A Review of the HCSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students Indexed Hardcover Edition.

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I found this Bible to be significantly thinned out compared to the regular Apologetics Study Bible.  This is targeted at teens and younger students.  You can read my review of the Apologetics Study Bible here. Keep in mind that this Bible is not the same as the Apologetics Study Bible, and it is intended for students.  It would make a great Bible for young people with questions that you perhaps are not equipped to answer.

Christian apologetics is the defense of the veracity of Christianity and its doctrines, by utilizing logic, reason, philosophy, and evidence.  So when you think of a Bible including the word, “apologetics” in its title you would assume that it is going to be focused on apologetic arguments.  This Bible does not do as comprehensive a job as the standard one, but for the intended audience, it is just what is needed, without getting bogged down.  There are several articles, and testimonies.  

One feature that is useful is the, “twisted scriptures” asides.  There are 60 of them throughout the Bible.  They take commonly misapplied scriptures, put them in the proper context, and explain the errors made with their application as well as the proper application.  This should be very helpful for kids who have been exposed to cults by their friends.  Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and all of the other repugnant cults, spread such lies about the Bible, that it is common to hear them repeated, even by kids raised in a Christian home.  

Another nice feature is the, “bones & dirt” asides.  There are 50 of them placed all over the Bible.  They add archeological evidence as an apologetic aid.  Students can see physical evidence, coincide with the testimony of scripture.  This support can tip the scales towards belief and acceptance, when doubts are raised by their peers.  It also adds to their individual education.

My review copy arrived damaged.  It was packaged sufficiently.  The damage looked like a problem from the factory.  The end papers in the front as well as the presentation page, and the first pages of this Bible were deeply creased down the center.  This is probably a fluke, but if you did get a damaged Bible, Holman will be quick to replace it.
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Generally speaking, you should return it to the retailer.  The hardcover is pretty standard fare.  

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The spine is sewn for durability, and flexibility.  This ensures that it lays flat when opened.  Overcasting was also employed, ensuring durability.

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There is one very thin, and unintentional looking ribbon marker.  It just seems out of place.  Given their exceptional use of overcasting contrasted with this anemic ribbon, I’m at a loss. I’m kind of a stickler for ribbon markers.  All Bibles should come with 3 ribbon markers that are wide enough to not bite into the page edges when opening the Bible with them.  They should be thick enough to be durable.  They should be thin enough to not leave grooves in the pages from when the Bible is closed on them.  Finally they should not be folded haphazardly into the Bible from the factory.

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The paper is opaque enough and the font is 8 pt. in size.  I doubt young people will have trouble reading this black letter edition.  I do however, have some difficulty with the choice of font on the feature headings.  It looks very much like stylized scribbling.  The font is arranged in a double column format with notes and references at the bottom.  The book introductions and articles are well done.  They should be helpful to the young reader.

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I do not like the index tabs.  In my opinion they are not as easy to use as the crescent cut ones.  Your opinion may differ.  All in all it is a descent Bible for young people.  It is not sufficient to serve as a study Bible for a mature Christian.

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Here is a list of features it has.

  • Two-color design-intensive layout on every page for the visual generation
  • Study notes providing evidence of the reliability and truthfulness of Scripture
  • 120 articles by leading Christian thinkers dealing with life’s ultimate questions
  • 50 “Notable Quotes” from influential people throughout history
  • 25 “Tactics” against common anti-Christian arguments
  • Twenty “Personal Stories” of how God has worked in real lives
  • 20 “Top Five” lists to help remember key apologetics topics
  • Bullet notes explaining Bible terms
  • Book introductions for each book of the Bible
  • Presentation page
  • Ribbon marker
  • Thumb-indexed page edges
  • 8-point text size
  • 9.25″ x 7.00″ x 1.25″

9.0 X 6.75 X 1.5 (inches)

ISBN-13: 9781433616976

Please don’t forget to look at the pictures I took of this Bible here on my flickr page.

A Review of the Study Bible for Women by Holman Personal Size Edition.

