A Review of the JOT Bible Life-Notes Journal in Black Genuine Leather.

DSCN4999
Do you study your Bible?  I don’t mean devotional reading.  I mean, do you sit down with your Bible, a journal, Greek/Hebrew resources and some commentaries, to unpack God’s word?  If you are a serious student of God’s word, you’ll love this journal.  Pastors study to prepare for sermons, Teachers study to instruct, Evangelists study to make the gospel known, Apologists study to make reasonable arguments, Christians study to be discipled.  As Christians we all should be studying God’s word.  Out of the available tools we have at our disposal, recording our thoughts on paper is one of the most effective ways of revisiting them.  Considering the above callings, it is very beneficial.  

DSCN5006

As a student, I’m often frustrated with the journals available on the market today.  They don’t open flat.  You always are fighting the cover of the journal.  They are small.  You can’t fit all of your thoughts from the entire Bible in one journal.  You end up with several unmatched journals floating around your house.  It ruins the continuity.  I also find that I lose them.  If you are going to a few different places in your Bible during a lesson, you have to remember which journals you wrote in.  You have to gather them and bring them with you.  The covers are usually flimsy card paper or moleskin.  

I realize some of you might be wondering what the fuss is about.  “Isn’t that why the invented wide margin Bibles?”  Well, yes and no.  Anyone who has used a wide margin Bible has run into the problem of not having ruled lines.  This might not seem like a big problem to those of you who have been blessed with the “spiritual gift” of beautiful handwriting. (just kidding. I know that is not one of the gifts.)  No ruled lines, is a real problem for me.  My notes meander all over the margin, not to mention that there is never enough room for some of the most elementary notables to be notated 🙂  While, wide margins have their place, they don’t fit the bill for some of us.  Space is the next issue with wide margin Bibles.  There is never enough blank space for notes.  You can never seem to get all of what you are thinking down on the paper next to the verses you are meditating on.

I often wonder what will happen to all of my journals?  They are all disorganized, and haphazard.  Will my kids toss them out after I’m gone?  Will they know what is in them?  I want to have my all of my ruminations in one volume, organized, durable, functional, and easily referenced.  On more than a few occasions, I’ve wondered if that was too much to ask.  After talking to several other Christian friends over the years, I found that I wasn’t alone.  We just consigned ourselves to the notion that our notes would forever be a collage of our faith journeys.

DSCN5167

I’m glad to say that someone has finally remedied this malady.  The JOT Bible Life-Notes is the perfect receptacle for your meditations, ruminations, and contemplations.  It matches your Bible in looks and size.  It is a fitting companion to bring to the pulpit with your trusty Bible.  It looks like a Bible, but it isn’t.  

DSCN5021


It matches the Bible book, chapter, and verse.  For every verse of the Bible there are two ruled lines with the verse number next to them, printed on fine, acid free, highly opaque, 42 g.s.m. Bible paper!  I mean what!?  You’ve got to be kidding me!  That is far superior to most paper used in Bible printing, and they have an entire journal made from it, sweeeeeeet!  I don’t know if you can tell from the pictures, but I am a pencil masher.  I tend to push pencils and pens through the page when I write.  If I am writing on thin paper, fogehtaboutit…  I hope you can tell from the pictures that this paper holds up to pencil quite well.  I would recommend pencil, as you can go back and edit notes later on.  We are always learning more, every time we read the Bible so sometimes you have to go back and add things to your notes or fix misunderstood verses.  Pencil erases nicely from this paper without leaving the paper wounded.

DSCN5165

DSCN5166

I did write notes in John 1 in black ink. This section of scripture will always assure me of Christ’s power, and the truth of God’s Word. This is what it looks like when you use ink. Just be sure it is something you aren’t going to change. I will only use pencil for the rest of my notes.

DSCN5170

DSCN5169

The printing of the lines and features of this journal is done in a consistent fashion.  I haven’t noticed any breaks in the lines.  The page edges are gold gilt.

DSCN5032

DSCN5023

DSCN5010

The JOT comes in a heavy duty two piece box that should be retained for storage.  It is seriously built better than most Bible boxes.

DSCN5002

The cover is supposed to be genuine leather.  I can’t place it though.  It seems too nice to be pigskin leather, but it is tougher than other cowhide leather covers.  Regardless, it is flexible and durable.  It is a work of form and function.

DSCN5008

The binding is a smythe-sewn spine in a case bound cover.  The spine of the JOT Bible Life-Notes is ornamented with five raised spine hubs.  The perimeter is stitched.  There is a presentation page in the front that includes a spot for you to write your contact information incase you lose your journal so that the person who finds it can get it back to you.

DSCN5016

DSCN5014

DSCN5007

DSCN5036

DSCN5017

There are three ribbon markers in, black, red, and blue. This thing is pretty much built like a quality Bible, but beefed up for note taking.  Again, to be clear, THIS IS NOT A BIBLE, IT IS A JOURNAL!!!  Don’t buy this thinking it is a Bible.  I know it looks like one, but it isn’t.  

