I purchased this Bible last week and received it today. I opened it expecting to be wow'd as I have been excited about getting it. I opened the box and took the Bible out and starting looking at it. The cover is plain but looks nice. That is not important to me if there is a design or not. The edging looks nice. While it says burgundy it looked more on the red side.
I opened the Bible and first thing I noticed was how thin the pages are. They seemed fragile. I found out they are after I decided to try out the Greek/Hebrew section in the back. That is what I was most excited about. Well, the pages that I flipped to started to come undone from the binding not even a couple minutes out of the box!
I did call customer service right away and was answered by a person promptly after going through the initial automated portion. I explained I wasn't happy with the Bible and the lady I spoke with said I would get a postage label in the mail so I could return it. I do admit I am disappointed but I hope that the return/credit process is swift. The rating is based solely on the product and not the customer service aspect.
I received my bible in the mail yesterday. It is absolutely the most gorgeous bible I've ever owned and I'm amazed at the features it offers and how well made it is. The cover feels soft in my hands, the print is clear & easy to read. I love that it's indexed. Such a great value! I also want to say how impressed I am with Christianbook.com's pricing and fast shipping! Highly recommend this bible if you're shopping for an ESV with great study features.
A couple of disclaimers before I get started. First I have not read through the bible or reviewed a lot of the notes of this bible. This review is more about first impressions.
We will start with the cons: The description says it is a wide margin bible. I would say only half of that is true. The outside margins are wide, the inside margins (bounded edge) are too small for note taking. Also the white space on the book title pages are very small so if you like to make notes on the cover page of each book of the bible there is very little room. I underscored some text and highlighted a passage to see if there is bleed through to the other side of the page. Bleed through of both the underline and highlight is pronounced. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being no bleed through and 10 be complete bleed through I would say this is a 8. If you highlight and write notes expect a ton of bleed through. This is why I rated it a 4 star and not a 5 star. Also the map of the Exodus is wrong and not based on new discoveries. The Exodus map shows the traditional Mt. Sinai in the Sinai peninsula of Egypt not the new evidence of Mt. Sinai in Saudi Arabia.
Pros: Lets start with the obvious. A leather bound bible for $50. It is not lambskin or some of the exotic soft leathers but it is genuine leather and a great value. I like Jesus's words in red and thumb indexing in the pages and this bible delivers on that. The dictionary in the back is fantastic as is the keyword reference system. The dictionary is over 700 pages! Yet the bible in only 2 inches high. This probably explains the bleed through trade off. I also love the section headings. For example, in 1 John chapter 1 there are 2 section headings: The Word of Life, Walking in the Light. Chapter 2 starts with the heading: Christ our Advocate. I love that! There are also thorough book introductions, middle column cross references and study notes at the bottom of each page. I bought this bible to have a ESV version. It will not replace my King James bible because of the bleed through issue but I will read this a lot and use for bible studies and keyword meanings. That's a lot of bible for $50. Maybe the best overall value I have found.
It is so nice, and so special to me....to be able to have all these key words shown in the original language and luckily I had already bought the real large annotated concordances that accompany this Bible....with the numbers in it. I have had them ( 2, one with disc) for several years...and barely used them...never understood what those numbers were for...NOW I know!). I did not know about a dictionary that is also supposed to accompany this Bible. *** This Bible is beautiful in the leather! The pages are NOT stuck together along the edges, like some of the other new Bibles I have bought lately. ( Very frustrating and very hard to get apart! ) The layout is perfect and everything that they included in this Bible is perfect. The publishing company deserves a lot of credit, and so do the people who decided what exactly went into the Bible and everyone else associated with it. I only wish it had come out about 15 years sooner that it originally did. I sure could have used a Bible like this back in my Bible school and college days! All we had was the lexicon and then had to take a course in Greek to understand that! Thanks CBD for helping me discover this Bible and for offering it at such a steal of a price!