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NRSV Personal Size Large Print Premier Collection

NRSV Personal Size Large Print Premier Collection

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In their quest to create some of America’s most spectacular Bibles, Zondervan has released that which is presently the most spectacular edition of the New Revised Standard Bible that is currently on the market, the Personal Size Large Print Bible in the Premier Collection. This edition, which was sent by Zondervan free of charge in exchange for an honest review, takes everything I love about the Premier Collection and takes it to a whole different level.

Translation

First up, the translation… This particular edition offers the entire Ecumenical Edition of the NRSV This is the edition accepted by the Protestants, Roman Catholics, and the Orthodox Communions.

NRSV is an essentially literal translation much like its fraternal twin, the English Standard Version. If the NRSV had one advantage over other translations, it would be that NRSV is more widely accepted amongst scholars. The NRSV’s other major advantage is that it is the only translation, to my knowledge, which includes Jewish Rabbis on the translation committee thus giving it what is, perhaps, the most accurate Old Testament rendering you can currently find in a Bible.

Cover and Binding

Before I had even seen this Bible, in person, the cover took my breath away. It happens that purple is my favorite color. This is not just any purple. Though. It is purple goatskin. I have a similar purple in the ink in one of my fountain pens, Diamine, the maker of that ink calls it Imperial Purple and I think that would actually be a fitting name for the color of this Bible, to call it Imperial Purple.

The grain on the Bible cover is the most pronounced on any of the Premier Collection. It is quite delightful to the touch.

Paper, Layout, and Font

We will begin with the font. This is a black letter text which is incredibly well done. Zondervan’s Comfort Print Text really shines here. In fact, it is so superb that it actually tricked me. I had originally thought that it was a 12-point font but it is actually a 10.5-point.

Zondervan presents NRSV in a double column paragraph format. Normally my preference is a verse by verse format due to certain visual acuity issues. However, in this case, Zondervan has added a little nugget to not only make the text easier to handle but also to delight the eyes as well, the Scripture Headings and the verse numbers are in a very rich cranberry. You will find text navigation to be far more use friendly than in most other Bibles with this layout.

My best guess on the paper would be around 32 grams per square inch. The opacity is wonderful; the show, ghosting if you like the technical term, is very minimal and only noticeable in very specific lighting situations

General Format and Helps

This is, for the most part, a text only Bible. You will not find center-column references or end of verse references. Zondervan did include the Translator’s Footnotes. You will find them at the bottom of the pages on the right hand side.

I was surprised to find that there is no concordance. I am not, personally, bothered by the lack of a concordance but I confess a slight twinge of disappointment for some of my pastoral brethren who might need the concordance to help guide their growth as pastors.

There are lined notes pages following the text of Revelation. I am glad of their inclusion, but I cannot figure out why each book of the Bible does not have pages for making notes.

In Practical Usage

This is very much an Every Day Carry Bible; it will fit quite nicely in most laptop bags or briefcases. The over all format lends itself very well to everyday use. In fact, if the NRSV were a main teaching translation for me, which it may yet become, this would be my primary NRSV despite my affinity for its single column cousin.

Is This Bible Right for You?

That is both a yes and a no. The Old Testament in NRSV is outstanding yet some of the NT rendering irritate me so before considering if this edition is right for you, you will need to consider whether or not NRSV is right for you. IF you make NRSV a main translation, you will find this edition to be far superior to virtually every other NRSV out there, except perhaps Cambridge’s editions.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I very much enjoy this edition. I. presently, have it paired the 1662 Book of Common Prayer from Cambridge University Press and, if you can believe it, the Valley of Vision. My ministerial background is not altogether liturgical (I was Pentecostal from the beginning and became a Baptist about 10 years ago). However, through the influence of some Anglican friends, I find myself appreciating more and more of the liturgical formats.

As it happens 2022 will be the first time I follow the readings  in the Revised Common Lectionary and I will be following them in this edition of the New Revised Standard Version. I made that choice partially due to its familiarity with most forms of liturgy but also because I want to live out my faith in a way which I have not done before- I have never used NRSV in a devotional setting, only academic. Since Zondervan made such a delightful NRSV that is also a touch whimsical and out of the box, it seemed only natural to select it for a new experience in the Christian walk.

