When the CSB released I was hopeful. I began using this translation for my personal devotions and writings on this blog, and have grown to appreciate its clarity and readability. So, I broke down and purchased a new CSB Reference Bible for preaching and teaching, but was not surprised when it had the same lack of quality that I had come to expect. It was disappointing.
Fast forward a few months to an email in my inbox and the announcement that a new CSB Reader’s Edition was available for review. On a whim I clicked the link and requested my review copy. When I received it a couple of days later, I was pleasantly surprised. The Bible and matching case come in a gray cloth over board that is very tasteful.
To be perfectly honest, I was impressed. Granted, this is a Bible that will be priced in the $30 range, so there were a few stray threads. Nevertheless, I thought it was nicely done.
Upon opening the Bible, I was very happy to see a paper that appears to be a better quality than what I was expecting at this price point. It is crisp and white, but not so thin as to feel overly fragile. The construction of the cover and block appear to be very good, allowing the Bible to lay perfectly open with no issues whatsoever. Nicely done.
The footprint of the page is well done also. The line matching is not exact, but fairly close. The ghosting is not too distracting. The fonts are sharp, the margins are inviting, and (happily) Holman seems to have been paying attention to the Bible market.
What makes a Bible a Reader’s edition is the layout. Typically, one might expect the format of Scripture to be double column with references between or in the footer. A Reader’s edition is designed to look more like a novel. There are no chapter or verse numbers within the single column surrounded by open margins. While this might take some getting used to, it has benefits. (More on that in a moment.)
Reader’s editions are growing in popularity, but so, too, is a more subtle use of color on the page. In the case of this edition, Holman has used a well-chosen blue to denote chapter transitions and book identification in the footers of each page. The color palette of gray and blue used for the edition I reviewed was well done.
As for the Reader’s layout, I must admit that I was skeptical as to how I would enjoy it. After several days use in my personal devotions I can honestly say that it is quite a joy to read. As you follow the account, the lack of distracting (and often seemingly arbitrary divisions) helps create an encounter that is fresh. The only issue I have is when writing the daily devotional post. If I want to reference a specific verse, I use my digital source for convenience.
While I am still unsatisfied regarding my Ultrathin Reference edition, I am both enjoying this edition and somewhat hopeful for other editions that will be released by Holman in the near future…and I’m still optimistic that I will one day I’ll get that interlinear option in Logos.
*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own. For the full review, visit www.jeremyadambyrd.com*