Tag: KJV

Large Print Wide Margin Text Only Bible from CBP

Large Print Wide Margin Text Only Bible from CBP

 

 

One of my favorite Bible formats, my preferred in fact, is a wide margin and, today, I am reviewing one of the best wide margin Bible available, the Large Print Wide Margin Text Bible from Church Bible Publishers {CBP}. (Disclosure: This Bible was not provided by CBP, neither did they solicit this review. This is on my own and at my own cost)

Bible Photos

A comment or two on Church Bible Publishers

Church Bible Publishers is based in Cadillac, Michigan and are owned and operated by a local church pastor and former missionary. If you follow them on social media, you will see that they still have a missionary zeal for getting the Word of God into the hands of the people.

 

ALL CBP Bibles are printed and bound in the United States, a rare feature in the realm of Bible Publishing. These Bibles tend to be much higher quality than their internationally printed counterparts, most if which tend to be printed in China. CBP has a video on YouTube showing actual production of CBP Bibles, including multiple quality checks along the way. One fact, when dealing with CBP, is that they hold the Bible in highest regard, no, they cherish the Bible. Each Bible is unique as is each reader of the Bible.

 

 

Translation

CBP is a dedicated King James Bible Publisher. In their case, I really appreciate this fact because it enables them to focus on the quality of the Bible they produce and give both the Bible itself and the reader the honor deserved.

 

Cover and Binding

This is a black lambskin cover with edge to edge synthetic leather lining. Generally, lambskin is the softest and most supple leather you can find. It is also a more tender leather and will need daily handling to prevent it from drying out.

 

CBP has ironed the lambskin so that it is very supple. I love a good grain on my Bible, especially pebble grain, but here that would be somehow disrespectful. There is a bit of sheen to it that will eventually turn into a nice patina, although I am not sure how obvious it would be since the Bible is black.

 

The liner, as I mentioned, is billed as synthetic but I have to say that does not impact the limpness or flexibility in the slightest. It most likely adds to the durability since lambskin is so delicate.

 

CBP sews all their Bibles, a testament to the quality they provide. The company is run by a group of local church pastors, if you had not already guessed from the name, and they know the demands placed on a pastor’s Bible hence the sewn binding. A sewn binding guarantees a lifetime of use and I wager the leather will need replaced long before the stitching.

 

Layout and Font

We have a 12-point font in a double column verse by verse format with 1.75 inch margins.  It is a pure text edition meaning there are no helps, not even translator’s footnotes. It is obvious that this format is designed for pulpit use or for the classroom.

 

CBP has given us one of the best red-letter editions available. The red is crisp and a deep rich cherry color. I tested the red under the brightest, most unforgiving light I could find, the Arizona Sun, and had absolutely no issues. You will, no doubt, have no issues under the lights on your platform.

 

Paper

This is around a 36 gsm white paper. It is fairly thick and makes for easy page turning. It is nicely opaque; I did not notice any bleed through with my pen.

 

For marking, I recommend that a colored pencil be your first choice; Prang is the brand I use. For ball-point pen I suggest Pilot Pen Company’s Better Retractable brand pen. Pilot gives, in my experience, the most consistent ink flow and does not leave the annoying pen impressions on the other side of the page.

 

Helps

The only study aid provided is a double column concordance. It seems to mirror the Cambridge Concordance and provides a fairly comprehensive index for study.

 

Compared to my other lambskin KJV

I have one other lambskin KJV (which I think was also done by CBP), a wide margin Classic KJV Study Bible, a special edition from the KJV Store. The leather feels identical, leading me to believe they are from the same source.

 

The look and feel of the paper is also very similar and the writing experience also seems to be the same.

 

I treat these as companions. The Classic Study Bible is by my bedside for evening reading and the Large Print Wide Margin is in my rotation for lesson prep.

 

As an Every Day Use Bible

This is not a small Bible, most large print Bibles are not. It runs a little on the heavy side at about 3.5 pounds, so frequent one-handed use may be impractical. All CBP Bibles are pulpit ready, their large print even more so, since as a teacher you should be using the largest font size possible in the classroom.

 

I have begun some markings but have not decided which categories of annotations I will add; generally I do word studies and sermon points. If I do it correctly, I can preach most, if not all texts, with nothing else than the marginal annotations.

 

A little more about caring for this unique leather

I want to add a couple tips for caring for lambskin as it tends to be a more delicate leather.

  • Don’t wash your hands immediately before handling this Bible. The oils from your hands work into the leather keeping it rich and supple.
  • Use Lexol when cleaning the Bible cover. It removes dirt but still nourishes the leather and keeps it supple
  • Handle this Bible regularly if it is not your primary Bible. Remember that the natural oils in your skin will work into the leather. Each Bible will have a unique shine because of your natural oils.

