I nearly jumped out of my seat with excitement when I saw the new ESV Jesus Bible on Shelley Giglio’s instagram page. I first saw The Jesus Bible when it released in January 2017. I have been a fan of Louie Giglio and his preaching since my friend Laura introduced me to his sermons in 2013. The first sermon of his that I ever heard was one he did on Laminin. If you haven’t seen it, you can watch it here. It wrecked me in the BEST way and I’ve been a fan of his since. Naturally, when I saw that he had a Bible release, I wanted to snag a copy of my own.
When it was originally released, it was only available in the NIV translation. At the time, we were attending a church that was using the ESV, so I wouldn’t let myself purchase copy. Then, much to my surprise, a new version in the ESV translation hit the shelves this past month. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy from the great folks at Zondervan to review.
The copy I received was the Multi-Color/Tan, Leathersoft™, Comfort Print with this beautiful cover design by Britt Bass. Photos don’t really do this cover justice, y’all. It is stunning. The leather is not as stiff as calf-split leather, so it folds a bit and it more pliable. Sometimes, leather can be a bit tougher to work with but I found this one the perfect blend of flexibility and sturdiness.
Another thing I loved about this Bible was the font styling. As a web and graphic designer, I’m somewhat of a font snob. I am very particular about readability and font size. I do a lot of work on my computer, so my vision with books is starting to wane a bit. The Jesus Bible ESV translation uses an 8.7-point font size. To compare, the ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (pictured below) uses a 7.5-point font size; making the font in the Jesus Bible a bit larger and easier to read.
As you can also tell, the paper in The Jesus Bible is white and not off-white/tan/ivory, making it appear a bit cleaner and more crisp. The paper quality is about the same as the ESV Journaling Bible; I used both ball point pen, gel highlighters and Zebra Midliners in The Jesus Bible with no issues with bleed through. There is a bit of ghosting with any sort of gel based pen, but Micron works without any shadowing.
I have carried this Bible to me a few times now to church and find that it’s not overly heavy and I love the sidebar notes throughout. It doesn’t have the feel of being a “study” bible and the notes within the margins offer a bit of clarity on things that might be a little bit harder to understand right away. The margins (where there aren’t sidebar notes) are large enough for plenty of your own notes. I wouldn’t recommend doing any kind of painting or heavy marking in the sidebars, as the paper isn’t really thick enough. But, for standard note taking, it’s ideal.
I think this Bible is ideal for anyone looking to see how Jesus and the redemption of mankind is woven throughout scripture. It’s insightful and well designed with ample room for personal study. I do not recommend it if you don’t like notes, commentaries, etc. throughout or if you need/want the entire margin area for your own notes. I also don’t recommend it if you are searching for something that is heavy with cross references. If you’re looking for a ton of cross-references, I would recommend this Bible instead.
You can view more versions and cover designs of The Jesus Bible on their website or check out their free sample reading. You can also find Louie Giglio, Passion City Church and Zondervan on Instagram.
I received a complimentary copy of The Jesus Bible from Zondervan in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. In addition, some links on this post are affiliate links. This means that if you purchase through my link, I receive a small commission per sale. Thank you for continuing to support this ministry.