The Much Anticipated Schuyler Personal Size Quentel NASB Bible!

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I know you’ve heard me extol the virtues of a few different Bibles in the past.  I know there are a lot of truly great editions out there.  I’m not trying to take anything away from them when I say this.  This is the perfect Bible. (for me.)  Keep in mind that the features/attributes of any edition are appreciated subjectively by the individual.  We all like different things.

I have been looking for a Bible like this for a very long time.  Like you, I’ve purchased several Bibles looking for the one that satisfy most of my desired features.  It never fails, I use them for a while and get irritated with one of the design, “flaws.”  They aren’t really flaws folks, just features I didn’t like, or missing ones I do like.  Bible design is difficult.  You have to work with different finite attributes.  I think it is impossible to make one edition that everyone will think is perfect for them.

This of course, is a modern problem.  In the past you didn’t have much choice.  You were blessed to have one.  Go back far enough and it was illegal for you to own one.  Thanks to God and the men of the Protestant Reformation we have God’s word available for almost anyone who wants a copy.  Count your blessings folks if you have one Bible and appreciate the providence of God that you were born in a time and place such as things are where you can get picky about what features you would prefer.  I know I do.

The Personal Size Quentel is just the right size to hold for long reading sessions.  The font is 8.5 pt.  It is a bit small for people with eye problems who don’t want to wear reading glasses or their prescription lenses, but for people like me, or folks who do wear corrective lenses, the font is clear, sharp, uniform, and overall well done.  It is very legible without being too small.  If they had made the font any larger they would have had to increase either the page size or number of pages.  If they wanted to keep the Bible the same thickness they would have had to decrease the paper thickness.  This would have made the paper less opaque.  Everything is tied together.

If you are like me, the full size Quentel is just too large to drag around everywhere.  Compact Bibles are too small, and their font is too small.  Usually 6 pt for them.  The Ultrathins and Thinlines are nice, but their length and widths are too much for holding in one hand unless you fold the cover completely over.  When I saw the dimensions for this edition listed on evangelicalBible.com I was excited and hopeful.  I had been waiting for a Bible with all the stats that they were posting, and it was coming out in NASB to boot!  I was like, “Take my money!” All that was left now was for them to get them and ship them out.

Here are the vital stats from evangelicalBible.com the ones responsible for Schuyler. Natural Grain Firebrick Red Goatskin with Dark Red Calfskin Liner
Same Pagination as the Quentel Series – (all page numbers and format will be identical)
Approximate font size: 8.5
4.7″ x 7.1″ x 1″ (120 mm x 180 mm x 25 mm)
Line Matching
28 GSM Indopaque paper
2 Ribbon Markers (Dark Red)
Art-Gilt edging (red under gold)
9mm yapp
Smyth Sewn
Black letter text (chapter numbers, headers and page number in red)
More than 95,000 entry cross references
Presentation page
Lined note paper
Extensive Schuyler Bible Maps

The Personal Size NASB Quentel arrived undamaged from evangelicalbible.com  There was a small dent in the cardboard box, but the Bible inside was packaged in a bubble wrap.  The retail two piece presentation box was not dented.

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The Bible was wrapped in two pieces of paper to help the Bible keep its shape, and protect it during shipping.  There was a business card from evangelicalbible.com in the box as well as a warranty card.  I’ve never had any problems with a Bible from evangelicalbible.com, but I know people who have had some experience with them.  I’ve heard they are always kind, and ready to replace a Bible you are not happy with.

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As you can see, I ordered the firebrick red.  I like it a lot.  It is a bit darker than my R. L. Allan NASB Reader’s edition, but I think they make a lovely couple.  I find the crosses stamped into the front cover to be a pleasing feature.  I don’t know how well gold stamped lettering would hold up in a cover so flexible, so the stamped crosses make sense.  The perimeter stitching is executed flawlessly.  There are no missed stitches, or mistakes.

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Wow, look at the size of that Bible!  My hand almost covers it.  Just the right size for me.  You might also think that, if you are like me in your tastes.

