The Systematic Theology Study Bible from Crossway, in E.S.V. Black Genuine Leather, and the Hardcover Edition.

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I am giving away a hardcover edition of this Bible.

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The Systematic Theology Study Bible from Crossway, is a different kind of Study Bible.  It isn’t really accurate to call it a reference Bible, or a Study Bible.  It is technically a study Bible in the sense that it has study aids in it, but it looks more like a reference Bible with a systematic theology book blended in with it.

For my conservative paedobaptist friends, you’ll notice the notes seem to be in favor of credobaptism.  For my friends who don’t believe in God’s sovereign election, you’ll notice the notes don’t agree with you.

Some people would like it if a broad range of theologians worked on this Bible, but they didn’t 🙂  It was mostly Reformed Baptists, and conservative Presbyterians, from what I gathered reading the list of men involved with writing the theology articles.

Contributors:

  • Gregg Allison
  • Bruce Ashford
  • Gerald Bray
  • Bryan Chapell
  • Graham Cole
  • David Dockery
  • John Frame
  • Michael Horton
  • Kelly Kapic
  • Michael Kruger
  • Robert Letham
  • Donald Macleod
  • Chris Morgan
  • Stephen Nichols
  • J. I. Packer
  • Michael Reeves
  • Fred Sanders
  • Sam Storms
  • Scott Swain
  • Stephen Wellum
  • David Wells

The systematic theology seems to lean towards a general Reformed position, which is good, because… well, I think it is the right position lol. 🙂  I think any person who affirms the reformed position on soteriology will be appreciative of this Bible and the articles in it.  It is broad in appeal to people who are reformed.  It might not get all of your more nuanced secondary, or tertiary doctrines just the way you want them, but we will all be in accord over the treatment of the primary ones.  I can definitely see the Reformed Baptist position reflected in the work.

There is basically a mini systematic theology book in the back of the Bible along with some other very useful features.  Here is a list of features you’ll find;

“Double-column, paragraph format

  • Footnotes
  • Book intros
  • Topical index of sidebars
  • Cross-references
  • 400+ doctrinal summaries explaining core doctrines and connecting them to specific Bible passages
  • 25+ longer articles on key theological topics
  • Lifetime guarantee on leather and TruTone editions
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Packaging: J-Card (Hardcover); Box (Genuine Leather and TruTone)”

When we look at most study Bibles they either are one man’s theology, like the Ryrie, Scofield, and MacArthur, or they are a compilation of a wide range of theologies like the massive ESV, NIV, Thomas Nelson NKJV study Bibles. The last three are humongous study Bibles with a little bit of everything. The Systematic Theology Study Bible is a neat hybrid. It isn’t one man’s theology, or a broad, neither here nor there conglomeration of positions. (Excluding the ESV which does a great job.) It is from the reformed position. The theology is systematic, which means that it is harmonized. Verses are not put against verses. They are all contextually harmonious.

You’ll find book introductions and outlines before each book.  You’ll also notice that the Bible looks a lot like a Cross Reference Bible.  It seems to me that Crossway integrated their systematic theology features into the Bible very well.  The articles are relevant to the scriptures they appear with, and are indexed in the back along with several theological articles.

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This Crossway Bible was packaged well and delivered in a cardboard box.  The Bible was in a two piece retail box.  You should always keep the retail boxes for storing your Bibles in if you are swapping it out with another one to read for a while.
DSCN6639 The cover is black genuine leather with a perimeter groove.  DSCN6641

DSCN6644 The spine is decorated with the ESV logo at the top, then, “Systematic Theology Study Bible.”  English Standard Version at the bottom, with Crossway’s logo hot stamped in gold colored foil.  DSCN6642

The page edges are also gold gilt.  There are yellow and black, head and tail bands, and one black ribbon marker.
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The cover is joined to the text block via case binding.  The spine is sewn for superior flexibility, and durability.

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In the front of the Bible there is a presentation page, and some family records pages.
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If you look at the copyright page, you’ll be pleased to see this edition was printed and bound in the United States.

DSCN6655 The book introductions are well done. I found them to be informative, and concise, but not to a fault. DSCN6662

DSCN6663 Cross references and footnotes, along with the systematic theology articles are found at the bottom of the page to save space. The text is laid out in a double column, paragraph format. DSCN6664

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The main font is an easy to read 9 pt. Lexicon, and the features are an 8 pt. Gotham, printed crisply on 30 g.s.m. Apple Thin Opaque paper. The paper is smooth, and offers a decent contrast, and due to its color reduces eyestrain.

