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Top Grain Leather Single Column Legacy Bible Now Shipping

We’re thrilled to announce that the ESV Single Column Legacy Bible, Top Grain Leather Edition has arrived in our warehouses and will be shipping soon. The Single Column Legacy Bible was originally published in January 2012, but the Top Grain Leather Edition had some manufacturing defects. A number of you have been patiently waiting for it’s arrival. It’s immediately available for sale on our website, and we’re prioritizing our shipments to other distributors. For more information on the Single Column Legacy Bible, see our original blog post.

April 25, 2012 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Andrew Tebbe @ 11:46 am | (19) Comments »


  1. Really excited about this – just ordered my copy and had it 2-day shipped so I’ll have it on Friday. Can’t wait to use it. :)

    Comment by Bill Streger — April 25, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

  2. Bill, glad to hear! Hope you enjoy it!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — April 25, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

  3. If I order it from another reseller (like Amazon) will I be receiving one of the defective ones?

    Comment by Jon Dansby — April 29, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

  4. Jon, the only stock Amazon should have are the new and improved Bibles. Make sure you buy from them direct, and not from one of the resellers hosted on their site. There were a handful of defective copies floating around that were being resold through a third party via Amazon. Hope that helps!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — April 30, 2012 @ 8:12 am

  5. Will a black top grain be available soon?

    Comment by Tom Agnew — May 1, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

  6. Tom, right now I don’t believe we have current plans to produce a Single Column Legacy Bible in black top grain. That might be something we consider in the future, however, so keep an eye out for one!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — May 2, 2012 @ 8:46 am

  7. Trust me. SKIP the premium leather, buy the TruTone, and get it wrapped by a rebinder. It’ll cost about the same all-in, and the leather will be much better than this. I own this Bible…it’s nice, but the leather is more like cowhide than calfskin–stiff with no character.

    Comment by Mike Allen — May 2, 2012 @ 9:42 am

  8. Good suggestion Mike, and probably a great solution for a number of folks. Do you have any recommendations as to good rebinderies? I will say it partially depends on what you’re looking for in a premium leather edition. The top grain is definitely lower quality than our calfskin leather, and therefore less supple. However, I recently had a conversation with a pastor who complained that our calfskin covers were too supple – he couldn’t hold his notes inside the cover while preaching. So it’s conceivable that some people would prefer a leather cover with less give. But Mike’s point is well taken.

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — May 2, 2012 @ 9:57 am

  9. I may have miscommunicated. I have a calf skin and I love it. I like my bibles to be able to fall open and not be stiff. I guess I used the wrong word for the calf skin, but I like center column bibles first and am happy that Crossway has put this out. So black calf skin is not coming out soon? I am not sure where to start for the rebinding process. I would be interested if you had advise on where to start.

    Comment by Tom Agnew — May 2, 2012 @ 10:37 am

  10. Tom, in that case I would recommend following Mike’s advice with pursuing a rebinding project. Mike might have specific suggestions of quality rebinderies, but I do know Bible Design Blog has some good reviews as well: http://www.bibledesignblog.com/ My understanding is it’s really important to do your research when it comes to rebinding Bibles as not all rebinderies are equal! Bertrand also has some important words on setting proper expectations at Bible Design Blog. Good luck!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — May 2, 2012 @ 11:02 am

  11. Andrew is right. Bible Design Blog is a great place to start for advice on Bible editions and rebind projects. Ace Bookbinding, Leonard’s, Mechling, ABBA are all good book binders that get regular recommendations by members of that site.

    Two questions for Andrew:

    (1) Is the ESV Legacy line-matching going to become standard layout for new Crossway Bibles?

    (2) Are there any plans to stop future ESV text updates? You have a great translation, but you begin to lose your brand when you keep updating your text every 4 years. Churches and outreach ministries can’t afford to keep buying updated pew Bibles and material every 4 years because the editing board didn’t look hard enough at the translation the last time. Plus, if you’re asking for top dollar for your premium Bibles, it’s a slap in the face to the consumer to keep “updating” the text and then putting out the revised edition of an older translation a few years later. That stinks, quite honestly. Not picking on you, personally Andrew! Just please convey my dissatisfaction with the Crossway ESV editing board.

    Comment by Mike Allen — May 2, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

  12. Mike, thanks for your very helpful advice on rebinderies! In answer to your questions:

    1. My impression is that for new editions moving forward we will implement the line-matching process. I can’t guarantee this as I don’t think we have a new policy or anything, but I do know for a fact that new editions coming out this summer will have line-matching, and I’ve been answered positively every time I ask about it for a future edition. At this time I don’t think we have plans to implement line-matching in our existing typesettings (i.e. Thinline, New Classic Reference, etc.), but that’s not to say we wouldn’t consider it for the future.

