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The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (with Cross-References) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
I'll lay out what I wanted and then indicate with a yes or no whether this bible fit the bill.
ESV - Yes
Lined margins for journaling - Yes
Verse cross references - No
Off white page color - Yes
Large font - No (it's only a 7, I should have held out for the large print version coming out in March)
Single column - Yes
Ribbon marker -Yes (although I would have liked to have 4 ribbons instead of just one)
A thicker page to prevent bleed through - Yes
NOT a compact version - Yes
Attractive Cover - Yes (I am very pleased with the appearance, it's nicer than the photo portrays)
Lies virtually flat when open - Yes (even from the very first time I opened it)
Hardcover - No (I had wanted a hardcover, but none I found had enough of the features I wanted. However, after receiving this one I am very happy with the soft cover and am glad I did go with a hardcover. This one feels nice in your hands and lays nicely in your lap when curled up on the sofa.)
Sturdy binding - Maybe (It seems pretty secure and I can lift it by just the cover without worry. I don't know how it would hold up over time if toted around. I plan to keep this one at home for personal study time.)
Given all of the above, I am very happy. Although, as previously mentioned, I really should have waited for the large print version of this very same bible to be released in March. The font is very small and a bit difficult to read with my over 40 eyes. If you need a larger font and can wait 2 months, I strongly recommend that. If small font doesn't bother you, buy it today.
I deducted one star because there is a section of about 50 pages that had been obviously folded over during the binding process. They were unfolded and laid back flat prior to it being packed (probably by someone on a quality control line). This is all fine and it isn't anything that I would have returned the book over.
The print is very small, so be aware of this. I mean, it has to be in order to fit the whole Bible into a compact form. The pages are thicker than I expected - I use a gel-ink pen to underline and write in margins. You can still see it through the page, but not as bad as I thought (see photos).
As far as the ESV translation goes, I love it. It reads smoothly in our modern English language, while preserving the accuracy of God's word.
My favorite thing about this bible though is that scripture has a definitive "shape" in the single column. Most text is beautifully justified, and does minimize bleed-through, but the type-setting is really what makes this my favorite reading bible. Quotes are indented, and some books are not justified at all, like the Psalms and the Proverbs, which gives each book its own shape in a way. Some pages are a bit dense, but overall there's some variety to make the typesetting interesting. Reading through a letter of Paul for example really feels like reading a letter. Verse numbers are still present, but your eyes easily gloss over them as you read.
I still prefer my NASB Study Bible for more in-depth study, but a few weeks after buying this bible it's still relaxing to just sit down and open it.
As for the translation, there is still some oddness in places, such as Philippians 3:1 - "To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.", but in general is a very readable translation while still in the line of more literal translations, second possibly only to the NASB in literal accuracy. I won't go into many details about ESV, but I'd suggest researching a bit about it if you've never read one.
The binding and cover are nice, perhaps not as nice as a bible that's over $100, but definitely what I'd expect for the price range.
The Bible that we received looked exactly like the one pictured.