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If you don’t already own one of these, you should get one. It is a times saver if you are intending to read a systematic theology book. You can kill two birds with one stone. It is available from Crossway, Amazon, or Christianbook for a very fair price.

Since you stuck around for the entire review, if you comment on this review, and ask to be in the running for the hardback copy of this Bible I will select a winner out of those who commented.  Be sure to check back so I can get your mailing address.  I will only mail this to an address in the U.S.
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ISBN-13: 9781433553394

A Review of the Hendrickson 1611 Edition King James Version Bible with Apocrypha, in Black Genuine Leather, Hardback.

The 1611 KJV edition is not a true facsimile edition. It is a modern printing of a 19th century typeset that changed the font from Gothic to Roman. It is still in early Modern English. Here is what Hendrickson has to say about it on their product information page,

“For 400 years, the Authorized Version of the Bible—popularly known as the King James Version—has been beloved for its majestic phrasing and stately cadences. No other book has so profoundly influenced our language and our theology. Over time, however, the text has suffered subtle and occasionally troublesome alterations. This edition preserves the original 1611 printing. Word for word and page for page, the text with its original marginal notes, preface, and other introductory material appears as it first did. The sole concession to modernity is a far more readable roman typeface set by nineteenth-century master printers.

“A valuable and essential addition to every Bible library.”

—John R. Kohlenberger III”

Here is a list of features from their page as well,

“FEATURES

• Original preface and translators’ notes

• Alfred Pollard’s classic essay on pre-1611 English translations and the history of the Authorized Version

• New essays on the enduring impact of the KJV and the Apocrypha

• Handsome page design with decorative initials

• Page-edge gilding and ribbon marker (genuine leather only)

• Clear type is convenient to read and reference

• Special logo on book spine and packaging commemorates the 400th Anniversary

• Includes the Apocrypha”

I was curious about the quality of the leather when I requested this Bible for review. I wondered what they were going to use. I was also curious about how and where they would have it printed and bound. I thought, “Perhaps because this is an anniversary edition they will give it special treatment? Surely for the steep price it has to be better built than some of the lesser Bibles I’ve seen recently.” Well, I was let down. When I opened the cardboard shipping box I was presented with a nice looking retail box.
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I was hopeful it contained something well done. I opened the retail box hoping to smell leather. Nope! No pleasing leather aroma. That is not to say that the cover is not genuine leather. It most likely is. Hendrickson says that it is. That being the case, the only way they can consider it genuine leather is if it is pigskin leather. Pigskin leather is the cheapest, stiffest, thinnest, leather you can get. Any cheaper and they would be using bonded leather or synthetic covers. The leather covers hardback book boards. There is a nice looking cross decoration on the front cover. It is not tooled leather.

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The next thing that struck me was the excessively wavy page edges. It looks as if when the text block was trimmed they used a dull blade or when they were finishing the text block they had a machine problem. I don’t know for sure. I have also noticed a reviewer on a large retail site had the same problem.

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After noticing these two very big disappointments, I concluded that this must have been made in China. I opened it up. I looked for the publisher information page and confirmed my suspicions.

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I really hope the publishers of Bibles realize they are dealing with God’s word, not just a retail product.

Those were the two biggest gripes I had about this Bible as far as obvious design and construction goes. I can’t criticize the typeset or layout as it is dictated by the 19th century typeset they chose to utilize. I know some have complained the font to be small. It is a bit on the small side, but overall, not bad.

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You have to remember what you are dealing with, an old typeset and layout, which includes the Apocrypha.
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If you aren’t familiar with it, don’t feel bad. Most people have no idea what it is. It is a collection of non-canonical books the early Church used might have used (kind of like how we use other books in our studies) We don’t use them, because they aren’t inspired. If you are looking for a modern paragraph format Bible with side column references, then buy a modern Bible… That should go without saying. Alas, people are very indiscriminate when shopping sometimes. They can also be woefully ignorant about what they are buying. That is one of the main reasons I write these reviews. ￿ I hope to help shoppers find the perfect Bible for them. Then they can go out and purchase confidently without apprehension.