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Here is an NASB Cambridge Clarion in black edge lined goatskin next to the Personal Size Quentel.  The Clarion is a bit wider across.  This makes it a little harder for me to hold onto with one hand, while reading.

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The Clarion is also quite a bit more thick when compared to the Quentel.

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The head and tail bands are white.  They are understated and clean.

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The spine has five raised spine hubs.  They are all straight and parallel to each other.  The gold stamping on the spine is not too busy.  It gives you the information without putting too many decorations on it.  As usual, Jongbloed has done a great job with this edition.

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The grain of the goatskin along with the red cover is visually striking and attractive.  I think it is something special.

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Here is another picture of the inside cover and corner.  You can see up close the stitching, gilt line, and even pores of the cowhide liner.  The darker maroon color of the inner liner accentuates the firebrick red of the outside.

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Where the text block is attached to the cover the hearty card page stock in the front and back of the Bible are glued up further than needed to strengthen the connection.  This will help your Bible last a long time.  It is not a defect. 🙂

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The stamp on the front cover is barely visible through the inner liner.  This picture gives you a better look at it.

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I think Schuyler did the right thing by keeping the presentation page clean and simple.  I would leave the family record pages to Bibles with more room.

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The copyright information page shows that this bible was made in the Netherlands by Jongbloed.

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Here is a shot of one page singled out with direct light from behind it.  If they had gone thicker it would have ruined the hand feel if you ask me.  I am glad they didn’t.  If they had gone thinner it would have been to transparent and the ghosting would have been a problem.  As it is, I have not had a problem 🙂

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I mean, come on!  Look at that page.  For a Bible this small and paper this thin, for the font to be so good is a rare thing.

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Looks like line matching to me folks.  Gorgeous pages and setting.  I love the use of the page by this layout.  It is the same as the full size Quentel.  The pagination is the same as well.  It would make a terrific companion to a full size Quentel in the same color.

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Just like its big brother, it has some red highlights on the page numbers, book and chapter information, chapter numbers, and cross references at the bottom.

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Brand new right out of the box it stays open.  Not perfectly, but it does.  I’m sure once it is broken in it will be better to.

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The two red ribbons are wider than what you might be accustomed to.  They are also higher quality.  The ends are cut and seared so as to not fray.  I like them much better than the ribbons on the Clarion.

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I love the way the red ribbon looks across the white page.  It looks the way it should.

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There are some pages of ruled paper in the back for limited note taking.  You don’t see this that often in Bibles.  It is a great feature for people who are concerned that there isn’t enough room in the margins.

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Schuyler has a set of high quality maps as well.  They are printed on paper that feels to be about double the thickness of the bible paper without being card paper.  The maps use multiple colors and are printed nicely.

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There are some card papers in the back as well.  You could take some notes on it if you wanted to.

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Mysterious floating Bible, oooh ahh…

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As you can see the Clarion is a bit shorter than the PSQ.  That necessitates it being thicker.  The Clarion is a bit too thick to fold one side over and hold in one hand.  The PSQ does it easily.

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I spilled water on my Clarion shortly after I got it a few years ago.  So the page edges are not a flaw from the publisher it was my fault.

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Prerequisite Bible bending…

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Here it is in its natural environment.

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I would highly recommend purchasing this edition if you are looking for an New American Standard Bible in a size that is between compact and full size.  There aren’t very many out there in that niche.  Bottom line, get one. (If you can responsibly afford it.)

As usual make sure to check out my Flickr.com page for all the pictures!

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.

A Review of the Holman HCSB Military Families Bible in Navy and Crimson Leathertouch, Red Letter Edition.

