Thursday, January 5, 2012

The ESV "Single Column Legacy Bible"

I've enjoyed using the English Standard Version [ESV] of the Bible for a number of years now — not as a result of any judgement I'm capable of making about the scholarship involved, although those competent to make such judgements seem to like it, but because it is just so very readable. There are a number of very good editions available [including a a free one for Kindle], and today Crossway announces another, and perhaps the nicest one they have so far published:
The Single Column Legacy Bible has just arrived in the Crossway warehouse and will start shipping over the coming weeks. We’re excited about this new edition for at least four reasons.

1. It features a fresh, new design. .... It’s based off the Renaissance ideal for a perfect page...., which means there’s a precise layout of the text and the margins – what Renaissance thinkers considered perfect proportions. ....

2. We aimed for a high standard of excellence in production. .... The paper, binding, and printer were all carefully selected to ensure the quality of this edition.

3. It’s our first Bible that uses line-matching. Line-matching is a process that aligns the text on both sides of a page, minimizing the see-through of text. ....

4. It’s designed specifically for undistracted reading. Because we wanted this to be an ideal “reader’s Bible,” we chose a single-column format and opted to not include cross-references, introductions, or other special features (although there are maps and a concordance in the back). We also placed the section titles in the margin instead of in-line with the text. The result is an edition where the reader can move smoothly from passage to passage without jumping around or being distracted by added textual divisions. ....
Crossway's product page for the Single Column Legacy Bible. The images are from the Crossway site. The page image ought to give a good sense of the layout.


  1. You've got me convinced about the single column for a readers Bible. But I still do not like fully justified text. With wider columns it is not near as bad as with narrower columns.

    But it makes the text a bit harder on the eyes for no apparent real gain.

    And the occasional line that just misses fitting a large word at the end of that line ends up looking horrid for the sake of a straight edge on the right side of the page.

    My $.02US

  2. I do like justified columns and, frankly, find them easier to read. But I agree that narrow columns do make justification look ridiculous. Multiple columns should be reserved for really large reference books.


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