Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Thoughts on the New ESV Single-Column Legacy Bible
Posted by Adam Parker
After spending a great deal of time researching and thinking about it, I decided to order one of the new ESV Single-Column Legacy Bibles from Crossway. I wanted to very briefly share some of my thoughts.
I want to state, right out of the gate, that this is already my favorite Bible I've ever owned. I have a Reformation Study Bible, an ESV Thinline, an NIV Thinline, a pocket NASB (which is quite amazing) and more than my fair share of NKJV Bibles that were given to me as graduation gifts at one time or another. I have a long history with thinline Bibles and Study Bibles, but I have never owned a Bible like this one. The Legacy Bible is a departure from my old tradition as it has a minimalist design. If you like Apple and keeping your desk tidy and see the appeal of minimalist aesthetic, this may be the Bible for you.
It is physically large - almost as large as my 12 year old Reformation Study Bible (but not as big as the ESV Study Bible), and yet it is only Bible text on the page. The pages have been specially printed so that the words on both sides overlap, meaning that there is white space around the words instead of seeing the grey of the text behind it bleeding through the pages. The minimalist design means that there are no cross-references, very few textual notes, and larger letters than are in my ESV Thinline. Section headings have been moved to the margins allowing for a fluid reading experience. At times when I was reading through Galatians I gloried in the thought that the section headings (and chapters) were never really there to begin with. Paul's book is one prolonged argument, and it is easier to enjoy the way that Paul meant it without the headings inserted into the body of the text. This was a winning decision by Crossway.
The margins are very nice and draw your eye towards the text in a very appealing way. You want to keep reading simply for the joy of it. [If you are interested in seeing some photos and a bit more in-depth discussion of the Legacy, look here.]
After spending two days reading this new Bible, I declare it to be my new favorite. It is a blast to read, an aesthetic experience, and an excellent Bible. My only regret is that I did not wait a couple of months to purchase one of the Calfskin versions. The black genuine leather Legacy Bible which I purchased (in my haste) is pretty stiff and "plasticky" in my opinion. I guess I'll just have to break it in. Regardless of the binding, however, this is going to be the Bible that I use for my own personal study, and it is hard to imagine a Bible any time soon eclipsing this one.
[In case there is suspicion about my glowing review, let me be transparent with you all. I bought this book and was not given one for review purposes.]