Posted in Around The Church, On The Reading Chair

ESV Heirloom Single Column Legacy Bible Review

Crossway sent me this beautiful Bible to review. After using it personally for a few months, I can confidently say that this is one of my all time favorite Bibles that I have ever placed my hands on. This is the ESV Heirloom Single Column Legacy Bible. It is such a simple Bible, but has exceptional details that make it super special.

This is the Blue Goatskin version. It also comes in a Black Goatskin and Brown Goatskin. The blue is a super deep navy blue. It is difficult to capture the color because it is so deep, inky blue that it is almost black. It came in a box with a velvet wrap, which I have no pictures of because I was so excited to open it! (And unlike The Pastor, I do not keep my Bible in the box.)

Since I’m already talking about the cover, we’ll start there. If you’ve never held one of Crossway’s premium leather Bibles in your hand, find me on Sunday morning and experience it. This just has a feel to it that makes it so comfortable in your hand. It is super floppy and just lays open in your lap. This just feels like the Bible you know you’ll be leaving your grandkids. (And it does have a lifetime guarantee from Crossway!)

Because the cover is so soft and floppy, I do have the edges of the cover curling around the pages a little bit. I think it because of how I hold the Bible, because it is only the back cover that is curling in. It doesn’t bother me. I think it just displays further how the Bible feels in your hand. But it might bother some people to have a cover THAT floppy and soft. It is definitely a different feel from the thick, sturdy imitation leather or cheaper leather you often see on Bibles.

Let me talk just a little bit about what it is like to have a Bible that feels good in your hand. For one, it makes you happy every single time you grab the Word to study. It just makes the whole experience something deeper, which I know sounds a little precious. The words in The Book are the same. The message in The Book is the same. You’re just changing the physical experience of it. When I grab this Bible to sit and read, I feel a sense of rest, like I’m doing some real refueling. It feels like a “treat yo self” moment.

You know how I feel about ribbon markers and this Bible has my perfect number of ribbons– four! Why four? One to mark your place in the Old Testament, one for the Psalms, one for the Gospels, and one for the Epistles. Four is the perfect number of ribbon markers and all Bibles should have four!

The readability of this Bible is the best. The font is large, but not so big it feels awkward. There is appropriate line spacing, that makes it easy to read. The section titles are off in the margin. There are very few notes. It is just clean and simple, which feels perfect to me.

The pages are clearly Bible paper– they’re thin. However, they aren’t so thin that I have a lot of trouble with highlighters bleeding through. These are just some regular highlighters I got from Amazon– not specific for Bible use or anything. And despite both sides of this page having highlighting, it isn’t bleeding through or making the pages unreadable.

You can see in this picture that the highlight “ruffles” the pages a little bit, especially in large blocks of highlighting. That does not bother me. But if it is something that is going to annoy you, just use a gel pen, gel highlighter, or pencil highlighter instead.

This Bibles does have a nice concordance in the back.

And it has some nice full-color maps on thicker paper.

I completely love this Bible. Let’s talk about price. This and other heirloom Bibles from Crossway are not cheap. They are, in fact, quite expensive. There are other similarly prices Bibles out there, so this isn’t a Crossway anomaly. The details are what makes Bibles like these so expensive. While I wouldn’t necessarily buy my fourteen year old such an expensive Bible, it is a good investment for an adult.

I think anyone going into ministry should be given a high quality Bible like this by someone in their life. I wish someone had done that for me. The Pastor wishes someone had done that for him. It would have been so nice to have a lifetime Bible going into the ministry. It would be such a gift to hand someone the Bible that can go through their entire ministry with them.

I also think it is worth having a Bible like this that you would one day pass down to your children. Maybe it is the romantic thought of thumbing through grandma’s old Bible years after she’s gone. But to have a Bible that you know is going to last is something we often overlook because Bibles are easy to come by. There is a reason Crossway used words like “heirloom” and “legacy” when describing this Bible.

While I think this one is more of a personal use Bible, having a quality family Bible is something we’ve always thought was a good idea. Having the Bible you grab to read the Christmas story on Christmas morning or the Bible you read from as you’re doing devotions. That Bible becomes a stable memory in the lives of your children.

