Schuyler ESV Quentel Reference Bible in Dark Green Goatskin

A new edition of the Schuyler Quentel has arrived, this time using the popular English Standard Version, and it’s a notable release in several regards: there’s the superb quality of the book, for one thing, not to mention the fact that this is the second installment in the Quentel range, which bodes well for the future of high-end reference editions in a variety of translations.

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The new ESV Quentel from Schuyler, available in a range of colors including the dark green goatskin pictured above.

One reason I have relied on Cambridge editions like the Pitt Minion and Clarion as go-to recommendations over the years is that they are consistently fine Bibles available in a variety of major translations. They’re an easy fit for a lot of people, since you don’t have to switch translations to enjoy the format. The Schuyler Quentel is on its way to occupying a similar position as the new ESV Quentel joins the line-up. Now available in two major translations — the ESV and NASB — with the potential for more on the way, the Quentel has been designed from the ground up by 2K/Denmark as the ultimate double-column reference Bible, printed and bound in the Netherlands by Jongbloed, the same printer Cambridge uses.

The Quentel is a big, thick book, comparable in size to a Study Bible, its girth the result of larger-than-average 11 pt. type and thicker-than-average paper. Striving for the right balance between thickness and portability, the 45 gsm Bolloré Primapage paper of the NASB Quentel has been abandoned in favor of 38 gsm Tervakovski Thinopaque, which has the same 84% opacity rating while allowing for a slightly thinner book. The ESV Quentel also features a slight evolution in the interior use of red ink for emphasis. In addition to red chapter numbers, the ESV Quentel uses red to set off the chapter and verse numbers in the cross references at the bottom of the page, giving them an extra pop without crossing into too-much-of-a-good-thing territory.

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The Quentel’s limp, edge-lined binding is reinforced with subtle stitching around the cover’s perimeter. It features art-gilt pages and three ribbons in a spectrum of gold hues.

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The workmanship on my review copy looks very precise, as you might expect.

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Compared to the original NASB Quentel (left), the new ESV Quentel marks a subtle evolution in the use of red ink for accent. The thinner 38 gsm paper displays comparable opacity to its predecessor.

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Up close, the print impression is dark and crisp.

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I’ve spent a few days with the new Quentel, including some time going back and forth between the original NASB and the ESV trying to decide whether the paper change has any negative impact. In terms of bulk, it’s an improvement, in terms of opacity it seems to be a wash. So far, so good. I have not noticed any real difference, too tell the truth. The ESV looks every bit as good as the original in every category that matters, so the paper change strikes me as an unmitigated gain.

Another win, at least comparing my copies, is the spine. One of the negatives several readers pointed out about the NASB Quentel was the spine’s tendency to bend inward rather than outward when the book was opened. This could result in a vertical crease down the spine. The good news is, the ESV Quentel’s spine curves outward. I’m not sure if this is a consequence of the thinner book block or a change under the hood — whatever the explanation, it’s a welcome discovery.

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The ESV Quentel (top) compared in descending order to the R. L. Allan NLT, the Cambridge Clarion, the Crossway Heirloom Legacy ESV, the NASB Quentel, and the full-size Crossway ESV Study Bible.

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For size comparison, the Quentel’s footprint roughly matches that of Crossway’s Heirloom Legacy (also printed and bound by Jongbloed), though it’s 1.75″ width makes it about a half inch thicker. It’s only a quarter inch thicker than the Clarion, though, as well as a quarter inch thinner than the NASB Quentel.

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The Crossway ESV Study Bible and the NASB Quentel hover at the 2″ thick mark, while the new ESV Quentel drops down to 1.75″ — which makes bigger difference in terms of feel than the numbers might suggest.

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The ESV Quentel loses its predecessor’s florid presentation papers, too, replacing them with a toned-down page more in keeping with the volume’s aesthetic. This change sums up the ESV Quentel, really: the new edition represents a careful refinement of the old, acknowledging the successes (even taking it a step farther) while reconsidering the occasional miss.

I came close to making a grave error when asked by Schuyler which color cover I wanted on my review copy. I’m a sucker for red, so I asked for that. Beth Rhodes, who handles customer service for EvangelicalBible.com in addition to co-moderating the Bible Design Blog Facebook fan page with the extraordinary John Blum, quietly cleared her throat and said, “Don’t you mean the dark green?” (Well, this happened by e-mail, so the throat-clearing is metaphorical.) Beth was right, so very right. After falling in love with the dark green goatskin cover R. L. Allan bestowed on their recent NLT (reviewed here), my admiration for green bindings was rekindled. Now it’s a burning flame.

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Compared to the R. L. Allan NLT (bottom), the ESV Quentel in dark green goatskin is a shade lighter. Where you could imagine the Allan with a red or purple undertone, the Quentel has more of the yellow end of the spectrum. They’re both gorgeous and light-variable, reading darker or brighter depending on circumstances.

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The Quentel (top) bears Jongbloed hallmarks — the stitched cover with a clean overlap — while the Allan exudes the Old School charm of its UK bookbinder, especially in the curl of that semi-yapp cover.

Dark green inks have become a standard in my fountain pens. They are dark enough to look black on first glance, but more interesting than black on further examination. Sailor Epinard and Noodler’s Zhivago are two of my favorites, though I’ve been using Noodler’s Sequoia Green quite a bit over the last six months, as it strikes a pleasant balance between the two. Well, the same logic of second-looks applies in this case. If you want a cover that’s out of the ordinary but will still pass as sober and austere from a distance, dark green fits the bill.

The art-gilt page edges complement the dark green nicely. Even more attractive: the three gold-tone ribbons which vary from light gold to yellow gold to rose-gold verging on copper-brown. This tasteful effect reminds me of one of those twisty rings of varicolored gold. I’m not as sold on the brown lining, though. The fact that it’s not black is a plus, but … it should have been green, don’t you think? If we were talking brown cords with green tweed, I’d sing a different tune. We’re talking leather, though. Luxuriant leather.

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Points for not saddling the green cover with a black lining — but I’m not sold on brown as the complementary color. Green would have been my pick. The interior finish is excellent, though.

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The leather lining adds a touch of class to this edge-lined cover, which feels marvelous in your hands. It’s a shame about the stiff hinge, though, which keeps the book from opening perfectly flat.

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This “Bible yoga” shot illustrates the outward curve of the cover when the book is open. No need to worry about a vertical crease developing down the spine.

I don’t believe in the future of Reference Bibles. The job they do is done better by digital tools, and as these tools gain ever wider acceptance I imagine Reference Bibles will see less use. Print editions won’t need to pack all the extras inside the cover. People will turn to them for what they’re best at: immersive reading sessions. Perhaps I’m wrong, though. We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, you can’t argue with the fact that, here and now, the demand for traditional Reference Bibles is strong as ever. With its ear tuned to demand, there’s no surprise Schuyler’s flagship Quentel fits the bill. However, the Quentel is not a business-as-usual reference edition. As I’ve noted before, by moving the cross-references to the bottom of the page and allowing more width for its twin text columns, the Quentel minimizes reading distractions.

Compared to, say, the Crossway Classic Reference ESV, the Quentel’s layout is much more respectful to versified text, too. The slice-and-dice effect the Classic Ref’s narrow columns administer to the Psalms is not in evidence here. No double-column layout can render poetry with the beauty of a single column, but the Quentel does its best. (“Who cares about beauty?” I hear some Philistine cry. Bear in mind that, in this case, elegant typography means distraction-free typography whose spacing doesn’t suggest emphases in the text unintended by the translators.)

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The Quentel layout minimizes the impact of cross references on the width of text columns by moving the notes to the bottom of the page. The result is a clean page that’s about as reader-friendly as a double-column reference edition can get.

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The interior typography is elegant but not boring. The capitalized headings and the use of red to set off the page headers, chapter numbers, and marginal references results in an easy flow that looks much simpler than the work it must have taken to achieve.

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The 11 pt. type is practically large print by today’s Bible standards, which makes the Quentel, quite literally, a sight for sore eyes. The only trade-off is that you’ll occasionally see larger-than-average gaps between words on the justified lines. None of the examples I noticed were egregious, though. Small price to pay if you’re fed up with tiny type.

At the risk of sounding heretical, I’d also like to point out one downside to 11 pt. text in a double-column layout. Because these columns are right justified, and the larger type means fewer words per line, there are occasionally gaps between words in the paragraphed sections that are just too large not to call attention to themselves.

