Category: Resources and Reviews

Life Application Study Bible 3rd Edition Review

Life Application Study Bible 3rd Edition Review

The Life Application Study Bible (LASB)…year after year it remains one of the best-selling in the Study Bible Category and, in fact, it is Tyndale’s best seller. It’s volume is only matched by the ESV Study Bible. They are numbers 1 &2. Now, in 2019 Tyndale has updated the LASB in the world’s two best selling English Translations, NLT and NIV.

Disclaimer: Tyndale sent copies of each edition free of charge in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give positive feedback and my opinions are my own.

Features Include:

  • Enhanced, updated, and with new content added throughout
  • Now more than 10,000 Life Application® notes and features
  • Over 100 Life Application® Bible character profiles
  • Introductions and overviews for each book of the Bible
  • More than 500 maps & charts
  • Dictionary/concordance
  • Side-column cross-references
  • Index to notes, charts, maps, and profiles
  • Refreshed design with a second color for visual clarity
  • 16 pages of full-color maps
  • Durable Smyth-sewn binding, lays flat when open
  • Presentation page
  • Single-column format
  • Christian Worker’s Resource- a special supplement to enhance the reader’s ministry effectiveness
  • Full text of the Holy Bible, New Living Translation (NLT) or New International Version (NIV)
  • Single Column text for Scripture, Double Column for Notes and Side Column References
  • Black Letter
  • Text Size: 8.5 Point and Note Size: 7 Point


Translation Choices

Currently the 3rdEdition LASB is available in the New Living Translation and the New International Version. While not confirmed by Tyndale, I have to imagine that this is because these are the dominant two English Translations of the Bible in the English Speaking World. In my case, it is an embarrassment of riches because I love both translations and use both, NLT in the church service and NIV at home for personal devotions. In either case, you get the same great study content. Since some will ask, the NLT will get the most use in my situation as a huge percentage of my audience uses NLT as their main Bible. 

Cover and Binding

Both of my review copies are Leather-touch a.k.a imitation leather. The NLT is teal with silver foil stamping and the NIV is brown and tan with gold foil stamping. Insofar as I can tell, the binding is glued so do be mindful of the heat. With proper care, it should last several years but if you are concerned about the binding it can be sewn by a professional re-binder.

Font, Layout, and Text Coloration

The text is a little small for my taste, but that has more to do with me approaching 40 and having eyesight issues than anything else. The Scripture portion is 8.5-point font size, similar to the Wayfinding Bible and the current edition of the NLT Study Bible. We have the notes and cross-references at 7.5. Again, a little small for my taste but still manageable. LASB has matured and, now, is nearly the same size as the NLT Study Bible and so the font needs to be a little smaller to keep the size of the book manageable.


Before I discuss the features, I want to deal with an important question: Would I, a pastor, buy and actually use the LASB?


This will actually bring my LASBs current; I have all 3 physical editions plus the iPhone app: The 1stEdition in Burgundy Genuine Leather with the NLT, the 2ndEdition in Hardcover with the Holman Christian Standard Bible, both of which I actually purchased and now I add the 3rdEdition as a review copy. I, regularly, use the LASB in my sermon preparation. There are 3 questions that I answer in every sermon: What does it say? What does it mean? What do I do about it? The LASB is quite helpful for the 3rdquestion as it is the application question.




In offering meaning based translations of the Bible, the LASB makes the Scripture more accessible to the average reader.



Tyndale provides two types of annotations and both are equally important in a Study Bible.


Translators’ Footnotes

For both the NLT and NIV, the translator’s footnotes include alternate readings, manuscript variants and so forth.


Study Notes

There are 10,000 annotations provided, in a double column format below the text. These notes do not simply explain the text, they help with application of the Scripture to your daily life. Of the three questions that we endeavor to answer with the Scripture, these annotations answer the most important question, What do I do about the text/How does it apply to my life?



Each introduction contains several sections designed to help open the Scriptures for you.



Mega-themes showcase the most important ideas of each book of the Bible. These ideas are the essential concepts for understanding the various books of the Bible.



The overview section provides a summary of the book. It also provides general application lessons for the Scripture.



