"Gospel Transformation Study Bible (ESV)" by Crossway (book review)

I’ll put it right out there: I love love love this study Bible!  It has officially replaced the Bible I’ve been using the past couple years that just wasn’t quite what I wanted.  I think I finally found it!  Here’s why:

First, I highly prefer the English Standard Version (ESV) and New King James Versions (NKJV).  This one is the ESV, so it meets the first criteria.

Second, the page layout is single column format, rather than double column.  I don’t recall reading any other book that has a double column layout except for a study Bible.  I simply think it breaks up the text too much for my tastes.

Third, the comments in the footers pertain to the overarching gospel story the Bible proclaims, rather than how a single editor interprets passages.  Therefore, most footer comments don’t handle just single verses, but larger passages that support the Bible’s story of the gospel.

Fourth, the outside margins are quite large, right around an inch wide!  The inside margin is rather narrow, however.  But there is ample space to write notes, which is a big deal for me.  In this picture, I've placed a standard size mechanical pencil in the binding for reference.  Passages with large amounts of poetry (such as Psalms and other locations) provide ample room for lengthy notes!

Fifth, the concordance is relatively large.  It’s obviously not huge like a stand-alone concordance, but for a Bible it is satisfactory.  There’s also a quality topical reference section adjacent to the concordance that is also satisfactory.

Sixth, many of the names of the general editors and staff are recognizable: Brian Chapell and Dane Ortlund are the general editors.  Other contributors of commentaries include Michael Horton, Kevin DeYoung, Jared C. Wilson, David Helm, Greg Gilbert, and Mike Bullmore, just to name a handful.

Finally, the page thickness is sufficient for writing in it with a sharpened pencil without the pencil cutting/tearing through.  A huge pet peeve of mine is super thin Bible pages.  The pages in this Bible are not ultra thick (which would make for an even thicker overall Bible), but they are also not onion skin thin!

Rating: I definitely give this Bible 5 stars!

Disclaimer:  I received this Bible free of charge from Crossway in exchange for my unbiased review of it.  All opinions are mine, and I was not required to provide a positive review of it.

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