Unfortunately, there’s one problem the new Quentel doesn’t solve, and that’s the dreaded “stiff hinge” that we’ve seen on a number of Jongbloed bindings, caused by using some sturdy, inflexible material to attach the book block to the cover. (I’ve written all about it in this review, so I won’t repeat the details here. Suffice to say, the same observations apply.) This isn’t a Schuyler problem any more than it’s a Crossway one. It’s something Jongbloed will have to address, and I hope they will. These limp, edge-lined covers were made to open flat, and it’s a shame to pair them with binding materials that get in the way. Not all Jongbloed bindings have this issue — my Cambridge Clarion, without an edge-lined binding, feels limper thanks to the absence of these stiff hinges. The rationale probably has to do with durability. That can be achieved without sacrificing open-flat performance, though.

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That pesky hinge: Jongbloed uses a very robust mull fabric to connect the book block to the cover, which is why the end pages flare instead of opening flat. There must be a better way to ensure durability without compromising the assets of the limp binding.

The Quentel features a robust system of over 80,000 cross references, a vast (and frankly beautiful) concordance, and thirty-two pages worth of Oxford maps. These days I find myself using such features less and less thanks to digital tools. Just a few years ago, I could still justifying having them, though, for those moments out and about when the tools weren’t close to hand. Smart phones have changed the game entirely — and yet, the Quentel’s reference features are so well executed that a bibliophile like me wants to use them on principle alone.

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Wondering again where Bactria is? The Quentel has you covered. These thorough and finely-rendered maps will do wonders for your grasp of Near Eastern geography.

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The print gets smaller in the concordance while remaining razor sharp. The use of red here makes me wish there was an annual award for best concordance. The Quentel would be a shoe-in.

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Schuyler is the publishing arm of EvangelicalBible.com, which is the exclusive source for Schuyler Bibles including the Quentel. If you’d like information on ordering one, follow this link. The Quentel runs $220, making it one of the most expensive retail editions you can purchase — perhaps the most expensive. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anything priced higher. For your money, you’re getting a very good Bible that’s been thoughtfully designed and produced with a high concern for quality. You’re also paying for the fact that top-tier editions like this are made in relatively small quantities that don’t benefit as much as the big boys do from economies of scale. It’s a significant investment. The ESV Quentel is a significant edition.

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Don’t get too excited: the filter created all that color contrast. That’s not how the cover looks to the naked eye. But with time, some rough handling, and a few splashes of motor oil — who knows?

141 Comments on “Schuyler ESV Quentel Reference Bible in Dark Green Goatskin

  1. Great article Mark. I received my green one yesterday. I actually like the liner being brown. I also like the references at the bottom and the verse number being in red. It makes it easier to take a glance at them while reading. I agree with concerning the stiff hinge. Since a desk or our hands support the bible I do not think they are needed. I’m thankful to have a bible I can read that isn’t to big to carry to church. Keep up the good work. You, no doubt, the Lord has used in great ways.

      • How do I get on a mailing list to be informed of all reviews done by this man? I was almost shuddering with pleasure while reading this review. If it could be possible to ‘sell’ me a $200 ESV Bible, IT WAS SOLD to me before I even came to the end of this review! NOW, I hope that I can find a review by this man, or someone like him, on the Allan KJV Long Primer in both the Sovereign and/or the less expensive editions? PLEASE – I love reading this stuff! contact me and tell me if there is a “club” or something. I will even “pay dues” if that will get me in on the commiserations of people who appreciate WHY all Christians should both buy and give the most expensive Bibles that they can afford. It’s a matter of RESPECT for THE WORD OF GOD!

  2. In terms of color and appearance, this may be the most beautiful bible I have ever seen! The green leather, art-gilt edges, and ribbon color are perfectly matched. The red used in the text is also very pleasing to the eye. Unfortunately, I will never own this bible because the dimensions are too big for my liking. Maybe one day they will print this in a personal size. Thanks for the pictures and review Mark.

    • It is my favorite color. The colors Green, brown liner, gold ribbins, and words in gold foil make this bible look exquisite. It isn’t that big. I can read it lying in bed easily.

  3. Excellent review. I received my green quentel a couple days ago and I am in love. Maybe it’s just a honeymoon, but I absolutely love how the poetic sections were handled with care.

    The spine on mine almost immediately flexed inward. My Pitt Minions always have a spine that bends out, but I have noticed a couple other cambridge edtions that crease in. While I prefer it not creasing in I imagine it may partly come down to the hand made details on each bible. My Pitts seem to have a very firm, curved spine and are very limp at the hinge area.

    I will add that the hinge does not bother as much as it did with my Omega Thinline. After gentling stretching out the signatures in the quentel, the weight of the book block makes the hinge a non issue for me. The hinge is an absolute killer in the thinline styles… just my opinion 🙂

    Until Schuyler designs a single column, I am sure this will be my main bible.

  4. Mark,
    Your photography in this article is some of the best you have ever done. Just gorgeous. I can tell that your already excellent writing is being matched up with constantly improving photography to display this very beautiful Quentel edition “in the best possible light.”
    – Matthew

  5. This is Sky, owner of evangelicalbible.com. Thanks Mark for another outstanding review. For not being on the design and publishing team – it’s truly remarkable the details that you have outlined in the review.
    I would like to make a few comments: First and most important is the issue of the hinge, which Mark includes as a potential negative aspect of the Quentel series. Having been in the book and in particular Bible publishing for quite some time – by far the ‘weakest link’ in Bible manufacturing is the absence of a strong hinge – especially on a book above 3 pounds. Most Bibles are connected to the cover by a simple attachment to the ‘end papers’ which are generally 120 GSM paper. We have found this to be insufficient to keep the book attached for more than a few years. In Bibles over 3 pounds more than 50% of defects are found when the book block separates from the cover because the end paper attachment to the cover is not strong enough to hold – especially since this is a key ‘stress point’ in a book. A heavy book that falls off the coffee table can literally become dislocated without something more than an end paper leaf – especially if you try Bertrand gymnastics on Bibles (Mark please put a disclaimer on those shots, i.e. do not try this at home!) So a sturdy ‘hinge’ may impede (in the short term) a perfectly flat Bible – but in the long term – and these are made to last – the hinge will keep the Bible intact.
    Second, and this is a point of debate – I’m not sure references and concordances are made obsolete by technology. So (I confess) to using online technology when I’m preparing a message or doing in depth study – but for more casual reading – the iPhone and laptop add another step that most will not take…We have made references (unlike other designs) that are actually legible. I think they will be used along with online tools.
    Third, As for the inner liner – I am open to changing it to green – if Mark twists my arm.
    Finally, thanks again Mark since you have been the catalyst that has brought great typesetting and Bible craft back from its near grave.

    • Thanks for chiming in, Sky! I don’t question the need for a strong hinge, just a stiff one. Surely there’s a strong material out there that’s more flexible?

      • Mark – In terms of a more flexible hinge – we can certainly search one out – but a sturdy one it must be. In all seriousness it really is a critical factor in durability. Again, Bibles attached to the cover merely by means of the end papers will not stand the test of time. (Anyone who has handled older books will know this to be true) BTW Mark we had quite a conversation about this with Leonard of Leonard’s Book binding precisely about this issue. He spends much of his time rebinding Bibles that don’t have hinges….He told us over and over again that the vast majority of the Bibles that he repairs (or rebinds) are defective at the stress point between the cover and the first end paper – i.e. Bibles without hinges…

        • Yes, but he rebinds Bibles in a way that is both sturdy and flexible. Maybe Eric would be a good source to ask about finding an alternative material. Whatever they’re using, it doesn’t present the same challenges.

          • Mark, you did a wonderful review here on the Quentel—it pacified me until I received mine in the mail a few days ago. Although, I agree with you at every point, I feel forced to chime in about these dreadful “hinges” as well. I will soon be sending my Quentel to Leonard’s Books for a rebind. Why you might ask? One, I cannot stand how the Quintal “squeaks” when you handle it (it’s driving me mad), and two, I believe this obnoxious characteristic is not allowing the Bible to lay open like it should. And because of this, as I am reading towards the middle of the Book, I feel like I am traveling across the Event Horizon, the black hole of no return . After this matter is settled, it will be hands down, the best Bible I’ve ever owned.