The Blueprint section of the introduction is fairly straightforward; they are outlines of each book of the Bible. For the Bible teacher, this outline provides a solid teaching structure while the student receives an excellent starting point to break the book into manageable pieces for study.


Vital Statistics

Vital Statistics are straight facts about the book: author, date, place of writing etc. These are basic background to the book and are primarily intended as a starting point for further study of the Scripture.


General Thoughts:

There are two roadblocks that I have found people to run into more than any other: “I don’t understand the Bible” and “the Bible is not really relevant to today.” Both are based on the faulty assumption that the Bible is nothing more than an ancient book. Thankfully, the Life Application Study Bible blows that idea out of the water. The LASB helps the pastor to accomplish our two most important tasks: helping disciples to understand the Bible and helping disciples respond to the Scripture to the glory of God.


I know that a number of pastors frown on the use of a Study Bible but I disagree with them. As a general rule. I advise believers at all levels of maturity to own and use a study Bible. For new believers, this is a great choice in a study Bible to own and use.




NRSV Large Print Thinline Review

NRSV Large Print Thinline Review

In this review we are looking at the new Comfort Print Edition of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible ant the Large Print Thin-line Edition.

Note: Zondervan provided this Bible free of charge in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give positive feedback and my opinions are my own.

Comfort Print Font:

The new font style from Zondervan and 2k/Denmark is really the stand out feature of this Bible. It is an 11-point font, very similar to its NIV cousin. It is extremely easy to read in any light setting, which is very helpful for me. I frequently reference the NRSV Old Testament and t

Find this format much easier to read than other editions of the NRSV. Most of the editions that are on the market, today, have rather smallish font size, usually 8-point, so the Comfort print makes it far superior to other editions that are available

Cover and Binding

The edition that I am reviewing Is a black leathersoft, which is an imitation leather. Imitation leathers have come quite far thanks to Tyndale and Crossway and Zondervan has really capitalized on the product evolution to bring us an excellent cover. I would estimate that this cover will last probably 10 years without needing a re-bind. It is a very convincing imitation leather and many will not even know that it is an imitation unless you tell them.

The Binding is sewn, which is a major step up in quality for Zondervan as many of their Bibles have an adhesive binding. The sewn binding allows this Bible to lay flat at any section of the Bible. It also makes the Bible flexible enough to be held one handed.

Format/Page Layout and Paper

We are given a double column paragraph format in a text only style. Translator’s footnotes have been placed at the bottom of the page  for easy access. The text-only format clearly marks this out as a reading Bible as opposed to a study-reference edition.

The paper is soft white but fairly opaque. There is very minimal see through or ghosting as it is commonly called. Outside in direct sunlight there is a bit of glare but in normal lighting you don’t have this issue. The paper is heavy enough that you will be able to mark the text; if you do mark I recommend a colored pencil or ball point pen.

As a Teaching Bible

Overall, if NRSV is your translation of choice, this is the Bible you want to take into your pulpit. It is a black letter text with no distractions on the page. Verse numbers are well marked out  for you to have an easy time finding your place in the text.

The Thin-line format is about 1-inch thick so that it will fit nicely in most laptop bags or briefcases.

Final Thoughts

I really appreciate this edition. I like to reference the NRSV Old Testament and this edition is my favorite NRSV that is available. I would like to see this arrive in the Premier Collection butt I am not sure how practical that might be for Zondervan as I am not sure how many use the NRSV as the main Bible.

This is the best edition of the NRSV currently available. If NRSV is your translation of choice, this is the Bible you need to own.






ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible Review

ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible Review


Crossway has updated one of their most unique products, the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible, making in a full-fledged study Bible and sent us a copy of the new version for review. (This Bible was sent free of charge in exchange for an honest review.)


From Crossway

Product Description

Discover how the truths of God’s Word apply to your daily life with the ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible. This Bible provides informative book introductions, application-centered study notes, and a series of all-new articles by a team of over 50 pastors and scholars. Let the ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible challenge you to think about how the timeless truths of the gospel apply to your life today.


