The Holman NKJV Compact Ultrathin Bible in Brown Genuine Cowhide is a Winner! It is one of the Best Small Bibles I’ve Seen.

DSCN4223      The Compact Ultrathin from Holman arrived at my porch, well packed in a cardboard box, with paper packing.     DSCN4221

The retail box is a two piece box that should be retained for storage. (Once you get this it will never be stored, it is that good.)

DSCN4226    Inside the box the Compact Ultrathin is wrapped in black construction paper to protect it during shipping. DSCN4228

The Holman New King James Version Bible in brown genuine cowhide leather is one of the best compact Bibles I’ve seen. It is a bit smaller than the Pitt Minion settings, larger than the Ruby Text settings, while also remaining an ultrathin. Here is a picture of it with the Cambridge Cameo on the left and the Cambridge Pitt Minion on the right.
 
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It is a great design. 2K/Denmark did the typesetting/layout for Holman and I have to say it looks excellent. Even though this Bible was manufactured in China, Holman has managed to ensure quality control. I don’t know how they accomplish this, as many of their competitors have failed. The cover is their standard chocolate colored, soft, cowhide leather. It remains one of the nicest covers you can get for the money.

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It is aesthetically pleasing with decorative spine hubs adorning the spine and gold lettering. NKJV inside a circle is at the head of the spine, with, “Holy Bible” in the middle, and the Holman logo at the tail of the spine.

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The Bible is case bound so the inside color matched, vinyl liners are pasted down to the inner cover.

DSCN4236  The covers corners are mechanically folded with precision.   DSCN4235

Inside you’ll find a, “Presentation Page “and three, “Occasions to Remember” pages.

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Next are the, Copyright page and the, “Table of Contents” along with a, “Preface to the New King James Version” and, “God’s Plan for Salvation.”

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The paper appears to have a good amount of titanium dioxide in it as it is pretty white and opaque for being so thin. The print is also laid out with line matching, which greatly aids in legibility. 2K/Denmark used a modern digital font that at 6 pt. in size remains easy on the eyes during reading. They got the line spacing just right as well. At the beginning of each book the title is printed boldly in larger font on the top of the page. The chapter headings are bold as well. Book names and chapters are indicated on the top, outer margin of each page, while the page numbers are on the top near the gutter of each page.

DSCN4268  The print of this red letter edition is arranged in a double column, paragraph format, with limited notes on the foot of the page.   DSCN4252

There is a brown ribbon marker, as well as decorative head and tail bands. They match the colors of the cover and liner. The page edges are gold gilt and there is a small concordance in the back.

DSCN4267  The individual word entries are in red while their concordance information is in black. This makes looking up words quick. It is easy to distinguish between the word you are looking for and the concordance information.   DSCN4254

After the concordance are eight pages of color maps printed on slightly heavier and more glossy paper.

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It is the same as the, “Presentation” and, “Occasions to Remember pages.” Measuring in at 6.75”x4.5”x .75” this handy little Bible is very portable and can fit in a lunchbox or purse easily, leaving plenty of room for other items. It can be had for $22.50. Considering its size, low price, and brilliant design, I predict that this will be number one in my top ten compact Bibles of 2015 Comparison. (If I do one… would you all like a top ten?) That being said, GO BUY ONE NOW! Visit my flickr page to see all of the super cool pictures of this Bible 🙂

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.

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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
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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

A Review of, “A Guide to Christian Living” by the Protestant Reformer John Calvin, as Translated by Robert White for The Banner of Truth Trust.

A Review of, “A Guide to Christian Living” by the Protestant Reformer John Calvin, as Translated by Robert White for The Banner of Truth Trust.

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This book is an excerpt of the beginning of, “Book 3, Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1560 French edition.” It is 140 pages long. It has a short introduction providing some background information about John Calvin and his, “Institutes.” It also explains Calvin’s purpose in writing, “Book 3” His purpose is also made clear in this book’s title. At the end of the book are, the endnotes, and indexes of scripture references, as well as subjects. This book is published by The Banner of Truth Trust. It is printed by Versa Press Inc., of East Peoria Illinois USA. The font is a very legible 10.5/13.5 Adobe Caslon Pro typeset. It is available in print, e-pub, and Kindle.

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I found the paper to be very thick and easy to highlight. It is covered in green faux leather. The cover is decorated with a perimeter channel, image of Calvin, and the title stamped in it to resemble tooling.

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The spine looks to be sewn and glued.