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Let’s look at the, “Study Bible for Women” in the HCSB translation, personal size edition, from Holman. It comes in a quality leathertouch, (synthetic leather) teal and brown cover . It was a very pleasant surprise to see some actual study aids as opposed to junk food. There is academic quality here. There are some notes on hermeneutics, theology, some original language notes and transliteration help. Most women’s Bibles are pink and have a bunch of Osteen-esque, self help, self-esteem, feel good, prattle in them with little in the way of useful exegesis of scripture or how to apply it today. This study Bible has significant work in it from two established Christian women. Here are short biographies from Holman’s site,

“Dorothy Kelley Patterson is Professor of Theology in Women’s Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. She is a homemaker, popular speaker, and successful writer, editor, and compiler of numerous books including A Handbook for Ministers’ Wives, The Family, BeAttitudes for Women, and Touched by Greatness: Women in the Life of Moses. She is co-editor of the two volume Women’s Evangelical Commentary:Old Testament and New Testament. Her husband Paige is President of Southwester Baptist Theological Seminary.”

and,

“Rhonda Harrington Kelley is President’s wife and Adjunct Professor of Women’s Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a frequent speaker for women as well as an author of books including Divine Disciple, Life Lessons for Women of the Bible, and Personal Holiness: A Biblical Study for Developing a Holy Lifestyle. She is co-editor of the three volume Women’s Evangelical Library including Women’s Evangelical Commentary: Old Testament, New Testament, and The Study Bible for Women. Her husband Chuck Kelley is President of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.”

There is some of the fluff, don’t get me wrong. It is just kept in its proper place and proportion. I think that women should find this very helpful. However, I am not a woman and am just commenting because I want one like this for men.

Here is what the Publisher has to say about this Bible,

“Publisher’s Description
The Study Bible for Women will equip you to reach deep into God’s Word. Perhaps the single most powerful aspect of this Bible are the “threads” of specialized study thoughtfully woven throughout, pointing you to God’s larger story and allowing the Holy Spirit to write His revealed truths on your heart.

In The Study Bible for Women, personal size edition you’ll join a host of other women, all academically trained in the original languages of the Bible and passionate about God’s Word, for an intimately deep dive into Scripture that will equip you to unlock the riches and majesty of His Word, and ignite a passion to mentor others in your life to do the same. The Study Bible for Women includes the full text of the Holman Christian Standard Bible, a clear, contemporary English translation that’s faithful to the original languages of the Bible.

Features include extensive commentary notes, word studies, answers to hard questions, doctrinal notes, Biblical womanhood articles, character profiles, Written on My Heart applications, extensive book introductions, presentation pages, in-text maps, charts & time-lines, full-color maps section and concordance.”

The Bible was shipped in a cardboard box with paper packing material. The Bible was inside a two piece retail box. It arrived undamaged and in good condition. I can’t stress enough that this is not some cheap synthetic leather, nor is it some hard, shiny, pigskin leather you would find on other Bibles in this price range. This is a good quality synthetic cover.

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The spine is hot stamped with, “HCSB” at the top, “The Study Bible for Women” orientated horizontally along the spine in the middle, and at the bottom is the Holman logo. The page edges are silver. The pages are white with a faded blue color that becomes more solid as you approach the page edges and perimeter of the page.

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The paper is 30 g.s.m. making it pretty opaque. Lighter paper would not have been good. With this weight of paper you don’t have much in the way of ghosting (seeing the text on the backside of the page show through) There are numerous decorative designs throughout. I don’t know what your opinion is of that, but I could do without them. The font used for the main text is 8.5 point in ITC Clearface Standard. (Open-type) This makes it easy on they eyes unless you have bad eyesight. The coloring of the page perimeters could cut down on the contrast of the text to the paper. The paper could be a little brighter white where the text is, but then the perimeter effect would be lost. The text is laid out in a double column, paragraph format with the cross-references on the outside of the page instead of at the bottom or in a center column. Interspersed throughout are other features.

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The inside cover is made of paper of the same color and glued down. They did a good job with the corners. There is one ribbon marker and it is matching in color as well. The binding on this Bible is a South Korean, sewn binding. They have been doing a lot of Holman’s bindings and are holding up quite well. This also makes them flexible on top of being durable. Way better than a glued binding.

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Even though this is a study Bible, I don’t want you to be afraid that it is a behemoth. (funny right?) For a study Bible this thing is very manageable. In the personal size edition it is even more manageable than its full sized sister. It is just the right size for ladies who don’t want to use a hand-truck to carry their study Bibles to Wednesday night Bible Study. I think it is a very good investment if you are looking for a women’s study Bible that has good content instead of the motivational junk you get pushed on you nowadays.
Make sure to check out all of the pictures I took of this Bible here. There are lots of close-ups.
ISBN-13: 9781433607608

The Holman NKJV Study Bible in Black Genuine Leather, Revisited.

