A Thinline Bible that Will Outlast You, the Crossway E.S.V. Thinline Bible , Heirloom Edition in Brown Cowhide Edge Lined Leather.



I’ve handled quite a few different edge lined Bibles over the years.  Most of them have used something other than the same leather that was on the outside of the the Bible.  They use bonded leather, or some kind of synthetic polyurethane material.  The bonded leather concerns me because it is basically made from leather sawdust and glue.  The inner liner is also what makes the hinge on an edge lined Bible.  The repetitive opening and closing, over a long period of time, might cause the bonded leather to come apart.  The synthetics could stretch out of shape, or deteriorate at a different rate than the natural materials.

This Bible uses top grain cowhide leather for both the inner and outer cover.  Using the same materials ensures a uniform wear throughout.  The leather that Crossway chose for this Bible is not soft.  It doesn’t feel like it will snag and scratch easily like some of the goatskin leather covers.  What is the purpose of the cover after all?  It is to protect the text block and provide structure.  The cover on this Bible is very flexible, don’t get me wrong, but if you are looking for something soft like garment leather, you are looking in the wrong place.

The size of this Bible is another subjective quality.  Everyone has their own favorite size of Bible to read from.  I personally like smaller, personal sized Bibles, but I loathe the small font in most of them.  This Thinline is truly a Thinline Bible.  It measures in at approximately 3/4″ thick.
This fact necessitates thinner paper and smaller font.  In most Bibles that translates to readability issues.  Not so much in this one.  Since Crossway always uses impeccable paper, and they employed an 8 pt. font, this Bible is very legible.

The size of this Heirloom Thinline lends itself to being held in several different ways to suite your comfort.  I prefer to fold one side over and hold it in one hand.  Other people might hold it at the bottom center.  While others might prefer to hold it in both hands, or rest it on the table.  Since the binding is sewn it will lay flat.

The hinge plays a big part in how the Bible opens and lays when being read.  On top of having a sewn spine, Crossway didn’t go hog wild with the binding tape.  Many of your lower priced premium Bibles that are edge lined, employ a lot of binding tape, that is thick and covered in adhesive.  They use it along the hinge of the Bible to join the cover and text block.  Sometimes they use way too much, or too thick of a binding tape that actually makes what should be a very flexible Bible into a very awkward one.  The rest of the cover and text block could be nice and flexible, but the inch or inch and a half or so, right at the hinge is all rigid and thick.  It pretty much negates the purpose of doing an edge lined binding.  They might as well simply just have done a case bound Bible instead.

Since Crossway did the right thing here by not using too thick a gooey binding tape in the hinge, and instead used the real leather liner, they avoid problems with adhesion and can make a nice durable and flexible hinge.(albeit not so flexible right out of the box)  The hinge will take a bit of breaking in, because it is made of leather, but it should last much longer.
The leather hinge might take a bit more work, but that is why you pay a premium price.  This Bible is made to outlast you.  Many Bibles come with a lifetime warranty, and the publishers never expect you to use them, while fully expecting the Bible to fall apart in a few years.  The Heirloom Thinline ESV from Crossway will not.  It is called, “Heirloom” for a reason.  It will hold up and become a family heirloom.  I love the idea of having a Bible passed down to me or one that I can pass down to my children.  There is a tremendous sense of a family Christian heritage that can be gifted to the next generations.  All it takes on our part is an effort to do better, to make better Bibles, and to show our kids how much God’s word really means to us.(You don’t have to have a premium Bible to do that so don’t feel bad if you can’t justify the expenditure.  Crossway makes durable Bibles in all price ranges.)

The ESV Heirloom Thinline Bible in brown calfskin leather arrived at my home in perfect condition.  It was packaged in a white cardboard box for shipping.


Inside the shipping box, the Bible was inside a black, two piece, presentation box, that should be retained for storage, should you ever put this Bible away for a while.


The Heirloom is also wrapped in paper. I believe that was done to protect it, as the hide cover is more flexible and has a larger yap than other Bibles.


Another nice feature is the perimeter stitching of the cover. Some people don’t like this, but I do. I like to know there is more than just glue holding the cover together.

It is evident when you examine the inside cover at the corners that Crossway did an excellent job paring the leather down thin enough to make a nice corner. The perimeter stitching can also be seen well from the inside.

There is also an attractive looking gold gilt line around the perimeter of the inner cover.

Usually on thin Bibles they don’t bother rounding the spine. On the Heirloom it appears they rounded the spine and the page corners. I think that shows a bit more attention to quality. So does the art gilt page edges. Extra attention to details and added features are what we’ve come to expect from Crossway’s premium models.
The front and back, outside covers are blank. The inside back cover has, “calfskin leather” printed on it at the bottom.

The spine is decorated with 6 spine hub lines, and the words, “Holy Bible” at the head, “ESV” under that, the ESV logo towards the middle, “English Standard Version” and then the Crossway logo at the tail, in gold stamping.

