A Review of the NKJV Foundation Study Bible, in Hardcover

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The Bible was shipped to me free in return for an honest review. It arrived undamaged and in generally good condition except for a bent corner. It is a hardcover with a dustjacket. It is case bound, and smyth-sewn. It is produced in China and does not seem to suffer major quality problems that you might find in other Chinese made Bibles. I have a general dislike of dustjackets and remove them.

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The spine is rounded, there are plain jane, white, head and tail bands. There are no ribbon markers.

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The paper is sufficiently white and opaque.

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This is a value edition in my opinion. It is nothing spectacular. The price is very low and affordable. The font seems smallish at about 8 point. The notes are even smaller. There are book introductions at the start of each book. It is laid out in a double column, verse format, red letter edition with center column references and notes at the bottom of the page. It is a pretty typical layout, so no surprises there. I actually like the layout.

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At 8 ¾” by 5 ½” by about 1 ½” this is not a large study Bible. Matter of opinion, I wouldn’t call it a study Bible. I would call it an enhanced reference Bible. The notes are very basic and limited. I understand the intended audience is immature Christians. I believe they would be better served from a true study Bible. This would be good for a person who wants a smaller hardcover reference Bible with a bit more in the way of notes. If you want a study Bible, get a MacArthur Study Bible, or an ESV Study Bible. There is a concordance and some maps in the back of this Bible. The maps are printed on a matte paper and should hold up better than the high gloss ones of yesterday. So to sum up, I would recommend this to someone looking for an inexpensive reference Bible with some extra notes. I wouldn’t recommend this for someone to use as a serious study aid. This would be a good Bible to give away to people.

Take a look at the pictures here on my Flickr page.

ISBN-13: 9780718034320

Finally, a Wide Margin Bible with Ruled Lines in the Margins! The Holman NKJV Wide Margin Journaling Bible in Two Tone Bonded Leather.

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I don’t know how many of you have shared my lament over wide margins with no ruled lines, but I can imagine it is a common want, hence stencils being recommended to scribe the lines ourselves. I am so glad to see Holman pick up the idea from Crossway, and put it to use with the different translations available to them. I remember having many conversations with people about how it would be great if someone would make a wide margin with ruled lines. It was one of my gripes. It seemed like such a simple and obvious improvement to me. I actually refrained from purchasing wide margin Bibles because of the lack of ruled lines. The 1 3/4” margins are filled with wonderful ruled lines that match the lines of text so you can put your notes and cross references right next to the text that they are about. Of course, if you want you can write in front of the line and get about 2 inches out of the margin.

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My handwriting is very difficult to read and tends to slope. It lacks uniformity in spacing between the letters and lines. I NEED ruled lines to write on. I know that my sloppy brethren are out there and enthused. I also know there are a select, rare, few, who are endowed with the gift of lovely handwriting. If you find yourself in that crowd, God has smiled upon you, but for me and my illegible brethren, “Vive la ligne!”

When you open the cover on this Bible you’ll see that the end pages are decorated. It is a case bound Bible.

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In the front you have, God’s Plan For salvation, Presentation page, Preface to the New King James Version, and the copyright/publisher page.

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In the Bible you’ll find one ribbon marker that matches the color scheme of the cover.

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In the back there is a fifty page concordance, eight full color maps, and a Bible reading plan.

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This Bible is just the right size to offer legible sized font while maintaining a manageable size to keep open on your lap and write in during Church. It measures 8.50″ x 6.50″ x 1.50″

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I for one am very pleased with this new Bible and not just because the lines. The paper on this thing is great. It is kind of an off white or cream color. It is a bit heavier and opaque. There is less ghosting than on most Bibles in this price range. Line matching was employed during the printing. This is when text on the opposite side of the page is printed directly behind the text on the other side of the page.

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The layout was done by 2K/Denmark. The Bible was printed and bound in South Korea.

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The font looks to be 8 pt in size and it is printed uniformly and sharp contrasting very well against the off white paper. It is one of the easiest on the eyes to look at since the pages are not a bright glaring white or a super thin translucent mess. The text is in a single column paragraph format red letter edition. There are no cross references. You are responsible for that my friends.

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There is a page of ruled paper at the end of every book. It is arranged in two blank columns for you to use as indexes of your references, notes, or whatever you like. It is up to you.

