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 Crossway E.S.V. TruTone Single Column Heritage Edition Bible.

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I purchased this Bible because it was on sale for 80% off.  I figured I could write a review, and then gift it to someone.  After receiving it, I might just keep it for a rebind project.  It arrived undamaged.  It was in a cardboard box with two other ESV Bibles, I ordered at the same time.  This one has a clamshell retail box.  If you need to store your Bible, it is always a good idea to keep the retail box.

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This Bible is the soft leather-look, TruTone brown/burgundy, with band design.  TruTone is a synthetic cover material that simulates leather.  It is one of the better synthetic covers on the market.  

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The inside liner is paper as this is a case bound Bible.
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The cover around the spine is ornamented with, “Holy Bible, ESV, the ESV logo, English Standard Version, and the Crossway logo” in gold.  

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There are brown head and tail bands, as well as one brown ribbon marker.  The spine, and corners are rounded.  The page edges are gold gilt.  
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There is a presentation page up front, along with the typical copyright/publisher’s information page.

 
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I really like the size of this little text edition.  It isn’t too big, or small.  It measures about 5.5”x7.5”  It is pretty portable, though not as much as a true compact, pocket size, thinline, or ultrathin.  
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Of course you would lose the font size and paper quality to drop down to those sizes.  I think this is a pleasing compromise in Bible design.  Since it is a single column text edition, it can afford to be smaller than a reference Bible.  It also utilizes a 9 point Lexicon font, which is a great choice for a Bible of this size.  Crossway also employed line matching, which greatly reduces ghosting. (being able to see the text from the opposite side of the paper)  The paper is 31 g.s.m. Thincoat Max, 1720ppi.

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Between the great paper, clear uniformly printed text, and line matching, this Bible is very legible.  
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The spine is smyth sewn.  

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This in conjunction with the soft cover, make this a very flexible Bible.

 
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I can fold it over on itself.  Then, hold it like a magazine in one hand.  This is my prefered way to read.  It also opens fairly flat. I don’t think it is suited well to pulpit duty as it is a paragraph format Bible.  It lends itself to devotional, and daily reading.  It would be perfect for that with one more ribbon marker.  There is not a concordance or any other helps or features except for some colored maps in the back.
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My overall impression of this Bible is favorable.  I think it fulfills the purpose for which it was designed in an exemplary manner.  It is a great value, legible, portable, durable, and flexible.  It is not so nice, that I’m afraid of hurting it.  It is a good value and should provide you with years of service.

You can pick up your copy at Christianbook.  Amazon also sells them.

Make sure to check out all of the pictures of this Bible on my Flickr page.
ISBN 9781433537370

Review of the, “The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible in Genuine Leather.

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I requested a review copy quite some time ago, and was refused.  This is why it has taken a while for me to do a review of this Bible.  Recently I purchased a copy, at my own expense for the purpose of review.  I was curious about this Bible because of the title.  I am a Reformed Baptist.  I hold to reformed soteriology.  Since I affirm believer’s baptism, or credal baptism, I cannot be said to have Reformed theology proper, as that would include infant baptism, or paedo-baptism along with some other theological distinctions.    

This Bible came shipped by Amazon in a cardboard box with no padding.  
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One of the corners of the retail clamshell box was dented.  The Bible inside was undamaged.  
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When I first examined the Bible I didn’t notice that some of the pages were folded under and failed to be trimmed with the text block.  I had to trim them myself with an exacto knife.  I contacted Reformation Heritage by e-mail.  It has been several weeks without a response.  I was waiting to do the review because part of my e-mail had to do with questions about this Bible’s manufacture.  I wouldn’t let their failure to respond stop you from purchasing this Bible.  

This edition has a genuine cowhide leather cover and not pigskin leather.  On the front cover, “Holy Bible” is hot stamped in gold color foil.  The texture of the leather seems to be natural and comfortable to hold.  this is a case bound Bible.

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It is not as high grade as some, but far exceeds many lesser quality covers on Bibles in the same price range.  This Bible lists for about $80.00, but I purchased it on sale for $55.88 from Amazon.  You would be hard pressed to find a study Bible with all of the features this Bible has for the same price.  We are talking about an American printed and bound Bible with smyth-sewn spine, cowhide leather cover, unique study notes, creeds and confessions, notes on family application, and numerous articles in back along with a concise concordance and maps.

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This Bible is only available in the King James Version. (KJV)  It is a verse format, double column,  layout with notes at the bottom of the page.  

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Before each book is an introduction and outline of the book.  

