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ESV Journaling Bible, Interleaved Edition (Brown, Flap with Strap) Leather Bound – February 29, 2016
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This is not a study Bible. There's a few introductory pages at the front of the book. The back of the book includes an explanation of salvation, a short synopsis of every book of the Bible, and a one year reading plan.
This Bible (as the title suggests) is designed for journaling. Each page features two columns of scripture accompanied by a column for writing (or art). The lines are faint... I had to get pretty close to try to capture them with the camera. They are small, narrow lines. I appreciate the faintness of the lines for the pages where I want to add artwork instead of just notes.
The pages are still traditional-Bible-thin. I wouldn't paint without some kind of gesso (my opinion, your mileage may vary). You'll still need to consider carefully the mediums (pens, highlighters, etc.) you use if you don't want it to go through to the other page.
I appreciate the cardboard slipcover. I feel like it would keep my journaling Bible safe in a tote bag if I wanted to be outside or on the road with it.
Overall, it's simply charming. I feel inspired to start reading right away.
There are several things I like about this edition. The first is the size and binding. The Bible is about an inch thick at the spine, making it easy to carry to church and use for Bible study, general reading and devotions. The font size seems to be a nice 9 point size. I also like the fact there are no cross-references. Personally I find them to be distracting and they clutter up the page. The binding has been improved compared to the hardcover text edition I brought in 2002. That binding was a glued mess. In comparison the binding for this Bible is sewn with premium bonded leather. There is a bookmark ribbon that helps to your place in scripture. The cover is plain black; the back contains the name of the material with the ISBN number.
With I like these things, there are a few nitpicks. Let's start with the spine and gilding. The spine contains three references to the ESV. There is an acronym, logo and the name spelled out. This is overkill (see picture below). I have Bibles that have the name of the version listed only once. I don't see why Crossway is doing this. The gilding is pretty nice. However halfway from the bottom from the bottom there is a small spot about the size of a pencil eraser. It is a small blemish, but noticeable (see picture below). Another nitpick concerns the page layout. While I like the font size for the text, the font size for the notes is another matter. It is small to see and hard to read. I wish Crossway would make it a little bigger. The biggest nitpick I have is with the red lettering. In some spots in the gospels it is a nice firebrick red color. In other parts the color is more like pink salmon. This makes it hard to read in church. Crossway should ether switch to a constant color or drop them entirely (I opt for the latter). I was so concerned about this issue that I recently went to a brick and mortar store thinking that maybe Amazon got a bad batch of Bibles. It seems that it appears to be an issue with this Bible generally. (See the pictures below.)
Overall this is a nice Bible with a translation that is probably among the best we have. I recommend for personal use and gifting. I also recommend it for those who are interested in learning what this whole Bible thing is about. If Crossway would fix some of the issues outlined above, it would be better. However I tend not to focus on these things; instead I focus on the message it contains. In any case it has become a part of my life since I brought it two years ago. I'm confident this Bible will continue to serve me as I push on towards eternity.
The pictures attached to this review show the front and back of the box. The front and back are also shown. Since I got this Bible I have got my name engraved on it. This will not be on the copy you order. The spine and the gilding are also pictured. There are also two page samples that show the different red letter colors and the size of the notes. I hope they are helpful.
My main problem was the regular pages of bibles get worn out so fast and i dont really want my bible to look like crap just because i read it a lot. this especially solves the problem of my hands getting clammy and ruining the pages. the pages are a nice clean white and the text is consistently printed well on the pages.