Bible Reviews

Cambridge Pitt Minions, a Tale of Three Covers.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Bible Reviews

The NASB Pitt Minion Reference Edition NS446XR in Brown Goatskin Leather is the Best Compact NASB You Could Purchase.

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In my opinion this is the number one, of the top ten compact/ultrathin NASB’s you will find on the market today.  The top three are Cambridge Pitt Minions.  First place, goes to the goatskin leather.  Second place, to the calfsplit leather edition.  Third place goes to the edition covered in black French Morrocco leather.  Here is a picture of the brown goatskin Pitt with the black calfsplit one.  They are both gorgeous.

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I’ve reviewed Lockman Foundation Bibles. I’ve looked at cheaply constructed Zondervan’s. If R. L. Allan made a compact NASB, they would be the only serious competition on the market. That would only be true because Cambridge and R. L. Allan would be using the same printer and binder, the world famous Jongbloed of the Netherlands. They are the premier printer and binder of almost all the high quality Bibles available today. Chances are, if you have a luxury Bible it came from Jongbloed. It makes sense that the Cambridge Pitt Minions are the highest quality Bibles in this market niche. 

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The attention to detail and quality is what sets the Cambridge Pitt Minions apart. When you hear, “You get what you pay for.” Many times you disregard it as a sales pitch, but with Bibles it is usually quite true. I strongly urge you not to balk at the initial price. Consider how many cheaply made Bibles you will buy over the next sixty years of your life. This is assuming, of course, that you are a serious student of God’s word, and read it daily. Now, multiply the twenty to fifty dollars that you would spend on a glued together, poorly covered, mass produced Bible, times the number of replacements you would purchase of that sixty year period. Let’s arbitrarily say you’ll need to replace it 6 times, and that is a conservative estimate on my part. Thirty times six is one hundred and eighty dollars. That is less than the price of the top of the line Pitt Minion. Not to mention the amount of time and energy it will take to transfer your notes/highlights/underlines.

The Pitt minion can be handed down to your children and if taken care of I dare say their children. The Cambridge Pitt Minion comes with a lifetime warranty from Cambridge and I fully expect these Pitt Minions to outlast me. How loving would it be for you to hand down one of these to each of your Children with your personal highlights and underlines? They could read from the same Bible that you held lovingly in your hands each morning and remember how faithful you were. Your zeal for God and His word would be an inspiration to them.

My Pitt Minion arrived in a cardboard shipping box safe and sound.

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The retail box is a clamshell design and should be retained for storage.

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The first thing I noticed about this Pitt Minion when I removed it from the box was the brown goatskin leather cover. It has a simple elegant perimeter line, and a naturally soft and supple feel.
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Goatskin leather offers the best of both worlds. It is tough and supple, sacrificing neither quality as you might see with other leathers. The leather covered Bible smells the way a Bible should. It doesn’t reek of chemicals. The brown reminds me of a milk chocolate color. It might be difficult to see in the pictures.

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This Bible is a case bound one. It is not edge lined.

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The spine is smyth-sewn. All of the pages are part of a group of pages called a signature. These pamphlets called signatures are stacked up and then sewn together offering a supremely flexible and durable Bible.

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The corners are and the end pages are well done.

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There is a simple, yet attractive presentation page in the front.

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Decorative head and tail bands cap the ends.

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The spine is stamped with, “Holy Bible” at the top, “New American Standard” under that, “Cambridge” at the bottom in gold.

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The page edges are art gilt, with red under gold.

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There are two brown ribbon markers. I appreciate when a Bible has at least two ribbons. Many of us read daily from both the Old and New Testaments. It is very convenient to have a built in marker for each. I don’t like using a book mark for one and the ribbon for the other. I wish all Bibles would come with at least two ribbon markers and a third for the Proverbs as devotional reading. Here is a picture of the Pitt Minion on top of my Clarion. The Clarion has red ribbons. The Pitt Minion has brown to match the cover. I’m not sure which I like more 🙂

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Upon opening the Bible the texture and opacity of the Pitt Minion’s India paper was very impressive for a compact. It is uniform in texture and color.

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The typeface is 6.75pt on 7pt Lexicon No 1.

