Need a Chinese language New Testament? Review of the Mandarin CSB/CUV Parallel New Testament, Black Bonded Leather from Holman.

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This New Testament in CSB/CUV according to what I’ve read is very clear and easy to understand.  I do not understand Chinese.  I am reviewing this New Testament from a quality and value perspective.  I received it gratis from Holman for the purpose of review.  This New Testament was well packaged and arrived in great condition.  It was shipped in a box with a couple other books; a copy of, “Learn to Read New Testament Greek” and the workbook, “Learn to Read New Testament Greek, Workbook.”  I will be doing more in depth reviews of those resources throughout the coming year.  Obviously, learning Greek will be an ongoing adventure and require more than a week to do the review of those resources.

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The New Testament provided is a parallel, meaning that it presents both the text from the Chinese Standard Bible (CSB) and the Chinese Union Version. (CUV)

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The cover is black bonded leather.

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If you are not familiar with bonded leather it is made from leather scraps that are bonded together with adhesive and died to the desired color.  It is less expensive and pretty durable.  It doesn’t hold up as well as leather and is not as flexible.  The inside of the cover is lined with black paper glued down.

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It appears to have a sewn binding.

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This will add to the durability.  There is a presentation page and some publication notes with translation notes.

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There is one black ribbon marker and the page edges are gilded.

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The words of Christ are in red.

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The paper is very opaque.  The hanzi characters are printed clearly with sufficient contrast to make out all of the details.

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There is even a concordance of Chinese hanzi characters in the back.  Included are some colored maps.  If you know someone whose first language is Chinese and they are interested in knowing more about Jesus this is a good value for evangelism.  It is not so expensive that you couldn’t afford to buy several of them, and it is made well enough to last them for a while.  If your primary language is Chinese and you would like a New Testament to carry around as you witness to people this one would fit the bill.  It is a good value at around eleven dollars from some retail sites.

A Review of the NASB Giant Print Reference Bible, in Genuine Leather, Burgundy.

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Hello, 14 point font! This is definitely what the Doctor ordered if your eyes aren’t what they used to be.

The giant print NASB was delivered to my house, as usual from Lockman Foundation’s sales branch, www.americanbiblesales.com  it was packed in a cardboard box with paper as packaging material.  It was sufficiently safe from harm.

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Inside the box was a two piece retail box.  I would suggest holding onto it for storage.  Once opened, I was presented with a layer of plastic wrapping that had to be defeated before I could get this beauty out to examine it.

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Once the plastic was discarded, I was pleasantly greeted by the familiar smell of a nice leather cover.  There are numerous Bibles out there that say they have a genuine leather cover, but they look like and feel like bonded leather.  They have a fake grain pressed into them and their covers look shiny.  Not this big boy, the cover on this has nice texture and tactile feel to it.  Honestly, for the small price of this Bible I’d expect a cheaper feeling cover.  I thought the burgundy color was just right as well, not brazen, but still different than the venerable black.

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The spine of the Bible has the words, “Holy Bible” at the top.  Immediately below is, “New American Standard Bible Updated Edition.”  At the bottom is, “Foundation Publications” and the NASB logo.  Above them are the words, “Giant Print.”  There are decorative lines separating the words.

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The cover has a lined pressed into it around its perimeter for decorative purposes.  It adds a nice touch to finish it off.

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The inside cover is lined with a vinyl liner that is color matched to the cover. It is glued down over the corners and edges of the cover.

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The text block is firmly attached to the cover.  I noticed no problems with fit and finish.  It looked pretty good for a Bible printed and bound in China.

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The binding for that matter is a sewn binding.  It is a tad bit tighter than some of the other ones that Lockman Foundation puts out.  This is neither a draw back or a benefit as far as function goes.  The Giant Print edition opens flat and is pleasant to use.

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The sewn binding will help ensure years of use.  The Giant Print Bible maintains typical 6 ½” x 9 ¼” for the width and height, but is a tad bit thicker at 1 ¾” It is a little heavier than your typical reference Bible, but not by much.  Even with the slight size difference it is still pretty easy to hold and read.

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The page edges are gold gilded.

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The paper is a decent quality standard Bible paper 28 gsm.  It doesn’t have a problem with text ghosting.  I think Lockman must have realized that if you are buying a Bible with humongous font it isn’t because you have good eyesight.  The Bible paper, 14 point font, and uniformly printed text, all aid in making this a very legible Bible without making it too cumbersome.

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Also you should note that this is a red letter edition.

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The text is in a double column verse format with references at the end of each paragraph. There are limited references, for a reference Bible.  This one has about 13,000 references.  I doubt that anyone considering a 14 point font giant print edition is worried about having a ton of references though.

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There is a ribbon marker that matches the color of the cover.  It is of average quality as far as ribbon markers go.

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In the end there is a 146 page Dictionary/Thesaurus/Concordance. It should come in handy.  There is enough there to be useful, but not so much as to unnecessarily add to the bulk.

