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ESV Large Print Bible Hardcover – Large Print, April 28, 2009
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After awhile I decided that I needed a second translation that included the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. I chose the English Standard Version (ESV) over the NASB because, like the HCSB, the ESV has descriptive headings above sections of scripture to denote the subject/content of the following text. I have found this extremely useful especially when wanting to go back and find a particular section of the bible that was read previously. That feature is not necessary when simply comparing passages with the HCSB that I'm reading. But I wanted another "different" version that I could read if I chose to.
As I said, I am a huge fan of the Holman Christian Standard Bible because of the easy-to-read, yet accurate, flow of the translation. It is very, very similar to the New International Version (NIV) but without the gender neutral stuff. (Re-translations of the bible are in order if older original manuscripts are found or if the English language changes sufficiently (e.g. KJV); but never out of political correctness or changes in social morality, ethics or conscience. God doesn't change, so his Word shouldn't.) But I digress.
This English Standard Version (ESV) is a very nice, well-made book. I like hard-cover Bibles for some reason. I've used it for a couple of weeks or so for the purpose stated above. It is very similar to the NASB (except the NASB does not have the descriptive headings) in they are both literal translations. I am quite pleased with it.
The only complaints (very minor) are: The paper is extremely thin, which makes it more difficult to turn the pages and they'll crease if not handled carefully. Also, the thin paper allows the ink on the reverse side of the page to be seen slightly. The large print allows one to get used to it and I find that it isn't as bothersome as I thought it would be.
In general, a very nice hard-cover Bible in one of the better translations.
The Bible is printed in a large, dark 12-point font, double-column format which makes it easy to read. Its paper-quality is superior to most Bibles and can be marked or underlined using colored pencils without any bleedthrough. However, if you use an ink pen or highlighters, the ink will bleed through. Unlike Bibles which are made of thin paper, this Bible is not. This means there is very little shadowing from the backside of the page.
The margins are the same all around the text at 1/2 inch which enables you to make notations or reference marks. This is not a reference Bible, but does contain footnotes from the translators reflecting nuances of the text, etc. It has a decent 60-page concordance and comes with 8-colored maps. This is a black-letter edition meaning the words of Christ are not in red, which for me is a plus. Though I prefer a Bible that capitalizes all words and pronouns reflecting deity, such as in the New King James Version, this Bible does not.
The cover is made of a new imitation leather called TruTone which is absolutely amazing! I personally favor this type of cover over geniune leather-made covers which are much more expensive. Intiatially, a little stiff at first, it becomes quite soft and flexible after just a little use. Being Smyth-sewn, this Bible practically lays flat regardless of what page you turn to. The Brown/Cordovan, Portfolio cover style is just beautiful, giving it a distinctive scholarly appearance.
All in all, this is a beautifully designed Bible. It's a translation which reflects the best in accuracy to the original languages, yet as easy to read and understand as the NIV. It's a Bible you will enjoy carrying with you wherever you go, one that will last for years and years.
First, the main reason I bought this Bible was occasional blurry eyesight. The font is large enough. The problem I'm encountering is that the text is not dark enough when my vision gets blurry. I can read books with smaller print and darker lettering with no problem, but I can't read this. It's frustrating, and I'd bought this Bible to avoid frustration. So this is not a purchase I'd recommend or make again.
Another negative is the binding. It appears to be stitched, and it has large spaces between the stitches. I worry the binding will easily come apart at some point in the near future. If you're hard on a Bible from daily reading, this will probably come apart before you read through the entire Bible. I'm expecting mine to, and I'm being very gentle with it. I won't even open it fully for fear of destroying the fragile binding.
It is imitation leather, of course, and it looks it. My last Bible purchases were a leather and imitation leather NKJV. I really couldn't tell the two apart unless I looked hard enough. But I can tell the ESV is imitation leather from across the room. Despite that, this ESV is a pretty Bible. It's just not proving to be a practical one.
I purchased this one for personal devotional reading. I prefer to
read without the distraction of notes or comments when I am reading
just for myself. Let the Word of God speak for itself. I do own many
study bibles, they are helpful for learning and keeping a true compass
when preparing to speak, but I prefer the simple when it comes to just
"alone" time with the word!