Review: CSB Reader’s Bible

I love getting packages in the mail. My wife would say that I am addicted to it. Mr. UPS and Mrs. USPS are likely fed up with delivering large envelopes and boxes to my door. Another box came this week, and in it was another Bible. This Bible is first for me, it is a “reader’s” Bible; the new CSB Reader’s Bible, in fact. The concept of a reader’s Bible has fascinated me since I heard about the Bibliotheca Project a few years ago (but I couldn’t afford to support the project). Since then, nearly every publisher has jumped onto this idea and has published their own version in this format.

If you are not familiar with what a “reading Bible” is, the concept is simple. The whole text of the Bible is published in a single column format with a large, clear font. Then all the chapter and verse numbers are removed from the text. The text is published in paragraph form and the divisions in the text are usually marked in the margin. The purpose of these Bible is to encourage the reader to read the Bible in large segments, whole books at a time even. The underlying assumption is that since the authors intended for the passages to be read as a whole, then the reader should try to engage it that way as well. So without the distraction of cross-references, study notes, or footnotes, the reader is able to read a passage and story as literature rather than as a textbook.

I received a copy of the CSB Reader’s Bible from Lifeway. In exchange the book, I was asked to publish an honest review here on my website and on a retailer’s website. They gave me a hard cover copy, that is cloth covered in a gray linen fabric. The Bible is displayed in a cloth covered sleeve/case that is intended to hold the book while it sits on a shelf. The overall package is nice considering this is on the “entry-level” of Bibles published in this way. I have seen others from that are leather-bound or have wooden cases. My suspicion is, that if you intend to read the Bible in this way, you won’t care much what kind of case it sits in.

The pages of this publication are a bright-white which helps make the font more readable. The text font is a 10 point font, larger than most personal size Bible, is is black throughout. While the chapter numbers are not printed in the text, they are published at the bottom of the page and their beginning is denoted in the text by a large blue “drop cap.” Aside from these, the only other text on the page is a small page number in the bottom, outside corner. The result is a very clean smooth page that flows. The Bible also includes a single blue page ribbon to hold your place. My only complaint is that the pages seem a little too thin for the purpose. I understand that the Bible has a lot of words and needs to be a manageable size, so the pages are thinner. However, the dark font bleeds through a bit more in this one than others, likely because the page is so white.

A benefit of this Bible is the version itself. The new Christian Standard Bible is a very great for reading. For over a decade, I have been using the Holman Christian Standard Bible as my personal reader, and this update is great as well. I still like the HCSB more, especially in the New Testament and the way it uses “Messiah” and “slave” various verses, but on the whole, the CSB is great for sitting and reading. I would recommend this Bible to those who would like to read the Bible in a way that is different from studying if that makes sense.

 

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