Cambridge Wide Margin ESV in Black Goatskin (Black Letter Text)


Over the past couple of months I have been testing out a beautiful Bible from Cambridge University Press, it is their Wide Margin ESV. I have used it for every purpose: I have read morning devotions from it, I have studied from it, and taught from it. It has proved to be an excellent Bible for every situation and I believe that it is a great edition for you to consider as well.


Two black ribbon markers and red under gold gilt. The ribbons on this edition alert you that this is a black letter edition, the red letter edition have red ribbons.


Classic stamp on the front, this has gone out of practice but I like it on this edition
Notice the grain of the goatskin and the stitching around the edge

The cover is an edge-lined black goatskin, it feels so soft and supple in your hands. While being flexible it is not floppy, it has a great solid feel to it. You can easily curl one side under the other or you can enjoy it laying perfectly flat on a table or you can have it hug your knees. This Bible is a joy to hold and look at, whether its in your lap, around the kitchen table, or on a pulpit.

Here is a good shot of the grain and also the flexibility



With no effort this Bible easily fold under itself


Very generous margins for a lifetime of notes
Even a good amount of room in the inside “gutter” for notes

The text block is the exact same block with the same pagination that Cambridge uses in their Pitt minion. I find the font to be crisp, clean and highly readable. They have increased the text size in this edition by a point or so to make it more readable. The only part of this Bible that I would change would be the text size, I think they could have easily made it a little larger without compromising the wide margins. Other than that, I really like this text block and I think that it is one of the most readable fonts out there and I also had no trouble using it from a pulpit. The edition I have is also black letter text, which is my preference. I find that red letter text is very distracting but I am very pleased that Cambridge offers both editions for both preferences.


Classic Reference (left)  (Wide Margin (Right)
Classic Reference (left)
(Wide Margin (Right)

The paper is very thick and opaque. It has a good heft to it and lays very flat but does not act stiff at all. I find this to be the best paper in any Cambridge edition I have handled before. For instance, in the Clarion edition that I reviewed a while back, the paper was very thin and tended to curl and turn up on its edges. I have encountered no such issue with the paper in this edition, it has laid perfectly flat while I have used it for reading and teaching. Another thing about the paper is the gilt, this edition is red under gold which means that when the text is closed you see gold but when it is open you see red. I love this look and it reminds me of a by-gone era.

Here you can see the individual signatures and the red under gold gilt
So much room, very attractive format


The back of this edition includes blank pages for notes. I absolutely love this feature and I think this attribute along with the wide margins makes this edition a particular treasure. These two features along with its sewn binding and goatskin cover make this Bible a lifelong investment. This Bible has the long term potential to last you a lifetime, with a lifetime of notes and reflections on the word of God.


Slight overhang to protect gilt

In Conclusion, I love this Bible and I think it is worthy of your consideration. It wonderfully brings together both form and function, it is beautiful and very useful. If you are looking for a Bible that will last a lifetime and will give you room for notes, this is the Bible for you.


On a personal note, when my father went to heaven in 2008 I received one of his Bibles. In this Bible he made may marginal notes. These notes written in his own handwriting have proven to be treasures to me and my family. This Bible would be a perfect edition to write down your thoughts and reflections for future generations to see and reflect on.

Should you be interested you are able to purchase this Bible at these locations:

Evangelical Bible –

Bible Exchange –


2 thoughts on “Cambridge Wide Margin ESV in Black Goatskin (Black Letter Text)

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