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Here is an excerpt from the products information page on Cambridge’s site,

…a stylish modern digital typeface which like its predecessor combines utility and elegance. It uses the Lexicon typeface, carefully chosen for its economical use of space. This is the font used for dictionaries and encyclopaedias because it accommodates a lot of characters in a small space. The result is a classic Bible for the twenty first century produced in a remarkably compact yet readable form.…

I agree with them, that it is very legible. It also employs line matching. The text on the other side of the page is printed directly behind the text on the other side. This dramatically reduces distraction while reading, which is especially important in a compact Bible.

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The text is laid out in a double column, center column, paragraph format in this red letter edition.

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Book and chapter are located on the upper, outer corners of the pages, with the page numbers on the upper inner page corners, making it much easier to look up passages as you flip through the pages.

It is remarkable to have a full reference Bible of this size, approximately 7.5″ x 5.25″ x 0.75″ that remains legible. It is a testament to the design work that went into the Pitt Minion. There is even a useful concordance in the back along with a map index and 15 color maps.

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If you are in the market for an ultrathin or compact high quality Bible look no further. The Cambridge Pitt Minion is the only choice.

You can purchase your copy on;

evangelicalbible.com

Amazon.com

Christianbook.com

or also on Cambridge’s site

Make sure to check out all of the pictures I took of the Cambridge NASB Pitt Minion in Brown Goatskin Leather NS446:XR-B1168 on my flickr.com page.
ISBN:9780521604116

isbn: 9780521604116

Bible Reviews

Wow, the Cambridge Cameo KJV Bible in Brown Vachetta Calfskin Leather is a Triumph of Form and Function!

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I received this Bible from Cambridge gratis for review purposes.  It arrived sufficiently packaged in a cardboard box with one other Bible.

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They did not deform or break through their packaging and the Bibles were in perfect shape when they were delivered.

Upon opening the box I was presented with the clamshell retail box, which should be retained for storage purposes.  The Bible inside the box was instantly striking in appearance.  I am accustomed to many different qualities of cover material.  When I picked the Cameo up out of the box I was struck by the soft texture of this type of calfskin leather.  The grain was smoother with smaller pebbling compared to goatskin leather.

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I was expecting a darker brown with a texture like other top grain cowhide Bibles.  I was pleasantly surprised.  This calfskin was smoother and soft.  The front of the Cameo is hot stamped with, “Holy Bible” in gold.  There is a channel pressed into the leather around the perimeter of the cover.

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On the spine of the Cameo is, “Holy Bible” at the top, “King James Version” in the middle, and the Cambridge Logo at the bottom.  They are all hot stamped in gold.

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The page edges are beautifully art gilded with red under gold.

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The construction of the Cameo is top-notch.  In addition to having a wonderful cover that will last a lifetime, it has a sewn binding that will last as long as the cover.  Because of these two fine qualities the Cameo is a pleasure to hold and read.  The Bible opens well and lays flat easily without being overly flexible.

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This edition does everything right.  The only way this could be any better is if it were in NASB.

The inside cover is lined with vinyl that is glued down.  The corners are finished nicely.

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There are two ribbon markers that match the color of the cover as well.

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Some less expensive Chinese or Korean Bibles try to entice you with a very supple calfskin cover lined with calfskin or another very flexible material.  Then, they drop the ball with either the paper or the fit and finish.  That is not so with the Cameo from Cambridge.  The paper is nice and opaque.  The font is a cleaned up 8 point, Petit Medieval Clarendon type.  It is bold and easy to read.  The text is arranged in a double column verse format with center column references.

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In the front of the Cameo you have publication information page followed by a nice presentation page.

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After that is the text of the KJV.  Lastly, there is a very useful concordance in the back along with 15 color maps that are indexed.

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I know there is a big trend now for the single column paragraph formats.  Personally, I find it more difficult to focus on during reading in my home.  I have a busy house and am always getting interrupted.  As a consequence I routinely lose my place and have to look for where I left off so that I can resume reading.  The paragraph format has all of the tiny verse numbers dispersed through the text and finding them or remembering where you left off can be a bit more tedious.  I find it easier to pick up where I left off if I can find the verse quickly.  This is my personal preference.

The Cameo is a delightful size Bible to hold and read anywhere.  I can sit in my recliner and read it, I can read it in bed, I can read it on my work break, and I can read it while I drive…  I was just checking to see if you were still awake.  Never read and drive!   Seriously, seldom will you find a combination of form and function like the Cameo.

Here the Cameo is compared to the Concord.

ISBN: 0521146100

isbn: 9780521146104

KJV Cameo Reference Red Letter Edition KJ455:XR Brown Calfskin Leather