Bible Reviews

They don’t get much better than this! The Cambridge Clarion, ESV Bible in black edge-lined goatskin leather.

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What qualities do you look for in a Bible?  Clear print, font size, paper opacity, sewn binding, quality cover, solid translation, lifetime warranty that you probably won’t have to use?  Well the Cambridge Clarion, ESV Bible in black edge-lined goatskin leather has it all.  I know you are probably getting tired of me giving these Cambridge Bibles such good reviews, but if they weren’t simply better than the others I wouldn’t.  I think the other publishers might even wish I would stop reviewing Cambridge Bibles.  Their publications don’t look as good compared to the Cambridge Bibles.  Now, I know there are plenty of good Bibles out there, but when contrasted with the outstanding ones they fall short in some areas.  With Bibles I’ve noticed that you get what you pay for in general.

The ESV is a solid translation from Crossway.  Here is a link to some information about the translation.  It is not a dynamic equivalent or thought for thought translation.  It is more of a formal equivalent or word for word translation.  Hebrew and Greek don’t have the same sentence structure and grammar as English.  In translating the words are translated directly into English, but are arranged as English sentences so that we can understand them.  In a dynamic equivalent the sentence or paragraph is read and studied by the team and they basically paraphrase it in English to convey the meaning in the most accurate way they can.  The NIV is a dynamic equivalent.  Dynamic equivalents may be easier to read, but in my opinion are by nature less precise.  That is why I prefer formal equivalent translations like the ESV or NASB.

Here is a link to a chart that lists some common Bible translations and their translation philosophy.  Keep in mind that several of the translations there were translated with the added agenda of being gender neutral and going beyond gender accuracy.  They call their translations gender inclusive, but it is at the purposeful abuse of scripture.

Besides being an ESV this Bible is like Goldilocks and the baby bear’s stuff.  It is just right.  It isn’t too big, or too small.  The paper isn’t too thick or too thin.  The print isn’t too big or too small.  The cover isn’t too soft or too rigid.  It gets just about everything right.  The Clarion arrived in an easy to open cardboard box along with an REB that I will review later.

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Both Bibles arrived undamaged and in good condition.  The Clarion was in a one piece clamshell box.

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The box should be retained for storage, should you ever decide to put this Bible down for a bit to read another…  I doubt that will happen.  The first thing you’ll notice is the smell of the leather.

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The next thing you’ll notice is the supple, perimeter stitched, edge lined, black goatskin leather cover.

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If you have never owned a Bible with a cover like this, you don’t know what you are missing.  For durability, functionality, and comfort, you can’t beat it.  The cover works in concert with the sewn binding and quality paper to allow this Bible to open well and lay flat on a table or desk.

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It also lays flat while held in one hand.

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This makes it a joy to read.  I love that you forget you are holding something.  You aren’t constantly fighting the cover, the paper, or the binding.  The Spine of the Clarion has, “Holy Bible” at the top.  Under that is, “English Standard Version”.  On the bottom of the spine is, “Cambridge.”  They are all hot-stamped in gold.  There are five small decorative hubs as well.

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The grain of the goatskin cover is more pebbled than a top grain cowhide.  It is softer than the shiny genuine leather covers that are made from pigskin.  The perimeter stitching is uniform and well done.

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The corners are stitched as well so you won’t see the typical corner treatment.

When you open the Bible, you’ll see the end papers are glued to cover and text block so that they will be more durable.

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There is a simple presentation page that is made of heavier card paper.  It has several blank lines on it.

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Then there is a Title Page. After that is the copyright page with the font size and type.  It list the font as 8.75/10.5 pt. Lexicon No. 1 A (Enschede ff) We also can see from this page that this Bible is printed by Jongbloed in the Netherlands.

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For those of you in the know, that is a big plus.  They have been doing great work for many years.  One truly great feature of this Bible is the line matching utilized by Jongbloed.  The lines of text are printed exactly opposite of the lines on the other side of the page so that the text isn’t distractingly visible through the paper.

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The paper is a little off white and the black text contrasts against it nicely.  It is printed clearly and uniformly throughout.  The text is laid out in a single column paragraph format with the cross-references on the outside edge of the page in the margin.

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This layout is conducive to long sessions of uninterrupted reading.  The paper is smooth.  The page edges are art gilded with red under gold.  I think this is a pleasing aesthetic.  When the Bible is open the red shows through and while it is closed the gold is prominent.