I opened the case bound Bible to see that even though it isn’t the quality I hoped for, they did at least do a decent job pasting down the corners and the end pages.
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The paper and printing are next. The paper reminded me of cheap newsprint paper in color and texture.
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It was a bit smoother and higher quality than newsprint, but definitely not up the standards of Hendrickson’s competition. The Spine of the Bible was rounded, which is a good thing.
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The binding is sewn, giving it the ability to open flat and stay that way while reading it. The page edges were gilt, even if they were warped like a Ruffle’s potato chip. The ribbon markers were decent.
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There are decorative head and tail bands. The print seemed consistent, even if it smudged a little. I love some of the Books and Bibles Hendrickson publishes, but this one doesn’t make the cut. If this Bible were only available at the suggested retail price I wouldn’t buy it, but you can pick it up online around the fifty dollar range. In my opinion, even fifty dollars is thirty dollars too much.
To see all the pics make sure to check out my flickr album of this Bible.

KJV Bible–1611 Edition: Genuine Leather, Black

ISBN-13: 9781565631625

Size: 5.25 x 8.25 inches; 8-pt type

Hendrickson’s page

Amazon

Christianbook

A Workhorse of Lockman Foundation is the NASB Large Print Ultrathin Bible in Black Genuine Leather.

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with Lockman Foundation, they are responsible for the New American Standard Bible translation.  (NASB)  They keep the copyright so it doesn’t get changed.  They are not in it for the money.  They are a non-profit corporation.  The money goes back into making Bibles.

The NASB is my favorite translation because of the accuracy.  When you look up Greek words and compare them to how the NASB has rendered them in English, I think you will find that it is the most reliable translation out there.  I encourage you to read up on the history of the Lockman Foundation.  I am encouraged when I see how God used Dewey and Minna Lockman to spread His word.

This typeset is one of the most popular typesets Lockman Has produced.  It is a favorite among the NASB fans.  There are plenty of good reasons for this.  First it is a pretty good sized font coming in at 10 pt.  Second, it is arranged in a double column, verse format, with center column references.   Third, it is a modern typeset.  It is clear and sharply printed.  These are the top reasons why it is so popular.

The text block is smyth-sewn.  This means that instead of what is called a, “perfect binding” which is, stacking the papers together, cutting the ends, and then gluing them together at the spine.  They stack up pamphlets called signatures.  These are stacked up and sewn to signature tapes.  Then, they are sewn to each other as well.  The spine is sometimes glued to reinforce it.  A smyth-sewn binding holds together much longer because the pages are sewn together, and sewn to cords or tapes in the spine.   Glued bindings often lose pages from the front and back of the book, as the glue loses its flexibility, and hardens.  A sewn binding opens better, and it stays open, once it is opened.

This Bible was shipped to me gratis for review.  It arrived packaged in a cardboard box with paper packing.  It was not damaged during shipping.  It comes in a two piece retail box that should be retained for storage.  This Bible looks like it will be heavy, but it isn’t.  It is pleasant to hold and read.  It isn’t too heavy or big, even though you get a nice size font.  The cover is genuine leather, not to be confused with more expensive cowhide/calfskin, or less expensive bonded leather.  Genuine leather is a good durable choice in Bible covers.  This Bible is case bound.  The corners are cut and glued well.  The vinyl liner matches the cover in color.  The front of the Bible has a presentation page as well as family records pages.  These are printed on a glossy paper.  Sometimes ink will smudge so make sure if you write in pen on these that you allow the ink to dry before you close it.  Maybe pat them with a tissue as well.  Then, there is a section about the translation.  It is pretty informative.  You should read it at least once if you never have.  The text of this Bible is as I mentioned before, a double column, verse format, with center column references.  The NASB has over 95,000 cross references.  This makes it an extremely useful reference Bible.  This is a black text edition.   That means all of the words are printed in black text.  Some Bibles are red letter editions.  Those have the words of Jesus printed in red.  Well, since the entire word of God is God’s word, we should have it all printed in red, or we could just print it all in black.  The paper is decent quality.  For the price of this Bible you really do get a lot.  There is a pretty good sized concordance at the end.  In the back are eight, colored maps printed on the same glossy paper as the presentation and family records pages.  I would recommend this Bible for anyone looking for a good reference Bible that will get used.  It will provide you with a good translation and a utilitarian functionality.  Since it isn’t a premium Bible, and it is pretty tough, you don’t have to be afraid of hurting it.  You can purchase them here.

 

 

ISBN-13: 9781581351316