Features Include:

  • Informative book introductions
  • Gospel-centered study notes
  • New content includes 5 articles on topics such as The Relationship Between the Old and New Testaments, The Gospel in the Old Testament, The Covenants, and more.
  • Concordance
  • Topical Index
  • 8 Full-Color Maps
  • 80,000 cross-references
  • Ribbon marker
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • 9-point Bible text, 8-point study notes

Based on the original Gospel Transformation Bible released in 2013. Updates include design, typesetting, and new articles.


In this review we are going to look at both the physical form of the book and the content of the helps. Let’s begin


Page Layout

Crossway has developed a signature look by putting nearly all of their new Bibles into a single column paragraph format for the actual Scripture text. As was explained to me, this is done so that we have a more natural reading experience; I do agree that it does feel more like reading any other book. The study notes are in a double column format at the bottom of the page. A column of cross-references can be found in the gutter area. There are subject headings provided as well. Overall, the layout feels kind of like a textbook.


Paper and Font

Crossway tends to use Thinopaque paper and that seems to be the case here as well. I would guess maybe 32-34GSM on the paper. Use of ball point pens or colored pencils for underlining and annotations should be no issue.


We have Crossway’s usual Lexicon font for easy readability. The text of Scripture is in a 9-point font with the study notes being in an 8-point font.




5 Articles

There are 5 articles provided as study helps.

  • Biblical Theology
  • Covenants
  • The Gospel in the Old Testament
  • The Gospel in the New Testament
  • The Relation of the Old Testament to the New Testament


These articles are very helpful and I want to like them. The problem is that they perpetuate the fiction that Covenant Theology is the only/most accurate way to view the Scriptures which is incorrect.


Study Notes

There are around 10,000 study notes which are designed to showcase the message of Gospel and its life-changing power.


Topical Index plus Concordance

The Topical Index is keyed to subjects that are addressed in the study notes while the concordance is Crossway’s typical ESV Concordance. It is not an exhaustive concordance but will certainly prove useful for in-depth study.


Overall Impression

The ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible is a worthy choice for anyone wanting to get a better understanding of how the Gospel message is woven throughout the Bible.









The NKJV Open Bible Review

The NKJV Open Bible Review

2019 sees the relaunch of what the late Dr. Jerry Falwell called the best study-reference Bible in existence, the Open Bible. The Open Bible has been a perennial favorite for me and I think it is one that you will enjoy it as well. 

Disclaimer:  Thomas Nelson sent two copies, one brown imitation leather and one black imitation leather free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.

Some information from Thomas Nelson

Product Description

The Open Bible (NKJV) is a great way to explore Scripture with the tools and helpful information that you need to understand it better. It features an easy-to-use topical index of over 8,000 names, places, concepts, events and doctrines. It also includes book introductions and outlines to with information on the historical context and themes of each book in the Bible. The Open Bible (NKJV) is sure to help you glean more from God’s Word.

Features include:

  • Topical index with 8,000 plus names, places, concepts, events, and doctrines
  • Book introductions and outlines provide historical context and themes of each book in the Bible
  • References include both verse and page number
  • Visual Survey of the Bible
  • 9-point print size



We will start with the biggest change first…The layout has always been a double column verse by verse format and that has not changed. What has changed, though, is the referencing. They are now center column and feature all 72,000 of Nelson’s references. Candidly, I don’t like the new format. The end of verse references that we had before were, to me, quite sufficient. I find that the new format looks just a little busy for my taste.


Cover, Ribbons and Binding

I’m reviewing the imitation leather ones but there are also genuine leather and hardcover versions available as well. The binding appears to be sewn as the Bible does not have any issues lying flat where I open it. There is some cockling (that popcorn sound) when you open the book. The cockling sound is a little irritating but it is not overly terrible. We receive two ribbon markers for your daily OT and NT reading.


We have Nelson’s Comfort Print series in 9-point font. The Open Bible is a red-letter edition and the red is really well done. Different publishers will often have trouble with the red lettering but Nelson executed quite nicely; The red letters are deep and rich.  Overall the font is very easy to read.


Biblical Cyclopedic Index

This is the standout feature of the Open Bible but it has been renamed for 2019 and is now called the Topical Index. There are 8000 entries cataloguing various topics in scripture. I have always found this to be most useful. It is very similar to the indexing that Kirkbride does with the Thompson but its keyed to the Nelson Referencing System.



