The ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set — Part 1: Simply Beautiful

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This is Part 1 of Bible Design Blog’s extended look at the new 6-Volume Reader’s Bible published by Crossway. This post gives an overview of the project and shares my general assessment of its success. In later posts I will dig deeper into some of the details, from the typography and paper to slipcases. For a complete list of articles, scroll to the bottom of this post.

The ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set arrived on my doorstep on the fifteenth of August at 12:53 p.m. It was a warm day, pleasantly windy. The box felt heavy in my arms. I set it on the dining table and went in search of a knife. Before I opened the package, I studied the printing on the side: Legatoria Editoriale Giovanni Olivotto, with an address in Vicenza. The moment felt a bit momentous, so I did something I never do: snapped a photo of the unopened box. I hate unboxing videos. I’m temperamentally opposed to watching a grown person open a package online and linger adoringly over invoice, brochure, and packing peanuts. I resisted the urge to violate this conviction. But only just.

I don’t get excited about Bibles anymore. That’s what I kept telling myself, anyway. For almost a decade I’ve been writing about quality editions of the Bible, poring over details of print and paper and binding. Publishers send review copies, and if I’m interested in what I see, I write about them. When I meet my readers in person, two questions always come up: “Why don’t you post more often?” and “How cool is it that publishers send you free Bibles?”  Well, it is cool, but not screaming-like-a-kid-on-a-rollercoaster cool. I’m a professional, after all. Sort of.

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The cloth-over-board set (left) is available for $110 from EvangelicalBible.com, and the leather-over-board set (right) costs $300.

So I opened the box and lifted the wooden slipcase from its cushioned berth, pretending that I wasn’t jumping up and down on the inside. I was, though. A lot. And the more time I spend with the 6-Volume Reader’s Bible, the less reserved I get. This is a beautiful concept executed beautifully. It’s one of the best editions I have ever covered at Bible Design Blog.

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The gorgeous layout and the refined binding make the reading experience a pleasure.

A Beautiful Concept

Good book design should be reader-friendly. Some texts present more of a challenge than others. Novels are easy. Bibles are hard. Scripture consists of sixty-six separate books of various lengths (more if you include the Apocrypha). That’s a lot of words. The simple task of designing a single volume to hold all that and still be readable is a challenge. Then you add all the chapter and verse numbers, the cross-references, the concordances, and the task becomes rather difficult. No matter how good the designer, certain compromises are inevitable: minuscule text, two columns, ant-like armies of references crawling down the margins.

This is what we’re used to.

The history of the printed Bible began in the mid-to-late fifteenth century and quickly became the history of the reference Bible. As Glenn Paauw relates the story in his excellent Saving the Bible from Ourselves, the steady creep of extra-biblical material onto the page resulted by the mid-sixteenth century in the reference edition more or less as we know it today. “It was the death knell for a certain kind of Bible,” Paauw writes, “a Bible that presented something closer to what the Scriptures inherently were.”

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Reader’s Bibles are an attempt to unring that bell. They remove the extras and give the biblical text room to breathe. They offer up Scripture in a flowing single column paragraphed layout. They design the Bible like the kind of book you actually read, instead of the sort you only use for looking things up.

Crossway released an excellent ESV Reader’s Bible in 2014. In my review, I expressed the hope that the format would catch on. “I’d love to see one of these on everyone’s shelf, regardless of your preferred translation,” I wrote. “This is a format to spend some time with in the hope of recapturing a less mediated experience of reading the Bible.” Crossway has also published reader-friendly formats of The Psalms and The Gospels (see below).