I’m not telling you that to be a Christian you need to go spend over $150 on a nice Bible. In fact, this Bible isn’t my only Bible and hasn’t replaced my journaling Bible or my She Reads Truth Bible that has more devotional material in it. But it has become my go-to Bible for reading the Psalms with my kids each morning, reading the Word before the World each morning, and having close by to look up things throughout the day. This is my “by my side” Bible. So, you don’t have to buy such an expensive Bible. In fact, I think Bibles like these are better as extravagant gifts. Do you know how special it would have been for me to receive a Bible like this when having my first child as my “mother’s Bible”? I’m not even sentimental, but that would mean a lot to me. It is, for sure, a luxury item. If you’re looking for an amazing gift for a big life event– this Bible may be perfect. If you’re looking for a quality Bible that is a joy to read and hold– this Bible may be perfect.

** This Bible was sent to me free for review. I am not obligated to speak favorably and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links do not cost you more to use, but I do receive compensation. Using affiliate links from your favorite creators is a great way to support the work they do. **

Posted in On The Reading Chair

ESV Bible with Creeds and Confessions Review

Crossway sent me this Bible to review. It is a standard ESV Bible with Creeds at the end of the Bible. I received the imitation leather version, which looks really nice. I was honestly surprised at how nice the cover is, because I’m usually not a fan of imitation leather. It also comes in a hardback imitation leather cover and a goatskin leather version.

I don’t think the pictures do it justice. It feels really nice in the hand. It also has 2 ribbon markers. You know me, the more ribbon markers– the better! I should also mention it comes with Crossway’s lifetime warranty!

The actual Scripture is very easy to read. Double columns with 10 point font and references throughout. It is very readable.

The selling point of this Bible is the Creeds and Confessions. However, it just falls a bit short– especially if you aren’t Reformed. A Reformed homeschool mom would probably LOVE this Bible. I am not Reformed. So I don’t. I like the Scripture part. I like the feel of the Bible. I love the readability. I do not love the Creeds and Confessions portion. It is just… lack luster.

Who knows, this Bible might be EXACTLY what you’re looking for. If you’re Wesley Armenian… probably not. The quality is outstanding. I really can’t say that enough. The readability and references in the Bible portion of this Bible are amazing! I’m just not Reformed, so I don’t care to have so much focus on Reformed confessions and catechism.

This Bible was sent to me free for review. I am not obligated to review it favorably or say anything specific about it, other than my own thoughts. Links in this post may be affiliate links, which do help me out.

Posted in Around The Church, On The Reading Chair

ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal Old Testament Review

At the end of last year, I was able to review Crossway’s Illuminated Scripture Journal New Testament set. It is such a beautiful set and I have enjoyed it this year. Crossway released the Illuminated Scripture Journal Old Testament set earlier this year, and I knew it’d be just as lovely as the New Testament set. What I was not expecting was the sheer size of the thing.

I mean, clearly, I was aware that the Old Testament is larger than the New Testament. But seeing it like this made it very vividly clear just how much bigger the Old Testament really is.

Looking at them side-by-side is a bit mind blowing.

Clearly, some of the books are massively thick and others are pretty thin. The thinner books have some extra blank pages in the back of them.

The minor prophets are combined, so there isn’t a book for each one. Additionally, books with a first and second (Kings, Chronicles) are combined.

Just like the New Testament set, you have the words of Scripture on the left hand page and a faint dot grid on the right hand page.

Illustrations appear throughout. If they take up an entire page, they are on the left side. If they are small, they are on the right hand dot grid page.

If you’re curious how different media work with the paper, here are some examples from my Romans book. Our church had a small group on Romans, so I used my Illuminated Scripture Journal for that small group. The left page (above) has been watercolored on the back side of the page. There is some wrinkling, but no bleed through. The right illustration is watercolor colored pencil and micron pen, neither of which showed through or warped the paper much.

This page has Stabilo marker and Micron pens and it didn’t bleed through or warp the paper at all. The paper is much thicker than a standard Bible paper. It feels more like a Moleskin Cahier paper.

