Crossway’s Hebrew Bible Reader’s Edition

When it comes to quality binding and design aesthetics, Crossway has been crushing it for years. Their reader’s Greek New Testament has been my favorite single testament reader’s edition since it was released. Their reader’s Hebrew Bible is now here, and it does not disappoint.

In short, here is why I’m excited about:

  1. It’s comfortable to hold.
  2. It does not use an obscure parsing code.
  3. It’s beautiful and matches their GNT.
  4. It’s Smyth-sewn yet affordable.
Crossway’s Hebrew Bible and Greet New Testament Reader’s Editions
Crossway’s Hebrew Bible and Greet New Testament Reader’s Editions

Comfortable to Hold

If you have any experience using reader’s editions of the Hebrew Bible or diglots, you know how large and unwieldy they can be. That’s not the case with this Hebrew Bible. As soon as I picked it up, it felt great. It lays nicely in the lap and is comfortable to read. There are a couple factors at play.

First, the volume is 6”x9”, just like Crossway’s Tyndale House Reader’s GNT and slightly smaller than the Hendrickson Reader’s Hebrew Bible. 6”x9” is a really nice size.

Second, the font is a nice size, but it is not too big. The text is set in 13.5 SBL Hebrew. It’s very similar to Hendrickson’s typesetting. Here is a picture of Hendrickson’s Reader’s and Crossway’s side-by-side:

Hendrickson’s Reader’s on left, Crossway’s on right
Hendrickson’s Reader’s on left, Crossway’s on right

Third, the pages are thinner than their Tyndale House GNT and Hendrickson’s Reader’s Hebrew Bible. At over 2,000 pages, of course, the pages have to be thinner unless you are going to compromise in some other way (like using a parsing code). There is a little bleed through in light of the page thinness, but I think that is a good compromise.

No parsing code

I tried to love the Hendrickson’s reader’s Hebrew Bible despite it’s parsing code, but I couldn’t. For Hebrew reading, I returned to Zondervan’s two testament reader’s edition. If you don’t know what I mean by “parsing code,” take a look at how Henrickson’s edition describes הִשְׁבַּתִּי in Isaiah 21:2, and compare it with Crossway’s:

Hendrickson Reader’s: H14 שׁבת

Crossway Reader’s: שׁבת vb hiphil pf 1cs

Ever since Crossway released the Tyndale House Reader’s GNT, I have wanted a matching Hebrew volume with a similar page layout. That’s what we have here.

The two column lexical guide is very easy to read.

Matching Design

I love that this volume matches the Tyndale House Reader’s GNT, and it does so in multiple ways. Both have a hardback slipcase edition, both hardbacks are covered in the same material, and the lettering on the front and back covers is similar.

I want the same aesthetic experience whether I’m reading the first or second testament, and Crossway delivers here.

Smyth-sewn and Affordable

Crossway always crushes it when it comes to bonding. Just about every Bible they sell is Smyth-sewn — whether a $10 “gift edition” or a luxury, heirloom multi-hundred dollar volume. This Bible is no different, and you can purchase it straight from Crossway for $63 if you have a Crossway+ account with them.

I bought it from Crossway directly because they always do a great job with packaging and shipping. The box was packaged well to keep the book from sliding around, it was in its slipcase, and it was shrink wrapped.

Regarding the price, when you think about how many hours you will spend with a book like this $63 for a great reading experience is a fantastic price.

I highly recommend Crossway’s Hebrew Old Testament Reader’s Edition. If you are interested in their Greek New Testament companion volume, check out this post.