What about those shepherds?

Adoration_of_the_shepherds_1663_Abraham_Hondius

OK friends so check this out.  Abel was a shepherd.  Abraham was a shepherd and led the people out according to the promise of God.  Moses was a shepherd in Midian and led the people out of bondage according to God’s will.  They rebelled and he led them around the wilderness.  David was a shepherd boy who became a King and led the people.  God sent an angel to reveal to shepherds where the Christ was born.  The shepherds led us to the Baby Jesus in the manger.  Jesus is our shepherd who leads us out of bondage to sin according to God’s will.  Cool…

Need a Chinese language New Testament? Review of the Mandarin CSB/CUV Parallel New Testament, Black Bonded Leather from Holman.

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This New Testament in CSB/CUV according to what I’ve read is very clear and easy to understand.  I do not understand Chinese.  I am reviewing this New Testament from a quality and value perspective.  I received it gratis from Holman for the purpose of review.  This New Testament was well packaged and arrived in great condition.  It was shipped in a box with a couple other books; a copy of, “Learn to Read New Testament Greek” and the workbook, “Learn to Read New Testament Greek, Workbook.”  I will be doing more in depth reviews of those resources throughout the coming year.  Obviously, learning Greek will be an ongoing adventure and require more than a week to do the review of those resources.

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The New Testament provided is a parallel, meaning that it presents both the text from the Chinese Standard Bible (CSB) and the Chinese Union Version. (CUV)

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The cover is black bonded leather.

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If you are not familiar with bonded leather it is made from leather scraps that are bonded together with adhesive and died to the desired color.  It is less expensive and pretty durable.  It doesn’t hold up as well as leather and is not as flexible.  The inside of the cover is lined with black paper glued down.

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It appears to have a sewn binding.

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This will add to the durability.  There is a presentation page and some publication notes with translation notes.

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There is one black ribbon marker and the page edges are gilded.

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The words of Christ are in red.

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The paper is very opaque.  The hanzi characters are printed clearly with sufficient contrast to make out all of the details.

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There is even a concordance of Chinese hanzi characters in the back.  Included are some colored maps.  If you know someone whose first language is Chinese and they are interested in knowing more about Jesus this is a good value for evangelism.  It is not so expensive that you couldn’t afford to buy several of them, and it is made well enough to last them for a while.  If your primary language is Chinese and you would like a New Testament to carry around as you witness to people this one would fit the bill.  It is a good value at around eleven dollars from some retail sites.

Wow, the Cambridge Cameo KJV Bible in Brown Vachetta Calfskin Leather is a Triumph of Form and Function!

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I received this Bible from Cambridge gratis for review purposes.  It arrived sufficiently packaged in a cardboard box with one other Bible.

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They did not deform or break through their packaging and the Bibles were in perfect shape when they were delivered.

Upon opening the box I was presented with the clamshell retail box, which should be retained for storage purposes.  The Bible inside the box was instantly striking in appearance.  I am accustomed to many different qualities of cover material.  When I picked the Cameo up out of the box I was struck by the soft texture of this type of calfskin leather.  The grain was smoother with smaller pebbling compared to goatskin leather.

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I was expecting a darker brown with a texture like other top grain cowhide Bibles.  I was pleasantly surprised.  This calfskin was smoother and soft.  The front of the Cameo is hot stamped with, “Holy Bible” in gold.  There is a channel pressed into the leather around the perimeter of the cover.

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On the spine of the Cameo is, “Holy Bible” at the top, “King James Version” in the middle, and the Cambridge Logo at the bottom.  They are all hot stamped in gold.

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The page edges are beautifully art gilded with red under gold.

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The construction of the Cameo is top-notch.  In addition to having a wonderful cover that will last a lifetime, it has a sewn binding that will last as long as the cover.  Because of these two fine qualities the Cameo is a pleasure to hold and read.  The Bible opens well and lays flat easily without being overly flexible.

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This edition does everything right.  The only way this could be any better is if it were in NASB.

The inside cover is lined with vinyl that is glued down.  The corners are finished nicely.

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There are two ribbon markers that match the color of the cover as well.

