Crossway’s quintessential ESV Thinline shines like a beacon in this Heirloom brown goatskin version. Due to the success of this specific Bible, Crossway continues to produce the thinline format in many covers: trutone, genuine leather, calfskin and goatskin. That said, some of this review may share similarities with my earlier trutone review; however, I want to highlight the advantages or reasons why you should consider this goatskin version. Upon opening the Heirloom box for the first time, I instantly fell in love with the simple elegance of this Bible. The goatskin grain is esthetically pleasing and smells amazing—as do all of Crossway’s goatskin Bibles. Since this Bible is made with a goatskin cover, it will be much more durable than other covers, and should last a lifetime. You will also notice the edge lined binding and sewn goatskin edges that will offer even more in the way of durability. Due to the way this Bible is bound, it does start out with a very tight hinge/spine, preventing the Bible from laying flat. I have over time been able to work the hinge and soften this stiffness up quite a bit–I promise, it gets better with use. The next advantage I would like to highlight is the beautiful Jongbloed paper. You gain a creamy colored paper that is easy on the eyes and great to the touch. The Heirloom Goatskin version is definitely a huge upgrade on cover, binding and paper compared to the trutone versions. If we look at the thinline layout by itself, we will see similarities across all versions, no matter if you buy the trutone or goatskin version. The ESV thinline version offers 8pt size font, which seems in line with what one would expect from this size of Bible. You will also notice the thinness of this particular Bible–a form factor I love. Thinlines have become a staple among other translations and publishers, but I have to give the upper hand to Crossway for making one of the best thinlines out there. This Bible is portable and is easy to hold in one hand. The two drawbacks I would like to point out is the lack of line matching (lines of text don’t match from page to page which can cause ghosting) and that there are no cross references. I would be the first in line to purchase a Crossway ESV regular size thinline that had cross references. Outside of these two minor complaints, I would like to tip my hat to the Crossway ESV Heirloom Thinline Bible. It is truly a thin classic that I will hang on to for years.
The 8pt size font is readable, however, there is a drawback to readability with this Bible–there is no line matching. The ghosting (text on the other side of the page) is very prevalent and somewhat of a nuisance. That said, this Heirloom edition does have upgraded paper compared with the trutone versions, which does help in readability. Considering the font sizes of most study Bibles, I would say the 8pt size font of this Bible is definitely readable. If you do find yourself having trouble with smaller fonts you may want to look for a larger print Bible.
Backpack, glove box, cargo shorts (are these a thing anymore?) –this Bible can fit in several different locations. It is thin and attractive. I would venture to say you could take this Bible virtually anywhere. It won’t fit in a pocket, but it definitely is portable! I would not recommend for preaching and teaching due to the 8pt size font and the lack of line matching. However, for on the go reading, this Bible would be a perfect tag a long.
Font Size: 8-point font
# of Columns: Double Column
Margins: 1/2″ Margins
Red Letter/Black Letter: Black Letter
Cover: Goatskin, Brown
Lays Flat: Not out of the box, but may over time
Estimated Life: Lifetime
Art Gilting: Red under Gold (however, the red looks more salmon colored)
Paper Quality: Quality is great from Jongbloed, however is quite thin.
LxWxD: 9.125″ x 5.875″ x 1″ (just under an 1″)
# of ribbons: Two
# of maps: 8 full color maps; typical Crossway
Cross References: No
Concordance: 59 pages
Text Edition: 2011 ESV text edition
Example of “ghosting” due to lack of line matching:
ESV Heirloom Thinline compared to ESV Pitt Minion Calf Split: