Review of the Crossway E.S.V. TruTone Single Column Heritage Edition Bible.

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I purchased this Bible because it was on sale for 80% off.  I figured I could write a review, and then gift it to someone.  After receiving it, I might just keep it for a rebind project.  It arrived undamaged.  It was in a cardboard box with two other ESV Bibles, I ordered at the same time.  This one has a clamshell retail box.  If you need to store your Bible, it is always a good idea to keep the retail box.

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This Bible is the soft leather-look, TruTone brown/burgundy, with band design.  TruTone is a synthetic cover material that simulates leather.  It is one of the better synthetic covers on the market.  

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The inside liner is paper as this is a case bound Bible.
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The cover around the spine is ornamented with, “Holy Bible, ESV, the ESV logo, English Standard Version, and the Crossway logo” in gold.  

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There are brown head and tail bands, as well as one brown ribbon marker.  The spine, and corners are rounded.  The page edges are gold gilt.  
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There is a presentation page up front, along with the typical copyright/publisher’s information page.

 
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I really like the size of this little text edition.  It isn’t too big, or small.  It measures about 5.5”x7.5”  It is pretty portable, though not as much as a true compact, pocket size, thinline, or ultrathin.  
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Of course you would lose the font size and paper quality to drop down to those sizes.  I think this is a pleasing compromise in Bible design.  Since it is a single column text edition, it can afford to be smaller than a reference Bible.  It also utilizes a 9 point Lexicon font, which is a great choice for a Bible of this size.  Crossway also employed line matching, which greatly reduces ghosting. (being able to see the text from the opposite side of the paper)  The paper is 31 g.s.m. Thincoat Max, 1720ppi.

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Between the great paper, clear uniformly printed text, and line matching, this Bible is very legible.  
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The spine is smyth sewn.  

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This in conjunction with the soft cover, make this a very flexible Bible.

 
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I can fold it over on itself.  Then, hold it like a magazine in one hand.  This is my prefered way to read.  It also opens fairly flat. I don’t think it is suited well to pulpit duty as it is a paragraph format Bible.  It lends itself to devotional, and daily reading.  It would be perfect for that with one more ribbon marker.  There is not a concordance or any other helps or features except for some colored maps in the back.
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My overall impression of this Bible is favorable.  I think it fulfills the purpose for which it was designed in an exemplary manner.  It is a great value, legible, portable, durable, and flexible.  It is not so nice, that I’m afraid of hurting it.  It is a good value and should provide you with years of service.

You can pick up your copy at Christianbook.  Amazon also sells them.

Make sure to check out all of the pictures of this Bible on my Flickr page.
ISBN 9781433537370

Review of the Trinitarian Bible Society’s (T.B.S.) Hebrew/Greek Bible.

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This Bible was well packaged in a heavy duty clamshell type paper covered cardboard box, with packing foam inside.  TBS does an excellent job of packaging their Bibles.  I have never received one damaged in the least.  

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This edition is a vinyl covered hardback, with the Hebrew Old Testament starting where the back of the book would be, and the Greek New Testament starting where the front would be.  This might seem backwards to you if you are unfamiliar with Hebrew, but you wouldn’t be buying this book if you were… would you?  

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I was very impressed with the apparent quality of this book considering the low cost.  Those two things alone make this a great value.  Other original language Bibles go for three times this price to start and climb up from there.  I assume that the low price can be attributed to the fact that TBS is a ministry not a for profit corporation.  I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at the copyright/publisher information page, and found that this volume was printed and bound by Jongbloed.  

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They are the premier printer and binder of premium Bibles.  I don’t think any company in the world does a better job at this point in time.  This fact explains the excellent print job.  All of the masoretic vowel marks are printed sharply and uniformly, along with all of the 9 pt. Greek and Hebrew text.

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This makes them supremely legible compared to other lesser print shops work.  All of the text is printed in black.  The notes at the bottom of the Hebrew section are so small they are difficult to read.  

