A Snyder’s Soapbox Review of the, “John MacArthur Study Bible in the E.S.V. Translation” with a Genuine black leather cover.

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     I know this Bible has been out for quite some time, but Crossway was kind enough to send one out for review. This is one of their Bibles I have not reviewed yet, and perhaps you haven’t looked into it yet either. I have two other John MacArthur Study Bibles. One is from Thomas Nelson, and it is a N.A.S.B. The other is the 25th Anniversary Edition in N.K.J.V. The things that struck me between the three different editions are the qualities of the papers, the printing, the spine/binding, and the cover options. In all of the qualities, except one, the Crossway comes out on top, and not just by a little.

     The genuine leather cover is more like a genuine calfskin leather, and not at all like the pigskin leather that came on the Thomas Nelson made N.A.S.B. The quality of the 25th Anniversary N.K.J.V. leather cover was slightly better than the Crossway edition’s. The 25th Anniversary edition’s cover was a bit thicker, perimeter stitched,and had an inner liner which moire silk. You would not expect a simple genuine leather edition to come anywhere near the quality of a premium Bible, but it does. The spine of the 25th anniversary edition has raised hubs, the other two do not. This is not a big deal. It is only decorative.

     The paper on the Crossway far exceeds the quality of the other two. The other two are less white, and have almost a newsprint color to them. They are also made of toothier paper. The Crossway is smooth, and white, but not too bright. It is just bright enough to offer the proper contrast between the uniformly, and sharply printed font.

     The spine of the N.A.S.B. from Thomas Nelson is not sewn, but glued. It is a case/perfect bound Bible. The Crossway, and the 25th Anniversary N.K.J.V. are both sewn. The Crossway is about the same thickness as the Thomas Nelson. Both are much thinner than the 25th Anniversary N.K.J.V. I’m not sure why it is so thick. I’m guessing it is due to the type of paper. They all have relatively the same amount of content. They could all use better ribbons. The Crossway has nicer maps, of course 🙂 If you are interested in it,hurry up and get it while it is on sale for Christmas!

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     The Crossway, English Standard Version, in genuine black leather comes in a two piece retail box. The box isn’t as sturdy as some other boxes, but I would still hold onto it to store your Bible in when not in use. The Bible itself is full of helpful features that will be of great value to you while you endeavor to learn more about the God who saves.  

Here is a list of the Bible’s features from Christianbook.com’s product page; 

Features

  • Complete ESV Bible text
  • Nearly 25,000 explanatory notes from Dr. John MacArthur
  • Bible text in 8.7 point type, 7.6 point study notes
  • More than 140 two-color maps, charts, timelines, and illustrations
  • Complete introductions to each Bible book
  • Concise articles on How We Got the BibleHow to Study the Bible, and Introduction to the Bible
  • 80,000 cross-references
  • An extensive concordance
  • Bible reading plans
  • Index to Key Bible Doctrines
  • Outline of Systematic Theology
  • Presentation Page & Family Record Section
  • Center-Column References
  • Timeline of Old Testament Kings and Prophets
  • Timeline of New Testament Chronology
  • Harmony of the Gospels
  • Durable smyth-sewn binding
  • Presentation page
  • Family record pages
  • Ribbon marker
  • Gold page edges
  • 8-point text size
  • 9.75″ x 7.00″ x 1.75″

Product Information

Format: Genuine Leather
Number of Pages: 2144
Vendor: Crossway
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 9.50 X 7.00 X 1.75 (inches)
ISBN: 143352144X
ISBN-13: 9781433521447
References: Center Column|Cross References
Text Layout: Double Column
Text Color: Black Letter
Text Size: 8 Point
Note Size: 7 Point
Thumb Index: No
Ribbon Marker: Yes
Spine: Sewn
Page Gilding: Gold

You might have noticed there is a discrepancy between the two lists, one says the font is 8.7 pt. for the main text, and 7.6 pt. for the notes, the other list says it is 8, and 7 pt.  When I contacted Crossway they confirmed that the font is 8.5 pt. for the main text, and 7.5 pt. for the notes.  They also provided me with the font type, which is ITC Stone Serif.