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A sharply printed and uniformly inked 9.8 pt. Minion Font is used for the text of the Bible, and 8 pt. Myriad SemiCondensed Font for the notes is employed.  

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The page margins are pretty small, so you won’t be making many notations in them.  The page edges are gold gilt.  The corners are rounded, the spine is not.  

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Since this Bible employs a sewn binding it lays flat without having to fight the binding or cover.  It is pretty flexible.

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There are gold and burgundy head and tail bands as well as two narrow yet, substantial black ribbons.  

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The ribbons are both fixed in the spine at the same place making them a bit awkward compared to others that are glued in differently.  

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I truly like the paper used for the presentation/records section in the front and the maps in the back.  RHB made the best decision of not using the glossy papers that crack.  Instead they went with a thicker matte paper that will last a long time.  

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I would have liked to see a thicker, more opaque paper employed, however, to include all of the features in one volume without making it a behemoth like the ESV study Bible, I can understand why the chose the paper they did.  Don’t misunderstand me, the paper isn’t bad.  It is just a little less opaque than I would like.  Ghosting isn’t bad at all and it appears that line matching was employed.  For the money, there aren’t many full study Bibles on the market that could compete with this one.  I highly recommend this Bible if you are a fan of the KJV, and historic creeds and confessions.  It is an all around solid study Bible.  Here is a link to the publisher’s page for this edition.  Here is a link to this edition on Amazon.  Finally, here is a link to this Bible on Christianbook.

Don’t forget to visit my flickr album of all the pictures I took of this Bible.

ISBN: 9781601783264

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 (2015) ESV New Classic Reference Bible in TruTone Synthetic Cover.

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Let’s see what the 2015 New Classic Reference looks like, and compare it briefly to the edition it replaces.  I think you’ll find that there aren’t very many changes.  I ordered this Bible from Amazon.  It arrived in generally good shape.  It does not have a retail box.  Instead, it has a sleeve.  I prefer clamshell or two piece style boxes for storage. You tend to see clamshell style with premium Bibles, not value editions.  
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After tossing the sleeve away, I scrutinized the cover.  I like synthetic covers more than bonded leather.  If I can afford them, I purchase ones that are edge lined and covered in goatskin leather.  This synthetic cover was not bad.  It was soft and flexible.  I did get a crease in it by folding it over.  Once you get the paper liner creased it shows through the cover.  I don’t know how durable it will be.  I’ll get back to you on that on in a couple of years.  There is a good lifetime warranty on these Bibles.  I’m not worried about service should anything go wrong.  
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Here is the old edition in genuine leather
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Both Bibles have family records pages and presentation pages in the front

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One of the major qualities that I love about Crossway Bibles, is even their value Bibles use better paper than almost all of their competitors.  The paper in this thing is as good as some of the paper in the cost prohibitive premium Bibles.  It is very opaque and seems pretty heavy.  The old edition was printed on 24 pound (36 g.s.m.) Thincoat™.  The paper in the new edition is uncoated.  It remains the same weight.  It is whiter than the earlier edition which in comparison seems a little more off white.  It could be that since I’ve had the other Bible for a few years the paper has yellowed a bit, but I doubt it.  It is more likely that the coated paper of the earlier edition was responsible for the slight color difference.  

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Here is a look at the previous edition.
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There is a slight tradeoff when using a heavier paper.  The Bible, by necessity of finites becomes thicker.  That being said, I would much rather a Bible be thicker and very legible than be thinner and barely legible.  Ghosting is a real problem on thinner paper and can make daily reading a near impossible task.  The New Classic Reference is not too heavy or big.  It feels good to hold and read from.  The fact that it is a tad bit thicker doesn’t make it uncomfortable to use.  I find it to be subjectively, one of the most comfortable Bibles I’ve spent hours reading from.

Both the older edition and the new one, offer good contrast between the paper and the text.  The text is a modern setting of Lexicon font in 9 pt size.  It is sharp and crisp against the backdrop of the page.  This is a red letter edition with the words of Christ printed in red.  Some people like this feature and others think it detracts from the entirety of the word being inspired.  I don’t have an opinion either way.  If it is done well, I like it.  The red and black ink is consistent throughout.  

Here is the new one
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Here is the old one

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There are book introductions at the beginning of each book.  

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This is pretty helpful without adding the bulk that a study Bible would have.  The New Classic Reference is laid out in a double column, paragraph format, with center column references.  

