The Much Anticipated Schuyler Personal Size Quentel NASB Bible!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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. 🙂

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

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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.

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

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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 🙂

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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Mysterious floating Bible, oooh ahh…

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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.

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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.

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Prerequisite Bible bending…

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Here it is in its natural environment.

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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!

Review of the Zondervan NASB Classic Reference Bible in Black Genuine Top Grain Leather ISBN-13:9780310931294

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I had to buy this one folks because Zondervan doesn’t send me free ones.  I hope you appreciate it. 🙂   I was looking for an Ultrathin to replace my black Lockman NASB in genuine leather.  I came across this one from Zondervan.  Now, it is not marketed as an Ultrathin, but it is almost exactly the same dimensions as my Lockman.  The Lockman I reviewed here is burgundy, but it is the same as my black one that I kept in my lunchbox for a few years until I wore it out.  I really loved the size, layout, cover material, binding, and of course the NASB translation, but it had thin paper.  I was hoping that I would love this Zondervan as well, but there are a couple of areas where it falls down.  First, the cover material is advertised as, “top grain leather.”  It may be top grain leather, but not from a cow.  I don’t know, but it looks and feels like the cheap pigskin leather marketed as, “genuine leather” on less expensive Bibles.  Pigskin leather is shiny, and usually has a grain stamped into it.  The binding tape they used for this Bible also fights against you.  It should loosen up a bit as it gets broken in.  Combine that with the cover material, and it is kind of a let down considering the price.  It is also not as supple, or flexible as top grain cowhide leather.  I really like Vachetta calfskin leather.  It is so soft to the touch, it makes you want to pick up and hold your Bible.  Here is a review I did of a Cambridge Cameo in Vachetta.  The Zondervan borders on false advertising, and relies on the consumer’s ignorance, as well as a lack of industry standards.

The Zondervan does have a sewn spine.
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This is a necessity as far as I’m concerned.  I won’t purchase Bibles with glued bindings.  I think we should respect that we aren’t purchasing just some book.  We are purchasing a copy of God’s word, to be studied and daily utilized.  The amount of wear and tear daily use, along with travel, will cause is incomparable to a novel.  So why in the world would publishers think it acceptable to print Bibles as if they are some story book?  Well, we all know the answer to that, money $$$.

While this Bible isn’t extremely expensive.  The cover is made from a genuine hide of some kind.

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I have had this Bible for a little while now.  The cover is softening up a bit.  The binding is also getting broken in.   It lays flat now when I put it on the table to read from it.
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There is a presentation page in the front.
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The standard notes from Lockman about the NASB translation are present as well.    This Bible is printed in China according to the publisher’s information in the front.
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The page edges are gold gilt, with rounded corners and a rounded spine.  The pages are printed well.  It would be a bit better if they had utilized a bolder font.  As it is, the text is clearly printed and uniform.
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It is laid out in a double column, verse format, with center column references, and footnotes.  There are pilcrows, or paragraph markers noting the start of new paragraphs.  This is a helpful feature when you are using a verse format Bible like this one.
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The paper is acceptably opaque.  Ghosting is not bad considering this is a less expensive Bible.  The ghosting on this Zondervan is not near as bad as it is on the Lockman.  So in that category it is a win for the Zondervan.
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The Zondervan is on the right, with the Lockman on the left.

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The words of Christ are in red, making this a red letter edition.  The red is not too bright.
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The Lockman is lacking something this Zondervan has, brief book introductions.  They might not seem that important, but they are a welcomed addition to any reference Bible. You get an introduction and concise outline. The introduction consists of, title and background, author and date of writing, and the theme and message.
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This Bible also includes decorative head and tail bands, decorative gilt line around the perimeter of the inside cover, a perimeter groove on the outside cover, and one black ribbon marker.
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In the back of the Bible we have a useful double column concordance, Promises from the Bible, Perspectives from the Bible, and 8 color maps.

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Overall, this is a great little Bible. If you are after a verse format, ultrathin reference Bible in NASB with a leather cover, this has got you covered. There are more expensive Bibles. There are better built Bibles, but this one is in the sweet spot. It is better than your regular cheap bargain bin Bibles, and better than the value line Bibles. This would make a great gift for the Christian on the go, who wants a full reference Bible in a thin package. You can pick one up on Amazon.com, or Christianbook.com  You can read more about it on Zondervan’s product page.  If you would like, go to my flickr page and look at all the pictures of this Bible.  As always, thanks for reading and have a great Christmas.

