The Much Anticipated Schuyler Personal Size Quentel NASB Bible!

DSCN6536

I know you’ve heard me extol the virtues of a few different Bibles in the past.  I know there are a lot of truly great editions out there.  I’m not trying to take anything away from them when I say this.  This is the perfect Bible. (for me.)  Keep in mind that the features/attributes of any edition are appreciated subjectively by the individual.  We all like different things.

I have been looking for a Bible like this for a very long time.  Like you, I’ve purchased several Bibles looking for the one that satisfy most of my desired features.  It never fails, I use them for a while and get irritated with one of the design, “flaws.”  They aren’t really flaws folks, just features I didn’t like, or missing ones I do like.  Bible design is difficult.  You have to work with different finite attributes.  I think it is impossible to make one edition that everyone will think is perfect for them.

This of course, is a modern problem.  In the past you didn’t have much choice.  You were blessed to have one.  Go back far enough and it was illegal for you to own one.  Thanks to God and the men of the Protestant Reformation we have God’s word available for almost anyone who wants a copy.  Count your blessings folks if you have one Bible and appreciate the providence of God that you were born in a time and place such as things are where you can get picky about what features you would prefer.  I know I do.

The Personal Size Quentel is just the right size to hold for long reading sessions.  The font is 8.5 pt.  It is a bit small for people with eye problems who don’t want to wear reading glasses or their prescription lenses, but for people like me, or folks who do wear corrective lenses, the font is clear, sharp, uniform, and overall well done.  It is very legible without being too small.  If they had made the font any larger they would have had to increase either the page size or number of pages.  If they wanted to keep the Bible the same thickness they would have had to decrease the paper thickness.  This would have made the paper less opaque.  Everything is tied together.

If you are like me, the full size Quentel is just too large to drag around everywhere.  Compact Bibles are too small, and their font is too small.  Usually 6 pt for them.  The Ultrathins and Thinlines are nice, but their length and widths are too much for holding in one hand unless you fold the cover completely over.  When I saw the dimensions for this edition listed on evangelicalBible.com I was excited and hopeful.  I had been waiting for a Bible with all the stats that they were posting, and it was coming out in NASB to boot!  I was like, “Take my money!” All that was left now was for them to get them and ship them out.

Here are the vital stats from evangelicalBible.com the ones responsible for Schuyler. Natural Grain Firebrick Red Goatskin with Dark Red Calfskin Liner
Same Pagination as the Quentel Series – (all page numbers and format will be identical)
Approximate font size: 8.5
4.7″ x 7.1″ x 1″ (120 mm x 180 mm x 25 mm)
Line Matching
28 GSM Indopaque paper
2 Ribbon Markers (Dark Red)
Art-Gilt edging (red under gold)
9mm yapp
Smyth Sewn
Black letter text (chapter numbers, headers and page number in red)
More than 95,000 entry cross references
Presentation page
Lined note paper
Extensive Schuyler Bible Maps

The Personal Size NASB Quentel arrived undamaged from evangelicalbible.com  There was a small dent in the cardboard box, but the Bible inside was packaged in a bubble wrap.  The retail two piece presentation box was not dented.

DSCN6459

DSCN6460

DSCN6461

DSCN6463

The Bible was wrapped in two pieces of paper to help the Bible keep its shape, and protect it during shipping.  There was a business card from evangelicalbible.com in the box as well as a warranty card.  I’ve never had any problems with a Bible from evangelicalbible.com, but I know people who have had some experience with them.  I’ve heard they are always kind, and ready to replace a Bible you are not happy with.

DSCN6464

As you can see, I ordered the firebrick red.  I like it a lot.  It is a bit darker than my R. L. Allan NASB Reader’s edition, but I think they make a lovely couple.  I find the crosses stamped into the front cover to be a pleasing feature.  I don’t know how well gold stamped lettering would hold up in a cover so flexible, so the stamped crosses make sense.  The perimeter stitching is executed flawlessly.  There are no missed stitches, or mistakes.

DSCN6468

Wow, look at the size of that Bible!  My hand almost covers it.  Just the right size for me.  You might also think that, if you are like me in your tastes.

DSCN6469

Here is an NASB Cambridge Clarion in black edge lined goatskin next to the Personal Size Quentel.  The Clarion is a bit wider across.  This makes it a little harder for me to hold onto with one hand, while reading.

DSCN6470

The Clarion is also quite a bit more thick when compared to the Quentel.

DSCN6471

DSCN6472

DSCN6473

The head and tail bands are white.  They are understated and clean.

DSCN6476

The spine has five raised spine hubs.  They are all straight and parallel to each other.  The gold stamping on the spine is not too busy.  It gives you the information without putting too many decorations on it.  As usual, Jongbloed has done a great job with this edition.

DSCN6475

DSCN6474

The grain of the goatskin along with the red cover is visually striking and attractive.  I think it is something special.

DSCN6477

Here is another picture of the inside cover and corner.  You can see up close the stitching, gilt line, and even pores of the cowhide liner.  The darker maroon color of the inner liner accentuates the firebrick red of the outside.

DSCN6482

DSCN6480

Where the text block is attached to the cover the hearty card page stock in the front and back of the Bible are glued up further than needed to strengthen the connection.  This will help your Bible last a long time.  It is not a defect. 🙂

DSCN6485

The stamp on the front cover is barely visible through the inner liner.  This picture gives you a better look at it.

DSCN6484

DSCN6487

I think Schuyler did the right thing by keeping the presentation page clean and simple.  I would leave the family record pages to Bibles with more room.

DSCN6488

DSCN6491

The copyright information page shows that this bible was made in the Netherlands by Jongbloed.

DSCN6493

Here is a shot of one page singled out with direct light from behind it.  If they had gone thicker it would have ruined the hand feel if you ask me.  I am glad they didn’t.  If they had gone thinner it would have been to transparent and the ghosting would have been a problem.  As it is, I have not had a problem 🙂

DSCN6496

I mean, come on!  Look at that page.  For a Bible this small and paper this thin, for the font to be so good is a rare thing.

DSCN6500

DSCN6498

Looks like line matching to me folks.  Gorgeous pages and setting.  I love the use of the page by this layout.  It is the same as the full size Quentel.  The pagination is the same as well.  It would make a terrific companion to a full size Quentel in the same color.

DSCN6502

Just like its big brother, it has some red highlights on the page numbers, book and chapter information, chapter numbers, and cross references at the bottom.

DSCN6501

DSCN6503

Brand new right out of the box it stays open.  Not perfectly, but it does.  I’m sure once it is broken in it will be better to.

DSCN6506

The two red ribbons are wider than what you might be accustomed to.  They are also higher quality.  The ends are cut and seared so as to not fray.  I like them much better than the ribbons on the Clarion.

DSCN6505

I love the way the red ribbon looks across the white page.  It looks the way it should.

DSCN6504

There are some pages of ruled paper in the back for limited note taking.  You don’t see this that often in Bibles.  It is a great feature for people who are concerned that there isn’t enough room in the margins.

DSCN6514

Schuyler has a set of high quality maps as well.  They are printed on paper that feels to be about double the thickness of the bible paper without being card paper.  The maps use multiple colors and are printed nicely.

DSCN6516

There are some card papers in the back as well.  You could take some notes on it if you wanted to.

DSCN6525

Mysterious floating Bible, oooh ahh…

DSCN6536

DSCN6531

DSCN6533

DSCN6534

As you can see the Clarion is a bit shorter than the PSQ.  That necessitates it being thicker.  The Clarion is a bit too thick to fold one side over and hold in one hand.  The PSQ does it easily.

DSCN6537

DSCN6538

I spilled water on my Clarion shortly after I got it a few years ago.  So the page edges are not a flaw from the publisher it was my fault.

DSCN6539

Prerequisite Bible bending…

DSCN6540

Here it is in its natural environment.

DSCN6541

DSCN6542

I would highly recommend purchasing this edition if you are looking for an New American Standard Bible in a size that is between compact and full size.  There aren’t very many out there in that niche.  Bottom line, get one. (If you can responsibly afford it.)

As usual make sure to check out my Flickr.com page for all the pictures!

A Review of Holman’s CSB (Christian Standard Bible) Large Print UltraThin Reference Bible, in Black Goatskin Leather.

DSCN6144

I know many of you are waiting out there to see what this revision of the H.C.S.B. is all about.  It isn’t a formal equivalent, it isn’t a dynamic equivalent.  F.Y.I. Holman calls it an optimal translation.  Here is an excerpt from their site, “The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a highly trustworthy, faithful translation that is proven to be the optimal blend of accuracy and readability. It’s as literal to the original as possible without sacrificing clarity. The CSB is poised to become the translation that pastors rely on and Bible readers turn to again and again to read and to share with others.”

If you are like me, you might be wondering what is the difference between the two.  Here is another excerpt from their site, ” The Christian Standard Bible is a revision of the HCSB, updating translation and word choices in order to optimize both fidelity to the original languages and clarity for a modern audience. The Translation Oversight Committee, co-chaired by Drs. Tom Schreiner and David Allen, incorporated advances in biblical scholarship and input from Bible scholars, pastors, and readers to sharpen both accuracy and readability.”

The main reasons I didn’t use the H.C.S.B. for my reading and study, is that it seemed obvious when the translation switched between the two translation philosophies.  It was a continuity and flow problem.  I’m glad to say, that seems to have been dealt with in this revision.  The C.S.B. reads much better.  It is more of a seamless blend of the philosophies.  As far as being an optimal translation…  I guess that depends on your opinion.  I’ve not needed to have a dynamic equivalent, nor have I needed to have sections of the Bible to be translated as a dynamic equivalent.  I’m a man of average intelligence.  I have a basic education.  If I come across a difficult passage, I read it again.  If I don’t know the meaning of a word, I look it up.  I think we should endeavor to become better students, rather than changing our translation philosophy to make the Bible simpler.

That being said, if I had to pick a Bible that wasn’t strictly a formal equivalent translation, this would be it.  For years I have sat by and watched the N.I.V. become a gender neutral mess.  The N.L.T. in my opinion is so dumbed down, it has lost the majesty of God’s word.  Don’t even get me started on The Message, Passion, or the Voice.  As far as I am concerned, if you have a copy of the Voice, you should burn it so no one else can be poisoned by it’s lies. (I have some pretty strong opinions.)  So what’s a person supposed to do if they want a translation that is a bit more accessible than the N.A.S.B. you might ask?  In my opinion, get a C.S.B.  It is everything the NIV used to be.  It is accurate, and accessible.  It stays true to the intent of the author (God) and retains the gender contexts of the Hebrew and Greek texts without imposing a cultural hermeneutic on them.

I hope you’ll give it a try.  Let’s take a look at the physical attributes of the Bible I was sent for review.  Keep in mind that it is an advance copy, so some details might be different by the time this actually is published and sold.

DSCN6084

The Bible arrived packaged in a padded envelope.  The envelope had some tears in it by the time it made it to me.  The retail, two piece box also had a dent in it.  The Bible inside was undamaged and received in new condition.

DSCN6078

DSCN6082

DSCN6083

This Bible is covered in an extremely soft and smooth goatskin leather.  The grain is very understated.  I’ve heard others refer to the goatskin as garment grade.  I don’t know how true that is, but I could see how that would be so.

DSCN6093

The inner liner is a type of bonded leather.  I’m not sure if it is Cromwell or not.  I asked someone from Holman.  When I find out I’ll post an update.  Since this is an edge lined volume, it is very flexible and floppy.  The cover can be rolled up.

DSCN6098

This is an edge lined binding.  The bonded leather is  glued to the text block, and then a piece of vinyl covered paper is glued over that.  There is a piece of binding tape that reinforces the hinge.  This is good and bad.  It is good because it will make the binding more durable.  It is bad, because it hinders the ability of the Bible to be opened flat in the first few pages and the last few pages.  Sometimes you’ll see a more narrow strip of binding tape, that allows the first pages to open more easily. Some don’t even use the tape. With a bonded leather inner liner it is good that they did. This is still an extremely flexible and floppy Bible.

DSCN6096

DSCN6099

One feature I hope they keep in the production model is the perimeter stitching in red.  I think it makes a striking addition to the aesthetic appeal of this Bible.  The stitching on the front is colored black.  On the inside it is red.