The entire set is just beautiful and well-worth the buy, in my opinion. I really enjoyed using these for Bible study. It was super convenient to be able to throw my Bible study book and the book of the Bible we were studying in my purse to read whenever I had the chance. I also really enjoyed taking notes and illustrating throughout the book. These are very much like my favorite journaling Bible, the Crossway Interleaved Journaling Bible. The paper is much thicker, and it isn’t quite interleaved, but the effect is very similar.

It is very large and takes up quite a bit of shelf space. I happen to think it is beautiful and looks lovely set out, so I don’t mind the size so much. I like both sets so much and am very glad to have both.

Crossway sent me this set free to review. I am in no way obligated to leave a positive review. All opinions are my own.

**This post contains affilaite links. Affiliate links do not cost you more to use, but they do benefit your favorite content creators. **

Posted in On The Reading Chair, Out Of My Head

ESV Study Bible Review

Once again, Crossway sent me a beautiful Bible to review. This time, it is the ESV Study Bible. I was curious how it would compare to the ESV Heirloom Study Bible, since it is significantly cheaper.

The genuine leather of this Bible is slightly more stiff than the goatskin leather of the Heirloom. It is super nice leather, but doesn’t have that soft, floppy feel the goatskin has. It feels much better than bonded leather, but is a bit more firm.

This is really my only complaint about this Bible. It only has one ribbon marker. I’ve been spoiled by having multiple ribbon markers, so one ribbon just seems crazy now. (For the record, four is the ideal number of ribbon markers for a Bible: one for Old Testament, one for the Psalms, one for the Gospels, and one for New Testament.)

You have these pretty standard pages in the beginning of the Bible. Of course, it isn’t enough of any of the headings for a lifetime Bible.

Each book of the Bible has a pretty lengthy introduction, which includes maps, outlines, timelines– basically anything to help you understand the context of the writing. The maps are all full color. It doesn’t have as many pictures as the Heirloom Study Bible has, but it does contain a lot of study materials.

The Bible passages are single column, but the reference materials are double column down below. The font of the Bible passages is pretty large and very clear to read. The reference materials are smaller font, but still readable.

There are quite a few articles tucked into the back of the Bible, much like the Heirloom. These articles are fascinating, but as far as I can tell they are pretty much the same ones in the Heirloom Study Bible. (Not that it is a bad thing, just that you definitely don’t need both.) There are also several full color glossy maps in the back after the concordance.

Overall, this Bible is very well made and an excellent study Bible. For preaching, it is probably much too busy and you’d be flipping pages quite often for shorter texts. It doesn’t have quite as much as the Heirloom Study Bible, but it is considerably cheaper. Crossway really makes some beautiful Bibles. I woud highly recommend this Bible to anyone needing a good study Bible. The ESV is a good translation for personal Bible study and the extra tools and insights in this Bible will help as you read the Scriptures to understand.

** This item was sent to me free for review. I am in no way obligated to review it favorably. All opinions are my own. **

*** This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are a great way to support your favorite content creators as they do not cost you any extra money to use, but a small portion of the sale goes to the creator. ***

**** I originally said Omega Reference Bible instead of the Heirloom Study Bible. I can’t keep my Bibles straight, apparently. Click HERE for my review of the Heirloom Study Bible. No link to a review of the Omega Reference Bible, because I don’t have that one. (Puts face into palm.) ****

Posted in Around The Church, From The Altar, On The Reading Chair

Crossway Heirloom Study Bible Review

The pictures of this Bible aren’t going to do it justice. You really have to hold this Bible in your hands to appreciate it fully. I’m pretty much going to let the photos do most of the talking. This is the ESV Heirloom Bible by Crossway. The cover is goatskin. It has four (!) ribbon markers. There are so many extras in this Bible. It is pretty big. This is not a compact Bible by any means. This is the big, fat Bible of your grandparents. And this one will last that long, too.

This is a study Bible. It has so many maps, charts, articles, and features. It is amazingly packed full of anything they could think of that would help you better understand the Word of God. The articles and insights are thoroughly Biblical. If you’re more liberal leaning, this will likely not make you very happy.