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I want to get the failings of this Bible addressed right off the bat.  In my opinion it fails at what it aims to accomplish.  Here is a quote from the B&H product page, “Family, friends, and loved ones of military service members want comfort and guidance in how to pray for those in harm’s way and in how to cope with those tensions in their own lives so that they will have peace of mind. The Military Families Bible provides 60 pages of devotionals and prayers that minister to family members and loved ones of military personnel as well as equip the reader to minister to and intercede for those in the military.”  All of these articles are in this Bible, but (come on, you knew there was going to be a but…)  They are all in the back of the Bible.  They don’t have page numbers, and they are not indexed in any way shape or form.  You might be asking, “What’s so bad about that?”  Well, say for instance you are having a specific problem, that one of these articles addresses, wouldn’t it be great to be able to look it up?  The next problem is that these articles should be interspersed throughout the Bible and be attached to relevant scripture passages.  As it is, they are just lazily thrown into the back of this Bible.  Sure, it puts them in one convenient place to read, but they literally could be a separate devotional book instead.  My final problem with the devotionals is that some cited scripture passages have been torn out of context and misapplied by the writer.  This doesn’t happen a lot, but it shouldn’t happen at all.  

I would offer a solution instead of just seemingly complaining.  First, get the feel good authors out of the exposition business.  Second, get some vets, their families, and some theologians together, to talk about their experiences, and to help them connect with the Biblical doctrines that comforted them.  Third, intersperse the articles throughout the Bible, and connect them to sections of scripture in context, and properly apply the scripture to the situations the military families and soldiers are going through.  Fourth, index the articles so that people can find them and the scriptures that can offer them soul care pertinent to their situation.  See, was that so hard?  Seems legit to me…

Now let’s get into the physical attributes of this Bible.  It is a handsome little Bible in the HCSB translation.  It came in a two piece, sturdy, retail box.  The cover is a synthetic Navy blue, and crimson color leather like material.  It is perimeter stitched and case bound, with a paper liner.  The page edges are silver, the spine and corners are rounded.  This Bible’s spine is smyth sewn, regardless of what the retail sites say.
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There is some page crinkling at the beginning of the Bible, but it isn’t very bad.  There is a patriotic themed presentation page.  The single ribbon marker is red/crimson, to match the stripe on the cover.  The publisher’s information page indicates this Bible is manufactured in China…  patriotic Bible… made in China…  just sayin’

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I found this Bible to be just the right size.  It measures approximately, 8 ½” by 5 ¾” by 1 ½”  It is really more of a text Bible with devotions in the back.  The paper is opaque enough, and the print is a 10 pt. font, printed uniformly throughout the Bible.  This is a double column, paragraph format, red letter edition.  The red print is pretty average, not too bright, not too dull.  It is an easy to read Bible, mostly because of the size of the font.

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It would be even better if line matching was employed.  While the paper is decent, and the font is a good size, there is still some ghosting.  Limited footnotes at the bottom of the page reduce clutter.  The sewn spine makes this Bible nice and flexible, right out of the box.  It lays flat on the table, and that is a big deal for an inexpensive Bible.

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It truly is a great value with just the legibility and sewn spine.  The 60 pages of devotional material are useful.  Don’t get me wrong.  I just wished a better implementation had occurred.  Of the 60 pages, 30 are devotions and 30 are prayers.  I believe that theology makes a difference, and that a firm foundation in God’s word will help you through the storms of life better than anything else.  The sovereignty of God, God’s omniscience, and omnipresence, as well as all that those attributes entail gives me peace and comfort in difficult times.  Besides these features there are HCSB bullet notes, “Where to turn to” scripture index, and 8 full color maps.

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Make sure to check out the rest of the pics at my Flickr page.  You can pick up your copy at Christianbook, or Amazon.

ISBN-13: 9781433619670

A Review of the Thomas Nelson NKJV Study Bible, Personal Size, Paperback.

This Bible is the same in content as the NKJV Study Bible that I reviewed here.
The differences are a smaller font, and format size. It measures approximately 8.5″ by 5.5″ by 2″ The font is 7 pt. for the main text and 6 pt. for the notes.  This is a red letter edition.  It is arranged in a double column, paragraph format, with cross references in the center column.  Notes are at the bottom, with different full color features dispersed throughout the Bible.  There are very small margins.  Note taking will not be done in the margins.  The paper is sufficiently thick.  Ghosting is minimal.  The paper is pretty white and contrasts well against the uniformly printed text.