The Holman NKJV Study Bible in Black Genuine Leather, Revisited.

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About a year ago I did a review of the Holman NKJV Study Bible. Overall the review was favorable. I thought it might be nice to give it a second look and see what my impressions are now. In my initial review I said that it had a glued binding, but I have found that it is actually sewn.

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The spine is not rounded and was kind of difficult to see down in the gutter. After some breaking in and a bit more force, you can see the thread. The signatures are not very big either so it was more difficult to tell.

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It is a good thing for a Bible this big to have thinner signatures. It makes it more flexible and less prone to falling apart. You see if it does start to fall apart only a few pages will come loose in a smaller signature instead of many pages in a larger signature.

I also commented on the size of this bad boy. That part has not changed. It is still pretty humongous. I would put it up there with the ESV study Bible for size. It is an attractive looking Bible as far as mass produced Bibles go. It is covered in black genuine leather.

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It is not shiny like so many of them are. It is has silver stamped lettering on the spine and silver gilt page edges.

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It is still printed and bound in the good ol’ U.S.A.

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It is very well printed. The text is clear and bold. It is very black and contrasts against the bright white paper.

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The paper could be a bit thicker, but then this Bible would be even bigger… That would be a problem. This is a red letter edition. The font is approximately a 9 pt. font being a good compromise.

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There are two ribbon markers one is black and the other is red.

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The Bible is case bound and well done.

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I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this Bible for anyone looking for a study Bible. Here is a list of the helps/features;

Holman Bible Publishers is excited to present the Holman Study Bible: NKJV Edition, a new edition modeled after its own 2011 ECPA Christian Book Award-winning HCSB Study Bible, where every well-conceived study help is practically placed on the same page spread as the related biblical text. It also features 15,000 study notes, 141 photos, 62 timelines, 59 maps, 40-page concordance, 20 articles and essays on practical and theological issues, 16 illustrations and reconstructions, and 15 charts.

Other details of the Holman Study Bible: NKJV Edition include a two-column text setting, center-column cross references, the words of Christ in red type, extensive book introductions, one- and three-year Bible reading plans, a notes section, four-color presentation page and family records section, and two-piece die-cut gift box.

All study features throughout the Holman Study Bible: NKJV Edition are designed to put the emphasis where it must be – on making the Scriptures, God’s written Word, clear and understandable.

It is extremely flexible.

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The features are too numerous to expound on all of them. A very well done study Bible at an extremely affordable price from the United States, I hope other publishers are paying attention. You don’t have to make horrible quality Bibles in China to make a profit.
Be sure to check out all of the pictures on my flickr page.

Pick up your copy on Christianbook or Amazon

ISBN: 9781433605123

Trim Size: 10 x 7.6 x 2.1

Hey women! Are you tired of the pink, “so-called” Study Bibles, that are full of fluffy self-esteem candy?

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Well, Holman has got a surprise for you!  Their, “Study Bible for Women” in the HCSB translation.  It comes in this quality chocolate color, genuine cowhide leather, with thumb indexes.  It was a very pleasant surprise to see some actual study aids as opposed to junk food.  There is academic quality here.  There are some notes on hermeneutics, theology, some original language notes and transliteration help.  Most women’s Bibles are pink and have a bunch of Osteen-esque, self help, self-esteem, feel good, prattle in them with little in the way of useful exegesis of scripture or how to apply it today.  This study Bible has significant work in it from two established Christian women.  Here are short bio’s from Holman’s site,

Dorothy Kelley Patterson is Professor of Theology in Women’s Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. She is a homemaker, popular speaker, and successful writer, editor, and compiler of numerous books including A Handbook for Ministers’ Wives, The Family, BeAttitudes for Women, and Touched by Greatness: Women in the Life of Moses. She is co-editor of the two volume Women’s Evangelical Commentary:Old Testament and New Testament. Her husband Paige is President of Southwester Baptist Theological Seminary.”

and,

Rhonda Harrington Kelley is President’s wife and Adjunct Professor of Women’s Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a frequent speaker for women as well as an author of books including Divine Disciple, Life Lessons for Women of the Bible, and Personal Holiness: A Biblical Study for Developing a Holy Lifestyle. She is co-editor of the three volume Women’s Evangelical Library including Women’s Evangelical Commentary: Old Testament, New Testament, and The Study Bible for Women. Her husband Chuck Kelley is President of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.”

