Cambridge ESV Clarion Reference Bible, Black Goatskin Leather

(32 customer reviews)

$275.00 $174.99

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SKU: 9780521182911


Click here for exclusive photos. See how this Bible compares to the Quentel Personal Size.

Page size: 5-1/8″ x 7-1/16″ (131 mm x 180 mm)

2,080 pages

Cambridge has created an entirely new setting of the English Standard Version that will be a delight to read and to handle. Cambridge Clarion Reference Editions present the text in a single column and place the cross references in the outer margin. The font size is just under 9 point with generous line spacing. They are typeset in Lexicon No.1, a modern digital font that has a degree of readability associated with much larger type. The Bibles have 15 color maps and a concordance. These are Bibles of the highest quality, printed on India paper and Smyth-sewn for flexibility and endurance. They are offered in a range of superior binding styles: calf split leather, top-grain calfskin, and edge-lined goatskin.


Additional information

Weight3 lbs
Dimensions5.125 × 7.0625 × 2 in

32 reviews for Cambridge ESV Clarion Reference Bible, Black Goatskin Leather

  1. Phillip Howle

    I just just received a very nice ESV Clarion in Goatskin. Initial observations, I was expecting a Pitt Minion like Bible in regards to the leather. The Goatskin is nothing like that at all. It is very limp and floppy, much like the Cambridge Wide Margin, very little rigidity at all. It is suqatier that I imagined, very short and fat, but this is not a problem in reading.
    The font size is surprisingly large. When I used to try and read my Personal Sized Reader from Crossway, I felt my eyes moving back and forth across the page. I did not like this, but with the Clarion the width of the text is just right so I am not having to scan the page back and forth with my eyes.
    The paper is thin, but the dark font with the line matching makes ghosting a non-problem in my opinion while reading. This Bible offers a great deal in a very small package. Honestly, if the Clarion setting could be printed on the size and quality paper of the Legacy, that would be amazing. I find this edition a little more readable than the Legacy, due to the more narrow width of the text, but both are great Bibles and I think complement each other nicely. The Legacy paper first class. I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed with this Bible at all.

  2. Kelley Buffaloe (verified owner)

    I received my ESV Clarion in black goatskin today. I am extremely pleased and surprised. The goatskin is very supple with a nice grain to it. This is a nice, thick but portable Bible. It “feels” right in your hand. I love the size and thickness all around. As many know, I am very “sensitive” to ghosting, but I have no problem at all with it in this one. Cambridge did a fantastic job putting this Bible together, with their line-matching and generous sized font (which these eyes can appreciate). The single column format is great and there is no problem with words “falling” into the gutter. I heard the paper was very thin, but it seems to be only slightly thinner than the Cameo. Pages turn very easily. Overall a great reading Bible, demanding to be read (and taken with you too). I had many hesitations about getting this Bible, but I am very happy with this purchase. If you can get it, go with the Black Goatskin, it is a work of art. I love it and plan to spend a great deal of time reading it. Thanks EvangelicalBible! Another satisfied customer.

  3. Mike Smith

    I am very pleased with this Bible: the print is wonderful, the size is very close to my first Bible RSV in 1963, the ghosting is minimal even in the Psalms. The leather edition is very fine and soft.

  4. Todd Gwennap (verified owner)

    This is the perfect edition of the Bible, in my opinion. The leather binding is beautiful and sturdy, and yet the Bible lays flat in Genesis and Revelation as soon as it comes out of the box. The text setting itself is extremely legible, and the single-column format is easy on the eyes. Unlike some other single-column settings, it reads as easily as a trade paperback. There is no sense of having too many words per line. Add to that the black letter text, and I am one extremely happy camper.

  5. David Doyle (verified owner)

    This is a fantastic Bible. First off, it is very readable. My 58 year old eyes find the font sharp and large enough. The single column feels good too.
    Secondly, The binding is great with leather soft enough to rival any Bible. I really like the size and feel in my hands.
    I’m sure this has become my go to Bible.