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There are two red ribbon markers for keeping your place.  Most other Bibles only give you one ribbon.  It is nice to have to so you can mark your reading in the Old and New Testaments.

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There is a useful concordance in the end with a map index and 15 color maps printed on a heavier card paper.  I like this approach better than the glossy maps as the high clay content in their paper makes them crack easier.

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With all of the features like, quality construction, quality materials, attention in design, you can tell why I love the Clarion Bibles from Cambridge.  If you are in the market for a premium Bible, look no further.  You can purchase them on these sites;


ESV Clarion Reference Edition ES486:XE
Black Goatskin Leather

Bible Reviews

Hey women! Are you tired of the pink, “so-called” Study Bibles, that are full of fluffy self-esteem candy?

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Well, Holman has got a surprise for you!  Their, “Study Bible for Women” in the HCSB translation.  It comes in this quality chocolate color, genuine cowhide leather, with thumb indexes.  It was a very pleasant surprise to see some actual study aids as opposed to junk food.  There is academic quality here.  There are some notes on hermeneutics, theology, some original language notes and transliteration help.  Most women’s Bibles are pink and have a bunch of Osteen-esque, self help, self-esteem, feel good, prattle in them with little in the way of useful exegesis of scripture or how to apply it today.  This study Bible has significant work in it from two established Christian women.  Here are short bio’s from Holman’s site,

Dorothy Kelley Patterson is Professor of Theology in Women’s Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. She is a homemaker, popular speaker, and successful writer, editor, and compiler of numerous books including A Handbook for Ministers’ Wives, The Family, BeAttitudes for Women, and Touched by Greatness: Women in the Life of Moses. She is co-editor of the two volume Women’s Evangelical Commentary:Old Testament and New Testament. Her husband Paige is President of Southwester Baptist Theological Seminary.”


Rhonda Harrington Kelley is President’s wife and Adjunct Professor of Women’s Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a frequent speaker for women as well as an author of books including Divine Disciple, Life Lessons for Women of the Bible, and Personal Holiness: A Biblical Study for Developing a Holy Lifestyle. She is co-editor of the three volume Women’s Evangelical Library including Women’s Evangelical Commentary: Old Testament, New Testament, and The Study Bible for Women. Her husband Chuck Kelley is President of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.”

There is some of the fluff, don’t get me wrong.  It is just kept in its proper place and proportion.  I think that women should find this very helpful.  However, I am not a woman and am just commenting because I want one like this for men.

Here is what the Publisher has to say about this Bible,

Publisher’s Description

The Study Bible for Women will equip you to reach deep into God’s Word.  Perhaps the single most powerful aspect of this Bible are the “threads” of specialized study thoughtfully woven throughout, pointing you to God’s larger story and allowing the Holy Spirit to write His revealed truths on your heart.In The Study Bible for Women, you’ll join a host of other women, all academically trained in the original languages of the Bible and passionate about God’s Word, for an intimately deep dive into Scripture that will equip you to unlock the riches and majesty of His Word, and ignite a passion to mentor others in your life to do the same.  The Study Bible for Women includes the full text of the Holman Christian Standard Bible, a clear, contemporary English translation that’s faithful to the original languages of the Bible.

Features include extensive commentary notes, word studies, answers to hard questions, doctrinal notes, Biblical womanhood articles, character profiles, Written on My Heart applications, extensive book introductions, presentation pages, in-text maps, charts & timelines, full-color maps section and concordance.”

The Bible was shipped in a cardboard box with paper packing material.

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The Bible was inside a two piece retail box.  It arrived undamaged and in good condition.

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Inside the retail packaging it was wrapped in two pieces of black construction paper to keep it from getting bent corners.

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The genuine cowhide is a chocolate brown color with a soft texture.  I can’t stress enough that this is not some cheap synthetic leather, nor is it some hard, shiny, pigskin leather you would find on other Bibles in this price range.  This is a soft and supple cowhide leather.

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The spine is hot stamped with, “HCSB” at the top, “The Study Bible for Women” orientated horizontally along the spine in the middle, and at the bottom is the Holman logo.

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The page edges are gilded gold.  The Bible is thumb indexed with gold text on black for the Old Testament and gold text on Red for the New Testament.

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The pages are white with a faded blue color that becomes more solid as you approach the page edges and perimeter of the page.

