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on 15 December 2014
Don't get me wrong. I Like the ESV (Anglisised because I am a Brit). In fact the ESV is my preferred 'Word for word' translation of the Bible and I use the print version almost every day. But to the Kindle version, on a Kindle, there are Pros and Cons.

1) It is FREE. That is amazing and warrants it 5 stars! (American version only, the Anglicised you still have to pay for)

2) Because you can search on the kindle (using Menu/Search you have a built in exhaustive concordance, (The thin one at the back of this edition, print and ebook, is a bit frustrating because is so thin and inevitably seems to think the reference you want was not important enough to include). However, in Search, it shows you the location ref (5 digit numeric code) and a 4 line context, not the Bible ref so to find out where it is you select the location and get hotlinked to the page and from there can get the Bible ref.

3) Once you find what you want to read, it is clear and easy reading. The English is clear, mainly contemporary, not dumbed down, direct.
4) This is a cross-reference edition. Crossreferencing a bible is not easy and you have to learn how to use the system of your preferred bible. The ESV crossreferencing system is just fine in print but on the Kindle it is BETTER. Because when you have selected your cross ref (scroll up or down, left & right till the little pointy hand shows near the cross ref letter) you get sent to the refs for that section (you have to remember your letter) then you select the reference you want and you are hot-linked straight to the page, without having to turn a page. Great! The only odd thing is that the pointy hand does not want to sit over the cross ref letter itself but to the word next to it and that you have to remember the letter. But it still works well.

1) The main problem is looking things up (not using cross referencing); finding a particular Bible verse. It is normal to look up referred verses while using the Bible, maybe listening to a sermon, maybe reading a book. On the Kindle, this is a process: hit Menu / Go to / Table of contents/ then find the book you want (having only a single column of books means that some page flipping may be needed, taking more time) select the book, select the chapter, select the verse. Got it! Using a print Bible it may take up to 15 seconds, but often around 5. Using the Kindle it has to be at least double the time, maybe three times. Enough to be discouraging and not bother after a while.

To be fair to the Kindle, it was probably configured as it is for reading novels and other books where you start at the beginning and read through sequentially till you finish the book. And the Kindle remembers to bookmark your page.
Generally, the Bible is not (in fact probably should not) be read in that way. It is a library not a book, so just picking out the left hand book on the top shelf can be unhelpful. If you DO want to just read sequentially, try starting with the Gospel of Luke, read through to Revelation, then start at the beginning, Genesis, till you finish Mark.

So why did I 'buy' it? Because when I travel, I can leave my hardback ESV (and hardback Message) at home and only carry the Kindle (which I would have carried along anyway). Does it succeed in that role? YES! Does it have draw backs? See above.
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on 1 September 2012
As someone who has used the NIV since 1980 and love that translation, I admit to being seriously unimpressed by the ESV when first published. Faithful to the original texts it may be, but the oftentimes awkward renderings seemed to me to be a step back in time in terms of translation (certainly in comparison with the NIV's 'natural flowing smoothness'). Nevertheless, I have persevered with the ESV since I do recognise that it is a more faithful translation, and at the end of the day reading/hearing the Hebrew and Greek approximated as near as possible in English is what I believe feeds the soul, and builds and matures Christian faith and character.

So I have been a slow convert to the ESV!

I was attracted to this Bible since it was large print and my eyesight is not as good as it once was, but also because Crossway in their wisdom have invariably produced the translation in type far too small for my tastes. Secondly, this edition is Thinline. I don't enjoy carrying bulky Bibles - although I do possess both a larger print edition (apparently no longer in print) and the large print Study Bible ESV Study Bible, Larger Print (TruTone, Walnut, Frame Design) which are far too bulky for carrying to Church. The Bible has an appealing cover. As someone who has a sense of national heritage (an evangelical Scot who does see that Christian history didn't begin at the Reformation!) therefore I like the fact that the Celtic Cross is embossed on the front cover. The Bible feels good in my hands, and I believe this is something which is important - subjectively for me over time it becomes like an 'old friend'. The words of Christ are in red, although in my version appear slightly pinkish red rather than true red.

The one criticism I do have about this edition is that the type face is not as dark or bold as I prefer (hence only 4 stars). It means that for me that ideal reading is best done in good light conditions, not always possible if carrying it around.

