I thought I’d do a quick review of the ESV Pocket New Testemant (with Psalms and Proverbs). I’ve had this one for awhile and figured it might be helpful to post my likes and dislikes about it. So here goes….
I wanted a small pocket sized bible to keep in my back pocket at all times. The smallest version of the ESV that I had at the time was a Compact Thinline and found it to be a bit too big for fittin’ in the pocket. After a bit of research, I found that the Pocket NT w/ Psalms and Proverbs would do just the trick. It’s not a full bible, but as long as I has something to keep with me wherever I went, I was OK with it. This along with the fact that I recently heard a tremendous sermon series from Don Whitney on praying the Pslams, I made it a point to always have the Psalms with me.
Below is a picture of the Pocket NT on top of my Compact Thinline on top of my new absolute favorite bible, the ESV Personal Size Reference. This picture should give you a bit of scale between the three. If you’re wondering why on earth the bottom Personal Reference has 3 ribbons, you can go here and learn how to install them yourself at home.
Again, below is another picture for scale. It’s almost the identical size as my tri-fold wallet. I’ve been using and abusing mine pretty hard as of late and she’s holding up nicely. Since it lives in my back pocket, I sit on it whenever I, well, sit! Since the tru-tone cover is so flexible, I can barely tell it’s there. I just have to remember to take it out when we wash clothes…ug.
In the hand, it fits comfortably. I opted for the tru-tone version which feels absolutely wondeful to the touch. In preparing to write this review, I had the hardest time trying to formulate words to describe the texture of tru-tone. I came to the conclusion that the only way I can describe it is that it feels much like the skin of a banana peel. It’s smooth, “grippy”, and almost rubbery. Perfect for handling. I love it. Tru-tone is really growing on me as my favorite binding of choice. It’s affordable, durable, and looks attractive, much unlike the “genuine leather” Crossway manufactures. I have both the tru-tone and the genuine leather in the Personal Reference editions and the tru-tone is by far the most appealing. For a great summary of the synthetic bindings becoming so popular amongst many publishers, check out J. Mark Bertrand’s excellent post.
Below is a quick comparison of all three. The Personal Reference on the bottom, followed by the Compact Thinline, and the Pocket New Testament on top. You’ll notice that the lettering in the Pocket NT is veryreadable. It boasts a 7 point font, while the Compact Thinline only has a 6.2 font….eek! The Personal Reference has the most comfortable of all 3 coming in at a 7.4 point font. Even for such a tiny bible (3″x4 1/4″ x 5/8″) the Pocket NT is very comfortable to read.
The following are a few shots of the inside pages. One a general shot of John, while the others are the opening pages of Psalms and Proverbs.
Overall, this is quite a nice little book. The tru-tone sewn binding makes for a quality look and feel at a MUCH cheaper price than the goat and calf skin varieties. It’s readability is far better than I had anticipated when I first purchased it, and the ESV translation is second to none. On a scale of one to ten, I give it a high 9. The only problems I have run into (you honestly didn’t think there wouldn’t be any, didja’) are:
1)While I do not mind having a red letter edition bible, I find that the red ink Crossway uses to be somewhat pinkish and as a result, the letters sort of “fade into the background” as you read. I would love to see a bolder red used. But that problem isn’t just related to the Pocket NT, it has more to do with all red letter editions published by Crossway.
2)The picture on the Crossway website of the Pocket NT shows the binding sporting gold leaf lettering on the spine. My edition, nor any others on the store shelf, had such guilding. No big whoop, but just wanted to make all aware of it.
3)Again, not neccesarily related to the Pocket NT, but I would still love to see 2 to 3 ribbons in bibles. Since many read in several spots in their bibles during devotions, especially with the popularity of the M’Cheyne Reading Schedule as of late, it would be worth the investment.
4)For some reason, Crossway decided to place the Psalms and Proverbs behind the New Testament. My fingers naturally gravitate towards flipping to the front of my bible for thse two books, and having them in the back is a little awkward.
Well, that about sums up my little review of the Pocket New Testament. If you’de be interested in purchasing one, I’d recommend heading on over to Westminster Books and picking one up for $8.99. Can’t beat the price!
For more information on small bibles, why not check out Bible Design and Binding. You can read some great comparisons and get some great insights into bible binding, versions, and publication. Here are a few to get you started: