A Snyder’s Soapbox Review of, “This Dangerous Book” by the Greens, Founders of Hobby Lobby.

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I know this review is going to seem negative at times. Please realize this has more to do with my expectations, and subjective bias. I’m a stickler for theology, and evangelism. I also prefer more academic works. If you are like me, you will find this review helpful. If you are a layman and have more of a superficial interest in theology, then this review won’t be that relevant.

This Dangerous Book” has a provocative title, with an implicitly lofty goal which can be inferred from this statement on the cover, “How the Bible has shaped our world and why it still matters today” I had hoped that it would more thoroughly treat the topic of the Bible, and its effects on human history. I was somewhat disappointed. It did not live up to my expectations. I was expecting a much larger, well fleshed out, academic treatment of the topic. This book could have been edited down to be an introduction to a book on the topic instead. It could have also been a brief book on the efforts of the Greens to collect Biblical artifacts for their museum, or the personal experiences of the Greens in regards to their faith. The Greens attempted to do all three in a book that is only a couple hundred pages long. The book didn’t accomplish any of them to my satisfaction.

In my opinion, books that add value to the Christian library must meet some criteria. The main attribute I look for is whether or not the book is Christ/gospel centered. They should also be; evangelistic, exclusive, (exclusivity of Christ) theologically orthodox, intellectually stimulating, educational, reasonable, and well bibliographed/annotated.

This book would only be educational to the laymen. It gives a basic overview of the history of the Bible, and its effects on mankind. The Green’s expressed their desire to present the Bible without any bias. They even had their collection displayed by the Vatican without a note of distinction between Roman Catholicism, and Protestantism. I was disappointed with their ecumenism, and their efforts to keep the book, and museum, from being overtly evangelistic. The personal stories of the Greens were encouraging and inspiring at times. The theology of the Greens was not fully expressed. I think this was in an attempt to have a broader audience. Because of their ecumenism, desire to have a wide appeal, and brevity of the treatment of the implied topic, the book fails to meet my requirements for a valuable book.

That’s not to say that there isn’t any value in this book. There are books that many Christians would find interesting, but not necessarily worthy of their personal libraries. Books like these are more for entertainment. They are the types of books you read and then give away. This book falls into that category. As such I can recommend it. If you have some spare time on a weekend, and are not in the mood for something more substantial, this book would fit the bill. The writing is interesting. The personal experiences the Greens write about hold your attention. Their enthusiasm for the Bible is commendable. Just because it isn’t my cup of tea, doesn’t mean it won’t thrill you. That is one of the great things about books. They are as varied as the authors and readers. If you like to write about something, there will be someone who wants to read about it.

What the book gets wrong; it is too ambitious for a book that is approximately 200 pages. It will have limited appeal to academia. It is more of a primer of the topic of the Bible’s affect on history.  For the title it talks too much about the Green’s experiences, and their Bible museum. It doesn’t make a clear gospel presentation. It demonstrates the Green’s flawed approach to ecumenism. It isn’t a book that will be read over and over again, or used for reference. It is a read once, and give away type of book.

What the book gets right; it will appeal to the wide varied masses of folks who profess to be Christian, including cults and groups that aren’t. It is a decent primer for anyone who has given absolutely no thought to how the Bible has shaped human history. New Christians might find it encouraging. Anyone who wants to know more about the founders, and owners of Hobby Lobby will enjoy reading about them.

I was sent an extra copy of this book to give away on my site. If you would like to have this copy, please leave a comment on the page and e-mail me your address so I can send it to you if you are the winner. This give away is only open to people who live in the continental U.S. I will select the winner personally based on my own personal preferences 🙂

The Crossway ESV Omega Thinline Reference Bible in Black Edge Lined Goatskin Leather. A Premium Bible at a Bargain Price.

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I know that not too many people are aware of the premium Bible market. For those that are, they appreciate the natural hide, edge lined covers, sewn bindings, premium papers, and aesthetics. The price can be the main prohibitive factor for someone seeking to buy their first premium Bible. The Bibles in the premium category usually start out at $150 to $250 price range. The suggested retail price of this Bible is $250. This Bible can be purchased from Christianbook.com for the dramatically discounted price of $169.99 and from evangelicalbible.com for even less at $149.99 Just let that sink in. You can get one of the best quality, best translations, from Crossway printed and bound by Jongbloed, the premiere Bible bindery for the price of a concert ticket.