DSCN5037

So just to recap the high points here; durable, useful, all your notes in one place, attractive, helpful, heirloom possibilities, preaching aid, study tool, memoirs from time with God’s word.

To be honest there is only one drawback that comes to mind.  It is a hefty tome, but if you know anything about book design, you’d know there are finite attributes that are interrelated.  When you change one thing it affects the others.  Using thick paper, and giving us room to write, necessitates a larger volume.  It can’t be helped.  I’d much rather have ample room along with function and form than have all form.  This thing is meant for work and does not need to be forgiven for that.  So if you are in the market for a high quality depository for all of your meditations instead of just a smattering of them, this is the journal for you.  Give it a try and recommend it to your friends, I know I am.  Make sure to check out all of the close up pictures I took of this journal on my flickr page here.  You can purchase yours on Amazon.  You can also check out their site here.
ISBN: 9780692396193

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

DSCN4862

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.
DSCN4859

DSCN4860

DSCN4861

The Bible itself was inside a sturdy cardboard slipcase, that should be retained for storage.

DSCN4863

DSCN4865

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.

DSCN4866

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.

DSCN4908

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.

DSCN4909

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.”

DSCN4872

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.

DSCN4873

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.

DSCN4867

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.

DSCN4874

DSCN4875

DSCN4878

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.

DSCN4886

DSCN4890

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.

DSCN4891

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.

DSCN4903

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 Local Church Bible Publishers Hand Size Text Bible in Black 1 piece Ironed Calfskin Leather, the Item #: 180E1B.

Evidence KJV LCBP Red Wide Margin LCBP Black Hand Size 051

I know many of you haven’t heard of Local Church Bible Publishers, or LCBP.  I would like to remedy that problem for you.  I say that it is a problem because you are missing out on a very well made Bible.  The only caveat is that you must be a fan of the Authorized Version of the King James.  LCBP only prints KJV Bibles.  If that is not a problem for you, then you have a good selection of low priced, high quality, edge lined Bibles to choose from.  Usually Bibles of this quality would sell for $100 or more.  These range from the $20 New Testaments up to the $70 Super Giant Print.  Here is a link to their page, Local Church Bible Publishers

The 180E1B is the 180 Hand Size, Text Bible in the Executive line, with a one piece cover, in black ironed calfskin leather.  When closed, it measures 6″ x 8.5″ x 1.5″ It is an attractive looking Bible.  The grain has been ironed out of it.

Evidence KJV LCBP Red Wide Margin LCBP Black Hand Size 073

It is smooth and flexible.  There are decorative spine hubs and gold gilt page edges.  On the spine is written, “Holy Bible” at the head, “Authorized King James” at the middle, and, “Church” at the tail.

Evidence KJV LCBP Red Wide Margin LCBP Black Hand Size 049

There are decorative gold and black, head and tail bands.  It comes with two, black ribbon markers.

Evidence KJV LCBP Red Wide Margin LCBP Black Hand Size 056

There is a perimeter line on the cover.  The cover is perimeter stitched to the inside liner.

Evidence KJV LCBP Red Wide Margin LCBP Black Hand Size 052

The Bible is edge lined and smyth-sewn, making it very durable and flexible.  You would not get this quality without spending much more.  LCBP Bibles are an extremely good value.

Evidence KJV LCBP Red Wide Margin LCBP Black Hand Size 077
When you open this Bible you first see some blank pages made from a heavier card stock, then the presentation page, and the family records pages.  Then the Title page as well as the Preface to the King James Version 1611, “THE TRANSLATORS TO THE READER.”  We then get into the meat of the Bible.  It is laid out in a double column, verse format, with a line separating the columns.  This is a text Bible so there are no cross-references or footnotes.  It is also a black letter edition that utilizes the self-pronouncing text in a 10.5 pt medium font.  It looks like an old typesetting of the text.  The font is not sharply printed like modern methods would produce.  It is well inked and dark.  The paper makes up for the font.  It is very opaque and heavy.

Evidence KJV LCBP Red Wide Margin LCBP Black Hand Size 057

If I could only get this Bible in NASB I’d be happy.  I know the people at LCBP would not like that last bit 🙂  There is a robust 197 page concordance in the back as well as some blank sheets for note taking.  There are six maps printed on the same cardstock paper as were in the front of the Bible.
If you are in the market for an AV KJV Bible that will outlast you,  and don’t want to spend a bunch give LCBP a look.  You might be pleasantly surprised.  Make sure to check out all the pictures of this Bible on my Flickr page.

The Holman HCSB Large Print Ultrathin Reference Bible in Black Genuine Cowhide Leather is a Wonderful Demonstration of How High Quality Bibles Can be Made in America for a Very Affordable Price.

