Bible Reviews · Uncategorized

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

DSCN6017
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.

DSCN6006

DSCN6011

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.

DSCN6049

DSCN6050

DSCN6052

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.

DSCN6055

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.

DSCN6044

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.

DSCN6023

DSCN6027

DSCN6018

DSCN6056

DSCN6076

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.

DSCN6029

DSCN6030

DSCN6057

DSCN6060

DSCN6063

DSCN6064

DSCN6069

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.

DSCN6077

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

Bible Reviews · Bibles

A Review of the Trinitarian Bible Society’s KJV Classic Reference Bible in Black Calfskin Leather.

DSCN4862

As many of you know TBS is a Christian ministry that provides high quality, good value KJV Bibles to many Christians in need, worldwide. To support the ministry, we purchase Bibles from them and are also blessed. Not only do we get to be a part of providing God’s word to our brothers and sisters, we also get a durable, well built Bible for our own use. Knowing the proceeds go to furthering the Kingdom is a comforting thought as well. I hope you will consider purchasing your next Bible from TBS after reading my review of the Classic Reference Bible.

As always TBS exceeds my expectations in the packaging and shipping department. They go above and beyond to ensure that your Bible gets to you undamaged. They are the winner, hands down, when it comes to packaging. The Classic Reference Bible arrived undamaged in a heavy duty, white, cardboard box, cushioned inside with foam packing peanuts.
DSCN4859

DSCN4860

DSCN4861

The Bible itself was inside a sturdy cardboard slipcase, that should be retained for storage.

DSCN4863

DSCN4865

After removing the plastic wrap from the slipcase, I could take the Bible out. It is not a large Bible and it is not as small as a typical compact Bible. It is a full KJV Bible and it does have the Cambridge Concord cross references. It is just a very handy size. It measures about 4 ¾” across, by 7 ¼” tall, by 1” thick.

DSCN4866

Here it is to the right of the TBS Windsor Text Bible. You can see that it is smaller than the text version while retaining the cross references.

DSCN4908

Most typical reference Bibles are around 6” across, by 9” tall, 1 ½” thick. So you can see there is a substantial difference in size. Of course a compact is smaller yet. If this Bible were the size of a typical compact the font would be too small for normal use. Fortunately, the font in this Bible is a legible 8 pt. in size. Since it is the traditional typesetting instead of a modern digital setting, the font would contrast a bit less against the page if not for its boldness.

Here it is laid over a page from the Windsor.

DSCN4909

The cover is listed as, “Calfskin” on the website. Keep in mind there is no industry standard. Technically the French Morocco Leather cover is made of calfskin, so it is true, but if you are expecting supple calfskin like some premium Bibles use, you will be disappointed. I don’t know why anyone would think that though considering the value pricing of this edition. I seriously don’t understand how a person could complain about this cover. Especially in light of the low cost and how much they are getting. For under fifty dollars they are getting a full KJV reference Bible, smyth-sewn binding, and genuine leather. Even if it is French Morocco, it is far superior to the covers of other Bibles in the same price range. Other Bibles in this price range use synthetic covers or bonded leather. The front cover is blank. The only gold lettering on the outside of this Bible is on the spine. It has the words, “Holy Bible” at the head, “Classic Reference Bible” directly under that, and the TBS logo at the tail. The cover is uniform in thickness and has a nice pattern pressed into it. It is on the smooth side and feels very durable. My first impression was, “This is a tough little Bible.”

DSCN4872

This Bible is case bound, and as such utilizes black vinyl covered paper as an interior liner and to join the cover to the text block.

DSCN4873

The front, inside, bottom edge has, “French Morocco Leather” in gold lettering stamped in it. Red and gold colored head and tail bands decorate this edition. It also includes two, black ribbon markers. The page edges are gold gilt. The corners and the spine are rounded. From the outside this Bible looks like what you’d expect a Bible to look like. It is a venerable style, and is very familiar.

DSCN4867

The front inside of this Bible has a nice presentation page on card paper with a couple of blank card paper pages following it. Then you have the title page and copyright/publisher’s information page.

