Review of the Zondervan NASB Classic Reference Bible in Black Genuine Top Grain Leather ISBN-13:9780310931294

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I had to buy this one folks because Zondervan doesn’t send me free ones.  I hope you appreciate it. 🙂   I was looking for an Ultrathin to replace my black Lockman NASB in genuine leather.  I came across this one from Zondervan.  Now, it is not marketed as an Ultrathin, but it is almost exactly the same dimensions as my Lockman.  The Lockman I reviewed here is burgundy, but it is the same as my black one that I kept in my lunchbox for a few years until I wore it out.  I really loved the size, layout, cover material, binding, and of course the NASB translation, but it had thin paper.  I was hoping that I would love this Zondervan as well, but there are a couple of areas where it falls down.  First, the cover material is advertised as, “top grain leather.”  It may be top grain leather, but not from a cow.  I don’t know, but it looks and feels like the cheap pigskin leather marketed as, “genuine leather” on less expensive Bibles.  Pigskin leather is shiny, and usually has a grain stamped into it.  The binding tape they used for this Bible also fights against you.  It should loosen up a bit as it gets broken in.  Combine that with the cover material, and it is kind of a let down considering the price.  It is also not as supple, or flexible as top grain cowhide leather.  I really like Vachetta calfskin leather.  It is so soft to the touch, it makes you want to pick up and hold your Bible.  Here is a review I did of a Cambridge Cameo in Vachetta.  The Zondervan borders on false advertising, and relies on the consumer’s ignorance, as well as a lack of industry standards.

The Zondervan does have a sewn spine.
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This is a necessity as far as I’m concerned.  I won’t purchase Bibles with glued bindings.  I think we should respect that we aren’t purchasing just some book.  We are purchasing a copy of God’s word, to be studied and daily utilized.  The amount of wear and tear daily use, along with travel, will cause is incomparable to a novel.  So why in the world would publishers think it acceptable to print Bibles as if they are some story book?  Well, we all know the answer to that, money $$$.

While this Bible isn’t extremely expensive.  The cover is made from a genuine hide of some kind.

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I have had this Bible for a little while now.  The cover is softening up a bit.  The binding is also getting broken in.   It lays flat now when I put it on the table to read from it.
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There is a presentation page in the front.
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The standard notes from Lockman about the NASB translation are present as well.    This Bible is printed in China according to the publisher’s information in the front.
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The page edges are gold gilt, with rounded corners and a rounded spine.  The pages are printed well.  It would be a bit better if they had utilized a bolder font.  As it is, the text is clearly printed and uniform.
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It is laid out in a double column, verse format, with center column references, and footnotes.  There are pilcrows, or paragraph markers noting the start of new paragraphs.  This is a helpful feature when you are using a verse format Bible like this one.
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The paper is acceptably opaque.  Ghosting is not bad considering this is a less expensive Bible.  The ghosting on this Zondervan is not near as bad as it is on the Lockman.  So in that category it is a win for the Zondervan.
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The Zondervan is on the right, with the Lockman on the left.

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The words of Christ are in red, making this a red letter edition.  The red is not too bright.
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The Lockman is lacking something this Zondervan has, brief book introductions.  They might not seem that important, but they are a welcomed addition to any reference Bible. You get an introduction and concise outline. The introduction consists of, title and background, author and date of writing, and the theme and message.
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This Bible also includes decorative head and tail bands, decorative gilt line around the perimeter of the inside cover, a perimeter groove on the outside cover, and one black ribbon marker.
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In the back of the Bible we have a useful double column concordance, Promises from the Bible, Perspectives from the Bible, and 8 color maps.

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Overall, this is a great little Bible. If you are after a verse format, ultrathin reference Bible in NASB with a leather cover, this has got you covered. There are more expensive Bibles. There are better built Bibles, but this one is in the sweet spot. It is better than your regular cheap bargain bin Bibles, and better than the value line Bibles. This would make a great gift for the Christian on the go, who wants a full reference Bible in a thin package. You can pick one up on Amazon.com, or Christianbook.com  You can read more about it on Zondervan’s product page.  If you would like, go to my flickr page and look at all the pictures of this Bible.  As always, thanks for reading and have a great Christmas.

Scared, Stay Safe? What in the World are they Scared of?

I’m sure many of you have seen the Facebook posts from your liberal friends and family.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  The ones that say, “Scared” or “Stay safe.”  What is it they are supposedly afraid of?  Do they actually think that conservatives are going to boldly go out and hunt them down?  Do they think that we are going to pass laws to take away the rights they share with us?  Nope, they aren’t afraid of anything.

It is insulting, passive aggressive, victim stance propaganda.  We need to handle it the same way we need to handle the other idiotic accusations these lost people make.  Think about how they operate.  They are intolerant.  They accuse us of being intolerant.  They are violent.  They accuse us of being violent.  They are racists they accuse us of being racist.  Do you see the pattern?  So when they say, “Scared” or, “Stay Safe” what they are really saying is that we are the ones who should be scared, and take measures to ensure our safety.

With that being said, pack your sidearms if you’ve got them.  You never know when you’ll run into a roadblock full of nice pacifists protestors who are going to yank you out of your car and beat you to death for just being white, or having a Christian bumper sticker.  Heaven forbid you were one of the millions of people who voted for Trump.  Then they will hunt you down, follow you back to your house, or your work, so they can break your windows and  loot your business.  They are so loving and tolerant…  if you are one of them.  If you are not, look out.