DSCN4304Yes, it is true! We can still make high quality Bibles here in America, and they are affordable! I’m not saying this is a cheap Bible by any means, far from it. It is a high quality Bible. I will go over all of the features later in the review. This Bible sells for around $80.00 online. Even if they sold it for the suggested retail price of almost $120.00 it would be worth it. So to all of my patriotic friends, “‘MericA!” The Holman HCSB Large Print Ultratin Reference Bible showed up on my doorstep well protected inside an appropriately sized cardboard box padded with paper.   DSCN4302

The two piece retail box is sturdy and should be retained for storage. The Bible was wrapped in black paper to further protect the black genuine cowhide leather cover.

DSCN4308I’ve read some other reviews of this Bible and much ado was made over the cover’s softness. I’ll admit that is the main reason I wanted to review this for myself. Although, it is a very nice cover, I wouldn’t call it the softest or most supple cover I’ve ever seen. Considering that soft does not always equate to good, don’t let my mention of that stop you from getting this Bible. I quite like that it isn’t as soft as what I was reading on other sites. For instance, I have an R. L. Allan Readers in goatskin leather. It is nothing like the goatskin I have on a Cambridge Clarion Bible. The Allan was thick and tough compared to the Cambridge. When you get into Bibles, one of the first things that gets you going is that there are Bibles out there with very soft covers. This new excitement wears thin after a while. After using Bibles with super supple covers for a while you begin to notice some drawbacks. Super supple covers or ssc’s for short, do enhance the flexibility of a quality edge lined, sewn binding. What you’ll notice though is that you will begin a tendency to bend your Bible in ways that are not conducive to a long useful binding life. You’ll also become annoyed at your Bible flopping around at inconvenient times. If you have a larger Bible that is ssc it will become more difficult to sit and read as you have to support it someway. The ssc’s also are more susceptible to scratches, and abrasions. The cover can flop away from the pages and leave your pages unprotected. I don’t know how many more dog eared pages I’ve gotten solely due to the ssc. There is a happy medium, thank goodness. I think that this Bible fits in that category very well. The genuine cowhide leather cover IS supple, but not too supple.   DSCN4309

DSCN4310  It is coupled with a case bound text block instead of an edge lined one.   DSCN4314

This also keeps it from being excessively flexible, without too rigid.

DSCN4346  The cover offers just the right amount of support and protection. When I open it to read from it, I can read both the left and right pages while holding the Bible in one hand, without one of them folding over so it can’t be read. With an ssc you can’t do this. With a rigid cover you are fighting the cover, constantly trying to keep it down and out of the way. This Bible is just right in that regard. When I took it out of the box and the paper it was wrapped in, I didn’t notice any chemical smells, just the smell of leather, as it should be. It felt good in my hands. The spine wasn’t too thick or thin. It is manageable in size at 9.75″ x 6.75″ x 1.25″ The texture of the leather’s grain is natural and pleasing to the touch. The spine is decorated with 6 raised hubs. At the head of the spine is the Holman sword and shield logo with, “HCSB” under it. In the middle of the spine are the words, “Holy Bible.” At the foot you’ll see, “Large Print Ultrathin Reference Edition” with the Holman logo beneath it.   DSCN4312

It has gold gilt page edges rounded corners and a slightly rounded spine. The signatures are fairly large. I think this is what accounted for some pretty dramatic looking page waves when I first took this Bible out to use.

DSCN4325  The good news is that those wrinkles you see in the pictures went away after a day of being out of the box and packaging. With just light use everything kind of balanced out. For some reason the pictures made the problem look worse than what it was. Since this Bible has a lifetime warranty through Holman, if you received one with this problem I am certain they would take it back and do what they needed to do to make sure you were happy. I just used it for a little while and it got much better. In the front of the Bible there is a Presentation page. Then there are record pages for Marriage Certificate, Births, Marriages, Occasions to Remember, and Deaths. After the records pages there is the Title page, copyright/publisher’s page, Table of Contents, God’s Plan for Salvation, Introduction to the HCSB translation and finally the text of the Old Testament starts.   DSCN4327

The paper is white enough to offer good contrast with the sharply printed modern digital 9 pt. font. The layout and typesetting was done by 2Krogh AS, Hojbjerg, Denmark and proofreading by Peachtree Editorial Services in Peachtree City Georgia. This Bible uses the 2009 Updated HCSB and cross references.

DSCN4335  This is a red letter edition. It is a double column, paragraph format Bible with center column references and footnotes at the bottom.   DSCN4344

In the footnotes there are alternate readings or notes on textual variants that is quite helpful.

