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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Here is the Oxford

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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

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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

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Here is the Cambridge

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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.

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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.

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

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The Apocrypha is printed the same as the Biblical text.

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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.

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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.

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

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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

The Cambridge KJV/RV Interlinear Bible, in Black Calfskin Leather, A Bible you might not have known that you needed.

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The KJV/RV Interlinear is an amazing tool.  For anyone who has had difficulties with the Early Modern English of the KJV, you are not alone.  The Revised Version was the first big translation to come from the Authorized 1611 KJV.  The 1611 KJV was in Early Modern English.  By the late 1800’s English had changed significantly.  On May 6th of 1870, at Canterbury, England, the general assembly of Episcopal clergymen, met and determined to, revise, for public use, the authorized 1611 KJV.  This was notable for a few reasons, my favorite of which is that it was a cooperative effort between British and American theologians, who were experts in the Biblical languages.  Their objective was, “From the outset the object sought by the revisers has been “to adapt King James’ version to the present state of the English language without changing the idiom and vocabulary,” and further, to adapt it to “the present standard of Biblical scholarship.” Since 1611 this latter has made great advances, especially during the last quarter century.”  Here is some information I was given from Cambridge, “A little historical data/background: The Interlinear Bible is really two Bibles in one. It combines the King James Version of 1611 with its first authorized successor, the Revised Version of 1885. This edition includes the highly respected cross-references from the Revised Version, which are considered to be among the finest ever produced. It also carries the footnotes from both versions, giving at times four different renderings of difficult passages.”

A little later in 1901 American theologians made a few more revisions to come up with the American Standard Version.  This translation of course is where we get my favorite translation the New American Standard Bible.  For all of the NASB fans out there, be glad this work was done.

When you have an interlinear Bible usually the texts are run linearly parallel with one as the superscript and the other in subscript.  When you have a parallel Bible usually there will be at least two columns of text, where one column is a translation and the other in the column running parallel to it side by side.  This gives the reader an easy way to compare the two translations.  This Bible however, is unique to my knowledge.  Where the two translations are the same you will see only one line of text.  Where they are different from one another the text will be more like an interlinear.  The Revised version text when different from the KJV will be written in superscript and the KJV will be in subscript.  It looks like this.

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When there are a lot of differences, in a short space, it can get a little confusing, or distracting to read.  This doesn’t happen very often.  I find that this method, with these two specific translations, works quite well.  When I come to a difficult section in the text, I have the RV to look at.  It does help.  Another attribute of this type of interlinear is that it avoids the bulk usually associated with parallel Bibles and other interlinear Bibles.  Most interlinear Bibles have both texts in their entirety.  This one only becomes interlinear when the text is divergent.  This cuts down on the space needed.

It is a nice addition to any Bible collection, and for modern application, it makes the KJV more accessible, without losing the old world style of the KJV.  Granted, there are more modern translations, and there are modern parallels, but they do make you aware that you are reading a modern translation.  So if you love the KJV, but sometimes have difficulties with it, and you love the way the English language sounded then, this is a Bible you should own.

Aesthetically, this is a very nice Bible to look at.  Cambridge has a good reputation for producing high quality Bibles that will last longer than you will.  This Bible came packaged in a cardboard box.  It arrived at my house undamaged and in good condition.

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It was inside of a clamshell designed retail box that should be retained for storage.

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The KJV/RV Interlinear is not a small Bible.  It is about the size of my NASB, MacArthur Study Bible.  The Cambridge is covered in very nice black calfskin.  The cover is obviously, leather.  There is no shiny, artificial look to it.  It doesn’t feel hard, and slick, like the cheaper, pig skin leather covers on lesser Bibles.  The leather smell also reinforces in your mind that this is not a synthetic cover or overly processed leather.

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The binding is smyth-sewn.  The Bible is case bound.  The inner cover is lined with a black vinyl adhered to it.  The corners are nicely cut and glued.

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The cover is stamped with, “Holy Bible” in gold.  The spine also is stamped in gold with, “The Interlinear Bible” at the top, “King James Version” under it, and “Revised Version” under that.  On the bottom is the Cambridge logo with the word, “Cambridge” under it.

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The page edges are art-gilt.   The red under gold gives the page edges a warm look, when the Bible is open.

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There are decorative red and gold, head and tail bands.

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The two black ribbon markers are higher quality than you would find in cheap, mass produced Bibles.

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I know some people complain about page corners curling with some Cambridge Bibles like the Clarion.  When I first opened this Bible, the paper did seem a bit wrinkled and the page corners curled just a bit.

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After being out of the box and giving this Bible a while to come to a state of homeostasis with the dry Idaho air, the page edges flattened out and the wrinkles went away.  I do wish I had waited a while to take the pictures.  The paper is behaving much better now that the Bible has been opened for a while.  I personally, like the page corners to curl up just a bit.  Have you ever tried to get the pages apart to turn them, on a Bible with very thin paper, only to be frustrated page after page?  There you have it; I made a negative quality into a positive feature.  Now don’t get me wrong, I hate it when the entire page edge curls up, and interferes with my reading, but let’s not get too crazy with our demands.  After all, the paper on this Bible is very nice.  It has wide margins and is thick enough to take notes on.  The margins are about an inch.

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It is also a pleasant off white color that contrast well against the dark, 10/11 point Millers 2n Small Pica No.4 (small body) typeface.  It does look like an older typeset, but unlike some of the very old ones it has held up pretty good.  It is also a larger size which helps.  Again, thanks to the way this interlinear is set up.  This is a black text edition.

In the front of the Interlinear you’ll find a presentation page.

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After that, the publication information including that the Interlinear is printed in the Netherlands.  I verified with Cambridge that Jonglboeds did the printing and binding.  They are the premier bindery for Bibles.  You can’t buy better that I know of.

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Then there is some information about the Interlinear and translation information about the KJV and RV.  The Old and New Testaments are both introduced with a Preface.  Usually the older type settings of the KJV are verse format.  This was one of the first editions to use paragraph format.  It does so in a double column layout with center column cross references.  Notes are at the bottom of the page.

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At the end of the Interlinear there is a section called the, “Bible Companion” which is basically a Bible reading plan.  Also there is an alphabetically arranged blank index.  This is great for adding your own notes and references.

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After that we have fifteen color maps, a map index, and a large list of variant readings preferred by the American Standard Version translation committee.  All of this together makes for one highly usable, functional, and handsome Bible.  If you like the majesty of Early Modern English, but need a bit of help from time to time, or if you just like the KJV and the RV because of their rich history, the KJV/RV Interlinear Bible from Cambridge is an excellent addition to any Christians library, even if it is the only book in it.

Be sure to check out the picture gallery at the bottom.

RV655X  isbn: 9781107630932

You can purchase the Cambridge KJV/RV Interlinear in black calfskin on these online retailer’s sites,

Cambridge University Press

Amazon.com

Christianbook.com

Evangelicalbible.com