Lastly, I realize that for most of my audience budget is a major concern when selecting a new Bible, a dilemma which may only be faced once or twice in a lifetime. When it comes to choosing an NRSV from the Premiere Collection, I do not envy you having to choose between this the Single Column Reference Edition. If you can only choose one, my best advice would be to decide which is more important, overall portability (Choose this one) or total helps offered (Choose Single Column Reference Bible). In either case, you cannot really lose. You are getting a copy of God’s word that will still be around long after you have gone home to Jesus, and He will keep using it to His glory.

NASB Classic Reference Bible-Buffalo Hide

NASB Classic Reference Bible-Buffalo Hide

Photos of the Cassie Reference Bible

Zondervan has taken one of my favorite NASB editions and kicked it up a notch. The NASB Ckassic Reference Bible, now in brown Buffalo Hide.

Note: Zondervan provided a copy free of charge in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one and my opinions are my own. 

The most important feature of this edition is its portability: It clearly falls into the hand size/compact category, actual measurements are 8.5 x 5.5 inches. This is quite useful when dealing with limited space in a brief case.  To the best of my knowledge. This is the most popular of the Zondervan editions.

There are a number of features offered for such a portable Bible:

Buffalo HIde

This is the stand out feature of this Bible.  Unlike most genuine leathers, which are a stiff pigskin, this is very soft and supple. Buffalo Hide, it seems, is about as supple as a regular cowhide though not quite as delightful as a calfskin.

Center Column References

This is laid out in what I think of as a traditional reference format with the references in between the two text columns. All 95,000 of the available NASB cross-references are provided including the alternate translations offered by the Lockman Foundation.  This is a very important feature, perhaps the most important other than the text. NASB, as one of the top two academic texts, is very heavily cross referenced and annotated. I would venture to say that any person who mastered the references would be well equipped to teach the Bible to others no matter the level of formal education that they possess. 

Introductions and Brief Outlines

Zondervan obviously intends for this Bible to be used as a study aid when including this feature and I am so glad that they did. I frequently encounter believers who are not going through any discipleship process or systematic study of the Bible and this is where I start. The Introductions offered, here, are in depth enough to get you started on your study but still brief enough to be read in a short time. The outlines are no where near as detailed as the NASB Study Bible and that is ok; you don’t always want a theology library in your pocket but you do want to have sufficient resources to guide a younger believer through their study.

I would rank the introductions and outlines at the middle school level. They are easy enough to master for just about any Christian. 

In Text Maps and Charts

There really is not a lot that needs said about the maps and charts other than to say that they are a very useful tool for visualizing the lands you are reading about or important concepts that need a second look.

Font, Layout, and Paper

We are presented with a very readable 8-point font size for the main text and it looks as though the references are 6-6.5-point font. The font works really well in this particular Bible. It is a red-letter edition and the red is done well enough that I did not have much trouble with it when out in the sun or in low light settings.  With this smaller font size, Zondervan’s Comfort Print Font really shines. It is far easier to read than the previous edition. 

As I mentioned before, this is a double column format, which I prefer primarily because that is what I am most familiar with. It is one of the few Bibles that you can get from Zondervan that are still sewn; it does have a paste down liner as opposed to being leather/edge lined but that isn’t really anything to complain about.

As A Carry Bible

The NASB Classic Reference from Zondervan is, easily, the most portable NASB that I have. It is quite lightweight and fits easily into most of my briefcases. I have even, on one or two occasions, forgot that I had it with me and then put my Scofield KJV in the bag.

Final Thoughts

This is a great choice in a “bring it with me Bible.” Since it is so easy to carry while not straining the eyes when reading you should be quite pleased with it.

In the interest of full disclosure, now that I have bifocals, I endeavor to use a font size no smaller than 10-point. That is not to imply that this Bible is in any way inadequate for most readers; it just happens that is poses a challenge for me.