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In the world of premium Bibles there isn’t much room for error or variance. If you want to publish a premium Bible, you go to Jongbloed of the Netherlands. When Crossway wanted to publish the Omega, they didn’t skimp. They also went to Jongbloed. There are numerous reasons why publishers utilize them for their premium editions. Paper choices, cover choices, binding methods, printing equipment and methods, overall professionalism and standards, you get the idea. Cambridge, Schuyler, Allan, all have made use of Jongbloed for their top notch Bibles.  The E.S.V. Omega Reference Bible in black, edge lined goatskin leather, is one of the best Bibles available today. It belongs in the premium Bible category.

I could go on and on about the great qualities of this edition, but instead I think it would be better if I just show you.  Without further delay, some high resolution pictures with comments.

The Omega was shipped from Crossway in a white box. It arrived undamaged.
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Inside the shipping package, was the Bible in it’s black, two piece, presentation box. Retain it for storage. The Omega is too flexible as an edge lined Bible for you to stand it on a bookshelf without a box.

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Inside the presentation box, the Omega is wrapped in two bands of paper to protect the page edges and keep it from shifting around during shipping.

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The black goatskin cover is perimeter stitched to the inner liner. It has a pleasing natural grain, and is very supple.  
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The inner cover/liner is also leather.  It has a gold perimeter line and the corners are finished well.  The hinge will take a bit to break in, but once you do it will last a long time.

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The spine is smyth sewn and very flexible.  You can see the signatures bend around it rather than the pages bending around a glued spine.  This is a, “must have” feature for a Bible.  They should all have sewn spines.  I wouldn’t even purchase a value line Bible without a sewn spine unless I had to.  The sewn spine is a major factor in how long the Bible will last and how well it will open and lay flat.

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As you can see from the pictures, the cover is supple and has a lovely textured grain to it.  It is a pleasure to hold.  The light weight and dimensions of the Omega equate to hours of easy reading, as well as long evenings of deep study.

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You can see the lovely grain of the leather in this close up picture.

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The corners of the cover are very well executed as are the corners of the text block. They have been rounded, as well as the spine. The page edges are beautifully art gilt. Also, take note of the use of four ribbon markers. That is almost unheard of. I know it is the first time I have heard of it, and I like it. The color of the ribbons is complimentary to the cover, and each other. I am actually using all four of them. I use one for my Old Testament reading, one for the proverbs and devotional reading, one for my New Testament reading, and one to mark where I am at in my study with a couple of my brothers in Christ.

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The gold and brown head and tail bands match the ribbons and inner liner.

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The spine is decorated with four raised hubs. It has, “Holy Bible” at the head, the ESV logo, “English Standard Version” above the foot, where the Crossway logo sits, all hot stamped into the goatskin leather.
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The text block is joined to the cover like all edge lined Bibles, by gluing the leather tab from the inner liner to the block and then covering it with a vinyl coated card paper.  This one is glued further up the paper to make it more durable.

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At the front you’ll find a presentation page and some family records pages.

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The Omega Heirloom Bible employs a 28gsm PDL paper that has a opacity rating of 79. The Omega uses a 10-pt. Lexicon font for the main text.

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With one page singled out and help up with light showing through from behind you can see how well the line matching was used.  It is exceedingly effective in reducing eye strain, and making this Bible a pleasure to read.  This coupled with the high quality print job that Jongbloed did makes this a most legible Bible.

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It is a double column, paragraph format layout with drop cap style numbers for the chapters.  The book titles appear at the top of the first page of each book.  Page numbers are placed at the top and justified to the center of the head.  The text is some of the boldest I’ve seen and is very sharp.  It contrasts well against the paper and also is a tremendous feature making the Omega a great Bible.

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To make space for the text, the cross references and notes are printed at the bottom of the page.  This layout is becoming more and more popular because of its effect on text real estate on the page.