A Review of the Trinitarian Bible Society’s Family Bible.

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Trinitarian Bible Society (T.B.S.) was kind enough to send me a copy of their Family Bible in KJV translation for review.  As usual it was packed very well, and arrived in perfect shape.
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This  Bible comes in a clamshell type retail box.  It should be retained for storage.
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T.B.S. as usual has been great to deal with.  They always package their Bibles well, and are nice to correspond with.  I gotta hand it to them, they have been pretty consistent.

The Family Bible is a Cambridge layout of their large print text Bible.  L.E.G.O. SpA (LEGATORIA EDITORIALE GIOVANNI OLIVOTTO) of Vicenza Italy printed and bound this Bible.  They did a fine job.  I have seen a few Bibles from them.  They seem uniformly consistent in quality.

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The cover is black calfskin leather.  It has a pronounced grain and is comparable to the calfsplit leather covers on Cambridge Bibles.

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It is durable and provides a good sturdy exterior to hold on to. This is a case bound Bible with a liner that matches the black color of the cover.

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The spine is decorated with the words, “Holy Bible” and the TBS logo in gold colored hot stamping.

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The page edges are art gilt.  This means there is a red color under the gold color.  When the Bible is closed the page edges present a gold appearance.  When the pages are shifted, like when it is opened the red color is visible.

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There is one, black ribbon marker.  I like to see at least two ribbon markers.

The spine is sewn to ensure durability and flexibility. A sewn spine should be a prerequisite for a Bible binding. There are decorative head and tail bands in the Cambridge red and gold.

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This is a double column, verse format, black letter edition, with self-pronouncing text.  The paper is opaque and strong.  A 10 pt. font is utilized.  It is bold and well inked.  The text stands out well and contrasts with the paper nicely.

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This Bible is called a Family Bible because of the records pages in the front.  Back in the old days before all of the government interference in our lives, people used to keep their records in their Bibles.  Since then, the practice has fallen out of popularity.  People have been more than willing to accept the government forms and records.  I have a feeling this might change in the near future.  As the government becomes more intrusive.  The records pages are from Cambridge, and are printed on a sturdy card paper.

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To sum things up, I was pretty impressed with how sturdy this Bible feels.  I was also impressed with the good looks of this Bible for the price.  It is just under $100.00 dollars and is worth the money.  Not only does it give you a great place to record your family history, it also would make a terrific wedding gift.  If you are in the market for a family Bible or if you need a large print text Bible this would fit the bill nicely.  Give T.B.S. a try if you haven’t already.  They have been one of the best organizations I’ve dealt with.  Keep up the good work T.B.S.

 

You can purchase yours on their site www.TBSBibles.org

Make sure to check out all of the pictures I took of this Bible on my Flickr page.

ISBN: 9781862280311

9U/BK (Black)

A Review of the Holman HCSB Military Families Bible in Navy and Crimson Leathertouch, Red Letter Edition.

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I want to get the failings of this Bible addressed right off the bat.  In my opinion it fails at what it aims to accomplish.  Here is a quote from the B&H product page, “Family, friends, and loved ones of military service members want comfort and guidance in how to pray for those in harm’s way and in how to cope with those tensions in their own lives so that they will have peace of mind. The Military Families Bible provides 60 pages of devotionals and prayers that minister to family members and loved ones of military personnel as well as equip the reader to minister to and intercede for those in the military.”  All of these articles are in this Bible, but (come on, you knew there was going to be a but…)  They are all in the back of the Bible.  They don’t have page numbers, and they are not indexed in any way shape or form.  You might be asking, “What’s so bad about that?”  Well, say for instance you are having a specific problem, that one of these articles addresses, wouldn’t it be great to be able to look it up?  The next problem is that these articles should be interspersed throughout the Bible and be attached to relevant scripture passages.  As it is, they are just lazily thrown into the back of this Bible.  Sure, it puts them in one convenient place to read, but they literally could be a separate devotional book instead.  My final problem with the devotionals is that some cited scripture passages have been torn out of context and misapplied by the writer.  This doesn’t happen a lot, but it shouldn’t happen at all.  