  6. alan gibble (verified owner)

    It was this or an Allan PSR Bible. Allan would be the hands down choice in a smaller SCR Bible except the 7.5 font is a definite deal breaker for aging eyes.
    So first the negatives about the Clarion:
    1. The ribbons are cheap, to say the least. Almost wrapping paper quality.
    2. The lack of any real yapp is a downside, but outweighs the negative of Allan\’s smaller font in the type of a Bible.
    3. The art guilded edges are not up to Allan quality, but not shabby either.
    And the positives:
    1. The size is just about right, easy to carry, fits well in the hand and sits well on the lap.
    2. The 9.0 (yeah, that is about what it really is) font in this size Bible is a huge plus, easy to read, plenty of leading, and the paragraph style, while perhaps a downside for public teaching, is great for daily reading. This Bible, as others have noted, really does read bigger than the advertised font size.
    The line matching (except for one or two pages around Revelation 3, take note you fussy complainers) overcomes the thiness of the paper. Note: if the paper were any thicker, the Bible would be 2\” instead of 1.5+\” thick.
    3. The goatskin leather is incredibly soft, lays flat, is leather lined, and feels great.
    4. I\’m not really a fan of the Moody/Beitzel maps in a Bible (eg, Allan\’s ESV SCR), and that is what we have here. But the finish on them is sooo much better, and there are about 5 additional maps (Assyrian, Babylonion, Persian and Greek empires, 1 showing the extension of Christianity to the 2nd century, and one of modern Palestine), that Cambridge has really raised the bar here. That along with an excellent map index.
    No one Bible does it all. That said, for this category, this one nearly does. A great Bible.

  7. Caleb Kelly (verified owner)

    I have to give it to Cambridge, this is a superb \”all-rounder\”. Excellent print. Excellent binding. Not flashy, but people will take notice that this is a practical and aesthetically complete edition. Nearly a category to itself.

  8. Judyth Hakala (verified owner)

    I would like to add my praises to the others here. I’ve been looking for a single-column ESV that was usable for me and this is it. (The Crossway Legacy proved to be too large and heavy and the PSR’s font is just too small for extended reading, at least for my eyes!) This Bible feels great in the hand and is easy to manage, largely due to the very flexible binding. The goatskin is not at all like the goatskin on my Cambridge NLT Pitt Minion, which is quite stiff. Also, the ribbons were nicer than on the Pitt, though not quite Allan quality. The paper IS very thin and has a tendency to curl which is the only downside for me, but, my no means a show stopper. I have quite a number of premium quality Bibles and this seems to be the best balance between size and readability. I am very pleased!

  9. Walter Taylor (verified owner)

    Wonderful edition of the ESV, and it has quickly become my favorite. The print is ample large, the size of the Bible is wieldy, even wonderful for traveling. I am someone who finds bleed-through a real bother with many Bibles, but Cambridge has done a very good job on this (or should I say Jongbloed, the printers in the Netherlands?!). If you do not want to pay the price for the goatskin, the calfsplit leather is very well made as well.

  10. Susann Irwin (verified owner)

    Awesome Bible. Easy to read, feels great in your hand and just the right size for church or Bible study. You can’t go wrong with this Bible.

  11. Mike Johnson

    I thoroughly review the Cambridge Clarion with the Schuyler ESV and a few RL Allans in my video at

  12. Frank Sanchez (verified owner)

    This bible is superb! The leather is supple and thinner than Allan\’s Highland Goatskin, but feels wonderful. The font is easy to read against the bright and smooth pages. The single column layout encourages you to read another page, and another! It feels great in the hand for prolonged reading and lays flat virtually anywhere in the book. There are two things that just need to be known, that might be disappointing in some minds. For the first 300 pages, the balance seems a little off, due to the cover page leather reinforcement. After that point, the balance is superb. Also, the pages tend to curl a little bit here and there. I had an especially difficult time in Isaiah and Jeremiah for some reason, but when you turn the page, it settles itself. To me, there are really minor points and will not keep from buying (Lord willing!) the NKJV and KJV versions! Great job Cambridge!

  13. Heath Cates (verified owner)

    I love it. I just bought another one for my wife.

    My first Cambridge was the ESV Wide-Margin and I love it as well. I had been using a Crossway ESV PSR as my daily reader for several years but it isn’t holding up well (truetone & glued binding) and though I liked the format I had convinced myself I would need to move on from it. The text was a bit small and the ghosting a bit more distracting. The Cambridge Wide-Margin was spoiling me a bit.

    Then I found this one. I looked at all the reviews and photos and decided I would try it. I am so glad I did. The font seems quite a bit larger and it is much easier to read than the Crossway PSR which is also the same text block the compact Allan uses I believe. The line matching may be my favorite part. It is so much less distracting for the ghosting you can see to be lined up with the line you are reading.