When you open the Bible up, you’ll notice there is a page that is glued part of the way up.  That is to keep the text block and cover from falling apart.


In the front of this Bible is a Presentation page,


Marriages, Births/Adoptions,


and Deaths.

On the copyright page you’ll notice that this Bible is not printed in China. It is printed in the Netherlands, by Jongbloed. (not indicated, but verified.)  Jongbloed is the premier Bible bindery and printer.  They are the the people you go to if you want to print a top notch premium Bible.  That is why Crossway used them to print their Heirloom Thinline.  This is the 2011 ESV. After that you’ll notice a Table of Contents, List of the books in alphabetical order, Preface, and Features section.




The Books of the Bible begin with the name of the book in bold large print at the head of the page aligned to the center. The text is laid out in a double column, paragraph format, with foot notes. The section headings are also in bold. The chapter numbers are in drop cap to set them apart. Page numbers are found at the top, center part of the page.






The Heirloom Thinline also comes with head and tail bands, and two ribbon markers that match the color of the cover.



This Bible is a black letter edition with 8 pt. Lexicon font.  It is printed uniformly with sharp contrast against the 28 g.s.m. PDL Indopaque European Bible paper.  The paper has an opacity rating of 79 which is pretty good considering the weight of the paper.


In the back you’ll find, Weights and Measures, Abbreviations, Concordance, and Maps. The concordance is a three column format and pretty decent for a thinline edition.






In the back there are 8 color maps.



Here are some pictures highlighting the flexibility of this Bible.



There is no reason this Bible should wear out in your lifetime, but if it does fail due to materials or workmanship, it has a lifetime warranty from Crossway.  I doubt you’ll have to use it.  This is a high quality, premium Bible.  The cover is flexible and so is the text block, due to the sewn spine.  Whether you are holding it, or reading it while it lays on a desk or table you won’t have to fight against the cover. (after the hinge is broken in.)  It is comfortable to hold due to it’s size and weight.  The font is big enough to read without undue eyestrain.  The opacity of the paper aids in the legibility as well.  The bottom line, if you are looking for a high quality, edge lined, thinline Bible look no more.  You can pick up a copy direct from Crossway, or purchase one from any of these online retailers, Amazon, Christianbook, or Evangelicalbible.  Make sure to check out the rest of the pictures on my Flickr page.

ISBN-13: 9781433541602



The Modern English Version (MEV) a Curious and Surprising Translation.

Passio MEV Bible 009

I came across the MEV by chance while searching for different translations.  I was curious because I have never heard of the MEV before.  When looking into it I found out some more details that made me even more curious.  I found out that it is a modern translation that seeks to be as “word for word” accurate as it can be while maintaining the King James text in modern English.  I was a bit puzzled by this as we now have many more manuscripts, some are older and some are more reliable than the Textus Receptus. As for a modern version of the KJV, well we already have the New King James Version (NKJV) as for modern translations, I prefer the NASB as it makes use of many of the manuscripts we have discovered over the last couple hundred years without including the errors Erasmus made for the sake of expediency.  This is one of the differences between the MEV and other modern translations.  It is kind of like building a modern car, but using an old flat head motor.  The Textus Receptus isn’t horrible, it just isn’t as good as the manuscripts we now have.

With those concerns considered I turned my attention to the actual translation of the MEV.  I’m glad to say, that so far this has turned out to be pretty accurate and reliable.  I’ve been reading it with my NA28, NASB, KJV, and NKJV side by side.  I actually prefer the way the MEV renders some words over the NASB.  For instance, in the New Testament the NASB renders, “Χριστός” as, “Messiah” instead of, “Christ” where the MEV renders it as, “Christ.”  The MEV makes us of capital letters when referring to God, but not as much as the NASB.  The NASB does a better job in other areas as well.  For instance in John 1:5 I like the rendering of, “κατέλαβεν” as, “comprehend” more than, “overcome.”  I understand that there is the implication in the Greek of struggling with a concept to finally comprehend it or overcome it.  I just think that the English word, “overcome” has connotations that could lead one to think of a contest, battle, or race, without and missing out on the more important implication of comprehension.

Here is an excerpt from the MEV page, “The MEV is a translation of the Textus Receptus and the Jacob ben Hayyim edition of the Masoretic Text, using the King James Version as the base manuscript.  The MEV is a literal translation. It is also often referred to as a formal correspondence translation.  The Committee on Bible Translation began their work on the MEV in 2005 and completed it in 2013.”  It also appears that some of the endorsers mention that this is the 1611 authorized with modern language.  These lead me to believe that they haven’t fixed the problems that Erasmus introduced.  Here are the last 8 verses from Revelation out of the 1611 Authorized KJV, the Cambridge KJV, The MEV, and the NASB, in that order:

“14 Blessed are they that do his commandements, that they may haue right to the tree of life, and may enter in thorow the gates into the citie.