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Some less expensive Chinese or Korean Bibles try to entice you with a very supple calfskin cover lined with calfskin or another very flexible material.  Then, they drop the ball with either the paper or the fit and finish.  That is not so with the Cameo from Cambridge.  The paper is nice and opaque.  The font is a cleaned up 8 point, Petit Medieval Clarendon type.  It is bold and easy to read.  The text is arranged in a double column verse format with center column references.

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In the front of the Cameo you have publication information page followed by a nice presentation page.

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After that is the text of the KJV.  Lastly, there is a very useful concordance in the back along with 15 color maps that are indexed.

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I know there is a big trend now for the single column paragraph formats.  Personally, I find it more difficult to focus on during reading in my home.  I have a busy house and am always getting interrupted.  As a consequence I routinely lose my place and have to look for where I left off so that I can resume reading.  The paragraph format has all of the tiny verse numbers dispersed through the text and finding them or remembering where you left off can be a bit more tedious.  I find it easier to pick up where I left off if I can find the verse quickly.  This is my personal preference.

The Cameo is a delightful size Bible to hold and read anywhere.  I can sit in my recliner and read it, I can read it in bed, I can read it on my work break, and I can read it while I drive…  I was just checking to see if you were still awake.  Never read and drive!   Seriously, seldom will you find a combination of form and function like the Cameo.

Here the Cameo is compared to the Concord.

ISBN: 0521146100

isbn: 9780521146104

KJV Cameo Reference Red Letter Edition KJ455:XR Brown Calfskin Leather

Do you want a large print compact NASB? Review of the Lockman Foundation Large Print Compact Text Edition in Burgundy Leathertex.

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Review of the Lockman Foundation Large Print Compact Text Edition in Burgundy Leathertex.

As usual Lockman did a fine job of packing and shipping the Bible to me.

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This edition is not expensive.  If you have high expectations you will be disappointed.  This Bible sells for about $20.00 it is produced in China.

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I’m not making excuses here, but there are some things you need to consider when criticizing a Bible.  I know some people have complained about the print and the paper on this edition.  They aren’t wrong.  The paper could be a bit more opaque or the print could be a bolder type face.  It would be much easier on the eyes if that were the case.

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What would the consequences of that be?  Well, if the font were a bolder type face and stayed 9 point, it would take up more space on the page necessitating more pages.  This edition is already pretty thick at about 1 3/16” not to mention that they have already taken out the references and made it single column paragraph format.

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There isn’t much in the way of helps either.  There aren’t any maps to remove to make this thinner.  So what about the paper?  Well, same problem if you make a thicker paper that is a higher g.s.m. then the Bible gets thicker.  It’s just the laws of physics in a finite world folks.  I hate to be a bummer.

This Bible tries to fill a niche that definitely is there.  I’ve heard many people complain that they want a nice clean, compact, text edition of the NASB in paragraph format.  The Cambridge Clarion is pretty close, but it costs almost $200 dollars in goatskin.  You could opt for the calf split leather for around $105-$115 but that is still pretty expensive.  So let’s look at what you are getting for $20.00 instead of what you aren’t getting.

This edition has 9 point font, the words of Christ in red arranged in a single column text format with limited footnotes at the bottom of the page.

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It has a sewn binding and is covered in leathertex which is modern synthetic leather.  It has a cross stamped on the front with a channel around the perimeter.

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On the spine is printed, “New American Standard Bible” in large letters from one end to the other.

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The page edges are gilded.  There is one ribbon marker that matches the burgundy color of the cover.  The ribbon is pretty thin and narrow.  The inner liner is vinyl and color matched to the cover.  It is glued down.  There are decorative head and foot bands.  You have a presentation page printed on Bible paper and not card paper.  Then, you have the copyright page, followed by the foreword with translation explanation.  Before the text begins you have a table of contents.  After the text of the Bible you have one page of the, “Parables of Jesus” then, four pages of, “Important Events in Christ’s Life According to the Gospels” three pages of, “God’s Promises” and next, two pages of, “Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Christ” and lastly, one page of, “The Miracles of Jesus.”  The outside cover closed measures 7 5/16” long by 5 1/4” wide by 1 3/16” thick.

This is exactly what it is labeled.  You can’t expect it to be everything you wanted in a Bible.  There are going to be compromises when you make a large print, compact, text edition.  I know this review sounds like an apology.  I really wanted to like this Bible, but the truth is that it is a bit hard on the eyes due to the seemingly skinny font and thin paper.

