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on September 30, 2015
I'm struck by the sweet, old-fashioned look of this Bible. Like a classic book, the cover is cloth-covered board. It's smaller than a "regular" Bible (see pictures- I added a quarter for perspective). The smaller size keeps the weight down, but look at the pictures to be certain the print is not too small for your comfort.
Inside:
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.
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on October 18, 2015
Absolutely LOVE this bible! Perfect for illustrating in :)
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on February 25, 2016
This is my second Crossway journaling bible and it won't be my last!! This bible is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! The leather feels so soft!! It is huge and heavy for anyone thinking about buying it to use in church, but honestly I still would. It has so much room for illustrating your faith, taking notes, etc. This is going to be my go-to bible from now on!!
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on November 25, 2015
In the last two or three years, I have been steadily returning to an active Christian life. This culmination of this quest was joining a local church last October. During this process I have been re-evaluating Bible translations since many have been released since I last active in church (this was in 1998-99). I settled on the English Standard Version (ESV) after using the second edition of the New Living Translation, Holman Christian Standard Bible and the new Common English Bible. I ended up choosing the ESV because it is faithful to the original manuscripts, has impeccable scholarship, and is responsible in using horizontal gender-sensitive language. This means that if the original is sensitive towards gender, the ESV renders it as such; if it isn't, then the ESV follows suit. Now I had to find a suitable copy for the journey. I had brought a hardcover text edition of the ESV in 2002 and used it for a bit of time, sticking with the New Revised Standard Version. I never liked the layout and the binding was not good. After looking in a brick and mortar bookstore I settled on this thin line edition. Amazon's price was better than other websites and brick and mortar stores in my area. The ESV text used is the 2011 update (I was concerned about ending up with an older text as I wanted this Bible to last; the ESV was originally released in 2001 and underwent some minor revisions in 2007 and 2011. Another revision came out in 2016).

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.
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on May 5, 2017
I love this Bible
Pros; nice to hold, looks good, easy to read font, very portable, lays flat in Genesis and revelation, good binding including a ribbon. I prefer the esv
Cons: not lined matched so there is ghosting of text from the other side of the page. Especially in poetry. I don't notice it in narratives though. No extra pages in back.
I recommend for someone looking for a carry around and readable bible. It's worth the extra $20 to me for the leather.
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on January 5, 2016
Love this bible !!! Strong pages !! I use pens and water colors and the pages can handle a lot !!! I love this bible my husband got it for me for Christmas and I'm in love !! -Kat
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on October 7, 2015
UPDATE: While I do wish that this were single column and had a larger font, I'm really quite happy with this overall. After comparing to several other Bibles, this has much lighter lines in the column (so not so distracting if using this for artistic journaling) and the pages themselves are less yellow than both the NIV journaling and Inspire Bibles. I've been able to use watercolor and such on the pages without issue, and just use clear gesso on pages where I want to do heavy marker or ink work.

Read the description carefully, particularly the size. The book itself is smaller than I had anticipated (this is my fault) and I was surprised that the pages are more of a cream color than white, and also very sheer. As this is designed as a *journaling* Bible, I guess I was just expecting the pages to be just a bit heavier weight to stand up against different media. Fine for simple pencil work, but I don't think I'll be able to use markers or paint. Also wish I'd realized this had a 2 column format (there was very little info included when I ordered)

It says there are introductions to each book - but they're at the back, not with each book.

Still, it's a lovely presentation and the slipcover is nice (great for protection when on the go)
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on April 26, 2017
Beautiful Bible. I purchased for art journaling. The pages aren't thick but I've used a similar Bible in the past for creative art journaling and with the right supplies, it's quite workable.

I was looking for a Bible to use for art journaling, and liked the interleaved design and the simple modern binding. I will be able to embellish this Bible extensively without compromising the readability.

This Bible is quite thick however. Definitely not something you want to carry with you. With all the extra blank pages, it's inevitable, just something to be aware of.

The ESV translation is clear and accurate without losing some of the traditional, beautiful, familiar phrasing of older translations.

All in all it's a good albeit not perfect Bible for my purposes. The balance between paper weight and Bible thickness is a tough compromise with no clear winners.

Will update with artwork once I create some.
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on May 22, 2017
I looked at the picture above (the one that says "see larger image") and saw the publication as 2001. But the product, next to the price, said published in 2010. However, I received the "permanent text" edition from 2016. Truthfully, this was the one I was looking for initially so I was thrilled about this mistake. This 2016 edition is somewhat controversial because Crossway publications wrote the word "contrary" in "your desire shall be contrary to your husband" in Genesis 3:16 (note: this has to do with the curse and not male headship according to Theology professor Wayne Grudem). I wanted the most recent edition to examine the controversy for myself. Plus, I wanted the most modern scholarship available. By the way, I recommend searching the internet for Wayne Grudem (including sermons on youtube). He is one of the main editors of the ESV and is a professor at Phoenix Seminary. He has much to say about biblical manhood and biblical womanhood (he also has books that he wrote here on Amazon). In any case, you may need to ask the seller about the copyright details/year of publication. I bought mine directly through Crossway, but it was sold by Amazon.

Even though Crossway planned on the 2016 edition to be the very last (thus the label "permanent text"), Crossway President and CEO Lane T. Dennis, PHD released a statement calling this a mistake. They will edit it in the future if need be.

The ESV used the RSV (published in 1952) as sort of their model. I hope you enjoy this translation. Whichever translation you wind up using, I hope you get into God's Word and ask Him to give you the wisdom and understanding to interpret the text. And I will pray that all people reading this will be obedient to God's Word and apply it to their lives (I say this/pray this as a caring Christian brother in our Lord, not as an official member of any clergy).

P.S. I love the (hardcover) pew bible because it's just so traditional, conventional, and simple. I bought mine in black and I very much recommend it.
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on November 20, 2017
I bought my copy at Christianbook.com for 29.99. this Bible has genuine pigskin leather which is a nice balance between durability and price. The Bible retails for $50 and it feels all of that and more. The paper is a little better than the large print compact ESV from crossway. No line matching but this thing is highly readable, even better than the large print edition because the smaller print makes for a better word-to-column ratio. The line spacing makes it perfect for hours of reading at a time, which will help me greatly. This Bible feels really good in the hand and opens about 85 percent flat out of the box (which will be 100 percent after breaking in).

Overall this is a great Bible!
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