The paper is surprising. It is fairly heavy (maybe 30-34 gsms) and quite opaque. This would work really well with colored pencils or with very fine tipped liquid highlighters.


Overall Thoughts

The Open Bible is a Bible which I have enjoyed regularly in the past. Overall it will be something I will continue to enjoy. I confess that I do not care for the center column references but overall it is a very worthwhile Bible to own.





The Pastor’s Quad: Brief Comparison of the Preaching Bibles

The Pastor’s Quad: Brief Comparison of the Preaching Bibles

There are 4 Bibles chomping at the bit to be your new preaching Bible. I have reviewed them individually and today I want to compare them for you. They are ESV Preaching Bible (Crossway), CSB Pastor’s Bible (Holman), The Preaching Bible, NKJV and KJV (Thomas Nelson), and The Preacher’s Bible (GTY/Steadfast Bibles)

Let’s dive in…

ESV Preaching Bible

Translation English Standard Version

Cover and Binding Pebble grain goatskin, leather edge-lined

Font 10-point

Margins 1.25”

Format Single Column Paragraph

Stand Out Feature(s) Most liturgical sounding of the 4. Bolded verse numbers for ready references. 36 gsm paper, ideal for writing.

Drawbacks None

Well known pastors who use ESV John Piper, Allistair Begg

Why should you choose this Bible? The experience of using this Bible is unlike any other I have ever used (see my review). The translation coupled with generous margins and very heavy grade paper makes this a perfect choice for the Reformed or Reformed leaning Expositor.

Aside from the translation, I would say the paper is the top reason to choose this Bible. Many pastors, especially those of us who lean reformed, have a tendency to make marginal annotations (pictures, word study, cross references) and this paper is quite nice for doing just that. {Note: Alaways test your writing instrument on a page in the back first}

Nelson Preaching Bible

Translation King James and New King James Version

Cover and Binding Ironed Calfskin, leather edge lined

Font 11-point

Margins Non-existent

 Format: Double column, verse by verse

Stand Out Feature(s) Only Bible in the group that offers references

Drawbacks Tiny margins

Well known pastors who use NKJV Phillip DeCourcy, David Jeremiah, the late R.C. Sproul, Voddie Baucham, Mike MacIntosh

Why should you choose this Bible? Thomas Nelson has been producing KJV Bibles for nearly half the time the KJV has existed and, in honoring that legacy, also produce the New King James. These are the only Bibles in the group that offer the original translation (NKJV, which to date has not been revised/updated/or otherwise tinkered with). Nelson has the utmost in quality offered here and if you are looking for the most conservative of the translations available, these are it.

NKJV and I are the same age, both having entered the world in 1982 and we have a special connection. It has been with me so often that I had not even realized it was my go to Bible; I thought I was the NASB guy. That, though, is your ultimate goal in choosing your Bible- it needs to be so comfortable and so familiar that it is not just a tool in your hand but it is an extension of you. 


CSB Pastor’s Bible

Translation Christian Standard Bible

Cover and Binding Ironed goatskin with paste down liner

Font 10.5-point font

Margins 1”

Format Single column, paragraph

Stand Out Feature(s) Pastoral helps section for various services. Old Testament quotations in bold print.

Drawbacks Thin paper. Paste-down liners are less than flexible. Newest translation in the group.

Well known pastors who use CSB  Ed Hindson, JD Greear, Robby Gallaty, David Platt, Professor David Dockery

Why should you choose this Bible? CSB is almost a perfect blend of literal and readable. It offers and excellent balance of academic and devotional reading. This is ideally suited for age diverse congregations or congregations whose members primarily have English as a second language.

 CSB is growing at an extremely rapid pace. Formerly the Holman Christian Standard Bible, it is in its 3rd iteration and has been very well received by many. A number of smaller churces use the CSB as their main teaching Bible. The age of this tranlation seems like a problem at first, but when you read it you will see that it is sound, accurate and readable. If it were possible for the fastidiously literal NASB and the incredibly readable NIV to produce offspring it would be the CSB.