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After that we have a section devoted to book introductions.  Each book in the Bible has a nice introduction to aid the reader in their studies.

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Also, a section on God’s promises is provided after the book introductions.

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“Where to find help when” and “Verses for reflection” appear at the very end before the color maps.

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I think the biggest cons here would be the size of the Bible. For the very frail and elderly this would have to rest on a table for them to read it.  However, most elderly people won’t have any trouble holding this Bible to read.  The con is a very slight one.  We all have to obey physics here.  If you want giant text you have to sacrifice something.  I don’t think I’ve seen a better job on a giant print edition to date.

The pros here are of course the 14 point font and the wonderful cover at a very reasonable price.   Could hardly believe I was holding a $50 Bible.  It could have been twice that.  A noteworthy thing is that the presentation and records pages in the front seem to be a flat paper as opposed to the glossy paper they have been made out of.  I hope that Lockman carries this over to the maps as well.  This flat paper doesn’t crack or tear as easy as the glossy paper they have been made of in the past.

If you are in the market for one of these Giant Print Bibles they can be had for around $50. If you are lucky you might find them on sale for less.  Here are a couple of links to make it easier.

http://www.americanbiblesales.com/search/isbnlist1.php?ISBN=1581351100&hilite=yes

http://www.amazon.com/Giant-Print-Reference-Burgundy-Genuine-Leather/dp/1581351097/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417034883&sr=1-1&keywords=9781581351095&pebp=1417034894361

http://www.christianbook.com/nas-giant-print-reference-leather-burgundy/9781581351095/pd/51097?product_redirect=1&Ntt=%209781581351095%20&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCG

ISBN: 1581351097

Review of the Holman, New King James Version, (NKJV) Large Print, Personal Size, Reference Bible, in Brown Genuine Cowhide, Indexed, Red Letter Edition.

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Not too many Bibles from large publishers like Holman surprise me. This one is the exception.  I am accustomed to receiving Bibles from big publishers that are for lack of a better term, “disposable.”  Many of them seem to make Bibles that you can use for a couple of years and then have to throw it away when it begins to fall apart.  This Bible truly surprised me.  It came in the mail packed in a white plastic bag-elope.  I was immediately expecting some substandard, mass produced, mail abused, Bible.  I opened the bag and didn’t notice any damage to the box…  bonus!  I was glad that the corners weren’t mashed.  I opened the box (keep the box for storage) and was presented with black construction paper.

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I seriously hoped that wasn’t the cover.  Upon closer inspection I determined that the black construction paper was there to protect the supple and soft genuine cowhide cover.  It smelled like a new leather jacket and the texture was very pleasant.

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One of the most important parts of a Bible is the binding.  Naturally I checked that next.  I was pleased to see that it had a sewn binding.  This makes a Bible last longer and lay flat when you want to read it.

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Have you ever had to struggle against an intrusive and rude cover made of bonded leather, always trying to close on you?  Have you ever had a fake leather cover get stained, scuffed, or torn?  Well I have, and that is why I love genuine leather and goatskin covers with sewn bindings so much.  This Bible’s chocolate brown colored leather cover is lined with a vinyl sheet matching the cover’s color.  The lining is glued down.  This is pretty typical.  I was hoping to see it lined with a higher quality material sewn to the cover, but for the price of this Bible and the features it has I can’t complain.

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This Bible can be purchased for about $48.00 on a couple of different web sites. Christianbook.com has it here and Amazon.com here.  I was a bit surprised to see that this Bible was made in China.

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I was surprised because they seemed to have put it together pretty well.  There is a slight problem with the binding at the bottom, but that could be one of the drawbacks of having it banged around during shipping from China to the States.  It didn’t look like a manufacturing problem as much as shipping damage.  The pages are gilded and indexed.

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The indexes caught my eye as they are rectangular with rounded shoulders.  The usual ones are crescent shaped.  The New Testament ones were red and the Old Testament ones were black.  The spine is gilded with the, NKJV in a circle at the top, and, “Holy Bible” in the middle, with Holman’s logo at the bottom.  The spine has decorative hubs.

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When you open this Bible up you first have the normal presentation and records pages as well as the publishers information.  Then there is some info on the NKJV translation and a page with the plan of salvation.  I was expecting cheaper paper that was more translucent, smaller font, and more ghosting. (text from the page behind showing through)  I was very pleasantly surprised again.  The paper was pretty opaque for a less expensive Bible.  Well, even for some more expensive Bibles it was pretty opaque.

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The font looks to be twelve point and is clear and legible.  The Bible is a double column, paragraph format with some foot notes and references at the bottom of the page.  This was a smart move.  Doing it this way enabled them to print some large font while keeping the size down.  This was going to become my daily reader until my dear wife picked it up.  I think to quote her she said, “Oooh this is so soft and nice…  Can I have it?”  What can you do? This Bible has one ribbon marker matching the color of the cover.

