It’s been a while since I have done a Bible review but thanks to my friends at Crossway, I am able to do a review of one of their new updates on an old standby.
In the early 2000’s Crossway introduced many of us to luxurious black and cordovan calfskin leather. They would use these beautiful leathers for many of their most popular editions. One that became popular among many preachers was the ESV large print edition. This edition was perfect for the pulpit because it had nice big print in an easy to read font which made preaching from it a joy.
Not only was the inside visually appealing but they went above and beyond and also offered it in their thick black full grained calfskin which was hand-bound by Abba Bibles in Mexico. These are still some of the most highly sought after Bibles in the Bible collecting world today.
Sadly, the ESV large print in black calfskin faded off the scene. Yes, the large print edition was still printed but it was wrapped in covers that did not match the glory of the text block. A few years back though, Crossway began releasing editions in “Top-Grain” leather. It was not as beautiful or luxurious as the Abba calfskin of old, but it was nice to the touch and handsome to look at. I began hoping that Crossway would use this leather on more of their editions, and that wish has come true.
Recently Crossway released their large print in black top grain leather and that brings us to our business for today. Today I want to highlight this Bible for you and show you some of my favorite features of this Bible and give you a sneak peek at it in case you are interested in buying one for yourself.
Here is a quick look at the box and the pledge from Crossway that this is a quality product which they back up with a guarantee. In case you are not aware, Crossway has a wonderful guarantee policy and should you receive a damaged Bible or defective Bible you should give them a call or send them an email. I have had to do this before and they have been very gracious and kind. So this is a genuine pledge of quality.
Here are pictures from all sides (quick note: you should be able to click on any of these pictures to see them even larger). I really like the Crossway is bringing back the ribs on the spine, it really adds a lot of character in my opinion. They have also begun to remove “ESV” from the spine which I also like. Previous editions would have some form of ESV on the spine three times! It always felt like a little bit of overkill to me. The spine on this Bible looks very clean and attractive to my eye.
Here are some shots to show off the flexibility of this cover. I always like to open a Bible to Genesis 1 and Revelation 22 to see how flexible it is. Well, as you can see, this Bible has no problems at all. This text block is smyth-sewn and it easily lies flat at both positions and I have only minimally handled this Bible. If I could point out one thing I would change it would be this, and this is where I long for the calfskin of old, the cover is a little thinner than I like. If I could make one improvement to the cover it would be its thickness. But that may just be a preference of mine. Personally I like calfskin that is a little on the thicker and heavier side. Make no mistake, this cover is still very soft and beautiful, it’s simply something I wanted to point out.
Here are some pictures of the actual text from many different angels. This text layout is beautiful. I have had many people see it and do a double take. I am often asked what Bible I was using because the text size and font tend to be so attractive. What is also nice about this Bible is that has large breathable font (11pt.) but it is not a huge bulky Bible. This Bible is extremely portable. I would almost call it a large print thinline, though there is already another Bible with that name. My point is this, this Bible is so handy that you could take it with you anywhere and yet when you open it and look inside you are almost surprised at how readable and beautiful the print is. It’s a great balance between portability and large readable print.
I highly recommend this edition to you and I would also encourage you to go to your local bookstore and get your hands on one. You could also go online and here are two of my favorite places to shop for books online:
Grace to you and Peace,