        • Mark, I suggest you give a call to Allan’s bindery in London. What you have made out to be difficult, they have done it a long time ago. In fact, it is for this reason (stiff hinge) and that of the flat spine ( I believe I was the one who started complaining about it), that I have not bought the Quentel NASB the first time. I am not sure I will do this time too. I see that the entire block is not able to ‘relax’ when the pages are spread out. In contrast, Allan’s sometime reminds me of a relaxing walrus or seal sunbathing – only that it came from a goat and not a sea creature. It seems to me that there is little ‘synergy’ between the block and the binding. It is like a marriage of convenience. The leather on its back seemed thin. But the greatest put-off for me is that image of a cross embossed on its cover. It disagree with the personal expression of my faith.

        • Sky, the hinges squeak when you handle the Bible. It sounds like an baby elephant fighting its way out of Saran Wrap.

          • Those super hinges are a characteristic of Schuyler. It makes the over all book last for decades. I kinda like the sqeakiness, it has that theatrical quality to it. If you tamper with the hinge you might ruin the book. It is possible but be warned it could damage it. People should be aware that Schuyler overbuilds all their bibles. I personally love these features, it lets me know that this bible will last substantially longer than any other. I recal that i have an Allan nasb reader edition with a thicker hing. Thicker hinges are meant to be carried and used a lot. I would rather have a glued binding than have a weak hinge. I agree with Sky on the hinge issue. Big books need super duper hinges. Look at bibles made in the 1500s. They used steel cord hinges, they also used leather based parchment,and those bibles are still in great condition today. I love Schuyler for using only the best materials that are affordable. No book is perfect, but Schuyler makes a pretty good effort.

          • Hi Pete,

            I got one Quentel for myself and another for a friend. One of them squeaks all the time while the other really has no issue, so it may not be all of them.

      • Hi,
        I wonder if there isn’t a possibility that maybe a nylon product would work as a hinge. Nylon would be much stronger than paper and could be very thin and flexible.

        • I used to bind books as a hobby. What I have found is that a stiff hinge is put in place to act as an extra hand to support the book block when open. If it were more flexible then the pages would fall open and could crease the hinge, this is known as breaking the spine. You don’t want that to happen because the book will fall apart much quicker. Allan and Sin gets away with it for two reasons: 1 book blocks are thin. 2 their bibles have a curved spine. Its not advisable to curve a spine on a thicker heavier block because the book will fall apart at the front and back (come apart at the seams). Schuyler does a fantastic job with their hinges. Trust me, they could be much stiffer. The only alternitave to the stiff hinge is 2 solutions. 1 use leather hinges which will breakin; in effect it will cost more and you still risk breaking the spine. 2 open the bible and push the front cover down until the pages lay flat, you’ll know when you’ve done it right. Also you can support that hinge in your hand when holding it one handed. The spine will flare out into your palm like it was designed to do. I love Schuyler and Allan and Sons. They are very different in terms of design. I love both, but when I want to hold a bible single handed I pick the Schuyler. I really hope this can clear up some confusions with stiff hinges. They are necessary for thick sturdy books. Think of a door verses a farm gate. Schuyler being the gate and Allan being a door.

          • Excellent points, Benjamin. There is a third solution to the stiff hinge, which Schuyler now employs: more flexible calfskin liners. We switched to calfskin beginning with the second binding of the Quentel ESV this past summer. It has made a marked improvement in how well the Bible stays open in Genesis and Revelation. And no squeak.

    • I agree with you, Sky, about the importance of in-Bible references. Now that I’ve been paying attention to my own Bible-use patterns for more than a year, I find that I use them more than I would anticipate. Sure, the computer or smartphone is a couple of steps away, but the in-Bible references are Right There. They are a godsend to lazy preachers!

    • I really hope you do not change it to green and keep it brown. I wouldn’t have bought it. The brown looks good with that color of green.

      • Yes please keep the brown as it compliments the green by the change of color.
        Look at modern car colors ; all boring the same all over, bumpers included. Old cars had 2 tone paints + chrome. Bibles : Black cover / red liner. Brown cover / tan liner. etc.

    • I have the ESV Quentel in the Brown Antique Marble – and it is a thing of beauty. Regarding the hinge – I like having a little more substance when I am holding and maneuvering a heavy bible on my lap, or in one hand. Without that reinforced and just slightly stiff hinge, a “liquid” bible with such a large footprint has a tendency to pour over the cliff of my lap, or require the constant support of my other hand. Open this bible to Ephesians and hold it in your left hand only and I think you will see what I am driving at. In any case, isn’t it wonderful that over the years are yearning for quality has brought us to the place of discussing such minutiae. Everything fry Schuyler has been awesome and the fulfillment of desires expressed on this blog over the years. What a blessing. Thanks Mark for pressing the industry forward with this blog, and thanks Schuyler for responding to the desires of this community. I think I might finally be done buying bibles.

    • Sky,

      I have purchased 3 ESV Quentel Ed from you. Any chance you will be doing the ESV Readers edition?

    • Thank you Sky for your helpful comments. I wanted to request that in future editions of the ESV Quentel and other Quentel editions that you include writing paper like Cambridge and Allan have done with some of their bibles. I find attached writing paper to be a huge advantage! Any chance that could happen?

    • Please DO NOT make the liner of the dark green ESV green. That would be far too “matchy.” I would love to see liners be more than blank spaces. Why not use the space to add beauty. A beautiful pattern, an antique map, old etchings, etc., would be lovely.

    • Please bear with me and my creative thinking. For some years I had a seamstress business, where I handled some pretty creative out-of-the-box projects for people. I had to solve fit and moving body parts issues. So sturdy but flexible was important as well as drape over the body parts. There are many kinds of interfacings as well as other supportive gismoes to get varied jobs functional.
      It sounds like real or imitation horsehair braiding might work with books. It is woven on the diagonal, usually out of nylon threads braided/woven together. The threads are sturdy and using the diagonal weave creates great flexibility without losing the strength.
      Also, nylon, or at least knit, interfacing could be cut on usual straight weave direction and applied in sheets the size of the inner liner. Or use men’s woven suit interfacings and cut them on the bias angle to give the woven firmness flexibility – like in men’s ties. Men’s ties are laid out on fabric on the diagonal to give men sturdy, flexible, reasonably comfortably fitting neckties that can take the yanking and pulling and knotting and re-knotting over and over and over again by frustrated men in a hurry or not. These same ties are shoved into suit pockets and forgotten in a balled up mess, then dry cleaned within an inch of its life and pressed into shape to start all over again back onto a man’s neck.
      Just saying . . . seamstress findings may rescue the book spine issues, giving flexibility AND strength AND durability.

    • Just trying to add a little variety to Mark’s life. 😉

      Mark, I keep coming back to look at your photos. Fabulous!

  6. Yup, that’s what I said about the brown lining – I am not sold. It should have been green as well. Thanks for the review, especially your observations on the difference between the original 45 gsm paper used in the NASB and the 38 in the ESV.

        • I received the Schuyler ESV purple edition in the mail today. I have not been this pleased with an edition of the Bible since I bought my very first Bible with my very first wage in about 1972.

          The typeface, point size and aesthetics such as use of crimson/red, and the weight, size and positioning of verse numbers — every aspect of the typesetting and page layout is agreeable.

          There is virtually no bleed through, and the pages turn very well.

          It is actually no heavier than some other bibles of smaller point size type ie Allan ESV single column. I can see myself using this Bible away from home as much as being my go to edition for home use.

          Thank you Evangelical Bible and Schuyler 🙂

  7. Great review and if I were to purchase one in the future it would be green. I’m looking forward to the KJV, forecast, possibly (according to Beth) in 2016? I totally accept not starting with the KJV–we have enough to choose from. I step aside and allow my NASB, ESV, NKJV, NIV (?) fans to step in front of me in line. A suggestion for the inner liner–how about gold/yellow to match the ribbons? I think that would be a neat (I know…borderline garish?) contrast.

  8. Question: if a modest new player on the block like Evangelical Bible can “knock it out of the ballpark” in designing a text block, why can’t dignified senior member R.L. Allans? I’m not sure why Allan’s consistently relies on others to produce their text blocks, including old KJV Oxford text-blocks with reference systems I don’t find particularly helpful (especially the Longprimer chain-reference system).