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For you note takers who dare to write in such a lovely Bible 🙂 there is about a half inch margin available.  I don’t see much note taking going on here, but if you must…

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As you’ve come to expect on premium Bibles, the page edges are art gilt with red under gold.

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There is a useful 41 page, 3 column concordance in the back of the Omega.  Make sure to take advantage of it.  It can be a helpful tool.

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You’ll find the obligatory maps from Crossway in the back.  Their’s are some of the best.

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With the sewn spine, and edge lined binding this Bible is nice and flexible.  Notice how well it drapes over my hand.

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Here it is compared to my R. L. Allan NASB Reader’s Edition.  The Omega is a bit shorter, thinner, and more narrow.  It is much easier for me to handle than the Allan.

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Below you’ll see on the left a page from the Omega, and on the right the Allan.  The Allan doesn’t use line matching.  Even though it is a great paper, there still is a bit of ghosting.  This makes the Omega the winner.

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Here we have the Thinline Heirloom, Omega, and Study Bible from Crossway.

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I think you’ll be very happy should you decide to purchase an Omega Reference Bible from Crossway.  I don’t think there are very many Bibles out there that are any better.  It is one of the best.  This Bible would make an excellent gift to a person graduating from seminary, a Preacher in your Church, or anyone who enjoys well built Bibles.  Make sure to check out the rest of the pictures on my flickr page.

A Thinline Bible that Will Outlast You, the Crossway E.S.V. Thinline Bible , Heirloom Edition in Brown Cowhide Edge Lined Leather.

 

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I’ve handled quite a few different edge lined Bibles over the years.  Most of them have used something other than the same leather that was on the outside of the the Bible.  They use bonded leather, or some kind of synthetic polyurethane material.  The bonded leather concerns me because it is basically made from leather sawdust and glue.  The inner liner is also what makes the hinge on an edge lined Bible.  The repetitive opening and closing, over a long period of time, might cause the bonded leather to come apart.  The synthetics could stretch out of shape, or deteriorate at a different rate than the natural materials.

This Bible uses top grain cowhide leather for both the inner and outer cover.  Using the same materials ensures a uniform wear throughout.  The leather that Crossway chose for this Bible is not soft.  It doesn’t feel like it will snag and scratch easily like some of the goatskin leather covers.  What is the purpose of the cover after all?  It is to protect the text block and provide structure.  The cover on this Bible is very flexible, don’t get me wrong, but if you are looking for something soft like garment leather, you are looking in the wrong place.

The size of this Bible is another subjective quality.  Everyone has their own favorite size of Bible to read from.  I personally like smaller, personal sized Bibles, but I loathe the small font in most of them.  This Thinline is truly a Thinline Bible.  It measures in at approximately 3/4″ thick.
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This fact necessitates thinner paper and smaller font.  In most Bibles that translates to readability issues.  Not so much in this one.  Since Crossway always uses impeccable paper, and they employed an 8 pt. font, this Bible is very legible.

The size of this Heirloom Thinline lends itself to being held in several different ways to suite your comfort.  I prefer to fold one side over and hold it in one hand.  Other people might hold it at the bottom center.  While others might prefer to hold it in both hands, or rest it on the table.  Since the binding is sewn it will lay flat.

The hinge plays a big part in how the Bible opens and lays when being read.  On top of having a sewn spine, Crossway didn’t go hog wild with the binding tape.  Many of your lower priced premium Bibles that are edge lined, employ a lot of binding tape, that is thick and covered in adhesive.  They use it along the hinge of the Bible to join the cover and text block.  Sometimes they use way too much, or too thick of a binding tape that actually makes what should be a very flexible Bible into a very awkward one.  The rest of the cover and text block could be nice and flexible, but the inch or inch and a half or so, right at the hinge is all rigid and thick.  It pretty much negates the purpose of doing an edge lined binding.  They might as well simply just have done a case bound Bible instead.