For some people, the idea of a multi-volume edition of Scripture might be a hard sell. Why would I want a Bible in six volumes, far too heavy and cumbersome for easy portability, when I can have the whole epic story under one cover? Well, dividing the text into multiple volumes actually solves one of the greatest challenges associated with Bible printing: the necessity for sheer, ultra thin paper. Compare the original single-volume Reader’s Bible with the new ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set and you’ll notice one thing right away. The pages in the new set are much more opaque. See,  as long as you’re fitting all those words under one cover, thin speciality paper is a must. Dividing the sixty-six books into six separate volumes frees you from that necessity. Whereas the one-volume Reader’s Bible was printed on 30 gsm Apple Thin Opaque paper, this one is printed on 80 gsm Munken Premium Cream. The sales literature describes it as “opaque and soft without being too bulky,” which is right on. Another way of putting it would be, this just feels like a nicely made book. You won’t think about the paper at all. You’ll think about the words on the page.

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It helps to stop and consider what kind of set this is. The 6-Volume Reader’s Bible isn’t going to replace your fine print all-in-one edition. That’s not the point. Rather, it fills a niche that has largely gone unaddressed in the past: the need for a Bible designed for a lifetime of reading.

When I develop a love for a particular author, one of the things I do is search for nice editions of that writer’s work. Last year a friend pulled me into a reading challenge: together we would make our way through all of John Buchan’s Richard Hannay novels, from The Thirty-Nine Steps to The Island of Sheep. Since I was planning to spend a lot of time with Buchan, I hunted online for a set of the Folio Society edition of the novels. The five novels are beautifully designed and bound, grouped together in a sturdy slipcase. (Sound familiar?) When you look at the Folio Society set side by side with the 6-Volume Reader’s Bible, a light bulb should illuminate above your head: “Ah ha! So, that’s the kind of thing this is.”

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The Reader’s Bible compares quite favorably to fine editions from the Folio Society.

And the 6-Volume Reader’s Bible is quite a good example of that sort of thing, too. In all its details, from design to printing to binding, it compares favorably to the work of high end publishers like the Folio Society.

A Beautiful Execution

There are two versions of the set, one bound in cloth-covered boards with slipcase ($110) and another bound leather-over-boards with a dovetailed walnut slipcase ($300). The leather-over-boards set is an EvangelicalBible.com exclusive, by the way. Considering the cost of high quality Bibles these days, the leather set feels like value for money. Both options ooze with distinction, though.

The interior design is new for this edition. The text is set in 12 pt. Trinité No. 2, a typeface “inspired by the ideal harmony found in Renaissance incunabula,” and the lines of text are generously leaded. A single page in the original Reader’s Bible contained 42 lines of text. In the 6-Volume Reader’s Bible, there are just 28. Apart from the occasional section heading, running headers at the top of the page, and the actual page numbers, there is nothing on the landscape but a gloriously proportioned single column text.

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Trade-offs: the original ESV Reader’s Bible (right) is much more portable, but the new 6-Volume set is much more readable.

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Compared to the one-volume Reader’s Bible (above), the new 6-Volume Reader’s Bible has larger type, more opaque paper, and almost half as many lines of text per page.

In other words, when you open the 6-Volume Reader’s Bible, what you see is just a well-designed book. No clutter, nothing to call attention to itself. Here’s a telling observation: when EvangelicalBible.com posted the first photos of these sets online, creating a bit of a social media sensation, I snapped a photo of the one I happened to be reading and posted it on Instagram. No feeding frenzy, though, because I photographed the book opened on a table, where it is pretty much indistinguishable from any other book — which is the point. (One commenter did get wise: “That looks suspiciously like a Bibliotheca volume.” Well, close.)

Crossway has produced a video that gives us a look inside the production process:

ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set (Trailer) from Crossway on Vimeo.

A wealth of production information is included in the booklet accompanying the set, too. The books are printed and bound in Italy by Legatoria Editoriale Giovanni Olivotto — L.E.G.O. for short. Printed on a Timson T48 offset web press, the 48-page signatures are gathered into books and Smyth-sewn. The cover cloth is Manifattura Tasmania 7107 stretched over 2.25 mm board and the ink, in case you’re wondering, is Inkredible Revolution Black. The leather bindings are done in lightly grained black cowhide with a nice sheen.