    • Richard, I agree with you. Most, not all, Allan text blocks appear cheap and ugly, yet they are bound in beautiful highland goatskin leather. It doesn’t make sense to me, but I am sure they have a reason, most likely related to cost. They are not worth the money in my humble opinion. I much prefer Cambridge as they take great care in crafting an elegant and beautiful block and combining it with excellent leather and materials. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I would be willing to give Schuyler a try if they produced a smaller-sized bible. For now I will happily be loyal to Cambridge.

  9. Richard and Nathan, I agree with you about some of the text blocks that Allan uses. The paper and printing are very important to the reading experience, and I don’t understand using less than the best paper and printing with Allan’s wonderful bindings. The entire book needs to be top quality, not just the outside.

    I’m trying to talk myself into buying the Quentel NASB, but I’m a little concerned about the size. Actually, it must be the thickness that makes it a “brick,” as lots of premium Bibles have equally or larger sized pages. The Quentel’s are only 6″ x 9″ trim size. I do wish the NASB had the slightly thinner paper that the ESV version has. I sure wish I could view one in person!

    • Hey again CEC making my rounds today and see you posted here too. The nasb quentel is more of a brick because its thicker and shorter than this edition from what i see. i have a nasb quentel and it is very heavy one handed and im a young man and weight lift. it strains me to hold one handed. Much more of a desk book than a carry book. The paper is awsome though, paper is thicker than bibles made in the 1970s. Its great but it is a bit of a clunker. i call it my Samsonite bible because its big, stiff, and heavy. (nasb quentel)

  10. I know of a stronger material that flexes easily. The Forever Bible is made out of nanotubes fused into paper, you cannot rip this stuff and it wont stain, not even ketchup will stain this stuff. Nanotubes is the way to go. unfortunatelyit is exotically pricey. DO NOT CHANGE THAT BROWN LINER PLEASE. I am green with envy for this edition, i wish i hadnt seen this. Gah, i promised myself that the Schuyler NKJV would be my last. Why did Schuyler have to make such a gorgeous edition. Its thinner and just as good and better in some ways than the nasb quentel. Im going green, no, yes, no i cant buy this, yes i can, gah why did they make green, oh because its very subtle at first glance until boom! its green, then you open it and see brown! then you start reading then boom! red! its got to be the classiest subtle edition to date. Gah i want this pretty bad, rose gold ribbons with red under gold gilt, GENIUS! That brown liner is another stroke of absolute GENIUS. Dont change that liner to black. SKY, Im a customer, that brown liner has more going for it than black. in fact i didnt consider buying this until i saw that brown explosion mixed in with the rose golds reds and greens. Schuyler are Genius to come up with these colors. Very much an elegant workmans choice. You sold me and i dont even want a new bible. Green is so right. I geuss i will save up for this or go sell some stuff to get it.

  11. @Richard,

    We had the same question about Allan Bibles on the Facebook Bible Collectors group. Ian from R. Allan was kind of enough to answer. Here’s what he said:

    “Hi everyone. Lots of questions here, not all of which I can answer… generally at Allan’s we have focused on offering the best bindings first in the KJV – where, as Ann and others have said, we do print our own book blocks – and then across a wider range of Bible translations. While developing our own typesetting is not beyond the realms of possibility, doing the best possible binding work around the traditional KJV texts is our USP, and then partnering where we can with originating publishers on newer translations. The ESV Readers is reprinting now and because Crossway are doing that just for us we have been able to move to a PrimaBible 36gsm from the previous 32gsm paper – but that kind of thing is not generally an option on the modern translations. Allan’s and EVBible are pretty similar in size terms, but we are balancing a finite available leather-lined production from the bindery between a range of text blocks and translations, whereas EV are mostly re-selling other people’s Bibles and then have gone big on the Quentel project, first with NASB and now ESV, looking to find their own way to create something uniquely compelling.”–Ian Metcalfe, R. L. Allan Publishers

    • This is very helpful–thank-you John. I appreciate Ian taking the time to respond on the FB page–they truly are a wonderful company to deal with (and I’ve owned at least 10 Allan Bibles in the past–gave away or sold all of them). I feel good supporting them but stick with Cambridge for some of the reasons already mentioned by other commenters above. I also appreciate Allan’s focus on KJV first, not only as a KJV user, but as a translation that stands the test of time. That makes sense, although I love the fact that there are other translations to choose from. Yes, Allan do print their own KJV text blocks, but are using old Oxford settings. I’ve heard many comments about people desiring the italics returned in their flagship Bible, the Longprimer, and for many of us the reference system is not helpful. I’m not interested in a chain reference Bible but I love the Longprimer setting. Again, if Ev. Bible can do it, you can too, Allans. Keep putting all that wonderful effort into beautiful bindings, but be a bit more innovative and attentive to your customers regarding the interior. Again, if Ev. Bible can do it, there’s no reason you can’t R.L. Allan.

  12. As publishers of the finest Bibles on the planet, (Sky and Co.) you have kicked your game up a notch. As a writer of the finest reviews, you Mark, have also kicked your game up a notch. Thanks for such an awesome review of such an outstanding Bible. Could someone please tell me if there are any plans to release a version in NKJV. Hopefully just exactly like the ESV.

    • Rev. Bellegante, the NKJV is next on the schedule for the Quentel, but a date for publication hasn’t been set yet.

  13. Gorgeous Bible! Thoughtful review. Thank you! I love what this publisher is doing. I fought off temptation with their NASB and while loving the green I’m holding my resolve to wait patiently for the NIV in 2016. Though I know a lot of folks who love the ESV. I’m sure I’ll get someone to take a look at this!

  14. An enjoyable and informative review. I own the red NASB quentel, and two allan bibles. I also dislike the rigidity of the spine on the quentel nasb. It makes it not quite as practical for carrying. And when opening to read, it doesn’t lay flat. The R.L.Allan bibles I have, a HCSB and the purple ESV first edition, have bindings that are a joy to hold. I like the way they fold back on themselves, so you can hold them in one hand , like at church to take notes, etc…. I have been sitting on the fence on the ESV quentel, and after reading your review, will probably wait awhile before purchasing one. Hopefully, in a future edition, a more supple spine will appear.

    • This is a follow up to my original post. I purchased the esv Quentel and received it today. Firebrick red same as my Nasb Quentel. It is exquisite. I love the type size, anf the reference numbers in red. The goatskin binding on this one is softer and more supple than the nasb. I really love this bible., and am glad I decided to get one.

  15. Thanks, Benjamin, for your comments regarding the Quentel’s heft. I’m so on the fence about ordering. I *want* to love the Quentel.

    I do think the changes made with the ESV edition (thinner format, toned-down presentation pages, red in the references) are all positive ones. Wonder if a future second printing of the Quentel NASB might change to a similar format as the ESV? Thoughts?

    What I’d really love to get, though, is a Schuyler single column NASB in a very similar format (and in the blue with silver color) to their single column NKJV that’s currently offered. In fact, that NKJV in blue is calling my name, but the only premium-bound Bible I already own happens to be an Allan double column NKJV, so I obviously don’t “need” another one in NKJV. *sigh* Many of you who post here are NOT helping my restraint, LOL, with your multiple Allans, Schuylers, and Cambridges.

    I emailed EB with a few questions, and was told that Schuyler is discussing a possible future single column NASB, but “IF” it ever even happens, would not be anytime real soon. I don’t know whether to wait or not. And, I’d still want the blue/silver color to be available, which would be iffy. Oh me, oh my. (Mark, do you have any further info on this discussion of a possible future NASB edition from Schuyler?)

    The reason I want a really legible NASB edition is that I want to read that translation cover to cover. It would not be my carry Bible, as I’d still use my NKJV for that. When I’m reading in my chair for extensive periods, though, I do usually hold a Bible in my hands, but perhaps I could adjust to laying it on my lap?

    Sorry for the rambling hijack of the ESV review, but I suppose the comparisons of the Quentels (ESV & NASB) are valid topics for such a newly released edition. (I also like the ESV translation, but NASB is second on my list of cover to cover to-reads, after NKJV.)

    To the person who asked about a Quentel NKJV, I have read somewhere that one is planned for the future. Others here probably know more.

    And Richard, I so agree that if EB/Schuyler can do it, Allan should also be able to do it! (use top quality paper and printing rather than the identical “innards” of much cheaper editions)

    Thanks, Mark, for your great reviews and to all who post your very helpful comments. I’m becoming addicted to them.