DSCN4874

DSCN4875

DSCN4878

There is a list of the contents after that. It is followed by a guide to the pronunciation marks for self pronouncing text and an explanation of the bold-figure Concord cross reference system. Finally, there is the Epistle Dedicatory, the Translators to the Reader, and the list of the Books of the Bible.

The text of this edition should be familiar to KJV readers. It won’t take anytime at all to get right into and read. It is laid out in a double column, verse format, with center column references. The font is 8 pt. in size making it easy on the eyes. The center column references are pretty small and a bit tough to see, but they are discernable. The paper is thin Bible paper. It is opaque enough that the ghosting is mitigated. It does use the self-pronouncing text. Speaking of text, this is a black letter edition. The entire word of God is all the same color.

DSCN4886

DSCN4890

There are two black ribbon markers to help you keep your place. This is very helpful for people who read out of the Old Testament and New Testament on a daily basis.

DSCN4891

One of the more significant, yet underappreciated features of this Bible is the smyth-sewn binding. Many publishers go for a cheaper glued binding. While TBS opts for a superior sewn binding in this edition. It is a bit tight at first, but as you use this Bible, the binding loosens up. Sewn bindings are much more durable and flexible. They add to the usefulness and longevity in a way that no other features do. I would say that it should be a prerequisite.

Contrary to popular belief, this edition of the Classic Reference Bible is not printed by Cambridge. Cambridge oversees the printing. It is also a typesetting of the Cambridge Concord that has been shrunk, and maintains the pagination. It is printed and bound by Printcorp in Minsk, Belarus for TBS. These distinctions can change depending on the production run at the time. It is acceptable to ask. TBS is always willing to answer specific questions. They are just an e-mail away.

Finally, in the rear of this Bible we have, Bible word list, Daily Bible reading plan, and 8 Color maps with Gazetteer.

DSCN4903

The long list of features are understated by the very familiar appearance of this Bible. It is a conveniently sized workhorse that should provide many years of service. I recommend this Bible to anyone in the market for a reference Bible that is a tad smaller than the usual fare, but not limited in helps like a compact.

You can get one from TBS at the site, except on Sunday it is closed.

You can also purchase one from evangelicalbible.com

4U/BK (Black)
ISBN: 9781862281950

Bible Reviews

The Trinitarian Bible Society’s, “Windsor Text Bible” in Black Calfskin, is the New Quintessential Compact Text Bible for King James Fans.

tbs windsor text Bible 005

I have done some reviews on TBS Bibles in the past. They have all been very well built, and beautifully printed workhorses. I wouldn’t call them luxury Bibles like R.L. Allans, or Schuylers. Nor do they carry the extravagant expense of those Bibles. Some people feel convicted to not spend that amount of money on a Bible. They would rather put the money to better use. Of course these devout and practical people wouldn’t waste money on a shoddily manufactured product of suspect quality and durability either. Now, why throw away money on something that will fall apart? Why print the word of God on the cheapest materials, in the lowest of fashion? So, being the devout and practical people they are, they opt for a TBS Bible.

I was curious about the history of this edition. The quality, legibility, portability, and price inspired me to ask questions. So I e-mailed my contact with TBS with my questions about this edition. She forwarded them to another person who had the answers. This is a direct quote from her reply, “The Windsor was first published in September 2007. It was designed to be a replacement for the Emerald Bible: the print image of the Emerald was becoming rather problematic – a common problem with reprinting older Bibles. But rather than simply reproducing the Emerald, we wanted to have a clear, sharp, more modern font, one that would last through years to come. The Windsor is now often used by churches as a pew Bible (as was the Emerald).” I was very pleased to receive this information to include in my review.

