« Two Paragraphed KJVs | Main | Better Off Red: Red Bibles ... An All-Too-Rare Classic »

September 21, 2007



These are, indeed, quite nice for the price, and I also having something that's fairly slim. I only wish that they would offer an Anglicized version in Canada. It may sound petty, but using bibles with American spellings really does annoy me.

R. Seto

Thanks for your Bible reviews!

In case you're interested, there's a place that sells ESV Bibles for a better price than Amazon:



Do you know if there is a particular vendor or trade name for the imitation leather that Crossway uses? I've been searching for some sheets of it, but haven't found it yet.


J. Mark Bertrand

Jason, all the information I have on the substance is found here:


I don't know the name of the vendor, but I believe the stuff is sourced in Italy.


Just curious as to how your portfolio is holding up. I purchased one shortly after reading your review but my wife took it to school with her and I haven't seen it since. I may get another one for ME.

Thanks for your help.

J. Mark Bertrand

Mine has held up fine, Stan, but it's not my primary Bible so I don't really put it through the ringer. If your wife has been using yours constantly, she'd be in a better position to tell you how it holds up! My guess is that the cover is durable, and the real cause for concern is the glued binding.


My portfolio has held up well for two years now and it gets a workout from traveling and parish visitations. It's even recently survived a car accident (which is more than I can say for the car!)


J. Mark - Curious what your main bibles are? that you use the most.

J. Mark Bertrand

Whichever one I'm about to write about! :)

Seriously, the black hardcover ESV Journaling Bible is my main squeeze, both for practical and sentimental reasons. Practical because it's perfect for sticking in a satchel. Sentimental because it marks the first time I ever went to a publisher and said, "Why don't you do this?" and got a result. :) Next to that would have to be the tan Allan's ESV.

For church, I prefer a smaller edition I can slip in my pocket when I need a free hand, like the Cambridge Crystal KJV from Allan's or the Little Oxford Bible.


Thanks for your feedback. My wife said she's pleased with hers. I can place my order now.

Then on to a NASB Pitt Minion!

Earl G.

I purchased the The "Portfolio" Thinline ESV, and it is just awful. The black letter text is much lighter than my bonded leather edition, and the red letter text in parts is so faded that one must squnit their eyes.
Anyways, I thought I just happened to get a defective one, so I contacted Good News Publishers and described my unsatisfaction. They graciously agreed to send me another Bible free of charge. Today, I have just recieved the new one in the mail today and it is exactly the same as my first.
All in all, these Bibles are basically unusable if you want to look up more then one or two passages.
I guess you get what you pay for, and this is indeed an inexpensive Bible.


I have a teacher friend who bought this edition of the ESV. It appears that Crossway updated their print so its easier to read and not as much bleeding in the pages as in the past. However, I would prefer to still use the higher quality Bibles that Crossway publishes instead of this edition. While better than Zondervan and Nelson, it still lacks that Allan Bible feel as top notch.


This is a great blog

I would love a kjv of this kind of bible, Theres nothing like it for KJV in the UK - unless you want pink or orange!


I really enjoyed reading your post. Last month I wrote a review on the Tru-Tone portfolio classic reference edition. I'm not an exert but I have to admire the way this Bible lays flat while reading, and the way it feels in my hands while holding it. I love the cover design though I was kind of hoping it would be a pinkish brown. But the more natural tones do look very nice for this design.

mike smith

While I have not used this model I have been using the newer bonded leather because it is sewn binding along with a few other models in the thinline line. It is softing over time and I can aways have it rebound locally in good leather. EvengelicalBible.com or Westminister bookstore have the best prices for crossway. The Bible cost around $17.00 plus shipping. A good Bible for a great price.

Gerald Winslow

FYI - Crossway has just released new Classic Thinlines that are Smyth sewn (says so on the box, and I verified it myself). New covers too - I saw one in the Charcoal Crown, it was very nice.

Walter Owens

Just received mine today. It is a remarkable little book, "bigger on the inside than on the outside". Somehow, the text is neither small nor crowded. Yes the leather is fake, the binding is glued, the type is light, the paper is not opaque. But in spite of its limitations it is astonishingly easy to read and easy to carry.


Walter, you might want to check your binding again. My VALUE thinline (under $10) is Smyth-sewn, and in just 24-page (not sheets!) signatures so it is even more flexible than the standard 32-page signature. The trutone cover and paper endpages remind you it's a bargain, but the binding itself is superb.

I certainly agree with your readability comment: "bigger on the inside than on the outside"

Walter Owens

Thanks for the poke, Bill. I checked the box (a lot easier), and sure enough, it says "Smyth-sewn". So, even better. Maybe someday I'll have it rebound in northern exposure Knoydart goatskin.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Welcome to BibleDesignBlog.com, a site devoted to innovative design and quality Bible binding. Read the reviews, explore the extensive comments, and feel free to join in. The links in the righthand column give you access to all the reviews, every category (including rebinding projects and "eye candy"), and links to other sites that might interest you.
My Photo


  • J. Mark Bertrand is the author of Back on Murder, Pattern of Wounds, and the forthcoming Nothing to Hide, crime novels featuring Houston homicide detective Roland March. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and lived in the city for fifteen years. After one hurricane too many, he and his wife moved to South Dakota. Mark has been arrested for a crime he didn't commit, was the foreman of a hung jury in Houston, and after relocating served on the jury that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead.

Books by Bertrand

Bible Reviews