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It kind of gives it an art gilded look of blue under gold.  It might have been better to gild this with silver instead.  However, the effect is minimal so as not to be unattractive.  The paper is 30 g.s.m. making it pretty opaque.  Lighter paper would not have been good.  With this weight of paper you don’t have much in the way of ghosting (seeing the text on the backside of the page show through)

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There are numerous decorative designs throughout.  I don’t know what your opinion is of that, but I could do without them.  The font used for the main text is 10 point in ITC Clearface Standard. (Open-type)  This makes it easy on they eyes unless you have bad eyesight.  The coloring of the page perimeters could cut down on the contrast of the text to the paper.  The paper could be a little brighter white where the text is, but then the perimeter effect would be lost.  The text is laid out in a double column, paragraph format with the cross-references on the outside of the page instead of at the bottom or in a center column.

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Interspersed throughout are other features.  The inside cover is made of vinyl of the same color and glued down.  They did a good job with the corners.

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There is one ribbon marker and it is matching in color as well.

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The binding on this Bible is a South Korean, sewn binding. They have been doing a lot of Holman’s bindings and are holding up quite well. This also makes them flexible on top of being durable. Way better than a glued binding.

Even though this is a study Bible, I don’t want you to be afraid that it is a behemoth. (funny right?)  For a study Bible this thing is very manageable.  It is just the right size for ladies who don’t want to use a hand-truck to carry their study Bibles to Wednesday night Bible Study.  I think it is a very good investment if you are looking for a women’s study Bible that has good content instead of the motivational junk you get pushed on you nowadays.

ISBN: 9781586400941

You can purchase this Bible on Amazon  or on Christianbook

Bible Reviews

Review of the Matthew Henry Study Bible in black flexisoft synthetic leather.

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I received the Matthew Henry Study Bible gratis from Hendrickson for honest review.  Despite Hendrickson’s fine job of packaging their Bibles for shipping, this one arrived damaged.  The two piece retail box was packed inside a cardboard box with air bag type packing material.

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I noticed the damage upon opening the Bible.  The material that joins the cover to the text block was torn along the hinge at the bottom.  The tear is about 1 1/2 inches long.  I suspect it was due to the size and weight of the MHSB.

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I think it is too heavy for the cheaper materials it is made from.  That in conjunction with being shipped from China where it was made could also be responsible for the damage.  I contacted Hendrickson about the damage and asked about getting a different copy to review.  They wanted me to go ahead with the review of the damaged Bible.  I can definitely understand that.  It gets expensive sending out free review copies.

The cover material is very rubbery looking and feeling.

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In my opinion it isn’t a very attractive choice of cover material. I would go with the hardback if you are thinking of buying this product.  I think it would hold up better.  It has the words, “Holy Bible” in gold on the front.  The spine has the words, “Matthew Henry Study Bible” at the top.  In the middle there is a tree graphic and then, “King James Version” under it.  On the bottom is, “Hendrickson Bible.”

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The head and foot bands did not stay glued down.

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There is a gold colored ribbon marker.

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There is a presentation page and then an article about Matthew Henry.

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The paper is a 30 gsm weight.  The print does not seem dark or bold enough.  If the paper were whiter, the text would have more contrast against it. The words of Christ are in read.  Since the paper isn’t as bright, the red font doesn’t contrast well either.  This also is hard on the eyes.  The font is 10 point Garamond Pro.

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There are book introductions before each book.

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The text is laid out in a double column paragraph format with in-text quotes from the Matthew Henry’s writings.  Side column references appear in the inside gutter area.  Footnotes are at the bottom of the page.  The notes are 8 point Myriad Pro.  This does accommodate the 10 point font of the main text.  The pages are thumb indexed on this edition.

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There are eight full color maps and a concordance in the back.

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With a Bible this size there has to be some compromise during the design.  One trade off would be a thinner paper so that the already large Bible doesn’t become gargantuan.  Keep that in mind when considering this Bible for purchase.

I know it like I don’t like this Bible, but don’t worry.  There are good things about this Bible.  The binding is sewn and pretty flexible.

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Even if the cover, paper, and binding, were done in China. The binding is still pretty decent.  The Bible opens well and is easy to hold despite its size.  It is very flexible for a large Bible.  The cover material does allow for lots of flexibility as well.  Perhaps if the cover offered a bit more structure the tear wouldn’t have happened.  My thoughts are that the hardcover would hold up better.  I haven’t looked at the hardcover though so this is an assumption.

