If you are like me, you probably have not heard of Christian Art Publishers or KJVBibles.com. It seems they are newcomers to the scene. We are all familiar with names like Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, Broadman & Holman, Christianbook.com, Lifeway.com. Unfortunately, some of the big names have been bought out by unbelievers over the years and don’t care as much about quality of materials or content. Hopefully we will see new independent companies/ministries arise who do care about quality of construction and content. We will see over time how things play out.
A representative of KJVBibles.com contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing one of their Bibles, and I was. They promptly sent me a copy of their Giant Print, thumb indexed, double column, red letter, edition, in brown genuine top grain cowhide leather. When I unboxed the copy, I discovered there was a minor defect. I informed them about it, and they sent me another copy without complaint, or difficulty. It arrived in the expected condition. Upon removing it from the shipping box, I was presented with a handsome two-piece retail box, that should be retained for storage when not in use.
Upon picking the Bible up, I could tell from the feel of the cover, and the looseness of the text block, that this was a good value for the suggested retail price. It is a visually interesting cover as well as tactilely. The words, “Holy Bible King James Version” are hot stamped in gold colored foil prominently on the front cover. The cover is perimeter stitched, and there are five decorative hubs ornamenting the spine. There is more hot stamping of gold colored foil on the spine. It reads from head to tail, “KJV,” “Holy Bible,” “King James Version,” and “CA” as a logo. The texture of the cover is not dramatically pronounced. It isn’t particularly thick either which explains the price.
The publisher’s page in the front indicates that the Bible was printed and bound in China. This also sheds light on the low price, but don’t let that scare you. Many Bibles are printed in China these days. The key is to implement strict quality control. If a publisher is able to do that successfully, you will receive a good quality product. Whether or not Christian Art Publisher has been able to do that will be seen over time.
The inside cover is lined with a sheet of what looks to be a thin vinyl sheet, glued down to the inside of the cover. I hope it holds up. It looks as if it could come unglued from the cover due to there not being any peach-flex acting as a stiffener and gluing surface. Of course, if there were, the cover would not be so flexible, and comfortable to hold, and there are worse things than an inner liner coming unglued. Personally, I wouldn’t mind if they were done away with, and another section of hide were used as an inner liner, but this would add to the cost of the addition. It is why the edge lined R. L. Allan’s, and Schuyler’s are at the top of the premium Bible market pecking order. The durability of this inner liner will also be seen over time.
As I mentioned earlier, the text block has just the right tension on the signatures to make it flexible, and durable. I was pleasantly surprised to see this. The page edge gilt took some flipping through the pages to get them separate. Take care not to tear them when separating the pages. I’m not one for thumb indexing. I find it slows you down, and the stickers have a bad habit of falling off. These do look like they are glued down well. Hopefully there won’t be any problems with them down the road.
The paper is a bit more toothy than what I am accustomed to in Bibles, but it does offer decent opacity at 75% and is 28 g.s.m. The 14 pt. font is nicely printed with sharp clean edges, and uniform consistency throughout. Even the red lettering is printed with similar quality. The red lettering is a bit lighter than some other publishers, but it is still quite legible thanks in part to the 14 pt. text.
The text is laid out in a double column, verse format, with footnotes, and limited cross references at the bottom. Due to the size of the text, and the volume, the page gutters are small. The looseness of the sewn text block does allow you to open it up far enough to read the text without it getting lost in the gutters. It lays nice and flat on your reading surface.
There is one narrow brown ribbon marker that matches the color of the leather cover, head and tail bands, and the inner liner. Overall it is an appealing edition.
There is a useful, if not small concordance in the back, as well as a reading plan, and scripture verse finder, and 8 color maps. I really like the paper that the maps and presentation pages are printed on. They are thick enough to take ink well, and not glossy. The glossy ones don’t take ink well, and often crack. These look much better and I think they will hold up well. I would however, swap out the scripture verse finder for a larger concordance, or a KJV glossary for archaic words that are unfamiliar to modern readers, if it were up to me. Trinitarian Bible Society on their Westminster KJV has a neat system where they have a star next to the archaic word in the body of text, and then a star in the margin with a modern replacement for that word in the margin. I’d love to see some system like that employed. I think it would help the younger readers appreciate the KJV translation better.
After using this Bible for a while, I’ve come to appreciate the easy to read text, the comfortable size, and the flexible cover. For the sub one-hundred-dollar niche this is a tremendous value. I’m all about finding a good value. Add in durability, good looks, and a great form factor, and you have a winner. If you are looking for a new KJV Bible for yourself, or as a gift, this would be a great choice. You can purchase yours from their website.
Here is a link to KJVBibles product page for this edition.
You can also purchase a copy on Christianbook.com
Don’t forget to check out more pictures at my Flickr page.