ESV Reader’s Bible Sample PDF

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Crossway has finally put out a sample PDF of their upcoming Reader’s Bible. I’ve been checking the page compulsively for some months, but I can’t say how long the PDF has been up.

I’m also not quite sure what to think, because the PDF includes enough of Genesis to show that they still elected to use chapter numbers, but not enough of Genesis to show what they’ll do when chapter numbers interfere with the flow of thought, like when a paragraph extends from one chapter to another.

Chapter numbers do rub this purist the wrong way, but because they’re a concession to reality I can’t object too strongly. That is, people accustomed lifelong to the pacing provided by little numbers littered throughout the Bible text (and I am one of them!) often feel cast adrift without them. If verse numbers are a series of life preservers spread at intervals of three feet across the English Channel, using chapter numbers at least requires swimmers to go a good fifty yards before stopping.

I have a dream for this Reader’s Bible: if I ever pastor a congregation of Christians who can handle the change, I’d love to ask everyone to use this Bible for one year—both in church services and, if they’re willing, in personal devotions. Chapter numbers will probably help me in that situation, because preachers do need to tell people where to go in their Bible texts. After that year we’d reconvene and talk about our experience.

I’ve been promised a review copy of this Bible, and I’ll let you know what I think when I hold it in my hands. I think I may finally have the “Bible for Life,” for my life, that I’ve been looking for.

Two little notes:

  1. I do like the (expected) choice of Lexicon as a typeface, the same font used for the ESV Study Bible and the ESV Single-Column Legacy Bible which I’ve been using for a year or so.
  2. If you haven’t read and signed my Bible Typography Manifesto, now’s the time.

ESV Reader's Bible excerpt

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

1 Comment

  1. Bill Lowry on January 26, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Perhaps they could do what the TNIV Books of the Bible did. The chapters and verses are in a sort of “shadow print” that doesn’t distract. Not only are the chapters seen here in the ESV edition, but are in red ink, which moves the eye in their direction. But I am looking forward to this edition (which I had written Crossway about a few years back to ask if they would publish one).

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