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This is pretty standard, but again due to the paper quality, uniform printing, and smyth-sewn binding this Bible stands out.  I am thinking about rebinding it in goatskin leather.  It is an excellent candidate for rebind because of the low initial purchase price, paper, print, and the sewn binding.  If you couldn’t tell by now, this does have a sewn binding making it flexible and durable.  

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It has one ribbon marker that matches the color scheme of the Bible.  It is a pretty thin ribbon.  


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The spine has also been rounded.  

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The older edition has a flatter spine that doesn’t appear rounded.  

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The older edition was manufactured in the United States, while this one was manufactured in China.  As long as Crossway can ensure quality control, this shouldn’t be a problem.  Other publishers have not been able to, and have suffered the consequential negative effects to their reputations.

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An excellent three column concordance is included in the back with 32, color maps and illustrations.  

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The overall impression I got was that this is still the same reference Bible that so many people have loved over the years with some small changes.  The most important qualities have not changed.  It remains very legible, and easy on the eyes for long bouts of reading.  It wins, hands down over many other similarly priced Bibles due to the paper, print, and binding.  Throw in the formal equivalent English Standard Version (ESV) translation and you have a great reference Bible.

Make sure to check out all the pictures of the New Classic Reference here, and the old one here.

Here are the stats and info from the Crossway product page,

About the ESV New Classic Reference Bible

The ESV New Classic Reference Bible is a new edition of the first ESV Bible edition ever published in 2001—the ESV Classic Reference Bible. This practical and popular format combines the ESV text with a robust concordance and one of the most comprehensive and useful cross-reference systems available today—more than 80,000 references conveniently located in the center column on each page. This edition adds 32 pages of full-color maps of Bible lands and illustrations of historic biblical sites, structures, and objects for ready reference and insight. The ESV New Classic Reference Bible’s balance of helpful reference features and convenient size make it an ideal Bible for everyday use—at home, at church, at school, and on the road.

  • Size: 5.5″ x 8.4375″
  • 9.0-point type
  • 1,344 pages
  • Double-column, paragraph format
  • Words of Christ in red
  • More than 80,000 center-column cross-references
  • 32 full-color pages of maps and illustrations
  • Introductions to each Bible book
  • Extensive concordance
  • Ribbon marker
  • Presentation pages
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Lifetime guarantee

Specifications

Format: TruTone
Page Count: 1,344
ISBN-10: 1-4335-4557-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-4557-3
Trim Size: 5.5 in x 8.4375 in
Weight: 31.8 ounces
Published: January 31, 2015
Type Size: 9.0
Page Layout: Double Column
Additional Features: Sewn Binding

Maps

Illustrations

Lifetime Guarantee

Cross-references

Concordance

Book intros

Ribbon

Gilded edges

Words of Christ Red

ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-4557-3
ISBN-13: 9781433545573

A Review of the Local Church Bible Publishers Hand Size Text Bible in Black 1 piece Ironed Calfskin Leather, the Item #: 180E1B.

Evidence KJV LCBP Red Wide Margin LCBP Black Hand Size 051

I know many of you haven’t heard of Local Church Bible Publishers, or LCBP.  I would like to remedy that problem for you.  I say that it is a problem because you are missing out on a very well made Bible.  The only caveat is that you must be a fan of the Authorized Version of the King James.  LCBP only prints KJV Bibles.  If that is not a problem for you, then you have a good selection of low priced, high quality, edge lined Bibles to choose from.  Usually Bibles of this quality would sell for $100 or more.  These range from the $20 New Testaments up to the $70 Super Giant Print.  Here is a link to their page, Local Church Bible Publishers

The 180E1B is the 180 Hand Size, Text Bible in the Executive line, with a one piece cover, in black ironed calfskin leather.  When closed, it measures 6″ x 8.5″ x 1.5″ It is an attractive looking Bible.  The grain has been ironed out of it.

Evidence KJV LCBP Red Wide Margin LCBP Black Hand Size 073

It is smooth and flexible.  There are decorative spine hubs and gold gilt page edges.  On the spine is written, “Holy Bible” at the head, “Authorized King James” at the middle, and, “Church” at the tail.

Evidence KJV LCBP Red Wide Margin LCBP Black Hand Size 049

There are decorative gold and black, head and tail bands.  It comes with two, black ribbon markers.

Evidence KJV LCBP Red Wide Margin LCBP Black Hand Size 056

There is a perimeter line on the cover.  The cover is perimeter stitched to the inside liner.

