ESV Single Column Thinline Bible Review

Crossway’s ESV Single Column Thinline Bible is a hand-sized edition with a focus on the text. It does not include extras, such as references or a concordance, in order to help keep the size down. This makes for an edition that’s the ideal size for carry and reading. There is one thing I’d like to see improved that I think would make this an excellent Bible. I’m reviewing the black genuine leather edition, ISBN: 9781433564628, 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 book is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Amazon

Biblio

Books-A-Million

Thrift Books

and many local Bible bookstores

_________________________________________________________

Table of Contents

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

Video Review

Table of Contents

Cover and Binding

The cover is black genuine leather. The texture of this leather matches the last few genuine leather editions that I’ve reviewed from Crossway. It almost has a rubberized feel to it. It does seem rugged and sturdy. I think it would last fairly well without showing too much wear over time. The grain is embossed and includes a pressed line around the perimeter. The edges are glued. It has a paste-down liner. The front has no printing while the spine shows the text, logo, and decorative rib indications printed in gold.

The block is Smyth sewn. It has no trouble laying open in Genesis 1. It doesn’t try to close on its own. It has one 1/4″ black ribbon that’s long enough to pull to the corner to use easily. The overall size is 9 x 5.75 x 1.37 and it weighs 1lb, 12.1 oz. I love the size, but at this thickness, I don’t really think of it as a thinline. It’s still within my personal preference for size.

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Paper

I’m not sure of the GSM, but the paper is on the thin side. I’d guess it to be upper 20’s or lower 30’s. It’s off-white in color and has no glare under direct light. Even though it’s thin, I find the pages easy to turn due to the rough texture. The paper isn’t as opaque as I’d like. If I could change one thing it would be the opacity of the paper while keeping the same texture and thickness.

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Typography

The text is presented in a single column with section headings within the text and footnotes in the footer. The header shows the page number in the center and the book name, chapter, and verse numbers in the outer column. This is a text-edition with no references. I’m glad to see this as it lets the design focus on the text.

The font is 8-point. It’s black letter and it’s about a medium in darkness. It’s highly consistent. It has around 14 words per line. This is similar to the Legacy and Preaching Bible. This word-count is especially good for poetic settings. Verse numbers are small and blend in. I find it a little more difficult for preaching, but it’s great for reading.

It does have line-matching, but some of the lines show through a little too much, making the text difficult to read. It’s most noticeable in the poetic settings, but even in the prose layout, the text is slightly gray where the text shows through from the other side of the page.

The layout is almost perfect. The poetic settings have a few places where a word is placed on the next line by itself when there was room on the previous line for it. It has a 3/4″ outer margin and a 5/8″ inner margin. This provides a little space for small notes, references, symbols, etc., and helps bring the text out of the gutter so it’s always on the flat area of the page.

It also includes presentation and family pages on thick paper in the front. In the back is a table of weights and measures.

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Maps

It has Crossway’s standard 8 maps printed on thick non-glossy paper. They’re printed in full-color using earth-tones. It doesn’t have an index to maps, but they are labeled well and I find them easy to use. The maps include distance, topography, borders, routes, rivers, kingdoms, etc.

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

Here’s a look at how the ESV Single Column Thinline Bible compares to the Heirloom Legacy, Heirloom Thinline, ESV Preaching Bible, and Cambridge Clarion.

Heirloom Legacy

The Heirloom Legacy has the same thickness but has a slightly larger footprint. The word-count looks to be the same. The font size is extremely close. The Legacy’s paper is easier to read because of less show-through. The Single Column has a different pagination, but it would be a good companion as a carry Bible. I love the Legacy, but I prefer the size of the Single Column.

Heirloom Thinline

The Heirloom Thinline is a true thinline. It has a smaller font and is double-column. If a thinline is your goal, then this one is a better choice. I don’t find the Single Column to be too thick, though, and the larger font in the single column is a better layout if you don’t need the extra opacity.

ESV Preaching Bible

The ESV Preaching Bible has thicker paper and wider outer margins, but the layout is very similar. The Preaching Bible is a better choice for preaching because the verse numbers stand out a lot more and the paper is more opaque. The Single Column would make an excellent companion as a carry Bible.

Cambridge Clarion

The Cambridge ESV Clarion has a smaller footprint but it’s much thicker. It’s a reference edition with a concordance. The font size is really close. The Clarion is easier to read due to the higher grade paper, but I’m drawn to the cleaner text and I prefer the overall size of the Single Column.

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Conclusion

The ESV Single Column Thinline Bible is a nice size and setting for a text edition. It doesn’t include a concordance or references, so if you need those tools you’ll need either a different Bible or external tools (which are usually better anyway because of the size limitation of Bibles). I’m personally glad that it doesn’t include them because I sometimes want a Bible where the text is the main focus and it doesn’t have to share space with anything.

The leather is nice and the paper is easy enough to turn for thin paper. I still don’t think of it as a thinline. I would like to see more opacity to improve readability. I’d love to see this edition as an Heirloom with better paper. The design is worthy of an Heirloom edition in my opinion. If you don’t need a high level of opacity, and you’re looking for a hand-sized ESV in single column, the ESV Single Column Thinline Bible from Crossway is an excellent choice.

Table of Contents

_________________________________________________________

This book is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Amazon

Biblio

Books-A-Million

Thrift Books

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.

2 Comments

  1. Forest a.

    Great review. The margins on this edition are surprisingly nice. Wish the ghosting wasn’t as bad.

    Reply
    • Randy A Brown

      Thanks! I’m glad to see those margins. With improved paper, this would be a real winner.

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