DSCN6094

I think the silver page edge gilt was the right decision instead of gold, considering the bold red thread and smooth black cover.  They work together. The head and foot bands are a brown color, and don’t really pop. It is easy to miss them. I would recommend red and black colored for the bands to go along with the color scheme.
DSCN6092

The spine is also ornamented with three spine hubs, and the words, “Holy Bible, Christian Standard Bible, and Holman” hot stamped in silver letters.  The area close to the head is left empty.  As one of my fellow reviewers mentioned, it seems a bit unbalanced.  We will see what they do with it in the final version they bring to market.

DSCN6090

DSCN6095

Even though this Bible is printed in China, the quality of the paper and printing is very good.
DSCN6105

I found the 9.5 pt Bible Serif font to be inked uniformly, having sharp, clean edges, and contrasting nicely with the white paper.  The paper was opaque and line matching was employed. (line matching is when the text on the back side of the page is printed directly over the font on the front side of the page, so there is no background noise bleeding through the paper, otherwise known as text ghosting.)  The paper is 30 g.s.m. and rates a very good opacity of 84 with a brightness of 83.  This black letter edition is a double column layout, with center column references.  It will be familiar to Bible readers. 2K/DENMARK did fine work with the font and layout.  See for yourself how good it is.
DSCN6119

DSCN6123

Here is a single page backlit so you can see how opaque it is.
DSCN6120

There is about a half inch in the margin for limited note taking.

DSCN6140

There are two above average ribbon markers.  The one for the Old Testament is black and the one for the New Testament is red.

DSCN6110

DSCN6121

DSCN6125

Did I mention how flexible this Bible is?  Due to the sewn spine and edge lined binding this thing is super supple, for my alliteration fans.  It does open nice and flat, it also can be easy to hold onto with how it can be bent.  Take a look.

DSCN6145

DSCN6111

DSCN6108

Among the features I already mentioned, here is a list from Holman’s product page, “…Features include: Smyth-sewn binding, Presentation page, Two-column text, Center-column cross-references, Topical subheadings, Black letter text, 9.5-point type, Concordance, Full-color maps, and more…”  I really like the maps 🙂

DSCN6101

DSCN6106

Here is a picture of their robust cross reference system.

DSCN6118

Weights and measures.

DSCN6126

A respectable and useful concordance.

DSCN6127

DSCN6129

and some well done maps.

DSCN6133

If you are in the market for a large print ultrathin reference Bible, I encourage you to give this one a look.  It has all of the features you could want.  It uses a translation that will speed you along in your studies.  It comes in at a reasonable price for the top line model and a very good value for the other editions.  You’d be hardpressed to find another one in this segment of the market with all of these features for this price.  I believe Holman has this edition set to sell for about $139.00 but I am sure sites like Christianbook.com will sell it at a deep discount.  Make sure to check out all of the pictures I took of this Bible on my flickr site.  You can read more about the CSB translation on their site, www.csbible.com  You could also purchase a copy on Amazon.

 

ISBN: 9781462743223

The Best Bibles in the World! Yes, Premium Bibles are Still Being Made. R. L. Allan’s Readers NASB R1 R.

DSCN3177

The perfect Bible…  For me, that is.  Let’s face it, perfection can be subjective, when it comes to Bibles.  Everyone has different deal breakers and necessities, when it comes to features.  I know for me, a glued binding is a deal breaker.  It is the unpardonable sin amongst Bible publishers.  They really need to just stop trying to save a buck and do it right.  Of course that is my opinion.  Many people don’t even know the difference between a sewn binding and a glued one.  To them other features are more important.  They might insist on having a specific study Bible.

There are three premier brands today that I know of, Cambridge Press, Schuyler(skyler), and R. L. Allan.  I’ve done reviews of Cambridge Bibles.  They have been very generous providing me with review copies.  Schuyler does not provide gratis review copies and neither does R. L. Allan.  I had to wait for a time when I could afford to purchase one.  I had seen a Schuyler.  Our Pastor at Church received one for his Ordination.  His is an E.S.V. Quentel in green goatskin.  Reviewing Bibles exposes you to the differences between materials, features, and manufacturing methods.

