I know that not too many people are aware of the premium Bible market. For those that are, they appreciate the natural hide, edge lined covers, sewn bindings, premium papers, and aesthetics. The price can be the main prohibitive factor for someone seeking to buy their first premium Bible. The Bibles in the premium category usually start out at $150 to $250 price range. The suggested retail price of this Bible is $250. This Bible can be purchased from Christianbook.com for the dramatically discounted price of $169.99 and from evangelicalbible.com for even less at $149.99 Just let that sink in. You can get one of the best quality, best translations, from Crossway printed and bound by Jongbloed, the premiere Bible bindery for the price of a concert ticket.
In the world of premium Bibles there isn’t much room for error or variance. If you want to publish a premium Bible, you go to Jongbloed of the Netherlands. When Crossway wanted to publish the Omega, they didn’t skimp. They also went to Jongbloed. There are numerous reasons why publishers utilize them for their premium editions. Paper choices, cover choices, binding methods, printing equipment and methods, overall professionalism and standards, you get the idea. Cambridge, Schuyler, Allan, all have made use of Jongbloed for their top notch Bibles. The E.S.V. Omega Reference Bible in black, edge lined goatskin leather, is one of the best Bibles available today. It belongs in the premium Bible category.
I could go on and on about the great qualities of this edition, but instead I think it would be better if I just show you. Without further delay, some high resolution pictures with comments.
The Omega was shipped from Crossway in a white box. It arrived undamaged.
Inside the shipping package, was the Bible in it’s black, two piece, presentation box. Retain it for storage. The Omega is too flexible as an edge lined Bible for you to stand it on a bookshelf without a box.
Inside the presentation box, the Omega is wrapped in two bands of paper to protect the page edges and keep it from shifting around during shipping.
The black goatskin cover is perimeter stitched to the inner liner. It has a pleasing natural grain, and is very supple.
The inner cover/liner is also leather. It has a gold perimeter line and the corners are finished well. The hinge will take a bit to break in, but once you do it will last a long time.
The spine is smyth sewn and very flexible. You can see the signatures bend around it rather than the pages bending around a glued spine. This is a, “must have” feature for a Bible. They should all have sewn spines. I wouldn’t even purchase a value line Bible without a sewn spine unless I had to. The sewn spine is a major factor in how long the Bible will last and how well it will open and lay flat.
As you can see from the pictures, the cover is supple and has a lovely textured grain to it. It is a pleasure to hold. The light weight and dimensions of the Omega equate to hours of easy reading, as well as long evenings of deep study.
You can see the lovely grain of the leather in this close up picture.
The corners of the cover are very well executed as are the corners of the text block. They have been rounded, as well as the spine. The page edges are beautifully art gilt. Also, take note of the use of four ribbon markers. That is almost unheard of. I know it is the first time I have heard of it, and I like it. The color of the ribbons is complimentary to the cover, and each other. I am actually using all four of them. I use one for my Old Testament reading, one for the proverbs and devotional reading, one for my New Testament reading, and one to mark where I am at in my study with a couple of my brothers in Christ.
The gold and brown head and tail bands match the ribbons and inner liner.
The spine is decorated with four raised hubs. It has, “Holy Bible” at the head, the ESV logo, “English Standard Version” above the foot, where the Crossway logo sits, all hot stamped into the goatskin leather.
The text block is joined to the cover like all edge lined Bibles, by gluing the leather tab from the inner liner to the block and then covering it with a vinyl coated card paper. This one is glued further up the paper to make it more durable.
At the front you’ll find a presentation page and some family records pages.
The Omega Heirloom Bible employs a 28gsm PDL paper that has a opacity rating of 79. The Omega uses a 10-pt. Lexicon font for the main text.
With one page singled out and help up with light showing through from behind you can see how well the line matching was used. It is exceedingly effective in reducing eye strain, and making this Bible a pleasure to read. This coupled with the high quality print job that Jongbloed did makes this a most legible Bible.
It is a double column, paragraph format layout with drop cap style numbers for the chapters. The book titles appear at the top of the first page of each book. Page numbers are placed at the top and justified to the center of the head. The text is some of the boldest I’ve seen and is very sharp. It contrasts well against the paper and also is a tremendous feature making the Omega a great Bible.
To make space for the text, the cross references and notes are printed at the bottom of the page. This layout is becoming more and more popular because of its effect on text real estate on the page.
For you note takers who dare to write in such a lovely Bible 🙂 there is about a half inch margin available. I don’t see much note taking going on here, but if you must…
As you’ve come to expect on premium Bibles, the page edges are art gilt with red under gold.
There is a useful 41 page, 3 column concordance in the back of the Omega. Make sure to take advantage of it. It can be a helpful tool.
You’ll find the obligatory maps from Crossway in the back. Their’s are some of the best.
With the sewn spine, and edge lined binding this Bible is nice and flexible. Notice how well it drapes over my hand.
Here it is compared to my R. L. Allan NASB Reader’s Edition. The Omega is a bit shorter, thinner, and more narrow. It is much easier for me to handle than the Allan.
Below you’ll see on the left a page from the Omega, and on the right the Allan. The Allan doesn’t use line matching. Even though it is a great paper, there still is a bit of ghosting. This makes the Omega the winner.
Here we have the Thinline Heirloom, Omega, and Study Bible from Crossway.
I think you’ll be very happy should you decide to purchase an Omega Reference Bible from Crossway. I don’t think there are very many Bibles out there that are any better. It is one of the best. This Bible would make an excellent gift to a person graduating from seminary, a Preacher in your Church, or anyone who enjoys well built Bibles. Make sure to check out the rest of the pictures on my flickr page.