 

The Price Point

CBP sells their Bibles at cost or as close to it as possible. This Bible will run you about $75-$85 before taxes and shipping, depending on if you have a coupon.

 

Should you buy this Bible

The Large Print Wide Margin Text Bible is for you if you are looking for an unadulterated text block with plenty of room for your annotations.

 

If you are a Bible Teacher, in any capacity, then you should consider this edition.

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.

 

Thomas Nelson KJV Study Bible, Full Color Edition

Thomas Nelson KJV Study Bible, Full Color Edition

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Additional Photos

 

The King James Version…It is has been the definitive English Bible for over 400 years. For nearly 225 of those years, Thomas Nelson has been publishing the KJV Bible and offering some incredible resources to aid in your understanding of Scripture. In this article, we are looking at Nelson’s KJV Study Bible, Full Color Edition. (Pursuant to law: Thomas Nelson provided this review copy free of charge in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give positive feedback and my opinions are my own.)

 

The Translation

As its name suggests, the translation offered is the King James Version. I do not really need to say much about this choice. It has been a mainstay of English Bibles for generations and will continue to do so.

 

The Cover and Binding

There are a range of cover choices available from hardcover to “genuine leather.” Genuine leather, by the way, is a case study in understatement. I have handled a ton of leathers in my lifetime and I knew, at a touch, that we were being treated to real cowhide/calfskin. Typically genuine leather refers to pigskin but this is absolutely not pigskin. The grain is delightful. As I have mentioned before, your Bible should be a delight to hold and in the case of a full leather Bible that is accomplished.

 

It has a paste down liner. Many of my colleagues object to a paste down liner and, in some cases, I would agree. However, in a Bible this size, a leather liner would be a disaster since it would make the Bible too floppy to use single handed and would, most likely, lead to dropping.

 

Nelson did give us a sewn binding and I am glad to see publishers going back to sewn bindings. Sewing the binding allows for it to lay flat anywhere you open the Bible and it also guarantees a lifetime of use.

 

Paper, Layout, Font

The paper is delicious. I have handled more Thomas Nelson Bibles than I can even recall but this is the best paper I have handled. It has a bit of a newsprint feel to it, a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. I think that Nelson hit on a paper that would work very well for highlighting/marking. Too bad it doesn’t have wide margins but that would probably make this Bible unreasonably large.

 

While not billed as comfort print, we have a 10-point font for the Bible text and an 8-point font for the notes. We do have a red-letter edition with the red letters being done very well. Often, red letter Bibles have a tendency to turn pink. Thankfully that has not happened here.

 

The Bible is laid out with the standard double column verse by verse format. The study notes are located in a very generous footer section. These are not commentary notes as some suggest but they are expository notes, around 7000 of them, designed to help you draw out the meaning of the Scripture.

 

Full Color Helps

Book Introductions

The Book Introductions contain all the usual helps that you would expect to find: author, date of writing, background, etc. There is a specific item I wish to bring to your attention, full color photos. Example: The Introduction Romans includes a photo of ancient Rome.

 

Detailed Outlines

Ordinarily, I would not call out the outlines separately. However, the outlines in the KJV Study Bible are, likely, the most detailed I have seen in a study Bible. The emphasis on teaching and understanding the Bible is quite evident in the outlines. Teaching each book of the Bible is essential for the pastor, Sunday School teacher, or small group leader and the outline of each book provide an excellent tool to guide your teaching.

 

Topical Indexes

There are several topical indexes. Most importantly, there are indexed to the Gospels and Teachings of Jesus, The Life and Teachings of Paul, and Eschatology. The topical indexes are fairly detailed and contain anywhere from 3-10 years’ worth of teaching material.

 

Cross References

The Thomas Nelson Cross Reference System contains over 50,000 references. In addition to reference links, you will also find translation variants and footnotes. The references are in the center column of the page for easy access.

 

Doctrinal Footnotes

Doctrinal Footnotes are unique to this study Bible. These footnotes, in a separate box in the text, cover major points of Christian Doctrine. Each one gives you an appetizer size bite of doctrine to whet your appetite into digging into each doctrine.

 

For Every Day Use

This Bible is not small. I would say it weighs in at about 4 pounds which makes carrying it interesting. I do take it with me, to my secular job, on Mondays so that I have it when I start the first draft of a new sermon. It would probably be a good idea to make this a keep on your desk Bible.

 

Overall Thoughts

Does this Bible come up to the mark? This question was posed to me when I received this Bible for review. I will repeat my answer to the asker: The only way the KJV Study Bible could be more up to the mark would be if there was a rural Baptist Church included in the box.