    I thought I wouldn’t love the references on the outside because it seemed more distracting in the pictures than the PSR’s references located near the spine. I was wrong. With them on the outside I can go from page to page without even noticing them. I actually tend to not notice them at all until I am looking for them.

    Also, I never realized how much the tiny border on the PSR was catching my eye. I almost can’t go back because that single feature being removed in this format is so refreshing. It seems to free the page up.

    Overall this is easily a 5 star bible!

    So, for any criticism I would give it, as nothing is perfect, I would love to have some blank pages in the back for jotting some things down so I could have them in one place. Also, who doesn’t want more ribbons. One or two more would have been a treat.

  14. Matt Butts (verified owner)

    I have owned several Bibles, including the Allan Reader’s Reference ESV. None of them even come close to the Cambridge Clarion. This is the Bible that I have been waiting for and I can’t imagine another one ever being as good. This is the most readable Bible I’ve ever owned and I cannot say enough good things about it. I even like the goatskin on it better than Allan’s. I can say with complete confidence that I will never buy another Bible unless something happens to this one. The Clarion is the perfect size, has the perfect font and layout, and the perfect binding. I don’t mind the thin paper because it allows for a single column paragraph setting without making the Bible too thick. I am 100% satisfied. This Bible has no equal. In my opinion, it is the best one available anywhere. My advice: Buy one now! You won’t be disappointed!

  15. James Cahours (verified owner)

    I received my Clarion Reference today, and this is the bible I have been looking for. Previously my favorite reader has been my personal reference esv bound in lambskin by Crossway, a beautiful bible, but for my aging eyes the type is a bit small. This bible is the combination I have been searching for! The binding is beautiful, but more importantly, the text is very readable, and I can see the cross-references. If you want to sit and read your Bible, this is the one.

  16. Brian Lau (verified owner)

    I’ve spent some time looking around and doing my research on the many different options available now for those pursuing a quality bible that will last and be a beautiful life long companion, and ran across the Cambridge Clarion. The reviews I read can not come close to the quality and ease of reading this bible offers. When I first read about it I thought it “could potentially” meet all of my criterion I searched for, but after having it my hands I’ve discovered it does more than”potentially” meet my criterion and surpasses them by far. It’s a great looking bible and easy to read. I would recommend this bible to anyone looking for a good quality bible.

  17. Michael Kear

    I own two Clarions: the ESV in Goatskin and the NASB in Calf-split. The goatskin is one of the nicest Bibles you’ll ever hold in your hands. Soft, thick, and leather-lined. The Calf-split is made to use! The leather is sturdy but flexible. The print in both is fantastic and the size is nearly perfect. My only complaint (and it is a minor one) is that the paper is a bit too thin and curls inward at certain places. I would have preferred a heavier paper and would have gladly accepted an extra 1/4″ in thickness as a trade off. Nevertheless, these are fantastic Bibles, extremely well made. Highly recommended!

  18. Cristian Prunean

    I am comparing the Clarion to my 1-year-old Allan ESV1 in black highland goatskin. I bought the Clarion to be my portable Bible, as the Allan is a bit too large.

    The Clarion is an excellent product overall. The quality of the leather is comparable to my Allan. However, the semi-yapp and a little more attention to art detail inside the cover give the Allan a slight edge here.

    Both Bibles feel very soft and liquid. The Clarion’s smaller size and ease to palm it make it easier to be a portable Bible.

    The text layout in the Clarion is awesome. The Word of God has room to breathe in the single column setting.

    The print in the Allan seems a little sharper even though the font is slightly smaller (9.5 vs 10) but the Clarion is very readable.

    Here is a con to the Clarion: paper is much thinner compared to the Allan. Hence, the pages can wrinkle easily and curl like the other reviewers said. They had to make the paper thin because this Bible has over 2000 pages compared to about 1300 in the Allan. I would have preferred thicker paper and have them leave out the concordance and maps.

    Despite the thin and smooth paper, the shadowing is not too bad (although worse than Allan). They did a great job with line matching (better than the Allan) which compensates for increased shadow.

    Despite the thin paper I still give it 5 stars because of its size/portability, it softness, and great single column design. It reads well, and feels great in your hand.