14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.

15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoeuer loueth and maketh a lie.

15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

15 Outside are dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and practices a lie.

15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

16 I Iesus haue sent mine Angel, to testifie vnto you these things in the Churches. I am the roote and the offspring of Dauid, and the bright and morning starre.

16I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things  [fn]for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

17 And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth, say, Come. And let him that is a thirst, come. And whosoeuer will, let him take the water of life freely.

17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let him who hears say, “Come.” Let him who is thirsty come. Let him who desires take the water of life freely.

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

18 For I testifie vnto euery man that heareth the wordes of the prophesie of this booke, If any man shal adde vnto these things, God shall adde vnto him the plagues, that are written in this booke.

18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book.

18I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;

19 And if any man shall take away from the wordes of the booke of this prophesie, God shal take away his part out of the booke of life, and out of the holy citie, and from the things which are written in this booke.

19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life and out of the Holy City and out of the things which are written in this book.

19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and  [fn]from the holy city, which are written in this book.

20 Hee which testifieth these things, saith, Surely, I come quickly. Amen. Euen so, Come Lord Iesus.

20He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”

Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of our Lord Iesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

21The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. {THE END.}

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with  [fn]all. Amen.

You can see some of the differences between translations due to the error of Erasmus in the above verses.  Of course the first three translations will look more alike when compared to the last one.  The NASB is a modern translation that utilized more than just the Textus Receptus.  It used the third edition of Rudolf Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia for the Hebrew.  It used the Eberhard Nestle’s Novum Testamentum Graece for the Greek.

According to their web page they were not allowing any cultural or theological agendas to dictate how they did their translation.  I’m glad to see that there isn’t any gender neutral nonsense so far as I have read.

Overall it accomplishes what it sets out to do.  It brings the KJV into modern English.  I think it does a better job in some areas and could be better in others.  I think they should fix the problems with the work of Erasmus.

The Bible Passio sent me to review is a Thinline Reference Bible.  Here is an excerpt from their product page, “Thinline Reference Bible Black Leatherlike ATTRACTIVE AND LIGHTWEIGHT, this Thinline Reference Bible is a Bible your customers can take anywhere. Complete with study tools such as cross-references, a concordance, and four-color maps, it is sure to be a favorite for home, church, or giving as a gift.” The Bible was provided gratis for the purpose of review by Passio.  It arrived in an envelope.

Passio MEV Bible 001

It was packaged in a card-paper sleeve.  The sleeve or slipcase is not heavy enough to use for storage and actually was bent quite a bit from being mailed.

Passio MEV Bible 005 Passio MEV Bible 003

The Bible itself didn’t suffer too much, just some bent corners.  The MEV was printed and bound in America.

Passio MEV Bible 019

I found this refreshing.  So many of the Bibles I review are imported from China and South Korea.  The Bible was covered with what they call a black leatherlike cover.  It was black.  It was textured.  That was about where the similarities ended.  This had some of the cheapest cover material I’ve ever seen.

Passio MEV Bible 009 Passio MEV Bible 010

The inside cover is lined with paper.

Passio MEV Bible 012 Passio MEV Bible 013

Keep in mind that this Bible has a very low price, very white opaque paper with sharply printed text.

Passio MEV Bible 040

We have to be fair.  You can pick up a copy for around $20.00 online.  The paper is 19.8 lb basis weight Tervakoski.  According to the publisher it is the equivalent of approximately 29.3 gsm.  Having used this Bible for a couple of weeks now, I’d have to agree.  The paper is pretty opaque given its light weight and how thin it is.  The font is an 8 point Delima MT Std regular.  The words of Christ are in red.

Passio MEV Bible 032

The text is arranged in a typical double column format with center column references.  There are not as many cross references as I’d like to see.

Passio MEV Bible 025 Passio MEV Bible 026

I have a feeling that there will be more as the translation matures.  The page edges are gilded.

Passio MEV Bible 041

There is one black ribbon marker.  The ribbon is narrow, thick, and seems to be better quality than most of the Bibles in the same price range.

Passio MEV Bible 029

There are short book introductions before each book and when a book ends the next book starts on a new page sometimes giving you room for notes at the end of the book.

Passio MEV Bible 028 Passio MEV Bible 027

There is a helpful concordance in the back and after that 4 color maps.

Passio MEV Bible 033 Passio MEV Bible 034 Passio MEV Bible 037 Passio MEV Bible 035

Now keeping in mind that this is a $20 Thinline Bible I want to tell you how impressed I am with its flexibility.  After only a couple of hours of use this thing is flexible enough to double over and to wrap around itself.  It is great for carrying with you in a bag or lunch box.  It isn’t so expensive as to make you afraid to use it.  It isn’t so small you can’t read the text.  It is a very practical Bible if you are looking for an inexpensive Thinline to carry and read.

Amazon has them here.

  • ISBN-13: 978-1621369967