ESV Omega Thinline Reference Bible Review

European Bible paper. Premium goatskin leather. Art gilding. To be perfectly frank, these are phrases I’m unaccustomed to using. I’ve never owned a truly high end Bible. I’m not a connoisseur of rare or exotic Bibles. I kind of wish that were the case, but Bibles have largely been more about the words inside rather than the leather or gilding. The Bible has been a precious resource for me to excavate, not so much an object appreciated for its physical aesthetics. I never stopped to consider the cover material or yapp. But I do appreciate beauty in everyday objects. I like good design and attention to detail. I enjoy classic wristwatches, the industrial design of Apple products, and the curves of a fine automobile. It’s easy to tell when an object has been made to endure. Likewise, planned obsolescence is also obvious. The ESV Omega Thinline Reference Bible should be considered an object meant to endure.

Let’s start with the goatskin leather. It’s gorgeous. If you’ve never held a quality leather Bible in your hand, prepare to fall in love. Instinctually, the first thing I did right out of the box was to smell the leather. Just keepin’ it classy. It smells great, by the way. The goatskin is soft in the hand. When the Bible is open and being read handheld, the feel could almost be described as cushioned.

The red under gold art gilding adds an elegant touch to the pages when closed or open. The effect is subtle, and fades into obscurity while reading.

Speaking of reading, let’s talk about the font and paper. One of the reasons the Omega Thinline was so appealing to me was the font. I still read with youthful eyes, even so, I’ve always preferred larger fonts. The Omega Thinline sports a 10-point font. That’s a sweet spot for me. It’s plenty big, and stylistically pleasant on the eyes. The “high quality European Bible paper” feels, well, high quality. It’s adequately opaque with very little ghosting or bleed through (for a thinline). The line matching helps a great deal.

The Omega is adorned with four ribbons. My personal opinion on ribbons is give me all the ribbons. It always felt unnatural using random scraps of paper or pens to mark a passage, and with four ribbons I feel fancy.

The overall size and weight of this Bible is quite nice. It’s 6.125 x 9.125 inches, approximately 1 inch tall (maybe a hair more), and it weighs in at 38.5 ounces. It’s thin and light enough to be carried easily, and the overall length and width is about equal to that of my 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

In conclusion, the Omega Thinline Reference Bible is a handsome Bible crafted with quality materials, a sewn binding, and topped off with elegant and highly readable font. I’m expecting a lifetime of use from this ESV.


Stay in the Word

I love books. I like reading them, collecting them, and sitting in my home library with some Old Toby and gazing upon them with satisfaction. I treasure many of the books in my collection, especially the ones I went through seminary with. Those books are like theology professors who follow me through life. They aid, comfort, challenge, and exhort. They often help me stay on the straight and narrow of orthodoxy. These books are my teachers and intellectual companions. Some have notes scribbled throughout, others bear the coffee stain battle scars of late night study sessions.

As much as I love my books, I have to sometimes remind myself they are complementary material. They’re not the main Book, not even close to it. The Book I’m talking about is the Bible. As good as Calvin, Luther, Sproul and Keller are, they can’t even touch the Bible.

I should probably mention, the inspiration for this little post came from an exchange I saw on Twitter a few minutes ago:

Dr. Sproul knows where true value lives: the Word. It’s “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit” (Heb. 4:12). Our faith grows from hearing it (Rom. 10:17). The Word is a “lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). Along those same lines, Paul wrote “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). And I could go on for paragraph after paragraph, pointing to passages proclaiming the power of the Word, but I think you get the idea. The collective wisdom and knowledge contained within my library pales in comparison to the eternal riches found in the Word. Spurgeon encapsulated what I’m trying to say quite well, “Visit many good books, but live in the Bible.” All of my books, and all of yours are of great value. Don’t give them up. Visit them often, but take up residence in the Bible.

By all means, read and enjoy Institutes of the Christian Religion, but read more the Word written by the One who instituted the Christian religion. Cicero once said, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” I say a soul without the Word is like a room without books.

Coolvinism: The Blog

Welcome, gentle reader, to my home away from Twitter. If my tweets are shots of espresso, then my blog is a big pot of freshly brewed fair trade coffee. This, my friends, is long-form Coolvinism.

I enjoy humor, and I think God enjoys humor. I know Martin Luther enjoyed humor, he once said, “If you’re not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don’t want to go there.” I concur, Dr. Luther. Of course, there are different schools of thought on the matter. Saint Ephrem the Syrian (306-373) said that “laughter is the beginning of the destruction of the soul.” I bet he was the life of the potluck…

I started tweeting as Coolvinism because I found many humorous things in and about the church, and I found younger church going adults of the hipster persuasion especially humorous. And, to be honest, I feel quite comfortable poking fun at them because I count myself among their ranks.

So, why the blog? There aren’t 140 character limits here, thank goodness, and that means more meat (sorry, vegans). This is my place to share humorous thoughts without limitations. I’ve also given myself extra freedom to explore thoughts on theology, the church, and culture. I aim to maintain the flavor of Coolvinism throughout my musings and meanderings. I’ll still be snobby about my coffee, Bible translations, and theologians, and I’ll no doubt reference obscure theological works you’ve probably never even heard of, and of course I’ll make time to poke a little fun at youth pastors. Together, we’ll celebrate bacon, moleskin journals, and the refined comfort of a well made cardigan.

I want to share thoughts and laughs with you, and that’s what this place is for. We can talk about books, beards, and coffee too. I have much to say concerning those subjects, and I invite you to come along for the ride. So grab your thick-rimmed glasses, brew a cup of your best beans, and let’s do some exegesis together.