DSCN4343  All of these features lend themselves to a highly legible text. It is easy on the eyes and will be a pleasure to use. The book names and chapter numbers are on the bottom of the page instead of the top along with the page numbers.   DSCN4334

If you are holding this Bible in your hand or lap while reading from a chair this makes more sense. If you are leaning over this Bible reading it at a table or desk the placement of that information can be less convenient. It is not the conventional way to do it, but that is not necessarily bad. There are two ribbon markers for your daily reading in the Old and New Testaments.
DSCN4313  DSCN4337

There is a concordance, eight full-color maps, and HCSB Bullet Notes in the back of this Bible. Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised lately by the quality and value of Holman Bibles I’ve been sent for review. I am actually beginning to expect this level of quality and value from Holman. Because of their work and the fact that we can have a domestically produced Bible of quality and value, I am expecting more from other Bible publishers. This is good for Holman, it might be painful to other publishers, but they can look at it as a negative and stop sending me Bibles to review like some have, or they can pick up the challenge and step up their game. Make sure to check out the rest of the pics I took of this Bible here.

ISBN-13: 9781433603020

A Review of the Trinitarian Bible Society’s KJV Pocket Reference Bible with Metrical Psalms in Black Calfskin Leather PS7U/BK

DSCN4039  According to the Trinitarian Bible Society’s website the Pocket Reference Bible is, “The complete practical choice of Bible for carrying in pocket or handbag. Wide selection including camouflage for armed forces, vinyl, and quality leather. With button snap and zip options.” If you aren’t aware, “T.B.S.” stands for, “Trinitarian Bible Society” not at all related to the horrible cable television station with the same initials. TBS is located in London, England. They are a ministry that produces good quality and value AV KJV Bibles for circulation for the glory of God. Since they are a ministry, they have very good prices. They have kindly sent me a copy of the Pocket Reference Bible with Metrical Psalms in calfskin leather for review on my blog. This TBS Bible is approaching the smallest, usable size a Bible can be. It is 5.2″ x 3.6″ with 6 point font. Let’s just say that, you would have to have very good eyes, or a very good optometrist. That being said, if you are a fan of the Pitt Minion typesetting and are looking for the smallest, compact Bible you can read, covered with genuine calf split or in TBS’s words, “calfskin leather”, with zipper and metrical Psalms, then your search is over. Not a fan of the Pitt Minion? Love the Royal Ruby text typesetting? TBS has you covered with their Royal Ruby Text Bible with Metrical Psalms covered with the same calfskin and in addition, thumb indexes and zipper enclosure. It is a hair larger and the font is 6.5 pt. in size. You can read my review of the older edition here. The Pocket Reference Bible arrived undamaged and carefully packed in a good size cardboard box with packing material.   DSCN4037

Inside the box, the Bible was in its retail packaging which is a heavy cardboard slipcase wrapped in clear plastic.

DSCN4038  DSCN4043
Upon removing it from the packaging I observed that the zipper is a smooth operating nylon zipper. It is flexible and quieter than a brass zipper.

DSCN4046  I unzipped the cover and looked at the inside cover first. It is a case bound Bible so the inner liner is a vinyl that is paper backed and glued to the calfskin and end papers of the text block. The corners of the cover are not easily seen as they are covered by the zipper material that is sewn to the perimeter of the cover, making the cover perimeter stitched. There are read and gold head and tail bands decorating the Pocket Reference.   DSCN4061

The first page is a presentation page.

DSCN4048  You can fill this out and gift this Bible. The person receiving it from you will be sure to remember the occasion. After the presentation page is a few blank card paper pages made of the same paper the presentation page is made from. You can also see some of the thread from the binding.   DSCN4049

You’ll notice on the bottom of the copyright page with the publisher information that this Bible is printed in Belarus.

DSCN4076  I don’t know much about Belarus except it is a small former soviet country near Poland, Lithuania, and Russia. I know TBS in the past has used a printer there. It would be interesting to know more about this. I think I will ask them next time we correspond. As you keep turning pages you notice, The Epistle Dedicatory and the List of pronunciation of words and proper names. The text of this Bible is a double column verse format with references in the center column in black text edition. (Pitt Minion Reduced)   DSCN4050
DSCN4057

It utilizes Bible paper and has all edge gilt. There are two black ribbon markers for your daily readings from Old and New Testaments. In the back of the Bible you have A Bible Word List and Reading Plan. Then you’ll find the Psalms in metre.

The Pocket Reference is the winner in portability. Not just because it is very small and thin, or that you could zip its semi-yap cover closed, put it in your pocket and charge off to wherever you need to be, without damaging the pages. Nor is it the winner because it is a complete Bible or even that it includes references. Not even the fact that it is sturdily constructed out of good quality materials or the smyth-sewn binding, or that it should stand up to a mobile life quite well. It is that fact that all of these features are all together in this tiny package that make it the winner. Since it uses the familiar Pitt Minion typeset all of the elements are where you would expect them to be like, page numbers, book names, and chapter numbers, so on.