Since Crossway did the right thing here by not using too thick a gooey binding tape in the hinge, and instead used the real leather liner, they avoid problems with adhesion and can make a nice durable and flexible hinge.(albeit not so flexible right out of the box)  The hinge will take a bit of breaking in, because it is made of leather, but it should last much longer.
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The leather hinge might take a bit more work, but that is why you pay a premium price.  This Bible is made to outlast you.  Many Bibles come with a lifetime warranty, and the publishers never expect you to use them, while fully expecting the Bible to fall apart in a few years.  The Heirloom Thinline ESV from Crossway will not.  It is called, “Heirloom” for a reason.  It will hold up and become a family heirloom.  I love the idea of having a Bible passed down to me or one that I can pass down to my children.  There is a tremendous sense of a family Christian heritage that can be gifted to the next generations.  All it takes on our part is an effort to do better, to make better Bibles, and to show our kids how much God’s word really means to us.(You don’t have to have a premium Bible to do that so don’t feel bad if you can’t justify the expenditure.  Crossway makes durable Bibles in all price ranges.)

The ESV Heirloom Thinline Bible in brown calfskin leather arrived at my home in perfect condition.  It was packaged in a white cardboard box for shipping.

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Inside the shipping box, the Bible was inside a black, two piece, presentation box, that should be retained for storage, should you ever put this Bible away for a while.
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The Heirloom is also wrapped in paper. I believe that was done to protect it, as the hide cover is more flexible and has a larger yap than other Bibles.
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Another nice feature is the perimeter stitching of the cover. Some people don’t like this, but I do. I like to know there is more than just glue holding the cover together.
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It is evident when you examine the inside cover at the corners that Crossway did an excellent job paring the leather down thin enough to make a nice corner. The perimeter stitching can also be seen well from the inside.
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There is also an attractive looking gold gilt line around the perimeter of the inner cover.
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Usually on thin Bibles they don’t bother rounding the spine. On the Heirloom it appears they rounded the spine and the page corners. I think that shows a bit more attention to quality. So does the art gilt page edges. Extra attention to details and added features are what we’ve come to expect from Crossway’s premium models.
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The front and back, outside covers are blank. The inside back cover has, “calfskin leather” printed on it at the bottom.
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The spine is decorated with 6 spine hub lines, and the words, “Holy Bible” at the head, “ESV” under that, the ESV logo towards the middle, “English Standard Version” and then the Crossway logo at the tail, in gold stamping.
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When you open the Bible up, you’ll notice there is a page that is glued part of the way up.  That is to keep the text block and cover from falling apart.

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In the front of this Bible is a Presentation page,

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Marriages, Births/Adoptions,

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and Deaths.

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On the copyright page you’ll notice that this Bible is not printed in China. It is printed in the Netherlands, by Jongbloed. (not indicated, but verified.)  Jongbloed is the premier Bible bindery and printer.  They are the the people you go to if you want to print a top notch premium Bible.  That is why Crossway used them to print their Heirloom Thinline.  This is the 2011 ESV. After that you’ll notice a Table of Contents, List of the books in alphabetical order, Preface, and Features section.

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The Books of the Bible begin with the name of the book in bold large print at the head of the page aligned to the center. The text is laid out in a double column, paragraph format, with foot notes. The section headings are also in bold. The chapter numbers are in drop cap to set them apart. Page numbers are found at the top, center part of the page.

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The Heirloom Thinline also comes with head and tail bands, and two ribbon markers that match the color of the cover.

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This Bible is a black letter edition with 8 pt. Lexicon font.  It is printed uniformly with sharp contrast against the 28 g.s.m. PDL Indopaque European Bible paper.  The paper has an opacity rating of 79 which is pretty good considering the weight of the paper.
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In the back you’ll find, Weights and Measures, Abbreviations, Concordance, and Maps. The concordance is a three column format and pretty decent for a thinline edition.

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In the back there are 8 color maps.

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Here are some pictures highlighting the flexibility of this Bible.

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There is no reason this Bible should wear out in your lifetime, but if it does fail due to materials or workmanship, it has a lifetime warranty from Crossway.  I doubt you’ll have to use it.  This is a high quality, premium Bible.  The cover is flexible and so is the text block, due to the sewn spine.  Whether you are holding it, or reading it while it lays on a desk or table you won’t have to fight against the cover. (after the hinge is broken in.)  It is comfortable to hold due to it’s size and weight.  The font is big enough to read without undue eyestrain.  The opacity of the paper aids in the legibility as well.  The bottom line, if you are looking for a high quality, edge lined, thinline Bible look no more.  You can pick up a copy direct from Crossway, or purchase one from any of these online retailers, Amazon, Christianbook, or Evangelicalbible.  Make sure to check out the rest of the pictures on my Flickr page.