  16. Great review . . . as usual.

    I have the blue Quentel ESV with silver gilding. It’s beautiful.

    For those who are on the fence about purchasing the Quentel–if you like good typography and a readable Bible, get it. To me, the typography more than makes up for any negatives associated with the slight increase in thickness compared to other Bibles. But as Mark said, it really is close to the same thickness as the Clarion so it’s not a big deal.

    I despise tiny text and bleed-through. This Bible has no problem with either of those. The font is 11pt Milo, but it’s larger than the text in large print Life Application Bibles. They use line-matching so the minimal bleed-through that exists doesn’t occur between lines of text.

    I have purchased many ESVs and this is the without a doubt the most readable.

    One minor thing that adds to the readability is the layout of the poetry. I have a premium Bible from another publisher that bills itself as a readable Bible. Overall it is.

    However, in this other Bible, the poetry (like Psalms) often leaves a single word on a line when completing a phrase. Since the paper allows more bleed-through, you get a lot of white space with lots of bleed-through. If this occurs several times on a page, it becomes distracting.

    The Quentel never leaves a single word on a line of poetry. There are always at least two words per line. Combined with the larger text size and minimal bleed-through, the readability is significantly improved. The text stands out more than white space and bleed-through.

    So, if you are interested in the most readable ESV on the market, get the Quentel.

    • I actually checked the singletons in Job 11 (because I just happened to be reading there) and found only 2 – “understanding” in vv.6 and 12. But its an exceptionally long word and the singletons are a lot rarer than in the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible despite the fact both are double column with references at the foot. GTB produced 10 singletons and 2 half-words
      “-swerd” and “-ing”.
      My hardback GTB is also heavier despite using 36gsm paper – must be the weighty devotional comments!

  17. With every new comment, the Quentel is calling to me. 🙂

    Oops, I overlooked Beth’s earlier comment about the NKJV Quentel’s being the next one in line to be released. According to a chart on EB, it’s scheduled for 2015.

    Also, I have to say Beth at EB has the patience of Job with me. Her last reply had a link to a picture of a SCR page on FB, posted for feedback. She does emphasize that this is just in the discussion stage and might not come to fruition. Guess I should wander back to the Quentel NASB’s review where this info more properly belongs.

  18. Schuyler’s has most definitely raised the bar in Bible design and bindings. I seriously contemplated purchasing the ESV edition, but decided against it for two personal reasons. First, I have abandoned the reference Bibles altogehter because of the cluttered distractions of small numbers and letters for the footnotes and cross-references. When I come face-to-face with God in His Word, I want to engage just the text and let the Holy Spirit speak to me without being sidetracked by man-made insertions. Second, after using single column formatted Bibles for several years now (ESV, HCSB, NRSV) trying to go back to the double columns I find to be interminably difficult to do. I, like everyone else, find the Quentel Bibles to be stunning in beauty and craftmanship, and would dearly love to own one, but I will wait until they come out with a single-column, text only edition.

  19. Mark, thanks for the great review. I have been extremely pleased with the Quentels, and I have enjoyed my NASB very much. It has travelled a few times but stays at home most of the time. I can tell you though, I love to open it. I love the feel of the leather, and I love to read it. Having poor eyesight I can say the text is amazing. It’s large print without being LARGE PRINT if you know what I mean. The use of red is beautiful, and in my opinion one of the key points of the text block of not THE key point.

    I purchased an Allan ESV for a friend at Christmas and I love that bible too. It is also amazingly crafted. I found it very easy to read as well. There seems to be some negativity about the text block in the Allan but the reader should realize that these are all very small details. If all I had was that Allan ESV or the Schuyler Quentel NASB I would have all I would really ever need. Ever. They are amazing books. Simply fantastic. I am anxious to see how they age. Sad part is I am aging with them and they will outlive me.

    Thanks for great products, Scuyler and to Mark Bertrand, thanks for holding the standards high.

  20. Hello Mark,
    I just received my ESV Schuyler Quental in Imperial Blue as a tenth anniversary present from my wife. It’s my first high-end Bible and it is far and away the most beautiful book I’ve ever see, Bible or otherwise. I’m not an expert on high quality bibles, but I can’t think of any way to improve it. It’s like a work of art aesthetically, yet the production value on the text itself makes you just want to pick it up and read it. In fact, this is the Bible that has made me switch back to print bibles again. We’re expecting our first child in a few weeks and I hope, Lord willing, to pass this on to them someday-it’s certainly built to last.
    God bless,
    Tom Riley

  21. Amazing review. I’m not a fan of green, but your review has sold me on it for this Bible. Now I’ll need a green one in addition to the red I chose earlier. Thanks so much for the review.

  22. Mark, great review & nice photo shots of the ESV Schuyler Quentel.
    Truly a beautiful, high quality Bible that will be a standard for high end Bibles.

    With “readability” as one Quentel’s primary aim, I, however, wished this was a single-column paragraph format. Of all its good features, (Font size 11 Filo, Opacity, Line-matching, Gutter w/red letter reference & more) my only disappointment is the double-column setting.

    Without hesitation, I would have purchased this Bible if it wasn’t double-column.

    Hopefully in the near future, I also wish publishers will consider and have plans in having an NRSV Bible translation of this caliber.

    Currently, as my go to Devotional & Reader’s Bible, I had purchased a “4-Volume Giant Print 18 Font NRSV Bible”

    http://www.amazon.com/NRSV-Giant-Print-Burgundy-4-Volume/dp/0521508789

    You can have an idea of what each volume looks like from this NIV New Testament Giant Print in French Morocco Leather:

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152656836573264.1073741893.75634563263&type=3

    If anybody have any info about my wishes, please post on here & let me know.

    Thanks,
    Ed

  23. Mark – as always a great review, covering all the right things, with beautiful shots. Slightly concerned by your penchant Mark for Green Ink – a clear sign of being mad or a spy-master.
    I received my Green ESV Quentel a week ago after a long wait – but the wait was worth it.
    I own the NASB Quentel that I have been using as my daily reader – as well as owning several of the top drawer Allan & Cambridge offerings. That said, I think this ESV Bible is by some way the best bound and best printed that I own. The hide, binding and finish is immaculate – the Green colour is outstanding, the perfect shade, and I don’t mind the brown lining but wonder if a very pale green or even cream would have been a better contrast. I agree that it is a little stiff on opening, but that is not an issue for me personally, indeed I rather like that as it suggest it is securely bound and reinforced and I’m sure will ease with use, my use. The only change I would definitely commend would be to remove the concordance; people who buy a large print Bible like this do so because they want bold print and often have difficulty reading fine print. The concordance font is so minuscule as to be utterly useless to me even with my specs on. As Mark suggests, most serious Bible readers who will buy this volume, will use electronic study aids and this concordance is a redundant tool that simply adds another 5mm to the width. That said, I do not think there is a finer Bible on the market in terms of quality and presentation. If you need a large print Bible and can manage a weighty tome, this is it.

  24. It would be nice if the ESV Quentel could be bound by Allan’s to get the best of both worlds.

    Quentel’s nice interior design, but ditch the stiff hinge and bonded leather linings. Instead use the Allan full grain goatskin and real leather linings.

  25. Hi Sky,
    Thank you for having and selling the best produced Bibles on the market!
    I bought the ESV Quentel in dark green and love it!
    First, the rich brown liner adds an exquisite touch, along with the differing shades of the ribbons. This one is simply beautiful! Please do not replace the brown liner with green ( as in NLT Allan).
    To me, adding different colors complements and gives a more elegant appearance.
    Having the brown liner this Schuyler apart from the rest.

    I hope to see a purple added to either the NKJV or redux on the NASB Quentel. That too would be a beautiful royal color for any Quentel.

    Regarding the thick calfskin used to “bolster” the binding, the squeak issue truly needs to be addressed. Apart from the Quentel, this is an issue with the smaller Schuyler Bibles as well.
    It must be a hallmark of Jongbloed?
    However, with Jongbloed’s Allan NASB reader and Crossway ESV Legacy Heirloom, there is no hinge squeak problem, making me think that Jongbloed can remedy this issue.

    Allan’s NASB SCR has a good heft and Allan stabilizes this Bible with a different method, allowing the cover to lie total flat and floppy- more supple. There seems more than one way to skin this cat, so to speak.

    Thank you for taking time to read our comments and for your excellence at Evangelical Bibles.com and with Schuyler Bibles.