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

You can purchase your own from TBS directly here, Pocket Reference Bible with Metrical Psalms (calfskin) ISBN 9781862282728 PS7U/BK (Black) Page Size: 5.2″ x 3.6″ Thickness: 0.8″ Print Size: 6 point

The Holman NKJV Study Bible in Black Genuine Leather, Revisited.

The Holman NKJV Study Bible in Black Genuine Leather, Revisited.

DSCN3927

About a year ago I did a review of the Holman NKJV Study Bible. Overall the review was favorable. I thought it might be nice to give it a second look and see what my impressions are now. In my initial review I said that it had a glued binding, but I have found that it is actually sewn.

DSCN3992

The spine is not rounded and was kind of difficult to see down in the gutter. After some breaking in and a bit more force, you can see the thread. The signatures are not very big either so it was more difficult to tell.

DSCN3936

It is a good thing for a Bible this big to have thinner signatures. It makes it more flexible and less prone to falling apart. You see if it does start to fall apart only a few pages will come loose in a smaller signature instead of many pages in a larger signature.

I also commented on the size of this bad boy. That part has not changed. It is still pretty humongous. I would put it up there with the ESV study Bible for size. It is an attractive looking Bible as far as mass produced Bibles go. It is covered in black genuine leather.

DSCN3934

It is not shiny like so many of them are. It is has silver stamped lettering on the spine and silver gilt page edges.

DSCN3935

DSCN3938

It is still printed and bound in the good ol’ U.S.A.

DSCN3949

It is very well printed. The text is clear and bold. It is very black and contrasts against the bright white paper.

DSCN3975

The paper could be a bit thicker, but then this Bible would be even bigger… That would be a problem. This is a red letter edition. The font is approximately a 9 pt. font being a good compromise.

DSCN3982

There are two ribbon markers one is black and the other is red.

DSCN3978

The Bible is case bound and well done.

DSCN3940

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this Bible for anyone looking for a study Bible. Here is a list of the helps/features;

Holman Bible Publishers is excited to present the Holman Study Bible: NKJV Edition, a new edition modeled after its own 2011 ECPA Christian Book Award-winning HCSB Study Bible, where every well-conceived study help is practically placed on the same page spread as the related biblical text. It also features 15,000 study notes, 141 photos, 62 timelines, 59 maps, 40-page concordance, 20 articles and essays on practical and theological issues, 16 illustrations and reconstructions, and 15 charts.

Other details of the Holman Study Bible: NKJV Edition include a two-column text setting, center-column cross references, the words of Christ in red type, extensive book introductions, one- and three-year Bible reading plans, a notes section, four-color presentation page and family records section, and two-piece die-cut gift box.

All study features throughout the Holman Study Bible: NKJV Edition are designed to put the emphasis where it must be – on making the Scriptures, God’s written Word, clear and understandable.

It is extremely flexible.

DSCN3997

The features are too numerous to expound on all of them. A very well done study Bible at an extremely affordable price from the United States, I hope other publishers are paying attention. You don’t have to make horrible quality Bibles in China to make a profit.
Be sure to check out all of the pictures on my flickr page.

Pick up your copy on Christianbook or Amazon

ISBN: 9781433605123

Trim Size: 10 x 7.6 x 2.1

Cambridge Pitt Minions, a Tale of Three Covers.

Comparison Review of Morocco, Calf Split, and Goatskin Leather Covered Pitt Minion NASB Bibles.

DSCN4026

I’m fortunate to have been sent review copies of the same Bible, covered in three types of leather that Cambridge uses. They have sent me three Cambridge Pitt Minions in NASB Bibles. One of them is covered in black Morocco leather, another in black calf split leather, and the last one is covered in brown goatskin leather.

DSCN4024

This review will depart from my other reviews in that I am not covering the same points over again. You can read about the Pitt Minion typeset and binding information here. Instead, I am going to compare the different types of leather covers. You can view the Cambridge page with information about their leathers here.
Here is their definition of what Morocco leather is, “Leather taken from a split hide – sheepskin, calf or cowhide. Slightly thinner than the other grades of leather and therefore relatively flexible and soft even when new. A French Morocco binding offers high-quality real leather at an economical price.” This is the cover material for the lowest priced Pitt Minion at approximately $60.00 available at online retailers.

DSCN4019
Here is their definition of what calf split leather is, “A superior grade to French Morocco leather, tanned to approach the quality and feel of full-grain calfskin leather.” This is the next step up from the Morocco leather and can be purchased for about $80.00 online.

calf split

Finally, here is their definition of goatskin leather, “A beautiful and very resilient top-quality, natural grain leather. Traditionally known as ‘Morocco’ leather, it is strong yet supple and is used in the finest bindings.

The best goatskins for bookbinding come from an area of northern Nigeria where environmental conditions are ideal for producing hides with the necessary balance of strength and suppleness. Here they are partially tanned using the same vegetable materials and methods that have been used for several thousand years. Traditionally, they were transported by camel across the Sahara desert to merchants in Morocco (hence the term ‘Morocco leather’) from where they would be distributed throughout the ancient world.