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For people who are curious, this Bible is printed, and bound in China.  I know, I know, Chinese made stuff is junk…  Well Crossway has ensured that the quality is top notch.  I’m not sure how they do it, but I would like to find out.  Hopefully one day, I’ll get the chance. 

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 The cover has a nice grain to it, and a perimeter groove on the outside.  The inside liner looks like your typical vinyl.  There is a nice gold perimeter ornamentation hot-stamped on the inside of the cover as well.  The page edges are gold guilt, and there are head and tail bands too. 

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 My biggest gripe about cheap Bibles is that they use glued spines, and all the pages fall out.  They are also notoriously difficult to keep open, or get to lay flat.  You won’t have that problem with a good sewn spine.  The Crossway MacArthur Study Bible has a nice sewn spine as you can tell from the following pictures.  It also has one ribbon marker.

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I really like the simple style of the spine.
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One of the things I like about this Bible is the use of the color blue for the chapter numbers and features.  

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This is a black letter edition, with double column, paragraph layout.  The cross references are in the center column, and the notes are on the bottom.  With the quality of paper, and printing this Bible is not hard on the eyes.

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After looking over this Bible, and comparing it to other editions, I can give it a thumbs up.  It is a great value, especially when it is on sale.  You can get your copy from Christianbook, or Amazon.  Make sure to check out all of the pictures of this Bible on the Flickr page.

Who is surprised over the lost world’s response to the Nashville Statement?

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Who is surprised over the lost world’s response to the Nashville Statement? I’m not. I don’t believe any of the signers are surprised either. The liberal, “Christians” are shocked and surprised by the Nashville Statement. I don’t know why they are so shocked. It isn’t like we changed our tune. We’ve been affirming scripture over culture all along. As is often the case with liberals, it boils down to the redefinition of words.

It is almost like they have a different religion than we do… They call themselves, “Christians” yet they deny the authority of scripture. (Think God’s Word is wrong.) They say silly things like, “The table is a little bigger than that.” “The path is broader than you think.” “God’s love trumps theology.” “Love is love.” You get the idea. None of it is biblical. When you remind them that, (Matt 7:13, 14) “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” they insist that their feelings about God’s love trump what the scripture actually says.  They say, “My God isn’t as small and black and white as the way you understand her/him/x to be.” 

I talked with one who claims the Bible says nothing about homosexuality being a sin. When confronted with scripture from the Old Testament, he denies it and claims we are under a new Covenant. We are in a New Covenant, but the scripture from the Old Testament is pertinent. It demonstrates what God says about homosexuality. God is immutable. He doesn’t change. What was sin years ago is still sin.

So with that argument dismissed by the liberal, I moved to the New Testament. I cited scripture where homosexuality is listed along with other sins making it evident that it is included as sin. The liberal dismissed this as an interpretation problem on my behalf. He insisted that this is only about homosexual sex outside of marriage and that homosexuals at that time were being married in the Church and that their union was not sinful. When I asked him how he got there from what the scripture says, his response was less about scripture and more about how his view is from our modern context, and love. He also presumed to imagine how he though Jesus would respond now.

It is evident that liberal Christianity is just a redefining of the word, “Christian.” It isn’t Christian at all. They may claim Jesus as their savior, but they don’t really trust or believe Him. They deny His word, and they deny Him the ability and authority to define what sin is. They reserve for themselves the ability to define what sin is and is not. If you don’t know what sin is, how can you truly repent? If you don’t see yourself as a sinner, why would you want a Savior?

At the end of the day, don’t be alarmed by your liberal family, or friend’s response to the Nashville Statement. Understand that they are more than likely still in the dark and lost. Try to correct them from scripture. Pray for them. Don’t be swayed from the truth by their strange arguments. Even if their arguments manipulate your emotions remember, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Trust God’s word, not your feelings.