As some of you who collect Bibles know, there are several Bibles that are printed from an old typeset. The old typesets were done before modern digital printing, back when typesetting was done manually. The methods used didn’t produce the quality we are able to get today with digital font and modern precision printing. Here is an example of both.

tbs windsor text Bible 049

From steadfast practicality TBS produced a modern typeset of the 1611 AV KJV, printed it on high quality paper, bound it in a fine sewn binding, covered it in durable calfskin, and priced it for the common man.

tbs windsor text Bible 051

The size and construction of this edition makes it tactilely comfortable to hold. I found that I wanted to carry this Bible around with me. I wasn’t afraid of scratching, tearing, dropping, spindling, or mutilating it. It begs to tag along with you, and it can handle it without being babied.

The Windsor arrived gratis for the purpose of review. It was very well packaged, and protected for shipping. It was in a cardboard box with packing peanuts, and cushioning.

tbs windsor text Bible 001 tbs windsor text Bible 003 tbs windsor text Bible 004

I appreciate this attention to detail, in the packaging of the Bible, to ensure that it arrives undamaged. Many publishers, even higher end ones, don’t give this kind of protection to God’s word. The Bible comes in a slipcase as retail packaging. Retain it for storing your Bible, if you order one of these.

tbs windsor text Bible 008

The calfskin is a bit shiny, and hard. It is more so, than the Cambridge calfsplit leather, but not near as hard, or shiny as a pigskin leather cover.

tbs windsor text Bible 010

The spine is hot stamped in gold with, “Holy Bible” at the top and the TBS logo at the bottom.

tbs windsor text Bible 011

There are decorative head and tail bands and gold gilt page edges.

tbs windsor text Bible 014 tbs windsor text Bible 012

Upon opening the Bible, you’ll notice that the inner cover is lined with a black vinyl material. The corners are done quite well.

tbs windsor text Bible 016

The text block binding is smyth sewn and is case bound. There is a presentation page, and a publication page which shows that this Bible was printed and bound by Jongbloed in the Netherlands. Jongbloed is one of, if not the best print houses in the world when it comes to Bibles. You also have, Translators to the Reader, and The Epistle Dedicatory.

tbs windsor text Bible 023

This TBS Bible should be the archetype for all compact text Bibles. It is easy to read. The font is 9.6 pt. in size. There are not any cross references to take up space. The font is printed clearly, and in sharp contrast, on opaque Bible paper. Ample line spacing adds to the legibility as well. This is a black text edition. The text is in a double column, verse format. There is little room in the margins for notes. However, there is some room at the bottom of each page for limited note taking. Chapter numbers are printed larger, and bold. Page numbers are on the bottom corners. There are two black, ribbon markers for keeping your places in the Old and New Testament during your daily reading. In my opinion a minimum of two ribbons is a necessity for all Bibles. At the end there is a, List of pronunciation of words and proper names, Bible word list and a Daily Bible reading plan. With all the quality, features, and price of this Bible you can’t go wrong. The Windsor Text Bible from TBS will set the standard for years to come.

25U/BK

ISBN 9781862283367

Bible Reviews

An outstanding reference Bible and a great value! Review of the Trinitarian Bible Society, Westminster Reference Bible, Authorized KJV, 90U/BK in Black Premium Calfskin Leather.

three bibles 055

Just a little disclaimer first, I am not a KJV only guy. I love the KJV and I do read the KJV, but I also use the NASB as my primary translation.  In addition I use the ESV, NKJV, HCSB, and Geneva.  This should be good news to people looking for an honest, unbiased, review.  The bad news is that I received this Bible gratis from TBS.  Some of you might believe that will make me biased, but if you look at my blog you can see that there are a few publishers represented by reviews of their products, all of which were gratis.  I am under no obligation to give a positive review to any of the books or Bibles I review.

That being said, this is an AMAZING reference Bible! I was very surprised to see the quality of this Bible considering the price they ask for it.  You can purchase one from TBS directly for $80.00 and they use the proceeds to provide Bibles and resources to Christians around the world.  Or you can buy it from evangelicalbible.com for a little less.

TBS took great care in packaging this Bible for shipping. When it arrived at my house it was in a clamshell type cardboard box filled with packing peanuts.  The Bible was placed on top of a foam pad inside the box.

three bibles 052 three bibles 053 three bibles 054

Its retail packaging is a blue clamshell box with product information on it.  Save the box for storage.

three bibles 064 three bibles 060 three bibles 058 three bibles 055

I was so glad to see they took good care to ensure the Bible arrived undamaged.  I have received numerous Bibles that have had bent corners, wrinkled covers, and scratches on them due to insufficient packaging.

