May 13, 2012 Book Review

The English Standard Version Single Column Legacy Bible

The English Standard Version Single Column Legacy Bible

Crossway Bibles (publ.)

Reviewed by: Larry E. Wilson

The English Standard Version Single Column Legacy Bible. Published by Crossway Bibles, 2012. Various covers and prices, 1680 pages. Reviewed by OP pastor Larry E. Wilson.

I am very excited about the Single Column Legacy edition of the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible.

My point is not to review the ESV per se, but to review this particular format of the ESV. Still, in a nutshell, why do I prefer the ESV at all? In my opinion, the KJV, the NKJV, the NASB, the ESV, and the original NIV are all essentially reliable translations, but the ESV best combines accuracy and readability.

The publisher describes the Single Column Legacy format of the ESV this way: "Based on the Renaissance ideal of a perfect page, it features a simple, clear layout that includes wide margins." This format enables one to read the Scriptures themselves with fewer distractions than any other edition of which I am aware. One can read large blocks of Scripture without interruption. Still, there is plenty of space in the wide margins for one to jot notes, if one wishes to do so.

The man-made headings have been moved to the column and put in a fine italic type, while the footnotes have been moved to the bottom of the page and put in smaller, fine, italic type. If one finds them helpful, they are still present, but they are separated from the text of Scripture. It has a single column per page; it is in paragraph format; it has a wide margin; it uses 9-point type; it is an all black-letter edition. Crossway has published this as a high-quality edition with a sewn binding to make it very durable; they have printed it in such a way that the lines of text match the lines on the other side of the page to reduce show-through and make the printed pages clean and visually pleasing.

While it includes full-color maps and a concordance at the back, it does not include cross-references. It is about 6 by 9 by 1½ inches, and weighs a bit less than 3 pounds. If I had my druthers, the inside margin would be widened a little (thus slightly narrowing the single column), and the font size would be increased (as this Presbyterian's presbyopia advances). Still, the format is so clean, the line spacing is so good, and the text is so readable that I am almost giddy to be able to read the Bible in such a nice format.

This edition reads like a book. What a novel idea! And what a great way to encourage actual Bible reading.



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