A Review of the Trinitarian Bible Society’s Family Bible.

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Trinitarian Bible Society (T.B.S.) was kind enough to send me a copy of their Family Bible in KJV translation for review.  As usual it was packed very well, and arrived in perfect shape.
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This  Bible comes in a clamshell type retail box.  It should be retained for storage.
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T.B.S. as usual has been great to deal with.  They always package their Bibles well, and are nice to correspond with.  I gotta hand it to them, they have been pretty consistent.

The Family Bible is a Cambridge layout of their large print text Bible.  L.E.G.O. SpA (LEGATORIA EDITORIALE GIOVANNI OLIVOTTO) of Vicenza Italy printed and bound this Bible.  They did a fine job.  I have seen a few Bibles from them.  They seem uniformly consistent in quality.

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The cover is black calfskin leather.  It has a pronounced grain and is comparable to the calfsplit leather covers on Cambridge Bibles.

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It is durable and provides a good sturdy exterior to hold on to. This is a case bound Bible with a liner that matches the black color of the cover.

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The spine is decorated with the words, “Holy Bible” and the TBS logo in gold colored hot stamping.

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The page edges are art gilt.  This means there is a red color under the gold color.  When the Bible is closed the page edges present a gold appearance.  When the pages are shifted, like when it is opened the red color is visible.

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There is one, black ribbon marker.  I like to see at least two ribbon markers.

The spine is sewn to ensure durability and flexibility. A sewn spine should be a prerequisite for a Bible binding. There are decorative head and tail bands in the Cambridge red and gold.

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This is a double column, verse format, black letter edition, with self-pronouncing text.  The paper is opaque and strong.  A 10 pt. font is utilized.  It is bold and well inked.  The text stands out well and contrasts with the paper nicely.

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This Bible is called a Family Bible because of the records pages in the front.  Back in the old days before all of the government interference in our lives, people used to keep their records in their Bibles.  Since then, the practice has fallen out of popularity.  People have been more than willing to accept the government forms and records.  I have a feeling this might change in the near future.  As the government becomes more intrusive.  The records pages are from Cambridge, and are printed on a sturdy card paper.

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To sum things up, I was pretty impressed with how sturdy this Bible feels.  I was also impressed with the good looks of this Bible for the price.  It is just under $100.00 dollars and is worth the money.  Not only does it give you a great place to record your family history, it also would make a terrific wedding gift.  If you are in the market for a family Bible or if you need a large print text Bible this would fit the bill nicely.  Give T.B.S. a try if you haven’t already.  They have been one of the best organizations I’ve dealt with.  Keep up the good work T.B.S.

 

You can purchase yours on their site www.TBSBibles.org

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

ISBN: 9781862280311

9U/BK (Black)

The Differences Between Sins, and Mistakes.


Recently, I had a conversation with a person on social media about sins, and mistakes. Their first assertion was that, sins are the willful transgression of the known will of God. The second assertion was that people are not culpable to God for mistakes that they make. Lastly, they failed to define what mistakes are, even when asked several times. I quickly identified this as a Nazarene Church member, because I had been a member for approximately 19 years give or take. I decided since they came to my page to discuss this issue that it was a proper opening to engage them. I typically don’t go to other people’s pages and comment on things I don’t agree with. I see it as bad etiquette, but if they come to me, so be it. Listed below is the section 5.3 Sin, Original and Personal from the Nazarene Church’s Preamble and Articles of Faith;

5.3. We believe that actual or personal sin is a voluntary violation of a known law of God by a morally responsible person. It is therefore not to be confused with involuntary and inescapable shortcomings, infirmities, faults, mistakes, failures, or other deviations from a standard of perfect conduct that are the residual effects of the Fall. However, such innocent effects do not include attitudes or responses contrary to the spirit of Christ, which may properly be called sins of the spirit. We believe that personal sin is primarily and essentially a violation of the law of love; and that in relation to Christ sin may be defined as unbelief.