For the money though, it is an excellent value and the perfect size to carry with you.  The font is much larger than a 6 point font and you really haven’t gained that much in size over a traditional compact edition.  I would recommend this Bible for people with good eyes that aren’t going to do long reading sessions.  It would be good for break room reading or whenever you have a few minutes.

ISBN: 1581351569

ISBN-13: 9781581351569

Need a Large Print Personal Size Reference Bible? Holman Has a Great Value for You.

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Let’s look at the Holman HCSB Personal Size Reference Bible, red letter edition, in Brown Genuine Cowhide, with indexes.

Holman shipped this Bible in a cardboard box and cushioned it with paper packaging material.

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The two piece retail box should be kept for storage.

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Holman wraps their genuine cowhide Bibles with construction paper to make them keep their shape and prevent damage while being shipped. When I opened the retail package I was presented with the wrapped Bible. After removing the wraps, they chocolaty brown genuine cowhide is revealed.

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It has the feel of a quality Bible to it. It also has an affordable price. The cowhide is supple and soft.

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The cover is lined with vinyl on the inside and glued down. This adds a bit of rigidity to the cover, but in my opinion just as much as is needed to make it easier to hold and read. Some Bibles are too floppy.

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This Bible is about 8.25″ x 5.75″ x 1.25″ It is a very convenient size to carry around in your hand or in a medium bag of some kind. It is too large for a small lunch box or purse. I like the size of it for use in a chair without a table or desk. The overall dimensions and format are conducive to reading even though it is not a readers edition.

The spine of the Bible has at the top, “HCSB” and the logo above it, and, “Holy Bible” in the middle, and then, Holman’s logo at the bottom in gold. The spine is also decorated with hubs reminiscent of the raised hubs that were produced by the journals being sewed to the journal cords before the use of thinner journal tapes. Today as a rule they are decorative. They do add a bit of appeal to a Bible.

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This Bible has a modern sewn binding. It is pretty comparable to the other Bibles from China with a sewn binding. Holman seems to do a better job of quality control than some of the other publishers I have seen that produce for the same market. The bindings we see from Jongbloed in the Netherlands are still a cut above. That is why they work for the luxury crowd. For a great value, this fits the bill. You can take it all over and not feel like a sinner for indulging in a $250.00 Bible, and you have the added benefit of not worrying it gets a wrinkled page.

The pages are gilded.

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There is one narrow ribbon marker that matches the color of the cover.

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There is a copyright page showing that this Bible was made in China. Then after that is a Table of Contents, How to Use the Bible, Gospel Presentation, Translation Notes, and then the text of the Bible begins. It is arranged in a two column paragraph format with end of paragraph cross-references, and footnotes at the bottom of the page. This setting is less cluttered making it easy to read. The font is a 10.5 point font that is printed clearly and sharply on the page.

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The paper could stand to be a bit thicker. In this edition the words of Jesus are printed in red.

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I like the way the indexes are cut on this Bible they are rectangular with rounded corners instead of the more common crescent shape. The Old Testament ones are gold text on black and the New Testament ones are gold text on red.

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After the book of Revelation you have, HCSB Bullet Notes, Table of Weights and Measures, Where to Turn, Titles of Jesus, Messianic Scriptures that Jesus Fulfilled, a brief Topical Concordance, and finally eight color maps. I found the Where to Turn section useful for new Christians as well as the section on prophecies fulfilled by Christ.

My overall impression of this Bible is that is a good quality workhorse for daily reading. It isn’t good for note taking due to the margins being minimal to accommodate the text. It isn’t chocked full of notes and references for the same reason. This is a Bible geared for daily reading. The binding does have a bit of page puckering in the gutter near the front and end of the Bible, but it isn’t that bad and doesn’t present at all after the first and last pages.  For that purpose it works excellently and is a great value.

This particular Bible is in the Holman Christian Standard Bible translation. It is a more of an equivalent translation than anything else. It fills the gap left by the NIV when it went all apostate on us. Now when people need an easy to read translation I suggest the HCSB.