I would offer a solution instead of just seemingly complaining.  First, get the feel good authors out of the exposition business.  Second, get some vets, their families, and some theologians together, to talk about their experiences, and to help them connect with the Biblical doctrines that comforted them.  Third, intersperse the articles throughout the Bible, and connect them to sections of scripture in context, and properly apply the scripture to the situations the military families and soldiers are going through.  Fourth, index the articles so that people can find them and the scriptures that can offer them soul care pertinent to their situation.  See, was that so hard?  Seems legit to me…

Now let’s get into the physical attributes of this Bible.  It is a handsome little Bible in the HCSB translation.  It came in a two piece, sturdy, retail box.  The cover is a synthetic Navy blue, and crimson color leather like material.  It is perimeter stitched and case bound, with a paper liner.  The page edges are silver, the spine and corners are rounded.  This Bible’s spine is smyth sewn, regardless of what the retail sites say.
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There is some page crinkling at the beginning of the Bible, but it isn’t very bad.  There is a patriotic themed presentation page.  The single ribbon marker is red/crimson, to match the stripe on the cover.  The publisher’s information page indicates this Bible is manufactured in China…  patriotic Bible… made in China…  just sayin’

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I found this Bible to be just the right size.  It measures approximately, 8 ½” by 5 ¾” by 1 ½”  It is really more of a text Bible with devotions in the back.  The paper is opaque enough, and the print is a 10 pt. font, printed uniformly throughout the Bible.  This is a double column, paragraph format, red letter edition.  The red print is pretty average, not too bright, not too dull.  It is an easy to read Bible, mostly because of the size of the font.

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It would be even better if line matching was employed.  While the paper is decent, and the font is a good size, there is still some ghosting.  Limited footnotes at the bottom of the page reduce clutter.  The sewn spine makes this Bible nice and flexible, right out of the box.  It lays flat on the table, and that is a big deal for an inexpensive Bible.

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It truly is a great value with just the legibility and sewn spine.  The 60 pages of devotional material are useful.  Don’t get me wrong.  I just wished a better implementation had occurred.  Of the 60 pages, 30 are devotions and 30 are prayers.  I believe that theology makes a difference, and that a firm foundation in God’s word will help you through the storms of life better than anything else.  The sovereignty of God, God’s omniscience, and omnipresence, as well as all that those attributes entail gives me peace and comfort in difficult times.  Besides these features there are HCSB bullet notes, “Where to turn to” scripture index, and 8 full color maps.

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Make sure to check out the rest of the pics at my Flickr page.  You can pick up your copy at Christianbook, or Amazon.

ISBN-13: 9781433619670

Review of the Crossway ESV UltraThin in Black Top Grain Cowhide Leather.

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I purchased this Bible on sale from Christianbook.com  I was curious because it was listed as having a top grain leather cover.  I was glad I ordered it.  It turns out that it is now out of print.  So if you can find one, I suggest you purchase it.  I was pleasantly surprised by this less than a half inch thick little gem.  This UltraThin came in a clamshell retail box with a clear plastic window.  I retained the box for storage purposes.  Once you open the box up you smell the leather and not glue or dye.  The leather was very supple and soft to the touch.  The grain appears to be natural.  There is a nice perimeter groove and spine hubs.

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The hubs add to the ornamentation along with the gold letters stamped into it.  From the top of the spine down it reads, “Holy Bible, ESV, the ESV logo, English Standard Version, Then the Crossway logo.”

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The spine is sewn affording this very thin Bible with great flexibility for a paste down, case bound Bible.  In my opinion the cover offers a perfect compromise of flexibility, and structure.

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The head and tail bands are gold and black, complementing the color of the cover, and the gold page edge gilt.  There are two ribbon markers, even though the retail site only lists one.  The ribbon markers are narrow, but thicker than most employed in Bibles under $100.

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In the front of the Bible there is a presentation, marriages, births/adoptions, and deaths pages.  They are printed on a thicker matte finish paper that takes ink well.  Unlike higher gloss papers, these won’t crack or tear as easily.

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Then there is the copyright/publishers page.  Before Genesis begins the Old Testament we have the table of contents, preface, and explanation of features. DSCN5539

 

The text of this Bible is double column, paragraph format.  This is a red letter edition.  The red lettering is not too red or too light.  It contrasts well against the white paper and surrounding black text.  The main text is a 7.5 pt. lexicon font.  Line matching is employed to aid in reduction of, “ghosting” or the appearance of the text from the opposite side of the page showing through the paper due to the opacity allowing it.