(Original sin: Genesis 3; 6:5; Job 15:14; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9-10; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 1:18-25; 5:12-14; 7:1-8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Galatians 5:16-25; 1 John 1:7-8

Personal sin: Matthew 22:36-40 {with 1 John 3:4}; John 8:34-36; 16:8-9; Romans 3:23; 6:15-23; 8:18-24; 14:23; 1 John 1:9-2:4; 3:7-10)”

As you can see from their article, it is what has led some of them to their minimization of sin, thus diminishing the importance of the gospel, as well as creating a legalistic approach to righteousness. This last consequence is also a product of their doctrine of Entire Sanctification. Their doctrine of Entire Sanctification is also a product of their minimization of sin. This is what Article 10 says about Entire Sanctification;

X. Christian Holiness and Entire Sanctification


10. We believe that sanctification is the work of God which transforms believers into the likeness of Christ. It is wrought by God’s grace through the Holy Spirit in initial sanctification, or regeneration (simultaneous with justification), entire sanctification, and the continued perfecting work of the Holy Spirit culminating in glorification. In glorification we are fully conformed to the image of the Son.

We believe that entire sanctification is that act of God, subsequent to regeneration, by which believers are made free from original sin, or depravity, and brought into a state of entire devotement to God, and the holy obedience of love made perfect.

It is wrought by the baptism with or infilling of the Holy Spirit, and comprehends in one experience the cleansing of the heart from sin and the abiding, indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, empowering the believer for life and service. Entire sanctification is provided by the blood of Jesus, is wrought instantaneously by grace through faith, preceded by entire consecration; and to this work and state of grace the Holy Spirit bears witness.

This experience is also known by various terms representing its different phases, such as “Christian perfection,” “perfect love,” “heart purity,” “the baptism with or infilling of the Holy Spirit,” “the fullness of the blessing,” and “Christian holiness.””

Not that long ago the Nazarene Church made some changes to their Articles of Faith. What I linked to is their current one. They have clarified it to some degree, but you can’t lay all the blame on the average Church goer for their personal affirmation of false doctrines. After reading the Articles of Faith, I can see what they are trying to express, but it can confuse the layman. I think this is mostly due to their Ordo Salutis, and Semi-Pelagianism that is all part of the traditions of a portion of the people in the denomination. From what I understand they are slowly trying to move away from the errors of Semi-Pelagianism that were made in the past.

If you are old enough you’d remember a different looking CotN. The girls mostly wore dresses, and dancing was not allowed. They looked and acted like Pentecostal versions of the Mennonites almost. Some believed that a person could be entirely sinless in their life. That is what their personal understanding of their doctrine of Entire Sanctification looked like. If you read it now, you can see it is a bit more nuanced, but you can also see how it could lead someone to believe the other way. When you look at Wesley’s writings on the topic, if you have a good theological foundation, you can see where he is heading. The problem lies in the fact that so many people are very simple in their education and ability to reason, that they take his work to mean what it appears to mean at a superficial reading. I’m not saying I agree with his conclusions. I actually think he was poorly repaving a road that had been well paved, and traveled long before him, by men more learned and brilliant.

I see Wesley as more of an evangelist and less of a theologian.  I understand him to be attempting to make room for people who don’t know, or believe, everything rightly all the time to still be saved. All of us are wrong all the time about something whether we know it or not. That doesn’t ruin our justification. I used to think the Trinity was best expressed as the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as all three parts of God. I had no idea that was the heresy of partialism. Once I was taught by more mature Christians from scripture that they are three persons, one God I was able to repent of my heresy. Was I not saved back then? I think I was, but I was a material heretic. I was not a formal heretic. If I’d persisted to death in a heresy, and rejected all correction, then I would have proven to be a false convert and formal heretic.