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Each volume opens flat and feels good in the hand.

A Beautiful Read

All of which means little if the 6-Volume Reader’s Bible isn’t a delight to read. Well, it is. It truly is. Each volume, thick or thin, feels good in the hand. They have a trim size of 8” x 5.5” — the same as the original ESV Reader’s Bible — which makes them comfortable to hold. Unlike the leather-over-boards edition of The Gospels, they open flat and are not too bulky. The boards are relatively thin and the leather sufficiently pared to avoid extra thickness.

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A deeper look at the paper is coming soon. Suffice to say, the 80 gsm sheets strike a pleasing balance between opacity and suppleness. As much as I love The Psalms and The Gospels, I find the paper in each volume a bit thick. Not here. I can hold these books open with one hand, read for a long period, and never be distracted by bleed-through or the feel of the pages. A well made book doesn’t call attention to itself, and these are well made books. In comparison to the leather-bound editions of those earlier reader-friendly volumes, too, L.E.G.O. has brought an extra level of refinement to the binding.

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The Gospels (above) is quite a nice edition, but the thicker paper prevents it from opening flat out of the box. The Reader’s Bible (below) offers a more refined experience.

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Compared to earlier L.E.G.O.  leather-over-boards editions like The Gospels (below), this binding is trimmer, more elegant, and has a pleasing gloss finish.

Each volume has a single ribbon for marking progress. I’m used to having two or three ribbons, so at first I wanted more. Then I remembered that this Bible actually has six ribbons, one in each volume. That’s plenty, right? You will need that ribbon, too, because a Bible like this invites deeper reading. I’m still amazed how much more I read, and how much more I notice in what I read, compared to traditional reference formats.

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Recommendation

The question is, do you go with the clothbound set or spring for the leather? On aesthetics, the leather-over-board option wins. The deep black and warm brown combination of leather and wood is ridiculously handsome, not to mention ridiculously photogenic. I’m not as big a fan of the earth-tone cloth-over-board covers with their intricate design … until I handle them. The cloth has a nice tactile feedback, and the volumes feel great in the hand. There really isn’t a bad option here. If you can swing the leather set, though, it’s heirloom quality and I doubt you’ll regret it.

But here’s my real recommendation: find yourself a good reading chair. You will need it. The 6-Volume Reader’s Bible doesn’t want to sit on the shelf. It wants a special nook next to a comfy chair and a lamp.

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Notice the dovetailed walnut slipcase? That’s going to get its own post later in the series.

 


The ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set Complete Series

Part 1: Simply Beautiful

Part 2: Layout & Typography

Part 3: Paper Performance

“Reverent Joy”: Crossway Launches ReadersBible.org, Releases Video

More to come!

60 Comments on “The ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set — Part 1: Simply Beautiful

  1. Thanks for the great review and excellent photos, John. I always enjoy your reviews.

  2. So excited. So very excited. My friends don’t understand. My pastor doesn’t understand. My wife doesn’t understand. But J. Mark Bertrand understands, and that’s enough for me. Thanks for the in-depth review. Looking forward to the next in the series and, ultimately, receiving mine in-hand. One question, which maybe you’ll get to in a later part, do the section headings prove helpful? I found them to be very nice logical breaks for reading in the Gospels and am hoping that holds for the rest of scripture as well.

    • “But J. Mark Bertrand understands, and that’s enough for me.” Great! I will include some section break thoughts in the layout post, Wesley.

      • Great! I’m also excited about the section headings!!! I am wondering where they got them. Who’s outlines they used. The Reader’s Gospels use a different source than the than the ESV Study Bible outlines.

  3. Thank you, thank you, JMB! I’ve been eagerly awaiting your review(s) of these sets. I’d been trying to talk myself out of buying it, but I pre-ordered the leather set last week after reading the only review of it I could find. I don’t regret the decision one bit–this is just awesome! I plan to read all of it, and am hopeful it will become a family heirloom someday.

