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ESV Single Column Journaling Bible Large Print Edition – Review

ESV Single Column Journaling Bible Large Print Edition (31)

Journaling Bibles are among the most popular Bibles on the market but up to this point they’ve all had had small to medium size text. Crossway’s ESV Single Column Journaling Bible is now available in large print. This is a brand new layout and includes the ESV 2016 Permanent Text. It’s available in several covers. The edition I’m reviewing is brown natural leather with flap.


  • 2016 Permanent Text
  • Brown Natural Leather with flap
  • 2” margins
  • Single column text
  • 9.5 font
  • Black letter
  • 38 gsm cream paper
  • 9.5 x 7 x 2
  • 1568 pages
  • 1 ribbon
  • Reading plan
  • ISBN: 9781433553165

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This edition is brown natural leather cowhide with a flap and strap. I love the natural look and feel of the leather. The leather is thick so the corners are not folded over the liner. Instead the thick paper liner is glued to the inside of the leather, leaving a little bit of the leather showing. This makes the cover stiff enough to hold the Bible open in one hand (at least when new).

The leather is soft to the touch and has a beautiful grain. Mine is lighter than the one shown on the cover of the box. I’d like to see more Bibles available in natural leather cowhide. Cowhide is one of my favorite leathers and is probably the most underrated.

The text block is sewn and has no problem laying open in Genesis 1. The spine raises when opened and keeps the pages flatter than most Bibles. The flap is soft and lays out of the way. You can even fold it under the Bible if you want to. Inside the flap is a pen holder that will accommodate most common sizes of pens.

It comes with a long strap of leather that you install yourself. It even includes instructions just in case. Fortunately if you can tie a knot you can install the strap. The strap will circle the Bible a couple of times. For holding the Bible open I find the strap can be awkward. I sometimes don’t know what to do with the strap when the Bible is open. I just leave it lying next to the flap. So far I haven’t had any issues with it getting in the way.

The overall size is 9.5 x 7 x 2. It’s the size of a basic study Bible but it doesn’t feel overly large or heavy. I even read it in the car in the driver’s seat while waiting in a parking lot with no issues.

The spine has the ESV logo, Single Column Journaling Bible, and Crossway dry stamped with a few decorative lines to separate them. It includes a single dark brown ribbon.


The paper is the same 38gsm cream paper found in most journal editions. It’s great for writing and reading. I had no issues turning the pages.

The opacity is comparable to the current run of journal Bibles, which isn’t as opaque as the first generation single column ESV journaling Bible. It’s most likely opaque enough for most notes and art journaling but I prefer the more opaque paper from a few years ago.


The layout follows Crossway’s standard design for single column journaling Bibles – single column text in paragraph format, ruled margins for the outer margin, footnotes under the text, bold section headings throughout the text, book name with chapter number in the outer corner of the header, and page numbers in the footer. The pagination is different from the regular edition.

The font is 9.5 and is consistently dark throughout. It’s highly readable and great for preaching. It has line-matching to help readability. The columns are 3.5” wide and has around 65 characters across, which has around 14 words per line. The text contains verse numbers that are slightly bolder and small italic numbers for footnotes. The text never feels cramped or awkwardly spaced.

The margins are actually 2.5” but the lines are 1.75”. The inner margin is .5”. The pages lay so flat that the text doesn’t bend into the gutter much at all. The lines are also line-matched and they look darker than most journaling Bibles. This is fine for notes but some may find them darker than they would prefer for art journaling.

Space comparison – the regular edition has 15 square inches (1.875 x 8) of total margin per page. The first page covers Genesis 1:1-26a (.588 sqr in per verse). The large print edition has 21.82 square inches (2.375 x 9.1875) of total margin per page. The first page covers Genesis 1:1-23 (.948 sqr in per verse). The large print edition has .36 sqr in more per verse than the regular edition. In English, the large print edition has more writing room per page and fewer verses per page, resulting in more space per verse.

The text itself is the 2016 ESV Permanent Text Edition. This means the text will remain unchanged from this point on. The text in this Bible will be the same ESV text your great grandchildren will read. You can learn more and see the 52 word changes at


The standard ESV footnotes are placed under the text and are keyed to the text with numbers. They shed light on Hebrew and Greek words, give short explanations, provide the meaning of names, show modern equivalents of diseases, alternate renderings, where something was quoted from, and manuscript variants.

Table of Weights and Measures

The table is a single page with biblical weights, measures, and monetary units. The table shows the biblical unit, approximate American and metric equivalents, and a biblical equivalent. It’s a short list and doesn’t give references but it is an easy table to use for quick reference.

Reading Plan

The one year reading plan will get you through the Old Testament once, and Psalms and the New Testament twice. Each day has three readings: one from the OT, one from Psalms, and one from the NT. They’re labeled by date so you know what to read. They isn’t a box to check when something has been read but there is plenty of room to make your own marks.


Here’s a quick look at how the regular edition and large print edition look side by side.


The ESV Single Column Journaling Bible Large Edition is a much-needed edition for those who prefer larger print than the standard journaling Bibles. It also provides more space per page and per verse without making the overall size unwieldy. I’d like to see the paper be more opaque but it is comparable to the current offerings by Crossway and other publishers. This is a great choice for art journaling, preaching, reading, note-taking, and even carry.

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Crossway provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review – only an honest review. My opinions are my own.

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