This is a paperback instead of a hardback. I found the font to be a bit too small for my liking and it runs into the gutter of the page. Trying to open this thick of a glued Bible enough to read the text in the gutter is a tedious chore. I don’t think Thomas Nelson considered this when they chose to use a glued binding. It should have been obvious that this would have required a sewn binding or pages with extra width to provide for the pages bending around each other. If the pages are sewn into signatures and then bound together, the spine will arch. This allows for less of a gutter, as the book will open more fully.  The did use a hybrid glued binding which employs signatures glued into the spine.  It is more flexible than a typical glued or “perfect binding.”  Even with the hybrid binding process, this Bible is not as practical as it could have been in a truly sewn binding.  I guess for $20 they figure who will care…  I do, and so do thousands of other potential customers.  Perhaps the people who only crack their Bible at Church won’t mind, because it won’t wear out being used once a week, but if you are going to use it, I suggest getting NKJV from Holman or one of the ones with a synthetic fake leather cover and sewn binding.  Sure they cost more, but they will be more usable and last longer.

This Bible is ok.  It could have been much better.  The notes and aids were somewhat helpful for a general knowledge.  I would recommend the Holman NKJV Study Bible for better notes.  My personal favorite is the MacArthur Study Bible.  If you can afford the ESV in Calfskin, that is the best made one you can currently get.  My advice, don’t waste your time and money on this unless you need a mediocre, smallish, study Bible, to hand out or give away, but there are so many other better choices out there in the same price range that I would get them instead.

ISBN-13: 9780718081980

Review of the Crossway ESV UltraThin in Black Top Grain Cowhide Leather.

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I purchased this Bible on sale from Christianbook.com  I was curious because it was listed as having a top grain leather cover.  I was glad I ordered it.  It turns out that it is now out of print.  So if you can find one, I suggest you purchase it.  I was pleasantly surprised by this less than a half inch thick little gem.  This UltraThin came in a clamshell retail box with a clear plastic window.  I retained the box for storage purposes.  Once you open the box up you smell the leather and not glue or dye.  The leather was very supple and soft to the touch.  The grain appears to be natural.  There is a nice perimeter groove and spine hubs.

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The hubs add to the ornamentation along with the gold letters stamped into it.  From the top of the spine down it reads, “Holy Bible, ESV, the ESV logo, English Standard Version, Then the Crossway logo.”

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The spine is sewn affording this very thin Bible with great flexibility for a paste down, case bound Bible.  In my opinion the cover offers a perfect compromise of flexibility, and structure.

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The head and tail bands are gold and black, complementing the color of the cover, and the gold page edge gilt.  There are two ribbon markers, even though the retail site only lists one.  The ribbon markers are narrow, but thicker than most employed in Bibles under $100.

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In the front of the Bible there is a presentation, marriages, births/adoptions, and deaths pages.  They are printed on a thicker matte finish paper that takes ink well.  Unlike higher gloss papers, these won’t crack or tear as easily.

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Then there is the copyright/publishers page.  Before Genesis begins the Old Testament we have the table of contents, preface, and explanation of features. DSCN5539

 

The text of this Bible is double column, paragraph format.  This is a red letter edition.  The red lettering is not too red or too light.  It contrasts well against the white paper and surrounding black text.  The main text is a 7.5 pt. lexicon font.  Line matching is employed to aid in reduction of, “ghosting” or the appearance of the text from the opposite side of the page showing through the paper due to the opacity allowing it.

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The paper’s opacity is pretty good considering how thin this Bible is.  At just under a half inch, it is one of the thinnest UltraThins I’ve seen.  I had assumed that they used a thinner paper.  That was not the case.  The paper is 31 g.s.m. 20# Thincoat Max.  This is not a thin or lightweight paper.  It looks like they made up for the thickness of the paper by not having any cross references.  There are some footnotes at the bottom of the pages.  This way they could fit the entire text into this UltraThin.