Given that most of my comments are fairly subjective and a matter of personal preference I would heartily commend this edition.

ESV Large Print Thinline Reference Bible (TruTone, Burgundy, Celtic Cross)
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on 18 January 2011
I really like the ESV text so why the 2 stars? Because of issues to do with formatting and navigation. I use Kindle 3 (I do not know if my comments apply to other Kindle models) and here is what I have found:

- It is hard to know which book of the bible you are in. The chapter headings consist of chapter and verse number only (e.g. 5:1) and if you press the menu button (which is the usual way of finding the book name) hoping to see Isaiah or whatever, you will instead see "The Holy Bible English Standa..." which you probably knew anyway. How do I know if the 5:1 at the top of the screen means Isaiah 5:1 or Jeremiah 5:1? It would be better if the start of each chapter identified the book name (or its abbreviation) alongside the chapter and verse.

- Similarly, bookmarks do not identify the book that they are in. I keep seven bookmarks - one for each day of the week. When I look at the list of bookmarks I see the location number (Kindle's equivalent of page number) and a few lines of text from that location. It would be so useful to see, for example, Ps 51:3 alongside the location number.

- With some Kindle e-books pressing the right or left arrows on the 5-Way controller takes you to the next or previous chapter respectively. On the ESV this doesn't work. It would be useful if it did.

- To my eye the section headings are disproportionately big compared to the font size of the text. It would be aesthetically more pleasing if they were smaller.

- If a chapter starts with a section heading and you use the table of contents to go to that chapter, the section heading will be on the previous page. This is especially significant in Psalms. When using the Table of Contents to go to Psalm 57, for example, the top of the screen shows "57:1 Be merciful to me, O God..." and only by going to the previous page do I read (in extra large font - see above) "Let Your Glory Be over All the Earth To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Mitkam [137] of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave." The Table of Contents should point to the location of the chapter heading which is not the same as the first verse.

- The footnote marks consist of square brackets around a 1, 2, or 3 digit number, underlined, and in the same font-size as the text. This is obtrusive; and accessing the footnote is more complicated than it could be. Currently if you are reading a verse containing a footnote and want to access the footnote you have to: move the cursor onto the footnote mark, press the 5-Way which then displays the relevant page of the footnote list, read the footnote, and then press Back to come back to the text. A better way would be for footnotes to be accessed in the same way that word definitions are from the dictionary. With all Kindle books putting the cursor in front of a word brings up a small window showing that word's entry in the dictionary. It would be excellent if a similar system could be used for footnotes, so that putting the cursor in front of the footnote symbol caused the footnote to appear in a small window. This would allow you to see the footnote and the text at the same time (as you can on paper bibles) and also permit the bulky footnote mark to be replaced with a less obtrusive symbol.

Finally be aware that it is not possible navigate to a specific verse by typing the book, chapter and verse reference (something that many people will want to do in an electronic bible). Instead, if I want to find Luke 2.17, for example, I need press Menu, Select Go to.., Select "table of contents" in the "Go to" window, Page forwards twice to get to the page containing Luke, Select Luke, Select "Chapter 2", and finally page forwards twice to verse 17. Phew.

In summary this is the excellent ESV text with unaesthetic formatting, within which it is cumbersome to navigate and easy to get lost. I wish the publishers had paid as much attention to the structure and appearance of the text on the Kindle Screen as they have done in their paper editions and given more thought to the ways people might want to use the bible on their Kindles.
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on 18 May 2012
This edition is an unusual and simply lovely production of the ESV translation.
(If you are reading this, it's worth checking what edition you are looking at - Amazon mixes reviews of every production of the ESV, though the physical book can be radically different).

Firstly, the edition: it's single-column (like a normal book), rather than double column (like nearly all bibles). This makes it simply much easier and pleasurable to read. Dyslexics in particular will find this helpful - it eliminates the huge numbers of awkward hyphenated words which slow you down in a narrow-column bible.

It's hard to explain how much difference single column printing makes. There are hardly any bibles like this, but there's a reason normal books are printed this way. It's simply far, far easier to read!