The Preacher’s Bible

Translation New American Standard Bible (1995 Updated Edition)

Cover and Binding Pebble grain goatskin, leather edge lined

Font 11-point

Margins 1.5”

Format single column, verse by verse

Stand Out Feature(s) 65 gsm paper, heaviest currently available in a Bible. Designed by John MacArthur, largest margins of the 4.

Drawbacks Largest Bible currently in production weighing in at nearly 5 pounds.

Well known pastors using NASB John MacArthur, Charles Swindoll, Steve Lawson, HB Charles, Charles Stanley

Why should you choose this Bible? The Preacher’s Bible carries the heaviest paper on the market, virtually guaranteeing no bleed through. With the largest margins in the group and generous spacing between lines, this is the ideal choice for the pastor who loves to write notes in the margins.

This is a juggernaut of a Bible and it isn’t easy to carry. This Bible is for you if you want to keep it on your desk, you pulpit, and not many other places. I am actually using this not as a preaching Bible but to create a Family Legacy Bible. Notes and passages marked from 3 generations of my family are being transferred/recorded here so that if the Lord tarries, I will leave it behind to the pastor who steps into my place when I pass and I will leave him a robust legacy of a strong faith. 

Is there a clear winner?

I am forced to declare a tie between Nelson and Crossway. Crossway looked deep into my soul and created the perfect Bible BUT I have realized that over 80% of my lessons over the last 22 years have been from NKJV (My most heavily marked up and used Bible is NKJV). Habit, more than anthing else, will keep the Nelson Preaching Bible in my briefcase and on my pulpit. Aesthetic appreciation will keep the ESV Preaching Bible right next to the Nelson in my briefcase and on my pulpit. Why choose? Both are perfect in their own right.

The truth of the matter is this: When you choose your preaching Bible, the translation should be your primary choice. It needs to be faithul to the original languages and as acccurate as possible. The choices represented here offer the best English translations available. Beyond that, for a Bible that you will take into the pulpit, less really is more. Your essentials are a large enough font to read from without eye strain and as few distractions in the text as possible. I happen to be peripatetic at times so I also look to be able to carry the Bible in one hand as I move about behind the pulpit. 

I commend to you any of the 4, but especially the Crossway or the Nelson. I would encourage you to try both. Be advised, both Bibles are so excellent that you may find yourself in the same boat as me and not able to choose.

Great Adventure Catholic Bible Review

Great Adventure Catholic Bible Review

I frequently review resources, mostly Bibles, to help the faithful to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and today I am reviewing the Great Adventure Catholic Bible from Ascension Press. (Note: Ascension Press sent me this Bible free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.) Full disclosure, I am not catholic but I did grow up in a household with a catholic parent.

I am impressed at the number of resources that are available for Roman Catholics today. Growing up with one parent who was catholic and, one who was protestant, I cannot recall having ever seen the catholic parent read the Bible or even recall the encouragement to read a Bible. I am glad to see that this has changed and Catholics are being encouraged to own and read their Bible.


The Translation Offered

The Great Adventure Catholic Bible is offered in the Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition (RSV2CE). Of the two major English translations of the Bible used by Catholics, RSV2CE and the New American Bible Revised Edition, I much prefer the RSV. It is an essentially literal translation of the Bible that is still very readable and accurate to the original languages making it ideal for personal study or devotional reading.


The Cover, Ribbons, and Binding

This is an alpha cowhide cover, which, to the best of my knowledge is a synthetic leather similar to the Trutone from Crossway. The binding is sewn for a lifetime of use. Ascension provides two ribbons for you to mark your progress in reading through the Bible. My personal preference is three ribbons, one for Old Testament, one for Psalms and Proverbs, and one for New Testament. That being said, any quantity larger than one will be most helpful.


The Helps

The array of helps is impressive and there are some that I would actually like to see in protestant Bibles.

Cross References

The cross references are located near the bottom of the text and they are separated by bold lines to mark them off from the text.

Color-coded Learning System

This is one of the features that I would love to see in more Bibles. The color coded learning system follows the Great Adventure Bible Timeline. Each color corresponds to a period in Redemptive History. I absolutely love this; you can easily follow the stream of Redemptive History and watch the grace of God unfold!


