ESV Large Print Wide Margin Bible Review

Wide margin editions typically have either a small font or a large text-block. Crossway’s ESV Large Print Wide Margin Bible provides a large print in an overall size that’s smaller than many Bibles with this same size print. It’s available in TruTone and black genuine leather. I’m reviewing the black genuine leather, ISBN: 9781433561955, made in China.

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.


This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)


Barnes and Noble


and many local Bible bookstores


Video Review

Cover and Binding

The cover is genuine leather. It’s black and has a matte finish. It isn’t stiff, but it doesn’t feel soft to the touch either. The stamped grain looks nice. The front has no markings. The spine has four non-raised ribs and HOLY BIBLE, the ESV logo, ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION, and the Crossway logo – all printed in gold. The gold looks great against the black.

The liner is paste-down and the text-block is Smyth sewn. It easily lays open to any page. It has one thin black ribbon. The overall size is 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5″. It weighs 2 lbs, 9.2 oz. It doesn’t feel like a large Bible at all.


The paper is 36gsm and it’s white in color. It’s highly opaque and has a smooth texture. I found it easy to turn pages. It has no glare under direct light. This is excellent paper for marking and reading. The front includes several thick end-sheets, which are great for notes and for providing an extra level of structure.


This is a double-column paragraph layout with poetry set to stanzas. The header shows the page number in the center and the book name, chapter number, and verse number in the outer margin of the text. Footnotes are placed in the footer. Section headings are in italics.

The typeface is 11-point Lexicon. It has enough space between the lines (leading) for underlining. It’s black-letter and it’s very dark. Even at this darkness, there’s very little show-through, making this text easy to read. The footnotes are keyed with numbers. It has around 36 characters per line with around 7 words per line.

The verse numbers are superscript, but they’re extra-large and bold, making them easy to find at a glance. I found this to be an excellent Bible for preaching. I had no issues ignoring the verse numbers for reading.

It has a 1″ margin on the outside and about a 1/2″ on the inside. It is possible to get some small notes in the inner margin, but it would be difficult to get a lot in there. It’s good for symbols and references. This isn’t the type of margin you’d need for extensive notes, but it is great for those that just want a few small notes. If the margin-space is your goal, you might be better off with Crossway’s Wide Margin Reference Bible.

It’s a simple design, but it comes across as more elegant than most Bibles. I love this simplicity and readability.

Presentation and Family Pages

In the front, it has the standard family pages including presentation, marriages, births/adoptions, and deaths. They’re printed on thick non-glossy paper that’s great for writing.

Table of Weights and Measures

It has a one-page table with the biblical unit, approximate American and metric equivalents, and biblical equivalent. It’s a small table, and most of the information is also found in the footnotes, but it’s helpful to have this in one location.


In the back are 8 maps printed in earth-tones. I love these colors. It’s printed on thick non-glossy paper and has a rough texture that I like a lot. They include distance, topography, borders, routes, rivers, kingdoms, etc. It doesn’t have an index to maps but they’re labeled well and they’re 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


Here’s how the ESV Large Print Wide Margin Bible compares with the ESV Wide Margin Bible, Schuyler Quentel, and Cambridge ESV Wide Margin.

ESV Wide Margin

The Crossway ESV Wide Margin Bible has a smaller font, but it also has wide margins in the inner margin and references.

Schuyler Quentel

The Quentel’s font is about the same. It’s a thicker Bible because it also has references. I’m comparing the NKJV because it also has 36gsm paper (my ESV is the 2nd edition, which has 38gsm).

Cambridge ESV Wide Margin

The Cambridge ESV Wide Margin Bible has wider margins in the inner margin, but not as much as the Crossway Wide Margin. It also has references and a much smaller font.


The ESV Large Print Wide Margin Bible has amazing paper and print quality. It only has 1″ wide margins on the outside, and it has a smaller .5″ margin on the inside, so there isn’t enough room for extensive notes, but it is great for those looking for a large text and a little bit of writing space. It doesn’t have pages for writing notes, but this also helps keep the size down. I would like to have a few pages, though.

The lack of references, a concordance, note paper, and an inner margin make this ideal for small notes, reading, and preaching rather than extensive note-taking or study. It’s also great for marking the text. I love this Bible for reading. I can recommend this Bible just as a reader even if you don’t plan to write in it.