  26. As usual another great review Mark! I purchased the brown Schuyler ESV Quentel and
    love it love it love it. A fantastic bible even though I’m more of a KJV guy. I hope that Schuyler produces a KJV Quentel edition. Mark, have you heard anything about that?

    • Chris, currently, the NKJV is next on Schuyler’s schedule with the KJV planned after that. It’s too early, however, to predict a date of release.

  27. I have the Clarion as my carry around ESV but would like a larger bible for my daily reading. Any thoughts for daily reading between the Schuyler Quentel ESV and the Crossway Heirloom Single Column Legacy?

    While the Quenetel may not lie flat is it still easy reading since it has a gutter?

    • They’re both easy reading. If you need larger type, the Quentel shines there. Since you’re using the Clarion, though, I think the Legacy makes a great companion. I really enjoy it for immersive reading.

  28. Thanks. I’m still thinking about the Quentel though. I printed a copy of the text and 11 point is more comfortable to read compared to the 9 in the Legacy. I like the no references and single column in the Legacy better though.

    Decisions, decisions.

  29. I received my Black ESV Quentel by mail last week. Wow. I’ve never owned a bible this finely crafted before. Thanks Mark for all the reviews on this site that helped me determine what I was looking for. I’ve been using a nice ESV calfskin cordovan slimline for 6 years for preaching and a ESV black calfskin reference bible as a back up for just as long. Both nice. But the Quentel feels, looks and handles like a far superior breed. First, I went with black not the tempting green simply because I am beholden to a black leather bible. With the redish-gold pages, it looks like a classic cambridge type bible from another era. Never handled goatskin before – this leather is incredible to hold. This bible is big – ish. Bigger than a normal ESV reference bible, smaller than the ESV study bible…heavy enough, thick enough but not in a distracting way. I’ve heard a few comments about the noise this bible makes with the binding. Honestly its not that loud and I don’t mind it at all. Whatever this bindery did, they made a tank of a bible in terms of construction and durability – it feels like it could weather decades of passionate reading. It lays open flat on my desk in the way you’d want a smyth-sewn bible to. However, if I leave the bible open at Genesis 12 say or Revelation 22, it doesn’t lay as flat as I suspect the cambridge/allan would due to the stiffer hinge. But as I press on that hinge carefully to stretch it out, I have a sense that over time this will be no problem. The page layout and font is spectacular. I’ve never used an 11 point font before and this is easy on the eyes (at 46 this is more important to me than before). Its 2 column yes, but due to the generous real estate for text with the references at the bottom, it feels like a reader. And about those references, I just can’t live without them especially for OT citations in the NT. Love having them at the bottom with the red verse markings for easy find. I’m not accustomed to spending so much for a bible, but having this in my hand, I think the sad quest I’ve been on since 1987 for the “one” is over. Oh by the way, I purchased an ESV calf-split clarion a while back and although I loved the look, feel and layout, I was very disappointed with the page curling of the overly thin paper; something one will never have to worry about with the heavier Quentel paper.

    • re. “it doesn’t lay as flat as I suspect the cambridge/allan would.” Actually, my copy of an Allan (NASB), after 15 months of use, lies as proudly as the published image of the unflattened ESV in this review. With any and all of these, some firm pressure on the raised portion will flatten a lofty quire sufficient to any reading need.

  30. I ordered one of these in green before your review. Your review was spot on. I don’t mind the brown lining at all and I totally agree with the stiff hinge issues on high end Bibles. The ideal Bible for me would be bound like my Allan ESV but with the book block used in the Shuyler Quentel ESV. The paper is perfect and the 11 pt font is perfect. Thanks for your review.

  31. I received my Shuyler Quentel ESV Black today and agree with Leo’s comments and of course this review. I think I’ll really appreciate the 11 pt font. Much easier to read and I find I’m not as distracted by focusing on the the text itself. The text size makes reading more fluid for me. (At 63 I need all the help I can get.)

    While I prefer a single column the two column is nice and I think I’ll adapt easily.

    I do have a squeak from the binding that is rather pronounced. Hopefully it will diminish or go away with use.

    Thank you for the review and thanks to all those who have commented. You’ve been helpful in making my decision to purchase this.

    • For what it’s worth, I thought I’d post a followup to my comments.

      As for the squeak, it seems to have lessened over time but it’s still there but it doesn’t bother me.

      I love the layout and text size. It took a little while to get used to the 11 pt font but I find reading is much easier than any 9 pt I have, no matter what page layout. Having said that, I think it would be interesting to compare the same layout only with 10 pt font.

      Yes, it is larger and heavier than many editions but that’s OK with me as read at my desk or in my easy chair (the larger font makes even that easier) and don’t really carry around with me.

      I like that is lays out almost flat and don’t have to deal with reading around the curve.

  32. Dear Mark & Associates: Thank you for the excellent review and everyone’s helpful comments. This is my first contribution to any blog, so I hope it will be useful.

    I have been reading Bible Design Blog for about a year, debating buying an expensive Bible. I have been having an awful time finding an ESV or NIV with over 9 point print, little bleed-through, and paper that doesn’t produce a lot of glare. Eye-strain drives me crazy.

    After reading about this Bible I contacted Evangelical Bible to ask a few questions- $220 about doubles the most I have ever spent on a Bible. I don’t remember the name of the man and lady I spoke to but they were terrific. They knew what I wanted to know and communicated in a way that was easy for an amateur to grasp.

    My main concern was that the photos in the review seemed to me to make the bleed-through look very bad. He assured me that the pages looked much better in real life and I could return it if I didn’t like it.

    I sure am glad I ordered this Bible! The pages do look a lot better than in the photos in the review and the cover looks just as good as in the photos. The print is a great size and very clear. Bleed-through and glare are minimal. Eye-strain is no problem. I like the references out of the way at the bottom and the red chapter and verse numbers make it much less frustrating to find the reference I’m looking for; although, I would be happy if they weren’t there at all because references always seem to take up a lot of space without being very useful to me.

    I think the 68 page small print concordance adds a lot to the value of this Bible for use when a more complete concordance isn’t available. I’d rather have the small print than have less information. If this small print annoys you, wait until you see the even smaller print on some of the maps! The tiny print used for some of the place names on some of the maps is the only thing about this Bible that I would call disappointing, but isn’t a major disappointment.

    Concerning the cover, it is terrific. I got the Antique Marble, which is a beautiful sort of red-brown color. One of the posts called it brick brown. The stiff hinge doesn’t seem like a bad thing to me because the Bibles with more supple covers that I have held seemed to be trying to slide out of my hand. Mine does squeak a little, but it sound to me like the sounds I have heard from some other new items made of high quality leather.

    Thanks for helping me find a Bible that should last through my life and a few other lives too.

  33. Wonderful review. Thank you. I will likely admire these from a distance – a bit out of my price range. They appear to be a sure gold standard.

  34. Just a comment on the stiff hinge problem. I don’t have a Quentel, but I have a Schuyler SC NKJV. I’ve not had it long, but have used it an average amount in that time. The binding eases a lot with some use. I would say it now lies flat when open from Gen. through Rev. Technically, when open to the beginning of Gen. the front cover near the spine lies maybe 1/2″ above the table, and when open to the ending pages, the back cover has about the same amount of space. It’s not even noticeable. Virtually lies flat now after less than two months use. When held in one hand, the cover drapes down much like my Allan. Unless my SC NKJV is a fluke, the stiff hinge problem seems to resolve itself with some use. Therefore, I wouldn’t let that factor alone be a deal breaker.

  35. Me again, but just with some news that might help if you’re hesitating on the ESV Quentel because of price. The firebrick red edition is on sale for Mother’s Day at $199.99 at evbible.

    Also, the single column NKJV and Westminster KJV are also on sale at $175 for the red covers. The other colors for all three are not on sale at this time, only the reds.

  36. Pingback: Schuyler Quentel ESV Bible: A Review | Holy Writ and Sacred Witness

  37. “I don’t believe in the future of Reference Bibles. The job they do is done better by digital tools, and as these tools gain ever wider acceptance I imagine Reference Bibles will see less use. Print editions won’t need to pack all the extras inside the cover. People will turn to them for what they’re best at: immersive reading sessions.”

    That might be a bit off the mark. It will largely depend on the intended audience. A more scholarly audience will still require some material in the printed book (textual references, historical critical notes, etc). Simple fact is that the premium Bible market may not cross streams with the academic market.