    2. With regard to your question/comments about ESV text updates: I can’t speak to future plans, but I do have a few observations: Text updates are considered fairly standard practice with every major Bible translation. Looking at the copyright pages of the NIV, the NASB, and the NLT is revealing: The NIV has 4 copyrights listed, the NASB has 10 (!), and the NLT has 6 or so. Not all of these represent full text updates, but a number of them do. By contrast, the text updates in the ESV have been so slight that we’ve maintained one copyright date: 2001. We’ve chosen to reconvene the translation team every 5 years or so because scholarship gets better and better, and we know that the translation process is not infallible – we’re humans and make mistakes. Again, my understanding is this is considered responsible and typical with other major Bible translations. I’ll also say that the 2011 text update represent an extremely small percentage in changed terms and punctuation. The reality is the vast majority of the text stays the same. Many in leadership at Crossway are using the same Bibles they acquired in 2001 when the ESV was first published. I understand it can be confusing and dissatisfying, Mike, but I would stress that at no level are the text updates motivated by complacency on the part of the translation team, nor are they motivated by any sort of a sales perspective. I’m certainly not an expert in any of this, and I’m not sure this perspective will be very assuring, but I hope it helps on some level!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — May 2, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

  13. With regard to my question #1–great to hear!

    With regard to my question #2—better scholarship shouldn’t substantially change the text and I think the 2011 updates could have buried any proposed changes in footnotes and not in the text itself. Here are the complete 2007 to 2011 text changes:


    For example, there were simple word/phrase substitutions without real change in meaning: “rivalry” (2007) became “selfish ambition” (2011), “slaves” became “bondservants”, “Here am I” became “Here I am”, “grew up” to “grew older”, “servant” to “worker”, “man” became “person”, “uproot them” became “pluck them out”, etc.

    These changes weren’t material, and those that were could have been noted in the reference column or footnoted. Even downsizing “Kidron Valley” to “brook Kidron” is hardly a scholastic triumph worth altering the text, IMHO.

    Then there were just the bad editorial oversights like Dt.11:23, “dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves” instead of “mightier than you”.

    The former changes were basically alternative readings of the text and Crossway could have merely footnoted them and preserved the 2007 translation. The latter changes were just bad editorial mistakes that shouldn’t have passed the oversight board in the first place.

    And while it’s true that the 2011 text remained the largely the same as its predecessor, the identical argument will be made the very next time the ESV update occurs.

    Still, I appreciate the courteous and prompt response, Andrew!

    Soli Deo gloria.

    Comment by Mike Allen — May 2, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

  14. I am seeing reports pop up on the internet of more problems with the top grain legacy covers. And I am speaking of this batch, not the first run. Are these incidents isolated or widespread?

    Comment by BigMike — May 4, 2012 @ 12:13 am

  15. Mike, I haven’t heard of any such problems – the editions we have in our office seem fine. Would you mind emailing links to any of those reports to marketing@crossway.org?

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — May 4, 2012 @ 8:01 am

  16. It is on the way Andrew.

    Comment by BigMike — May 4, 2012 @ 8:28 am

  17. I am looking forward to acquiring a copy. Andrew,your positive feedback is commendable.
    Thank you.

    Comment by Russ — September 28, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

  18. I have had my NKJV from college days recovered twice. I’ve been holding onto it because of all of my markings and notes, but I’m ready to switch versions, rather than redo it again. So I began looking around for a new version. I don’t like the versions tied to textus receptus and while I love some of the newer dynamic translations, I find that sometimes they are too interpretive. Besides, I just prefer a more literal translation closer to word-for-word. I looked at the ESV more closely and I am quite impressed! Thank you! I have decided that it will be my new primary study and preaching Bible. However, I was so disappointed when I couldn’t find the Single Column Legacy Bible in black premium leather. It would seem to be a natural choice as a popular request. I am eager to purchase this Bible, but since I intend to use it for many years to come and mark it up with my preaching notes, I am inclined to wait a while longer in the hope that it will soon be offered in black calfskin or goatskin. Please pass along this request for me (and Tom above). I’m sure there are many others who would love it as well. I’ll be watching for it. :)

    Comment by Nathan — February 1, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

  19. Nathan, thanks for your kind words and for your suggestion. I’ll pass it on to our Bible production department. Thanks!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — February 8, 2013 @ 11:43 am

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