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I’ve written in this Bible with wet highlighters, fountain pen, fine tip ball point pen, and pencil. Of course the highlighters bled through a little bit depending on how long I left the marker in contact with the paper. The fountain pen I used is a Lamy with a broad tip nib. It lays down a lot of ink in bold dark lines. It does show through the paper. When I used a fine tip ball point pen it shows through, but not nearly as bad as the broad tip fountain pen.
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The Bible was shipped in a cardboard box and padded with paper. The paper was all at one corner and the Bible was at the opposite corner.
I was in a retail sleeve instead of a box. It arrived with some damage to the spine towards the bottom and back of the Bible. I think this was incurred during shipping. I don’t believe it was Holman’s fault. If I had purchased this Bible and it arrived damaged the retailer or Holman would have replaced it under warranty. Due to the damage I was able to see that the maps are held to each other with binding tape as well as being sewn into the binding. This will make for a very sturdy Bible. Frankly, as good as this thing is built, I’m surprised it got damaged at all. It must have taken a pretty hard bump. The retail sleeve type packaging had all of the expected information on it.

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The Bible I received was black smooth textured bonded leather over the spine and a saddle brown colored more textured bonded leather over the rest of the cover. The cover is perimeter stitched in white thread. It is an attractive Bible.

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The Bible is a hardback of sorts with very thin book boards. They wanted to make sure you had a portable desk so you could write straight on your super cool ruled lines. I don’t want to hear anyone asking for this in a flexible edge lined calfskin leather cover. That would make it more difficult to use. This Bible is all about being used. I haven’t even mentioned the sewn binding with overcasting. Whoops, I guess I just did. The sewn binding on this is great. The signatures are just the right size. The sewn binding makes the spine very flexible so that the Bible lays open quite well. For a journaling Bible it is important for it to lay open and flat. That makes it so much easier to write in and increase the longevity of the Bible.

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Overcasting is when several of the pages from the front signature are sewn to several of the pages of the signature behind it through the spine. This is done to reinforce the book. It can also be done to the back of the book. However, I didn’t see that in this one. The overcasting appears just in the front that I could see.

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If you like the design that Crossway came out with, but you wanted to use the KJV, NKJV, or NIV instead of the ESV and wanted to spend a bit less while still getting a very well made journaling wide margin this is the Bible for you. It fills a real niche and should become a favorite for many years to come. I think it will be a big hit for Holman.

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

ISBN-13: 9781433691584

Need a Chinese language New Testament? Review of the Mandarin CSB/CUV Parallel New Testament, Black Bonded Leather from Holman.

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This New Testament in CSB/CUV according to what I’ve read is very clear and easy to understand.  I do not understand Chinese.  I am reviewing this New Testament from a quality and value perspective.  I received it gratis from Holman for the purpose of review.  This New Testament was well packaged and arrived in great condition.  It was shipped in a box with a couple other books; a copy of, “Learn to Read New Testament Greek” and the workbook, “Learn to Read New Testament Greek, Workbook.”  I will be doing more in depth reviews of those resources throughout the coming year.  Obviously, learning Greek will be an ongoing adventure and require more than a week to do the review of those resources.

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The New Testament provided is a parallel, meaning that it presents both the text from the Chinese Standard Bible (CSB) and the Chinese Union Version. (CUV)

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The cover is black bonded leather.

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If you are not familiar with bonded leather it is made from leather scraps that are bonded together with adhesive and died to the desired color.  It is less expensive and pretty durable.  It doesn’t hold up as well as leather and is not as flexible.  The inside of the cover is lined with black paper glued down.

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It appears to have a sewn binding.

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This will add to the durability.  There is a presentation page and some publication notes with translation notes.

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There is one black ribbon marker and the page edges are gilded.

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The words of Christ are in red.

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The paper is very opaque.  The hanzi characters are printed clearly with sufficient contrast to make out all of the details.

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There is even a concordance of Chinese hanzi characters in the back.  Included are some colored maps.  If you know someone whose first language is Chinese and they are interested in knowing more about Jesus this is a good value for evangelism.  It is not so expensive that you couldn’t afford to buy several of them, and it is made well enough to last them for a while.  If your primary language is Chinese and you would like a New Testament to carry around as you witness to people this one would fit the bill.  It is a good value at around eleven dollars from some retail sites.