Cambridge uses Nigerian goatskins finished in the United Kingdom for our top-of-the range bindings.”

I understand there can be some confusion when talking about cover materials. There really isn’t a standardized nomenclature. I hope this information clears it up for anyone with questions as to why the Morocco covers were more expensive than the calf split covers. I know I’ve been asked this question before. I’ve included plenty of pictures and a video to help you see as much of the differences for yourselves, but I have to tell you, only by handling these Bibles will you be able to appreciate the qualities of each one. All three are wonderful Bibles and offer specific benefits. The price of the Morocco covered Pitt Minion makes it exceedingly affordable. You get all of the great features of the Cambridge Pitt Minion text block, like the sewn binding, thin profile, compact size, complete Bible, clearly printed modern digital font, references, and red letter text. This cover has a bit of a glossy look to it and the grain is not pebbled. It is also quite a bit thinner than the other two. However, it is vastly superior to other Bibles on the market that advertise having, “genuine leather” covers. Many of the lower quality Bibles that claim to be genuine leather are covered in split pigskin leather with an artificial grain pressed into it. They almost look plastic and are very shiny. This Morocco cover is much better and the price has remained very affordable.

For just about $20.00 more you can get the calf split leather, again with all of the great Pitt Minion features, plus a more supple, thicker, leather with a deeper natural texture. The calf split is also less shiny or glossy than the Morocco cover. This gives it a much more tactilely pleasing feel in your hand. I’ve also noticed that it softens up quite well after it is broken in.

For about $100.00 you can acquire the Pitt Minion covered in goatskin leather.

DSCN3854

I know it seems like a lot of money, but when you pick one up you’ll understand why it is more. The goatskin covers have a finer pebbled grain that is soft to the touch. It is softer than the calf split or top grain leathers while remaining durable.

DSCN4023

If you have ever held a sheepskin leather Bible you would find that it is very supple, but susceptible to scratches and tears. The goatskin is great because it has the best features of both types of leather. It is soft and supple while remaining effective at protecting the text block. None of these three are edge lined so you won’t be doing any, “Bible yoga” with them. I wouldn’t recommend bending them that much regardless. Even if a Bible is flexible enough to bend like you might see some people do online, it isn’t a good idea.

DSCN4027

Over time it will loosen your binding too much and prematurely wear it out.
DSCN4025

No matter what your budget is you can find a Pitt Minion to fit and be assured that it will last long enough for your kids to enjoy if you treat it with respect.

Make sure to check out the rest of the pictures on the flickr page.

You can purchase these Bibles on Amazon, Christianbook, or Cambridge Press.

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.
DSCN3707
DSCN3712
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.

DSCN3713

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.

DSCN3718

DSCN3752
DSCN3760

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.

DSCN3723

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.

DSCN3746

You have to remember what you are dealing with, an old typeset and layout, which includes the Apocrypha.
DSCN3750

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.
DSCN3719

The paper and printing are next. The paper reminded me of cheap newsprint paper in color and texture.
DSCN3729

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.
DSCN3716

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.
DSCN3717
DSCN3726

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 Side by Side Comparison of the Oxford NRSV with the Apocrypha and Book of Common Prayer in Black Genuine Leather, to the Cambridge KJV with the Book of Common Prayer in Purple Calfsplit Leather.

DSCN3702

You can look at all of the pictures on my Flickr page. Here is the link for the Cambridge album.  Here is the link for the Oxford album.  I received both Bibles undamaged. They were packed in their own cardboard boxes and were inside retail boxes that were both sturdy enough to be used for storing the Bible in when on the shelf.

DSCN3617

DSCN3554

DSCN3618

DSCN3556

Upon opening the boxes I was impressed with the purple color of the Cambridge Bible. The Cambridge cover was also more supple out of the box. This is due to the Cambridge being covered in calfsplit leather which is split cowhide leather as opposed to the Oxford’s cover which was your typical pigskin leather. The Oxford was ornamented with a gold stamped cross on the front cover as well as a gilt line around the inside perimeter of the cover. Both covers have a perimeter groove pressed into them.

DSCN3701

The Cambridge and the Oxford alike have gold gilt page edges. I thought the two purple ribbon markers were attractive. The Oxford has three yellow/gold ribbon markers that were pretty nice even if they were a bit more narrow. I would have liked to see three ribbon markers in the Cambridge because of the added BCP.

Here is the Cambridge

DSCN3633

Here is the Oxford

DSCN3616

The Oxford was surprisingly smaller than the Cambridge even though it had the Apocrypha and the Cambridge did not. Due to all of the added text there had to be a compromise. I don’t think it was a very wise one. The Biblical text in the NRSV is very small. At 6 pt. it is still legibly printed, but does present a strain for longer reading. I think it would be fine for carrying to Church as long as you bring your reading glasses. If you do have poor vision I would not recommend this Bible for the Bible portion.

