Today a friend of mine, J. Mark Bertrand, has alerted us to an upcoming edition of the ESV that some of us have been eagerly waiting for: a Personal Size Reference Bible coming in early 2008. A sample PDF preview is available from Crossway as well. This looks like what we’ve been waiting for. Thanks Mark!
Why is this new edition so special?
Well, a while back, Mark began posting some blogs campaigning for Bible publishers to print some single-column, paragraphed, referenced editions. Why does he extol these particular qualities? Simply because it’s more readable. In his own words, it “makes it easier for the Bible student to grasp the flow of the text, which is no longer interrupted by a carriage return at the start of each new verse, ” and, “it eliminates an unnecessary barrier for the modern reader.”
After reading Mark’s blogs on this and doing a little testing of my own, I’m convinced he’s right. Even though double-column paragraph-style is great, the single-column, paragraph-style format is truly more of a pleasure to read, and it really does make it easier to get the flow of the text without the constant interruption of those non-inspired verse and chapter breaks (which tend to really break up the continuity of the text, and the context). It makes the Bible read more like a book or a letter should.
PS: Another ESV Bible in this format is The Literary Study Bible