Tag: king james bible

KJV Sovereign Reference Bible Review

KJV Sovereign Reference Bible Review

 

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When it comes to KJV Bibles, few players have more experience than Thomas Nelson, Cambridge and Holman are, perhaps, the only two. Lately, Thomas Nelson Bibles (hereafter Nelson) has been putting out some very nice Bibles and, now, they have put out what may well be the best KJV in its price class, the KJV Sovereign Reference Bible.

Before we go further, I want to disclose that Nelson sent this Bible to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review just an honest one.

The Elephant in the Room

Let’s just deal with this now…The Sovereign Reference Bible bears a striking similarity with the flagship of KJV Reference Bibles, the Schuyler Canterbury. There are those who accuse Thomas Nelson of copycatting the Schuyler but I think that is a little disingenuous. Where most people see a copycat, I see an homage. It is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery and if that is true, Schuyler Bibles ought to be very flattered. Schuyler has put out an incredible product (I know because I have it) but at a price point that is out of reach of a good many Christians, most of whom will have only one Bible for most of their lives. The Sovereign Reference Bible has similar design cues but they are in fact, rather different Bibles. I will highlight some of those differences as we go.

Cover and Binding

I am reviewing the black genuine leather edition and one of my several contacts at Nelson has informed me that the “genuine leather” is actually cowhide. I have handled enough leathers over the years that my initial assumption was “this must be cowhide” and I was right. There is a very pronounced pebble grain on the cover of the Bible. The grain makes the Bible a delight to hold which also makes one more inclined to read the Bible. I was surprised that we have an edge lined cover. I had expected a paste down liner and was glad to find otherwise.

The text block has a smythe sewn binding. The Sovereign in sewn a little tighter than most other Bibles. The tighter sewing makes the Bible feel more sturdy. The tightly sewn binding will require a little break in for the Bible to lay flat in Genesis and Revelation but rest assured it will happen.

Paper

The paper is one of the most obvious differences between the Sovereign Reference Bible and the Canterbury. It is a darker paper and just a bit thicker. It has a somewhat linen feel to it

Marking in the Sovereign Reference Bible should not be an issue regardless of what you choose to use as a writing instrument. I am partial to Prismacolor brand of colored pencils.

Layout and Font

The font is 9-point in Comfort Print. It is elevated by red ornamental drop caps fir the first letter of each chapter. They are quite beautiful and, incidentally, the reason people feel this Bible copycats the Canterbury. In both Bibles, I love the ornamental drop-cap feature. The KJV is steeped in elegance, majesty, and shows off the beauty of the English language in ways other works cannot and the ornamental dop caps highlights that elegance.

The Sovereign is laid out in a double column verse by verse format with references in the footer and book introductions in the header of the text. Subject headings are provided in a bright red font.

The Black Letter text portions are the darkest font that I can recall seeing recently. It calls to mind the Brevier Blackface Bible from R. L. Allan

The NT is a red letter edition which ought to be self-explanatory. The red is very nicely done, a deep rich red, almost cranberry in color. It is very easy on the eyes.

Helps

Cross References

Thomas Nelson’s complete reference system offers 72,000 time tested references, a clear advantage over the Canterbury. For decades pastors, myself included, have relied on Nelson’s Comprehensive Reference System for sermon preparation and understanding the Bible.

Concordance

The comprehensive Topical Concordance is another of Nelson’s best features.  This is not as in-depth as the Cyclopedic Concordance that Nelson includes in the Open Bible but, to the best of my knowledge, this is the most comprehensive Concordance available outside of two specialty Bibles. It is an incredibly valuable tool.

Introductions

Each book of the Bible gets a one paragraph introduction. The introduction offers basic background information on each book of the Bible.

Miracles of Jesus Reading Plan

The Miracles of Jesus Reading Plan offers 37 miracles that prove the deity and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Parables of Jesus Reading Plan

The Parables of Jesus Reading Plan presents us with 39 lessons that Jesus teaches about Kingdom Life and being His Disciple.

Full Bible Reading Plan

The Full Bible Reading Plans give us a Morning and Evening reading to guide us through the entirelty of Scripture in a year.