A. Kenneth Abraham did a good job of condensing the venerable Matthew Henry’s commentary down to Study Bible notes.  I know that in many reviews people have mentioned that they didn’t think there were enough notes in the Old Testament.  In sections of Historical Narrative I don’t know that you’d need study notes.  I found the editing to be good.  I think the task of cutting down the Matthew Henry’s Commentary would be daunting and was done satisfactorily.  Keeping in mind that it would be extremely difficult to get every bit of even the concise commentary in here without making a ten pound Bible.

I don’t know how familiar you are with the English Puritan, Matthey Henry.  He compiled an exhaustive commentary which he did not finish and a more concise commentary.  Henry was a nonconformist. In other words he didn’t conform to the act of uniformity 1662.  In England, at that time, the Anglican Church was about the only game in town.  If you didn’t play by their rules, you often times didn’t get to.  Matthew Henry only lived to 52 and died suddenly.  His work of making an exhaustive commentary was finished by his peers.  Charles Spurgeon spoke highly of his work.  Modern day, Reformed Baptists also like his work.  His commentary was exegetical and devotional.  It is just as good now as it was then.  Having it in even more concise fashion as Study Bible notes is nice.

If you’re buying this Bible it is probably because of the notes.  If that is the case I think most people would be happy with this Study Bible.  I would recommend the hardcover unless Hendrickson comes out with genuine leather or starts making these in the States out of tougher cover material.

ISBN: 9781598565461

ISBN-13: 9781598565461

Apologetics · Theology

Hyper-Arminianism, What!?


I’m a Calvinist. I get very tired of hearing people say, “Hyper-Calvinist” as if that is a thing. “…The term originated in the 19th century as a sometimes-pejorative descriptor predated by terms such as “false Calvinism” and “High Calvinism”…” People sling this pejorative around instead of just addressing the particular heresy that a person embraces while calling themselves a Calvinist. People just label them, “Hyper-Calvinist.” Do we see Calvinists labeling Arminians as, “Hyper-Arminians” if they are actually Pelagians, Open Theists, or Free Grace Movement heretics? No, we just site the specific heresy. Then, inform the heretic of their error in hopes that they are a material heretic. We hope that they would then repent and adhere to orthodoxy. Sometimes of course they will not repent. In their refusal they prove themselves to be formal heretics. Labeling a heretic a, “Hyper-Calvinist” casts Calvinists in a negative light. Often times Arminians will launch into a polemic against Calvinists. They do this, because in their minds there is such a thing as a, “Hyper-Calvinist.” This artifice is a construct of a prejudicial person. The bias is one that we as Calvinists must start to debunk. We have been guilty of embracing this term. It needs to be retired from our nomenclature.

Apologetics · Book Reviews · Theology

A Review of Todd Friel’s Book, “Jesus Unmasked: The Truth Will Shock You”


The title of this book is pretty indicative of the subject matter.  The author succeeds at explaining who Jesus was and is.  He teaches that Christ is the focus of the Bible in its entirety.  He demonstrates how Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecies, shadows and types.  All of this is done with simple terms when possible.  When it is not possible Mr. Friel explains the nomenclature for the laymen.

I have to make a small disclaimer here.  I am a big fan of, “Wretched Radio.”  It is a radio show and podcast.  Todd Friel is the host/on-air personality.  I have learned a lot, a lot, a lot, from the show over the years.  My review will be from the perspective of a Reformed Baptist and a fan of the show.  So don’t expect much in the way of negativity.  I honestly agree with all of what is said in the book.  I find it to be Biblically sound and interesting to read.  It is a, “must read” for everybody.  If you’ve just been born again or if you’ve been 50 years into the sanctification process this book will edify you.

In the first chapter the author deals with world views, specifically post-modernism.  This was a great place to start as a philosophy class on epistemology would not be beneficial for the target audience.  This is a short chapter that sets the tone for the rest of the book.  You get a look at the serious subject matter and a look at some of Todd’s humor that makes him such an interesting fellow to listen to.  It is obvious that he has a level of mastery of the subject matter without coming off as an aloof overlord.