When I opened the box I could smell the calfskin leather. It was soft to touch and has a fairly smooth texture.  It isn’t heavily textured.  The cover is lined with typical vinyl looking material that is glued down.  It is a case bound book.

three bibles 071

The first and last pages are glued up higher to ensure the text block is securely fitted to the cover.

three bibles 073

The printing and binding were done by Jongbloed in the Netherlands.  They are well known for producing luxury Bibles like R.L. Allan, Schuyler, and Cambridge.

three bibles 084 three bibles 085

The spine has, “Holy Bible” at the head, “Westminster Reference Bible” in the middle, and the TBS logo at the foot. These are written in gold lettering.  The page edges are gold gilt as well.

three bibles 069

three bibles 070

The binding is smyth-sewn and very flexible. Fresh out of the box the Bible lies flat on the table from the first book to the last.

three bibles 106

When you hold it by the spine it drapes over your hand.  The cover has some rigidity due to the lining.  This is only a con if you are looking for a cover that edge lined.  I have had both types of covers on Bibles.  For a time I thought it was the mark of a good quality Bible to have a lining as flexible as the cover material, but I have come to appreciate some rigidity in the cover.  It helps to hold onto the Bible, if there is something to hold onto.  Some of the Bibles without it are more difficult to read because they are too flexible.  They tend to flop around.  This one has a great quality cover and it adds to the utility of the Bible.  The fit and finish of the text block to cover is very clean and well done.  It is obvious that they are doing this work with honoring God in mind.

The Bible comes with four ribbon markers. There are two red ones in the Old Testament and two black ones in the New Testament.  Both sets of ribbons are good quality and about a quarter inch wide.  I really appreciate this feature.  Often times Bibles only have one ribbon marker if you are lucky.  Sometimes you can get them with two, but four is almost unheard of.  I end up gluing more in on my own.  I love having four.  I can use one from the Old Testament for my daily reading plan and the other for following along with the sermon.  I do the same with the two in the New Testament.

three bibles 105

The first pages are made out of a heavier paper and TBS instead of just leaving them blank has tastefully printed some scripture quotes on each one of them. Instead of being out of place, they were quite a propos and well done.  After that we have a presentation page on the same paper, and then the paper changes over to Bible paper for the, Translators to the Reader, Epistle dedicatory, and the, Guide to Using the Westminster Bible, pages.

three bibles 081

At the beginning of the books there are verses that are helpful for the reading of each book and the Chapter numbers are larger and bold. The text is in a double column verse format with over 200,000 references printed on the gutter and page edge sides of the page.  I love these cross references, the TBS Westminster lives up to the claim of being a reference Bible.  They aren’t there to be pretty.  They actually are relevant to what you are reading.  One of my favorite features, is the archaic words are in the margin with an * by them in the text and in the margin.  In the margin you get the modern word or short definition.  This makes reading the KJV much simpler.

three bibles 095 three bibles 099

In the top outside of the page you get the Book and Chapter, the inside has the heading, while the bottom outside has the page numbers. The font is clear and sharp 9.6 point, with consistent ink distribution making it quite legible and easy on the eyes.  The paper is opaque and a bit thicker than some of the very thin paper used in lesser Bibles.  It is a bit off white, but not so much as to diminish the contrast against the text.

At the back of the Bible there is a, Tables of Weights and Measures, List of Words and Proper Names with their Pronunciations, Daily Reading Plan, Maps and an extensive concordance. I was impressed with the size of the concordance.  Most Bibles have one, but generally they are little more than a few pages.  This one is actually large enough to be useful.

After spending some time using this Bible and reading from it, I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a King James Version Reference Bible. I have some Local Bible Publishers Bibles and the TBS is superior in the printing and binding.  Compared to the ones made in China and Korea the TBS wins hands down.

ISBN: 9781862281684