70-Key Event Callouts

If you have ever wondered what comprises the most important events in Redemptive History, look here. Each callout is only a couple sentences but the call your attention to the major events that you need to be familiar with as you mature in your Christian Walk.

19 Charts

These charts are linked to the major sections in the timeline learning system. They cover such things as the Covenants in the Bible, key events, major characters, etc. They are designed to help the Bible come together as a cohesive unit.

Red Letter Edition

This one caught me off guard but I am delighted by it. I do not think that I have ever seen a red-letter edition in a “Catholic Bible.” It is a true statement that I do not want a red letter edition in a Bible I will preach from because I make my marginal notes in red ink and they bleed together on me. However, for a Bible that will be primarily for devotional reading, I love the red-letter editions. My goal as a pastor is to help my lambs to focus on the life and teachings of Jesus and a red-letter edition helps to emphasize those words.

16 Full Color Maps

The maps, as in any Bible, will help you to visualize the lands of the Bible.

Notes Pages

At the end of the Biblical Text, you will find some blank pages labeled notes. I am delighted to see this because they are not in most study Bibles. I highly recommend that every reader take notes of what the Holy Spirit teaches you as you study Scripture so, again, I am delighted that notes pages are offered.

What took me by surprise

I had expected to find commentary in this Bible because it is classified as a study Bible; to my surprise there is not any commentary provided. I had envisioned something akin to the Didache Bible from Ignatius Press and the Midwest Theological Forum with commentary based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church but it’s not there. This Bible is designed, almost entirely, for reading, which, of course, is the foundation of our growth as Christians.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I am pleased with the Great Adventure Catholic Bible. I am glad to see that there are resources being made available for Catholics who want to better understand the Scripture.



A Bible Fit for Spurgeon (Review of the ESV Preaching Bible)

A Bible Fit for Spurgeon (Review of the ESV Preaching Bible)


Permit me a bit of whimsy in this review, which takes the form of a letter to Spurgeon. (Disclaimer: Crossway sent me this Bible free of charge in exchange for an honest review.)


My Dear Brother Charles:

In the search for a Bible worthy of the pulpit, I commend to you that most excellent Preaching Bible from the good people at Crossway. It has attained the pinnacle of Crossway’s offerings and if you will permit, I will provide a point by point case for this being the Bible worthy of your most excellent pulpit.

The Cover

Charles, it is the most exquisite leather that my hands have ever touched. Perfectly aged and flawlessly grained, I have no Bible which feels better in my hand. The front is unencumbered by the profanity of stamping, simply a plain black cover. The spine, though stamped, is not profaned by that lettering. The lettering is a muted gold, stately and regal, not ostentatious in the slightest. I could easily expect to find this in the library at Oxford or Cambridge.

The Layout

My dear Charles, the layout is everything that you could want in a Bible. Crossway has laid out this Bible in a single column, paragraphed, format. The font is just over 10-point and it is in Lexicon typeface, perhaps the most readable font I have seen in a Bible. Crossway has paid the utmost attention to every detail the Expositor could need and added a 1.25 inch outer margin. This margin demands to be written in and is perfectly suited to adding your own annotations to the text. The soft paper is a delight to handle, thick enough to make the pages easy to write on but still thin enough to make the Bible easily portable.

What isn’t there?

There are no references or other helps beyond translator’s footnotes. I do have mixed emotions about the lack of any helps. At my desk, I want helps for sermon prep but I do not want them in the pulpit, you understand.

The Experience

There is something different, almost mystical about this Bible. Even holding it commands reverence. In the ESV Preaching Bible, you do not simply open the book and teach, you commune with the Scripture. You are one, a single unified tool in the Master’s hand. As the words flow off the page and out of you, the two come together in a way not experienced with other Bibles. The preacher and the Bible, together as God’s instrument of grace. In this single volume I fell in love with the Bible all over again and rekindled the fire of passion for God’s word.

Having used it in mine own pulpit, I can attest to the joy of preaching from this Bible.  It is everything I needed in a Bible and had not realized I want until I held it.


Charles, let me conclude with a word about the ESV herself. It is true that as Baptists we have a special affinity for the King James Bible but the ESV is a most worthy successor. Like the KJV, it is essentially literal in its translation and it is also very melodic in its language. The language is not flowery but it does flow ever so smoothly off the tongue.