A Review of the NASB Giant Print Reference Bible, in Genuine Leather, Burgundy.

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Hello, 14 point font! This is definitely what the Doctor ordered if your eyes aren’t what they used to be.

The giant print NASB was delivered to my house, as usual from Lockman Foundation’s sales branch, www.americanbiblesales.com  it was packed in a cardboard box with paper as packaging material.  It was sufficiently safe from harm.

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Inside the box was a two piece retail box.  I would suggest holding onto it for storage.  Once opened, I was presented with a layer of plastic wrapping that had to be defeated before I could get this beauty out to examine it.

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Once the plastic was discarded, I was pleasantly greeted by the familiar smell of a nice leather cover.  There are numerous Bibles out there that say they have a genuine leather cover, but they look like and feel like bonded leather.  They have a fake grain pressed into them and their covers look shiny.  Not this big boy, the cover on this has nice texture and tactile feel to it.  Honestly, for the small price of this Bible I’d expect a cheaper feeling cover.  I thought the burgundy color was just right as well, not brazen, but still different than the venerable black.

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The spine of the Bible has the words, “Holy Bible” at the top.  Immediately below is, “New American Standard Bible Updated Edition.”  At the bottom is, “Foundation Publications” and the NASB logo.  Above them are the words, “Giant Print.”  There are decorative lines separating the words.

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The cover has a lined pressed into it around its perimeter for decorative purposes.  It adds a nice touch to finish it off.

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The inside cover is lined with a vinyl liner that is color matched to the cover. It is glued down over the corners and edges of the cover.

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The text block is firmly attached to the cover.  I noticed no problems with fit and finish.  It looked pretty good for a Bible printed and bound in China.

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The binding for that matter is a sewn binding.  It is a tad bit tighter than some of the other ones that Lockman Foundation puts out.  This is neither a draw back or a benefit as far as function goes.  The Giant Print edition opens flat and is pleasant to use.

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The sewn binding will help ensure years of use.  The Giant Print Bible maintains typical 6 ½” x 9 ¼” for the width and height, but is a tad bit thicker at 1 ¾” It is a little heavier than your typical reference Bible, but not by much.  Even with the slight size difference it is still pretty easy to hold and read.

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The page edges are gold gilded.

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The paper is a decent quality standard Bible paper 28 gsm.  It doesn’t have a problem with text ghosting.  I think Lockman must have realized that if you are buying a Bible with humongous font it isn’t because you have good eyesight.  The Bible paper, 14 point font, and uniformly printed text, all aid in making this a very legible Bible without making it too cumbersome.

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Also you should note that this is a red letter edition.

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The text is in a double column verse format with references at the end of each paragraph. There are limited references, for a reference Bible.  This one has about 13,000 references.  I doubt that anyone considering a 14 point font giant print edition is worried about having a ton of references though.

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There is a ribbon marker that matches the color of the cover.  It is of average quality as far as ribbon markers go.

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In the end there is a 146 page Dictionary/Thesaurus/Concordance. It should come in handy.  There is enough there to be useful, but not so much as to unnecessarily add to the bulk.

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After that we have a section devoted to book introductions.  Each book in the Bible has a nice introduction to aid the reader in their studies.

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Also, a section on God’s promises is provided after the book introductions.

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“Where to find help when” and “Verses for reflection” appear at the very end before the color maps.

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I think the biggest cons here would be the size of the Bible. For the very frail and elderly this would have to rest on a table for them to read it.  However, most elderly people won’t have any trouble holding this Bible to read.  The con is a very slight one.  We all have to obey physics here.  If you want giant text you have to sacrifice something.  I don’t think I’ve seen a better job on a giant print edition to date.

The pros here are of course the 14 point font and the wonderful cover at a very reasonable price.   Could hardly believe I was holding a $50 Bible.  It could have been twice that.  A noteworthy thing is that the presentation and records pages in the front seem to be a flat paper as opposed to the glossy paper they have been made out of.  I hope that Lockman carries this over to the maps as well.  This flat paper doesn’t crack or tear as easy as the glossy paper they have been made of in the past.