The person I was having the discussion with was of the old fashion persuasion. They didn’t read Wesley. They just took a superficial approach to their denomination’s doctrines and ran with it. So for them, sin was simply willfully transgressing a known law of God and it excludes mistakes, infirmities, failures, faults, emotions, (feelings) and thoughts. They also argued that a Christian will stop sinning completely, even though I showed them 1 John 1:8 and explained that John was addressing Christians. I was also told that if I sinned and then died immediately after, without repenting, that I would go to Hell. This is another one of their misguided beliefs. They believe that a genuine Christian can apostatize by willfully sinning. What I was dealing with was a Semi-Pelagian, not a Wesleyan. It is interesting because they make a categorical error by contrasting sins with mistakes. I don’t know if it ever occurred to them that a sin is always sinful, but a mistake can be sin or not sin. I mentioned this and got no answer. The same can be said for the other things listed that they say are not sin. We know that having a lustful thought pop into your head is a sin, and that we must take every thought captive so it doesn’t come to fruition in deed. We also know that to God we are guilty of that sin. It sure is a good thing that Christ justified me, and paid for all of my sin. I am exceedingly sinful, and exceedingly thankful for His righteousness that He imputed to me upon justification. I think this eludes the Semi-Pelagian. They are in a works righteousness faith where they must maintain their position of being righteous by works. This particular flavor of Semi-Pelagian makes this task less daunting by watering down sin and man’s responsibility. In so doing they rob God of the glory, as it were. So much the worse for them, as many of them are not truly saved, but still lost. Of course, I would not say that all of them are lost. Some may be material heretics, just waiting to be corrected and brought into repentance. Could you be the one to speak into their lives with the truth?

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

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

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

A Review of the 2015 Amplified Bible in Paperback, from Zondervan

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Instead of going through and listing several changes between the older Amplified Bible and the new for 2015 Updated Amplified Bible, I decided just to show one as a brief example.  Then I will explain some pros and cons.  The verse we are going to look at is 1 John 3:9.

First we’ll look at the familiar KJV.

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

[1 John 3:9 KJV]

Now the NASB.

No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

[1 John 3:9 NASB]

Next, the old version of the Amplified.

“No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and[a]habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God.”

The same verse in the 2015 Amplified.

“No one who is born of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, because [a]God’s seed [His principle of life, the essence of His righteous character] remains [permanently] in him [who is born again—who is reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose]; and he [who is born again] cannot habitually[live a life characterized by] sin, because he is born of God and longs to please Him.”

SBL Greek, “1 John 3:9 (SBL NT) πᾶς ὁ γεγεννημένος ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἁμαρτίαν οὐ ποιεῖ, ὅτι σπέρμα αὐτοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ μένει, καὶ οὐ δύναται ἁμαρτάνειν, ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ γεγέννηται.” Pas ho gegennamenos ek ton theou amartian ou poiei, hoti sperma autou en auto menei, kai ou dunatai hamartanein, hoti ek tou theou gegennetai.  Anyone having been born of God sin not practices because seed of him in him abides and not he is able to continue sinning because of God has been born.

Now after looking at all of those versions for comparison you might have noticed a few differences.  In the KJV the Greek word, “ποιεῖ (poiei)” is being translated as, “commit” when it more accurately means, “practice.”  So all of the other versions have a more accurate translation of the first part of this verse.  What is inside the []’s in the Amplified translations is added commentary that is put in line with the Biblical text.  It is not the actual translation.  So the added, “[deliberately, knowingly, and habitually]” is intended to help you understand what is meant by, “…practices sin…”  