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It has the title stamped parallel to the spine, John Calvin under that, and The Banner of Truth’s logo at the foot. Overall I found the book to be well constructed and easy to read.

If you are familiar with the works of Calvin, you’ll recognize this when you start reading it. Unlike many of his Latin works that were translated into English, this translation seems less formal and verbose. Due to that fact it lends itself to devotional reading. It works well for that purpose, and gives you something to ponder while you go about your day. I found myself nodding my head in agreement several times and wondering what other sections of Calvin’s works could be arranged as devotionals. It was very refreshing to read something scriptural in Modern English. As of late, the choices have been dismal.  Most devotionals in Modern English are full of extra-biblical revelations, or pseudo-self-help drivel. People have been feasting on cotton candy theology and as a result are malnutritioned.  Reading something that makes you truly consider what is being communicated is stimulating.  You have to engage your head and your heart, not just one or the other.  People say that Calvin is to dry, but if you read his work, you will see his passion for God come through.

My copy of Spurgeon’s, “Morning and Evening” is a bit too large to carry with me to work. This book is much smaller. I can fit it in my pocket. The paper is very thick and heavy, not like Bible paper at all. Highlighting and underlining works well. I was underlining and highlighting sections to quote on social media later on. This way you don’t have to mark up your nicer complete volume of Calvin’s Institutes.  This little book, unlike many devotionals, is more durable it stands up to being carried about.

I recommend this for personal devotions as well as a gift to the newly born again. I think it will aid them in getting their foundational doctrines in order. It can be purchased directly from The Banner of Truth, or you can purchase it from, Christianbook.com as well as Amazon.com.

To see all the pictures I took visit my flickr page.

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.

The Trinitarian Bible Society’s, “Windsor Text Bible” in Black Calfskin, is the New Quintessential Compact Text Bible for King James Fans.

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I have done some reviews on TBS Bibles in the past. They have all been very well built, and beautifully printed workhorses. I wouldn’t call them luxury Bibles like R.L. Allans, or Schuylers. Nor do they carry the extravagant expense of those Bibles. Some people feel convicted to not spend that amount of money on a Bible. They would rather put the money to better use. Of course these devout and practical people wouldn’t waste money on a shoddily manufactured product of suspect quality and durability either. Now, why throw away money on something that will fall apart? Why print the word of God on the cheapest materials, in the lowest of fashion? So, being the devout and practical people they are, they opt for a TBS Bible.

I was curious about the history of this edition. The quality, legibility, portability, and price inspired me to ask questions. So I e-mailed my contact with TBS with my questions about this edition. She forwarded them to another person who had the answers. This is a direct quote from her reply, “The Windsor was first published in September 2007. It was designed to be a replacement for the Emerald Bible: the print image of the Emerald was becoming rather problematic – a common problem with reprinting older Bibles. But rather than simply reproducing the Emerald, we wanted to have a clear, sharp, more modern font, one that would last through years to come. The Windsor is now often used by churches as a pew Bible (as was the Emerald).” I was very pleased to receive this information to include in my review.

As some of you who collect Bibles know, there are several Bibles that are printed from an old typeset. The old typesets were done before modern digital printing, back when typesetting was done manually. The methods used didn’t produce the quality we are able to get today with digital font and modern precision printing. Here is an example of both.

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From steadfast practicality TBS produced a modern typeset of the 1611 AV KJV, printed it on high quality paper, bound it in a fine sewn binding, covered it in durable calfskin, and priced it for the common man.

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The size and construction of this edition makes it tactilely comfortable to hold. I found that I wanted to carry this Bible around with me. I wasn’t afraid of scratching, tearing, dropping, spindling, or mutilating it. It begs to tag along with you, and it can handle it without being babied.

The Windsor arrived gratis for the purpose of review. It was very well packaged, and protected for shipping. It was in a cardboard box with packing peanuts, and cushioning.

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I appreciate this attention to detail, in the packaging of the Bible, to ensure that it arrives undamaged. Many publishers, even higher end ones, don’t give this kind of protection to God’s word. The Bible comes in a slipcase as retail packaging. Retain it for storing your Bible, if you order one of these.

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The calfskin is a bit shiny, and hard. It is more so, than the Cambridge calfsplit leather, but not near as hard, or shiny as a pigskin leather cover.

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The spine is hot stamped in gold with, “Holy Bible” at the top and the TBS logo at the bottom.

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There are decorative head and tail bands and gold gilt page edges.

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Upon opening the Bible, you’ll notice that the inner cover is lined with a black vinyl material. The corners are done quite well.