Evidence KJV LCBP Red Wide Margin LCBP Black Hand Size 052

The Bible is edge lined and smyth-sewn, making it very durable and flexible.  You would not get this quality without spending much more.  LCBP Bibles are an extremely good value.

Evidence KJV LCBP Red Wide Margin LCBP Black Hand Size 077
When you open this Bible you first see some blank pages made from a heavier card stock, then the presentation page, and the family records pages.  Then the Title page as well as the Preface to the King James Version 1611, “THE TRANSLATORS TO THE READER.”  We then get into the meat of the Bible.  It is laid out in a double column, verse format, with a line separating the columns.  This is a text Bible so there are no cross-references or footnotes.  It is also a black letter edition that utilizes the self-pronouncing text in a 10.5 pt medium font.  It looks like an old typesetting of the text.  The font is not sharply printed like modern methods would produce.  It is well inked and dark.  The paper makes up for the font.  It is very opaque and heavy.

Evidence KJV LCBP Red Wide Margin LCBP Black Hand Size 057

If I could only get this Bible in NASB I’d be happy.  I know the people at LCBP would not like that last bit 🙂  There is a robust 197 page concordance in the back as well as some blank sheets for note taking.  There are six maps printed on the same cardstock paper as were in the front of the Bible.
If you are in the market for an AV KJV Bible that will outlast you,  and don’t want to spend a bunch give LCBP a look.  You might be pleasantly surprised.  Make sure to check out all the pictures of this Bible on my Flickr page.

A Pleasant Reacquaintance with an Old Friend, the Lockman NASB Side Column Reference Bible in Black Genuine Leather.

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This Bible arrived undamaged and in good condition. It was shipped in a cardboard box, cushioned with paper packaging.

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The Bible was in a sturdy 2 piece retail box that should be retrained for storage.

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I love the fact that this is covered in genuine leather instead of bonded leather or faux leather of some kind. For under $40 this is a big plus.

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It would be worth the purchase price just for getting an NASB in a genuine leather cover, but wait, there’s more. It has a flexible sewn binding.

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I’m getting ahead of myself. The genuine leather is better than expected for the low purchase price. The front cover has no markings. The spine has, “Holy Bible” at the head, “New American Standard Bible 1995 Edition” in the middle, “Side-Column Reference” under that and, “NASB Foundation Publications” at the bottom.

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On the back cover the isbn is printed along with the cover type and model number.

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The corners are mechanically folded. The inside cover is lined with black vinyl to match the outside cover. This is a case bound book.

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There is a presentation page and a family records page in the front of this Bible.

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I hope some people still use these. They seem antiquated to some, but I do write in them. It helps me remember important occasions. There’s no other book we should be in more than the Bible. If we are picking it up everyday we can look at those dates.

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After these pages you come to the copyright and publisher information page.

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It tells us that this Bible is made in China.

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The next pages are the translation information and the Table of Contents.

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This is one of my all time favorite layouts for a Bible. It is a single column of text, in verse format, with cross references in a side column in the margin of the page. There are over 95,000 cross-references to enrich your reading and study.

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Layout is a very personal and subjective preference. That is why there are so many. I am not a fan of the single column layout when done in paragraph format. Many of the newer Bibles from publishers are being set up this way. People claim they are easier to sit and read. This might be so for some people, but for me it doesn’t work. I get distracted easily and need still and quiet to sit and read. Even movements on a television that has been muted will distract me. When I get distracted, it is difficult to come back to where I left off. With a verse format Bible I find it easier to resume reading.
The font is printed in 10 pt. size so it is large enough to read with the Bible resting on my lap. This black letter edition is printed with modern digital font that have clean and clear edges.

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The paper could be a bit more opaque.

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I find that with artificial lighting pointed at the page the ghosting is worse, than when I am reading with natural or ambient lighting. This is not something I measured, it is just my personal opinion. There are healthy 1” wide margins to jot down your thoughts in.

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There is one black ribbon marker, black and gold decorative head and tail bands, and gold gilt page edges.

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In the back is an 82 page concordance. It is pretty helpful compared to many concise concordances you’ll find in the back of Bibles. There are also 9 pages of book introductions and 8 maps.

