First of all, this is an extremely high quality, well built, beautifully simplistic Bible that I could not be more pleased with. It is very clear when reading and handling it that it is of the highest quality. This is going to be my all-around Bible which I will use as long as the Lord keeps me on this earth. I'll keep this as short as possible. DESIGN: This Bible is a hand-sized, classic reference Bible. It is classic in that it does not follow the trend of many modern editions that are large, thin, and floppy and that tend to be single-column format. It has a smaller profile, is a bit thicker, and though it is very flexible, is not excessively floppy. It has some substance to it which I believe makes it easier to read, handle, and carry. It is classic double-column format with references down the middle. The only personal preference that this Bible does not meet is that it is not verse-by-verse like the Cambridge Concord. PAPER/PRINT: Excellent in every way. Printed in China yet I can find no fault with the printing. It is crisp, and consistent in tone throughout. To my untrained eye it is absolutely on par with luxury Bibles printed in the Netherlands. Some who love red-letter editions may have issues with the red-letter though I like it. It is more of a burgundy or a dark red. Paper is very opaque in my opinion. I notice very little ghosting or bleed-through. I really like the paper. It is very good quality though it is a bit different from typical Bible paper. I don't know if it is not coated or what, but it is not silky feeling. It has a very natural paper feel to it. It seems very strong and durable. COVER: I ordered the Calfskin version. The calfskin is the best calfskin I've handled. Much better than other calfskin Bibles in this price range. It is nice and thick yet extremely soft and flexible. I have several goatskin bibles and I actually like this Crossway calfskin better than any of them though it does not look quite as luxurious as goatskin. It is attached flawlessly. Again, it is clearly assembled with great care. FINAL/ADDTL. THOUGHTS: The other gripe I've read about previous editions of this Bible is that there is a lot of crinkling in the gutter and undesirable crackly noises as a result. Not so with this newer edition. I've seen no crinkling at all. Crossway has fixed this issue. This bible will also lay flat from Genesis to Revelation though it does take some breaking in and doesn't do it as effortlessly as a big floppy R.L. Allan. It opens smoothly though it does need to be flattened and worked with initially due to the thick hinges that are commonly used in Bibles for added support. In conclusion I give credit to Crossway for producing a simple, elegant, very high-quality Bible for those of us who fall into this niche, at a fair and reasonable price. What I was looking for was a hand-sized reference Bible not like the big/thin floppy ones in fashion, quality construction, elegant and simple in appearance, not luxurious and extravagant in appearance, quality paper and printing, not single-column, large enough font to preach and read from, and in the ESV translation. Basically a Cambridge Concord in the ESV translation. I have found everything I was looking for with this Bible and could not be more impressed with it! Thank you Crossway for an honest commitment to produce the Word of God in a manner fitting His name. Thank you Christianbook.com for selling it at a reasonable price.
I am very impressed with the quality of this edition, especially considering the low price. The opacity of the paper, combined with the very even tone of the black ink throughout is excellent for an inexpensive Bible. I am generally not a fan of red letter editions, usually finding the shade of the reds pretty random and often too light, but this ESV's red letters are quite clear. The font size and line spacing will likely make for comfortable reading for many, although the center column references are quite small (a worthwhile tradeoff to keep the Bible at its current, convenient size in my estimation). The sewn binding, which I personally believe all Bibles should have, is a nice touch. This is the first Bible I have ever seen with a dust jacket (the actual Bible cover underneath is identical, including the gloss). For those that are curious, and can't tell from the sample pictures, the actual back cover of the Bible (and the dust jacket) is solid black. Overall, a very nice Bible for the price in a trustworthy translation.