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So we have a nice, legible, well printed, and bound Bible in this truly UltraThin format.  It is also so soft and flexible due to the quality binding and cover, that I can fold it over itself.  It is almost as flexible as an edge-lined Bible. DSCN5688

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At the end there is a weights and measures page, and an abbreviations page.  A three column concise concordance follows.  Finished off with eight maps in color.  DSCN5550

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Make sure to check out the pictures I took of this Bible on my Flickr page here.  You can still purchase these on Amazon until they run out.  Then you’ll have to get them used. ISBN-13: 9781433538834 DSCN5524

 

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

A Review of the HCSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students Indexed Hardcover Edition.

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I found this Bible to be significantly thinned out compared to the regular Apologetics Study Bible.  This is targeted at teens and younger students.  You can read my review of the Apologetics Study Bible here. Keep in mind that this Bible is not the same as the Apologetics Study Bible, and it is intended for students.  It would make a great Bible for young people with questions that you perhaps are not equipped to answer.

Christian apologetics is the defense of the veracity of Christianity and its doctrines, by utilizing logic, reason, philosophy, and evidence.  So when you think of a Bible including the word, “apologetics” in its title you would assume that it is going to be focused on apologetic arguments.  This Bible does not do as comprehensive a job as the standard one, but for the intended audience, it is just what is needed, without getting bogged down.  There are several articles, and testimonies.  

One feature that is useful is the, “twisted scriptures” asides.  There are 60 of them throughout the Bible.  They take commonly misapplied scriptures, put them in the proper context, and explain the errors made with their application as well as the proper application.  This should be very helpful for kids who have been exposed to cults by their friends.  Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and all of the other repugnant cults, spread such lies about the Bible, that it is common to hear them repeated, even by kids raised in a Christian home.  

Another nice feature is the, “bones & dirt” asides.  There are 50 of them placed all over the Bible.  They add archeological evidence as an apologetic aid.  Students can see physical evidence, coincide with the testimony of scripture.  This support can tip the scales towards belief and acceptance, when doubts are raised by their peers.  It also adds to their individual education.

My review copy arrived damaged.  It was packaged sufficiently.  The damage looked like a problem from the factory.  The end papers in the front as well as the presentation page, and the first pages of this Bible were deeply creased down the center.  This is probably a fluke, but if you did get a damaged Bible, Holman will be quick to replace it.
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Generally speaking, you should return it to the retailer.  The hardcover is pretty standard fare.  

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The spine is sewn for durability, and flexibility.  This ensures that it lays flat when opened.  Overcasting was also employed, ensuring durability.

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There is one very thin, and unintentional looking ribbon marker.  It just seems out of place.  Given their exceptional use of overcasting contrasted with this anemic ribbon, I’m at a loss. I’m kind of a stickler for ribbon markers.  All Bibles should come with 3 ribbon markers that are wide enough to not bite into the page edges when opening the Bible with them.  They should be thick enough to be durable.  They should be thin enough to not leave grooves in the pages from when the Bible is closed on them.  Finally they should not be folded haphazardly into the Bible from the factory.

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The paper is opaque enough and the font is 8 pt. in size.  I doubt young people will have trouble reading this black letter edition.  I do however, have some difficulty with the choice of font on the feature headings.  It looks very much like stylized scribbling.  The font is arranged in a double column format with notes and references at the bottom.  The book introductions and articles are well done.  They should be helpful to the young reader.

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I do not like the index tabs.  In my opinion they are not as easy to use as the crescent cut ones.  Your opinion may differ.  All in all it is a descent Bible for young people.  It is not sufficient to serve as a study Bible for a mature Christian.

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Here is a list of features it has.

  • Two-color design-intensive layout on every page for the visual generation
  • Study notes providing evidence of the reliability and truthfulness of Scripture
  • 120 articles by leading Christian thinkers dealing with life’s ultimate questions
  • 50 “Notable Quotes” from influential people throughout history
  • 25 “Tactics” against common anti-Christian arguments
  • Twenty “Personal Stories” of how God has worked in real lives
  • 20 “Top Five” lists to help remember key apologetics topics
  • Bullet notes explaining Bible terms
  • Book introductions for each book of the Bible
  • Presentation page
  • Ribbon marker
  • Thumb-indexed page edges
  • 8-point text size
  • 9.25″ x 7.00″ x 1.25″

9.0 X 6.75 X 1.5 (inches)

ISBN-13: 9781433616976

Please don’t forget to look at the pictures I took of this Bible here on my flickr page.