The following chapters flesh out some basics of Christian theology in simple terms.  Then he gets down to the bulk of the work, which is highlighting Christ from the beginning of the Bible to the end.  Vary rarely in Christian books of around 200 pages do we get such a complete and profound picture of Jesus.  Most of the books I’ve reviewed in the recent past have been theological fluff, Christian cotton candy, hardly worth reading at all.  You know how you feel after eating junk for a month?  Yep! That’s how most “Christian books” leave me feeling after reading them.  They were time killers with not nutritional value.  I probably would have got more out of them if I’d eaten them.  Well, that is not so of this work.  I would rank it up there with, “The Holiness of God” by R. C. Sproul, or maybe, “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan.

The main way that the author highlights Christ throughout the entire Bible is by expounding on the prophecies, shadows, and types, that Jesus fulfills.  This can be a bit tricky.  I’ve seen some pretty bad attempts that only make the Bible look disjunct.  When done correctly, as in this case, the Bible comes alive.  The harmony of scripture sings to the heart and mind of the believer who sees the richness and majesty of the true faith established once and for all by God.  Being able to see the ark Noah built and understand that it is a look forward to Jesus.  Seeing the rock that sprang forth lifesaving water in the desert for the Israelites, and how Jesus is the better fount.  Seeing the Sabbath, from our perspective, looking back to recognize rest in Christ’s work.  These and many more examples fill the pages of this book.  The gospel is fleshed out fully and explicitly.  You won’t find a list of, “do’s” to check off, and you won’t find some silly, formulaic, “pray this prayer.”  You will understand who Jesus is, what you are, what He has done, and how you should respond.  If you have loved ones who aren’t saved, get them this book.  If you have friends or family who are young in their faith, get them this book.  If you have become a crusty old codger, get yourself this book.  It will blow the carbon out of the old exhaust and get you fired up again.

You can buy this book from the wretched store.

You can pick up a copy at

You can purchase it from the publisher Newleaf

or you can get it on Amazon in different formats including audio.

Bible Reviews

The Modern English Version (MEV) a Curious and Surprising Translation.

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I came across the MEV by chance while searching for different translations.  I was curious because I have never heard of the MEV before.  When looking into it I found out some more details that made me even more curious.  I found out that it is a modern translation that seeks to be as “word for word” accurate as it can be while maintaining the King James text in modern English.  I was a bit puzzled by this as we now have many more manuscripts, some are older and some are more reliable than the Textus Receptus. As for a modern version of the KJV, well we already have the New King James Version (NKJV) as for modern translations, I prefer the NASB as it makes use of many of the manuscripts we have discovered over the last couple hundred years without including the errors Erasmus made for the sake of expediency.  This is one of the differences between the MEV and other modern translations.  It is kind of like building a modern car, but using an old flat head motor.  The Textus Receptus isn’t horrible, it just isn’t as good as the manuscripts we now have.

With those concerns considered I turned my attention to the actual translation of the MEV.  I’m glad to say, that so far this has turned out to be pretty accurate and reliable.  I’ve been reading it with my NA28, NASB, KJV, and NKJV side by side.  I actually prefer the way the MEV renders some words over the NASB.  For instance, in the New Testament the NASB renders, “Χριστός” as, “Messiah” instead of, “Christ” where the MEV renders it as, “Christ.”  The MEV makes us of capital letters when referring to God, but not as much as the NASB.  The NASB does a better job in other areas as well.  For instance in John 1:5 I like the rendering of, “κατέλαβεν” as, “comprehend” more than, “overcome.”  I understand that there is the implication in the Greek of struggling with a concept to finally comprehend it or overcome it.  I just think that the English word, “overcome” has connotations that could lead one to think of a contest, battle, or race, without and missing out on the more important implication of comprehension.

Here is an excerpt from the MEV page, “The MEV is a translation of the Textus Receptus and the Jacob ben Hayyim edition of the Masoretic Text, using the King James Version as the base manuscript.  The MEV is a literal translation. It is also often referred to as a formal correspondence translation.  The Committee on Bible Translation began their work on the MEV in 2005 and completed it in 2013.”  It also appears that some of the endorsers mention that this is the 1611 authorized with modern language.  These lead me to believe that they haven’t fixed the problems that Erasmus introduced.  Here are the last 8 verses from Revelation out of the 1611 Authorized KJV, the Cambridge KJV, The MEV, and the NASB, in that order:

“14 Blessed are they that do his commandements, that they may haue right to the tree of life, and may enter in thorow the gates into the citie.