There is some of the fluff, don’t get me wrong.  It is just kept in its proper place and proportion.  I think that women should find this very helpful.  However, I am not a woman and am just commenting because I want one like this for men.

Here is what the Publisher has to say about this Bible,

Publisher’s Description

The Study Bible for Women will equip you to reach deep into God’s Word.  Perhaps the single most powerful aspect of this Bible are the “threads” of specialized study thoughtfully woven throughout, pointing you to God’s larger story and allowing the Holy Spirit to write His revealed truths on your heart.In The Study Bible for Women, you’ll join a host of other women, all academically trained in the original languages of the Bible and passionate about God’s Word, for an intimately deep dive into Scripture that will equip you to unlock the riches and majesty of His Word, and ignite a passion to mentor others in your life to do the same.  The Study Bible for Women includes the full text of the Holman Christian Standard Bible, a clear, contemporary English translation that’s faithful to the original languages of the Bible.

Features include extensive commentary notes, word studies, answers to hard questions, doctrinal notes, Biblical womanhood articles, character profiles, Written on My Heart applications, extensive book introductions, presentation pages, in-text maps, charts & timelines, full-color maps section and concordance.”

The Bible was shipped in a cardboard box with paper packing material.

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The Bible was inside a two piece retail box.  It arrived undamaged and in good condition.

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Inside the retail packaging it was wrapped in two pieces of black construction paper to keep it from getting bent corners.

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The genuine cowhide is a chocolate brown color with a soft texture.  I can’t stress enough that this is not some cheap synthetic leather, nor is it some hard, shiny, pigskin leather you would find on other Bibles in this price range.  This is a soft and supple cowhide leather.

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The spine is hot stamped with, “HCSB” at the top, “The Study Bible for Women” orientated horizontally along the spine in the middle, and at the bottom is the Holman logo.

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The page edges are gilded gold.  The Bible is thumb indexed with gold text on black for the Old Testament and gold text on Red for the New Testament.

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The pages are white with a faded blue color that becomes more solid as you approach the page edges and perimeter of the page.

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It kind of gives it an art gilded look of blue under gold.  It might have been better to gild this with silver instead.  However, the effect is minimal so as not to be unattractive.  The paper is 30 g.s.m. making it pretty opaque.  Lighter paper would not have been good.  With this weight of paper you don’t have much in the way of ghosting (seeing the text on the backside of the page show through)

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There are numerous decorative designs throughout.  I don’t know what your opinion is of that, but I could do without them.  The font used for the main text is 10 point in ITC Clearface Standard. (Open-type)  This makes it easy on they eyes unless you have bad eyesight.  The coloring of the page perimeters could cut down on the contrast of the text to the paper.  The paper could be a little brighter white where the text is, but then the perimeter effect would be lost.  The text is laid out in a double column, paragraph format with the cross-references on the outside of the page instead of at the bottom or in a center column.

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Interspersed throughout are other features.  The inside cover is made of vinyl of the same color and glued down.  They did a good job with the corners.

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There is one ribbon marker and it is matching in color as well.

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The binding on this Bible is a South Korean, sewn binding. They have been doing a lot of Holman’s bindings and are holding up quite well. This also makes them flexible on top of being durable. Way better than a glued binding.

Even though this is a study Bible, I don’t want you to be afraid that it is a behemoth. (funny right?)  For a study Bible this thing is very manageable.  It is just the right size for ladies who don’t want to use a hand-truck to carry their study Bibles to Wednesday night Bible Study.  I think it is a very good investment if you are looking for a women’s study Bible that has good content instead of the motivational junk you get pushed on you nowadays.

ISBN: 9781586400941

http://www.bhpublishinggroup.com/products/the-study-bible-for-women-chocolate-genuine-leather-indexed/

You can purchase this Bible on Amazon  or on Christianbook

Review of the Matthew Henry Study Bible in black flexisoft synthetic leather.

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I received the Matthew Henry Study Bible gratis from Hendrickson for honest review.  Despite Hendrickson’s fine job of packaging their Bibles for shipping, this one arrived damaged.  The two piece retail box was packed inside a cardboard box with air bag type packing material.

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I noticed the damage upon opening the Bible.  The material that joins the cover to the text block was torn along the hinge at the bottom.  The tear is about 1 1/2 inches long.  I suspect it was due to the size and weight of the MHSB.