    I suppose it ultimately depends on the intended use of the Bible in question.

  38. Pingback: Spurgeonesque Pulpit Desk | Fieldnotes

  39. I don’t understand the obsession with double column Bibles at Schuyler. I have wanted a Schuyler Bible ever since I first started reading about the plans for them at the EvangelicalBible website several years ago. But they seem reluctant to produce the ESV (or any other version) in the vastly superior single column format. Mark, do you know of any plans by EvangelicalBible to produce a single-column Shuyler ESV? Great review by the way, as always.

    • Well I guess I’m too traditional but the best reference bible is double-column. The Schuyler Quentel ESV does place more text in the body with references at the bottom of the page. Why a single-column layout would be better escapes me.

      • I prefer double column format because I want each verse to start on the left side of the text body, allowing me to find them quickly. Single column layouts scatter the verse starts within the texr body.

    • I don’t think “obsession” is quite fair. The Schuyler NKJV is single column, as is the Schuyler NLT Claxton. In terms of the Quentel, it seems Schuyler has emphasized generous font size and paper thickness, and already the Bible’s bulk is being viewed as an issue. A single-column setting would only amplify the bulk. Something has to give, physics-wise.

  40. I think the size of the Bible would make a single column more difficult to read. I love the double column in the Quentel, very readable. Great work Schuyler!

  41. How about a wide margin version? Any rumblings in that area? I’m asking because I don’t want to purchase this Bible now only to find out that if I had waited a bit I could have had a wide margin, which I prefer. By the way, you have an outstanding blog.

  42. Beth, you stated back in December that Schuyler now employs more flexible calfskin liners. That they had switched to calfskin beginning with the second binding of the Quentel ESV. It has made a marked improvement in how well the Bible stays open in Genesis and Revelation. And no squeak.
    Is this true of the Quentel NASB Second edition?

    • Hi Jeff. Just answered you over at FB, but for anybody reading here, yes, the 2nd Edition Quentel NASB does have the new calfskin liner. The hinge is the same, but the new liner does make a noticeable improvement.

  43. What other bible is the ESV Quentel comparable to? The ESV Legacy perhaps? I’d like to get a bible in my hand comparable in size so that I can make a final decision whether or not to purchase one. Thanks so much.

    In Christ Alone,

    Jamie

  44. What other bible is the ESV Quentel comparable to? The ESV Legacy perhaps? I’d like to get a bible in my hand comparable in size so that I can make a final decision whether or not to purchase one. Thanks so much.

  45. Jamie, take a close look at the photos in Mark’s review above. He shows the Quentel stacked with other editions for comparison. An Heirloom Legacy is shown. As you’ll see, the Quentel is heftier than most personal Bibles, but not as much so as a full size ESV Study Bible. Perhaps some smaller study Bibles might be roughly comparable to it in size?

    According to a post by Beth Rhodes in another Quentel thread, a new printing of the ESV Quentel is due this summer, and it will be slightly thinner than the one shown above.

    The Quentels seem to have become the “Cadillac” of Bibles. I’m not sure that for overall quality anything else is currently comparable. (I have the similar NKJV Quentel.)

    • Thanks cec. I’m just going to wait for the new Quentel. Do you know the release date or know where I can find it? Thanks so much.

      • I don’t know a release date, only that Beth (who works with Schuyler) had said the new printing would be this summer. On their website it currently says that some colors won’t be available until early fall. The seller is evangelicalbible.com and it is a Schuyler Bible.

          • Beth what change to the Quentel will allow it to be slightly thinner in the future? Smaller font? Hate to wait till the fall before ordering this beautiful Bible!

          • Rick, we’re changing the paper in the Quentel ESV from the current 38 GSM to the 36 GSM that we’re using in the NKJV and the 2nd Edition NASB. This provides a slimmer Bible with a loss of only 1% opacity.

  46. Beth thanks! Might be worth the wait. How much slimmer would that translate to? Aprox.of course.

    • Rick, the next printing will be about 6 mm thinner. That’s almost entirely due to the change in paper, but the map section (new Schuyler Maps) will also be a few pages shorter.

      • Beth,

        Have you asked folks to see if they would like to have blank pages included at the back of the Schulyer Bibles as the Allan Bibles have? I would love to have lined, blank pages included and hopefully the Schulyer series will include them in the future.

        • Chris, the Canterbury KJV is already set to have lined paper in the back. We’ve considered, and are still considering, adding lined paper to the Quentel series.

          • After sitting on my fingers before, LOL, with Beth’s latest reply I will weigh in with my two cents’ worth: Beth, please, please don’t do anything to make the Quentel series any heftier than it already is!

            I don’t believe I’m alone in the opinion that its size and weight are already its biggest con, of which it has very few. Even seemingly small differences affect the feel of it in the hands, as I think Mark has mentioned in one of his reviews.

            I recently ordered the Allan Readers NASB (done by Jongbloed and very Schuyler-ish!) instead of the admittedly awesome NASB Quentel. This was solely because of the Quentel’s size, so this isn’t just academic for me. (However, had the Allan not also had acceptably readable print, the eyes would have definitely overruled the hands.) The Allan is a much better size despite its extra paper, which will remain unused. Many people just don’t write in their Bibles, or simply use the few thicker blank pages that all Bibles seem to already have.

            I love my NKJV Quentel for its truly superb quality and wonderfully readable print, but it’s a big Bible. I’m certainly keeping and using my slimmer NKJV editions as well. Schuyler’s decision to reduce the Quentel’s size with each new recent edition is the right direction to go imho.

            Beth, thanks for listening to all your customers’ wish lists! It’s a difficult balancing act, no doubt. I’d say Schuyler’s success is very well earned.

  47. Hello Mark,
    I’m a real fan of your blog and the proud user of a Schuyler ESV Quentel (black) which is by far the most beautiful Holy Bible I’ve ever seen. I do have a question for you. In days gone by it appears that most Bibles were hardcovers in brown or burgundy. Today the standard in quality bibles are, for the most part, floppy black leather that are relatively unadorned and simple (which I do like, by the way). Obviously there are a plethora of colors to choose from, but the “iconic” Bible of today-when people generally think of “the Bible” is as I mentioned . My question is how and when this came about? My theory is that it is just an evolution of design, but it is something I have always wondered about. Just curious. If anyone knows. I’m sure you would. Thanks and God bless, Tom Riley

    • We live in age of portability at lower cost. Hardcovers becameoutdated in the 1940’s and onward. Now most hardcovers are super cheap and usually consist of a family bible/ pulpit bible , and the pew bible. The old family bibles that were adorned with gold and brass clasps were super expensive and production on them stopped in the late 1800’s early 1900’s I think, don’t quote me.
      But bibles of today are cheaper, smaller,and printed on thinner fine paper. There is a place you can still get highly adorned deerskin hardcover bibles that are built like tank vaults and super heavy; they are super expensive too, costing in the upwards of $500 to $1000. I commend Schuyler on creating the best of both worlds i.e. floppy yet rigid, not too big and not too heavy, built to the highest quality with the best materials. I don’t know if this answer helped or caused more confusion but its all I know about those highly adorned pulpit/family bibles. I guess the easy answer would be cost and portability.
      God bless and i pray you have many joyful years ahead.

      • Actually you answered my questions completely! Thank you so much brother! God bless.

  48. Beth do you know if there is any talk of printing a single column reference NASB or ESV Bible? Single column is much less fatiguing to read and improves comprehension. I’m puzzled as to how we ever arrived at a double column book in the first place. What library book have we ever read that is double column? And please keep the cross references. I use them almost daily. Thank you for raising the standard in Bible printing!

    • Janice, Schuyler is planning an NASB SCR for next year. No date on that yet, but likely mid to late year. We don’t currently have plans for an ESV SCR, but RL Allan does for Spring 2017.

      • Beth, do you have any more info on the newest update to the NASB? I’ve not been able to find a lot of info on it, other than it is supposed to still be a literal translation. I’m guessing Schuyler’s new SC NASB will use that latest revision. Thanks

        • Sorry I missed this earlier, cec. Schuyler’s NASB SC will use the updated text due next year. Lockman has not released much information about the revision publicly, only in updates to their Facebook page.

          • Thanks, Beth! I know I’ll want to add some kind of nicely bound edition of the updated (2017) NASB to my Bibles within the next few years. (SC or ?? updated Quentel?)

