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If you’re like me, you steer clear of devotional Bibles. I have found that most of them offer very little in the way of useful or relevant information. Most of the time it is just happy, slappy, Osteenesque, self-help mumbo jumbo. Rather than aiding, it usually distracts and is discouraging. I wonder to myself, “Who could be helped by this nonsense?” Seriously, who writes this twaddle? It is not just men’s devotionals that suffer this malaise either. Women have the same nonsense foisted upon them, perhaps even worse.
So imagine my curiosity when I heard that Crossway was going to make a devotional Bible. We’ve come to trust them and the E.S.V. over the years. One of the quickest ways you can incur my scrutiny is to exclaim, “Ahem, over here! We have a devotional Bible for your consideration Sir!” Oh, now that is cause for inspection isn’t it kids? When they offered one for review, I gladly accepted. I wanted to see for myself what works had been wrought under the cover of night…
I was delighted to see that it far excelled the usual fare. No cotton candy, no fluff-n-stuff, no silly self help guru quotes, no Sarah Young extra-Biblical revelation, just sound exposition, and application. The devotional articles explain the text. They properly connect the heart and the head, as they engage both in a real, and valuable way.
We are told in the Introduction that the goal was, “…for the heart to be strengthened by grace…” Hebrews 13:9. You might wonder what that means in the context of a Men’s devotional Bible. What it means is that the book introductions, devotional articles, and supplemental articles, are theologically accurate and connected to the text you are reading. All people have a theology.
They perhaps don’t know it, but they do. Theology is important. Without accurately understanding who God is and who we are in relationship to Him, how would we know if we were worshipping the one true God or an idol we had constructed? These articles accomplish the goal of strengthening the heart by grace, through facilitating our learning Biblical truths.
The Bible I was sent arrived undamaged.
It was a hardback volume that is case bound.
It included a dust jacket. For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you know how I feel about dust jackets. (hint, I don’t like them. Completely a personal preference thing.) The spine is sewn to increase flexibility and durability. This, in my opinion is a necessity. Glued bindings on a book that is meant to be used extensively are a horrible idea. Publishers that do that are only interested in selling cheap product to be replaced over and over. If you had to transfer your notes, underlines, and highlights, every 6 months to a new Bible, you’d be perturbed. Thanks to Crossway’s experience as a Bible publisher, they know better. Usually when a publisher has work done in China the product quality begins to suffer. It seems Crossway has been able to keep the quality control standard high, while having this Bible printed and bound in China.
The hardback edition I was sent does not have any ribbon markers. The cover matches the dust jacket in a satin finish, black color. The only writing on the cover is on the spine where it says, “ESV Men’s Devotional Bible, Crossway” in gold print.
The spine has been rounded. There are understated black decorative head and tail bands. The page corners themselves have not been rounded and there is no page edge gilt.
The inside paper liner matches the cover in color. There is one presentation page followed by a couple title pages and publishers information/copyright page.
After that, there is the table of contents.
An interesting print feature in this Bible is the use of gold colored text for things like, titles, headings, chapter headings, and page numbers. It is and unassuming gold color, so it adds just the right amount of pop without glaringly drawing your attention away from the text.
Drop caps are utilized at the beginning of each supplemental article. I found that this sets the article apart from the pages of Biblical text so you can spot them easily. At the bottom of each devotion the page number of the next one is indicated. Since there are 365, a person could use them as a daily reading plan and read from one to the next daily.
The Biblical text is arranged in a double column, paragraph format, in black text. The text of the Bible is consistently inked and printed in an 8.5 pt. Lexicon font.
The devotionals are printed in a 7.5 pt. Gotham font. The text is dark black and contrasts nicely against the bright white, 36 g.s.m. paper, with an opacity rating of 83. Line matching was not employed however, the opacity of the paper is sufficient to limit the ghosting effect.
There are no cross references and very limited footnotes. This is not intended to be used as a reference Bible or study Bible. It adheres to the title of Devotional Bible very strictly. It far exceeds every devotional Bible I have ever read. The devotions are gospel focused and faithful to the truths of God.
I’ve included a list of the contributors. As you can see, with men of God like these, sharing their hard won knowledge and wisdom with us, we can be edified and encouraged.
|Devotion Contributors||Article Contributors||Article Title|
|Christopher Ash||Thabiti Anyabwile||A Man’s Inner Life|
|Alistair Begg||Bryan Chapell||The Message of the Bible|
|Jon Bloom||Greg Gilbert||Life in the Local Church|
|Mike Bullmore||Dave Harvey||Calling|
|Kevin Cawley||Kelly Kapic||Communion with God|
|Bryan Chapell||Dave Kraft||Leadership|
|Sam Crabtree||Tom Nelson||A Man’s Work|
|Andy Davis||Ray Ortlund||Fathering|
|Jason DeRouchie||Michael Patton||Doubt|
|Dan Doriani||David Powlison||A Man’s Identity|
|Zack Eswine||Tim Savage||Marriage|
|Greg Gilbert||Ed Welch||Pornography|
|Aaron Golstein||Jared Wilson||The Gospel and Daily Life|
|Miles Van Pelt|
Don’t forget to check out the pictures on my flickr page.
Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.38 (inches)