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I think it is too heavy for the cheaper materials it is made from.  That in conjunction with being shipped from China where it was made could also be responsible for the damage.  I contacted Hendrickson about the damage and asked about getting a different copy to review.  They wanted me to go ahead with the review of the damaged Bible.  I can definitely understand that.  It gets expensive sending out free review copies.

The cover material is very rubbery looking and feeling.

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In my opinion it isn’t a very attractive choice of cover material. I would go with the hardback if you are thinking of buying this product.  I think it would hold up better.  It has the words, “Holy Bible” in gold on the front.  The spine has the words, “Matthew Henry Study Bible” at the top.  In the middle there is a tree graphic and then, “King James Version” under it.  On the bottom is, “Hendrickson Bible.”

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The head and foot bands did not stay glued down.

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There is a gold colored ribbon marker.

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There is a presentation page and then an article about Matthew Henry.

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The paper is a 30 gsm weight.  The print does not seem dark or bold enough.  If the paper were whiter, the text would have more contrast against it. The words of Christ are in read.  Since the paper isn’t as bright, the red font doesn’t contrast well either.  This also is hard on the eyes.  The font is 10 point Garamond Pro.

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There are book introductions before each book.

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The text is laid out in a double column paragraph format with in-text quotes from the Matthew Henry’s writings.  Side column references appear in the inside gutter area.  Footnotes are at the bottom of the page.  The notes are 8 point Myriad Pro.  This does accommodate the 10 point font of the main text.  The pages are thumb indexed on this edition.

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There are eight full color maps and a concordance in the back.

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With a Bible this size there has to be some compromise during the design.  One trade off would be a thinner paper so that the already large Bible doesn’t become gargantuan.  Keep that in mind when considering this Bible for purchase.

I know it like I don’t like this Bible, but don’t worry.  There are good things about this Bible.  The binding is sewn and pretty flexible.

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Even if the cover, paper, and binding, were done in China. The binding is still pretty decent.  The Bible opens well and is easy to hold despite its size.  It is very flexible for a large Bible.  The cover material does allow for lots of flexibility as well.  Perhaps if the cover offered a bit more structure the tear wouldn’t have happened.  My thoughts are that the hardcover would hold up better.  I haven’t looked at the hardcover though so this is an assumption.

A. Kenneth Abraham did a good job of condensing the venerable Matthew Henry’s commentary down to Study Bible notes.  I know that in many reviews people have mentioned that they didn’t think there were enough notes in the Old Testament.  In sections of Historical Narrative I don’t know that you’d need study notes.  I found the editing to be good.  I think the task of cutting down the Matthew Henry’s Commentary would be daunting and was done satisfactorily.  Keeping in mind that it would be extremely difficult to get every bit of even the concise commentary in here without making a ten pound Bible.

I don’t know how familiar you are with the English Puritan, Matthey Henry.  He compiled an exhaustive commentary which he did not finish and a more concise commentary.  Henry was a nonconformist. In other words he didn’t conform to the act of uniformity 1662.  In England, at that time, the Anglican Church was about the only game in town.  If you didn’t play by their rules, you often times didn’t get to.  Matthew Henry only lived to 52 and died suddenly.  His work of making an exhaustive commentary was finished by his peers.  Charles Spurgeon spoke highly of his work.  Modern day, Reformed Baptists also like his work.  His commentary was exegetical and devotional.  It is just as good now as it was then.  Having it in even more concise fashion as Study Bible notes is nice.

If you’re buying this Bible it is probably because of the notes.  If that is the case I think most people would be happy with this Study Bible.  I would recommend the hardcover unless Hendrickson comes out with genuine leather or starts making these in the States out of tougher cover material.

ISBN: 9781598565461

ISBN-13: 9781598565461

You want it both ways? So does Thomas Nelson. My Review of the Thomas Nelson Full Color Hardcover 2nd Edition Study Bible.

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First I’m going to address the physical attributes of this Bible and its features with minimal critiques and then I will flesh out my opinions of the essays and notes included in this Bible. Keep in mind that part of the review is highly subjective depending on your theological position.

The Bible arrived sufficiently packaged in a cardboard box.

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It is a pretty big Bible as most study Bibles tend to be.  It measures approximately nine and half by six and three quarters by two inches and weighs a little less than four pounds.  It sells for about thirty three dollars on most internet retail sites.  The Bible has a dust jacket.