 

I would not be surprised to find Nelson’s KJV Study Bible in the backpack of every undergrad student at Bible College. I would encourage EVERY Sunday School teacher to have a copy. In fact, for those who prefer the King James Version, this is one of two must own study Bibles, the other being the Standard Lesson KJV Teacher’s Study Bible.

 

Nelson’s KJV Study Bible is available on OliveTree Bible Software. I primarily use it there so that I can easily pair the excellent study resources with multiple translations simultaneously.

TBS Family Bible Review

TBS Family Bible Review

 

Trinitarian Bible Society makes some of the best King James Bibles currently available, so it is a pleasure to review another of their Bibles. This time they sent me the Large Print Family Presentation Bible in exchange for an honest review. (This Bible was provided free of charge but my opinions are my own and were not coerced by TBS).

 

The Cover

As with all TBS leather Bibles, this is a calfskin cover with a paste down liner. In most cases TBS uses an ironed (smooth) calfskin. This time, however, there is a very pronounced grain which I love. The front is plain black and there is gold stamping on the spine.

 

The Text Block

The text block is a special edition from Cambridge University Press. The font is 10-point and very dark. It is double column and verse-by-verse. The paper is similar to that in the Concord but perhaps a little heavier.

 

This Bible would generally be categorized as personal/hand sized. It is very lightweight and easy to carry around. The paper offering is very opaque, not a lot of show through at all. This is one Bible I can easily recommend marking in; I don’t see there being a ton of issue with bleed through. I do not recommend a liquid highlighter but then I never do. However, there are a number of other tools for marking, any of which will do.

 

For Every Day Carry

Overall, this particular Bible is just about perfect for every day carry. It fits into my regular briefcase nicely but I also have a smaller messenger bag with a pocket that is just the right size for carry. As it happens the rich black font lends itself to easy reading in most lighting situations.

 

For Preaching

In the King James Version, this is one of the best preaching Bibles I have encountered. It is one of the two easiest for me to read, the other being the KJV Hallmark Reference Bible from Hendrickson.

 

Even though TBS did not design this Bible specifically for preaching, it is, actually, ideally suited to the task. Many pastors will carry a text only edition into the pulpit so that there are fewer distractions on the page. I tend to walk when I preach and carry the Bible one handed while doing so. The TBS Family Presentation Bible’s size lends itself quite nicely to this task. What really shocked me is that this Bible is much easier to preach from than my KJV Longprimer Reference Bible from Allan and sons. That fact also amused me; Longprimer is considered the flagship KJV and yet the TBS Bible is more comfortable for reading and is more hand friendly

 

Something Missing I Did Not See Coming

To my surprise, there is no concordance. A missing concordance is not really an issue as I have a host of topical study tools, dictionaries and other tools so it doesn’t bother me.

 

Should you buy?

Much like all Bibles TBS offers, I give this a hearty recommendation. This Bible is about as vanilla as you get. If the KJV is your preferred English Bible, then a Bible from the Trinitarian Bible Society absolutely should be your first consideration.

 

Final Thoughts

When you need a very high quality KJV on a tight budget, you cannot go wrong with the TBS Family Presentation Bible.

KJV Hallmark Reference Bible Review

KJV Hallmark Reference Bible Review

 

When it comes to KJV Bibles, Hendrickson has really hit it out of the park. The KJV Hallmark Reference Bible easily stacks up against the new Premier Collection KJV from Thomas Nelson or the Concord Reference Bible from Cambridge Publisher’s.

Note: Hendrickson-Rose Publishers sent this Bible free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.

Product Description from Hendrickson

Hendrickson Publishers is proud to introduce the Hendrickson Hallmark Reference Bible- Deluxe Hand-Bound Edition in Large Print in top-grain goatskin leather. Hand-bound with care, this premium quality Bible was crafted with excellence on a detailed level including spine hubs, beautiful foil stamping, gilded page edges, and three ribbon markers. This newest addition to the Hendrickson Bible line offers a new tier for customers looking for the very best.

Features:

  • Top-grain goatskin leather
  • Hand-bound lined-to-the-edge cover
  • Foil stamping
  • Spine hubs
  • Three ribbon markers
  • Gilded page edges
  • Presentation page
  • Full-color maps
  • 2-piece box
  • Verse references
  • Concordance
  • Red-letter text
  • 11.25-pt. font size

General Comments

I currently own a couple Hendrickson Bibles and I have always been satisfied with the quality of their products. They are a smaller publishing house, comparatively, but they have some of the most helpful resources available.

Layout:

This time we will start with the lay out. This is a double-column verse by verse reference Bible with end of verse references. Typically, I prefer center-column references, mostly out of habit but Hendrickson could easily convert me to the end of verse reference model.

