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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