I know this might sound like heresy on the level of Arius but, I like this Bible more than its goat skin, edge lined, art gilt, counterpart. This has got to be about as close to perfect for note taking as one can get. I reviewed the goat skin leather one a while back. You can read about that edition here. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying it is better quality or better in features. What I am saying is that the goat skin leather edition was so nice that it was difficult for me to write in. That might sound strange to you, but it wouldn’t if you held it and realized how much it cost. It is probably the first or second best Bible I’ve ever owned.
The hard back edition has the same lovely, enlarged, Pitt Minion typeset. It has the same generously wide margins. It has the same durable, flexible smyth-sewn binding. The quality binding ensures that it will open easily and lay flat right from the get go. That means you don’t have to put a paper weight on one of the corners to keep it open, like some cheaper bindings. It was printed and bound by Jongbloed in the Netherlands just like the luxury goat skin leather edition. It is exactly the same except it has a hard back cover. It is case bound.
The page edges are not gilt. There is one lovely, red ribbon marker, contrasting beautifully against the thick, white, paper.
The hard back is much less expensive. You can buy it online for approximately $50 to $70. I’ll include links at the end of the review. The cover is a built in desk, for when you are in Church, or at Bible study. With the goat skin covered edition you really can’t write in it unless it is on a desk or table. The cover is just so flexible. The hard back of course doesn’t have that issue.
From the pictures you can see the outstanding quality of the paper. It is smooth, opaque, uniform in color and texture, as well as being thick.
The print is 8 point in size. It is a larger version of the Pitt Minion. I know some of you might expect larger text in a Bible this size, but don’t forget, this is a wide margin. If you want room for notes and you don’t want a two inch thick Bible you have to compromise someplace. I think the text is just the right size. It is so wonderfully done that it is easy to read, very legible. The printing is uniformly done and consistent throughout. Even the red text is printed with the same quality. Just look at the picture above closely and you will see. The text is arranged in a double column paragraph format, with references in the center. The margins are nice and wide. The extensive Lockman Foundation cross references are very helpful. I use them often.
I wanted to show how well the paper took ink, pencil, and highlighter. I used a Lammy fountain pen, with and extra fine nib, and Waterman’s black ink. I also used a medium point ball point pen, with black ink, and a #2 graphite pencil. You can see that neither the fountain pen or ball point ink pen showed through the page significantly. The wet highlighter did much better than I expected. I thought it would bleed through more than it did. On most other Bibles it is like highlighting the verses on the other side of the page as well. Since this paper is over 30 g.s.m. it takes the stands up to ink better.
There is a useful concordance in the back along with 15 maps that make use of the big pages.
Cambridge included several pages of ruled paper in the back for notes as well as an index section that is blank so you can fill it in yourself. I would highly recommend this Bible for anyone looking for a wide margin.
Be sure to look at all of the pictures I took of this Bible here on my Flickr page.