With the knowledge gained by reviewing so many Bibles, I knew the attributes I wanted.  I knew that first of all, it must be as legible as possible.  I’ve reviewed several Bibles that either used paper that isn’t opaque enough, old typesets with edges that are not sharp, small font, thin font, poorly inked and inconsistently printed font, and cheap paper that offers little contrast.

Second, it had to have a sewn binding.  Without a sewn binding it would not be flexible enough to make it easy to read, and it would not be durable enough to last a lifetime.

DSCN3221

Third, it had to have a high quality, edge lined, goatskin cover.  This might not seem like a must, but if you have held one of these Bibles before, you would agree.  It is durable, flexible, and the grain is tactilely pleasing.

Fourth, it had to be in the New American Standard Bible translation.(NASB)  This is by far my favorite translation, to both read and study.  If you haven’t read this translation, you should.  It is a formal equivalent, and very accurate.  This is the translation to read, if you have ever wanted to get as close to the original languages, without learning them yourself.

Fifth, I wanted a double column, verse format, with center column references.  I know, I know, it is old fashioned of me, and I need to get with the times, but it is so much easier to find a verse, in a verse format Bible.  I have the Cambridge Clarion.  It is a single column, paragraph format Bible, with references on the outside of the page.  People informed me that this is the easiest to just sit and read.   Well, that might be so, IF your brain, and eyes haven’t been trained to read a double column, verse format, over the years.  I tried to teach an old dog a new trick, and it just didn’t work out for me.  So this was a necessary feature.

Sixth, was size.  I wanted a Bible for reading out of in my chair.  It couldn’t be too heavy or big.  Arm fatigue is a real thing people.  Perhaps I’m just getting old, but if you are holding a big Bible in your hands for an hour or so, it gets heavy.  Plus they can be downright unwieldy.  I despise fighting against a Bible or the cover while trying to read.

Finally, it had to have more than one, crumby, cheap, nasty, ribbon marker.  I know it seems minor, but I like to follow Ligonier’s TableTalk reading plan.  It has readings out of the Old and New Testaments, daily.  For that, I need, at least two ribbons.  I didn’t want a Bible with the cheap, thin, anemic, looking ribbons, that fold over, and get wrinkled either.  I wanted some ribbons of substance that would lay flat and help me turn to the page, without tearing the paper or rubbing the gilt off of the page edges.

The only publisher to publish a Bible that met all of my demands is R. L. Allan formerly of Scotland, now located in London.  Robert Allan established R. L. Allan’s in 1863.  They are still making some of the finest Bibles in the world.  In 2013 they moved to London.  The NASB R1 R uses the Lockman Foundation’s NASB double column, verse format, reference Bible, typeset.  The reason I didn’t purchase the Lockman Foundation produced Bible is quality.  Lockman is printing and binding their Bibles in China.  Although they are less expensive to purchase, they did not measure up to the standards that I set for my, “perfect Bible.”  R. L. Allan’s NASB R1 R is printed and bound in the Netherlands by Jongbloed.  Jongbloed is, in my estimation, the premier Bible printer and bindary in the world.  Cambridge Press, and Schuyler, use Jongbloeds as well.  It is no coincidence that the three Best Bible publishers use the same printer and bindary.  They all use Jongbloeds because of their continued excellence.

My choices were limited right off the bat.  There are literally no other publishers making the Bible I was after.  I could have compromised on a couple of things like,  cover material, or case bound instead of edge lined.  Providentially, I didn’t have to compromise.  It really is a blessing to be able to find a Bible just like I wanted.  I feel so very blessed to be living in a country, during a time, like this.  The Reformers went through much persecution to get us translations in our native tongues.  There are people today, deprived of God’s word by law of their governments.  So I don’t take the blessing lightly.

I received my order less than two weeks after I placed it.  It arrived in a cardboard box.  It was cushioned with bubble wrap and little foam puffs.

DSCN3166

DSCN3167

The Bible was in a two piece box.  The box is covered with a woven blue material.  I am keeping it to put my Bible in when I am not using it.  It will sit by my chair safe and sound.

DSCN3168 DSCN3169

It was wrapped in paper inside the box.