14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.

15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoeuer loueth and maketh a lie.

15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

15 Outside are dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and practices a lie.

15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

16 I Iesus haue sent mine Angel, to testifie vnto you these things in the Churches. I am the roote and the offspring of Dauid, and the bright and morning starre.

16I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things  [fn]for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

17 And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth, say, Come. And let him that is a thirst, come. And whosoeuer will, let him take the water of life freely.

17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let him who hears say, “Come.” Let him who is thirsty come. Let him who desires take the water of life freely.

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

18 For I testifie vnto euery man that heareth the wordes of the prophesie of this booke, If any man shal adde vnto these things, God shall adde vnto him the plagues, that are written in this booke.

18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book.

18I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;

19 And if any man shall take away from the wordes of the booke of this prophesie, God shal take away his part out of the booke of life, and out of the holy citie, and from the things which are written in this booke.

19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life and out of the Holy City and out of the things which are written in this book.

19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and  [fn]from the holy city, which are written in this book.

20 Hee which testifieth these things, saith, Surely, I come quickly. Amen. Euen so, Come Lord Iesus.

20He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”

Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of our Lord Iesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

21The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. {THE END.}

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with  [fn]all. Amen.

You can see some of the differences between translations due to the error of Erasmus in the above verses.  Of course the first three translations will look more alike when compared to the last one.  The NASB is a modern translation that utilized more than just the Textus Receptus.  It used the third edition of Rudolf Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia for the Hebrew.  It used the Eberhard Nestle’s Novum Testamentum Graece for the Greek.

According to their web page they were not allowing any cultural or theological agendas to dictate how they did their translation.  I’m glad to see that there isn’t any gender neutral nonsense so far as I have read.

Overall it accomplishes what it sets out to do.  It brings the KJV into modern English.  I think it does a better job in some areas and could be better in others.  I think they should fix the problems with the work of Erasmus.

The Bible Passio sent me to review is a Thinline Reference Bible.  Here is an excerpt from their product page, “Thinline Reference Bible Black Leatherlike ATTRACTIVE AND LIGHTWEIGHT, this Thinline Reference Bible is a Bible your customers can take anywhere. Complete with study tools such as cross-references, a concordance, and four-color maps, it is sure to be a favorite for home, church, or giving as a gift.” The Bible was provided gratis for the purpose of review by Passio.  It arrived in an envelope.

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It was packaged in a card-paper sleeve.  The sleeve or slipcase is not heavy enough to use for storage and actually was bent quite a bit from being mailed.

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The Bible itself didn’t suffer too much, just some bent corners.  The MEV was printed and bound in America.

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I found this refreshing.  So many of the Bibles I review are imported from China and South Korea.  The Bible was covered with what they call a black leatherlike cover.  It was black.  It was textured.  That was about where the similarities ended.  This had some of the cheapest cover material I’ve ever seen.

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The inside cover is lined with paper.

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Keep in mind that this Bible has a very low price, very white opaque paper with sharply printed text.

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We have to be fair.  You can pick up a copy for around $20.00 online.  The paper is 19.8 lb basis weight Tervakoski.  According to the publisher it is the equivalent of approximately 29.3 gsm.  Having used this Bible for a couple of weeks now, I’d have to agree.  The paper is pretty opaque given its light weight and how thin it is.  The font is an 8 point Delima MT Std regular.  The words of Christ are in red.

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The text is arranged in a typical double column format with center column references.  There are not as many cross references as I’d like to see.

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I have a feeling that there will be more as the translation matures.  The page edges are gilded.

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There is one black ribbon marker.  The ribbon is narrow, thick, and seems to be better quality than most of the Bibles in the same price range.

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There are short book introductions before each book and when a book ends the next book starts on a new page sometimes giving you room for notes at the end of the book.

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There is a helpful concordance in the back and after that 4 color maps.

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Now keeping in mind that this is a $20 Thinline Bible I want to tell you how impressed I am with its flexibility.  After only a couple of hours of use this thing is flexible enough to double over and to wrap around itself.  It is great for carrying with you in a bag or lunch box.  It isn’t so expensive as to make you afraid to use it.  It isn’t so small you can’t read the text.  It is a very practical Bible if you are looking for an inexpensive Thinline to carry and read.

Amazon has them here.