A Review of the Trinitarian Bible Society’s KJV Classic Reference Bible in Black Calfskin Leather.

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As many of you know TBS is a Christian ministry that provides high quality, good value KJV Bibles to many Christians in need, worldwide. To support the ministry, we purchase Bibles from them and are also blessed. Not only do we get to be a part of providing God’s word to our brothers and sisters, we also get a durable, well built Bible for our own use. Knowing the proceeds go to furthering the Kingdom is a comforting thought as well. I hope you will consider purchasing your next Bible from TBS after reading my review of the Classic Reference Bible.

As always TBS exceeds my expectations in the packaging and shipping department. They go above and beyond to ensure that your Bible gets to you undamaged. They are the winner, hands down, when it comes to packaging. The Classic Reference Bible arrived undamaged in a heavy duty, white, cardboard box, cushioned inside with foam packing peanuts.
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The Bible itself was inside a sturdy cardboard slipcase, that should be retained for storage.

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After removing the plastic wrap from the slipcase, I could take the Bible out. It is not a large Bible and it is not as small as a typical compact Bible. It is a full KJV Bible and it does have the Cambridge Concord cross references. It is just a very handy size. It measures about 4 ¾” across, by 7 ¼” tall, by 1” thick.

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Here it is to the right of the TBS Windsor Text Bible. You can see that it is smaller than the text version while retaining the cross references.

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Most typical reference Bibles are around 6” across, by 9” tall, 1 ½” thick. So you can see there is a substantial difference in size. Of course a compact is smaller yet. If this Bible were the size of a typical compact the font would be too small for normal use. Fortunately, the font in this Bible is a legible 8 pt. in size. Since it is the traditional typesetting instead of a modern digital setting, the font would contrast a bit less against the page if not for its boldness.

Here it is laid over a page from the Windsor.

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The cover is listed as, “Calfskin” on the website. Keep in mind there is no industry standard. Technically the French Morocco Leather cover is made of calfskin, so it is true, but if you are expecting supple calfskin like some premium Bibles use, you will be disappointed. I don’t know why anyone would think that though considering the value pricing of this edition. I seriously don’t understand how a person could complain about this cover. Especially in light of the low cost and how much they are getting. For under fifty dollars they are getting a full KJV reference Bible, smyth-sewn binding, and genuine leather. Even if it is French Morocco, it is far superior to the covers of other Bibles in the same price range. Other Bibles in this price range use synthetic covers or bonded leather. The front cover is blank. The only gold lettering on the outside of this Bible is on the spine. It has the words, “Holy Bible” at the head, “Classic Reference Bible” directly under that, and the TBS logo at the tail. The cover is uniform in thickness and has a nice pattern pressed into it. It is on the smooth side and feels very durable. My first impression was, “This is a tough little Bible.”

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This Bible is case bound, and as such utilizes black vinyl covered paper as an interior liner and to join the cover to the text block.

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The front, inside, bottom edge has, “French Morocco Leather” in gold lettering stamped in it. Red and gold colored head and tail bands decorate this edition. It also includes two, black ribbon markers. The page edges are gold gilt. The corners and the spine are rounded. From the outside this Bible looks like what you’d expect a Bible to look like. It is a venerable style, and is very familiar.

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The front inside of this Bible has a nice presentation page on card paper with a couple of blank card paper pages following it. Then you have the title page and copyright/publisher’s information page.

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There is a list of the contents after that. It is followed by a guide to the pronunciation marks for self pronouncing text and an explanation of the bold-figure Concord cross reference system. Finally, there is the Epistle Dedicatory, the Translators to the Reader, and the list of the Books of the Bible.

The text of this edition should be familiar to KJV readers. It won’t take anytime at all to get right into and read. It is laid out in a double column, verse format, with center column references. The font is 8 pt. in size making it easy on the eyes. The center column references are pretty small and a bit tough to see, but they are discernable. The paper is thin Bible paper. It is opaque enough that the ghosting is mitigated. It does use the self-pronouncing text. Speaking of text, this is a black letter edition. The entire word of God is all the same color.

