Crossway ESV Heirloom Thinline Bible Review

The thinline is one of the most popular styles of Bibles for the low-end Bible market. I see them everywhere Bibles are sold. It’s also one of the least popular when it comes to high-quality editions. There have been several in the past, usually in calfskin with a Chinese book block, but the Crossway ESV Heirloom Thinline is a higher quality production of their popular ESV Thinline Bible. This edition is goatskin with high-quality paper, made in the Netherlands by Royal Jongbloed. ISBN: 9781433541575.

Crossway provided this Bible in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.

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This book is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Amazon

Books-A-Million

Christian Book

Thriftbooks

and many local Bible bookstores

_________________________________________________________

Table of Contents

  1. Video Review
  2. Cover and Binding
  3. Paper
  4. Typography
  5. References
  6. Concordance
  7. Maps
  8. Comparisons
  9. Conclusion

Video Review

Table of Contents

Cover and Binding

The cover is black goatskin. It has a nice pebbly grain that looks and feels elegant. The front has no writing. It’s perimeter stitched and has a little bit of a yapp. The spine includes four raised spine ribs. It has HOLY BIBLE, The ESV logo, English Standard Version, and the Crossway logo stamped in gold. The liner is cowhide leather. It’s edge-lined and has a gilt line around the inside perimeter. The edge-line tab isn’t too large, but it does seem to be a little stiff at first.

It’s nice and flexible. The block is Smyth sewn. It stays open in one hand, but it’s also easy to bend it and hold it any way you want. It does have a noticeable hump in the first few pages where the edge-lined tab sits under the pages. It will stay open without trying to close, but the henge is stiffer than I’d like it to be. It isn’t difficult to hold it open in one hand when you’re reading close to the front or back of the Bible, but I wouldn’t say it’s flat.

It has two black ribbons. They’re easy to pull to the corner to open the page. It has black and gold head/tail bands. They look great against the black leather and gold gilt line. The overall size is 9.125″ x 6.00″ x 1.00″ and it weighs 1lb, 7.4oz. This is an excellent size and weight for carrying it and for holding it to read.

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Paper

The paper is 28gsm Indopaque from Europe. It has a slight cream color and it’s highly opaque. It has no glare under direct light. The paper has a coated feel, but it’s not too slippery. I was able to rub the pages together to turn them with no trouble. They were especially easy enough to turn once I used them a little.

It has 1104 pages, plus a few blank pages that can be used for notes, as well as several thick pages to add structure. In the front are several thick presentation and family pages. The art-gilt edges are red under gold and add to the elegance of this Bible.

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Typography

The text is presented in a double-column paragraph setting with poetry set to stanzas. Translation footnotes are placed across the bottom of the page and are keyed to the text with numbers. The header shows the page number in the center and the book name, chapter number, and verse number in the outer margin. Section headings are in italics.

The font is 8-point. This is a black-letter text. It’s about medium in darkness and it’s highly consistent. The text is sharp. It has around 9 words per line. It has a good amount of leading to help reduce the page-density. I found it comfortable to read.

It wasn’t printed with line line-matching. This is mostly noticeable in the poetic settings, but the opacity of the paper hides it well enough that I didn’t find it too distracting when reading.

Poetry looks great in this setting, but it’s not always broken in the most ideal places. Instead of breaking the poetic line into phrases, the line will go as far as it can and the rest is indented under it.

The verse numbers are small, but they have just enough space around them to make them fairly easy to find. They’re not bold, so they don’t stand out unless you’re looking for them. Footnotes are small and are keyed to the text with numbers. I found them easy to ignore for reading.

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Concordance

The concordance is 58 pages with 3 columns per page. It’s a good concordance with enough references for sermon prep and study without adding much to the thickness of this Bible. Here are some sample entries and the number of references given:

  • Christ – 16
  • Christ’s – 4
  • Christian – 2
  • Faith – 31
  • Faithful – 11
  • Faithfulness – 7
  • Faithless – 1
  • God – 52
  • Godliness – 5
  • Godly – 3
  • Gods – 2
  • Praise – 21
  • Praised – 4
  • Praises – 3
  • Praising – 4
  • Pray – 10
  • Prayed – 3
  • Prayer – 11
  • Prayers – 6
  • Praying – 3

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Maps

It has 8 maps printed on thick paper. They’re printed in full-color using earth-tones. The pages do have a shine under direct light. They include distance, topography, borders, routes, rivers, kingdoms, etc. It doesn’t have an index to maps. The maps are labeled well and I find them easy to use.

Maps include:

  1. The World of the Patriarchs
  2. The Exodus from Egypt
  3. The Twelve Tribes of Israel
  4. Israel Under Saul, David, and Solomon
  5. Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus
  6. Palestine in the Time of Jesus
  7. Paul’s First and Second Missionary Journeys
  8. Paul’s Third Missionary Journey and His Voyage to Rome

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Comparisons

Sadly, there aren’t a lot of high-quality text editions on the market. So, I’ll compare the ESV Heirloom Thinline to one text edition and a few comparable reference editions. Here’s how the ESV Heirloom Thinline compares with the Legacy, Clarion, Pitt Minion, and Personal Size Quentel. All have the same 28gsm Indopaque paper as the Heirloom Thinline.

Crossway Heirloom Legacy

Crossway’s Heirloom Legacy is the other goatskin text edition made in the Netherlands. The footprint is slighty larger but it’s noticeably thicker. The single column layout has a larger font.

Crossway Omega

Crossway’s ESV Omega has a slightly larger footprint and is about the same thickness. It has a larger font and references.

Cambridge Clarion

The Cambridge ESV Clarion has a smaller footprint but it’s a lot thicker. It’s a reference edition in a single column with a slightly larger font.

Cambridge Pitt Minion

The Cambridge ESV Pitt Minion has a lot smaller footprint and font. The text is much denser. It’s a double-column edition with center-column references.

Schuyler Personal Size Quentel

Schuyler’s ESV Personal Size Quentel has a smaller footprint but is a little thicker, making them weigh about the same. It’s a double-column reference edition without a concordance.

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Conclusion

Crossway’s ESV Heirloom Thinline is a beautiful Bible. It’s a true heirloom edition and is built as well as anything I’ve seen from Royal Jongbloed. The goatskin cover and paper are amazing. The main differences from other editions in Crossway’s Heirloom series would be the two ribbons rather than four, and the lack of line-matching. Fortunately, the text is still highly readable even without the line-matching.

For me, the thinline is one of the most versatile sizes for a Bible. It’s one of the most popular sizes in all translations that I’ve seen carried by preachers and evangelists. It fits great in a briefcase or travel bag. It’s light and easy to handle, but not too small for most people to read easily. I find this to be an excellent size for an all-around Bible. I’d love to see more text editions in heirloom quality. The ESV Heirloom Thinline is an excellent choice for anyone that doesn’t need larger than an 8-point font or a reference edition.

Table of Contents

_________________________________________________________

This book is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Amazon

Books-A-Million

Christian Book

Thriftbooks

and many local Bible bookstores

_________________________________________________________

 

Crossway provided this Bible in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.

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.

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