***Update 09/12/14*** I heard back from the publisher and they confirmed that this particular print of this Bible was not a sewn binding however the ones made after it in the same year do have a sewn binding.
*** Update 08/21/13*** Ok, I have to add some info here. You can still read my original review below, but as I’ve been using this Bible I have been able to see some things I originally missed. The first thing is that the paper is much better than I expressed in my original post below. It is pretty smooth in texture and the ink is sharply printed on it offering good contrast and limited ghosting. The second thing is that the cover is much softer leather than perhaps I explained. If it wasn’t on card paper and lined inside with vinyl it would be floppy. It is also pretty thick leather. I doubt it will be easily hurt. Last, I’d like to note that Holman as of yet has not responded to my questions about the binding. I can observe that the maps in the back and the presentation pages in the front are sewn into the Bible, but that doesn’t mean the Bible itself has a sewn binding. I still can’t see any dimples on the inside that would indicate stitching and the binding doesn’t bend like a sewn binding. I’m going to wait a bit longer before I damage the Bible to find out if it is in fact sewn. I really hope it is sewn. Even if it isn’t, this is a great Bible. I love the size and weight. It is a good all around thinline reference Bible. If it turns out to be a sewn binding, I would compare it to the $35 Lockman Foundation NASB.
The Holman Ultrathin NKJV Reference Bible almost got it perfect. My only gripe is that it is a glued binding. The advertisement on Christianbook.com says it is a sewn binding http://www.christianbook.com/nkjv-ultrathin-reference-brown-genuine-cowhide/9781433615030/pd/615030?event=ESRCG and reviews on other sites have also said it is a sewn binding, but I don’t believe it is. I took a close look at it and it looks and lays like a glued binding. Here is what a sewn binding looks like when it is opened up
Notice how it bends where it is opened. The pages don’t have to bend from a central glued point in a sewn binding. This is what the Holman looked like.
I would hate to have to cut such a nice Bible up to see if it is truly sewn or not so I think I will first e-mail Holman and ask them. If they say it is sewn, I’ll probably have to cut this Bible up to see. They might be paying for it to be sewn in Korea, but who knows if it is getting done. Perhaps there is a mix up over at Christianbook.com?
Having that said let’s take a look at what makes it a good buy. First off, I like the New King James Version (NKJV) it is a good translation. It is easy to read and it is accurate. It has been around for quite a while now and I am pretty familiar with it. My favorite is the NASB, but the NKJV comes in fourth for me. NASB, ESV, KJV, and NKJV. I don’t think I’d bother with any other translations. Too many agenda driven ones out there now.
The Bible came in a cardboard box, cushioned with paper. The Bible was inside a retail box that would be good to store the Bible in as it is pretty sturdy.
The Bible itself was wrapped inside two sleeves of thick, brown, paper. This was to protect the cowhide cover.
I liked the cover. It was genuine cowhide and pretty thick. It was somewhat tacky in texture making it easy to hold on to. It is lined with what looks like vinyl glued to the inside which is pretty typical of Bible in this price range. The Bible has a suggested retail of $49.99 but sells for approximately $39.99 on Christianbook and about $45.00 on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Large-Ultrathin-Reference-Genuine-Cowhide/dp/1433615037/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408390491&sr=8-1&keywords=9781433615030
The Bible measures about nine inches by six inches by an inch.
The spine of the Bible has raised hubs on the back that appear to just be decorative. Just because there are hubs doesn’t mean it is a sewn binding. I do like the look and feel of it.
There is one brown ribbon marker and the page edges are gold colored as well as the spine. I don’t know if it is real gold leaf or not. For the price I’m guessing it isn’t.
The font is 8 point. It is clearly printed and easy to read. The words of Christ are in red. The Bible is printed in Korea.
The Bible is printed in a double column format with center column references. There are also book introductions.
There is a sixty six page concordance and eight color maps. The paper that the maps are on aren’t as glossy as some and might hold up better because of it.
The paper is good quality.