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Crossway ESV Large Print Personal Size Bible – Review

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Crossway’s Large Print Personal Size Bible with 12-point font and red-letter is a good trade-off between size and features. The size and font make it a great choice for a reading Bible. The edition I’m reviewing is mahogany TruTone.


  • Line matching
  • Text is sharp and semi-bold


  • No maps
  • Paper could be more opaque


  • 2011 ESV
  • TruTone Mahogany imitation leather cover
  • Perimeter stitching
  • 12-point font
  • Red-letter
  • 2 column text
  • Section headings in the text
  • Footnotes and references at the bottom of the page
  • Concordance
  • 1 ribbon
  • Presentation and family pages
  • Gilted edges
  • 8.75 x 5.75 x 1.5
  • ISBN: 9781433541537
  • Printed in China

Cover and Binding

Not all imitation leather covers are of the same quality. Other imitation leathers have a cheap look and feel, but Crossway’s TruTone is one of the best imitation leather’s that I’ve seen. It feels durable and elegant. It is not floppy. I prefer this because it’s easier to hold in one hand. If you’re looking for a floppy cover then TruTone is not what you’re looking for. I prefer it to bonded leather and I even like it better than some genuine leathers that I’ve seen. It is perimeter stitched and the lining looks like vinyl. I love the mahogany color. The spine is embossed without any foil, which I love the look of.

This one has a sewn binding. It has a little trouble lying flat in Genesis. It will break in over time. One thing I am concerned about it how long the binding will last.

Paper and Print

The paper is nice but it does have show-through in the poetry sections. This is not noticeable in the other books because of the line-matching. It’s distracting but only in the poetry sections.

The font is where this Bible shines. It is 12-point and it looks like a 13-point leading. There is plenty enough room for underlining. It is nice and sharp. I would call it semi-bold. It’s consistent throughout and a joy to read. The red-letter is about a medium shade. It’s also consistent with no fading.

Size and Layout

For me, the size of this Bible is perfect. It is 8.75 x 5.75 x 1.5 and feels right in my hand. It is easy to hold in one hand.

This has a double-column layout in paragraph format. Section headings are placed throughout the text. Footnotes and references are located at the bottom of the page and are keyed to the text with numbers and letters. References are mostly found in the New Testament, but there are not many of them. There are more footnotes than references. Many pages have neither. OT quotes and poetry are in verse format.

Every book starts on its own page. I wish all Bibles did this as this is aesthetically pleasing and gives valuable writing space.


The concordance is 56 pages and it says it contains almost 14,000 entries and 300,000 verses. There are 57 entries for ‘God’. It is large enough to be useful in Bible study or quick referencing.


There is only one ribbon. It is long and is a shade of mahogany that is slightly lighter than the cover. it looks nice and is usable, though it is on the skinny side.


This Bible is a joy to read. It has become my favorite ESV reading Bible. It is free from distractions and still has a few helps with footnotes and section headings that don’t get in the way of my reading. The line-matching does greatly improve readability. There is more show-through in poetry sections than I like, but that’s a minor complaint. I would have liked to have maps. Overall, this is a nice edition of the ESV for anyone looking for large print without too many distractions. I highly recommend it as a reading Bible.


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

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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. Anthony

    Seems very interesting Bible. Thank you for this very informative awesome review. I think I really need to buy this Bible. But am quite reluctant with your negative statement about the binding, can you please enlighten me on this? Is it better to buy Trutone rather than Genuine Leathers?

    • Randy Brown

      Hi Anthony. I do recommend the TruTone edition, especially for the price. I’m not sure how long the binding will last compared to genuine leather. If the binding technique is the same, then I think the TruTone cover will last just as long.

  2. Anthony

    Hi Randy, buying this TruTone Bible is already equivalent to my One Week salary, that’s why I really need to know the reviews and recommendations and own a Bible that last a very long long time. Gonna use in for discipleship training. So the Genuine Leather is far better than TruTone? Sorry for my english. Thanks.

  3. Dane

    I agree, it’s a beautiful, well done Bible!

    Anthony, I believe Crossway will replace your Bible for free if the binding comes undone, so it is risk-free.

    • Anthony

      Thanks Dane.
      I’m from the Philippines. I think I cannot afford the shipping back to Crossway or Amazon.

  4. norm

    Nice review Randy and good to see Crossway utilizing the line matching. Probably the perfect size for a bible is an 8.5″ x 5.5″ textblock and nice and thick, the old 9 x 6 ultra thin format has been getting a little redundant, so it’s good to see Crossway reducing the perimeter ever so slightly. More straight text bibles with a good concordance please, the rest is really unnecessary, although the more textual notes the better. The only thing I would change is the word’s of Christ in red, hopefully in time Crossway will come out with a black letter edition.

  5. Rick

    ESV Large Print Bible, Genuine Leather, Black

    The 12.75 font is a real plus and easy to read for older eyes. Having a Bible in modern English is a breath of fresh air compared to the KJV. The font in the concordance however is very small and hard to read. Also, the concordance is very small compared to concordances we’ve seen in other Bibles. The three main complaints about this Crossway Bible are:

    1) The translation itself has many errors. This is especially true when you compare various words to the original Hebrew. Beingf that it is supposed to be based on the RSV, overall meanings of certain passages have been changed and now have a completely different meaning than what the Hebrew says.

    2) The very stiff leather cover

    3) The lack of sewing around the edges. Crossway used glue instead, a bad idea for a leather bound Bible. Only about two weeks after receiving these Bibles, the corner binding of one of them started to come apart. We received a replacement Bible from Crossway and it had the same problem!

    These large print Bibles were meant to replace other Bibles which we have used for more than 40 years without any problems. If you are in the market for an ESV BIble, consider spending a little more money and purchasing one from another publisher. The translation itself and this Bible could have been done better for a few dollars more. But Crossway has cut too many corners with this edition.

    • John

      As with all Bible reviews that make translation error statements with NO examples to back up the comment, I have to ask for provable examples, or we call bull.

      Please post them here so we all can look them up and see what is wrong. Thank you.

    • janie benz

      I would also like to know what passages he is talking about.I’m looking for Bibles for 10-14 year olds and don’t want to confuse the readers

  6. Wagner

    That Bible is amazing! I like it!
    I study English and am looking for a bible to buy, and I have just found that one by Crossway. Beautiful!
    I live in Brazil and I’d like to know how I can get that bible.
    How much does it cost to be sent to Brazil? May I pay with credicard Visa?
    Help me to get this bible. Here in Brazil I cannot find any kind of bible in English to buy. So, I have to import from USA, Canada or UK.

    Thank you for helping!

    • Randy Brown

      Hi Wagner. I don’t know who ships to Brazil. You might check

  7. em

    Bought an ESV Large Print Bible from a local bookstore here. It was a 2007 print edition, tru-tone, no red-letters, 12.75 pt. font which I really like. The downside I discovered the book of Matthew was 12 chapters only. The bind was beautiful and it only skip page, one thing I like to it is it was printed in USA. I contact ESV and got replacement its now the 2016 print edition, tru-tone, no red-letters, 12 pt. font..and now its made in China. The feature page and the books introductions was gone and its like a big format of the ESV Large Print Value Thinline. I really love your reviews. I also want to make but resource is lacking. USA got everything.



  1. Crossway’s ESV Reader’s Bible – Review | Bible Buying Guide - […] paper has the slight cream tint that I like. To me it looks and feels like the paper from…

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