There is much to love about Crossway’s Pastor’s Bible (PB). I remember being part of a survey by Crossway as they asked current pastors what they would most appreciate in a Bible specifically for pastors, and many of the things I listed have found their way into this very useful resource.
This Bible is a continuation of the work that was done in The Pastor’s Book by Crossway edited by R. Kent Hughes. Included within is a wealth of pastoral helps provided by those who have been around the block in ministry. What we find in the PB is the highlight reel of most essential aids interspersed throughout. Right out of the gate, prior even to the explanation of the translation philosophy is a section entitled the “Disciplines of a Godly Pastor”. Examples like this frame the heart and desire behind this resource. It is a Bible designed specifically for pastors as they seek to glorify God in their ministries and lead the church faithfully.
Also included at the front of the PB are two yearly reading plans (Four-Part and Sequential) to encourage a pastors continual exposure to the Scriptures. Between the Old and New Testaments, you will find many pastor specific resources including various invocations, prayers, creeds, and liturgies. For the Reformed crowd there is a liturgy for infant baptism, and for the Baptists, you have a liturgy for baby dedication. See, it really is the best of both worlds! But feel free to tear out the one that you don’t hold to…
Also included are 40+ articles specific to the ministry, as well as sample communion, wedding, funeral, and graveside services. These are simple, but are very well thought out as they contain the necessities for those infrequent service-types, allowing you to keep just one book on your person. At the end of this Bible, you will find more aids for service types, counseling, and helps for hospital visitations.
One of the greatest strengths of this Bible is its size. It has a standard footprint of (9.375″ x 6.25″), but it is essentially a thinline edition at only (1.125″) thick. It is very unassuming in appearance, unmarked on the front, “Genuine Leather” and ISBN # on the back, and the spine only contains ESV Pastor’s Bible, the text “English Standard Version”, and the publisher logo “Crossway”. With all these resources inside such a manageable package, I could easily see how this could go with a pastor on most ministry occasions.
Generally, I am not much of a fan of Genuine Leather for its hard and stiff feel, but this Bible actually surprises me. The leather seems softer, more flexible, and grippier than I anticipated. This Bible does have a paste-down liner, so it doesn’t rival the quality of premium edge-lined Bibles, but I do anticipate that it will last a while, depending on the user.
The readability of this particular Bible is fair. Sitting at 9-point font, I expected it to be a bit better. The paper is on the thin side, so I was hoping for it to be line-matched (to reduce ghosting). But alas, we can’t get everything we want in a Bible. The font is still plenty readable (otherwise I would be much more critical), but there are places where the ghosting is a bit distracting for me. Many people are used to ghosting and don’t think much of it, so take my words with a grain of salt…or maybe two grains…
Clearly meant for a congregant…
It is called The Pastor’s Bible, so this one should be pretty obvious. I would recommend this to a younger pastor who doesn’t have a lot of experience in these areas, as well as a more seasoned pastor who is looking for a portable Bible/resource library for a variety of ministry responsibilities.
Font Size: 9-point font
# of Columns: Double Column
Margins: 0.4″ of outside margin
Red Letter/Black Letter: Black letter
Cover: Geniune Leather, Black
Lays Flat: Not out of the box, but will with minimal usage
Estimated Life: depending on usage, I would guess 10-20 years
Art Gilting: White under Gold
Paper Quality: thin, without line-matching, average to above average softness
LxWxD: 9.375″ x 6.25″ x 1.125″
# of ribbons: Two
# of maps: To my disappointment, no maps
Cross References: Yes, bottom right hand corner of each page
Text Edition: 2016 ESV text edition