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The paper’s opacity is pretty good considering how thin this Bible is.  At just under a half inch, it is one of the thinnest UltraThins I’ve seen.  I had assumed that they used a thinner paper.  That was not the case.  The paper is 31 g.s.m. 20# Thincoat Max.  This is not a thin or lightweight paper.  It looks like they made up for the thickness of the paper by not having any cross references.  There are some footnotes at the bottom of the pages.  This way they could fit the entire text into this UltraThin.

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So we have a nice, legible, well printed, and bound Bible in this truly UltraThin format.  It is also so soft and flexible due to the quality binding and cover, that I can fold it over itself.  It is almost as flexible as an edge-lined Bible. DSCN5688

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At the end there is a weights and measures page, and an abbreviations page.  A three column concise concordance follows.  Finished off with eight maps in color.  DSCN5550

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Make sure to check out the pictures I took of this Bible on my Flickr page here.  You can still purchase these on Amazon until they run out.  Then you’ll have to get them used. ISBN-13: 9781433538834 DSCN5524

 

Review of the Chronological Study Bible in NKJV from Thomas Nelson. Earth Brown/Auburn Leathersoft.

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It is a novel idea, but not very practical. It is also not a study Bible. It is more of a reference Bible with added notes. If you want to look up a verse you have to go to the verse index in the back, find the verse you are looking for, then go to the page indicated by the index. I know that if you have purchased this Bible it is probably for the chronological arrangement, but the trouble of finding your way in this is not worth the trouble in my opinion. There is a good reason for having the Bible arranged in books instead of epochs. They could have scrapped the book, chapter, and verse, format altogether and went solely with the epoch arrangement. This would have required the user to learn the location of verses within their historical location, but would have negated the need for an awkward index system utilized by this hybrid arrangement. Of course they wouldn’t be able to reach as many customers that way. The best option, in my opinion is to stick with the book, chapter, and verse arrangement, and use book introductions with the appropriate notes. The typical commentary notes you’d expect from a study Bible are missing. Instead there are features, or small articles interspersed throughout the Bible. Many of these are not Reformed, or complementarian friendly. They also seem to employ a cultural hermeneutic to many scripture passages instead of the proper hermeneutic for the particular passage. It is obvious that this Bible’s articles are focused on appealing to the modern cultural sensitivities in hopes of selling more Bibles. If you are a Methodist, Nazarene, Arminian Baptist, or any other non-Calvinistic confessor you will like the notes.
The heading for Romans 8 says that it is about the rejection of the gospel by Israel. From that heading it is meant that Romans 8 is about a national election not an individual one. Which is quite odd considering how most of the converts of the early Church were Israelites. The gospel came to them first and then the gentiles. In Ephesians 5 there is an article imposing a cultural hermeneutic on the passage instead of making it prescriptive it is implied that this was just for that culture. The same thing is done with 1 Timothy 2.

The Bible was shipped in a cardboard box with air bladder packing material.  The Bible arrived undamaged.

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It has a two piece retail box.

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The synthetic cover has perimeter stitching.

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The stitching would have been a nice feature if the inside liner were not paper.

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The cover is pretty flexible.  That in conjunction with the sewn binding makes the entire Bible flexible.

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There is a single ribbon marker, along with gold gilt page edges.

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The text is in a double column format with full color features interspersed throughout.  The 9 pt. font is legible and uniformly printed.

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There is a substantial concordance in the back and some ruled paper for notes.

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This Bible is advertised as a study Bible, but it is definitely not.  It forgoes them for biased articles.  If this were just a NKJV Bible I would recommend it, but due to the bias in the articles, and notes I cannot. I would definitely not purchase this Bible unless I was not a Calvinist. I found it insulting to be honest.

2383E
ISBN 9780718040536

If you’d like to purchase this Bible you can get a copy here.

Make sure to look at all the pictures I took of this Bible on the Flickr album page.

Used Book Store Find of the Month, a Winston Pocket AV KJV New Testament with Psalms.

Every once in awhile I stop at our local used book store and look for goodies.  Today was surprised to find this little gem.
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I figured I’d write a little blurb about it, put some pictures up, and ask you, the reader for any information you might know about this interesting little New Testament.