ISBN-13: 9781433541602

 

 

A Review of the TBS Compact Westminster Reference Bible, Reformation Commemorative Edition in Brown Meriva Calfskin.

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Trinitarian Bible Society really hit it out of the park on this one folks.  It is by far, one of my most favorite personal size reference Bibles, regardless of all the different translations out there.  This is a Reformation Commemorative edition.  It is in celebration of the 500th year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. (1517-2017) It utilizes a compact version of the Westminster Reference Bible typesetting, including notes, and layout.  I loved the full size Westminster Reference Bible from TBS.  You can read my review of that Bible here.

As usual, T.B.S. did a wonderful job of packaging the Bible for shipping.  It was well protected.  The retail/presentation box is a clamshell, one piece design.  It is decorated with a picture of Wittenberg Market Square, home to St. Mary’s, where Luther posted his 95 Thesis demarking the start of the Reformation.

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This wonderful little Bible is about the same size as a Clarion, but a bit more narrow.  It is 6.5″x4.5″ and the Clarion is 7″x5″.  The T.B.S. is about 1.2″ thick and the Clarion is 1.5″ thick.  So if you have handled a Clarion you can get an idea of the size of this Bible.  I find it to be a bit easier to hold as it is slightly more narrow.

The paper looks similar to the Clarion as well.  This is not a surprise as Jongbloed produces both of these Bibles.  There is some slight page curling.  To me that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It makes it easier to turn the pages.  Some people really hate page curling, not a big deal to me unless it is extreme.  According to T.B.S. the paper is 32 g.s.m.  That is pretty heavy and thick compared to many similarly sized Bibles.  The paper has a smooth texture to it.  The pages are combined into signatures and smyth-sewn into the spine.

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I am impressed with all of the aspects of this Bible.  The printing, binding, paper, cover, and references are all terrific!  The only drawback is the smallish 7.3 pt. font.  The references are 4.5 pt.  That being said, since Jongbloed did such an exemplary job with the printing, the text isn’t that hard to read.  The type is clear, sharp, and boldly printed on the off white paper.  This makes it easier for the old eyes to focus on.  If you have bad eyesight this is NOT the Bible for you.  Keep in mind that while it is of the highest quality, the font is still on the small side for many people.

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If you are not familiar with the Westminster Reference edition, it is a black letter, dual column, verse format Bible with the cross references in the gutter and margin of the page.  There is a vertical line bordering the dual column text from the references.  The Book and Chapter numbers are at the top outside corner of the pages, with the page numbers on the bottom outside corners.  New paragraphs are denoted with a pilcrow.  One of the most helpful features of the Westminster is that the archaic words are marked with an asterisk in the text.  If you look in the margin for the asterisk, you will find the word and a modern word or short definition that explains it.

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This edition is covered in a supple brown Meriva calfskin leather.  It has a slight natural grain, that is soft to the touch.  This Bible is case bound with standard vinyl covered paper that is brown, to match the leather cover.  The corners are well done, as you would expect from Jongbloed.  T.B.S. made the right decision having them do the job.  The spine of the Bible is ornamented with, “Holy Bible” at the head, “1517-2017 Reformation Commemorative Edition” in the middle, and the T.B.S. logo at the foot.  The front cover has, “HOLY BIBLE” at the top and, “The just shall live by faith” offset to the bottom right corner.  The page edges are gold gilt.  There are four ribbon markers.  Two are brown like the cover.  They are first.  The last two are gold colored.  The decorative head and tail bands match the ribbon colors of brown and gold.

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In the front of this Bible you’ll find a Gift presentation page and The Epistle Dedicatory.  After the presentation page is a short history of the Reformation, and Bible translations that came out of it.  There is also a section on how to utilize the features of this Bible.  In the back you won’t find a concordance, but there is a table of weights and measures, a word list, and two year daily reading plan.  After those features you’ll find some usefull colored maps as well as several pages of blank paper for notes.

