I don’t even know where to start with the ESV Illuminated Bible. I’m trying to grapple with the right descriptive words: gorgeous, breathtaking, elegant…But yet, these words still seem to be lacking. Thankfully, a camera can do a little more justice to fill in the gaps of words I’m lacking.

So, I’ll take you on a visual tour of the ESV Illuminated Bible to see if it’s the right fit for you.

This is just the protective box cover, but isn’t it gorgeous? Unlike the flimsy paper boxes that come with most Bibles, this Bible cover is made from the same cloth overboard material as the Bible itself so it’s definitely worth keeping to shield this Bible.

This is the cover of the ESV Illuminated Bible itself that echoes the design on the protective box cover with a gorgeous fleur design that was inspired by vintage elements from long ago. The covers come in three colors: navy (like I have in the photos), burgundy, and green.

Even the introductory page is absolutely gorgeous, right? And on the note of gorgeous designs, the person behind these illustrations is none other than Dana Tanamachi, the graphic designer behind the whole chalkboard lettering trend.

Every book of the Bible has a full-page illuminated golden design printed on a cream page with distinct illustrated elements unique to that book of the Bible. For example, the book of Hebrews shows a heavenly throne representing the verse encouraging us to come to God’s throne room of grace with boldness. In the back of the ESV Illuminated Bible, all of the images from the individual books are represented with a brief description as to what symbolism is featured in the image. Pretty cool, right?

Throughout the Bible, 50 full-pages of beautifully illuminated typography are featured with a key verse.

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Beautiful decorative designs like this one are scattered throughout the ESV Illuminated Bible.

Wide margins like this one are featured throughout the ESV Illuminated Bible to give room for your own Bible journaling designs or jotted notes from your quiet time moments.

250 smaller key verses from the Bible reading are also featured in the side margin of the ESV Illuminated Bible.

As some of you know, I reviewed the She Reads Truth Bible over here which is another beautiful Bible. You may want to know the difference between the two, so I’ll spend a little time giving an overview of the difference. The CSB She Reads Truth Bible is its own kind of lovely, but it has more of a casual feel to its design.


The ESV Illuminated Bible has more of a classic elegance and feels more like a regal family Bible that was held in a place of honor in a 19th century home or older. Is one better than the other? No. Really, the main aim for both Bibles seems to be the same: to create a gorgeous Bible that would compel a woman to want to pick her Bible up even more.


The choice between the ESV Illuminated Bible and CSB She Reads Truth Bible mainly boils down to design preference. Do you prefer the cozy, casual beauty of the colorful CSB She Reads Truth Bible or do you prefer the gilded pages and muted cream and gold hues of the ESV Illuminated Bible, reminiscent of bygone eras? Or are you like me and you really are torn between the two design worlds and love both equally? I mean, really, this is like choosing which child is your favorite, people!

In all seriousness, the ESV Illuminated Bible is a gorgeous keepsake Bible that I highly recommend to anyone who loves beauty in their Bible reading.

We generously received this Bible for free from Crossway in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.