    I have the cloth edition of the readers Gospels, and totally agree with you that the format encourages one to just keep reading and reading, and I believe it can foster better comprehension as well. I know this set will be even better than the Gospels. I’ve just got to find a special spot to put it. Thank you for doing such a detailed series of reviews on these sets. As always, the photos are superb.

  4. Excellent review. “They design the Bible like the kind of book you actually read, instead of the sort you only use for looking things up” that’s insightful and a lesson in itself right there.

  5. Finally! This looks like almost exactly what I have wanted for a very long time!

  6. The ESV is not prefered translation but I have to admit that Crossway is my favorite Bible publisher hands down. They continue winning me over more and more as time goes on because they do things like this.

    • Todd, I totally agree about Crossway. While not my primarily used translation, I’ve become familiar with and a fan of the ESV, initially as a result of their great product selection. They offer so many nice editions of the ESV, something for just about everyone. Quite often I find myself giving various ones as gifts. Other publishers just don’t compare.

      I noticed in a recent email from EB that after the upcoming initial shipment of the leather set, their price is set to increase. I’m so looking forward to using this reader’s set.

    • Why on earth would you want a NT only version of a Readers Bible.
      If the point is to bask in the full narrative of biblical texts, why would anyone want only part of the entire story of God?

      • Mark C., I understand your point, but the whole set does take up a good bit of shelf space and is expensive. For a partial set, the NT makes lots of sense. Even the volume that includes the Gospels and Acts might be a good stand-alone purchase for some people. Different people have different needs, wants, and resources.

    • Different editions for different needs. These readers are just wonderful for situations (such as in a cramped airplane seat) where pure reading is the only practical thing you can do. Sometimes I take the single volume reader but the open space of these versions are the best. In preparation for a specific area of study I want to read the text over and over without distraction. There is always time for study Bible notes and other references. I want to understand what God said before I check in with Ryrie. I have the Gospels, Psalms, and am looking forward to the Letters of Paul. Finally, the six-volume set stays at home. I would travel with these individual publications or just a NT with no fear of damage or loss compared to the cost of the entire set.

  7. As someone who long ago bought into bibliotheca and doesn’t have a fat wallet I’m kicking myself a bit at the presence of what seems to be at least comparable if not superior to what bibliotheca will end up being. Do you plan on comparing the sets whenever bibliotheca arrives?

    • Joshua, just an FYI that you can still cancel/refund your Bibliotheca order. I just did so myself in favor of this ESV set!

      • I’ve been looking, and I can’t figure out how to cancel/refund the Bibliotheca order? Sorry to bother, but I’ve really been looking for the last hour and have given up!

        How do you cancel?

        • Greetings, all, especially those looking to cancel the Bibliotheca order. You might hold on for just a bit longer. Adam has told me he’s finished all of his work and it’s just a matter of printing the last two physical volumes. The ESV is solid enough, but the ASV — given a careful revision by several scholars (including myself on the Apocrypha and select NT books) — is now in very solid shape as a representation of the Hebrew and Greek. Plus, it’s a translation that, in its slightly revised form, won’t be available ANYWHERE else. ESVs are easy to come by. I have several and it’s not nearly my favorite. (I say this as one of four people who produced the ESV Apocrypha for Oxford University Press, to create an ecumenical ESV.) Yes, this 6-volume set is beautiful. The Bibliotheca set will be as well. Hang in there!

          • Wow, I had no idea you were involved with the project Dr. deSilva! I was actually about to cancel my order until I saw your post. Having recently read your book (Patronage, Kinship, and Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture) in one of my seminary classes, it’s good to know such a responsible biblical scholar was involved in Adam’s project.

            Your post saved at least one Bibliotheca order!