Just remember, the Bible says it will be your loved ones turning you over to the government to be martyred.  These lunatics actually think they are doing good.  Trump isn’t the person I would have lead our country, but I voted for him, because he was not as pro-abortion as Hillary.  So if that makes me a person they are afraid of, so be it.  Abortion is not a right, no matter what the supreme court says.  They invented that right in 1973 with Roe vs. Wade.  Our real rights are God given.  They aren’t created by courts.  I don’t expect any of these slaves of satan to understand that though.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
(Romans 1:18-32 NASB)

I Know Everyone is Preaching Unity, Love, and Acceptance, but…

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When the Bible talks about unity, it is for unity among the believers.  When the Bible talks about loving your brother, it is talking about your brother in Christ.  When it talks about acceptance, it is not about accepting sin.

The enemies of the gospel, Christ, and the cross are our enemies as well.  They are the ones who are sold out to Satan.  They hate the gospel, they hate Jesus, they pervert scripture, and they hate His sheep.  These people are not the same as the lost who are living their lives in ignorance.  The lost, for the most part are just plain ignorant about God.  They don’t really care.  The enemies of the gospel are different.  They have made up their minds.  They hate God, His Word, and His gospel.  They also hate His followers and everything that He says is good.

They push every sinful agenda you can think of.  These agendas are part of a larger, “Death Culture” worldview.  They love every defilement of what God says is good.  Just to name a few things; atheism, gender perversion, gay marriage/defilement of marriage, fornication, adultery, liberalizing of the Church, drug use, and so on.  They love anyone who agrees with them and they hate anyone who disagrees.  They preach tolerance while being some of the most intolerant people in the world.

So in the wake of this election, I’d like to share a different perspective and line of advice.  I am not preaching love, tolerance, peace, unity, and acceptance solely for their own sake.  No, I’m preaching being in the world, but not of it.  I’m preaching, put on the full armor of God, pray for your enemies…  they are your enemies.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking they are simply your neighbors and coworkers.  These are the folks that the Bible says will turn you over to the authorities to be martyred, your sons and daughters.

Remember folks, this is a life of death war, eternal life is on the line.  We are to blame for turning our Church services into entertainment for goats.  Church is for the saved of God, to give glory to God!  We are to worship Him together with our brothers and sisters.  We are to go out and be the ones who deliver the uncomfortable truth!  You are sinners!  Repent and believe the gospel!  Hell is real!  Jesus is God!

I don’t care how many people are triggered.  I want to trigger them all!  They need to be shaken down to their cores!  I don’t care how many of them are scared!  They very well should be scared!  They are headed straight to Hell for all eternity!  We need to scare them!  How else can we love our enemies?  This is true love, to tell them the truth, to give them the gospel that can convert their hearts.  So, offend them, offend them all in the name of God!

“The Heaven Promise” by Scot McKnight does not rise above.

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There are plenty of books out on Heaven currently.  This is one among them.  Scot Mcknight is a talented writer.  His book is interesting to read.  I can agree with much of what he said, if I give him the benefit of the doubt in some areas.

The difficulty I have with Christian books is that I look for books that will add value to the Christian’s library.  In the world of Christian books, I read works of scholarly endeavor, and works for the laymen.  In those two groups I apply the same standard, “Does this book rise above the current crop and add value to my library?”  Both categories are flooded, and in my opinion encumbered by copious amounts of average to damaging works.  Every once in awhile I run into a book that does add value to my library.  I heartily recommend those books.  In the laymen’s category, I loved, “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan.  I also loved, “The Holiness of God” by R. C. Sproul.  In the scholastic category, I relished, “Evangelical Influences” by J. I. Packer.  Books like those don’t come around often.

To answer the question formulating in your mind, “Nope, this isn’t one of them.”  Like I said above,  “Scot Mcknight is a talented writer.”  Unfortunately, this book just sets in the middle of the field.  This book was  not aimed at scholars.  It was aimed at the average Christian.  It kept things pretty simple.  It is obvious that Scott leans a little to the left theologically.  He seems like, “emergent lite.”  He obviously thinks Calvinists are wrong.  (Read page 174)  He quotes John Henry Newman and Richard Foster.  One is a Roman Catholic, and the other is an emergent Church mystic.  He makes speculations based on only four options expressed by Jerry Walls, about how God ensures that everyone, even the dead get to hear the gospel.  He does this without ever really presenting the gospel.  The four presupposed options are severely lacking.  This is done on pages 160, 161.

In Chapter 23 he claims purgatory is a doctrine that has divided the Church.  To that I can only shake my head in astonishment.  Unless, in his horrible ecumenism he thinks the Roman Catholic Church is part of the catholic faith, he is including them as Christian.  It also seems that he is teaching that we do things for an eternal reward primarily.  He fails to teach that we should be doing things primarily for the glory of God.  We know that there are rewards for us in Heaven, but that should not be our primary motivation for doing things that are pleasing to God.  He also seems to place an undue amount of importance on the environment.  I don’t know if he understands that God is going to destroy the world with fire.  He tends to speculate where scripture is silent.

So if you are looking for a book on Heaven, that will add value to your library, purchase, “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn instead.  “The Heaven Promise” by Scot McKnight is just mediocre.  It has some problems.  It gets some stuff right, but ultimately it is just o.k.

ISBN-13: 9781601426284