If you are in the market for one of these Giant Print Bibles they can be had for around $50. If you are lucky you might find them on sale for less.  Here are a couple of links to make it easier.

http://www.americanbiblesales.com/search/isbnlist1.php?ISBN=1581351100&hilite=yes

http://www.amazon.com/Giant-Print-Reference-Burgundy-Genuine-Leather/dp/1581351097/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417034883&sr=1-1&keywords=9781581351095&pebp=1417034894361

http://www.christianbook.com/nas-giant-print-reference-leather-burgundy/9781581351095/pd/51097?product_redirect=1&Ntt=%209781581351095%20&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCG

ISBN: 1581351097

The Perfect Size Bible to Sit and Read, The Cambridge KJV Concord Reference Bible in Black Edge-Lined Goatskin Leather, Red Letter Edition.

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Before I get into the vital features of this Bible I want to expound on its subjective qualities that have endeared it to me. At first glance most people won’t notice the exceptional quality of this Bible until they pick it up and give it a closer look.  Some folks won’t even notice even after picking it up.  That is not to say the Cambridge Concord Reference Bible is average or plain.  It is because the Concord is how a Bible is supposed to be.  It is the quintessential archetype of reference Bibles.  It smells like a Bible, it looks like a Bible, and it feels like a Bible.  When I pick it up to read from, I don’t have to struggle with it.  It does exactly what it should do.  It stays out of the way and allows me to focus on reading God’s word.  Everything about it is conducive to that end.

For me, it is the perfect size and weight to hold in one hand. I can comfortably read it while sitting in my favorite chair.  It isn’t heavy or unwieldy enough to require being laid on a table or desk.  It isn’t so small as to necessitate being held close.  It is not a thick Bible, yet contains many references and some helps.

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It is not printed on such light paper that the pages curl up and blow around while you are trying to read.  The pages are not a bright white.  They are off white.  Bright white pages tend to make my eyes strain during long durations of reading the word.  The India paper is strong and opaque.

There is approximately 7/16ths of an inch in the margins for note taking.

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The text is a nine point font that is printed appears pretty bold.

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The Concord is a double column verse format with pronunciations.  It has the references in the center column.

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Even with the references, 128 page Bible Dictionary, Concordance, Glossary, and 15 color maps, the Concord maintains a thin profile without sacrificing paper quality.  The pages are art gilded.  An art gilded page edge compared to a gilded page edge looks a bit more attractive.  It gives the page edges a red tint behind the gold color.  Before they put the gold colored aluminum foil on the page edges they first coat them with a red ink.  Then they apply the gold color gilding.  When the Bible is closed the edges show gold, when the Bible is open you can see the red show through the gold.

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The binding, outside cover, and inside liner, make it supple and comfortable to hold.  This one is edge lined not case bound.  It is rigid enough to not flop around like some unlined Bibles do, while it maintains flexibility with its synthetic liner that is stitched to the outside cover edges with black thread.

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The Binding is a smyth-sewn binding done by Jongbloed in the Netherlands.  They are famous for their quality work and history of Binding Bibles.  Currently, most luxury Bibles are bound by Jongbloed.  A sewn binding is a must in my opinion.  If you hope to hand a Bible down to your children and for them to use it a sewn binding is the only option.  With a sewn edge lined binding all of the pages are stacked in separate pamphlets called signatures.  These are then stacked and sewn to tapes or strings in the spine of the Bible as well as being sewn to each other.  This is why you don’t have the front and back pages falling out of a sewn binding like you would with a glued case bound perfect binding where the pages are cut, then stacked, then rubber cemented together.  Those pages are not connected to each other in any way.  If you bend the spine in a glued Bible, eventually pages will start falling out.  Not so with a sewn binding.  If you take care of it and treat it with respect it will last and last.  The other benefit of this binding is the functionality of it.  The Concord lays flat right out of the box.

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The cover doesn’t flop up and get in the way.  The covers can be rolled backwards and out of the way even.  I wouldn’t do this as a practice, but that is how flexible this Bible is.  This particular Bible is a red letter edition.

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That simply means that the words of Jesus are printed in red text, including places where He is quoted by the apostles.  Some people find this to be a very helpful feature.  The Concord has two black ribbon markers.  They are good quality without being too thick.

