one that was noticeably more opaque than the other, well the Life Application Study Bible appeared less opaque than the Pitt Minion or the Classic Thinline. This may be due to the size difference between the two smaller Bibles and the massive LASB. Of the Bibles that measured in at .0017″, the Wide Margin NASB from The Lockman Foundation was nearly as opaque as the thicker Deluxe Heirloom ESV. The RSB the Geneva Bible and the ESV from Allan’s all appeared about equal in opacity and just slightly less opaque than the Lockman NASB and the Single Column Reference Bible slightly less opaque than the previous three. I believe that the SCR was printed on 21 lbs. paper and the Thinline on 19 lbs. The weight of the paper is measured by weighing 500 sheets of 25″ x 38″ sheets. I have no objective way of measuring the opacity of the paper and simply went by my eyes. In case it matters I have 20/20 vision.

I hope that Bible publishers will realize the importance of providing a quality product and that there are a few whom are willing to pay extra for owning great books. I do not know the price difference in using thicker or more opaque paper per Bible. The opacity of the paper is increased by the use of titanium oxide. I am sure that the use of thicker or more opaque paper will make for a more expensive Bible… but how much more expensive? Crossway and Cambridge both make Bibles that are near or over $200 but can be found for anywhere between $90 and $150. R L Allan make some truly fine Bibles but the ESV in Highland goatskin is, depending on the exchange rate, $175.00. They have editions that are over $200. Clearly there is a market for truly premium Bibles. I used an inexpensive Bible for many years even though I wanted a “better” Bible, I didn’t know exactly what a “better Bible” was. Most bookstores, Christian or not, do not usually carry these premium editions. Most people do not demand for better because they do not know better is available. That may be why cheaper and cheaper paper is used and why very few publishers offer sewn bindings and premium leather covers, not that hard plastic that is being passed for genuine leather. The surprise of all the Bibles I measured was the Cameo KJV from Cambridge. This is an old Bible from the late ’70’s. It’s paper is 0014″ and is just as opaque as Deluxe Heirloom ESV whose paper is .0020″ thick.

If you build it, we will come.

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Truth be told, I am a little late jumping on the ESV bandwagon. So I have decided to drive my own bandwagon. This is not the first review of the Single Column Reference Bible in the ESV translation published by my friends over at Crossway/Good News Publishers. I will be reviewing the SCR in black premium calfskin leather and will attempt to give more than a perfunctory review. Yes, I am a fan of the ESV translation but it is not the only translation I use nor is it the only one I recommend. I think everyone should use more than one translation, including the KJV, NASB and NIV. I also recommend the use of a Bible quiver, more than one Bible for specific use.

By God’s good grace we live in a time and place when where we can own a Bible let alone a plethora. Believe it or not, there are places on this planet where Bibles are outlawed and have to be smuggled in. Trying to keep things in perspective, there are saints that are happy to have just one Bible. One! They probably do not care if it’s a paperback or hardback, genuine leather or Trutone or whatever proprietary name is given to the fake leather. They are happy to own a Bible, lest we forget what a luxury we have. I say this only because there seems to be too much nit-picking about Bibles. This leads me to why I have decided to write this blog.

The internet, like most other things have very good aspects to them that can easily be exploited. In the dark ages b.p.c (before personal computers) news travelled much… much slower than it does today. News used to take hours, yes… hours to get to us, now with everybody owning computers and with new technological advancements like the Apple i-Phone you can get news as it is happening no matter where you are. Another thing that travels at the speed of life, aside from the news, are myths and urban legends.

Far too many Bible reviews are simply bogus. According to Rick Mansfield there are 84 translations or paraphrases of the Bible in English. Aside from all the translations available there are different bindings, covers, colors and sizes to choose from. If that wasn’t enough, you can also get a Bible that’s made specific to your needs such as a Soldiers Bible, Marines Bible, Adventure Bibles, Blossom Complete New Testament, Duct Tape Bible, Revolution: The Bible For Teen Guys Bible, Mom’s Devotional Bible, True Identity Bible and even a Woman Thou Art Loosed Bible… I am not joking. It is safe to say that there are Bibles that fill just about every niche out there, although I am still looking for a Too Fat and Too Old to Skateboard Bible in the SCC Version (So Cal Cholo.)

Since there are countless combinations of translations, bindings, covers, colors and sizes to choose from it is ridiculous to give a Bible a bad review for something that it was not intended for. I’ve seen people give a thinline Bible a bad review for having thin paper, or a compact Bible for having type too small for reading. If you are are willing to use only one Bible then you will have to compromise. If you want a Bible with large print set in a paragraph format with study notes, cross references, concordance and maps… you may have to give up portability. Judge a Bible for what it’s intended purpose is. Study Bibles tend to be large and bulky, compact Bibles are small and portable. It’s unreasonable to give a Bible a poor review for something it wasn’t designed for so buy the Bible that suits your need.

Which leads me to Crossway’s Single Column Reference. According to many reviews, it appears to suffer from paper that is too thin. Too thin for the purpose of note taking. Having been made with wide margins, note taking seems to be what it was made for. More on the paper, later.

