A Snyder’s Soapbox Review of the, “John MacArthur Study Bible in the E.S.V. Translation” with a Genuine black leather cover.

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     I know this Bible has been out for quite some time, but Crossway was kind enough to send one out for review. This is one of their Bibles I have not reviewed yet, and perhaps you haven’t looked into it yet either. I have two other John MacArthur Study Bibles. One is from Thomas Nelson, and it is a N.A.S.B. The other is the 25th Anniversary Edition in N.K.J.V. The things that struck me between the three different editions are the qualities of the papers, the printing, the spine/binding, and the cover options. In all of the qualities, except one, the Crossway comes out on top, and not just by a little.

     The genuine leather cover is more like a genuine calfskin leather, and not at all like the pigskin leather that came on the Thomas Nelson made N.A.S.B. The quality of the 25th Anniversary N.K.J.V. leather cover was slightly better than the Crossway edition’s. The 25th Anniversary edition’s cover was a bit thicker, perimeter stitched,and had an inner liner which moire silk. You would not expect a simple genuine leather edition to come anywhere near the quality of a premium Bible, but it does. The spine of the 25th anniversary edition has raised hubs, the other two do not. This is not a big deal. It is only decorative.

     The paper on the Crossway far exceeds the quality of the other two. The other two are less white, and have almost a newsprint color to them. They are also made of toothier paper. The Crossway is smooth, and white, but not too bright. It is just bright enough to offer the proper contrast between the uniformly, and sharply printed font.

     The spine of the N.A.S.B. from Thomas Nelson is not sewn, but glued. It is a case/perfect bound Bible. The Crossway, and the 25th Anniversary N.K.J.V. are both sewn. The Crossway is about the same thickness as the Thomas Nelson. Both are much thinner than the 25th Anniversary N.K.J.V. I’m not sure why it is so thick. I’m guessing it is due to the type of paper. They all have relatively the same amount of content. They could all use better ribbons. The Crossway has nicer maps, of course 🙂 If you are interested in it,hurry up and get it while it is on sale for Christmas!

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     The Crossway, English Standard Version, in genuine black leather comes in a two piece retail box. The box isn’t as sturdy as some other boxes, but I would still hold onto it to store your Bible in when not in use. The Bible itself is full of helpful features that will be of great value to you while you endeavor to learn more about the God who saves.  

Here is a list of the Bible’s features from Christianbook.com’s product page; 

Features

  • Complete ESV Bible text
  • Nearly 25,000 explanatory notes from Dr. John MacArthur
  • Bible text in 8.7 point type, 7.6 point study notes
  • More than 140 two-color maps, charts, timelines, and illustrations
  • Complete introductions to each Bible book
  • Concise articles on How We Got the BibleHow to Study the Bible, and Introduction to the Bible
  • 80,000 cross-references
  • An extensive concordance
  • Bible reading plans
  • Index to Key Bible Doctrines
  • Outline of Systematic Theology
  • Presentation Page & Family Record Section
  • Center-Column References
  • Timeline of Old Testament Kings and Prophets
  • Timeline of New Testament Chronology
  • Harmony of the Gospels
  • Durable smyth-sewn binding
  • Presentation page
  • Family record pages
  • Ribbon marker
  • Gold page edges
  • 8-point text size
  • 9.75″ x 7.00″ x 1.75″

Product Information

Format: Genuine Leather
Number of Pages: 2144
Vendor: Crossway
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 9.50 X 7.00 X 1.75 (inches)
ISBN: 143352144X
ISBN-13: 9781433521447
References: Center Column|Cross References
Text Layout: Double Column
Text Color: Black Letter
Text Size: 8 Point
Note Size: 7 Point
Thumb Index: No
Ribbon Marker: Yes
Spine: Sewn
Page Gilding: Gold

You might have noticed there is a discrepancy between the two lists, one says the font is 8.7 pt. for the main text, and 7.6 pt. for the notes, the other list says it is 8, and 7 pt.  When I contacted Crossway they confirmed that the font is 8.5 pt. for the main text, and 7.5 pt. for the notes.  They also provided me with the font type, which is ITC Stone Serif.

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For people who are curious, this Bible is printed, and bound in China.  I know, I know, Chinese made stuff is junk…  Well Crossway has ensured that the quality is top notch.  I’m not sure how they do it, but I would like to find out.  Hopefully one day, I’ll get the chance. 

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 The cover has a nice grain to it, and a perimeter groove on the outside.  The inside liner looks like your typical vinyl.  There is a nice gold perimeter ornamentation hot-stamped on the inside of the cover as well.  The page edges are gold guilt, and there are head and tail bands too. 

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 My biggest gripe about cheap Bibles is that they use glued spines, and all the pages fall out.  They are also notoriously difficult to keep open, or get to lay flat.  You won’t have that problem with a good sewn spine.  The Crossway MacArthur Study Bible has a nice sewn spine as you can tell from the following pictures.  It also has one ribbon marker.

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I really like the simple style of the spine.
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One of the things I like about this Bible is the use of the color blue for the chapter numbers and features.  

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This is a black letter edition, with double column, paragraph layout.  The cross references are in the center column, and the notes are on the bottom.  With the quality of paper, and printing this Bible is not hard on the eyes.

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After looking over this Bible, and comparing it to other editions, I can give it a thumbs up.  It is a great value, especially when it is on sale.  You can get your copy from Christianbook, or Amazon.  Make sure to check out all of the pictures of this Bible on the Flickr page.

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