  19. jeff rauf (verified owner)

    This is certainly a very nice bible to look at and I’m glad the ‘short and stout’ look is coming back. A couple of things I would warn a potential buyer about: 1) The gutter margin is too tight and difficult to read. I find myself having to pull on the book to read the center area. 2) The paper curls more than it should. Even if this is a result of the weight or the printing process, the manufacturer should have taken a different route and eliminated the problem. This book just doesn’t ‘handle’ well for everyday reading. Better think twice before buying.

  20. Paul Morris (verified owner)

    This Bible is perfect. It is the same size as Pitt Minion, but twice as thick and a bigger font. The font is very readable and easy on the eyes and there is little distraction since the footnotes are on the outide of the page. This keeps you centered in the text. The leather is gorgeous, supple, and very high quality. I had an ALLAN personal reference, but the font was so small that I ended up selling it. The other Allan’s are too big for my preference and the Clarion can get toted anywhere I go. I love it!

  21. Paul Tanca

    This is a well executed bible by Cambridge. The small size, line matching, and great readability makes this a true success. I would have liked for Cambridge to use better ribbons as well as leather line the inside cover. That would have earned this bible 5 stars in my opinion. To see my detailed video review, see the link below.

  22. Jeffrey Mellema (verified owner)

    This is one of the nicest, most readable ESV Bibles on the market. I won’t dance around things: this is one of the finest text blocks known to man. Ever since I first beheld the Clarion, I have hailed it as one of the best all-around Bibles available. There is no other single column reference Bible that can match it. To find out why, visit my detailed photo-review here:

  23. Bob Snyder

    What qualities do you look for in a Bible? Clear print, font size, paper opacity, sewn binding, quality cover, solid translation, lifetime warranty that you probably won’t have to use? Well the Cambridge Clarion, ESV Bible in black edge-lined goatskin leather has it all. I know you are probably getting tired of me giving these Cambridge Bibles such good reviews, but if they weren’t simply better than the others I wouldn’t. I think the other publishers might even wish I would stop reviewing Cambridge Bibles. Their publications don’t look as good compared to the Cambridge Bibles. Now, I know there are plenty of good Bibles out there, but when contrasted with the outstanding ones they fall short in some areas. With Bibles I’ve noticed that you get what you pay for in general.

    The ESV is a solid translation from Crossway. It is not a dynamic equivalent or thought for thought translation. It is more of a formal equivalent or word for word translation. Hebrew and Greek don’t have the same sentence structure and grammar as English. In translating the words are translated directly into English, but are arranged as English sentences so that we can understand them. In a dynamic equivalent the sentence or paragraph is read and studied by the team and they basically paraphrase it in English to convey the meaning in the most accurate way they can. The NIV is a dynamic equivalent. Dynamic equivalents may be easier to read, but in my opinion are by nature less precise. That is why I prefer formal equivalent translations like the ESV or NASB.

    Besides being an ESV this Bible is like Goldilocks and the baby bear’s stuff. It is just right. It isn’t too big, or too small. The paper isn’t too thick or too thin. The print isn’t too big or too small. The cover isn’t too soft or too rigid. It gets just about everything right. The Clarion arrived in an easy to open cardboard box along with an REB that I will review later. Both Bibles arrived undamaged and in good condition. The Clarion was in a one piece clam-shell box. The box should be retained for storage, should you ever decide to put this Bible down for a bit to read another… I doubt that will happen. The first thing you’ll notice is the smell of the leather. The next thing you’ll notice is the supple, perimeter stitched, edge lined, black goatskin leather cover. If you have never owned a Bible with a cover like this, you don’t know what you are missing. For durability, functionality, and comfort, you can’t beat it. The cover works in concert with the sewn binding and quality paper to allow this Bible to open well and lay flat on a table or desk. It also lays flat while held in one hand. This makes it a joy to read. I love that you forget you are holding something. You aren’t constantly fighting the cover, the paper, or the binding. The Spine of the Clarion has, “Holy Bible” at the top. Under that is, “English Standard Version”. On the bottom of the spine is, “Cambridge.” They are all hot-stamped in gold. There are five small decorative hubs as well. The grain of the goatskin cover is more pebbled than a top grain cowhide. It is softer than the shiny genuine leather covers that are made from pigskin. The perimeter stitching is uniform and well done. The corners are stitched as well so you won’t see the typical corner treatment.