The cover appears to be cowhide leather, with a perimeter groove, yapp style, with the words, “New Testament and Psalms” stamped in gold on the front.  On the spine it says, “New Testament” at the head and, “Winston” at the tail.

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It is about 3″ by 4 3/4″ and about 3/4″ thick.  The page edges are art gilt.  There is one purple ribbon marker.  The words of Christ are in red.  It is laid out in double column, verse format.  It has some colored pictures of art work in it.  There is a reading plan in the front, an article about the Lord’s Prayer in the back, and a list of Parables and Miracles.  It has plain white head and tail bands.  Here are a few of the pictures;
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Here it is compared to my Crossway ESV Verse by Verse Reference Bible,
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Please take a look at the rest of the pictures I took of it on my flickr page here.

I’m really interested in what you know about this particular edition, the publisher, the age of this edition, and any other things you might know about it.  There was no date marked on it or written in it by anyone.  From what I’ve read on the internet, it seems that it could have been made between 1890-1930, but that is speculation.  Thanks in advance and enjoy the pics.

A Review of the ESV Verse-by-Verse Reference Bible, in Black Top Grain Leather.

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Crossway sent me this beautiful Bible for review.  It is a wonderful value.  You get so many great features with this Bible.  It is also a good multipurpose Bible.  Initially I thought the font might be too small for Pastors to use it from the pulpit, but I was wrong.  The verse format layout, terrific paper, and crisp clean print, make it well suited to serve as a preaching Bible.  It is a reference Bible, so it also lends itself to study.  The references and notes are out of the way at the bottom, so it also works good for reading.  If you are in the market for a new Bible to fill a few roles, keep reading.  I think you’ll be as impressed with this edition as I am.

The ESV Verse-by-Verse Reference Bible was packaged in a small white cardboard box.  

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The Bible itself was inside the retail clamshell box.  Keep the box for storage.  This is not a Bible to be stood up on edge like a hardback book.  The Bible arrived undamaged from Crossway.  Inside the packaging the Bible was wrapped in clear plastic.

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Once removed, I was able to begin assessing the top grain leather.  It had a very supple feel to it.  It was nice and soft. There is also a perimeter groove on the cover.

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The inside liner seemed to be a bit different than the outside cover.  I e-mailed Crossway and asked them about it.  They informed me that it is Cromwell® bonded leather.  For those of you who are balking at that, keep in mind that Cromwell® bonded leather is not the same as the low grade bonded leather you are used to seeing in the past.  It is a far superior product and should last as long as the top grain leather cover, if not longer.  One of the bonuses of using this material as a liner is that it can be had in thin sheets.  This makes it possible for the bindery to get the cover mated to the liner with more precision and less bulges on the corners.

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This, being an edge-lined Bible, it is important to not use a heavier material that would reduce the supple feel of the cover.

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In my opinion, it was implemented quite well.  For the price, I would definitely recommend purchasing this edition over the ones with genuine leather or synthetic covers if you can afford the extra money.

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In the front you’ll find a Presentation Page, Publisher’s Page, Table of Contents, Books of the Bible in Alphabetical Order, Preface, and an Explanation of Features.  

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The spine is ornamented with four spine hubs, and gold lettering.

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The page edges are gold gilt and the corners are rounded.  There are also decorative gold and black, head and tail bands.There are two black ribbons that are decent quality.

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They are thicker than some less expensive ribbons.  For me two ribbons or more is a must.  Three ribbons is perfect in my opinion.  You get one for the Old Testament reading, one for devotional reading of Proverbs, and one for the New Testament.  Of course, two will suffice, and is certainly better than only one.  Four just seems supernumerary to me.

Of course where this Bible shines is the paper and print.  Crossway has done a good job utilizing superior paper compared to their competitors.  Rarely do you find Bibles in this niche with paper of the same weight and opacity.  Crossway is employing a 36 g.s.m. Apple Thin Opaque paper.  Keep in mind that many of their competitors call 28 g.s.m. paper top notch.  The print in this black letter edition is sharp and uniform throughout.  I haven’t run into any areas where the print fades or is smudged.  The font is 9 pt. in size and is Lexicon face.  At first glance it seems larger than it is, in my opinion.  I think that is due to the opaque paper, print, and line spacing, making it very legible.  It is easy on the eyes.  