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The Greek is text only.  The pages are a smooth Bible paper, comparable to the paper of the Cambridge Clarion, but perhaps a bit whiter.  I found it to be opaque with limited ghosting.  

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The page edges are white.  The spine is rounded and smyth sewn.  The corners are not rounded.  There are two round ribbon markers, that are silver.  The head and tail bands match the markers in color.  

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This Bible is close to the same size as the Cambridge Clarion.  The specific texts used in this Bible are, the Ginsburg/Bomberg edition of the Hebrew Masoretic Text, and the Textus Receptus of F.H.A. Scrivener for the New Testament.  I imagine if you are thinking of purchasing this Bible it is because of the source texts.  I am not a KJV onlyist.  I don’t agree with their assertions.  However, I do understand people who prefer the KJV.  Some prefer it because of the source texts, some prefer the way early modern English sounds.  While I can appreciate those preferences, I oppose those who make it a matter of salvation.  There are groups out there that say, “If you haven’t heard the gospel preached to you in KJV English, then you are not saved.”  I don’t believe that is what T.B.S. is about.  From what I’ve read on their site, they use the KJV because they believe it has the best source text.  I use the NASB primarily, but still enjoy reading from the KJV and 1599 Geneva from time to time.   

Make sure to check out all the pictures I took on my Flickr page here.

You can purchase it from TBS on their site here.

You can also purchase it on Amazon

ISBN 9781862281165

 

 

Review of the Chronological Study Bible in NKJV from Thomas Nelson. Earth Brown/Auburn Leathersoft.

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It is a novel idea, but not very practical. It is also not a study Bible. It is more of a reference Bible with added notes. If you want to look up a verse you have to go to the verse index in the back, find the verse you are looking for, then go to the page indicated by the index. I know that if you have purchased this Bible it is probably for the chronological arrangement, but the trouble of finding your way in this is not worth the trouble in my opinion. There is a good reason for having the Bible arranged in books instead of epochs. They could have scrapped the book, chapter, and verse, format altogether and went solely with the epoch arrangement. This would have required the user to learn the location of verses within their historical location, but would have negated the need for an awkward index system utilized by this hybrid arrangement. Of course they wouldn’t be able to reach as many customers that way. The best option, in my opinion is to stick with the book, chapter, and verse arrangement, and use book introductions with the appropriate notes. The typical commentary notes you’d expect from a study Bible are missing. Instead there are features, or small articles interspersed throughout the Bible. Many of these are not Reformed, or complementarian friendly. They also seem to employ a cultural hermeneutic to many scripture passages instead of the proper hermeneutic for the particular passage. It is obvious that this Bible’s articles are focused on appealing to the modern cultural sensitivities in hopes of selling more Bibles. If you are a Methodist, Nazarene, Arminian Baptist, or any other non-Calvinistic confessor you will like the notes.
The heading for Romans 8 says that it is about the rejection of the gospel by Israel. From that heading it is meant that Romans 8 is about a national election not an individual one. Which is quite odd considering how most of the converts of the early Church were Israelites. The gospel came to them first and then the gentiles. In Ephesians 5 there is an article imposing a cultural hermeneutic on the passage instead of making it prescriptive it is implied that this was just for that culture. The same thing is done with 1 Timothy 2.

The Bible was shipped in a cardboard box with air bladder packing material.  The Bible arrived undamaged.

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It has a two piece retail box.

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The synthetic cover has perimeter stitching.

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The stitching would have been a nice feature if the inside liner were not paper.

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The cover is pretty flexible.  That in conjunction with the sewn binding makes the entire Bible flexible.

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There is a single ribbon marker, along with gold gilt page edges.

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The text is in a double column format with full color features interspersed throughout.  The 9 pt. font is legible and uniformly printed.

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There is a substantial concordance in the back and some ruled paper for notes.