I give you, and all of our fellow servants, my highest recommendation. There is only one other Bible worthy of consideration for the pulpit, the Preaching Bible from Thomas Nelson. In truth, though, I cannot pick; I must use both as they are so appealing.

A perfect 10 is the only fitting score for this Bible.


Ever your faithful fellow servant,








ESV Journaling New Testament, Inductive Edition

ESV Journaling New Testament, Inductive Edition


Half of my ideal Bible exists and I tip my hat to Crossway for bringing this to market. I took longer to write this review because I have diligently been waiting for the other half, the Old Testament, to come to market but alas, I have not seen it.


My first thought when I saw this New Testament was “Wow, someone finally listened to me.” I will explain my enthusiasm in a moment. First the usual disclosure: Crossway provided this Bible in exchange for an honest review. My Opinions are my own and no positive feedback was solicited.


ESV Journaling New Testament, Inductive Edition

TruTone®, Brown/Cordovan, Portfolio Design

A new addition to the family of ESV Journaling Bibles, the ESV Journaling New Testament, Inductive Edition features extra space for notes in between each line of Bible text, offering a fresh and distinctive way to engage with God’s Word. This single-column Bible is designed to make it easy to interact with every individual verse, making it a great option for pastors, students, and anyone who loves going in-depth with Scripture.

  • 3/8-inch space in between each line of Bible text
  • Cream-colored paper
  • Ribbon marker
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Packaging: Slipcase




Format: TruTone
Page Count: 800
ISBN-10: 1-4335-6364-9
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-6364-5
Trim Size: 6.5 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 34.29 ounces
Published: August 31, 2018
Type Size: 9.5
Page Layout: Single Column
Additional Features: Sewn Binding
Words of Christ Black

This Bible is a pastor’s dream come true:


Margins and Spacing

My readers know I love a wide margin and this one tops the charts at 1.25 to 1.5” in the margins, perfect for the notes that make this Bible uniquely yours. That was not enough for Crossway, though, as they have added 3/8” line space between each verse of Scripture. Why, you may ask, is this important? Inductive Study does not just encompass marginal notes and word studies, there are frequently symbols used in the use of inductive study and this spacing leaves plenty of room for those symbols.


A number of my colleagues like to cram as many thoughts onto a page as possible where, again, a 3/8” spacing will prove most useful.


An interesting thought: if you were so inclined, you could probably make your own interlinear with this NT.


Font Color and Suggestions for Note Making

Crossway always offers a deep, rich ebony in the black inks that they offer and this Bible is no exception. Any good journaling Bible will only be a black letter edition; this choice is made so that you can notate with different colored inks or pencils. I am fond of Prang colored pencils for underlining, circling, or other symbol marking. For marginal notes, I like a Pilot brand retractable ball point pen.


Personally, I make my notes in red ink as I think that it offers a solid contrast to the black ink.


Paper and Paper Color

The paper is cream colored and thick, probably about 30gsm. It is heavy for a New Testament and it needs to be. The most popular archival pens, Pigma Micron, should not bleed here but the would almost certainly bleed through if the paper were any thinner or lighter.


The color of the paper did not pose any real issues in white light (Incandescent or LED) but it was challenging in the slightly yellow light that we have in the teaching area. Outdoors in the bright Arizona sun, the paper performed really well.  There is almost no show through and what little of it exists will be entirely dependent upon your lighting.


Cover and Binding

Crossway’s TrueTone is the most convincing imitation leather I have ever seen, it should easily last 20 years or more before re-covering is needed. Naturally, Crossway uses a sewn biding to hold up to the demands of today’s pastor.


Actual Use and a Hypothetical

This Bible has been on my desk every day since its arrival. It is an ideal choice for personal study and I recommend it for every pastor. I have been tinkering with the idea of making an interleaved study bible that is either ring bound or spiral bound but I have not yet been able to decide on which Bible I would do that with. This NT would most certainly be a prime candidate for such a project.


Final Thoughts

Nothing is more personal for a Christian than the Bible that carries the record of our walk with God and there is no better choice for Inductive Study than this Bible.