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Preaching from the pulpit and looking down at a 9 pt. font in another Bible with lesser paper and more ghosting would be a bad idea, but with this Bible you could easily do it.  There is also a generous outside margin for some limited note taking.

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The drawback of course is that some of the type gets lost in the gutter.

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In some regards, like the paper and print,  I would rate this Bible up there with the premium ones.  Due to the lack of some of the more ornate features, like art gilt page edges, better ribbons, gilt perimeter lines, and better leather for the inside liner I can’t call it a premium Bible.  Of course the price on this edition more than makes up for what little quibbles I might have.  I’ve paid over $200 for an Allan.  This Bible can be had for a bit over $80.  That makes it an outstanding value.  The suggested retail is  $149.99.  Some publishers list a suggested retail that I would never pay.  This Bible is worth the suggested retail.  On some retail sites it can be found for as little as $84.99.  Other than the gutter complaint, the layout is great.  You get a double column, verse format, with approximately 80,000 cross references located at the bottom of the pages.  You also get a 76 page 3 column concordance, and 8 color maps in the back.

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At the start of each book is a brief introduction.  I personally love well written book introductions.

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You also get a smyth-sewn spine with this edge-lined Bible adding to the durability and flexibility.

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You would be hard pressed to find a Bible with all of these features even in a higher price range.  In my opinion, Crossway has hit the ball out of the park with this edition and set the standard for their competitors in the $80 to $150 range.

Make sure to check out all of the pictures I took of this Bible on my Flickr page.

ISBN-13: 9781433545689

Oxford NKJV Scofield Study Bible, Reader’s Edition, Genuine leather, Black Thumb-Indexed

I received the Oxford University Press New King James Version Scofield Study Bible III in the mail gratis from Oxford, for the purpose of review.  It was shipped in a cardboard box with paper packing.  

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It arrived safe and sound, with no damage.  Inside the shipping box, was the retail box.  It is a two piece box, with a clear plastic window in it.  It is sturdy enough to retain for storing the Bible in.  

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Inside the retail box, the Bible is wrapped in plastic wrap.  This Bible is black in color, and is listed as genuine leather.  It feels like pigskin leather.  It is hard and shiny like pigskin leather.  This one had an odd impression across the front cover. It has been being used for a couple months now and the impression is still there. If I had purchased this Bible I would have sent it back for an exchange, even though it does not affect the function.

Upon opening it, I was struck with a strong odor.  It smelled strongly, and not in a pleasant way.  I have had it opened for a few days now, and the smell has dissipated quite a bit.  There is a groove around the perimeter, and on the inside there is a gilt line.

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This Bible has a decorative head and tail band.  It also has a gold/yellow colored ribbon marker.  The spine and corners of this Bible are rounded.
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The thumb indexes are pretty typical of other thumb indexes.  Some people love them, I don’t really use them.  This Bible is printed and bound in Korea.  They seem to be the new middle of the pack printers as far as quality and price go.  Most of the Korean made Bibles are a good value.  They aren’t as well made as the Jongbloed Bibles, and they aren’t near as expensive either. They far exceed the quality of the Chinese made Bibles and are generally about a third to twice the cost.  In my opinion, it is worth it to spend the extra money.  The Chinese quality is so hit or miss, it is ridiculous.

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This Bible seems to be pretty well made.  The binding is sewn and overcast stitching is employed to further strengthen the binding. This is a very desirable feature. The leather is decent grade pigskin genuine leather.

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I am pretty pleased with all of the features this Bible has for the price.  It seems to be a good value.  The presentation and family records pages are attractive compared to most.  They are printed on a textured, colored paper.  They look fancy compared to the plain paper ones, and they take ink better than the glossy paper in others.

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There are a lot of articles, cross references, chain references, maps, footnotes, and other helps dispersed throughout this Bible.  Book introductions at the beginning of each book are just enough information without being information overload.

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The Bible is a bit thicker than some study Bibles, but not near as large as others, like the ESV Study Bible.  I think they made a decent compromise between features and size.  Sometimes it seems there is never enough in a study Bible to please some customers, and if there were, it would be so large they couldn’t carry it.  A good editor is a must.