  8. These do look great, and I’ll probably get the board set just as soon as ever I can afford it. I do get a little annoyed by some of the marketing surrounding the Reader’s Editions. They seem to be putting forth the idea that their presentation is somehow *closer to the original reading experience* than traditional printed Bible formats, which is not actually the case at all.

    If anything, it’s probably a much more comfortable reading experience than what the first readers of Biblical texts had, since writing materials (and writing) were much more expensive at the time, and conserving these resources was probably one of the concerns of those who wrote the originals (demonstrably so in Luke and Acts) and certainly a concern for those creating the first copies. The attention to whitespace/page layout and material quality in the Reader’s Editions goes far beyond what any but a king could have afforded at the time the Bible was written.

    It is also a bit of a mis-characterization to say the filling of the Bible with a lot of extra information starts with the beginning of printing the Bible. Notes an marginalia were proliferating looooong before the printing press was invented.

    In terms of being less mediated, well, I guess it’s less mediated than most other printed Bibles in the English Language. The Israeli publisher, Koren, makes some beautiful Hebrew editions with numbers are in the margins, which, sort of by definition, is less mediated than an English translation could ever be. There’s another Hebrew edition, Jerusalem Crown, that actually mimics the layout of the Aleppo Codex, which means the columns are way too small.

    I think the ESV Reader’s Editions are wonderful editions of a mostly OK translation, and I look forward to using and (let’s be honest) displaying them, but I do wish some of this hype would go away that these editions somehow recapture some part of the experience that was lost with the advent of the reference Bible. Modern Bibles of almost any kind are more pleasant to read than ancient scrolls (save a few luxury editions commissioned by monarchs).

      • In 1935 the Limited Editions Club released a multi-volume single column paragraphed KJV. I have the three OT volumes. They’re worth searching for.

      • Yes, if Crossway would issue this exact set as a KJV I would be SO IN. Don’t misunderstand, ESV is a fine translation and I read it somewhat regularly (primarily electronic, as with NLT, TPT, etc), but 90% of my time in Gid’s Word is spent in the KJV and I love my Allan’s for that. Ruby to Longprimer, I have them all.

        Ken

  9. Hi Mark!
    Thank you for the start of your review–I’m looking forward to reading all of your thoughts on this beautiful version of the Reader’s Bible. (Ordered mine last week. How did you get copies two months early? ? )
    Also: was very glad to hear you mention Paauw’s book; I’m about halfway through it and think it’s one of the most important books published in the last ten years. Perhaps you could review it as well, on your website?
    Finally, it’s been over six months between your posts. Is everything OK? Have you been working on a novel? (Please say yes!)

  10. I’ve not only been eager for this set, but also for this review. Thank you and I look forward to more.

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  12. WOW! I’m very excited about this set. Thanks for the excellent review, the review many of us have waited a long time to see. Adam Greene raised the bar for what a publisher should strive for, and Crossway has risen to the challenge. I love my readers edition, and the readers Gospels. This set looks amazing, I’ll have to raise my Bible budget

  13. Very excited about this set. However, I’m disappointed that Crossway included section headers in the text. I’m very sensitive to the interpretation problems that chapter breaks have provided, and having a summary of a section, according to someone’s interpretation, is a black mark on what is otherwise an excellent offering. I’m tempted to go with Bibliotheca just to avoid the section headers. I’m also somewhat surprised that they weren’t mentioned in the review as being problematic.

    • Peter, I also had doubts about the section headers in the Reader’s Gospels before I read it. But what I found was that they were excellent stopping points for the larger books that were impractical for me to read in a typical single sitting. I’m personally hoping that Crossway did away with them for the shorter books, and included them for the larger ones. Not a hint of the details has been revealed yet about these headings, so I’m eager for the next review.

  14. Thanks for your mention of the Folio Society. I’ve used this blog for years to help chose Bibles for personal use and as gifts. All this time I wished for a similar resource covering non-religious books. It seems the Folio Society is just that.