This is an excellent basic Bible without a lot of extras. It can easily be the Bible that you keep for the rest of your life and grow old with. I’d love to see this Bible in a premium edition. I highly recommend the ESV Large Print Wide Margin Bible for preaching, reading, for anyone wanting to mark the text, or for anyone wanting to take small notes that don’t need a lot of margin space.


This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)


Barnes and Noble


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.


  1. Matt

    Hey Randy,
    I believe they are making it in a goatskin edition called the preachers bible. it’s under a different name, but I don’t recall it exactly.

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Steve kristan

    Randy, thanks for your review. I have this Bible in GL and it’s my favorite daily reader. I don’t miss the lack of references and no concordance. I would like a slightly wider inner margin, but I went back and looked at my other wide margin Bibles and noticed that I wasn’t writing much on the inner margins anyhow.
    The verse numbers stand out better for me making it easier to find a verse when teaching. The key for me is the paper and no ghosting – outstanding!

    • Randy A Brown

      Thanks Steve. This is one of my all-time favorites, and it might be my favorite ESV. This paper, print, and overall size is perfect.

  3. DAN

    It looks to be line-matched. Is that the case? Also, is the cover bonded leather?

  4. Mike

    Hi Randy, do you know what differences there are between this edition and the upcoming Preaching Bible. I noticed the Preaching Bible is going for $200 on Amazon when it is ready on 2-28. Thanks!

  5. Kevin Tompkins

    I bought this bible in February. It is easily the best bible I own. I have a Schuyler but its just to thick and heavy. This bible is perfect for reading and some note taking like you mentioned. I would love to have it in a “cool” tan and brown and still have Genuine leather or something other than black but it gets the job done better than anything else I’ve tried! Thanks for the review! It helped me decide to get it!

    • Randy A Brown

      Hi Kevin. I’m glad you like it! This is easily one of my favorites.

  6. Chris Hlasnick

    What a beautiful review. Ive watched several of your video reviews on Youtube, but this website version id incredible. Thank you very much for doing it

    • Randy A Brown

      Thanks Chris! I appreciate the feedback and I’m glad you like them!

  7. Hank Bates

    Hi Randy! I was thinking of getting one of these and getting it rebound in a calfskin or goatskin. Does the trutone have the 36gsm like the genuine leather?

    • Randy A Brown

      Hi Hank. I think so, but I don’t know for sure. I’ll ask my contact at Crossway.

  8. Greg sytsma

    Hi Randy,
    Really appreciate your reviews (I’ve read quite a few of them now haha)!
    Hopeful for your advice; though I’m yet middle aged, I don’t have the best eyes. I was hoping this Large Print Wide Margin ESV Bible would be my primary reading and preaching Bible for the rest of my life. It just arrived today and the glare off the page in bright/normal light makes it hard for my eyes to focus on the text (I’ve already done enough damage to my eyes reading in low light).
    I don’t have knowledge like you do about paper thickness and quality and so forth.
    My hope was to get a leather ESV, large print, 2-column, black ink, wide margin, on opaque non-reflective paper, and with cross references (but not notes). It would be great if the print from the other side of the page didn’t show through at all.
    I haven’t been able to find that. I wonder what advice you might give about a Bible similar to that with easier to read print? (The Wide Margin Reference Bible only has 9pt font)
    Thankful in advance,

    • Randy A Brown

      Hi Greg. Thanks for reading! Crossway must have changed the paper in that Bible. My edition doesn’t have the reflective paper. If you can find an older edition, it might work well for you. This is the only double-column large print wide margin that I can think of. The wide margin reference with 9-point is the largest print reference wm. The verse-by-verse edition has great paper, but it only has a wide outer margin: If I see any others I’ll be sure to post links here, but these are the only editions that come to mind.


  1. Berean Study Bible Review - Bible Buying Guide - […] ESV Large Print Wide Margin Bible has a similar layout, print size, and paper […]

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Please Support us by Using Our Links

Thomas Nelson Amazon Store

Logos 10

Kairos Classroom

Affiliate Disclaimer

Some (but not all) of our links are affiliate links. When you use them we get a small commission on any sale but you don’t get charged anything extra. This helps keep Bible Buying Guide running. We appreciate your use of any of our links.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This