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There are two black ribbon markers to help you keep your place. This is very helpful for people who read out of the Old Testament and New Testament on a daily basis.

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One of the more significant, yet underappreciated features of this Bible is the smyth-sewn binding. Many publishers go for a cheaper glued binding. While TBS opts for a superior sewn binding in this edition. It is a bit tight at first, but as you use this Bible, the binding loosens up. Sewn bindings are much more durable and flexible. They add to the usefulness and longevity in a way that no other features do. I would say that it should be a prerequisite.

Contrary to popular belief, this edition of the Classic Reference Bible is not printed by Cambridge. Cambridge oversees the printing. It is also a typesetting of the Cambridge Concord that has been shrunk, and maintains the pagination. It is printed and bound by Printcorp in Minsk, Belarus for TBS. These distinctions can change depending on the production run at the time. It is acceptable to ask. TBS is always willing to answer specific questions. They are just an e-mail away.

Finally, in the rear of this Bible we have, Bible word list, Daily Bible reading plan, and 8 Color maps with Gazetteer.

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The long list of features are understated by the very familiar appearance of this Bible. It is a conveniently sized workhorse that should provide many years of service. I recommend this Bible to anyone in the market for a reference Bible that is a tad smaller than the usual fare, but not limited in helps like a compact.

You can get one from TBS at the site, except on Sunday it is closed.

You can also purchase one from evangelicalbible.com

4U/BK (Black)
ISBN: 9781862281950

A Review of the NKJV Foundation Study Bible, in Hardcover

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The Bible was shipped to me free in return for an honest review. It arrived undamaged and in generally good condition except for a bent corner. It is a hardcover with a dustjacket. It is case bound, and smyth-sewn. It is produced in China and does not seem to suffer major quality problems that you might find in other Chinese made Bibles. I have a general dislike of dustjackets and remove them.

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The spine is rounded, there are plain jane, white, head and tail bands. There are no ribbon markers.

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The paper is sufficiently white and opaque.

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This is a value edition in my opinion. It is nothing spectacular. The price is very low and affordable. The font seems smallish at about 8 point. The notes are even smaller. There are book introductions at the start of each book. It is laid out in a double column, verse format, red letter edition with center column references and notes at the bottom of the page. It is a pretty typical layout, so no surprises there. I actually like the layout.

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At 8 ¾” by 5 ½” by about 1 ½” this is not a large study Bible. Matter of opinion, I wouldn’t call it a study Bible. I would call it an enhanced reference Bible. The notes are very basic and limited. I understand the intended audience is immature Christians. I believe they would be better served from a true study Bible. This would be good for a person who wants a smaller hardcover reference Bible with a bit more in the way of notes. If you want a study Bible, get a MacArthur Study Bible, or an ESV Study Bible. There is a concordance and some maps in the back of this Bible. The maps are printed on a matte paper and should hold up better than the high gloss ones of yesterday. So to sum up, I would recommend this to someone looking for an inexpensive reference Bible with some extra notes. I wouldn’t recommend this for someone to use as a serious study aid. This would be a good Bible to give away to people.

Take a look at the pictures here on my Flickr page.

ISBN-13: 9780718034320

A Review of the Study Bible for Women by Holman Personal Size Edition.

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Let’s look at the, “Study Bible for Women” in the HCSB translation, personal size edition, from Holman. It comes in a quality leathertouch, (synthetic leather) teal and brown cover . It was a very pleasant surprise to see some actual study aids as opposed to junk food. There is academic quality here. There are some notes on hermeneutics, theology, some original language notes and transliteration help. Most women’s Bibles are pink and have a bunch of Osteen-esque, self help, self-esteem, feel good, prattle in them with little in the way of useful exegesis of scripture or how to apply it today. This study Bible has significant work in it from two established Christian women. Here are short biographies from Holman’s site,