The KJV renders the next part as, “…for his seed remaineth in him:…”  The NASB is pretty similar with, “…because His seed abides in him;…” And then the old Amplified has, “…for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him];…”  This caused some people to get a bit testy.  I think the 2015 fixed the problem by changing their comments to, “because God’s seed [His principle of life, the essence of His righteous character] remains [permanently] in him [who is born again—who is reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose];” but in my opinion added another problem, that being excessive commentation.  Finally, the last part of the verse is the same in the KJV and the NASB.  “…because he is born of God…”  and the old Amplified, “… because he is born (begotten) of God.” 

and the 2015, “…because he is born of God and longs to please Him…”  Now here is a problem that might not be evident at first.  Notice that there are no brackets around, “and longs to please Him.”  These words are not in the Greek, KJV, or the NASB.  They are added as if they are part of the translation.  There is no notation to let you know they are added text.  Now perhaps the people who compiled the 2015 Amplified meant to put them in brackets, but didn’t.  Nevertheless, it is a cause for concern.  

Having brought your attention to these things, I think it is prudent to say that I can give a qualified recommendation for this Bible.  I would recommend it for mature Christians who understand textual criticism, and want some insights into the translation process.  I wouldn’t recommend this for Christians who have no understanding of textual criticism.  False teachers are always going to find some way to twist the Bible around to make it say what they want.  People who say the Amplified version is a responsible are placing the blame on the translation and not the false teacher.  I think the Amplified might be helpful as a side Bible for comparison, but I wouldn’t use it for a study Bible.  I also wouldn’t use it to read from as the added text causes some discontinuity.  

The Bible itself is a paperback with a hybrid binding.  The paper is fairly opaque, for the cost, and the print is uniform and clear.  It is arranged in a double column, paragraph format.  There are notes at the bottom of the page.  The page numbers appear at the top outside corner of the pages with the book name, chapter, and verse range.  There are section headings in bold type.  The expanded text shows up in brackets in line with the text [like this] see how that works?  The hybrid binding and creased cover allow this Bible to open well considering the fact that it is not a sewn binding.  I wouldn’t count on this Bible lasting a long time as a daily reader because of the construction.  It is a value line type of Bible.  The most expensive binding I found this in was an imitation leather, so it isn’t exactly meant to be a durable product.  

Here is a link to the Lockman page for this Bible, The Amplified Bible is a Literal Equivalent translation that, by using synonyms and definitions, both explains and expands the meaning of words in the text by placing amplification in parentheses, brackets, and after key words. This unique system of translation allows the reader to more completely and clearly grasp the meaning as it was understood in the original languages. Additionally, amplifications may provide further theological, historical, and other details for a better understanding of the text.

Here is a blurb from a Christianbook.com

Product Description

If you want to get all the rich nuances of the original Bible languages, the Amplified Bible is for you. No working knowledge of Greek or Hebrew is required—just a desire to know more about what God says in his Word. With its unique system of brackets, parentheses, and italics, the Amplified Bible defines and expands key words and phrases right in the text. Verse by verse, the deeper meaning behind the message of Scripture unfolds as you read.

This updated edition of the Amplified Bible is even easier to read and better than ever to study and understand. It includes more amplification in the Old Testament and refined amplification in the New Testament. Additionally, the Bible text has been improved to read smoothly with or without amplifications, so that the text may be read either way. It’s the same feel and style of study material that you expect from the Amplified Bible–now with even clearer wording for deeper understanding

Now available in a more portable size, the Amplified Bible is perfect for an on-the-go lifestyle. Whether you are headed to class, to church, to a coffee shop, or on a trip around the globe, the Amplified Bible can travel with you.

Features

  • Complete Amplified Text
  • Thin, portable size
  • 8.50″ x 5.50″

Product Information

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 1440

Vendor: Zondervan

Publication Date: 2015

Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 X 1.25 (inches)

ISBN: 0310443903

ISBN-13: 9780310443902

Availability: In Stock

Text Layout: Double Column

Text Color: Black Letter

Text Size: 8 Point

Thumb Index: No

Ribbon Marker: No

Spine: Glued

Page Gilding: None

Page Edges: White