Tuesday, June 17, 2014

ESV Reader's Bible

The ESV Reader's Bible is a very unusual Bible. The first thing you will notice, is that there are no verse numbers, chapter headings, or footnotes. This Bible was created for those who want to read Scripture as it was originally written -- as an unbroken narrative; one extended story line. Although there are no verse numbers, the page headers include a verse range for each page. It really isn't hard to find what you are looking for at all.

The text is set in a single column, paragraph format. The text is a 9pt. type, and the chapter numbers, headers and page numbers are accented in an elegant shade of red. The Reader's Bible uses 30 gsm paper which is rated at 84% opacity. There is a small amount of show-through (or ghosting), but there is excellent line-matching so it is not very noticeable at all.

The copy I was sent is a cloth-bound hardcover. I really like the neutral earth tones. It's a really classy looking book. It includes a nice slipcase (which looks nice protecting the book on a bookshelf), opens flat and is 5.5" by 8". The Bible includes two ribbon markers. It's a very handy size, and it is very comfortable to hold and read. Personally, I think sometimes a hardcover Bible is more comfortable for long reading sessions while sitting in a comfortable chair or while lying in bed. 

This Bible is excellent for devotional or extended reading. I couldn't be more pleased with it. To be candid, traditionally the ESV hasn't been my preferred translation, but I'm sure having this copy will cause me to read from it more, and it will likely become my bedside Bible that I use for my nightly devotional reading before bed. 

The cloth hardcover I was sent has a retail price of $29.99 which I feel is a bargain. This isn't your average cheap hardcover, this is a very nice, elegant looking and feeling book. It really feels like a fine book, and I'm certain anyone who appreciates nice books will enjoy it. It is also available in a TruTone cover which retails for $44.99, but again, my preference would be for the hardcover considering this Bible's format and intended purpose. 

I've taken some photos but I'm not a great photographer. Also, if you are interested in a better look at the page layout, you can download a PDF Sample of the interior from Crossway at this link.

I would like to close by saying that Crossway provided this Bible to me at no cost in exchange for my review. I wasn't obligated to provide a positive review in any way; just my honest assessment. Again, I think this is a wonderful copy that would be enjoyed by any avid Bible reader. Here is a promotional video from Crossway:

ESV Reader's Bible from Crossway on Vimeo.


  1. For those who are desirous of a reader’s Bible in a translation other than the ESV, printed on thicker paper with no chapter numbers, there is a crowd-funded campaign going on now for the development of a four-volume set (available only by limited pre-order, and may not be available for purchase after late July) at: http://bit.ly/projectbibliotheca

  2. I have one and I enjoy it. I love the single column format. The only thing that's hard for me is feeling like I need the verse numbers so I use my single column esv more frequently but I do enjoy this bible. Just for reference I bought the trutone version