“Dorothy Kelley Patterson is Professor of Theology in Women’s Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. She is a homemaker, popular speaker, and successful writer, editor, and compiler of numerous books including A Handbook for Ministers’ Wives, The Family, BeAttitudes for Women, and Touched by Greatness: Women in the Life of Moses. She is co-editor of the two volume Women’s Evangelical Commentary:Old Testament and New Testament. Her husband Paige is President of Southwester Baptist Theological Seminary.”

and,

“Rhonda Harrington Kelley is President’s wife and Adjunct Professor of Women’s Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a frequent speaker for women as well as an author of books including Divine Disciple, Life Lessons for Women of the Bible, and Personal Holiness: A Biblical Study for Developing a Holy Lifestyle. She is co-editor of the three volume Women’s Evangelical Library including Women’s Evangelical Commentary: Old Testament, New Testament, and The Study Bible for Women. Her husband Chuck Kelley is President of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.”

There is some of the fluff, don’t get me wrong. It is just kept in its proper place and proportion. I think that women should find this very helpful. However, I am not a woman and am just commenting because I want one like this for men.

Here is what the Publisher has to say about this Bible,

“Publisher’s Description
The Study Bible for Women will equip you to reach deep into God’s Word. Perhaps the single most powerful aspect of this Bible are the “threads” of specialized study thoughtfully woven throughout, pointing you to God’s larger story and allowing the Holy Spirit to write His revealed truths on your heart.

In The Study Bible for Women, personal size edition you’ll join a host of other women, all academically trained in the original languages of the Bible and passionate about God’s Word, for an intimately deep dive into Scripture that will equip you to unlock the riches and majesty of His Word, and ignite a passion to mentor others in your life to do the same. The Study Bible for Women includes the full text of the Holman Christian Standard Bible, a clear, contemporary English translation that’s faithful to the original languages of the Bible.

Features include extensive commentary notes, word studies, answers to hard questions, doctrinal notes, Biblical womanhood articles, character profiles, Written on My Heart applications, extensive book introductions, presentation pages, in-text maps, charts & time-lines, full-color maps section and concordance.”

The Bible was shipped in a cardboard box with paper packing material. The Bible was inside a two piece retail box. It arrived undamaged and in good condition. I can’t stress enough that this is not some cheap synthetic leather, nor is it some hard, shiny, pigskin leather you would find on other Bibles in this price range. This is a good quality synthetic cover.

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The spine is hot stamped with, “HCSB” at the top, “The Study Bible for Women” orientated horizontally along the spine in the middle, and at the bottom is the Holman logo. The page edges are silver. The pages are white with a faded blue color that becomes more solid as you approach the page edges and perimeter of the page.

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The paper is 30 g.s.m. making it pretty opaque. Lighter paper would not have been good. With this weight of paper you don’t have much in the way of ghosting (seeing the text on the backside of the page show through) There are numerous decorative designs throughout. I don’t know what your opinion is of that, but I could do without them. The font used for the main text is 8.5 point in ITC Clearface Standard. (Open-type) This makes it easy on they eyes unless you have bad eyesight. The coloring of the page perimeters could cut down on the contrast of the text to the paper. The paper could be a little brighter white where the text is, but then the perimeter effect would be lost. The text is laid out in a double column, paragraph format with the cross-references on the outside of the page instead of at the bottom or in a center column. Interspersed throughout are other features.

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The inside cover is made of paper of the same color and glued down. They did a good job with the corners. There is one ribbon marker and it is matching in color as well. The binding on this Bible is a South Korean, sewn binding. They have been doing a lot of Holman’s bindings and are holding up quite well. This also makes them flexible on top of being durable. Way better than a glued binding.

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Even though this is a study Bible, I don’t want you to be afraid that it is a behemoth. (funny right?) For a study Bible this thing is very manageable. In the personal size edition it is even more manageable than its full sized sister. It is just the right size for ladies who don’t want to use a hand-truck to carry their study Bibles to Wednesday night Bible Study. I think it is a very good investment if you are looking for a women’s study Bible that has good content instead of the motivational junk you get pushed on you nowadays.
Make sure to check out all of the pictures I took of this Bible here. There are lots of close-ups.
ISBN-13: 9781433607608