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I don’t like dust jackets.  They always get in the way.  Some people like to use them to mark their place, but I’d rather have some good quality ribbon markers.  This one only comes with a single brown ribbon marker.

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The hardcover itself is nice enough.  It has kind of a brown marbled look.  It is made in China, but seems to be well manufactured despite that fact.

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The binding is sewn.  The Bible opens and lays flat right out of the box.

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I expect if it is treated well it should last a long time.  It does have a lifetime warranty.

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It comes with a free download that I found quite useless.  It is not a download of the entire Bible.  Crossway gives you access to their study Bible online when you purchase theirs.   It is laid out really well and makes good use of the full color printing.  It is a double column paragraph format with references in the center column and notes at the bottom of the page.

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Each chapter has a book introduction and outline.  There are full color features like maps, word studies, essays, and photos dispersed throughout.

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The impression I got from reading some of the articles and notes is that this is a Bible for the masses. If you are Reformed, you’ll probably want about half of the notes removed.  If you are Arminian you’ll probably want about half of the notes removed.  If you don’t know what either of those are, you’ll probably love this study Bible.  That is just the impression that I got.  It could be that I am being overly sensitive.  Most people will find the notes well balanced between the two predominate theological positions.

An example of that is the language used in the explanation of women’s roles in the Church. It goes to extreme lengths to be sensitive to readers who might not agree with the biblical position and then briefly states the biblical position and then tries to scoot past in hopes of nobody noticing.  This technique usually pleases nobody and only confuses neophytes.  Of course if you wanted a study Bible that was more aligned with your position I imagine you could find one.  I like the MacArthur Study Bible, ESV Study Bible, and the Reformation Study Bible.  When you get a bunch of theologians from different tents within the camp of Christianity together to contribute to a study Bible, you end up with the modern study Bible.  It isn’t supposed to be a systematized theological work.

I actually would recommend the Holman NKJV Study Bible over the Thomas Nelson. You can read my review of it here.  I think the entirety of it is a little more honest and direct.  Think NonDenom vs SBC…  I think that sums it up.

 

 

 

ISBN: 0529114380

ISBN-13: 9780529114389

I received this Bible from the publisher gratis for the purpose of review and am under no obligation to render a positive review.

Review of the HCSB Study Bible, in Black Deluxe Leather

First I’d like to start out by saying that study Bibles in general have some benefits and some drawbacks. One of the great advantages is that you have a set of commentaries with your Bible to be carried with you wherever you go.  One of the obvious drawbacks is that all those notes and features add to the bulk of the Bible making it heavier and bigger.  The size and weight isn’t the major drawback.  Most people expect that when they are shopping for a study Bible.  The major drawback of course comes into play when you ask, “Who wrote my commentary?” For instance if your theology is very liberal and intolerably inaccurate then you would absolutely hate the, “MacArthur Study Bible.”  You would probably love a study Bible caters to your liberal theology.  The downfall of having a study Bible with just one mans commentary is that you just get his point of view, and if he is a false teacher you get more false teachings. The benefit is if he is a good teacher, you get very focused and direct answers to difficult passages.

When you have a study Bible where hundreds of theologians were utilized for the commentaries, you end up with what could be a mixed bag of theologies. Unless, that study Bible is put out by an organization or denomination with set doctrine, then they would make an attempt to have the commentaries conform with their doctrines.

Well what if the denomination has a split opinion about some doctrines, like oh, I don’t know… perhaps the Southern Baptist Convention? You guessed it, you’ll have some Reformed doctrines and some Arminian doctrines espoused. I’m not knocking the SBC, after all I’m a member. I’m not knocking this study Bible either. So far I quite enjoy it. I think it is kind of a, “Jack of all trades, master of none” study Bible. I don’t mean to imply a lack of direction or focus on the part of the publishers.  I think that this study Bible will fit a very large cross section of evangelical Protestantism.  This can frustrate some or be refreshing to others. Like I said just a bit ago, I am enjoying it. I myself am in the Reformed camp when it comes to soteriology, but I am not the type of person who cries heretic when I see an Arminian walking down the street. With that all out of the way, we’ll start by taking a look at the construction of this Bible.