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I have had some Bibles with thicker markers that actually imprint on the pages they are between.  I have had other Bibles with markers that were so thin that they crinkled up and are almost useless.  It is very unattractive to open the Bible up to crinkled pages or markers.  The Concord has neither problem.  The Bible ships in a clamshell type retail box.  I would keep the Box for storage.  This Bible is to supple to stand on its edge.  It should be laid flat on a flat surface when not in use.  There was a slight problem with the shipping.  You can read about that here.

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Cambridge has assured me they are looking into this and it shouldn’t happen again.  This Bible is as pretty close to being perfect.  If Cambridge would produce this in an NASB I would be satisfied.

Here are a few good places on the web to purchase this Bible if you are in the market.

evangelicalbible.com

Amazon.com

Christianbook.com

Cambridge.org

Here are a few pictures of the Concord compared to the TBS Westminster

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Over all, I found the Concord to be a superlative Bible. It stands out from the mass produced Chinese and Korean Bibles as an example of what they should be aiming for.

KJV Concord Reference Bible, Black Edge-Lined Goatskin Leather, Red Letter Text KJ566:XRE

Black Goatskin Leather RCD266

isbn: 9780521512978

Review of the Holman HCSB Electric Blue Large Print Compact Colormax Bible.

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This is kind of an odd little Bible. It is odd because of the cover color, material, and size of it.  The cover is smooth and shiny.  It reminds me of candy apple blue car paint.  The cover is smooth and shiny like the corfam oxford dress shoes the Marines wear.  You know the ones that never need polishing.

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It is flexible, but the binding is stiff.  I think that’s because it’s a tight binding.  The cover is lined with some blue paper.

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On the spine of the Bible the word, “Colormax” is printed in silver colored letters, and then the logos on the top and bottom.

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The pages are gilded with silver colored foil.

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The size of the Bible puts it in between a true compact and a small reference Bible.  It is thicker than most of the compact Bibles.  This is good in the sense that the font can be larger, but it doesn’t lend itself to going into a pocket or a bag as easy.  I would say it would be good in a lunch box, or backpack.  I think that was kind of the idea with this one.  The cover is obviously aimed at younger people.

This is a red letter edition of the HCSB text with 7 point font.

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The printing is clear and legible and the pages are opaque enough to limit ghosting.  The read text is bold, but not distracting.  It is dual column paragraph format.  There are limited references at the bottom of the page this makes more of the page real estate available to font size.  This makes it easier to read.

This Bible was made in South Korea.

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It seems the quality is better than many of the Chinese made Bibles.  There is one ribbon marker that matches the color scheme in silver.

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This Bible was shipped in a white plastic bag.  The retail packaging is a multicolored card-paper sleeve.

The topical concordance and “where to turn” index were very limited, but helpful, especially for younger or less mature Christians. You should already expect that when buying a compact.  The fact that it has any extra features is a bonus value in my mind.  It also includes, presentation page, eight maps, a, “how to use the Bible” page, plan of salvation, table of weights and measures, Titles of Jesus, and HCSB introduction and bullet notes.

After using this Bible for a while it loosened up a bit. The cover still doesn’t close right after bending it up a bunch.

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You kind of have to wait for it or put something on it.  The good news is that it appears to be a sewn binding.  So regardless of if you like the cover or not the Bible should hold up pretty well.  I kind of got a kick out of bringing this little Bible to Church last Sunday and showing it around to some of the fellas.  For the price, under twenty dollars, this is a nifty little Bible.  I think it would make a great Bible for the young person in your life.  Inexpensive enough to not be worried about the rigors of youth, and decent build quality to hold up to some abuse.

Dimensions: 5.67 X 4.00 X 1.13 (inches)

ISBN: 1433614448

ISBN-13: 9781433614446

 

I was given this Bible for free to review on my blog and am not required to give a positive review.

Review of the Cambridge Pitt Minion Bible in Black Calf Split Leather

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The Pitt Minion Bible from Cambridge came in a clamshell type box.