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This Bible measures 9.75″ x 7.00″ x 1.50″ Even though it isn’t small it is not cumbersome.
My overall impression is that this Bible is one of my favorite layouts and I find myself using it pretty often. the single column layout helps me read with fluidity while the verse format helps me keep on track. I can also look up verses quickly. The only flaw is the somewhat less than opaque paper. The purchase price makes this Bible a great value and the quality binding makes this a long time friend. I would suggest this Bible to anyone looking for a full sized reference Bible with a genuine leather cover in a single column layout. One of my all time favorites from Lockman Foundation.
Make sure to check out the rest of the pictures on my flickr page.
ISBN-13: 9781581351590

863W

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

The Holman HCSB Large Print Ultrathin Reference Bible in Black Genuine Cowhide Leather is a Wonderful Demonstration of How High Quality Bibles Can be Made in America for a Very Affordable Price.

DSCN4304Yes, it is true! We can still make high quality Bibles here in America, and they are affordable! I’m not saying this is a cheap Bible by any means, far from it. It is a high quality Bible. I will go over all of the features later in the review. This Bible sells for around $80.00 online. Even if they sold it for the suggested retail price of almost $120.00 it would be worth it. So to all of my patriotic friends, “‘MericA!” The Holman HCSB Large Print Ultratin Reference Bible showed up on my doorstep well protected inside an appropriately sized cardboard box padded with paper.   DSCN4302

The two piece retail box is sturdy and should be retained for storage. The Bible was wrapped in black paper to further protect the black genuine cowhide leather cover.

DSCN4308I’ve read some other reviews of this Bible and much ado was made over the cover’s softness. I’ll admit that is the main reason I wanted to review this for myself. Although, it is a very nice cover, I wouldn’t call it the softest or most supple cover I’ve ever seen. Considering that soft does not always equate to good, don’t let my mention of that stop you from getting this Bible. I quite like that it isn’t as soft as what I was reading on other sites. For instance, I have an R. L. Allan Readers in goatskin leather. It is nothing like the goatskin I have on a Cambridge Clarion Bible. The Allan was thick and tough compared to the Cambridge. When you get into Bibles, one of the first things that gets you going is that there are Bibles out there with very soft covers. This new excitement wears thin after a while. After using Bibles with super supple covers for a while you begin to notice some drawbacks. Super supple covers or ssc’s for short, do enhance the flexibility of a quality edge lined, sewn binding. What you’ll notice though is that you will begin a tendency to bend your Bible in ways that are not conducive to a long useful binding life. You’ll also become annoyed at your Bible flopping around at inconvenient times. If you have a larger Bible that is ssc it will become more difficult to sit and read as you have to support it someway. The ssc’s also are more susceptible to scratches, and abrasions. The cover can flop away from the pages and leave your pages unprotected. I don’t know how many more dog eared pages I’ve gotten solely due to the ssc. There is a happy medium, thank goodness. I think that this Bible fits in that category very well. The genuine cowhide leather cover IS supple, but not too supple.   DSCN4309

DSCN4310  It is coupled with a case bound text block instead of an edge lined one.   DSCN4314

This also keeps it from being excessively flexible, without too rigid.

DSCN4346  The cover offers just the right amount of support and protection. When I open it to read from it, I can read both the left and right pages while holding the Bible in one hand, without one of them folding over so it can’t be read. With an ssc you can’t do this. With a rigid cover you are fighting the cover, constantly trying to keep it down and out of the way. This Bible is just right in that regard. When I took it out of the box and the paper it was wrapped in, I didn’t notice any chemical smells, just the smell of leather, as it should be. It felt good in my hands. The spine wasn’t too thick or thin. It is manageable in size at 9.75″ x 6.75″ x 1.25″ The texture of the leather’s grain is natural and pleasing to the touch. The spine is decorated with 6 raised hubs. At the head of the spine is the Holman sword and shield logo with, “HCSB” under it. In the middle of the spine are the words, “Holy Bible.” At the foot you’ll see, “Large Print Ultrathin Reference Edition” with the Holman logo beneath it.   DSCN4312

It has gold gilt page edges rounded corners and a slightly rounded spine. The signatures are fairly large. I think this is what accounted for some pretty dramatic looking page waves when I first took this Bible out to use.

DSCN4325  The good news is that those wrinkles you see in the pictures went away after a day of being out of the box and packaging. With just light use everything kind of balanced out. For some reason the pictures made the problem look worse than what it was. Since this Bible has a lifetime warranty through Holman, if you received one with this problem I am certain they would take it back and do what they needed to do to make sure you were happy. I just used it for a little while and it got much better. In the front of the Bible there is a Presentation page. Then there are record pages for Marriage Certificate, Births, Marriages, Occasions to Remember, and Deaths. After the records pages there is the Title page, copyright/publisher’s page, Table of Contents, God’s Plan for Salvation, Introduction to the HCSB translation and finally the text of the Old Testament starts.   DSCN4327

The paper is white enough to offer good contrast with the sharply printed modern digital 9 pt. font. The layout and typesetting was done by 2Krogh AS, Hojbjerg, Denmark and proofreading by Peachtree Editorial Services in Peachtree City Georgia. This Bible uses the 2009 Updated HCSB and cross references.