The most important physical feature of this Bible is the sewn binding.  I verified with Holman that in fact, this does have a sewn binding.  You can see here how the binding bends in the spine wherever it is opened.  A sewn binding bends and the Bible can open flat because the pages don’t have to bend around a fixed glued point.  The pages are also set up in journals and stacked before they are sewn to binding straps (tape)

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With this method of binding comes some added expense to the consumer, but in my opinion it is well worth it for durability and usability.  The pages don’t fall out of the front or back of the Bible as easily with a sewn binding.

The leather they use here is supple with a good grain.

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It just drapes over your hand.

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Here you can see it rolled up on itself.

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I don’t usually treat Bibles like this, but I wanted you to get an idea of how well bound this one is.  Most large study Bibles will fall apart if you do this with them.  Because of the sewn binding and the quality cover this Bible is going to last a long time.  It has a lifetime warranty from Holman.

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The inside cover does not appear to be lined at first glance, but upon closer inspection you can see that it is lined with some very flexible material that doesn’t crease like the normal vinyl and card paper you typically see.  I like that feature a lot.  It makes the outer cover that much more enjoyable.

The Bible has two ribbon markers.  One is kind of a gold color and the other is black.  They used good heavy ribbons instead of the thin cheap ones that fold up and crease.

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Another part of the binding process I truly appreciate is the first page being glued in further up and away from the gutter, keeping it more securely locked into the cover.

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As you can see the pages are edge gild.  The spine is gild as well.

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If you are like me you may be curious as to what exactly makes those pages so shiny.  I always thought it was gold leaf.  I e-mailed Holman and they referred me to their expert.  He told me that it is actually a gold colored foil made from colored aluminum particles.  The page edges get sanded and then the foil is rolled on.  The heat that is generated by the sanding process makes the inks that are printed on the pages sticky.  So that is why the pages stick together.  Here is a link to a video that they sent me showing how the machine works;

When I received the Bible it was packaged in a retail box.  It got banged around a bit during shipping and one of the corners of the cover was a bit bent.

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This Bible is a double column format with center column references.  It is a black text edition.  The font looks to be a 9 pt. font.  It is printed clearly with good contrast.  The ghosting is minimal even though the pages are very thin.  This Bible is made here in the U.S.

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I think the blue headings and chapter numbers are a nice touch.  The reference chapter and verse numbers are also in blue.  It seems to make them easier to locate for me.  You can also see there is a colored band separating the text from the study notes at the bottom of the page.  The inside of this band is utilized for more references.  It is all quite readable and there is a plethora of information.

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In the picture above you can see one of the word study boxes in the lower left of the page.

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In the picture above you can see one of the colored maps that is spread throughout this Bible in addition to the typical maps at the back.

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These closeup pictures should give you an idea of how clearly the text is printed.

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The page margins are pretty good sized as you can see in the picture below.  They look to be about 9/16ths of an inch.

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I can’t get over how many full colored features this Bible has.  It is chocked full of stuff.  This could be distracting if you are just wanting to read, but if you are studying it could add a number of side studies to your use.

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I know that there are people out there like me who like to see as much as they can before they plunk a chunk of change down on a purchase so I’ve included a photo gallery at the bottom of this review so you can see the features for yourself.  There are book introductions, outlines, topical concordance, presentation pages, records pages, lined not pages, one and three year reading plans, word studies, essays, and on and on and on.  This isn’t a cheap Bible.  It is a good value for all of the features and the quality binding.  You are getting what you paid for here.  I hope you enjoyed the review.

Here is a link to this Bibles page on Christianbook.com where it can be purchased.

You can also purchase it on Amazon.

This list of features comes from the Christianbook.com page for this Bible.  I noticed that some of the features listed there were different from the ones listed on the Holman site.  I think the Christianbook.com list might be more up to date.

Top-quality black cowhide binding
Online access to the HCSB Study Bible and Bible study resources
408 word studies
More than 100 photographs
59 timelines
59 maps
24 articles on practical and theological issues
Feature-length article on how to reaed and study the Bible
16 illustrations/reconstructions
15 charts
Four-color presentation pages
Two-column text setting
Center column references
One-year Bible reading plan
Topical subheads
Black letter text
Gold page edges
Lined pages for personal notes
Presentation page
Two ribbon markers
9.75″ x 7.00″ x 2.00″

The following information is from Holmans site.

Format: Cowhide Leather
Number of Pages: 2304
Vendor: Holman Bible Publishers
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 9.75 X 7.25 X 2.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1586404571
ISBN-13: 9781586404574
Availability: In Stock
References: Center Column
Text Layout: Double Column
Text Color: Black Letter