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This Bible is advertised as a study Bible, but it is definitely not.  It forgoes them for biased articles.  If this were just a NKJV Bible I would recommend it, but due to the bias in the articles, and notes I cannot. I would definitely not purchase this Bible unless I was not a Calvinist. I found it insulting to be honest.

2383E
ISBN 9780718040536

If you’d like to purchase this Bible you can get a copy here.

Make sure to look at all the pictures I took of this Bible on the Flickr album page.

Review of the, “The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible in Genuine Leather.

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I requested a review copy quite some time ago, and was refused.  This is why it has taken a while for me to do a review of this Bible.  Recently I purchased a copy, at my own expense for the purpose of review.  I was curious about this Bible because of the title.  I am a Reformed Baptist.  I hold to reformed soteriology.  Since I affirm believer’s baptism, or credal baptism, I cannot be said to have Reformed theology proper, as that would include infant baptism, or paedo-baptism along with some other theological distinctions.    

This Bible came shipped by Amazon in a cardboard box with no padding.  
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One of the corners of the retail clamshell box was dented.  The Bible inside was undamaged.  
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When I first examined the Bible I didn’t notice that some of the pages were folded under and failed to be trimmed with the text block.  I had to trim them myself with an exacto knife.  I contacted Reformation Heritage by e-mail.  It has been several weeks without a response.  I was waiting to do the review because part of my e-mail had to do with questions about this Bible’s manufacture.  I wouldn’t let their failure to respond stop you from purchasing this Bible.  

This edition has a genuine cowhide leather cover and not pigskin leather.  On the front cover, “Holy Bible” is hot stamped in gold color foil.  The texture of the leather seems to be natural and comfortable to hold.  this is a case bound Bible.

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It is not as high grade as some, but far exceeds many lesser quality covers on Bibles in the same price range.  This Bible lists for about $80.00, but I purchased it on sale for $55.88 from Amazon.  You would be hard pressed to find a study Bible with all of the features this Bible has for the same price.  We are talking about an American printed and bound Bible with smyth-sewn spine, cowhide leather cover, unique study notes, creeds and confessions, notes on family application, and numerous articles in back along with a concise concordance and maps.

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This Bible is only available in the King James Version. (KJV)  It is a verse format, double column,  layout with notes at the bottom of the page.  

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Before each book is an introduction and outline of the book.  

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A sharply printed and uniformly inked 9.8 pt. Minion Font is used for the text of the Bible, and 8 pt. Myriad SemiCondensed Font for the notes is employed.  

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The page margins are pretty small, so you won’t be making many notations in them.  The page edges are gold gilt.  The corners are rounded, the spine is not.  

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Since this Bible employs a sewn binding it lays flat without having to fight the binding or cover.  It is pretty flexible.

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There are gold and burgundy head and tail bands as well as two narrow yet, substantial black ribbons.  

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The ribbons are both fixed in the spine at the same place making them a bit awkward compared to others that are glued in differently.  

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I truly like the paper used for the presentation/records section in the front and the maps in the back.  RHB made the best decision of not using the glossy papers that crack.  Instead they went with a thicker matte paper that will last a long time.  

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I would have liked to see a thicker, more opaque paper employed, however, to include all of the features in one volume without making it a behemoth like the ESV study Bible, I can understand why the chose the paper they did.  Don’t misunderstand me, the paper isn’t bad.  It is just a little less opaque than I would like.  Ghosting isn’t bad at all and it appears that line matching was employed.  For the money, there aren’t many full study Bibles on the market that could compete with this one.  I highly recommend this Bible if you are a fan of the KJV, and historic creeds and confessions.  It is an all around solid study Bible.  Here is a link to the publisher’s page for this edition.  Here is a link to this edition on Amazon.  Finally, here is a link to this Bible on Christianbook.

Don’t forget to visit my flickr album of all the pictures I took of this Bible.

ISBN: 9781601783264

Grace

Unmerited favor

curried for me

In eternity prior

By God sovereignly.

