Monday, September 21, 2015

Bible Review: ESV Reader's Bible

ESV Reader's Bible. 2014. Crossway. 1840 pages. [Source: Gift]

The ESV Reader's Bible was a really early birthday gift to me from a friendly relation. I have been wanting it since it was first released last summer. One of the reasons why I wanted it--besides the fact that I love the ESV translation in general--is that it presents the Bible WITHOUT verse numbers. I wanted it all the more after listening to this sermon on Bible typography. I must admit that I've listened to this sermon two or three times. It is just a super-fascinating sermon on a subject you don't hear much about.

Essentially, what you should know:

  • It is single column. Paragraphs, as needed. But poetry is poetry.
  • It has no verse numbers.
  • It has chapter numbers, but, they are relatively small.
  • It is simply the text of the Bible. No study notes or commentary, no book introductions, no charts. Just letting the Word of God speak for itself. 
  • It is a reader-friendly size. Not too heavy. Not too big or bulky. The right size and weight for reading comfortably. The font is just-right for the weight of the Bible. If the Bible was heavier, it would be too small, perhaps. But since it's just right for holding up, the font works as is. 
  • The pages are perhaps not as thick as I'd love, love, love to see in a dream bible. But they are certainly thick enough that they are not problematic. 

My goal was to read the whole Bible from cover to cover in three months. I did. And it was great. My plan was to read in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. For the first five weeks, I read mostly the Old Testament, just adding in one book from the New Testament per week. Once I'd finished Matthew-Acts, I tried to space out the rest of the New Testament books so that I'd finish up the Old and New Testament around the same time. I did not have a set schedule for what I wanted to read per day, just a general idea that I wanted to finish up around the end of September.

I would definitely recommend the ESV Reader's Bible. I think it would be a great choice for anyone looking to read more of the Bible, perhaps reading even more of the Bible in one sitting. There are benefits, of course, to taking one's time, to not rushing through a text to say you've read it. But really there is something wonderfully glorious about reading for long periods of time--whole books of the Bible at a time in some cases. One sees how the narrative flows as a whole, perhaps making it easier to grasp the big picture at any given time.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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