Crossway ESV Global Study Bible Review

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The Global Study Bible from Crossway is a study Bible that focuses on cultures across the globe and how to apply Biblical themes to an international context. The focus is on global issues such as government, the Church, world religions, social ethics, missions, and evangelism. I am reviewing the hard cover edition.

Features include:

  • 2011 ESV text
  • Black letter
  • Introduction and timeline for each book
  • References
  • Headings
  • Paragraph format
  • Two column layout
  • 12,000 study notes that includes facts and profiles
  • 120 maps and illustrations
  • 14 articles
  • Glossary
  • Table of Weights and Measures
  • 56 page concordance
  • 16 pages of maps
  • 7.5 font for text, 6.5 font for notes
  • Free access to the Online Global Study Bible
  • Sewn binding
  • 8.6 x 5.6 x 1.75

It is available from:

Christianbook: ESV Global Study Bible Hardcover

Amazon: ESV Global Study Bible (English Standard Version)

Cover and Binding

This edition is hard cover, although it is also available in paperback and imitation leather. The hard cover and imitation leather editions have a sewn binding, so they lay flat when opened. I would consider this a large hand-size Bible.

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Text and Paper

The font is 7.5 point with a good amount of space between the lines (leading). The font is sharp and consistently dark. The references are much smaller and can be difficult to read. The notes are 6.5 point with the pop-out boxes being around 7 point. The paper is white and very opaque. This helps in making the text readable.

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The text is in a double-column paragraph format. There are the standard ESV headings in the text. They are in italics so they stand out a little without being distracting. The verse numbers are small, but bolder than the text so verses are easy to find.  Under the text are textual notes. Under the textual notes are the references. Under the references are the commentary notes, which are also in double-column format.

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Book Introductions

Each book of the Bible is introduced with a timeline, author, date, recipients, theme, purpose, key themes, an outline, and a map. Next is a one to two page article that discusses that books global message. Most introductions take around four pages.

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Textual Notes and References

There are 80,000 cross references. Rather than placing the references on the side or in the center column, they are located under the text just above the commentary notes. I like this location because it makes it easier to find the reference. The references include verse numbers in bold to make them easy to find. They are keyed to the text with the standard keys – letters for verses and numbers for notes. Textual notes are placed just above the references so they don’t mix together making them difficult to see. This format works really well.

Commentary Notes

The commentary notes include the standard Study Bible explanations of verses. There are also pop-out boxes for facts (900 of them) and character profiles (120). The Facts sections include information about words, places, events, and just facts in general. The Profiles sections are short biographies of key Biblical characters. The commentary section also includes charts and maps (120). The charts often include comparisons between people, Old and New Testaments, theological themes, lists, etc. The maps show where events took place, missionary journeys, temples, etc. I don’t agree with all of the theological notes, but that is to be expected. I caution all readers with every study Bible with notes, so I’m not just picking on this one.

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There are 14 articles that are of course geared toward the global church. Topics include salvation, the importance of the global Church, reading, understanding, and applying the Bible, the reliability of the Bible, ethics, and more. They were written from authors across the globe and take about 50 pages. Some are theological, but most are more general and applicable to a wide variety of theological viewpoints.

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The glossary takes 12 pages and primarily covers many types of definitions. Some are factual, such as astrology, BC, and canon, while others are theological such as advocate, atonement, pantheism, and YAHWEH. Some of the definitions include verse references. The glossary covers a good range of words that often have to be explained in conversations. It is a good addition to this Bible.

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The concordance is 56 pages and is in three columns per page. It has a decent amount of entries. There are 52 entries for “God”.

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There are 15 color maps that span 16 pages. They’re not as bright and colorful as those from other publishers, but they fit the design of this Bible. They are mostly tans, browns, olive green, and light blue for water. One of the maps has a topographical pop-out. I like the maps a lot, but I’d like to see the addition of an index to maps.

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Online Global Study Bible

By buying the ESV Global Study Bible you get free access to the Online Global Study Bible. The online edition gives you the ability to write and manage notes, highlight the text, share your highlights with others, and access resource modules. The Online Global Study Bible alone is worth the price of the Bible. It can be accessed anywhere there is an Internet connection. To make it even better, for every Online Global Study Bible that is registered, a free copy is given to someone in the world based on the greatest need. THAT alone is worth the price of the Bible.


Crossway is a nonprofit organization with the focus of providing great quality Bibles at great prices. The price and quality of the ESV Global Study Bible is a testament to that mission. There is plenty of great material at a great price. This is a good Bible and a good cause. This Bible is a win/win.


Crossway provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review- only an honest review.


Crossway’s ESV Global Study Bible is available from:

Christianbook: ESV Global Study Bible Hardcover

Amazon: ESV Global Study Bible (English Standard Version)

About The Author

Randy A Brown

WordPress writer by day, Bible reviewer by night, pastor all the time. And there's also that author thing.


  1. Howard Adams

    I bought recently a soft cover ESV Global study Bible and for the first time in my life i have a better understanding of the word of God.The study bible gave me a view into the past.

  2. Rev.Dr.I.Samuel Prabhakar,M.A.,M.Th.,Ph.D.

    Global Study Bible is a valuable tool. I am a Pastor in Chennai,INDIA.I use GBS for my personal reading & study for the past one year(2014 onward). Now I acknowledge with thanks that GBS is given free of cost to English reading Christians in INDIA. May the LORD bless CROSSWAY & Team for their good work.



  1. Bibles of 2012 | Bible Buying Guide - [...] Another nice Bible from Crossway was the ESV Global Study Bible. [...]

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