ISBN-13: 9781586407926 ISBN: 1586407929 Christianbook stock number CBD Stock No: WW407926

Review of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece Greek – English New Testament

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Normally I start a review with all of the unboxing and physical qualities of the Bible I’m reviewing.  This is going to be an exception.  I am not a Koine Greek expert or scholar.  I just know the Greek alphabet and some very basic basics so don’t expect any sage wisdom or keen insights into the Greek from me on this review.  That being said, the reason I am listing all of the info from Hendrickson’s site is that there are many Greek New Testaments out there and I want to make sure that if you are looking to purchase one that you don’t accidently get one you aren’t after.  After the information from the American Publisher I will do my usual review process.

This Greek New Testament is a parallel New Testament with the Nestle-Aland Greek on one page and the New Revised Standard Version or NRSV and Revised English Bible on the opposing page.  Here is some info pulled from Hendrickson’s page;

Product Description

This is the twenty-eighth edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece (NA28). NA28 is the standard scholarly edition of the Greek New Testament used by scholars, Bible translators, professors, students, and pastors worldwide. Now NA28 has been revised and improved: • Critical apparatus revised and easier to use • Papyrii 117-127 included for the first time • In-depth revision of the Catholic Epistles, with more than 30 changes to the upper text • Scripture references systematically reviewed for accuracy • The NA28 with NRSV/REB Greek-English New Testament includes the 28th edition of the Nestle Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, the New Revised Standard Version, and the Revised English Bible.

Editor Bio
The Institute for New Testament Textual Research is located at the University of Münster. Their central task is to research the textual history of the New Testament and to reconstruct its Greek initial text on the basis of the entire manuscript tradition, the early translations and patristic citations. Foremost among the results of this research is the ongoing publication of the Editio Critica Maior. The Institute produces several more editions and a variety of tools for NT scholarship, including the concise editions known as the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece and the UBS Greek New Testament.

You can view it here, http://www.hendrickson.com/html/product/700352.trade.html?&category=all#curr

The New Testament arrived in a cardboard box from Hendrickson.  It had airbag cushions and arrived undamaged.

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Upon opening the box I was presented with the New Testament wrapped in plastic shrink wrap. The cover is a blue textured hardcover, but it is very thin book board.

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It is almost exactly the same size as my Cambridge Clarion Bible.  There are some notes on the translation in the front.

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This New Testament is printed and bound in Germany.

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It is a very nice sewn binding.  I was a little doubtful of the book being worth $99.00 when I saw the cover, but once I opened it and saw the quality of the print and sewn binding along with the Greek, NSRV, and REB I thought better of it.  I am not a fan of the NSRV.  I would never buy that version as a standalone Bible.  I believe that their gender inclusive directives for translating are not true to the overall context of the word of God.  I am not very familiar with the REB.  I was surprised that they were able to cram in the Greek and two English translations without making this New Testament bigger than it is.  Of course being just a New Testament is the key to the size of this book.  When you look at the inside covers of this New Testament you are seeing the only maps it has.  If you purchased this I am certain you didn’t do so for maps though.  You probably want to do some Greek studies.  For that purpose I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  I am not sure what size the font is.  It isn’t specified in any of the information I’ve seen.  It appears to be approximately 8 point font.

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I’ll have to e-mail Hendrickson and ask them.  When I find out I will post the information as an update.  The print is sharp and clear contrasting well against this cream colored paper.  The paper is opaque and smooth.  It feels like a high quality Bible paper.  I already mentioned that on one page you’ll have the Greek and then on the other you’ll have the NRSV and the REB.  The NRSV is in plain type and the REB is in italics.  There is one gold color ribbon marker that.  It appears to be purposely frayed on the end.

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The binding is very well done.  It is sewn and flexible.  I opened it right up and it didn’t need any breaking in.  It opens past flat when you hold it in one hand.

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I found it to be just the right size for reading or studying.  In the back you’ll find the appendices.  The only thing I’d like to see is this type of New Testament with the NASB instead of the NRSV.  So there you have it, my review of a neat little Greek New Testament with two English translations in parallel.

Retail: $99.95 Size: 5.25 x 7.33 inches Binding: Cloth Hardcover Pages: 1728 Pub Date: April 2013 ISBN: 9781619700352 ISBN-13: 9781619700352 Item Number: 700352