The ESV Quentel was recently re-typeset with a new design that reduces the font size by one point and adds decorative drop-caps. It’s available in several colors of edge-lined calfskin and goatskin. I’m reviewing the Black Pearl calfskin with full yapp. It was made in the Netherlands by Royal Jongbloed and typeset by 2K/Denmark.

See comparisons in the article ESV Quentel Comparisons.

This Bible was provided by in exchange for an honest review. I was not asked to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.


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Table of Contents

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


  • 2016 ESV
  • Double-Column layout
  • Bottom of page reference
  • Black Pearl Italian calfskin leather
  • Edge-lined leather liner
  • Sewn binding
  • 3 3/8″ ribbons
  • 6 1/4 x 9 1/4 x 1 3/8″ overall size
  • 2 lbs, 4.6 oz
  • 28GSM paper
  • Line matching text
  • 10-point typeface
  • Black letter
  • Decorative drop caps
  • 80k references
  • Full set of footnotes
  • Table of Weights and Measures
  • Concordance
  • Family pages
  • 15 maps
  • Printed in the Netherlands by Jongbloed
  • Current price $235

Cover and Binding

The Italian calfskin is thick and feels elegant. The texture is slightly rough grain that looks and feels natural. The color is a dark gray with lots of marbling that looks unique. It has perimeter stitching, a line around the edge of the text block, and the Jerusalem cross on the front. The spine has six raised hubs with text printed in silver. The full yapp touches on all sides. This leather is flexible, but it’s a touch stiffer than goatskin. It’s easy to hold open with one hand.

The edge-lined calfskin leather liner is navy with a silver gilt line around the inside perimeter. This color combination works well with Black Pearl. The edge-lined tab is a little stiff at first. I think it will break in well after use. The block is sewn and it stays open in Genesis 1.

It has 3 3/8″ navy ribbons. They’re long enough to pull to the corner to open the Bible. They look great with the Black Pearl and blue under silver page edges. The overall size of the cover with the yapp touching is 6 1/4 x 9 1/4 x 1 3/8″. It weighs 2 lbs, 4.6 oz. This size doesn’t feel large, making this a good Bible for carrying.


The paper is 28gsm Indopaque. It’s smooth to the touch and has a slightly cream color, which looks great to my eyes. It’s highly opaque. The show-through is mostly noticeable in the poetic settings. I like this paper for reading. Even though the paper is smooth, I had no issues turning the pages. The art gilt is blue under silver, which looks good with the cover and ribbons.

In the back, just before the maps, are 6 lined pages for notes. This is the same paper as the rest of the Bible and is good for sermon outlines, references, word studies, and ministry notes.


The text in the ESV Quentel is presented in a double-column paragraph format with poetry in stanzas. The header places the page numbers in the inner margin and the book name and chapter numbers in the outer margin. Cross-references are placed in the footer. This edition now includes ornamental drop caps. Chapter numbers, drop-caps, pilcrows, header text, the footer line, and chapter and verse numbers in the footer are all printed in red. Chapter numbers include a decorative icon.

The font in this new setting is 10-point, which is 1 point less than the previous ESV Quentel. This is a black-letter edition. The text is dark and consistent throughout, but I did notice a very small amount of print variation. It’s not enough to notice if you’re not looking for it. It’s printed with line-matching, so the lines on both sides of the page are printed in the place front and back to improve readability. The paper is opaque enough that the text doesn’t appear gray because of the text behind it. It has around 8 words per line. The text never feels cramped. The inner margin is wide enough to bring the text out of the gutter, so the text never gets lost in the bend. The text does not include cross-reference keys. This keeps the text clean and easy to read.

The smaller font size still seems large enough for my eyes. It’s not a giant print, but it does seem to be large enough for me. I find this new layout to be an excellent size for reading, preaching, and carrying. I’m more likely to carry this one than the older edition.

Footnotes and References

The footnotes are placed under the last verse on the page. They are keyed to the text with numbers. It doesn’t include the verse numbers. The footnotes include alternate translations, literal translations, Hebrew and Greek terms, special uses of Greek words, the meanings of names, words where meanings are uncertain, clarification of additional meanings, grammatical points, supplied pronouns, English equivalents of weights and measures, and manuscript variations. The footnotes are useful for personal study and for sermon prep.