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The paper is opaque enough so that ghosting is minimal.  The 9 point font is inked uniformly and printed clearly, to contrast well with the paper.  The layout is double column, verse format, with side column references in the gutter and margin, notes are at the bottom of the page.  The text that is in red is also printed uniform, and clean.  The verse numbers are in black regardless of whether or not they precede black text or red.  The page edges are gold gilt.   There is a large, useful concordance, and 12 color maps in the end of this Bible.

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Here is what Oxford says about this Bible on their product page;

This book, which represents a quantum leap in the development of the respected Scofield® Study Bible, combines a popular modern Bible translation with the highly regarded Scofield® study system. The new edition includes a host of useful features that are sure to enhance the augmentation (not revision) of this renowned one-volume resource, thereby broadening its readership.

 

Bound in beautiful black genuine leather, this style features sewn pages, gold page edges & fillet, 1 ribbon marker, Presentation Page & Family Record, a gift box, and helpful thumb-indexing.

 

Includes a subject-based topical chain reference system for following major themes throughout the entirety of Scripture; over 100 factual articles, charts, and lists that put a wealth of fascinating information at the reader’s fingertips; expanded introductions that include detailed outlines of each book; study note biblical references in the familiar, “chapter-and-verse” format; bottom-of-the page study notes that permit quick retrieval of interesting data; a striking page design and easy-to-read typeface; in-text black and white maps that orient the reader to geographical references in the biblical text; notes crucial to understanding the Scofield® are formatted in accessible, in-text articles; sectional headings have been added for ease in following God’s guiding hand in human history; and, there are 16 pages of accurate, full-color New Oxford Bible Maps (with index of places and natural features) that illustrate the biblical world.

 

* An exclusive, subject-based topical chain reference system.

* Over 100 boxed factual articles and lists.

* Expanded introductions with detailed outlines of each book.

* An expanded Subject index.

* Study not biblical references are in “chapter-and-verse” format.

* Side-column references are grouped by chapter and verse.

* Over 550 in-text definitions of proper nouns for people and place names.

* Nearly 70 in-text black and white maps and charts.

* In-text articles of nearly 250 notes crucial to understanding the Scofield®.

* Indexes to Proper Nouns, Chain References, and Subjects.

* 16 pages of accurate, full color New Oxford Bible Maps (with index of places and natural features).

* Bottom-of-the-page study notes.

* Sectional headings.

* Select NKJV Concordance.

 

You can purchase your copy at Christianbook, Oxford University Press, or Amazon.

Don’t forget to check out all of the pictures I took of this Bible on my Flickr page.

 

ISBN-13: 9780195275360

474RRL

The Crossway, E.S.V. Men’s Devotional Bible, Not Your Typical Devotional Bible.

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If you’re like me, you steer clear of devotional Bibles.  I have found that most of them offer very little in the way of useful or relevant information.  Most of the time it is just happy, slappy, Osteenesque, self-help mumbo jumbo.  Rather than aiding, it usually distracts and is discouraging.  I wonder to myself, “Who could be helped by this nonsense?”  Seriously, who writes this twaddle?  It is not just men’s devotionals that suffer this malaise either.  Women have the same nonsense foisted upon them, perhaps even worse.

So imagine my curiosity when I heard that Crossway was going to make a devotional Bible.  We’ve come to trust them and the E.S.V. over the years.  One of the quickest ways you can incur my scrutiny is to exclaim, “Ahem, over here!  We have a devotional Bible for your consideration Sir!”  Oh, now that is cause for inspection isn’t it kids?  When they offered one for review, I gladly accepted.  I wanted to see for myself what works had been wrought under the cover of night…

I was delighted to see that it far excelled the usual fare.  No cotton candy, no fluff-n-stuff, no silly self help guru quotes, no Sarah Young extra-Biblical revelation, just sound exposition, and application.  The devotional articles explain the text.  They properly connect the heart and the head, as they engage both in a real, and valuable way.  

We are told in the Introduction that the goal was, “…for the heart to be strengthened by grace…” Hebrews 13:9.  You might wonder what that means in the context of a Men’s devotional Bible.  What it means is that the book introductions,  devotional articles, and supplemental articles, are theologically accurate and connected to the text you are reading.  All people have a theology.  

They perhaps don’t know it, but they do.  Theology is important.  Without accurately understanding who God is and who we are in relationship to Him, how would we know if we were worshipping the one true God or an idol we had constructed?  These articles accomplish the goal of strengthening the heart by grace, through facilitating our learning Biblical truths.  

