I recently got a copy of the ESV Study Bible. The copy has the Forest/Tan “Trail” design (not really sure what that description is supposed to mean). I thought I would post a little review about it here.
This is a large volume so let’s take this one step at a time.
The binding is Smythe Sewn. That should provide many, many years of use. The cover, while not leather, is soft, it doesn’t feel plastic or rubbery. It’s definitely not leather but is a nice substitute, much better than old imitation leather. I do wish it was bound with more than one ribbon marker in it but I guess post it notes and tape flags will have to do the job.
The printing is a good size for both the notes and the text itself. Very easy to read. I am also very pleased with the single column format. Certainly not traditional but still a good choice. The choice to put color illustrations and maps in the main text area was a fantastic idea. However the printing is not as consistent as I would like. Some pages are noticeably darker than others. Some pages appear bolder than others. It doesn’t make it unreadable but a little attention to detail that would have been nice.
So, there’s not much to say about this. I personally really like the translation. I don’t know that it will ever be my favorite translation but I do like it a lot. Some may not like it’s “literal” philosophy.
I found the notes to be very comprehensive and balanced. Many study Bibles will provide one view on the scripture or doctrine and no other view, which is great if you happen to believe that I suppose. This one gives you a more balanced picture. Here are the views, now you make up your mind which one makes the most sense. I can appreciate that. There’s also the sheer volume of notes and articles. It’s like having a commentary library in the Bible with it, which is great for study, but not as great for carrying sometimes.
Of course the Bible has all of the other things you would expect, cross references, concordance, maps in the back, reading plan. An amazing amount of information in a surprisingly small package.