As a Preaching Bible

For almost everyone that takes this Bible into the pulpit, this is an excellent choice. I have a single gripe about the Sovereign Reference Bible and it is here-I would find it easier for preaching if the font were 10-point. Otherwise, it is an almost ideal choice. The paper and font perform extremely well in most instances.

As an Every Day Carry Bible

Being a “personal size/hand size” Bible makes this unit ideal for carry. It is a little thick for my usual briefcase but that is easily correctable. You should have no problems carrying the Sovereign on a day to day basis.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I find the this Bible to be quite nice. I wish the font were a little bigger but it is not a deal breaker for me. I think most people who own this Bible will find it to be quite enjoyable.

KJV Life Principles Bible Review

KJV Life Principles Bible Review

 

One of the most helpful Bibles you can find is the Life Principles Bible from Thomas Nelson. It is now available in a 2nd Edition and I am actually really excited to review this for you.

 

Life Principles Bible Photos

 

(Note: Thomas Nelson provided this Bible free of charge in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review simply an honest one. My opinions are my own.)

 

Translations Available

Currently the 2nd Edition of Life Principles Bible is available in the NKJV, NIV, NASB, and, for the first time, the King James Version. It is the KJV edition that I am reviewing.

 

For over 400 years the KJV has been the standard bearer in English Bibles and so it is a welcome sign to see the KJV finally join the lineup.

 

Cover and Binding

This particular edition is burgundy leathersoft with a sewn binding. When it comes to imitation leathers, Thomas Nelson has really stepped up its game in their leathersoft covers. Even though they are made from polymers, they feel fairly like a real leather. I am quite impressed with this cover. It should go without saying that the sewn binding is a great choice to ensure your Bible lasts a lifetime.

 

Paper, Layout, Font

The Thomas Nelson Comfort Print Font really shines here. This is a black letter edition set in my favorite layout, double column verse by verse. The second edition has a bit of an Easter egg for you, in between the text of Scripture and the notes,  Thomas Nelson has provided their full set of cross-references, 72,000 in all.

 

The paper is fairly similar to other Thomas Nelson Bibles but it presents as more opaque than other Nelson Bibles and is certainly more opaque than the first edition. The increased opacity is vital in this edition because Dr. Stanley provides such good content that you will want to add your own markings and notes to go along with it.

 

Helps

 

  • 30 Life Principlesarticles highlight Dr. Stanley’s essentials for Christian living. These lessons are derived from more than 40 years of teaching and encompass the essentials of a life pleasing to God.
  • 2,500 Life Lessons verse notes bring to life the practical and personal nature of God’s Word to us. These notes will help to relate to and internalize the Scriptures.
  • Over 300 highlighted verses make it easy to find God’s promises throughout the Bible text that encourage, strengthen, and bring hope
  • Answers to Life’s Questionsand What the Bible Says About articles bring scriptural insight to bear on topics of special importance to every believer
  • Topical indexes give immediate access to hundreds of life-giving principles and promises throughout the Old and New Testaments. This includes a condensed concordance for a more in-depth topical study.
  • Book introductions provide an overview of the themes and literary structure of each book. Each introduction includes the Life Principles which are addressed in that book.
  • Life Examples are character profiles that illustrate a particular life principle.
  • In-text maps and charts are a newish feature this time around and are designed for visual learners to gain a better understanding of the Bible.

 

Experiencing the Life Principles Bible

I have two copies to the 1st Edition, one in NASB and a signed NKJV in addition to the KJV I am reviewing. I have found it most useful in situations of 1 on 1 discipleship.

 

What should be added

It would be a great idea to add notes pages when we get to the third edition. I have seen several Life Principles Bibles out and about and it tends to be much more marked up than others that I have seen. This leads me to believe that notes pages would be a very heavily used tool.

 

Who should use the Life Principles Bible

If you said that this Bible should be used by new disciples, you would not, per se, be incorrect. However, I recommend more for the intermediate level disciple. A basic understanding of sound doctrine is critical for proper application.

 

Final Thoughts

All in all, this is excellent. I have a few minor points of disagreement with Dr. Stanley but overall he is very helpful. I commend it to you for your study.