  • ISBN-13: 978-1621369967
Bible Reviews

He said, “It is a Waterproof Bible!” I said, “What?”

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Review of the English Standard Version (ESV) Waterproof Bible from Bardin & Marsee Publishing

The first time I saw a waterproof Bible it was a local Christian book store.  It seemed like a good idea.  At that time in my life I was planning for the end of the world, doomsday scenario.  The Bible was a KJV, so I wasn’t that interested.  Fast-forward a bit and now they make one in ESV.  I was very curious as to how they accomplished this feat of Bible construction.  I requested one for review from the publisher.  They sent one for me gratis for the purpose of honest review.

I’m not going to lie.  The idea of pouring water onto any book without damaging it is pretty novel. That novelty earns it some points.  Aside from the novelty, there are many practical reasons for having a waterproof Bible.  I like the notion of having a Bible I can take to Church Camp or Men’s Retreat, and not have to worry about it getting wet or dirty.  I can put it in my bag with my toothpaste and not worry about it getting messed up if the cap comes off.  I can read it at the table and not worry about spilling my drink on it.  If it does get messy from food, drink, dirt, mud, etc. I can just rinse it off and dry it with a towel or rag.

Some of the active peeps I know love their apps.  Bible apps are fine, but one update and the enemy can change all the content of the Bible so that it isn’t the same anymore.  Try pouring some coffee on your tablet or phone while reading your Bible via an app!  Good luck with that move.  Don’t drop your tablet in the dirt next to the fire pit.  You’ll break your screen.  What about when that battery gets low bro?  What then?  I love having a printed copy in hand to read from.  So if it is the Bible you run to the hills with, it won’t get remotely updated.  I jest… not really… OK, I’m kidding…

The Waterproof Bible was shipped to me packed in a cardboard box cushioned with paper packing material.

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The Bible is a bit heavier than a comparably sized conventional Bible.  I think this is due to the materials used in the manufacture of this Bible.  It was in pretty good shape when it arrived.  The corners were a little bent, but not bad.

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The Bible is printed in China.

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The page material seems to be some kind of plastic material that is very, very opaque.  This is a good thing.  You can’t see the text through the page.

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One problem with this Bible is that the pages and text are a bit glossy.  In sunlight they are pretty bright.  The cover is blue and white. The signatures are sewn and glued together. 

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If you look closely enough you can see that they use a pretty heavy looking cord to sew them together. 

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Since the pages aren’t conventional paper, I don’t see this Bible getting damaged.  It is a good investment even if you aren’t looking for a Bible to take into the wild.  It will survive the urban jungle as well.  Youth Pastors know what I mean.  There are short book introductions before each book.

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The 8 point font text is arranged in a double column format with references at the bottom of the page. 

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You can underline with pencils and ball-point pens.  Pens will dent the pages and sometimes skip.  Pencils do the same.  I wouldn’t buy this with the intentions of putting a bunch of notes in it.  I found that underlining is very doable, but note taking would be tough.  Wet highlighters won’t work, but dry ones and sharpies will.  There are no maps, concordance, or any other helps.  The Bible would be too heavy if it did have them.

If you are in the market for a very tough Bible that will live up to your active life, then this is the Bible for you.  Clearly printed font, no ghosting, rugged, and practical, this Bible is perfect for extreme applications.  Take it anywhere and no worries.


You can purchase one directly from the publisher at the link below,

or you can purchase one here, Amazon or here, Christianbook

Book Reviews · Theology

A Review of, “Learn to Read New Testament Greek” and the Workbook.

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This isn’t going to be like my typical Bible or book reviews.  I am going to spend some time using the text book and workbook.  I will try to post updates every week or so.  I will inform you of my progress, ease of use, and general effectiveness of the material.  The first week was pretty simple.  The book introduced the Greek alphabet and some basics about vowels, consonants, breathing marks, accents, punctuation, phonology and morphology, and diphthongs.  The workbook was useful for using the subject matter of the textbook.  However, there is no answer key in the back of the workbook so you’ll need to make certain you have a command of the subject matter before moving on, or you’ll have to get the help of a friend who already knows Koine Greek.  Since this is just the first week lesson, I don’t have much to report.  I hope you check back to see how it is going.  So long for now.

You can purchase the textbook on Christianbook  and on Amazon for about $18.50.

You can get the workbook on Christianbook and on Amazon for about $20.00