 

I failed to want His grace you see

Certainly not required for me

No thoughts of shame or guilt to ply

The focus of my dimmed eye.

 

What use is grace to me?

I am good, certainly.

I need no pardon or reprieve.

For I am great don’t you see.

 

In my own mind I’m a saint.

Suffering no sinful taint.

No sins solely mine.

No need of the divine.

 

Until the day of my rebirth

When i lost my carefree mirth

Self-righteous deception

In blindness did

Manifested its debt prior, well hid.

 

My countenance fell

With deep regret.

Sorrow O my soul!

How could I’ve been so blind?

To give God no mind.

 

Now humbled

I seek some peace

In reverence I beseech

Forgive this wretched beast?

 

This foul dreg, now pardoned saint

Impassioned now for what was quaint.

Eyes quickened with life’s blessed gleam

Surveying what was once unseen.

 

Thanks to the Spirit

who is making me whole

O glory to the Holy One

Who has saved my soul

And blessed be my Jesus

His praises I extol!

Hurt Puppy and Angry Jihadist.

Ok, picture this, a cute cuddly puppy with an injured paw.  Not his dad, but his foot.  

Your first emotion wouldn’t be to go over and stomp its brains out.  You would feel compassion for it.  You would want to help it if you could.  We’ve all seen the commercials that use emotional manipulation to make you feel guilty and send money.  Now picture a person you hate, look down on, or disgusts you.

 



If you are a Christian, you should feel the same feelings for these people that you feel for the puppy.  It is easy to hate people.  It is easy to feel superior to others.  It is hard to be humble and serve people who would kill you.  All of the lost people are slaves to their sin and are headed for hell.  They are under the condemnation of sin.  We have Christ as our Savior, not because of something about us, but because of Him.  We know what it is to be at peace with God, yet we somehow think it alright to hate these people.  Imagine that you are holding the nails in one hand and a hammer in the other.  Imagine that you have just nailed Jesus to the cross of His crucifixion.  Imagine that you killed Jesus with your sins.  Now stop imagining it and realize the truth of it.  How much more disgusting are we when we see ourselves as better than the lost in the world?  We need to repent and ask God to humble us.  We need to give grace to those who don’t even know they need it.

The Parable About the Persistent Widow is Not What You Think.

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Turns out the parable about the persistent widow in Luke 18 is not about annoying God into giving you what you want.  I know, that isn’t what you’ve been told.  I have heard it myself, “Folks let me tell ya whata.  If you are in need it is because you aren’t being persistent in petitioning Goda!  If you’ns would just get on your knees, and just ask Goda to give you the money for a new pickup, and do it every daya He would answers your prayers just like He’d done for that poor wida woman.  Can I geta amena!”

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. “There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ “For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.'” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
[Luke 18:1-8 NASB]

So you see that this parable is more about how God will answer the faithful prayers of those who are suffering injustice because He is just.  God is not an unjust judge.  He is the perfectly righteous and just judge.  As such, He does not act in anyways unfair.  “will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?”  Then to drive the point home Jesus says, “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly.”  So you see, this isn’t a method to twist God’s arm to get Him to give you what you want.  After all we are told to not repeat prayers like the pagans in Matthew 6:7 “”And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
[Matthew 6:7 NASB]”

This brings up another question though.  What is meant by meaningles repetition?  Well I can tell you for sure it isn’t when you are in the throws of suffering and you are crying out to God for relief, and praying over and over for His help.  That kind of praying is what you should be doing.  We are talking about long winded, scripted or non-scripted prayers that are not from the heart, but rather to make you appear spiritual, or for any other purpose than the proper use of prayer.

I am not telling you to only pray once to God when you are deeply troubled.  If that is what you are getting out of this you are missing the point.  The point is don’t follow the prosperity preachers in some twisting of scripture as a formula for extorting God.  Got it Skippy?  Good.