tome of tomes, get it? Well, I thought it was funny.
The Bible has been called the, “Book of books.” This Bible gives you the impression that it is a, “Tome of Tomes.” It is large and substantial. The size of this thing is not in vain. The paper is terrific, the print is great, and the binding is sewn. Not to mention all of the 436 interesting photographs. (Yes, they are from real photographs, not pictures snapped by a teenager with their phone, while on vacation.) The photographs are from the 1800’s and early 1900’s. They give you the feel that you are looking at an Israel before modern tourism. Of course there was tourism in Israel back then. These are just lacking modern accoutrements. The pictures help you to connect the places that you are reading about, to their actual locations. The photographs enrich the readers experience. I don’t know of any other Bible out there like this one. It isn’t really a family Bible. It isn’t one that I would take to Church, or carry around, due to the size, but it definitely scratches an itch for those of us who want to see the sites. It fills a niche that leaves it with little competition. There are archeological Bibles with pictures, but there is a distinct difference in their purpose, design, and layout.
It is also appealing because of the cover. I realize it is not genuine, tooled leather. It is a synthetic cover, but it does a good job of masquerading as an ancient tome that you discovered in an old library, far from home. That makes it kind of fun to have and put on display. I put it on the coffee table for a while and now it is on the mantle. Here is what the description on Lockman Foundation’s page says about it,
From Sacralion Publishing House, Includes 436 pictures of Holy Places taken between the middle 19th – early 20th centuries. These images are spread throughout the whole biblical text and correspond exactly to the specific verses in the Holy Bible.
Features include, Concordance, Maps, Full Column Cross References and notes, Verse Format, Black Letter, Two Column Text, Photograph Index, Two Marker Ribbons, Old Testament Genealogy Tables, and Illustrations.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the NASB translation of the Bible, I can assure you it is one of, if not the most accurate translations out there. Lockman Foundation is dedicated to being loyal to God in their translation work. You won’t find any gender inclusive agenda with them. Some people say it is a bit more difficult to read, but I have never experienced that. I have found it an accurate translation that conveys the majesty of God’s word in a modern English translation.
So without further eloquence I will now show you the pictures.
The Bible arrived packaged in two boxes. One was inside the other cushioned with paper. I imagine this was due to the size and weight of this Bible. It arrived undamaged and in good condition.
It was shrink wrapped and labeled.
The spine is hot stamped with, “Holy Bible” at the top, “The New Illustrated Bible of Jerusalem” next, and then, “Updated New American Standard” and finally at the bottom, “Sacralion Publishing House.” The front cover is stamped with, “Holy Bible.” As well as being gilded it is ornately decorated like the cover.
As I mentioned earlier the synthetic cover is stamped to look like tooled leather. It does add to the aesthetic value of the Bible as well as the tactile experience. Of course this leads one to wonder what this Bible would look like with a tooled leather cover.
The first few pages are an, “Introduction to the New Illustrated Bible of Jerusalem.”
Then we have, “A note to readers.”
The, “List of Photographic Illustrations” in the front of the Bible is very helpful in being able to match a photograph to scripture and its real location, as well as the page number it is on.
The Bible is wonderfully formatted. It is a joy to read. The double column, verse format has a center column reference. The center column is black text on a grey background. The font is printed sharply and well inked against the cream colored paper. The paper is very opaque. There is virtually no ghosting making this one of the least distracting Bibles to read.
There are two ribbon markers that are quite different from what I am accustomed to. They aren’t flat. They are round. The ends are frayed, and it looks like they are supposed to be this way. I have a Greek New Testament that has the same style ribbon marker. It was bound in Germany. Since both came new out of the packaging like this and I have seen others like this, I assumed this is the style. One is a white and the other is blue.
The photographs are black and white. They are placed with relevant scriptures to help the reader connect to what they are reading. Here is an example of some of the photographs you’ll see in this Bible.
The binding on this large Bible is sewn. That is in my opinion a must for a large book of any kind. It enables a book of this size to fully open. At the end of the Bible is a Concordance, The Old Testament Genealogical Tables, and 11 maps. I think that this is a compelling enough edition that every home library should have one of these.