    When you open the Bible, you’ll see the end papers are glued to cover and text block so that they will be more durable. There is a simple presentation page that is made of heavier card paper. It has several blank lines on it. Then there is a Title Page. After that is the copyright page with the font size and type. It list the font as 8.75/10.5 pt. Lexicon No. 1 A (Enschede ff) We also can see from this page that this Bible is printed by Jongbloed in the Netherlands. For those of you in the know, that is a big plus. They have been doing great work for many years. One truly great feature of this Bible is the line matching utilized by Jongbloed. The lines of text are printed exactly opposite of the lines on the other side of the page so that the text isn’t distractingly visible through the paper. The paper is a little off white and the black text contrasts against it nicely. It is printed clearly and uniformly throughout. The text is laid out in a single column paragraph format with the cross-references on the outside edge of the page in the margin. This layout is conducive to long sessions of uninterrupted reading. The paper is smooth. The page edges are art gilded with red under gold. I think this is a pleasing aesthetic. When the Bible is open the red shows through and while it is closed the gold is prominent.

    There are two red ribbon markers for keeping your place. Most other Bibles only give you one ribbon. It is nice to have to so you can mark your reading in the Old and New Testaments. There is a useful concordance in the end with a map index and 15 color maps printed on a heavier card paper. I like this approach better than the glossy maps as the high clay content in their paper makes them crack easier.

    With all of the features like, quality construction, quality materials, attention in design, you can tell why I love the Clarion Bibles from Cambridge. If you are in the market for a premium Bible, look no further.

  24. Tony (verified owner)

    I’ve had my Goatskin Clarion ESV for approximately a year now. As someone new to the premium Bible market I am completely wow’d by the “liquidity” of this Bible in the hand. If you’ve never held one you really owe it to yourself to learn what a premium, well executed binding with high quality cover feels like. Be warned though, it will spoil you completely. It is a sultry piece of craftsmanship for sure. I bought my wife an RL Allan ESV Personal Size Study Bible and the Clarion feels far more floppy / liquid in the hand which is likely due to the synthetic liner and the book proportion differences combined.

    Here are the things I like about this Bible: It is a very portable size; just as much as a thinline and is actually more comfortable in the hand than a goatskin thinline such as the Heirloom in my opinion. The font size and spacing are the best I have personally seen with my eyes, which are now over 40 eyes. The more I compare other Bibles, the more I study about Bible layout compromises and challenges, the more I really appreciate what Cambridge did with the Clarion. This page layout is exactly like so many trade paperback books in size and reading experience. I initially wondered about references in the outer margin but what I’ve learned is that it allows them to be far more legible than they are in the gutter. The references are far easier to read than they are in something like an ESV Study Bible. I have found the reference system to be very useful and adequate for study. This being the first Cambridge Bible I’ve owned, I’m new to their map index and maps. I very much appreciate the map index as it allows me to quickly locate a city coded to their maps. There are, I think, 13 maps in this Bible. That’s quite a lot for a package this size.

    The parts I don’t like about the Clarion: The paper is very thin and the issues I read about with page curling are very real. I find the pages curl in specific areas of the text block. Mine curls badly in 1 Corinthians. This sometimes causes a simple movement of arm to cause a page turn which can be frustrating. The paper is a tad on the transparent side for my liking. The line matching does help with this, as well as a quick “fluffing” of the page you are reading to lift it slightly from the page below. But, even a modest increase in opacity would go FAR with this Bible. Compared to some, I do not however feel that this paper is weak. It’s actually quite strong in practice and feels that way in my opinion.

    The text can read into the gutter on this Bible depending on how you use it. I predominately use it while reading in the mornings and evenings, sitting on the couch or in bed. When held in the hand, the flexible binding allows a simple adjustment of the hands to position the left or right page in a manner that keeps the text out of the gutter. However, I tried teaching one message on Revelation with the Clarion and found this to be a noticeable challenge when the Bible is laying on a pulpit / lectern / table. The text block is much thicker than a thinline and all that paper causes books near ends of the Bible to read into the gutter if not held in the hand. One thing to keep in mind in that same context is a sweeping motion of the arm potentially causing the page to turn on you. The thinness of the paper I also find a bit challenging to deal with if you are going to be flipping from passage to passage. Though I’ve only used it once for teaching, I do wonder about the ease of locating verse numbers in this Bible. Single column isn’t the best format for that and this Bible is designed with a bent toward being a “Reader’s Bible” which means the verse numbers are not accented in any way to make them easier to identify. There have been a couple of times when I’ve had a verse number “2” a few words away from a superscript “2” and have had to stop with Deja-Vu to figure out what just happened, and where does verse 2 really begin. The superscript is similar to the verse number font and size.

