In the last two or three years, I have been steadily returning to an active Christian life. This culmination of this quest was joining a local church last October. During this process I have been re-evaluating Bible translations since many have been released since I last active in a church (this was in 1998-99). I settled on the English Standard Version (ESV) after using the second edition of the New Living Translation, the Holman Christian Standard Bible and the new Common English Bible. I ended up choosing the ESV because it is faithful to the original manuscripts, has impeccable scholarship, and is responsible in using gender-inclusive language. This means that if the Greek or Hebrew is gender-inclusive, the ESV renders it as such; if it isn't, then the ESV follows suit. Now I had to find a suitable copy for the journey. I brought a hardcover text edition of the ESV in 2002 when I lived in Virginia and I used it for a bit of time, sticking with the New Revised Standard Version. I never liked the layout and the binding was not good. After looking in a brick and mortar bookstore and researching on CBD I settled on this thinline edition. The ESV text used is the 2011 update (I was concerned about ending up with an older text as I wanted this Bible to last; the ESV was originally released in 2001 and underwent some minor revisions in 2007 and 2011). CBD was very helpful in answering my question about this point.
There are several things I like about this edition. The first is the size and binding. The Bible is about an inch thick at the spine, making it easy to carry to church and use in Bible studies, general reading and devotions. The font size seems to be a nice 9 point size. I also like the fact there are no cross-references. Personally I find them to be distracting and they clutter up the page. The binding has been improved compared to the hardcover text edition I brought in 2002. That binding was a glued mess. In comparison the binding for this Bible is sewn with premium bonded leather. There is a bookmark ribbon that helps keep your place in scripture. The cover is plain black; the back contains the name of the material with the ISBN number.
With I like these things, there are a few nitpicks. Let's start with the spine and gilding. The spine contains three references to the ESV. There is an acronym, logo and the name spelled out. This is overkill. I have Bibles that have the name of the version listed only once. I don't see why Crossway is doing this. The gilding is pretty nice. However halfway from the bottom from the bottom there is a small spot about the size of a pencil eraser. It is a small blemish, but it is noticeable. Another nitpick concerns the page layout. While I like the font size for the text, the font size for the notes is another matter. It is small to see and hard to read. I wish Crossway would make it a little bigger. The biggest nitpick I have is with the red lettering. In some spots in the gospels it is a nice firebrick red color. In other parts the color is more like pink salmon. This makes it hard to read in church. Crossway should ether switch to a constant color or drop them entirely (I opt for the latter). I was so concerned about this issue that I recently went to a brick and mortar store thinking that maybe my Bible was part of a bad batch. It seems that it appears to be a general issue with this Bible.
Overall this is a nice Bible with a translation that is probably among the best we have. I recommend for personal use and gifting. I also recommend it for those who are interested in learning what the Bible is about. If Crossway would fix some of the issues outlined above, it would be better. However I tend not to focus on these things; instead I focus on the message it contains. In any case it has become a part of my life since I brought it two years ago. I'm confident this Bible will continue to serve me as I push on towards eternity.
I love this little Bible. It's truly handy to carry along, very easy for travel or just day to day use. I like it because it's so portable, great basic references and good quality binding and feel. I can and do take it eveywhere.
This was a Father's Day gift from my wife and son- which makes it that much sweeter. This is a very high quality binding AND paper. I have another Thinline (same layout, page numbers, etc.) and laid them open side by side on the same page and this has a considerable amount of less "bleed-through" (print from the backside of the paper) than the other. Premium Calfskin bibles are hard to come by from an affordable standpoint. This has to rank among the top from quality to affordability.