The pages are simply beautiful - laid out according to the canons of renaissance design, spacious and clean, with the headings down the side of the page so that they don't interrupt the text. It's elegant and easy to find what you are looking for. Most of all, it's very natural to read and easy to lose yourself in. The nine-point font is not huge for the size of the bible, but extremely clear.

It is big and relatively thick - white space and single columns make sure of that - so it's really a bible for home. But it's so much more readable than a more portable bible that that isn't a bad thing.

The binding, too, is lovely. The Trutone cover feels soft and luxurious, and it sits open naturally, because it's smyth-sewn. The quality is obvious as soon as you pick it up.

The one problem with the quality of manufacture is the gold edging to the pages - mine was marked in one place after two days, simply through normal use. It looks lovely, but doesn't look like it will last. Certainly an earlier Crossway ESV I bought with similar edging rubbed off quite fast. It has to be said, though, that this isn't a big issue! It also isn't something you'd expect to get at this price.

While it's not a cheap edition, I should imagine it will last for many, many years - and for the money I have never seen a bible produced so well. There are versions of the single column legacy in premium leather if you want them, but this feels like one already.

There isn't space to discuss the translation properly here, but the ESV is extremely faithful and accurate - along with the NIV, arguably the most accurate English translation. The NIV is slightly more accessible, but the ESV may have the edge on accuracy. It tends (usually) to give a slightly more literal translation. That means you can ponder for yourself what ambiguous bits mean - rather than having the interpretation done for you. It can be a tad clunky in places, but it gives you a better sense of the culture and time of the original writers. I'm not an expert (my Greek is very patchy) but there are plenty of resources on the web to compare the two translations if you want. Personally I think that, if you are new to the bible, the NIV is easier, but you'll appreciate the ESV more after you've read through the NIV.

I've been wanting a beautiful bible produced with ease of reading in mind for a while, and this is easily the best I have seen.
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on 13 January 2011
I'm a writer and have just bought myself a Kindle. Over the years a number of colleagues in the biz have recommended that I read The Bible - or, at least, some of it - as literature, as it has some cracking stories and characters. (I'm not out to offend anyone who follows the Book in a religious aspect!)

This Kindle version - The Holy Bible English Standard Version (ESV) - I've found to be the best for casual reading. There is a linked TOC to each book plus all the chapters (displayed as a long list). Verses are not linked, but there are so many of them that it hardly seems worth it anyway. The verses are indicated by embolded numbers within the text. At first, I thought this would be a distraction - it isn't. New chapters are indicated by slightly larger embolded numbers at the beginning of the first line, followed by the first verse number (e.g. 24:1). Footnotes are indicated by hyperlinked numbers contained in square brackets within the text. What is also great about this edition is the inclusion of "story sub-headings" - these are not officially part of The Bible but they help to indicate the key stories of the text (such as Noah and the Ark, Abraham and Isaac, etc). As these headings are not linked in the TOC, they are handy to use as bookmark points.

This English Standard Version translation is very suitable for modern-day readers. It does not contain "modernised" text, but it is updated just enough to provide a comfortable read.

I would recommend this to any Kindle user who has a casual interest in The Bible. I'm a bit bummed that it's free from the Amazon US store, but for UK users it's only six quid or so (at the time of writing this review).

If you want a more in-depth research-based experience then try the ESV Study Bible which contains the same text but links to a wealth of research material. Or, pick up the original King James Version - The Kindle Holy Bible (The Definitive English Authorized Version) Complete Old Testament and New Testament (Special Kindle Edition with DirectLink Technology) (Bible Revised Edition) - which has been formatted perfectly for the Kindle, but you may find the language more "old fashioned" and difficult and there are no story sub-headings.
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on 14 February 2014
Crossway have been improving their bible range over recent years and the Heritage is a great example...
- stitch-sewn binding means it opens flat almost throughout the whole bible
- line matching and clear font make a great reading experience
- comfortable size (not pocket, but not huge)
- trutone binding is decent quality - I actually prefer this now to most leather, at it seems more robust / wipeable etc...
- no cross references (in this version they want to help you read the text)
- ESV version is accurate, modern translation, good for study and thought

- if you want cross references, this one doesn't have any!
- ESV version - some find it a bit too literal, not as "natural and flowing" as say the NIV

Thoroughly recommended.
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on 13 August 2011
I wish I'd seen this first! To get to a book, go to Menu, Index and type the first letters of the book abbreviation. As you type, a list appears of books that start with those letters. As you continue to type a space and a number (use the Alt key to type numbers) the list scrolls to the chapter you want, space and type your verse number which will scroll to the top of the page. You can press the down arrow on the 5-way controller to get to the verse you want at any time when you've had enough of typing.