    Though I praised the floppiness / liquidity of this Bible, I’ve found it somewhat difficult to transport. I tried placing it in my leather satchel and due to the liquidity of the binding it was nearly folded in half when I arrived at church and looked inside to get the Clarion. That’s something to think about. Though I praised the proportions of the pages and the comfort of holding the Clarion being better than a goatskin thinline, there’s also something a tad odd about the proportions of the Clarion. It’s squatty and fat, and that’s not wrong. But, there is just something “right” to me about the proportions of the thinline. I find that I can elevate the Clarion without it sliding out of my hands better than the Heirloom Thinline which wants to slide at the slightest incline.

    So, a summation: The binding, goatskin, liquidity, quality of printing and craftsmanship, art gilding, font size and leading (line spacing), overall package of references, text format and maps is quite frankly a powerhouse of value. Things to take into consideration: thin paper that will curl from time to time, print that will read into the gutter on books near either end if placed on a pulpit, verse numbers may be a little challenging to identify in a teaching / preaching setting, if you are accustomed to older Bibles the ghosting in this Bible will almost certainly bother you. My original Bible was a glue bound, bonded leather KJV Study Bible that I still have. It’s not much, if any thicker than the Clarion and the paper is FAR better as well as the bold print. That KJV was purchased back around 1994-1996 and I’m not sure if the Bible paper industry has changed since then but it would appear so.

    Now, with all of those pluses and minuses, it’s hard for me to not recommend that you buy one of these Bibles. I’ve come to the realization that there are simply a host of things that go into Bible design and there are ALWAYS compromises that MUST be made. This is one of the finest Bibles on the market, period. You simply have to live with some kind of trade offs. The paper opacity issue is mostly overcome by simply fluffing a page before reading it in this Bible. It is a joy to read in Church or at Home. It is easy to travel with due to it’s size and is probably one of the best all around Bibles one can find anywhere in ESV. It would be interesting to see what the product would be for Cambridge to put this text layout onto more opaque paper and add 1.5″ margins all around as a Wide Margin Bible and make the verse numbers more bold.

    Regarding Evangelical Bible, they are great folks to deal with and I can heartily recommend giving them your business!

  25. joetucker04 (verified owner)

    In short – I had hoped this Bible would be one I would use heavily for many years. It is well made, and seemingly well designed with the exception of one glaring flaw that makes it utterly unusable.

    This Clarion was my second Cambridge purchase (I also own the Wide Margin ESV, which I would give six stars, if possible). I was initially very impressed with the Clarion and found it to be extremely well made and a joy to read. The gutter issue was noticeable, but not a deal-breaker – I knew that it would be a factor at the outset.

    The same can not be said for the page curling – it is intolerable. For a $160 Bible, I am frankly shocked by how glaring of an issue it is and how nothing seems to have been done to correct it. For example – I’m working on memorizing Ephesians and early this afternoon had the Clarion opened to Chapter 1, sitting on my desk completely untouched. As I’m reciting – I literally watched one of the pages curl over on itself to the point of not being able to see the references on the side. It’s hard articulate how frustrating this is.

  26. Joshua (verified owner)

    I just want to second what others have reported about the pages curling. I read the reviews and knew the risk but went for it anyway, underestimating just how noticeable the problem is.

    In every other way this Bible is absolutely perfect for me. The leather, the font size and layout, the overall size — it’s all just what I’d want from a fairly compact (albeit thick) Bible. I especially love that it has a good size font for being such a small Bible.

    But when you’re trying to read and the pages keep lifting up right before your eyes, you can smooth them back down only so many times before you start second-guessing the price tag.

  27. pleonic (verified owner)

    I’ve owned my black goatskin Clarion ESV for about a month and have come to the conclusion that it is the perfect Bible (for me at least). My requirements were that I wanted a.) an ESV b.) a single column edition so there is ample room for poetry c.) references, and d.) it had to be of the highest quality so it can last me decades.

    This Bible has all I wanted, and much more. The Clarion is the perfect size and thickness to fit in the palm of my hand — and I’ve got stubby fingers! When I teach from it, it’s as though it’s an extension of my arm. But despite it’s size, the print in this Bible is so easy to read. I’m 58 and have no problem seeing the words.

