A New Testament, A Psalter, A Reader's Bible, and Netherlands Printing: Crossway's Line-Up for 2014

This morning Crossway waved its magic wand and made 2014 very interesting. The game-changing Bible publisher previewed this year's coming releases, and there are some awe-inspiring editions in the mix. For the full scoop, check out the Crossway blog: "2014 ESV Bible Preview." I want to highlight a couple that I find significant: A Single Column, Compact NT

Whatever happened to pocket New Testaments? They used to be all over the place, but now they're relatively rare. And if you can find one, it will have an old-fashioned double-column layout to cram all the words in. I have dreamed -- dreamed! -- of a single-column New Testament that will give the text room to breathe. The single column setting that inspired my passion was a New Testament, after all: the Cambridge REB New Testament, now sadly long out of print. This month Crossway comes to the rescue:

 The ESV Pocket New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs is a highly portable edition ideal for a number of uses. This new edition will be available in a variety of covers, including gift editions to commemorate special occasions like baptisms, weddings, and births.

  • Size: 3.625” x 5.25”

  • 7-point type

  • 688 pages

  • Single-column format

  • Words of Christ in red

  • Sewn binding

Admittedly, I could live without the red letters, but a super compact NT with a single column setting and a sewn binding? I'm all over that. You can expect to see this one on Bible Design Blog in the near future.

A Reader's Bible Without Chapter and Verse

Ever since the Books of the Bible, there's been a cutting edge niche pushing for a "pure," uncluttered reading experience, minus not just cross references and superscript notes, but also chapter and verse indicators. Frankly, I've never been too optimistic. Fortunately Crossway has proved me wrong. In May, they are releasing a Reader's Bible that lives up to the name. I have seen the layout, and will be sharing some thoughts on this Bible soon. If they get the paper right, it's going to be a winner.

The ESV Reader’s Bible was created for those who want to read the books of Scripture precisely as they were originally written. Verse numbers, chapter and section headings, and translation footnotes are helpful navigational and interpretive tools, but they are also relatively recent conventions. In the ESV Reader’s Bible they have been removed from the Bible text. The result is a new kind of Bible-reading experience in a volume that presents Scripture as one extended story line.

  • Size: 5.25” x 7.75”

  • 9-point type

  • 1,840 pages

  • Single-column format

  • Black letter text, no verse numbers or footnotes

  • Two ribbon markers

Expect to see a lot of coverage of this one on Bible Design Blog. It ticks a lot of the boxes for me. The layout looks great and the form factor is excellent. The only question will be whether the quality of production lives up to the design.

Did Somebody Ask for a Psalter?

If the prospect of a single column, sewn compact New Testament has be excited, then you can imagine how I feel about a single column edition of the Psalms with a sewn binding, "high quality paper," and 11 pt. type. Ecstatic. I have raved about the psalter before, and look forward to doing so again when this edition releases in June.

The Psalms is a beautiful presentation of this beloved section of Scripture. Featuring the ESV text, each psalm is presented in large, readable type on high quality paper. The layout gives ample space for the text and adds to the aesthetic value of the biblical poetry. This is a wonderful edition for devotions, for liturgical use, and as a gift.

  • Black letter text

  • Single-column format

It's great to see Crossway coming on strong this year with "specialist" editions. Again, we're going to take a close look at this one on Bible Design Blog.

Did Somebody Say Jongbloed?

Crossway's release of the Heirloom Bible is a big deal, too, since it appears these will be printed and bound in the Netherlands by Jongbloed, which does high end work for Schuyler, R. L. Allan and Cambridge. A thinline Heirloom will release in February, and when September comes we'll see the beautiful Legacy text setting receive the Heirloom treatment:

The ESV Heirloom Single Column Legacy Bible is a special edition of the original ESV Single Column Legacy Bible. Based on the Renaissance ideal of a perfect page, the Single Column Legacy Bible features a simple, clear layout with generous margins. As with Crossway’s other Heirloom Bibles, the Heirloom Single Column Legacy Bible is printed in the Netherlands on high-quality European Bible paper and features art gilding, two ribbon markers, and an extra-smooth sewn binding. It is available in black and brown goatskin covers. The Heirloom Single Column Legacy Bible is a fine edition that combines elegant design with the best production materials available.

  • Black letter text

  • Single-column, paragraph format

  • Concordance

  • Art gilding

  • Two ribbon markers

  • Sewn binding

So this is big. Huge, actually. Crossway has released some higher shelf editions in the past, with bindings by Abba. But the Heirloom promises to set a new standard. It's nice to see a publishing house the size of Crossway teaming up with Jongbloed, and on a single column text setting. The paper was "right" for me on the original Legacy (printed in Italy by LEGO), so if Jongbloed does better, well, this will be an edition to watch. And it will be available in black and brown. I'm pleased.

There's more on the list, so check out the complete line-up at Crossway. And let me know in the comments what you're excited about for 2014.