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If you are a fan of the KJV, and are looking for a high quality, personal sized compact reference Bible look no further.  You can’t go wrong with this Bible for the price.  I’ve rarely seen this quality of work done for less than $100.00, but you can purchase this Bible from T.B.S. for $64.00  That is an amazing deal in this reviewer’s opinion.  If you’d like to have it for even less, you can order it from Reformation Heritage Books for $44.00, but remember that T.B.S. uses the money they make to provide Bibles to people all over the world who can’t otherwise get them.  Make sure to check out the pictures I took of this Bible on my Flickr page.

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Here is an excerpt from the product page on the T.B.S. site;

Reformation Compact Westminster Reference Bible Brown premium leather

Reformation Compact Westminster Reference Bible, premium brown leather. This Bible contains over two hundred thousand cross-references, information regarding the Reformation and also features 8 full-colour maps, with presentation box.

Features:
Genuine leather cover
Gift presentation box
Good clear print
Cross references
Black text throughout
Quality sewn binding
Four marker ribbons
Bible paper
Gilt page edges
Semi-yapp page protection
Decorative head & tail bands

Additional Contents:
Gift presentation page
The Epistle Dedicatory
List of pronunciation of words and proper names
References
Word list on page
Tables of weights and measures
Daily Bible reading plan
Colour maps

Page Size: 6.5″ x 4.6″
Thickness: 1.2″
Print Size: 7.3 point

Product Code: 60UCB/BR

ISBN 13: 9781862284470

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I think the silver page edge gilt was the right decision instead of gold, considering the bold red thread and smooth black cover.  They work together. The head and foot bands are a brown color, and don’t really pop. It is easy to miss them. I would recommend red and black colored for the bands to go along with the color scheme.
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The spine is also ornamented with three spine hubs, and the words, “Holy Bible, Christian Standard Bible, and Holman” hot stamped in silver letters.  The area close to the head is left empty.  As one of my fellow reviewers mentioned, it seems a bit unbalanced.  We will see what they do with it in the final version they bring to market.

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

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

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

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

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Here is a picture of their robust cross reference system.

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Weights and measures.

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A respectable and useful concordance.

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and some well done maps.

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

 

ISBN: 9781462743223

A Review of the E.S.V. Reader’s Gospels in Black Top Grain Leather Over Board Hardback Edition.

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Alright folks, with the recent release of the ESV 6 volume Reader’s set, I thought you might like to read a review about this Reader’s edition of the Gospels.  It would be a less expensive way for you to see if you want to shell out the bucks for the entire 6 volume set.  Maybe you don’t want the entire set, just the gospels?  Whatever the case may be, I offer this review up for your information and pleasure.

The Reader’s edition is an interesting concept.  There are no chapter or verse numbers.  There are no cross references or footnotes.  The paragraph format is done according to where new paragraphs would start in English.  The books are typically arranged other than that.  The only way to tell where you are in a book, is by using the index in the back in conjunction with the page numbers.  All of this is to accomplish the mission of a reader’s edition, to remove obstacles or impediments for the reader.

I find that as I read, I lose track of my progress.  I tend to read more in this volume.  Some of it is due to the lack of chapter and verse numbers, as well as the lack of cross references and footnotes.  While some of the other design and layout features contribute to it as well.  For instance, Crossway utilized a high quality, cream colored, uncoated, heavyweight paper more commonly seen in hardback novels.  It is 80 g.s.m. and you can hardly see through it at all.  The font is 12 pt. in size.  It is sharp and clear.  It is laid out in a single column.  This edition is truly meant to be read through like a book.  There is nothing in between you and the text.  I could go on and list all of the cool features of this edition, and I will, but I want to make sure you understand what the point is.  Reading and experiencing the gospels in a more fluid and retainable way was the goal, and Crossway achieved it.  Bonus is that there is no eyestrain, or headache after a long reading session.

So now that you know how accessible this makes the gospel, let’s look at some pictures and hear about some features of the construction.

The Bible was shipped from Crossway, and well packaged.  It arrived undamaged.

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This volume comes in a nice heavy slipcase.  It is intended to be kept, and used for storing this volume in when not being used.

