When I saw that Crossway had published the ESV Reader’s Bible, I must say I was a bit skeptical. “Ahhh, yes,” I thought to myself, “another way to get us ESV affectionados to purchase yet another ESV related product … clever work, Crossway!” But something about the product description and preview kept nagging at me. Add to that, Westminster Bookstore’s competitive price of this handsome cloth-over-board volume and I could no longer resist ordering myself a copy ($14.99 + S&H).
I am floored that something so simple could bring such a change in my Bible reading. No verses. No section headings. Just the biblical text. I was sure it was just a gimmick, but I have been amazed at how differently I read God’s word in this edition. My first book to read was 1 Thessalonians and I can’t really explain it any other way than to say it just “felt” different. It felt like I had received a letter from Paul, not a prepared manuscript with reference markers and headers to “assist” my reading.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough! I have heard critiques that the pages are too thin, but this had not bothered me in the least, especially with the “line-matching” printing being utilized to ensure that the text on both sides of the page is in the same place. I can understand why one might think that this is just psychological, but all I can say is that I read this version of the Bible differently than I do my ESV Reference Bible.
Check out this book on the WTS Bookstore website, watch the video, and take a look at the preview. From there you should be able to make a decision about whether this Bible is right for you. I personally have enjoyed it very much and only wish I had had a copy sooner. It doesn’t replace my Reference Bible, but it has added a rich new dimension to my reading of Scripture!
R. Andrew Compton
Christ Reformed Church (URCNA)