Review | ESV Heirloom Bible, Heritage Edition

The ESV Heritage is among the newest batch of heirloom Bibles published by Crossway. Released late last year, this Bible along with the Legacy and Omega are the first ones that have been printed and bound again by the world-renowned Royal Jongbloed in the Netherlands after the Bible publisher moved its production to China. Aside from this, they are also the first Crossway Bibles that have been bound using the high-end Horween leather.

The ESV Heirloom Bible, Heritage Edition in brown Horween leather has an overall size of 6 x 9 x 1.5 inches and a weight of 2 lbs, 5.5 oz. This is one of the things that I love about this Bible. It is mid-sized, perfect for hand-carry, and excellent for reading. It has almost the same footprint as the Thomas Nelson Premier NKJV Single-Column Reference which is my favorite go-to Bible.

The brown Horween leather cover is unparalleled. I am fairly new to this kind of leather and I can say that it is not something that you usually see as a Bible cover. I have Bibles in different covers—from imitation leather to genuine and goatskin—and this one has a unique texture, character, and even smell. Articles online convey that with constant use, this special kind of leather will become more flexible and develop a beautiful rugged look and distinct character over time. True to this, the one that I have is gradually showing some character and wear after just two weeks of use. It is extraordinary and thrilling at the same time. But beauty and elegance sometimes come with a price. The Horween edition of the Heirloom Heritage retails for $329.99—a hundred-dollar mark-up from the $229.99 price tag of the goatskin edition. You might find this a bit extravagant and luxurious for a Bible, but if you can afford it, I can wholeheartedly say that it is worth the investment.

This Bible boasts impeccable built and materials. The pages are smyth-sewn and edged-lined for maximum durability, and it lays fully flat without a struggle when open. The Indopaque paper, though technically thin at 28 gsm, is highly opaque, easy to turn, and has distinct premium quality and touch. The page edges have a red-under-gold art gilt which gives the text block a stunning and very elegant look and finish. While I usually complain about Crossway’s subpar ribbons on their Bibles, I am surprisingly quite satisfied this time with the ribbons on Heritage. It contains four with complementing colors—not premium but pretty decent enough.

Aside from its superior built, craftsmanship, and materials, what I love most about this Bible is its layout and readability. The 9.25-point text is presented in a single-column paragraph format with poetry entries placed in stanzas. Compared with other Bibles that I have with this layout, I must say that this one showcases it best. The text is perfectly spaced and thoughtfully placed and surrounded by generous margins. It is also line-matched which nicely diminishes the minimal ghosting. This, by far, is among the neatest layouts that I have ever seen in any Bible. It offers a pleasant and seamless reading experience.

Final thoughts

The ESV Heirloom Bible, Heritage Edition is surely one of the finest Bibles that Crossway has ever produced. Everything about this Bible is exceptional! The Horween leather cover is the cherry on top. Just the thought that the cover will show a “beautiful story” as it is passed on to the next generation makes this Heirloom Bible extra special.

Disclosure: A review copy of the ESV Heirloom Bible, Heritage Edition (ISBN 9781433577659) was provided for review by Crossway, from whom you may purchase a copy.

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