Wednesday, January 13, 2016

ESV Reader's Gospels (review)

For those who missed it, released as it was during the dog days of summer when we're most likely thinking of vacation, the beach, or maybe prepping for a few liturgical days, Crossway released the ESV Reader's Gospels.

You can find some detailed reviews of the volume here and here. There isn't much to add to those very thorough reviews, just some general impressions that come to mind.

If I have had one complaint with Crossway (and it is a complaint that I have with a number of other publishers, including the nearly legendary R.L. Allan) it is the tendency to farm printing (and binding) out to China. Simply put, the quality control often isn't as it should be and there is the nagging voice telling me, all things considered, something about publishing the Bible (or a number of liturgical books) in China just doesn't make sense.

Happily, the ESV Reader's Gospels is printed in Italy. Italy has become something of a hub for Bible printing in the past seven or so years - a number of publishers have utilized Italian printers to produce high quality and affordable "mid-line" Bibles. The leather bound edition has a sturdy, strong build - leather on board as opposed to supple.

The ESV Reader's Gospels is notable for offering an edition of the gospels largely unencumbered by verse numbering and editorial division. This is just about as close to the ancient reading experience you will find in a modern printed edition.

You can pick up either the cloth edition, or the leather bound edition.

As with others, I recommend the leather edition without reservation. It is well bound, has an optimal typeface, and provides a nearly perfect reading experience with the ESV - a translation that soon enough will be the new gold standard across denominational lines.

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