            I’m still loving using my now out of print SC NKJV (it’s currently taking its turn as my take-to-church Bible) and also my beautiful, stunningly readable NKJV Quentel. What a blessing Schuyler is to the Christian world.

            I will again plead with Schuyler to NOT make the Quentels one bit thicker or heavier than they already are, though! And for goodness sake, don’t change the wonderful print in any way. There is a limit to what can be packed into one volume without overall negative consequences. (Code for: Please don’t add journaling pages or wide margins to it.) The Quentels are just about perfection as they are now, except for being slightly plus-size.

            I know it’s very early in the game, but do you foresee a 2017 NASB Quentel within the next three or so years? Thanks!

  49. My parents both passed on in the last few years. Their Bibles are the most precious thing they left. Sitting down and reading their underlined verses and personal notes is absolutely the best for comfort. I received my NASB Bible in 1975 as a Christmas gift from my then boyfriend, now husband. It is the only Bible I have owned since that time. It has accompanied me through 2 years of Bible School and almost 40 years. It is starting to lose pages. I would like to buy a new Bible – that I can write in – and save both of them for our children. I am looking at the Schuyler Bibles because – much as I would dearly love a thin ine model – I NEED to write in it and be able to READ it as my eyes age. .

  50. Hey Mark, I’ve got my 20-year-old Beginner’s Grammar of the G.N.T. by Davis rebound in a green such as this. Truly wonderful.

  51. Hi Beth, is the new ESV Qeuntel dark brown color replaced the “antique marble”? Or are they the same with a different name? Thanks, Rick

    • Great question, Rick. Dark Brown has replaced Antique Marble Brown in the Quentel ESV. It’s the same Dark Brown with multi-colored ribbons as the Quentel NKJV.

  52. Is there an expected release date (preorder only says early Nov) for this Fall’s ESV Quentel? And does the Imperial blue still have the blue under gold gilding? Thanks!

    • I didn’t call them, but it looks like they may have them in stock now.

    • It previously had Blue under Silver gilding, but they are now going to blue under gold. I asked Schuyler if they planned the bring the blue under silver back and they stated that they don’t plan to bring it back at this time.

  53. Waiting on “Media Mail”….. Dot dot dot… I read somewhere that the Post Office doesn’t even deliver media mail if the postal truck is full of regular or Priority mail… Hoping that isn’t true!

      • Clayton and David: No offense intended- I’m puzzled that you posted your question about media mail on the Bible Design Blog and are waiting for an answer from people you don’t know who would probably just be guessing. You could call your shipper or your local Post Office. Either of those should be able to give you a dependable answer. Best wishes to you both.

        • Hi Tom, I just meant to say I sympathize with the waiting. Mine is due in early next week.

          • Hi David- Let me add my encouragement to the good things the others have said about this Bible. I bet you will think it is well worth the wait. When I received mine I thought, “Wow! This Bible is worth even more than I paid for it.” I remember worrying that the positive descriptions would turn out to be like remarks you hear in gun shops- 90% exaggerations and inaccuracies. How did you like dealing with evangelicalbible.com? I thought they were terrific. They patiently answered all my questions. And in addition to the usual sturdy shipping box and packing, they ship their Bibles inside an envelope made of bubble wrap that looks like it seals well enough to keep out water under normal circumstances.

  54. Did I miss the total dimensions? I keep scanning back but I didn’t see them.

  55. I should have requested a Fedex door-to-door customs cleared service. My package tracking status still is in “Customs Clearance” since Nov 18. Post office doesn’t answer my call and emails. ;(

    • My experience has been that when you are being ignored it is best to get the shipper involved because they are considered to be the Post Office’s customer and being a business customer they may have a sales rep who doesn’t want to loose their business. As usual in life, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. On the other hand, depending on the country your Bible is being shipped to, a 4 or 5 day customs delay may be unavoidable.

  56. Does anyone have any thoughts on the ESV Quentel update that was just released? How does the 36 gsm paper compare to the previous 38 gsm? How much thinner is the new update? Thoughts on the Schuyler Maps? Thanks!

    • I have both editions and I can hardly tell the difference in ghosting thanks to line matching. In fact, most of the time I have to stare hard to see any difference between the two where there is slight ghosting when there is text on the back side of the page but not the front. The 36 gsm doesn’t impact readability from my perspective.

      As far as the thickness, I laid them down spine to spine and it appears to be about 1/8″, which makes it more comfortable for me to carry.

      The maps look nice with lots of text descriptions. I can’t comment on quality or usefulness as I don’t use them.

      I’m very happy with this edition.

      • Glad to hear there doesn’t appear to be anymore ghosting with the 36 gsm. I was hoping to pick one up to use as my carrying Bible and use the 38 gsm at home. The 38 gsm is amazing, but it’s quite a bit to lug around, especially when carrying children as well. Which colors do you own? Which color combinations are your favorite?

        • A word of balance. The new edition is not significantly lighter. Yes, it’s lighter than the 38 gsm but the 36 gsm is still a large and heavier Bible than other more portable Bible. I was given an Allan ESV and it is lighter but I much prefer the Schuyler because it has good line matching and slightly larger font size for easier reading.

          As far as color, I’m sorry but I’m not too creative (my wife calls it something else). My ESV Bibles are all black and my NASB and NLT are browns. Yes, color coded.

          In my defense I was going to get the ESV in Dark Brown in the second edition until I saw it had multi colored ribbons. I’m not that much of a free spirit so stuck with black.

          • Thanks so much for your feedback Larry. I just received my second edition ESV Quentel in the Navy Blue today. I agree with you that it is more portable than the first edition due to the 36 gsm paper. I’ve had an opportunity to hold and use an Allan, but the Quentel takes the cake for me due to the font and line matching. I would say I can tell a difference in the stiffness of the paper of the second edition Quentel ESV (36 gsm) vs. my first edition (38 gsm). The first edition paper seemed to be able to be handled quite a bit and not wrinkle or crease. The second edition I received had some creased paper already and it seems like it may need to be handled more delicately. The ghosting doesn’t seem to be any different between the two, but the paper stiffness may be slightly better with the first version. It’s truly a trade off though, portability vs paper durability. It still seems to be great quality paper though on both. They did a good job balancing portability without sacrificing too much.

            And no worries on the color! I think that’s why they produce so many colors. Everyone is different. Mine came with a defect in the gilding and a couple of other minor defects. That was a little disappointing, but I’m hoping I can exchange it for another one.

    • RE: Maps
      Mine is not the latest edition, but the one before the latest. The maps are the one feature I thought could be improved, but they are the feature I use the least. Many of the less important or less well known place names are extremely small. Some maps have so many locations on them that they look cluttered or messy.

      Be prepared for a very heavy Bible. The weight is the reason I rarely use mine, even though it is the beautiful antique marble.

  57. Mark, love your reviews! Led me to a lovely new Bible, the Quentel ESV dark green goatskin. Reading this bible is a wonderful and pleasing experience due to the clarity of font, size and paper quality. The goatskin leather feels supple to the hand. It is remarkable bible in every way. I do have a concern though regarding the creeping of the first 78 pages/signature. They extrude when the book is closed and it is bothersome. Any suggestions?

  58. I bought an ESV Readers Version Bible (single volume) from christianbook.com a few months ago. I decided to “splurge” and by the top grain leather version. Until then I had never paid more than thirty dollars for a bible. When I received that Bible I was amazed at the quality. That’s when I realized I had been missing out by not purchasing quality bibles. I was instantly hooked. Then I found this review and began wrestling with which premium bible to purchase. I decided to order this one, the ESV Quentel Schuyler Bible. I received it in the mail today, I was sold by this review. I ordered the Dark Green one, also because of this review. I do not regret my purchase at all. So beautiful. I’m thrilled to own it. I love the color, love the whole design. For prospective buyers: the stiff hinge doesn’t bother me, and I like the brown interior lining. Mine does not “squeak.” I noticed that some of the pages are not perfectly even when you close it, there is a very slight difference in length. But I honestly don’t care about that at all. The only reason I would even consider mentioning such a minute detail is because of the cost. It is an expensive bible, but we spend more money on less valuable things all the time. I’m very pleased with it. Thank you Mark for a wonderful review! I’m amazed at how much of an influence you’ve had on the publishing community. I’m very grateful.

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