Review of the Holman NKJV Ultrathin Reference Bible in Brown Genuine Cowhide.

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***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

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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.

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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.

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The Bible itself was wrapped inside two sleeves of thick, brown, paper.  This was to protect the cowhide cover.

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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

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The Bible measures about nine inches by six inches by an inch.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Bible is printed in a double column format with center column references.  There are also book introductions.

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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.

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The paper is good quality.

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ISBN: 1433615037
ISBN-13: 9781433615030

10 thoughts on “Review of the Holman NKJV Ultrathin Reference Bible in Brown Genuine Cowhide.

  1. Mike

    The picture of the bar code shows the ISBN is 978-1-4336-1529 but the link to the one on CBD is 978-1-4336-5030

    Do you know what the difference is? Maybe the 5030 has the sewn binding?

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  2. It’s possible. I could e-mail Holman and ask. The person I talked to originally said that the one I had was earlier in the run that year and that the ones after it have a sewn binding. Since the isbn is a number after it in sequence it would make sense. I don’t know for sure, so I don’t want to tell you yes without finding out. You could e-mail Holman directly and they could tell you.

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  3. John

    Hello, and thank you for your Bible reviews. I have this same problem in a Bible I received today, and I hope you can help me.

    The Bible I received from christianbook.com was the Holman NKJV Large Print UltraThin Reference Bible, Saddle Brown LeatherTouch, ISBN: 9781433614996. Right out of the box I noticed the binding was stiff with a line of glue on the edge, it looked exactly as you have pictured. Furthermore I looked in the gutter under the light and could see no stitching. The only stitching was on the presentation pages and maps.

    On the phone christianbook.com insisted the Bible was sewn per the information they had. I told them about this review I read but they had no knowledge of them being glued. I have owned a lot of Bibles over the years and this looks glued to me!

    Ultimately, they were unable to answer my question, so I am sending the Bible back to christianbook.com. However, other than the binding, I really like the Bible and if this was indeed just a brief production run, do you think I perhaps could contact B&H publishing and inquire if I could purchase one with a sewn binding? B&H doesn’t have an email address listed on their site (that I can find); do you know who is best to contact at Holman who would know about this issue? Thanks and God Bless.

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  4. I would call the toll free number on this page and ask them if it is one of the glued ones. I remember that it was only a small production run of them that were glued. It is unlikely that you had a glued one, but if you did they can tell you. They might have to take your contact info and some numbers off of the copyright page, but they will be able to let you know. http://www.bhpublishinggroup.com/contact-us/ I don’t have an e-mail address for a person who would know that info. The e-mail I have is solely for the purpose of my review submissions. I hope you get it taken care of. Holman is usually pretty good about customer service. Even if Christianbook doesn’t know the info, Holman will.

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  5. John

    Thanks for replying. I finally spoke to someone on the phone at Holman, and the one I had was indeed glued. But he likewise said that this was only a brief production run. He was very insistent that he thought glued Bibles were not acceptable and that sewn was going to be the standard from now on. I also asked about the compact large print editions and those will be sewn as well. I must say, I am relieved that Holman isn’t going the route of glued Bibles.

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  6. Rick Bolton

    Homan, you did a Great Job in my new ‘Holman NKJV Large Print Personal Bible’ is not good because the Bible is GREAT. You did a Great Job. Hope you have a Great Year of 2017.
    Thank You,
    Rick Bolton

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