5 Stars Out Of 5
Overall, Best I've Seen On Market
November 22, 2016
I love this Bible. Several years ago I purchased a Classic Reference ESV, it has been my main Bible since then. That Bible was perfect when I bought it and still is, the new ones I just bought appear to be as well. They're ideal in every way for myself, i'll explain why.
Size: I own a lot of Bibles, of all different sizes, overall this is the most ideal size for a Bible in my opinion. It's not so big that it's floppy and cumbersome, but it's not too small that it compromises font or paper quality. I absolutely love the size of this Bible in my hand, Crossway hit the nail on the head here. I wish NASB and NKJV would produce a Bible in this format.
Font: Crossway also hit the nail on the head here as well. It's a size 9 font, which is also my ideal font size. I personally don't like to read very long out of a Bible with size 8 or smaller font, it gets hard on the eyes after a while and feels crammed. The New Classic Reference stuck with size 9 font, and I commend Crossway for this, because in an age where thinline Bibles are so marketed, they haven't compromised with this Bible.
Text: I love this text block, their font type is probably my favourite on the market, it doesn't read like a dictionary like a Cambridge text block does, but like a Bible (if that makes any sense). It's really easy to read font and the lines aren't crammed together. I do wish they had line matching though.
Binding: I mentioned I have a Classic Reference from several years ago, from nearly daily use and abuse for these past 6 years it's held up. The fake leather cover (the fake leather is pretty good for fake leather, but in hindsight I would have purchased a genuine leather if I could afford it) pretty well fell off last year, so I glued it back on, but I haven't lost any pages yet, and I've often held this thing rolled up and twisted. I can say that if they have continued to have these sewn and bound like they used to when I bought that one, you have a quality binding with this Bible.
Paper: Good, and I'm pleased to say that the hardcover edition I just purchased two of now several years after my first one also has good paper. No, it's not the infamous French Milled paper that Lockman used in 2007 with their NASB's, nor is it Cambridges 40gsm paper in their wide margins, but its superb paper for the cost of this Bible. The ghosting is no worse than my Allan ESV Readers, which uses 36gsm. In fact, I would almost go as far to say that these Crossway ones might have less ghosting. Don't worry about the paper quality if you're considering this Bible.
Extras: Awesome, this is where the change was from the Classic Reference to the New Classic Reference, these new ones I bought have a lot of extra illustrations at the back of the Bible with the maps, illustrations of the temple, Jerusalem during different era's, etc. Neat stuff. Every book has a brief write up of background info, just enough for some of the essential facts, I love that. I'd say they improved this Bible.
Red Letter: I love the look of a bright red font in red letter Bibles, but I much prefer to read for extended periods out of a darker red font. Crossway used a dark red ink for their Bibles, and I appreciate that, it makes reading easier.
Would I recommend this Bible? Resounding yes, I don't think you'll find a better Bible in this price range if the dimensions and translation are your thing. I really hope Crossway doesn't ever compromise with their Bibles in terms of their bindings, or their paper like Lockman has done with the NASB the last few years. If I had a complaint about this Bible it would be that they don't have vertical border lines on either side of the reference column, it's a pet peeve of mine, I prefer borderlines, I wish Crossway would do that.
I will note I ordered two of these hardcovers because I wanted to have another 2011 Revision before the 2016 revision replaces everything. Why? I don't particularly like some of the changes Crossway did with the 2016, though there are good explanations for them if you look into it, but still very debatable. Also, I got so frustrated with Crossway doing yet another ESV revision with the 2016 (thats the 5th one including their original since 2001). I can't help but wonder if it's for sales, yes I know Crossway is non profit but there are many reasons for upping sales in a non profit. Either way, I'm glad they plan on waiting longer until another revision this time.