The SCR was released earlier this year and features the ESV translation with the minor updates from 2006 which, really are very minor. The calfskin used by Crossway is among the best leather available by any publisher. The black calfskin is a matte black, it doesn’t have the sheen that the goatskin leather on Cambridge or R L Allan Bibles. The cover is cut slightly larger than the book block itself and it is also leather lined making the covers very limp and durable. This copy has very soft leather with grain that is striated and a smell that is wonderful. The spine has 6 raised bands giving it that “old world craftsmanship” look. The stamping on the spine is precise, clean and straight. The leather cover itself is framed by a line that has been rolled or stamped 1/2″ inside of the edge. When open, the book stays that way no matter where its opened to, in the hand, it feels like an old broken in baseball glove, an extension of your hand. This has much to do with the a binding that is smyth sewn, making this a Bible that will probably out last me.

The book block itself is 6.5″ x 9.25″ x 1.5″, the leather cover is slightly larger but not a true semi-yapp. The Bible has color maps in the back with presentation page, marriage, birth and death page in the front. As with all ESV Bibles I have seen, this one has the preface which speaks of the history and philosophy behind the ESV translation as well as a section that gives an explanation to the features, such as how to use the cross references as there are over 80,000 of them. The Bible also features a concordance with over 14,500 entries. All this goes to make a very usable Bible for the purpose of in-depth studies.

Another feature that will help in making this a usable Bible is the readability. The font size is 10 point which some may say that it should be larger but because of the setting is more than enough to make this a very easy read. The layout of the page is not cluttered, the verses are not crammed and the cross references are on the inside margin making this a very neat layout. The chapter introductions are brief and are printed in a shaded portion at the top, as each chapter starts a new page. The chapter title, also at the top of the page and it’s in a font different than the verses.

The feature that sets this Bible apart from many on the market is the single column setting. Most Bibles available are in a double column setting with cross references in the middle, this one however has the cross references on the inside margin and there is only one column of verses. Each verse starts a new line and there are paragraph marks to let the reader know when a paragraph starts. The space between the verses is roomy, especially in the poetic portions of the Old Testament. The side margins are a little more than an inch wide which is plenty of room for me to make my notes, but others may need slightly wider margins. The verses are bracketed by a thin line at the top, bottom and along the side inside of the cross references which is a very aesthetically pleasing detail. The type is distinctive and very readable even at arms length.

Now, to the paper. Everywhere from blogs to the comments section at Amazon, people mention the paper being too thin and it suffering from too much bleed through. This is a matter that has been blown out of proportion by a vocal few and been carried along by those that have yet to handle this book in person. This to me is a very subjective matter, although there is bleed through, it is not as distracting as some have suggested. If bleed through is an issue, this may not be the Bible for you but if it is something that is not so important. In my opinion it is not much more than other Bibles and for as good a Bible as this is, it something that should be overlooked. If you are going to take notes in this Bible do not use highlighters, use pigment liners to underline. Not only will they not bleed through they will keep your Bible looking neat. For writing your notes use the 005 and for underlining do not use anything bigger than a 03, 01 or 02 are preferable. The 01 will appear as dark as the print itself from the other side. Paper too thin? I don’t know, maybe. As I said thats a subjective matter. What I can tell you is that I dug out my old micrometers and measured the thickness, well, attempted to measure. It’s been such a long time since I had used them I am not sure if I read them correctly but the paper is .0017″ thick. There is some bleed through but it’s not distracting and if you use the right pens, underlining and note taking will not be a problem. You can even use colors that will be less not noticeable than black, be sure to try them out prior to use in less visible spot like the concordance to be sure you are happy with the results. The only issue I have with this Bible is the ribbon markers, much too thin for a book this big, aside from that, kudos to Crossway for putting together a very elegant and useful tool for the study of Gods Word. Check out the WTS Bookstore for the best price on the Single Column Reference ESV.

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Reformation Study Bible $15.17

For one day only, Ligonier Ministries will be selling their Reformation Study Bible in the ESV translation for only $15.17 to commemorate the Reformation. The sale will be on Wednesday. October 31. You can call the toll free number or order online.

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ESV Bibles. Great Bible, Good Buy

If you are not familiar with the relatively new Bible translation being published by Crossway, the English Standard Version (ESV), I highly recommend that you consider using it. The ESV is an “essentially literal” translation that holds to the literary qualities of the King James Version from 1611 while being nearly as accurate as the NASB, which is often knocked for sounding “wooden”. Although a very literal translation the NASB at times suffers form sentence structure that doesn’t flow well. The ESV, while being a literal translation like the NASB, is easier to read and retains the poetic qualities found in the KJV. The ESV is also more literal than the NIV while being just as easy to read.

If you are considering the ESV, take a look at the bookstore at Monergism.com. Their online bookstore has recently been updated and they have added to their lineup of ESV Bibles. Of note are the calfskin Bibles. Although expensive, calfskin Bibles from Crossway are some of the nicer Bibles you can buy. Not only are these premium leather Bibles nice to look at they are very well made and will outlast less expensive ones. The key with these calfskin Bibles is not only the super nice covers but the fact that they are have smyht sewn bindings which will allow these books to lay flat on a table or fit your hand like a glove while you sit in during Sunday morning service.

Monergism is currently offering the Classic Reference in black calfskin and cordovan calfskin as well as the Classic Thinline also in black calfskin and cordovan calfskin. These prices are the best you’re gonna find, even better than Amazon. Currently they are offering free shipping ’til Reformation Day… that’s October 31st for the non-Reformed.

I own the Classic Thinline in cordovan calfskin and I highly recommend it. Look for a full review at a later date.

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