When I said packed with extras, I really meant it. It is PACKED with extras. The Pastor has been using this Bible as a preaching Bible for a few months now. (His preaching Bible fell apart at the end of last year. He preached the cover right off!) While this Bible is a bit large and weighty for a preaching Bible, I highly recommend anyone in the ministry to get a high-quality Bible like this one that won’t fall apart on you with excessive use.

** I was sent this Bible for no cost. I do use affiliate links to help support this blog.**

Posted in Around The Church, From The Altar, On The Reading Chair

Crossway Single-Column Journaling Bible Review

I’m sure you know by now how much I love my Interleaved Journaling Bible from Crossway. I love having every other page fully blank to create without worrying about obstructing the Word. Most people use the side column journaling Bible, so I figured I would check that out.

I am going back to school (if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, that is your answer). So, I thought it might be nice to keep a Journaling Bible for my studies.

This Bible comes in a variety of covers. There are so many beautiful options, it is hard to choose. You can even buy a customizable cover version! They also have a two-column version. It only has a single ribbon, which is what most Bibles have, but I am getting spoiled with some of my multi-ribbon Bibles.

The text is in a single column and then the margins are lightly lined with dots. The lines are light, but definitely noticeable. If you’re more into sketching, these lines might be problematic. For my purposes, I was just writing in the margins and not doing any type of art, so it worked fine for me. It would also make a nice Bible to take sermon notes in the margins. If you’re doing artwork in the margins, you may want to prep the margins before beginning.

As you can see from my pen test, the pages are pretty thin. Everything shadows through and some things will bleed to the next page. Again, prepping the page with gesso before beginning your art will help this problem significantly. It also helps to keep a blank piece of paper under the page you are currently working on so it won’t bleed to the next. (And my Mildliner was dying. Don’t worry– it has been replaced.)

You can see how the Pigma Microns that I use show through the page a bit. It isn’t enough to really bother me when taking notes in the margins. I still feel like both sides are legible.

This Bible is very light on extras. There is a reading plan to read the Bible in one year. No index. No maps. Pretty simple.

Overall, it is a beautiful Bible. Now, will it fit your needs? I don’t know. If you’re wanting a Bible for art, I highly recommend the Interleaved version. If you’re wanting a Bible to take notes in the margins– this Bible is likely perfect. I’ve really been enjoying using it for school. I have a highlighter color for each class that I am taking. During my weekly reading, I highlight the applicable verses and write quotes I come across that I want to save in the margins. I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like at the end of my degree program. I use a similar Bible for church on Sundays to keep sermon notes, and I think this Bible would be perfect for that. If you use a more scrapbook style of journaling or don’t mind gesso prepping the margins, this Bible can be used for art, as well.

I typically purchase Bibles from Christian Books Distributors. They typically have the best price. Amazon, however, will get it to you faster and if you are shipping internationally, will be overall cheaper because of shipping.

This Bible was sent to me free for review. I am not obligated to review it positively. This blog contains affiliate links. Using affiliate links from your favorite bloggers is a great way to show them a little love. Affiliate links do not cost your more to use but do give a small portion of any sales to the affiliate.

Posted in Among The Homeschool, On The Reading Chair

Archaeology Bible Review

The Archaeology Study Bible was sent to me by Crossway to review. This is the hardback version. I really like the look and feel of the hardback. The half dust jacket comes off and you have a really nice hardback book with the white spine. It is also available in imitation leather and genuine leather versions. It is not a compact Bible, by any means. 

This is a study Bible. It has full color pictures and maps throughout. You’ll also find interesting articles about archaeology, as well. This Bible will help you understand better the context of the Biblical world. 

There is just so much jam-packed into this Bible, I can only show so much. The pictures throughout are full color. I have no idea how they got such great quality printing on thin Bible paper, but somehow they managed it. There are so many good articles to help you understand the times, places, and items in the Biblical world. This Bible also has a pretty good concordance. If you are at all interested in archaeology or at all interested in the world of the Bible- this Bible will definitely be of help and interest as you study. 

