I have, and have had, more Bibles than anyone I know because I am so picky and indecisive. The moment I opened the box to this Bible and held it I knew my search was over. This is the most beautiful, classy, and "at home" feeling Bible I have ever seen or touched. The print is perfect to read and preach from. The material is incredible to the touch. I can't see myself ever holding another Bible again.
I really like the ESV Clarion Bible but I wish that it didn't have cross references. I would be interested in returning it for a different version or getting a new bible all together. I have not written in the bible at all and I still have the case that it came in. Please let me know what I can do to in order to get a more desired bible for me. Thank you!
I am comparing the Clarion to my 1-year-old Allan ESV1 in black highland goatskin. I bought the Clarion to be my portable Bible, as the Allan is a bit too large.
The Clarion is an excellent product overall. The quality of the leather is comparable to my Allan. However, the semi-yapp and a little more attention to art detail inside the cover give the Allan a slight edge here.
Both Bibles feel very soft and liquid. The Clarion's smaller size and ease to palm it make it easier to be a portable Bible.
The text layout in the Clarion is awesome. The Word of God has room to breathe in the single column setting.
The print in the Allan seems a little sharper even though the font is slightly smaller (9.5 vs 10) but the Clarion is very readable.
Here is a con to the Clarion: paper is much thinner compared to the Allan. Hence, the pages can wrinkle easily and curl like the other reviewers said. They had to make the paper thin because this Bible has over 2000 pages compared to about 1300 in the Allan. I would have preferred thicker paper and have them leave out the concordance and maps.
Despite the thin and smooth paper, the shadowing is not too bad (although worse than Allan). They did a great job with line matching (better than the Allan) which compensates for increased shadow.
Despite the thin paper I still give it 5 stars because of its size/portability, it softness, and great single column design. It reads well, and feels great in your hand.
Maybe not everyone will like it, but this is my honest review:
The ESV Cambridge Clarion will surprise you. As for me, this Bible has effortlessly become my companion Bible, pushing aside even an Allan's Bible.
Despite my confidence in this product, I confess that I came very close to sending it back. Why?
First, when I opened it up, there was no "oooh!" I had been accustomed to seeing highland goatskin in the box, and this looked rather... flat. Plus, it was kind of stiff.
Second, the paper inside seemed a little stressed, as it had never been opened.
Third, there is a section in the middle where the pages curl.
Four, there was a minor nick in the leather, particular to my copy.
But, oh boy! I stuck with this thing, and it has surpassed anything I have ever had. First, I should say that while the curling paper is a minor annoyance, it decreases over time and is by no means a deal breaker.
And now I get to the leather. As the cover breaks in, and your hand oils get into the leather, it becomes a premium. Unequaled in softness and smoothness. The printing on the front looks elegant. This is top-of-the-line calfskin. [Side note: I disagree with Mark Betrand; the black liner does compliment the brown, and looks great.]
Some people have complained about the paper being thin; but this, I can't agree on. The paper is of the utmost highest quality in Bible manufacturing. I have a Bible from 60+ years ago with this type of paper, and it holds up perfectly. Silky to the touch, and for how thin it is, is quite opaque. I have never had a problem with bleed-through, and would not even if it was not line matched.
Of course, the real beauty of the clarion is the text block - and for that reason, any cover option would be a terrific investment. Big, spacious, easy to read... Now I do have good eyes, so I can't speak for those who don't, but I must say: I do not have difficulty finding verses quickly, and so I take this one to church.
Even with my minor leather blip and curling poetry section (future prints will not have this defect), this Bible is almost deserving of six stars. Springs open like a Pitt; excellent mix of portability and font size; traditional look... amazing job Cambridge. Actually, Bible makers should sue Cambridge, and they should sue themselves, because I would have spent lots of money buying other Bibles in my pursuit of the right one. But since I have this, it will be a long time until I make another purchase.
So buy this (or another translation), use it for 3 or so weeks, and see what you think of it. You'll be hard-pressed to think of a Bible that hits all your check boxes so well. Thank you Cambridge!