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The text block binding is smyth sewn and is case bound. There is a presentation page, and a publication page which shows that this Bible was printed and bound by Jongbloed in the Netherlands. Jongbloed is one of, if not the best print houses in the world when it comes to Bibles. You also have, Translators to the Reader, and The Epistle Dedicatory.

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This TBS Bible should be the archetype for all compact text Bibles. It is easy to read. The font is 9.6 pt. in size. There are not any cross references to take up space. The font is printed clearly, and in sharp contrast, on opaque Bible paper. Ample line spacing adds to the legibility as well. This is a black text edition. The text is in a double column, verse format. There is little room in the margins for notes. However, there is some room at the bottom of each page for limited note taking. Chapter numbers are printed larger, and bold. Page numbers are on the bottom corners. There are two black, ribbon markers for keeping your places in the Old and New Testament during your daily reading. In my opinion a minimum of two ribbons is a necessity for all Bibles. At the end there is a, List of pronunciation of words and proper names, Bible word list and a Daily Bible reading plan. With all the quality, features, and price of this Bible you can’t go wrong. The Windsor Text Bible from TBS will set the standard for years to come.

25U/BK

ISBN 9781862283367

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

Do you want a large print compact NASB? Review of the Lockman Foundation Large Print Compact Text Edition in Burgundy Leathertex.

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Review of the Lockman Foundation Large Print Compact Text Edition in Burgundy Leathertex.

As usual Lockman did a fine job of packing and shipping the Bible to me.

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This edition is not expensive.  If you have high expectations you will be disappointed.  This Bible sells for about $20.00 it is produced in China.

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I’m not making excuses here, but there are some things you need to consider when criticizing a Bible.  I know some people have complained about the print and the paper on this edition.  They aren’t wrong.  The paper could be a bit more opaque or the print could be a bolder type face.  It would be much easier on the eyes if that were the case.

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What would the consequences of that be?  Well, if the font were a bolder type face and stayed 9 point, it would take up more space on the page necessitating more pages.  This edition is already pretty thick at about 1 3/16” not to mention that they have already taken out the references and made it single column paragraph format.

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There isn’t much in the way of helps either.  There aren’t any maps to remove to make this thinner.  So what about the paper?  Well, same problem if you make a thicker paper that is a higher g.s.m. then the Bible gets thicker.  It’s just the laws of physics in a finite world folks.  I hate to be a bummer.

This Bible tries to fill a niche that definitely is there.  I’ve heard many people complain that they want a nice clean, compact, text edition of the NASB in paragraph format.  The Cambridge Clarion is pretty close, but it costs almost $200 dollars in goatskin.  You could opt for the calf split leather for around $105-$115 but that is still pretty expensive.  So let’s look at what you are getting for $20.00 instead of what you aren’t getting.

This edition has 9 point font, the words of Christ in red arranged in a single column text format with limited footnotes at the bottom of the page.

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It has a sewn binding and is covered in leathertex which is modern synthetic leather.  It has a cross stamped on the front with a channel around the perimeter.

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On the spine is printed, “New American Standard Bible” in large letters from one end to the other.

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The page edges are gilded.  There is one ribbon marker that matches the burgundy color of the cover.  The ribbon is pretty thin and narrow.  The inner liner is vinyl and color matched to the cover.  It is glued down.  There are decorative head and foot bands.  You have a presentation page printed on Bible paper and not card paper.  Then, you have the copyright page, followed by the foreword with translation explanation.  Before the text begins you have a table of contents.  After the text of the Bible you have one page of the, “Parables of Jesus” then, four pages of, “Important Events in Christ’s Life According to the Gospels” three pages of, “God’s Promises” and next, two pages of, “Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Christ” and lastly, one page of, “The Miracles of Jesus.”  The outside cover closed measures 7 5/16” long by 5 1/4” wide by 1 3/16” thick.

This is exactly what it is labeled.  You can’t expect it to be everything you wanted in a Bible.  There are going to be compromises when you make a large print, compact, text edition.  I know this review sounds like an apology.  I really wanted to like this Bible, but the truth is that it is a bit hard on the eyes due to the seemingly skinny font and thin paper.

For the money though, it is an excellent value and the perfect size to carry with you.  The font is much larger than a 6 point font and you really haven’t gained that much in size over a traditional compact edition.  I would recommend this Bible for people with good eyes that aren’t going to do long reading sessions.  It would be good for break room reading or whenever you have a few minutes.

ISBN: 1581351569

ISBN-13: 9781581351569