You may look at the title of this post and see a word that you may not use in everyday conversation. In fact, you may not even really have a category or frame of reference for this word. What word am I talking about? It’s the word “Heirloom”.
Heirloom is a term that oozes with meaning. It’s a word that connotes value and tradition. An heirloom is typically something that has extreme value (sentimental or economic) and is passed down from one generation to another.
In the early years of the English Standard Version (early 2000’s) Crossway latched on to this term and began to produce a few Bibles of such a quality that it could be called an Heirloom, a Bible built to be used and passed down from one generation to another. Unfortunately, the market was not ready for the idea. At that time, almost all Bibles were relatively inexpensive, made of cheap materials, and would easily fall apart after any consistent use. Premium Bibles with smyth sewn bindings and luxurious covers had not yet come into vogue. With that said, in it’s time the Crossway Heirloom Bible was not a big commercial success and went into hiding for a few years.
Fast forward ten to fifteen years and the Bible market is a completely different animal. There is now an extremely high demand for premium Bibles with luxurious covers. Now every Crossway ESV Bible you buy is smyth sewn and built to last.
With this new market makeup, the Crossway ESV Heirloom series returned. There are now multiple Bibles which are heirloom “grade”. You are now able to get amazing Bibles with great covers and in various sizes and in different text blocks. Some are thin and portable and some are built for marking up and deep life long study and note-taking.
This brings us to today’s post. In this post I have the privilege of reviewing one of these beautiful high end Heirloom Bibles. Here is a great video which shows where these Bibles are made and all of the skill and effort that goes into making one of these editions.
With that, let me show you what this Bible looks like and highlight some of its great features. (you can click on any photo to see it enlarged)
I love the attention to detail on this Bible. From the raised bands on the spine to the beautiful stitching around the perimeter. Personally this Bible is very attractive and eye catching. They have even done a great job with the box. The box is black and wrapped very nice. Everything about this Bible breathes luxury and it delivers on its promise of being a Heirloom.
Here are some shots around the perimeter of this Bible. I really like how they gave it a slight yapp (overhang). It gives it a very classy look. It’s really difficult to capture the color on the outside, it is a beautiful deep brown, but the inside liner is more of a milk chocolate. It is a nice surprise to open and see it and again gives this Bible a very elegant look to it.
Now the most important part, the actual text block. Here are many pictures from a bunch of different texts and a bunch of different angles. The text is similar to what you would find in a thin line and it reads very nice. The print appears larger than other wide margins I have used in the past (i.e. Cambridge Wide Margin click here to see that review). They have also line-matched the text so there is less bleed through. Line matching is where they line the text up on both side of the page so that it eliminates the distraction of seeing the word on the back side of the page in the white space of the page you are reading.
Here are some of the more technical details. The text has a solid inch around it for notes and or sermon outlines or whatever you like. It is the 2011 edition and not the newest 2016 text, but it is printed by Jongbloed in the Netherlands. Also, there is something that needs to be pointed out here in this last picture. These Bibles have what is called a “hinge”. This is where they connect the cover to the text block. Sometimes this hinge is less noticeable and sometimes it is more noticeable. In this edition it is more pronounced in the front than it is in the back. This is not a defect at all but it part of how these particular Bibles are made. With that being said, this Bible is still very flexible and will age very nicely.
This is a very classy Bible and is a great option for anyone who would like to have a little extra room to jot occasional notes or even extensive notes from a lifetime of study and listening to the preaching of the Word. The great thing about this Bible is that it lives up to its name, it is a true Heirloom, it is a Bible you can use for many years and it is a Bible that can be handed down to the next generation as well.
Grace and Peace,