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It opens nicely and is very easy to read.  I love the accuracy of the NKJV.  This Bible has some colored maps at the end.  I highly recommend this Bible for those looking for a daily reader without a bunch of distractions.  It is comfortable to hold and easy on the eyes with the opaque paper and large font.  All of this with the low price makes it an excellent value and asset.

Dimensions: 8.13 X 5.38 X 1.13 (inches)
ISBN: 1433613190
ISBN-13: 9781433613197

I received this Bible free of charge for the purpose of writing a review and am not obligated to write a positive review.

Review of the Cambridge Pitt Minion Bible in Black Calf Split Leather

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The Pitt Minion Bible from Cambridge came in a clamshell type box.

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It would be good to hold onto and use for storing this Bible. The calf split leather is much more durable and rigid than then a Bible bound in goatskin leather, or faux leather, however, it is more flexible than one bound in bonded leather. Bonded leather is made from leather scraps, and dust. It is bonded together with adhesive and formed into sheets. This type of Bible cover is usually very rigid and you have to fight against it to keep your Bible open, or to make it lay flat. Being made of scraps makes this type of cover very inexpensive. The Pitt Minion from Cambridge I received for review was covered in genuine calf split leather. It has durability and flexibility, granted it isn’t as supple as goatskin, or top grain leather but, it will hold up much better than just about anything out there. It lays flat on the table, yet it is also rigid enough to be held up and read. It is also pretty small.

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This is great if you are sitting in a chair and reading. The inside cover is lined with what appears to be typical vinyl lining.

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The binding is smyth-sewn. This is the major factor that contributes to its durability and flexibility. Sewn bindings are more expensive to manufacture do to the many steps that are taken to produce them. The pages are folded into pamphlets called journals. These are then stacked and sewn to journal tapes. These are all sewn together. This is more time and resource consuming than glued bindings. Most inexpensive Bibles that fall apart after a couple of years are made with glued bindings. Even the best glued binding cannot compete with a good sewn binding in durability and flexibility. If you want a Bible you can hand down to your children, buy one with a sewn binding.

Let’s face it, if you are interested in a Bible this size it is because you want one to carry around with you. It isn’t for the size of the font. The font for the Bible text is 6.75 point. The lexicon font is 7 point. This is pretty small. It is printed clean and sharp. It is a consistent black that contrasts well with the paper it is printed on.

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It is printed by Jongbloed (Youngblood) of the Netherlands. Jongbloed is famous for their high quality and attention to details. They have been producing luxury Bibles since 1880. The quality of the print job does make it easier to read than less expensive, lower quality printings. Other companies skimp on paper quality. The paper is too transparent and not opaque enough so the text from the other side of the page bleeds through making it more difficult to read. This is not a problem on the Cambridge Pitt Minion. Even with its small font it is easy to read compared to its competitors. I have a Trinitarian Bible Society Bible, Royal Ruby Text Bible. It is smaller and has smaller text. When you compare the two the difference in the font size is obvious. It isn’t much of a difference, but it makes a huge difference in the work you have to do to focus and read. Hopefully most of us are buying Bibles to read.

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You can see it in comparison to the Cambridge Clarion in the pictures below.

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The Clarion is bigger all around.  It is more to carry and too large for some situations

The Pitt Minion has gilded page edges and spine. The spine is rounded and imprinted with, “Holy Bible” “New American Standard” at the top and “Cambridge” at the bottom.

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The first and last page is glued up higher to keep the text block firmly attached to the cover. This also keeps the pages in the front and back from falling out or separating as easily as they do without this detail.

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There are five blank pages and one presentation page in the front of the Bible.

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The text is arranged in paragraph format in dual columns with references in the center column. There are footnotes as well. Chapters have headings and the Chapter numbers are bold and larger in size.

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There is one black ribbon marker.

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The words of Christ are in red. The red ink is not offensive in its brightness or contrast. It blends in with the text around it. Of course the entire Bible is the word of God so highlighting part of it as the word of God can seem silly to some, yet to others it is a nice feature to have. It helps them recognize when the 2nd person of the Trinity is speaking.

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At the end of the Pitt Minion there is an 83 page concordance and color map index for the 15 pages of maps. At the end there are 7 blank pages.

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I have to admit, after carrying this Bible around with me for a while I can appreciate the size and convenience it offers. It has some very important features and the attention to detail makes the higher price less of an issue. The only thing that disappoints me a bit is the paragraph format. I am a fan of the verse per line or the verse format. It helps me look up and identify the verse I’m after more quickly. It is a small thing in comparison to all you get in this Bible. You can spend the money for this one up front, or buy a new $20.00 Bible every couple of years. This one makes more sense in the long run. We should invest in God’s word. I know I would have loved to receive my Fathers Bible after he died. It would be a nice feeling to read the word of God from the same Bible as he held in his hands for many years. Unfortunately, Dad never had access to Bibles of this quality. I hope to leave some well-worn Bibles to children when I go on to glory. I hope you feel that way to.

Here is a youtube video from Jongbloed’s facility; http://youtu.be/5r_CzfaCAOg

ISBN 13: 9781107686885