There are some handy footnotes (eg. a hin was about 3.5 litres). The ESV text is a reasonably good version.

At last, a Bible that really works with the Kindle.

Update - and now the newly discovered bad news: Unfortunately, this version isn't very good at optimizing Kindle's native text find. A search for Take my yoke found 2 Sam 24:16 which contains the 3 words but not in that order, however, it didn't find Matthew 11:29 where the exact phrase appears. The KJV Easy Navigate eBook by Hendrickson Bibles(which does not have the same ease for finding a chapter and verse) did find Matthew 11:29, while the American Standard Version found both the 2 Samuel and the Matthew 11 references. I don't understand why the free bible on my antiquated Palm VX can take me easily to a chapter and verse from any page AND find an exact phrase while a sophisticated piece of kit like a Kindle can't do it.

Further update: I now see the problem with the Find. The verse in Matthew had a hyperlink immediately in front of the word Take. Because the Kindle only finds whole words, it read the hyperlink as being part of the word. The Find function could thus be vastly improved simply by putting a space between the hyperlink and the word. The example was unfortunate - text without hyperlinks within it could be found.
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on 29 June 2016
Rubbish - complete nonsense and it contradicts itself throughout.
Written almost like it's trying to be a history it doesn't work on any level. As a fantasy/adventure it's just really dull and the action sequences are ridiculous. As a history it really does stretch the credibility thing a bit too far. The plot bounces all over the place and the characters are really two dimensional.
I doubt it would ever make a decent film even if they got Peter Jackson to direct it. Lord of the Rings is definitely better - and more believable.
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on 8 April 2013
Usually I read the NIV, but was persuaded to down load ESV on to my Kindle, because a Pastor friend reccomended it, and because its "Free"

The NIV is a little more readable - the text flows better, but the ESV is a closer translation. Since none of us are of the time when the Bible was written, and very few of us understable the original languages, it is helpful to have the Bible in different translations.

I bought my Kindle primarily to have the Bible on it, making transport of the Word of God, more compact. As I get older, larger print is more of a necessity, and in a printed version, larger print means a larger book to carry, but with Kindle, I can have larger print, without more bulk.
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on 22 August 2013
I hadn't realised this Bible was as small as it is (my fault for not checking) but I fell in love with it right away! The cover is just beautiful and I love the zip to keep it clean inside.
The pages are a little delicate, so a little care is needed when turning pages. I can use thin nibbed yellow, orange, pink & purple highlighters with it barely (if at all) showing on the other side. The pages stick together a little, but I think thats where they put the silver edging on them as a whole, and once the pages have been seperated it doesn't really happen.
The writing is smaller than an average sized Bible, but I can read it clearly with my glasses and quite well without. Someone with bad eyesight might not be able to read it clearly, even with glasses, so you need to be aware of this.
The size of this Bible is about 2/3 a normal one, and about 1/2 as thick. It's perfect for medium to large handbags, or rucksack/backpacks, as my daughter uses. It's a joy to read as it's so easy & light to hold and doesn't make your hands & arms ache like a full size Bible, I just love handling it!
At the front of this Bible it has a lovely presentation page, contents, preface and an explanation of the features. At the back it has a table of weights, measures & monetry units and a concordance, indexing words used throughout the Bible. There is also a ribbon for page marking.
As wonderful as this Bible is, I would have liked more ribbons for marking pages, as this Bible can't take too many bookmarks in it without the cover bulging or making it difficult to zip up. I would also have liked more reference pages, particularly a help & guidance section, directing you to verses to help you in different circumstances.
On the whole, this Bible is simply wonderful. It's a gorgeously dainty and feminine Bible, easy to read and handle, great to carry round with you, beautifully and very well made, so should last a lifetime! You just have to make sure it's the right Bible for you or the person you're buying it for, but I would recommend it very highly to anyone.
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