Just a little disclaimer first, I am not a KJV only guy. I love the KJV and I do read the KJV, but I also use the NASB as my primary translation. In addition I use the ESV, NKJV, HCSB, and Geneva. This should be good news to people looking for an honest, unbiased, review. The bad news is that I received this Bible gratis from TBS. Some of you might believe that will make me biased, but if you look at my blog you can see that there are a few publishers represented by reviews of their products, all of which were gratis. I am under no obligation to give a positive review to any of the books or Bibles I review.
That being said, this is an AMAZING reference Bible! I was very surprised to see the quality of this Bible considering the price they ask for it. You can purchase one from TBS directly for $80.00 and they use the proceeds to provide Bibles and resources to Christians around the world. Or you can buy it from evangelicalbible.com for a little less.
TBS took great care in packaging this Bible for shipping. When it arrived at my house it was in a clamshell type cardboard box filled with packing peanuts. The Bible was placed on top of a foam pad inside the box.
Its retail packaging is a blue clamshell box with product information on it. Save the box for storage.
I was so glad to see they took good care to ensure the Bible arrived undamaged. I have received numerous Bibles that have had bent corners, wrinkled covers, and scratches on them due to insufficient packaging.
When I opened the box I could smell the calfskin leather. It was soft to touch and has a fairly smooth texture. It isn’t heavily textured. The cover is lined with typical vinyl looking material that is glued down. It is a case bound book.
The first and last pages are glued up higher to ensure the text block is securely fitted to the cover.
The printing and binding were done by Jongbloed in the Netherlands. They are well known for producing luxury Bibles like R.L. Allan, Schuyler, and Cambridge.
The spine has, “Holy Bible” at the head, “Westminster Reference Bible” in the middle, and the TBS logo at the foot. These are written in gold lettering. The page edges are gold gilt as well.
The binding is smyth-sewn and very flexible. Fresh out of the box the Bible lies flat on the table from the first book to the last.
When you hold it by the spine it drapes over your hand. The cover has some rigidity due to the lining. This is only a con if you are looking for a cover that edge lined. I have had both types of covers on Bibles. For a time I thought it was the mark of a good quality Bible to have a lining as flexible as the cover material, but I have come to appreciate some rigidity in the cover. It helps to hold onto the Bible, if there is something to hold onto. Some of the Bibles without it are more difficult to read because they are too flexible. They tend to flop around. This one has a great quality cover and it adds to the utility of the Bible. The fit and finish of the text block to cover is very clean and well done. It is obvious that they are doing this work with honoring God in mind.
The Bible comes with four ribbon markers. There are two red ones in the Old Testament and two black ones in the New Testament. Both sets of ribbons are good quality and about a quarter inch wide. I really appreciate this feature. Often times Bibles only have one ribbon marker if you are lucky. Sometimes you can get them with two, but four is almost unheard of. I end up gluing more in on my own. I love having four. I can use one from the Old Testament for my daily reading plan and the other for following along with the sermon. I do the same with the two in the New Testament.
The first pages are made out of a heavier paper and TBS instead of just leaving them blank has tastefully printed some scripture quotes on each one of them. Instead of being out of place, they were quite a propos and well done. After that we have a presentation page on the same paper, and then the paper changes over to Bible paper for the, Translators to the Reader, Epistle dedicatory, and the, Guide to Using the Westminster Bible, pages.
At the beginning of the books there are verses that are helpful for the reading of each book and the Chapter numbers are larger and bold. The text is in a double column verse format with over 200,000 references printed on the gutter and page edge sides of the page. I love these cross references, the TBS Westminster lives up to the claim of being a reference Bible. They aren’t there to be pretty. They actually are relevant to what you are reading. One of my favorite features, is the archaic words are in the margin with an * by them in the text and in the margin. In the margin you get the modern word or short definition. This makes reading the KJV much simpler.
In the top outside of the page you get the Book and Chapter, the inside has the heading, while the bottom outside has the page numbers. The font is clear and sharp 9.6 point, with consistent ink distribution making it quite legible and easy on the eyes. The paper is opaque and a bit thicker than some of the very thin paper used in lesser Bibles. It is a bit off white, but not so much as to diminish the contrast against the text.
At the back of the Bible there is a, Tables of Weights and Measures, List of Words and Proper Names with their Pronunciations, Daily Reading Plan, Maps and an extensive concordance. I was impressed with the size of the concordance. Most Bibles have one, but generally they are little more than a few pages. This one is actually large enough to be useful.
After spending some time using this Bible and reading from it, I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a King James Version Reference Bible. I have some Local Bible Publishers Bibles and the TBS is superior in the printing and binding. Compared to the ones made in China and Korea the TBS wins hands down.
24 thoughts on “An outstanding reference Bible and a great value! Review of the Trinitarian Bible Society, Westminster Reference Bible, Authorized KJV, 90U/BK in Black Premium Calfskin Leather.”
Wow…I want one.