DSCN3609

The BCP is perfectly legible being printed in 8 pt. font.

DSCN3586

The Cambridge suffers from the same problem albeit not of necessity in my opinion. Of course I am not privy to all design constraints and I am certain there are reasons for making the Biblical text 6 pt. and the BCP text a very generous 11 pt. I would have liked to see the BCP down to 8 pt. and the KJV up to 8 pt. I think that could have been achieved.

DSCN3685

DSCN3664

Both Bibles have sewn bindings and are case bound. The Cambridge is printed and bound in Italy by L.E.G.O. SpA. Vicenza. It is the KJV Pitt Minion, Reference Second Edition setting.

DSCN3682

That would be a double column, paragraph format layout with references in the center column. The small 6.75 pt. font is clearly and uniformly printed on very good and opaque Bible paper.
DSCN3693

The Book of Common Prayer is mostly single column format. It is printed in large 11 pt. font making it easy to read. It is also printed to the same standards as the rest of the text.

DSCN3678
Both Bibles were designed and had their layouts done by Blue Heron Bookcraft in Battleground Washington.

DSCN3597

When we compare the two Bibles there are some big differences in quality. The Korean printed and bound Oxford uses a less opaque paper that tends to wrinkle, while the Cambridge is very smooth.

Here is the Oxford

DSCN3608

Here is the Cambridge

DSCN3684
The print in the Oxford is not as well inked as the Cambridge. The Oxford is a double column paragraph format with very limited footnotes. It is the NRSV translation. Both Bibles are black letter editions.

DSCN3602
The Oxford does have some gold colored and heavily textured papers utilized for the presentation and family records pages. They look nice, but can be a chore to write on contrasted to the typical Cambridge presentation pages.

DSCN3579
The Book of Common Prayer is mostly single column and printed with large 8 pt. font.

DSCN3589
The Apocrypha is printed the same as the Biblical text.

DSCN3606
Neither have maps or helps in the back. The Cambridge has, “Common Prayer” at the top, “Holy Bible” in the middle and, the Cambridge logo at the foot of the spine stamped in gold. The Oxford has, “The Book of Common Prayer” at the top and, “The Holy Bible” underlined and, “Apocrypha” immediately under it in the middle, and, “Oxford” at the bottom of the spine.

DSCN3698
The Cambridge is a bit larger in length and width, but they are about the same thickness.

The Oxford might be a hair thicker. Both are aesthetically pleasing and pleasant to hold, however the Cambridge is the winner in the tactilely pleasing category. The calfsplit leather just is so much better than the shiny pigskin leather of the Oxford. I honestly thought the Oxford was bonded leather when I opened it. The head and foot bands on the Oxford were not properly glued down either. For quality of assembly I would have to give the Cambridge the win. Here is a look at the inside covers of both. You can see that they are both case bound.

Here is the Cambridge.

DSCN3696

DSCN3637

Here is the Oxford. It has a gilt line around the inside cover.

DSCN3575

DSCN3614
The Cambridge is geared more towards Anglicans and the Oxford is geared more for Episcopalians in my opinion. At least after reading much out of the BCP in each one that is my impression. The Cambridge utilizes the 1662 Book of Common Prayer while the Oxford uses 1979 Book of Common Prayer. If you are looking for an in depth list of what both BCP’s include I’m not going to do that, however I do have pictures of the table on contents pages that have those lists. You can see them on my Flickr page. Click here for the first page of the Cambridge Table of contents. Click here for the second page.  Click here for the first page of the Oxford Table of Contents. Click here for the second page.  The Cambridge is almost twice the price of the Oxford, but in my opinion it is worth it. I also like the KJV more than the NRSV. I am neither Anglican nor Episcopalian so I am not biased one way or another towards one of these Bibles. If you must have an Apocrypha in your volume then you would have to go with the Oxford. Both are sturdy and well made. They should provide years of service… as long as your eyes can take the small text. Make sure to visit the links to the Flickr photo album pages for both Bibles so you can get a good close look at all of the features.

If you are interested in purchasing either one here are some links for you,

Cambridge or Amazon or Christianbook

Oxford or Amazon or Christianbook

Have you ever wanted to compare the changes in the 2011 NIV against the KJV or NKJV?

Have you ever wanted to compare the changes in the 2011 NIV against the KJV or NKJV?
Hendrickson’s Complete Evangelical Parallel Bible with the KJV, NKJV, NIV, & NLT in black bonded leather gives you that opportunity.