NIV Giant Print Thin-line Bible in Brown Buffalo Hide

NIV Giant Print Thin-line Bible in Brown Buffalo Hide

 

When I reviewed the NIV Giant Print Thin-line Reference Bible, I commented that I wished the Bible came in a higher-grade leather. Zondervan heard and answered my request, in a manner of speaking. Before we go too far into the review, I need to disclose that Zondervan sent me this Bible free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My opinions, however, are my own- they did not ask for a favorable review just an honest one.

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Spoiler- this has replaced the Giant Print Thin-line as my preaching NIV.  Let’s find out why…

Cover and Binding

This is a brown buffalo leather and the leather was quite a surprise. I have two other Buffalo hide Bibles and they are rather stiff but this leather is quite supple and flexible. It is an ironed hide in a rich milk chocolate brown leather. My copy had a scent to it that reminded me of visiting relatives in Pennsylvania’s farm county- it was quite delightful.

I have reviewed several goatskin Bibles and I do love them but this leather I like better. Even though it is very flexible, this leather feels sturdier, like it will hold up better.

This Bible does have a sewn Binding. I have chosen to use this as a preaching Bible and, for that purpose, a sewn binding was absolutely essential, otherwise it would be useless within about 36 months.

Paper, Layout, Font

The paper is fairly crisp white. There is mild reflection in bright light but nothing that would irritating. I would say that the paper is sufficiently opaque for marking and, as I tend to do, I recommend the use of ball point pen for marking.

In some of the pictures, it looks like there is some show through (ghosting) but in person, there is not really much ghosting at all. It is really quite readable.

The text is laid out in double column paragraph format. Limited translators’ footnotes are at the bottom right corner of the page. The verse numbers are both large enough and dark enough to find with relative ease.

The Comfort Print font is extremely well done in this edition, perhaps better than its reference-based cousin. The black letter portion is a deeper richer ebony than you find in many of Zondervan’s other Bibles. The red letters really impress me, especially at this Bible’s price point. In far too many cases, red-letter Bibles turn pink but not so here. The red is very well done, consistent, deep, rich and most importantly, easily readable in the pulpit. In this instance the red letters are darker than in other Zondervan Bibles, a very deep red almost to the point of being dark cherry in color.

The layout is nearly identical to that of the Giant Print Thin-line Reference Bible but at half a point smaller on the font size, it does have slightly different pagination.

For Preaching

I have a few NIV, including the Premier Collection Large Print Thin-line (11-point font) which is a phenomenal choice for preaching. However, middle age and diabetes wear on my eyes, leading me to reach for the 13-point font size in the Giant Print.

This is a very versatile Bible. I tend to be peripatetic and this edition is very well balanced for one handed use. The Giant Print edition also works out well on the pulpit in that it does not add to eye strain when laid on the pulpit for reading.

 Compared to the NIV Preacher’s Bible

The NIV Preacher’s Bible is a great Bible for many and being keyed to the Pew and Worship Bible is nice BUT the NIV Giant Print Bible is, in my estimation, the superior Bible, simply by dint of the larger font. Both are offered in premium leather options and both are text only for utility in the pulpit so, for many people, either choice would be acceptable. That being said, I much prefer a larger font in the Bible I take to the pulpit.

Compared to the Large Print Thin-line

The layout in the Large Print Thin-line and the Giant Print Thin-line is virtually identical. The Giant print has about 300 more pages. The font sizes are 11-point in the large print vs 13-point for the Giant print. Either choice would be quite suitable for preaching.

Helps are not provided. Some of my colleagues will dislike this. I do not mind it. In the pulpit a text only Bible is preferable.

Final Thoughts

I am quite pleased with this Bible. For the price point, you get a very good value for the money. I wanted another high-grade leather option in the NIV, and I got it.

Zondervan called this the perfect every day carry Bible in giant print, a perfect exercise in understatement. This is the perfect Bible for preachers.

A special note to my pastor brethren: In the pulpit, one should have the largest font possible without forfeiting practicality. If you are preaching from NIV, this is an excellent choice.