It has over 80,000 cross-references placed in a single column across the footer. They include a taper to ground the page. The pilot reference is printed in red, so they’re easy to find. Since there are no reference keys in the text, there are no numbers in the references to tie them to the text. I like this because it keeps the text and the references cleaner. There are a lot of references. They cover words and themes, making this an excellent Bible for personal study and sermon prep. Here are a few examples of references to help you compare:

  • Genesis 1:1 – Job 38:4-7; Ps 33:6; 136:5; Isa 42:5; 45:18; Jn 1:1-3; Ac 14:15; 17:24; Col 1:16, 17; Heb 1:10; 11:3; Rev 4:11
  • Deuteronomy 6:4 – Cited Mk 12:29; Isa 42:8; Zech 14:9; Jn 17:3; 1 Cor 8:4, 6
  • Isaiah 9:6 – Lk 2:11; Jn 3:16; ch 7:14; Mt 28:18; 1 Cor 15:25; ch 22:22; ch 28:29; ch 10:21; Deut 10:17; Neh 9:32; Jer 32:18; Ps 72:17; ch 63:16; Jn 14:18; Ps 72:7; Eph 2:14; see ch 1:6-9
  • Matthew 28:19 – Mk 16:15, 16; ch 13:52; Lk 24:47; ch 24:14; Mk 11:17; Rom 1:5; Ac 8:16; 2 Cor 13:14
  • Mark 12:29 – Lk 10:27; cited from Dt 6:4, 5; Rom 3:30; 1 Cor 8:4, 6; Gal 3:20; Eph 4:6; 1 Tim 1:17; 2:5; Jm 2:19; 4:12; Jude 25; Mt 19:17; 23:9
  • John 1:1 – Gn 1:1; Col 1:17; 1 Jn 1:1; Rev 1:4, 8, 17; 3:14; 21:6; Rev 19:13; Heb 4:12; 1 Jn 1:1; 1 Jn 1:2; ch 17:5; Phil 2:6
  • John 3:16 – Rom 5:8; Eph 2:4; 2 Thes 2:16; 1 Jn 3:1; 4:9, 10; see ch 1:29; Rom 8:32; ch 10:28
  • Acts 2:38 – ch 3:19; 20:21; 26:18, 20; Lk 24:47; ch 22:16; ch 8:12; see Mk 16:16; ch 10:48; see ch 8:16; see Mk 1:4; ch 10:45; ch 8:15, 20; 11:17; see Jn 7:39
  • Romans 10:9 – Mt 10:32; Lk 12:8; 1 Cor 12:3; Phil 2:11; see Ac 16:31; 1 Pet 1:21; see Ac 2:24
  • 1 John 1:1 – see Jn 1:1; ch 2:13, 14; Ac 4:20; Jn 19:35; ch 4:14; Jn 1:14; 2 Pet 1:1; Lk 24:39; Jn 20:27


In the front is the presentation page and several family pages printed on thick non-glossy paper and include red highlights. The family pages include marriages, births, and deaths. This isn’t a lot of pages, so you can’t build a large family tree, but it’s enough for most immediate family members.

After the biblical text is a one-page table of weights, measures, and monetary units. It shows the biblical unit, approximate American and metric equivalents, and the biblical equivalent. This is a good table for basic study. This information is also found in the footnotes.


The concordance is 62 pages and 3 columns per page, with over 3000 entries and 14,000 references. It includes proper names of the most prominent people and places. This is a good concordance for personal study and sermon prep. The text is small, so it can be difficult to read for older eyes. I’d love to see a larger font in the concordance even if it means not having lined pages for notes.

Sample entries include:

  • Christ – 17
  • Christ’s – 3
  • Christian – 2
  • Christs – 1
  • Faith – 36
  • Faithful – 12
  • Faithfulness – 7
  • Faithless – 2
  • God – 56
  • Goddess – 2
  • Godliness – 6
  • Godly – 4
  • Gods – 4
  • Praise – 11
  • Praised – 4
  • Praises – 3
  • Praising – 4
  • Pray – 13
  • Prayed – 5
  • Prayer – 11
  • Prayers – 7
  • Praying – 4


The ESV Quentel has 12 maps printed on thick, non-glossy paper. They are colorful and are my favorite colors for maps. The maps are annotated well and I find them easy to use. Several of the maps take two pages, but they do not include space in the gutter. This makes it difficult to read where the two pages meet. Maps include borders, cities, distance, topography, Scripture references, places of worship, capitals, water, roads, canals, seaports, ancient inscription sites, events of Jesus’ life, Apostles’ ministries, places of writings, etc. It also includes a 3-page index to maps. I always appreciate it when publishers include an index to maps because it makes them easier to use.

Here’s the list of maps (and one chart):

  1. World of the Patriarchs
  2. Israel’s Twelve Tribe Allotments
  3. Route of the Exodus
  4. Kingdom of Saul, David and Solomon
  5. Divided Kingdom
    1. Kings and Prophets of Israel and Judah (Chart)
  6. Assyrian and Babylonian Empires
  7. Persian and Greek Empires
  8. Ministry of Jesus
  9. Jerusalem and the Passion of the Christ
  10. Apostles’ Early Ministry
  11. Missionary Journeys of Paul
  12. Roman Empire and Early Christianity

Video Review


The latest version of the ESV Quentel is my favorite Quentel design. The font is smaller, but only a little, and it has a lot of white space and removes the reference keys, which makes it much easier to read. The decorative drop caps are not as large as the Canterbury, so they don’t stand out too much. The construction and materials are as good as it gets. The reference tools are excellent. This makes the new ESV Quentel an excellent choice for a one-and-only everyday Bible.


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This Bible was provided by in exchange for an honest review. I was not asked to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.