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Once it is out of the box, the first thing you’ll notice is how soft the topgrain leather is.  If you don’t like leather over board, or if you want a Reader’s edition with a smaller price tag while retaining the same text block, you could get it with cloth over board.

Legatoria Editoriale Giovanni Olivotto or L.E.G.O. for short did a wonderful job printing and binding this book.  They are gaining some serious notoriety amongst quality book and Bible collectors here in the states.  Jongbloed in the Netherlands might have some competition in text block production if they don’t watch out 🙂

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Here is a good close up of the cover.

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You’ll notice the page edges are not gilt.  There are decorative head and tail bands in gold and black.  The spine has, “The Gospels” at the head, the ESV logo below that, “English Standard Version” after that, and the Crossway logo at the foot in gold.  There are also four ornamental spine hubs.

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Here is a picture of the inside of this casebound hardcover.

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The book names, headings, and drop caps are printed in an appealing red text.

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I took a picture of one page, separate from the others, and with light behind it so you could see how thick and opaque it is.  I’d never heard of Munken Premium Cream woodfree paper before, but after seeing it I’m sold.

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Here is another picture of the wonderful paper, 12 pt. font, and the crimson colored ribbon marker.

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From this picture you can also see the fat signatures with the ribbon laying on top of the page.

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Of course, like you’d expect on a high quality book, the spine is sewn.  This ensures a durable, and useable binding.

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Of course my favorite picture is the one where I am reading it.

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After reading from this edition, I am eager to purchase the 6 volume set.  I will probably get the cloth over board due to the price.  I am looking at getting the new Schuyler Personal NASB Quentel when it comes out this year, so I have to save my money 🙂  That way I can get both.  I would highly recommend getting this for anyone wanting to try a reader’s edition out.  It is one thing to know the concept, but another to live with it for a while.  Make sure to look at the rest of the pictures I took of this edition on my flikr page.  You can also read about more of the details on Crossway’s product page.  You can purchase your copy at Christianbook or Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

ISBN-13: 9781433549823

A Review of, “God The Trinity” by Malcom B. Yarnell the III.

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Today on SnydersSoapbox we will be reviewing a book dealing with the Trinity.  I know that as Christians we desire to understand the Trinity better.  It is a topic that is often speculated on, and many times people just give up.  Don’t feel too bad.  The book and the works of the men cited by the author are all very scholarly.  Some very intelligent men have been contemplating the Trinity for a very long time, and haven’t really come up with any better explanations or understandings than many of us.  They just sound a lot more intelligent when they talk about it 🙂
In the field of Christian books, I am always looking for books that will add value to my library, books that will not be a waste of my time to read.  This was a pretty good book overall.  It was definitely NOT for laymen.  It was a scholastic work.  The author assumes that the reader has read, or is familiar with the works of the other men he has cited in this book.  If you are not familiar with those works you can still read this book and get something out of it.  It is well bibliographed, and indexed.  The author throws in some Greek, not to worry, he explains what it says.  He also uses several big words that you might need to grab a dictionary and look up.  Do not be afraid of heady books.  These things help you learn and grow.  Don’t run from the challenge of education.
As far as the content of the book goes, I appreciated his explanation of the economic Trinity.  This helped me understand how we are in Christ, He is in the Father, and He is in us, as well as the Holy Spirit indwelling us.  It is one thing to know the words, it is another to get a better grasp on the mechanics of how that works.  If you are like me, you are not satisfied until you can see all the steps, or processes of the behind the scenes workings of something.  He also delved into the ontology of the Trinity.  I might not of understood everything he wrote when dealing with this topic, or maybe I did, and just disagreed with him on one of his conclusions.  Even so, If you are patient, and willing to do some work, I think you could learn from this book.
Yarnell also explains some non-Trinitarian heresies, defends the orthodox trinity, deals with some of the concepts of being eternally begotten, and what that looks like.  He explains how Christ accepted worship from people, and he demonstrates how the Bible equates Christ with God the Father.  If you take the time, this will help you with your apologetics when talking with non-Trinitarian heretics.

You can pick up your copy from Christianbook.com, Amazon.com, or Lifeway.com.

ISBN-13: 978-1433680748