I have reviewed a number of ESV Bibles and have found each one extremely beneficial given its particular study notes or edition. I also am one who reads the ESV regularly and preaches from it every Sunday.
This particular edition features hardly any verse references (see review below) and is meant to be read as a narrative uninterrupted by artificial subheadings, verse interruptions, and large chapter subdivisions.
You can watch this video to gain a better understanding of what they are striving for in this particular edition.
To begin with, I was impressed with the packaging of the cloth over board edition. It certainly is made to look like the classic that the Bible is and looks sharp sitting on any book shelf.
The two ribbons help in terms of reading plans especially since the verse numbers are not prevalent. For example, I place one ribbon where I need to start and a second where I want to end for a given week. Otherwise, you can have a ribbon for the OT and one for the NT. Either way, the two ribbons prove to be beneficial.
My one criticism is even in the attempt to draw the reader into the narrative, they still use the verse numbers at the top of the page. I understand this is for orientation purposes, but it is a bit distracting when they are not present in the main body. Also, they are in red which draws your eye to the top of the page almost immediately. Perhaps they could have been a bit smaller and set more like a page number rather than a page header.
The font size is perfect and the lack of footnotes is interestingly relieving to the reader. The goal of “getting lost in the narrative” has been met and exceeded. One who reads this particular Bible will more than likely find that their reading time in the Word of God will increase substantially.
This edition will make a great family devotional Bible and one that can be handed down as an inheritance through the years.
If you are one who reads the Bible cover to cover each year, I recommend this edition to you heartily. If you are one who studies for lessons and sermons, I would recommend this edition to you as well. I have found that it helps to just simply read the Bible rather than try to study it. Yes, studying is important, but so is simple Bible intake for the sake of familiarity.