For those close to me, you will be comforted to know that I have finally received it. I will not be bothering you or pacing in my office. The last Bible I will purchase has arrived. For those who have no idea what I am talking about and are strangely puzzled with the statement, “the last Bible I will purchase,” let me explain.
I am not a fan of switching Bibles. Although I have over 15 on my shelf behind me, I have only had 3 as my own. What I mean is, only 3 Bibles have been carried with me closely and used for study and reading. When I was very young, younger than a teenager, my mother gave me the NIV Study Bible.
When I began to study more seriously, I moved to the John MacArthur Study Bible in the NKJV. It was a hardback and within a few years the binding was breaking apart. (I would like to think that it was due to my intense study in it, but probably not.) Meanwhile, I began to study Biblical Greek and found that the translation was not all that helpful (at least to me). Not wanting to leave MacArthur’s study notes, I purchased the Study Bible in NASB.
Our time together was short-lived because someone put me on to the ESV. With the Biblical Greek in mind, I was sold. I loved the translation. And by that time, Crossway published the ESV Study Bible, which until John MacArthur’s version recently came out, was my favorite Bible of all times.
I love all of these Bibles. And over a period of 20 years (give or take), the NIV, NKJV, and ESV have been the ones that stayed near my side through all things. But recently, after speaking at funerals, meetings, churches and participating in different small groups, I have come to dislike the big bulky Bibles. They are too much to lug – especially the ESV Study Bible.
So, I decided to go for a note-less ESV Bible. But I did not want to switch to another Bible again. I lose my place, my notes, my familiarity, and the like. I need one that will be with me until I am face to face with the incarnate Word. This was not easy.
I researched and researched and researched. I even contacted Crossway (who was quite helpful). I spent time at the book stores looking through various versions and purchased a couple to try out. But, I was never really satisfied.
So, I contacted my friend Matthew Blair (the Foolish Galatian and maker of my “blank” ESV Bible). He seemed to be the go-to man on this subject. And he was. He took me through a few websites and gave some advice before recommending a particular Bible to me. He had me leaning toward a one and this review gave me the final nudge to go buy it.
Well, it has arrived.
I took my out iPhone and snapped some photos of the unpacking process. One thing that stood out was the box inside the shipping where the Bible was enclosed. It was super tough and sturdy. It had a nice texture to it that made me feel like this was something special. (If you have ever purchased a Mac product before, you know how this is.)
So I opened it. The smell of goatskin leather brought an even new sense of awe.
I pulled it out of the box and unwrapped it from the paper. It flopped like a leather Bible should. It was not stiff like cardboard in need of some man-handling. The pages were loose and not sticking together. The cover is smooth and good to the fingers. The edging was nicely polished and the yapp was nearly touching the opposite side. This is a great looking Bible!
Oh yea, did I mention that it has several pages lined like notebook paper to record more serious notes. A perfect place to have Travis Carden’s Total Depravity Verse List!
There is more to be said. The review at the Bible Design Blog is really thorough and worth the read if you are considering this Bible for yourself.
Enough already … here it is, (trumpets please) … The Allan ESV Reader’s Edition.