The Bible I was sent arrived undamaged.  

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It was a hardback volume that is case bound.

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It included a dust jacket.  For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you know how I feel about dust jackets.  (hint, I don’t like them.  Completely a personal preference thing.)  The spine is sewn to increase flexibility and durability.  This, in my opinion is a necessity.  Glued bindings on a book that is meant to be used extensively are a horrible idea.  Publishers that do that are only interested in selling cheap product to be replaced over and over.  If you had to transfer your notes, underlines, and highlights, every 6 months to a new Bible, you’d be perturbed.  Thanks to Crossway’s experience as a Bible publisher, they know better.  Usually when a publisher has work done in China the product quality begins to suffer.  It seems Crossway has been able to keep the quality control standard high, while having this Bible printed and bound in China.

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The hardback edition I was sent does not have any ribbon markers.  The cover matches the dust jacket in a satin finish, black color.  The only writing on the cover is on the spine where it says, “ESV Men’s Devotional Bible, Crossway” in gold print.

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The spine has been rounded.  There are understated black decorative head and tail bands.  The page corners themselves have not been rounded and there is no page edge gilt.

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The inside paper liner matches the cover in color.  There is one presentation page followed by a couple title pages and publishers information/copyright page.

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After that, there is the table of contents.

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An interesting print feature in this Bible is the use of gold colored text for things like, titles, headings, chapter headings, and page numbers.  It is and unassuming gold color, so it adds just the right amount of pop without glaringly drawing your attention away from the text.

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Drop caps are utilized at the beginning of each supplemental article. I found that this sets the article apart from the pages of Biblical text so you can spot them easily.  At the bottom of each devotion the page number of the next one is indicated.  Since there are 365, a person could use them as a daily reading plan and read from one to the next daily.

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The Biblical text is arranged in a double column, paragraph format, in black text.  The text of the Bible is consistently inked and printed in an 8.5 pt. Lexicon font.

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The devotionals are printed in a 7.5 pt. Gotham font.  The text is dark black and contrasts nicely against the bright white, 36 g.s.m. paper, with an opacity rating of 83.   Line matching was not employed however, the opacity of the paper is sufficient to limit the ghosting effect.

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There are no cross references and very limited footnotes.  This is not intended to be used as a reference Bible or study Bible.  It adheres to the title of Devotional Bible very strictly.  It far exceeds every devotional Bible I have ever read. The devotions are gospel focused and faithful to the truths of God.

I’ve included a list of the contributors.  As you can see, with men of God like these, sharing their hard won knowledge and wisdom with us, we can be edified and encouraged.

 

Devotion Contributors Article Contributors Article Title
Christopher Ash Thabiti Anyabwile A Man’s Inner Life
Alistair Begg Bryan Chapell The Message of the Bible
Jon Bloom Greg Gilbert Life in the Local Church
Mike Bullmore Dave Harvey Calling
Kevin Cawley Kelly Kapic Communion with God
Bryan Chapell Dave Kraft Leadership
Sam Crabtree Tom Nelson A Man’s Work
Andy Davis Ray Ortlund Fathering
Jason DeRouchie Michael Patton Doubt
Dan Doriani David Powlison A Man’s Identity
Zack Eswine Tim Savage Marriage
Greg Gilbert Ed Welch Pornography
Aaron Golstein Jared Wilson The Gospel and Daily Life
Graeme Goldsworthy
Jim Hamilton
John Hannah
Justin Holcomb
Paul House
Kent Hughes
Ryan Kelly
Julius Kim
Dave Kraft
Michael Lumpkin
Jason Meyer
Gary Millar
Paul Miller
Andy Naselli
Tom Nelson
Doug O’Donnell
Dane Ortlund
Rob Plummer
Mike Reeves
Phil Ryken
J.J. Seid
Jay Sklar
Colin Smith
Scotty Smith
Sam Storms
Brian Tabb
Eric Thoennes
Joe Thorn
Stephen Um
Miles Van Pelt
Jared Wilson
Todd Wilson
Fowler White
Bob Yarbrough

Don’t forget to check out the pictures on my flickr page.

Pick up your copy on Amazon or Christianbook

ISBN-13: 9781433548413

Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.38 (inches)