A Reader’s Version

ESV-Readers-VersionESV Bible, Reader’s Version (Kindle), from Crossway.

Once one acquires some familiarity with reading the Bible, it is easy to be deluded into thinking that the numbering of chapters and verses is inconsequential. We simply read and pay no attention to those little numbers scattered over the page. For ease of reference, being able to use chapter and verse numbers is undeniably convenient.

For perusing longer portions of the Bible, however, it can be greatly advantageous to have a version without the numbering system imposed on the page. After all, those numbers are certainly not part of the original text. One only has to read a Reader’s Version to appreciate the difference.

The artificial imposition of those numbers can cause one to miss the flow to the text, both in a literary manner and in a logical sense. It has become my habit when studying a book of the Bible to read it in a Reader’s Version first. This is immensely helpful in making sense of the book, finding its central purpose, following the arguments, or even appreciating the book’s literary beauty. Other people I have encouraged to read like this have similar experiences. A Reader’s Version makes larger portions easier to read, and even read more quickly.

The Introduction (A User’s Guide to the ESV Reader’s Bible) provides interesting and informative material to the superb ESV translation, and the Reader’s Version itself.

The one quibble I have is that the chapter divisions have been retained as though they were part of the text. Some readers may find this trivial, but I would have preferred the elimination of all numbering, both chapter and verse.

Regardless, this is a functional and greatly appreciated Bible that I will make much use of over time. With the ESV Bible, Reader’s Version, Crossway has provided a beneficial tool for Bible reading and comprehension.