DSCN3170

It arrived undamaged from shipping.  While unwrapping the Bible I was welcomed with the aroma of quality goatskin leather.  Some Bibles smell like chemicals and adhesives.  The cover is thicker than I expected.  It is a rich crimson red.  There are two channels around the perimeter of the cover.

DSCN3174

It has a wide yapp, that is the overhang of the cover.  It protects the page edges.  The inside cover is lined with dark blue leather.  There is a gilt line around the inside perimeter.

DSCN3180

The edges of the cover are folded over and glued perfectly.  The corners are nice, neat, and tight.  The spine of the Bible is stamped in gold with, “Holy Bible” at the top, “New American Standard Bible” under that, and, “Allan” at the bottom.

DSCN3214

It has white, head and tail bands, art-gilt page edges, and three lovely, navy blue ribbon markers.

DSCN3217

In the front you’ll find the presentation page, family records pages for parents, children, marriages, grandchildren, and deaths.  These are printed on heavier paper, but not so heavy as to inhibit the opening of the Bible.  Then, there is the Title page, Publishers info,Foreward, and a list of the Books of the Bible.

DSCN3184

As I mentioned earlier, the Bible is in a double column, verse format, with center column references.  The center column is bordered by a single line on either side of it.  The chapter numbers are bold and large.  There are topic headings throughout. This is a black letter edition.  Lockman has over 95,000 cross references in this luxurious publication from R. L. Allan.

DSCN3197

The font is 10 point in size.  It is one of the sharpest and uniformly printed Bibles I’ve seen.  The black contrasts against the off-white Bible paper, making it very legible. The paper is beautiful and opaque.

The concordance in the back is large enough to be useful, but not so large as to bulk it up.  There is 40 pages of lined writing paper in the back for notes.  Lockman’s colored maps are retained, but printed on the same type of paper that is used in the front for the records pages, instead of the glossy paper that Lockman uses.  There are 8 maps.  The glossy paper tends to crack and tear, so I am glad to see that it was not used in this edition.

DSCN3200 DSCN3201 DSCN3207

This is a pretty thin Bible.  It measures 1″ thick.  The text block is 9″ tall by 6 1/4″ the Bible when closed measures almost 10″ tall by 7″ across.  It is very handy.  Just the right size to contain all of my desired attributes, while not growing too large with undesired features.

DSCN3213

Since this Bible has everything I could want in a Bible it is no surprise that I would think so highly of it.  I can’t get over how satisfied I am with it.  I am so happy with it that I mailed several of my other Bibles to friends.  This one replaces about 5 others I was holding on to for various uses.  I have taken some ribbing that was unexpected. It was brought to my attention that this should be called the, “Spiderman Bible” due to the red and blue colors.  I thought that was amusing, but come one?  If I’m going to associate it with a super hero it would be Superman not Spiderman lol.  In all seriousness, this is probably the best Bible I’ve ever owned.  That is saying a lot, because I’ve been sent some pretty good Bibles.

If you decide you need a premium Bible, you should purchase one from

evangelicalbible.com  They are the best online retailer of premium Bibles.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/snyderssoapbox/sets/72157651327362360/

They don’t get much better than this! The Cambridge Clarion, ESV Bible in black edge-lined goatskin leather.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 044

What qualities do you look for in a Bible?  Clear print, font size, paper opacity, sewn binding, quality cover, solid translation, lifetime warranty that you probably won’t have to use?  Well the Cambridge Clarion, ESV Bible in black edge-lined goatskin leather has it all.  I know you are probably getting tired of me giving these Cambridge Bibles such good reviews, but if they weren’t simply better than the others I wouldn’t.  I think the other publishers might even wish I would stop reviewing Cambridge Bibles.  Their publications don’t look as good compared to the Cambridge Bibles.  Now, I know there are plenty of good Bibles out there, but when contrasted with the outstanding ones they fall short in some areas.  With Bibles I’ve noticed that you get what you pay for in general.