    The paper is thinner India paper, which ever since my mother gave me a brown Cambridge calfskin KJV when I went off to seminary has meant a quality Bible to me. So, that the paper isn’t thicker in the Clarion isn’t a bother to me. I don’t do much marking so I couldn’t tell you whether it bleeds through the paper.

    And then there’s that black goatskin. It’s so soft and supple that it does whatever you want it to do with no resistance or stiffness whatsoever. I’ll tell you a secret: sometimes after I’ve finished my morning scripture study I’ll just sit there holding it, just for the tactile pleasure of doing so.

    This is a magnificent, magnificent Bible!

  28. Roy Blevins

    The paper was just too thin. In a lot of ways this could have become my carry bible if the paper wasn’t so thin. Beyond that I love the single column paragraph format with references. I ended up giving my copy away.

  29. Jeff Brown (verified owner)

    The third Clarion is the charm. This was my third try with the Cambridge Clarion and I can say I am very satisfied. The first two Clairions I ordered in 2012 and 2014 were unacceptable due to excessive page curl. I had given up on the Clarion. Then I recently read a review online indicating the ESV 2016 Clarions did not have the page curl issues the ESV 2011 had.
    I called evangelicalbible to discuss this issue and I was told they had not had any Clarions returned for page curl issues for sometime.
    I went ahead and ordered a Clarion in goatskin and I am very pleased with my purchase. The Clarion is the perfect size for carrying and the real surprise is the text. The text is very readable, it almost leaps off the page! I think the combination of font size, line matching and line spacing make the difference. This combination makes for one of the most readable Bibles I have seen.
    The fact that the text is printed and bound by Youngblood in the Netherlands is just icing on the cake. This about as lose to perfection as you ca get. I highly recommend the Cambridge Clarion.

  30. antcaputi978 (verified owner)

    Excellent bible, fast 2 day shipping as always, this is a great travel bible. The Goatskin is great, the print on this bible is very legible, the gilding is very nice, check out more of my reviews at

  31. Tom Cunliffe

    I have had my Clarion Goatskin ESV for nearly a year now and can report that it remains a Bible I love and cherish and use daily. To have the sacred scriptures in such a beautiful presentation as this is a joy and delight. I like the nice “chunky” feel to the Bible. The single column works well for me and definitely aids readability. As for the cover, yes, it is floppy, but surely that is the point of buying a Bible like this?

    The paper is thin but for someone like me who is careful with books and treats them well, this is no problem. If you buy a Bible at this price, you are going to look after it anyway. The print size and font seem to be “just right” and should I need a bigger Bible I can always refer to my Schuyler ESV Quentel – which I actually find slightly too big for general purpose reading.

    I am a recent convert to heritage Bibles and now I have both the Clarion and the Schuyler I find my love for the Word of God has increased even more. Its as though the commitment I exhibited in buying them has resulted in a greater attention to the words on the printed page. When you think of all the other things people spend their money on, a fine Bible which will last you years and years seems a wise purchase if you have the money.

  32. Martin Scoville

    This bible is my “the one” bible. I have been using this bible as my main bible for 3 years. The size of the bible is great for reading with a comfortable sized font and lovely printing. It is a great size in your hand and is small enough to take with you anywhere. It’s not a full sized bible, though it is stout and hardy.

    The single column layout inside is so well done that I believe in a pure design sense it is the most beautiful and readable bible I have ever seen. Very classy, with no frills. I like Schuyler, red numbers, but I believe this Bible still surpasses it for sheer aesthetics. There is even enough room in the margins for some delicate not taking (which I do with a design ebony pencil, 4B). The references are spaced well on the outside of the page and roughly match the location of the corresponding verse where possible.

    This bible has a very nice concordance as well which is lacking in the Schuyler PSQ.

    The Art gilting is a nice shade of salmon under gold.

    The goatskin is soft and pliable and maybe too much so, but very durable.

    All that being said, here are the cons of this bible, which I’m hoping Cambridge can address in the coming years in an upgrade.

    The liner inside is plastic, this really bothers me in terms of longevity, when paying so much for a bible I want time tested materials. I have seen the plastic fail in one fellow Clarion owner’s bible. This bible needs a leather liner.

    It would also be nice in this market to have a couple choices in color, but that is a minor concern.

    Overall, a beautiful bible which I truly enjoy using.

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