DSCN2956

I saw this Bible on Hendrickson’s web page.  It struck me as an interesting opportunity to look for myself at the changes made in the NIV and compare them to a trusted version like the NKJV.  I’ve read a number of books on the topic.  My studying was done between the time when the TNIV was introduced and when the 2011 NIV replaced it.  I’m not going to say I can tell the future, but I called it when I told my wife that they will just drop the, “T” off of TNIV and try to sneak it by everyone.  Well, I was right.  That is what happened.

Hendrickson did a decent job of packaging this large Bible.  It was shipped in a cardboard box, with airbag type packaging cushions inside.

DSCN2954

The Parallel was wrapped in plastic, and was in a clamshell retail box, that should be retained for storage.

DSCN2960

The Parallel has a black, bonded leather cover.

DSCN2970

Bonded leather is less expensive than genuine leather, which is made from pigskin.  Good bonded leather can last a very long time.  Bonded leather is kind of like the particle board of leather.  It is bits and pieces of leather that are pressed together with adhesives and die to make sheets of bonded leather.  It is typically a bit stiffer than calfskin leather and very stiff compared to goatskin leather.  It is the lowest grade of leather cover, but it does fill a niche in Bible cover options.  If I were to buy a goatskin hide from a supplier it would cost me about $80.00.  I could probably get about three or four Bibles this size case bound.  So if the publisher wanted to make any money they would have to pass the costs along to the consumer.  Synthetic covers are less expensive.  They are also almost as flexible as premium covers.  The problem is that they aren’t as tough and don’t last as long.  Bonded leather covers, in my opinion are tougher than the synthetic covers.  It might not be as flexible as a synthetic cover, but it will add more structure to a big Bible like this than a synthetic one.  Your other option is to get a hardback.  These are good for giving the Bible structure.  They are also pretty durable, but they can get bent, torn, scratched, and waterlogged pretty easy.  They are easy to rebind as well.  So you see, there are several options, you just have to decide how much you want to spend, what features are must haves, and what you can compromise on.

I think as far as parallel Bibles go this one is built pretty well. This Bible has a sewn binding.  That is almost a necessity on a Bible this size.  You actually have four complete Bibles in one volume.  The sewn binding makes this Bible much more flexible than a perfect bind.  Perfect bound books have all of the pages stacked up, cut square, and glued together to form the spine.  A sewn binding stacks pages into separate pamphlets called signatures.  These are stacked up against strips of material called binding tapes.  The signatures are sewn to the tapes and to each other.  This gives the Bible the ability to open fully, last longer, not lose pages, and hold together even if the glue gives way.

It is case bound, which means it is glued into the cover by the end papers.  An edge lined binding glues the inside cover tab to the end papers of the text block and then covers the tab with another piece of paper, vinyl, or hide/fabric.  You see edge lined bindings on premium Bibles.  Premium Bibles usually are $150 and up.  Case binding is the most common kind you’ll see.

DSCN2996

On top of having a sewn binding, four Bibles, ribbon marker, and a bonded leather cover, this Bible has pretty decent paper and print for a giant like this.  I was expecting to have some difficulty with legibility due to how much they had to put in this volume, but this one uses clean sharply printed modern digital typeset.

DSCN2975 DSCN2988

It was printed in China.  The font is 8 point in size.  That doesn’t sound like much.  Don’t let that fool you.  It is very legible.  I was pleasantly surprised.  The paper is pretty good too.  It offers good contrast with the font without being too white.  The spine is square, not rounded.  There are decorative head and tail bands, a ribbon marker, publisher’s notes, limited foot notes, and gold colored gilt page edges.

I am not going to address the translations in depth for this review.  I wanted to focus on the quality of materials, features, and manufacture of this parallel Bible.  If you want know more about translations and methods just do a search for translation notes, the version you want to know about, and the year of the edition.  Google is your friend, kind of…  It is also the gubbermint’s intelligence machine!  Put on your foil hats and look out for the black helicopters!  I’m not joking!  Do it NOW!  GET TO THE CHOPPA!!! (In conspiracy mode the government is always referred to as gubbermint)

I don’t want to sound like a, “negative Nelly” and wait for it… wait for it… BUT I didn’t expect to dislike the NLT so much.  I’ve always heard that it was, “dumbed down.”  I never expected it to be as gender neutral as the NIV.  Now, don’t get the wrong idea, I am not anti-NIV or NLT per say.  I am just a big fan of formal equivalent translations.  Dynamic equivalents have their place.  There are many new Christians who have trouble and need the extra help.  My first Bible I was given was a parallel KJV/NIV.  There are people who have trouble with English and need a little help.  When you get down the road a little bit, you really need to get an NASB or ESV in my opinion.  If you feel that you need a little help, I would suggest an HCSB over either the NIV or the NLT.

Overall a person buys a parallel Bible for the purpose of comparing translations.  In that regard alone this Bible handily accomplishes that end.

 

ISBN-13: 9781598569490

ISBN: 9781598569490

Size: 6.5 x 9.5 inches

Pub Date: February 2013

Item Number: 569490