The ESV is a solid translation from Crossway.  Here is a link to some information about the translation.  It is not a dynamic equivalent or thought for thought translation.  It is more of a formal equivalent or word for word translation.  Hebrew and Greek don’t have the same sentence structure and grammar as English.  In translating the words are translated directly into English, but are arranged as English sentences so that we can understand them.  In a dynamic equivalent the sentence or paragraph is read and studied by the team and they basically paraphrase it in English to convey the meaning in the most accurate way they can.  The NIV is a dynamic equivalent.  Dynamic equivalents may be easier to read, but in my opinion are by nature less precise.  That is why I prefer formal equivalent translations like the ESV or NASB.

Here is a link to a chart that lists some common Bible translations and their translation philosophy.  Keep in mind that several of the translations there were translated with the added agenda of being gender neutral and going beyond gender accuracy.  They call their translations gender inclusive, but it is at the purposeful abuse of scripture.

Besides being an ESV this Bible is like Goldilocks and the baby bear’s stuff.  It is just right.  It isn’t too big, or too small.  The paper isn’t too thick or too thin.  The print isn’t too big or too small.  The cover isn’t too soft or too rigid.  It gets just about everything right.  The Clarion arrived in an easy to open cardboard box along with an REB that I will review later.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 001

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 003

Both Bibles arrived undamaged and in good condition.  The Clarion was in a one piece clamshell box.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 045

The box should be retained for storage, should you ever decide to put this Bible down for a bit to read another…  I doubt that will happen.  The first thing you’ll notice is the smell of the leather.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 046

The next thing you’ll notice is the supple, perimeter stitched, edge lined, black goatskin leather cover.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 048

If you have never owned a Bible with a cover like this, you don’t know what you are missing.  For durability, functionality, and comfort, you can’t beat it.  The cover works in concert with the sewn binding and quality paper to allow this Bible to open well and lay flat on a table or desk.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 070

It also lays flat while held in one hand.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 087

This makes it a joy to read.  I love that you forget you are holding something.  You aren’t constantly fighting the cover, the paper, or the binding.  The Spine of the Clarion has, “Holy Bible” at the top.  Under that is, “English Standard Version”.  On the bottom of the spine is, “Cambridge.”  They are all hot-stamped in gold.  There are five small decorative hubs as well.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 094 Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 047

The grain of the goatskin cover is more pebbled than a top grain cowhide.  It is softer than the shiny genuine leather covers that are made from pigskin.  The perimeter stitching is uniform and well done.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 051

The corners are stitched as well so you won’t see the typical corner treatment.

When you open the Bible, you’ll see the end papers are glued to cover and text block so that they will be more durable.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 054

There is a simple presentation page that is made of heavier card paper.  It has several blank lines on it.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 057

Then there is a Title Page. After that is the copyright page with the font size and type.  It list the font as 8.75/10.5 pt. Lexicon No. 1 A (Enschede ff) We also can see from this page that this Bible is printed by Jongbloed in the Netherlands.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 060

For those of you in the know, that is a big plus.  They have been doing great work for many years.  One truly great feature of this Bible is the line matching utilized by Jongbloed.  The lines of text are printed exactly opposite of the lines on the other side of the page so that the text isn’t distractingly visible through the paper.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 068

The paper is a little off white and the black text contrasts against it nicely.  It is printed clearly and uniformly throughout.  The text is laid out in a single column paragraph format with the cross-references on the outside edge of the page in the margin.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 067

This layout is conducive to long sessions of uninterrupted reading.  The paper is smooth.  The page edges are art gilded with red under gold.  I think this is a pleasing aesthetic.  When the Bible is open the red shows through and while it is closed the gold is prominent.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 071

There are two red ribbon markers for keeping your place.  Most other Bibles only give you one ribbon.  It is nice to have to so you can mark your reading in the Old and New Testaments.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 089

There is a useful concordance in the end with a map index and 15 color maps printed on a heavier card paper.  I like this approach better than the glossy maps as the high clay content in their paper makes them crack easier.

Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 076 Cambridge ESV Clarion and REB 077

With all of the features like, quality construction, quality materials, attention in design, you can tell why I love the Clarion Bibles from Cambridge.  If you are in the market for a premium Bible, look no further.  You can purchase them on these sites;

Christianbook.com

Amazon.com

evangelicalbibles.com

9780521182911

ESV Clarion Reference Edition ES486:XE
Black Goatskin Leather