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  16. It’s difficult to tell from the pictures, and you mentioned these editions “have larger type” than the Reader’s Bible, but it almost look a little too large. Any sense of this?

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  18. I wish that Crossway would keep the momentum going and do a set similar to this of the five books of the Psalms.

  19. Stephen, I don’t know if you’ve seen Mark’s review on them, but Crossway has some very nice editions of The Psalms, available in top grain leather, Trutone over board, and a newer floral hardback. Each psalm is presently separately, as poems should be. There are verse numbers, but they are very small and unobtrusive in the far left margin, done in deep red. All five books are in one hand size volume, but each of the five books has its own title page.

    Not quite the same format as this reader’s set, but pretty close; very appropriately formatted as a beautiful book of poems. I’ve bought several of these as gifts and for my own use.

  20. I have been reading from the ESV readers and I love it! I do not write in it just to keep it purely a readers. I have gained so much more insight from the context by not stopping abruptly at foreign verses. Not having chapters will only enhance this wonderful experience! The cloth feel takes me back to reading in my reading tree at the top and swaying. I CANT WAIT TO HAVE MINE!

  21. After dealing with Adam’s Biblesteala on Kickstarter, this set is not only beautifully designed but is also using a trusted translation put together by gifted professionals—so much better then Adam’s personal translation of the ASB.

    I am always amazed how the Lord watches over His Word and makes sure those who love His Word are blessed and given the desire of their hearts.

    j

    • Please don’t be so harsh in regard to Adam. Bibliotheca is coming; he’s finished his work, and the last two volumes are being printed in Germany. It might have been better had he planned to ship the volumes as they were printed, as you’d have several now and not be doubting his integrity. His ability to guess how long the project would take? Yes, that has been proven lacking, but which of us has been perfect in that regard. It’s also not his “personal translation of the ASB,” not even his personal EDIT of the ASB. I personally read through almost all of the Apocrypha and several of the NT books, checking for issues. (If you doubt I’m qualified, please do a search on my name on Amazon. 🙂 ) Hang in there with Bibliotheca. It will be good, and the translation is in solid shape.

      • I’m so sorry. Whenever someone asks about when Biblestealia will be delivered we are being “harsh”. Whenever we ask who and how and why the ASV is being retranslated we are being “harsh” on poor Adam. Whenever we ask why Adam hasn’t given detailed honest updates we are being “harsh”. Whenever we ask if a trusted evangelical authority is overseeing the expenditure of funds we are indeed being “harsh”. Yes, I am so sorry for being harsh. How long has it been now? Oopse, I’m sorry, I’m being harsh again.

        I’m not sure who is on Adam’s payroll and is next in line to protect him and continue to promote him, but I personally will go with a truly reputable translation by men with solid Biblical training and the proven ability to translate the Word of God.

        This whole episode has taught me God is watching over His Word and will always provide for His people.

        j

        • Whoh! Yes you’re being harsh. Dr. deSilva is legit and not being paid off to defend Adam. The ESV readers edition looks fantastic, but it was Adam and the bibliotheca project that nudged Crossway to pursue a multivolume edition. And those involved in both projects seem genuine in their desire to glorify God with faithful presentations of his word.

          • Sorry, I didn’t know Dr. deSilva was doing this for no pay. That’s very rare these days. There are two years of comments like yours and I’m sure there will be many more. I just hope the Bibles eventually show up and the translation is not denominationally biased—that’s crucial to glorify our Father. I would sincerely feel more comfortable about this whole thing, being over two years and still going, if people would hold off promoting this until something is actually produced and the translation is looked over by a trusted evangelical commission overseeing the finances as well. Blessings brother.

  22. I wish these Bible publishers would send me complimentary Bibles to review and I’ll give them “enthusiastic” reviews as well!