Awesome review brother, for some reason I fill this tug to buy this bible, I already own enough KJV bibles but this one just has something special about it. I love the cream tone of the paper and the archaic word definition is a plus, I look forward to putting this next to the Thompson and my Open Bible. Sometimes I think certain bibles have an anointing upon them, this just might be one of them.
I found your page purely by accident, but I am intrigued with your review and information. My eyes are not what they used to be, and I am looking for a quality Bible of this nature in a large print – are you aware of any that would be equivalent?
Thank you for this review
Hello Kevin. I would be glad to make some recommendations. First I need to know if you have a preferred translation? Do need large print or giant print? How large of a Bible do you want? Approximately how much would you be willing to spend? I assume you are after a better built Bible, so I will take that into consideration when making some recommendations. God bless, looking forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for your reply.
I have looked at several type sizes, and I believe that the large print will be large enough.
I don’t object to a larger Bible, so size is not much of a concern. I have purchase some of the premium leather Bibles in the past, so I am not shocked by the cost either. I would like to see a column reference of some type, and letters of Christ in red (this has been a problem in some of the ones I have found so far). I am very partial to KJV, though I use NKJV and ESV for other study purposes.
I hope that my answers aren’t overwhelmingly broad.
Thank you for your efforts
I think your best bet will be a kjv from holman in large print red letter with cowhide leather and sewn binding. They are the only ones who have everything you want.
Thank you – this is helpful
The tbs is not red letter
Just got mine a few days ago and all I can say is “Wow”. 65$ for such a nice bible, anyone who has been to a local bible store lately knows that finding a KJV bible of this quality is next to impossible. Great review keep up the good work Bob, if not for you and Randy Brown bible purchasing would be much more hit and mis.
Thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement. I am glad that you found the review helpful. I might not be able to buy everyone a Bible, but I can help them decide on one for themselves. It is easier when you can look at something close up. Unfortunately most Christian book stores are carrying less Bibles due to the cost of keeping a bunch of $50 Bibles on the shelf to be damaged by getting looked at. Reviews on most retail sites don’t have the pictures and are usually lacking info.
Firstly,I must say a big thank you for this site it is wonderful!
Last Thursday morning I placed my order to TBS for a Westminster Reference bible and it arrived today Monday. So kudos to TBS for fast service. I had been looking for a”daily driver” so to speak for personal study and I think I’ve finally found it. This is a beautiful bible! My only negative is the ribbon markers, to put it bluntly, they suck! They’ve very thin, cheap and fraying at the ends. I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do with them, as I hate to cut them off, but I will if necessary and use some very nice ones I have on hand.
Overall, the bible itself is very nice and I look forward to many happy years of use.
Singe the ends and they won’t frey.
I am a King James Bible Believer and I currently own the TBS Large Print Family Bible. The Westminster Reference Bible 90/U BK would be a great companion
I happened across your site while surfing for bibles for our grandsons. I purchased a TBS Westminster Reference KJV, set of Scriptures.
I purchased it about one month ago and am pleased beyond measure. I have many sets of Scriptures 20+ most are the Old Scofield Study Bible ( 1917) KJV . The later versions changed some of the wording and note. Anyways The Westminster Bible is great and is used quite regularly along with my Scofield KJV. My wife has a Tompson Chain Ref KJV and when she looked through this one she fell in love with the simplicity and power of the Westminster. Now that is on the anniversary list or Christmas list. We are not KJV ONLY-IST but I grew up with the King James Bible, and my mother who reared us 3 kids spoke the King’s English, although she was born in America.
I am glad that you found my review helpful and are enjoying the TBS Westminster KJV. One of the features I like about it is when there is an archaic word they put its modern counterpart in the margin.
Yes I am still getting use to the Format of The TBS. I especially like the section for weights , measures, coinage .
You’ll be hard pressed to find a better built Bible for the price.
Bob, All the reviews, websites and YouTube pages agree with you on the construction of the TBS Westminster KJV. I have shown mine to friends and they are impressed with it. What impressed me mostly when I was looking for a good King James Bible Reference, was the price. All I saw that were in the neighborhood of what I was looking for was, starting at, $100.00 to $130.00 range and up to $300.00 for a set of Scriptures.
I was looking at the Allen and Schuyler publishers and some seemed reasonable. Then I saw online among other Christian Bible Dealers , one that sold one new for $52.00. I jumped at it. Checking other sites they went for more but still reasonable. Trinitarian Bible Society sold theirs for $60.00 to $70.00 , I forget. Anyway TBS society was still reasonable, but the Lord blessed me with a Very good Bible along with an excellent price, considering I am retired and disabled from the Marine Corps, means a fixed income. I can’t work and wife is caregiver so neither can she.
Well, the text-block for the Bible you bought is printed by Jongbloed in the Netherlands. They are the same people who print the Schuyler, Allan, and Cambridge Bibles. TBS is a ministry, so they sell them for less.
Really appreciate your reviews.
Is there a one where you have compared Cambridge Concord with TBS Westminster Reference?
It’ll be good to see the comparison between the two in terms of bible content.
If it were up to me, I’d get the TBS Westminster due to the superior cross references, and modern printing.