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It would be good to hold onto and use for storing this Bible. The calf split leather is much more durable and rigid than then a Bible bound in goatskin leather, or faux leather, however, it is more flexible than one bound in bonded leather. Bonded leather is made from leather scraps, and dust. It is bonded together with adhesive and formed into sheets. This type of Bible cover is usually very rigid and you have to fight against it to keep your Bible open, or to make it lay flat. Being made of scraps makes this type of cover very inexpensive. The Pitt Minion from Cambridge I received for review was covered in genuine calf split leather. It has durability and flexibility, granted it isn’t as supple as goatskin, or top grain leather but, it will hold up much better than just about anything out there. It lays flat on the table, yet it is also rigid enough to be held up and read. It is also pretty small.

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This is great if you are sitting in a chair and reading. The inside cover is lined with what appears to be typical vinyl lining.

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The binding is smyth-sewn. This is the major factor that contributes to its durability and flexibility. Sewn bindings are more expensive to manufacture do to the many steps that are taken to produce them. The pages are folded into pamphlets called journals. These are then stacked and sewn to journal tapes. These are all sewn together. This is more time and resource consuming than glued bindings. Most inexpensive Bibles that fall apart after a couple of years are made with glued bindings. Even the best glued binding cannot compete with a good sewn binding in durability and flexibility. If you want a Bible you can hand down to your children, buy one with a sewn binding.

Let’s face it, if you are interested in a Bible this size it is because you want one to carry around with you. It isn’t for the size of the font. The font for the Bible text is 6.75 point. The lexicon font is 7 point. This is pretty small. It is printed clean and sharp. It is a consistent black that contrasts well with the paper it is printed on.

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It is printed by Jongbloed (Youngblood) of the Netherlands. Jongbloed is famous for their high quality and attention to details. They have been producing luxury Bibles since 1880. The quality of the print job does make it easier to read than less expensive, lower quality printings. Other companies skimp on paper quality. The paper is too transparent and not opaque enough so the text from the other side of the page bleeds through making it more difficult to read. This is not a problem on the Cambridge Pitt Minion. Even with its small font it is easy to read compared to its competitors. I have a Trinitarian Bible Society Bible, Royal Ruby Text Bible. It is smaller and has smaller text. When you compare the two the difference in the font size is obvious. It isn’t much of a difference, but it makes a huge difference in the work you have to do to focus and read. Hopefully most of us are buying Bibles to read.

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You can see it in comparison to the Cambridge Clarion in the pictures below.

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The Clarion is bigger all around.  It is more to carry and too large for some situations

The Pitt Minion has gilded page edges and spine. The spine is rounded and imprinted with, “Holy Bible” “New American Standard” at the top and “Cambridge” at the bottom.

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The first and last page is glued up higher to keep the text block firmly attached to the cover. This also keeps the pages in the front and back from falling out or separating as easily as they do without this detail.

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There are five blank pages and one presentation page in the front of the Bible.

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The text is arranged in paragraph format in dual columns with references in the center column. There are footnotes as well. Chapters have headings and the Chapter numbers are bold and larger in size.

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There is one black ribbon marker.

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The words of Christ are in red. The red ink is not offensive in its brightness or contrast. It blends in with the text around it. Of course the entire Bible is the word of God so highlighting part of it as the word of God can seem silly to some, yet to others it is a nice feature to have. It helps them recognize when the 2nd person of the Trinity is speaking.

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At the end of the Pitt Minion there is an 83 page concordance and color map index for the 15 pages of maps. At the end there are 7 blank pages.

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I have to admit, after carrying this Bible around with me for a while I can appreciate the size and convenience it offers. It has some very important features and the attention to detail makes the higher price less of an issue. The only thing that disappoints me a bit is the paragraph format. I am a fan of the verse per line or the verse format. It helps me look up and identify the verse I’m after more quickly. It is a small thing in comparison to all you get in this Bible. You can spend the money for this one up front, or buy a new $20.00 Bible every couple of years. This one makes more sense in the long run. We should invest in God’s word. I know I would have loved to receive my Fathers Bible after he died. It would be a nice feeling to read the word of God from the same Bible as he held in his hands for many years. Unfortunately, Dad never had access to Bibles of this quality. I hope to leave some well-worn Bibles to children when I go on to glory. I hope you feel that way to.

Here is a youtube video from Jongbloed’s facility; http://youtu.be/5r_CzfaCAOg

ISBN 13: 9781107686885