This Bible would also make an awesome gift. I wish someone had gifted me a Bible like this as a teen, honestly. I would have gotten so much more out of it than the teen devotional Bibles I had. I’m not, at all, saying this Bible is juvenile, just that it has a reach that includes teens through Bible college students through people who have been in church all their lives and want to see the world of the Bible as they read about it. 

This Bible would also make an excellent homeschool or Sunday school resource. 

And if you’re reading this when it is written, one of my readers will be gifted this Bible for Advent. (Keep checking back for more details on that!) At the time of this writing, Christian Book Distributors has this Bible on sale! I recommend buying Bibles from CBD.com. They have great prices and selection when it comes to Bibles.

This post does contain affiliate links. Using these links does not cost you more, but is a great way to support your favorite bloggers. 

Posted in Around The Church, From The Altar, On The Reading Chair

Crossway Scripture Journal Review

I had the opportunity to review Crossway’s Scripture Journal a few months ago. Then Crossway gave me the opportunity to review their new Illuminated Scripture Journals. Both are amazing. Want to know which one is for you? Read on.

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First, let’s look at the Illuminated Scripture Journals, since they have a little more going on.

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If you get the entire set, they come in this nice box. The top lifts straight up and reveals a nice box set of books inside.

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I really appreciate the effort they put into the set. See the nice gradient they have going on? It is so aesthetically pleasing.

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They are made like the Illuminated Journaling Bible. If you haven’t read my review on that beauty, you can check it out here. The Scripture Journal paper is much thicker than Bible paper, so you’re going to find writing, drawing, and even painting on it will be a little easier than in a Journaling Bible.

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They currently only have the Scripture Journals for the New Testament. I am looking forward to the Old Testament sets coming in January. Each book of the New Testament is in its own book. The book is similar in size and feel to a Moleskin Cahier.

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The Illuminated Scripture Journal is on top here, and the regular Scripture Journal is on bottom. They are excellent for inductive Bible study, or any Bible study really. They are also great for daily prayer journaling, reading through a specific book. And they would be awesome for Bible journaling, since you can really add a lot into these without them getting too bulky or crazy.

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They are extremely similar in layout. You have the Scriptures on the left hand side of the page and a blank space to write on the right hand side of the page. The Illuminated version does have multiple colors in the fonts (black and gold), where the regular version is all black text.

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The Illuminated Scripture Journals have a dot grid on the blank writing page. The Scripture Journals have these dotted lined pages.

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The Illuminated version does have some images on some of the right hand pages. They also add in bigger images of text.

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They both end up with the same text on the left pages, the Illuminated version just has extra pages for the larger images. But if you were doing a Bible study with multiple people using whichever they prefer, your Biblical text will match up, it just may be a page off.

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As for which is better, it is entirely personal preference. While The Pastor appreciates the look of the Illuminated Scripture Journals, he’ll pick the simplicity of the standard Scripture Journal. He also tends to prefer lines and I tend to prefer a dot grid. The Illuminated version does add some emphasis through the artwork which might distract when doing an Inductive Bible Study, but nothing that I would think is too detrimental. It is really just going to come down to preference.

Y’all, do you see how beautiful these are?! They are absolutely stunning.

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The Illuminated Scripture Journal and the Scripture Journals are available in a boxed set, which is lovely, or individually. If your small group is studying Romans, you can buy just Romans for everyone. If you want the whole set so you can stare at it, that is available too. They are really affordable, too. (Affordable enough to buy each person in your small group a copy of Romans.)

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I highly recommend these. They will have you interacting with Scripture in new ways. You can Bible journal without feeling like you’re going to mess the whole thing up. You can write Scripture study notes right next to the Scripture and have plenty of room. The Scripture Journals have a sleek simplicity that everyone can love. The Illuminated Scripture Journals are gorgeous! Whichever you choose, you’ll love them.

**This post contains affiliate links. Using your favorite bloggers’ affiliate links is a great way to support them for providing the content you love.**

**I was sent both of these products free for review. I am under no obligation to give them a good review.**