DSCN4335  This is a red letter edition. It is a double column, paragraph format Bible with center column references and footnotes at the bottom.   DSCN4344

In the footnotes there are alternate readings or notes on textual variants that is quite helpful.

DSCN4343  All of these features lend themselves to a highly legible text. It is easy on the eyes and will be a pleasure to use. The book names and chapter numbers are on the bottom of the page instead of the top along with the page numbers.   DSCN4334

If you are holding this Bible in your hand or lap while reading from a chair this makes more sense. If you are leaning over this Bible reading it at a table or desk the placement of that information can be less convenient. It is not the conventional way to do it, but that is not necessarily bad. There are two ribbon markers for your daily reading in the Old and New Testaments.
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There is a concordance, eight full-color maps, and HCSB Bullet Notes in the back of this Bible. Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised lately by the quality and value of Holman Bibles I’ve been sent for review. I am actually beginning to expect this level of quality and value from Holman. Because of their work and the fact that we can have a domestically produced Bible of quality and value, I am expecting more from other Bible publishers. This is good for Holman, it might be painful to other publishers, but they can look at it as a negative and stop sending me Bibles to review like some have, or they can pick up the challenge and step up their game. Make sure to check out the rest of the pics I took of this Bible here.

ISBN-13: 9781433603020

The KJV/MEV Parallel Bible from Passio.

DSCN4270  This review is about the quality of the Bible not the translations. The KJV has been around for a little over 400 years and is quite well known. The MEV is supposed to be translated from the same source texts as the KJV so don’t expect that many differences. This Bible came packed in a padded envelope.   DSCN4269

I would like to say that it arrived completely undamaged, but it did not. There are a couple bent corners.

DSCN4271  No big deal, but worth a mention, since all of the books I’ve received from Charisma House/Passio have been packaged the same way. The hardback Bible has a dust jacket that has the information a retail box would have on it. I don’t use dust jackets, so that was not a big loss. The cover is black and has in gold on the spine, “KJV KING JAMES VERSION” under that is, “Parallel Bible KJV/MEV” and then, “MEV MODERN ENGLISH VERSION PASSIO”   DSCN4275

The attractive spine is hidden by the dust jacket. On the front cover the book is imprinted with the, “PARALLEL BIBLE KJV/MEV.”

DSCN4274  Once opened, you’ll notice that it is, of course, case bound with 3 blank pages before the Title Page.   DSCN4282

DSCN4283  This is followed by the copyright and publisher information page.   DSCN4287

Directly after that is the Table of Contents. Next we have The KJV Epistle Dedicatory page to King James.
Next up is a Dedicatory page for the MEV to Queen Elizabeth II. (That is just kind of strange to me.)

DSCN4289  From there it is straight into the Old Testament. The KJV is printed on a slightly grayed out watermark to differentiate it from the MEV. The MEV is printed in the left column. The paper is pretty white, although it is excessively translucent. It is not near opaque enough. This doesn’t help when the font is only a 6 pt. font in size.   DSCN4291

The Bible was printed and bound in America.

DSCN4286  It looks like line matching was employed. That helps offset the problem caused by the thin paper. The binding is sewn and flexible.   DSCN4300

If treated right it should last a long time. It seems to be a sturdy Bible. There are very limited notes, to the point of being nonexistent. If you purchased this Bible for that reason you will be disappointed. I guess that will teach you to look at the product descriptions more closely. The book titles, chapter and verse information are printed on the top outer corners of the pages, page numbers are at the top, center. It is a double column, black text format.

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There are no fancy features here to run the cost up. No gilt page edges, ribbon markers, or concordances here, just the text of the two versions, the only exception to that is the One Year Bible Reading Plan after Revelation.
All in all it is a mediocre quality Bible with nothing of interest to offer except the two versions in parallel, and that is probably all the reason you need to buy a copy. The American production quality is good and the printing is consistent and sharp. For the money you can afford to have one just to compare the translations. I would like to see this in a 4 way parallel with, KJV/MEV/NKJV/NASB. I think this would go a long ways for the textual criticism guys.

ISBN: 9781621366409
Make sure to check out all of the pictures I took of this Bible here.