    • Jeff, perhaps you meant your post to be facetious, but in all seriousness I think one must be an established reviewer to warrant complimentary copies, which I find perfectly reasonable. As for Mark’s “enthusiastic” reviews, I own several of the editions he has reviewed, and I’ve never found any inaccuracies or hype in his reviews. He presents a lot of objective, factual product information in addition to his personal likes or dislikes. Along with the reviews of others, this is extremely helpful to me in deciding which products to purchase or forego.

      I like to read reviews of any product, not just Bibles, that I’m considering buying. I find them especially helpful when the product isn’t available locally and I’m buying sight unseen or untried.

      Whether in agreement or disagreement with the reviews, I expect to see quite a few comments here after these sets are received. Stand by…

  23. Do you know why they didn’t put the spacers (book guides or whatever they are called) on the wood box like they did for the cardboard box?

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  25. I am curious if the back of the wooden case has a backing? It may be obvious but I want to be certain.

    Loved the review.

  26. I received my cowhide set today, a day ahead of schedule, and I have to say it exceeds my rather lofty expectations! From my limited time with it so far, imo Mark, as usual, hit the nail on the head with his reviews.

    I had wondered if I’d like the slightly thinner paper as much as that in The Gospels. Well, I do. The opacity seems the same, and each volume of the set does lie very flat, flatter than The Gospels. (These are hardback books; don’t expect Allan floppiness, of course.) I’ve read a little in Daniel, Psalms, Matthew, and Revelation, and I find them as easy to read as The Gospels. Like Mark, my eyes seem to say the print isn’t exactly the same size. My eyes see The Gospels’ print as slightly larger or bolder, but that’s apparently an optical illusion. My older eyes are very picky about print size and darkness, and they are liking this set just fine!

    Anyone still on the fence, try The (reader’s) Gospels at about $14 first. The reading experience is very, very similar.

    When I opened the outer carton (sealed with Crossway tape, but containing an invoice from EB in my name) and removed the foam protection, I at first thought they’d sent me the cloth version. The set, in addition to the walnut slipcase, is packaged in a very nice box that’s a keeper. The slipcase has a thinner, inset back, for the person who asked. I love the dovetail joints on the slipcase.

    As for the section headings, I checked all of Matthew and the first few in Mark, and they are the same ones as are in The Gospels, done in a deep red. Like the rest of the print, they appear just a tiny bit smaller or less bold to my eyes, but that may be an illusion. In any case, I like them.

    I’ve inspected these pretty well in the limited time since they arrived, and found that on pages that include quotations, the line matching gets off for the rest of the page because of the different spacing of the quotation. The paper is so good that this is absolutely no problem. I checked, and The Gospels do the same thing–which, tellingly, I’d never even noticed before.

    No page indentations, as someone had mentioned, from the (lovely, deep red) ribbons, but the front cover of my Poetry volume has two horizontal, slightly perceptible indentations. They are barely, barely detectable to the touch, and visible only when the light hits the cover in a certain way. Definitely a little defect, but although I really am a picky person, I’m not going to complain about this tiny flaw. I like the feel and look of the black leather covers a lot. These are beautiful books! For $300, I definitely think I got my money’s worth. From my first impressions, this set is heirloom quality and will be a delight to read.

    I can’t wait to read the rest of Mark’s reviews, so I can look for other little details to savor! 🙂

  27. At the risk of sounding like a salesperson for Evangelical Bible, I just have to post here that their latest email says they have fewer than 40 sets of the cowhide in walnut slipcase edition remaining, and that a second printing is doubtful. This is an outstandingly beautiful and easy to read presentation of God’s word. If you are on the fence, order one before they’re gone.

    If these become unavailable it will really be a shame. I’m even more pleased with mine than I was when it first arrived, and that’s saying a lot.

    No word on the status of the cloth over board edition.

    Mark, we eagerly await your remaining reviews of these sets!

    Happy 2017, all! May it be a blessed year.

  28. Hello Mark…….??
    We sure would love to read your remaining three reviews of these sets!

    Thanks for all you do.

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