The layout is very clean-the page is not busy at all. Regrettably there is not a lot of margin to work with but in a “hand size” Bible, there are some compromises that need to be made.

There is a school of thought that says single column format is the best; for reading they are quite correct. For preaching, I prefer a double column verse by verse and this fits in that category nicely.

Cover and Binding

I have handled several of Hendrickson’s leather Bibles, my favorite being the NIV Minister’s Bible Deluxe Edition in Morocco leather. The goatskin that Hendrickson chose is absolutely spectacular. It has what may be the most pronounced grain I have encountered on a leather Bible. I believe the technical term is pebble grain, especially considering that the grain feels like a softer version of the pebbles at the bottom of a fish tank. The liner seems to be synthetic but I can’t bring myself to complain about that. In this size Bible, I want the cover to be a little stiffer so a synthetic liner is the right choice, more flexible than paste-down but not as floppy as leather lined.

Naturally in a quality Bible we get a sewn binding. The text block lays flat virtually anywhere you open the book and I expect no less from a premium Bible.

Paper

I have not seen paper like this in any other Hendrickson Bible. Ordinarily my major complaint is that the paper they chose is too thin but not in this case. It is sufficiently thick that you will not experience much bleed through with a highlighter, if any at all.

A ball-point pen will not pose any issues at all for marking in this Bible.

The paper is a little on the heavier side so the Bible feels very substantial in your hand even though it is very lightweight over all. I commend Hendrickson on this paper choice; they clearly had the pastor in mind when designing this Bible.

Font and Ink Coloration

Normally red-letter editions are not a choice I make since the red ink tends to be wildly variant in quality and opacity. Sometimes you get something pinkish and sometimes you get something so faded that you can barely see it. However, the red letters are very well done with a consistent, deep red with rich color saturation throughout the text.

The black letters actually seem more rich and ebony than in other Bibles. This has to be a phenomenon of the paper. It reminds me, very much, of the black coloration that you get in a Cambridge Bible. It really is exquisite.

As a Preaching and Carry Bible

In the pulpit I use 2 translations simultaneously, KJV and NLT and I preached from this Bible three times in during my review period. It is so easy on the eyes and practical that it rivals the Premier Collection KJV from Nelson for the perfect preaching Bible.

The “hand size” format makes this Bible, essentially, the perfect every day carry Bible. The font is large enough for easy use and yet the Bible is small enough for your purse or laptop bag.

Compared to Zondervan

The Hallmark Reference Bible really holds its own against the other newcomer to the premium Bible market, the Premier Collection Giant Print KJV Reference Bible. In fact, if the KJV is your preferred translation, either one is near perfect. My experience has been this, Hallmark Reference for Carry and 1 to 1 ministry with the Premier Collection as my study text.

Final Thoughts

Hendrickson really knocked it out of the park. My only complaint is that I have nothing to complain about. There is nothing about this Bible that leaves one wanting. For the “hand size” Bible class, this is just about perfect.

Im surprised at what Hendrickson has been able to achieve in the Hallmark Reference Bible, not because I did not expect quality from Hendrickson but because of the price-point. You can get this Bible for below $175.00.

KJV Perfected: Westminster Reference Bible (Recovered)

KJV Perfected: Westminster Reference Bible (Recovered)

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In an earlier review that I wrote for Bible Buying Guide, I mentioned that I felt there were very few Bibles that deserved to sit on the same shelf as the venerable Thompson Chain Reference Bible (TCR). Imagine my surprise at not only finding a Bible worthy of the same shelf as the TCR but actually a rival to the throne. Enter the Westminster Reference Edition of the King James Bible from the Trinitarian Bible Society…

This is doubtlessly one of the top three reference Bibles available and with all the positives to discuss it is hard to know where to start.

 

References

On their website, Trinitarian Bible Society makes the bold claim that there are over 200,000 references. On this fact alone the Westminster rivals the Thompson and bests the NASB Side Column Reference Edition and its 95,000 cross-references. I call it a rival because, even though it has 100,000 more references than Thompson, it does not offer the topical chains that Thompson offers.

Ordinarily, I do not use the reference features in most of my Bibles, as they generally do not follow my train of thought. The Westminster, however, not only has references consistent with my train of thought, it also took me in a couple directions that I had not originally planned to go.

Translation

The Westminster uses the King James Version. Say what you will about the KJV, it is the perfect pairing. It feels distinctly pastoral; my first impulse after I opened it was to reach for my macbook and begin taking notes and that is the first time that has happened. Usually I go for my favorite passages of Scripture to capture that feeling of familiarity.

This particular version of the KJV has notes that have been preserved from the original translators and carried forward to this edition. It is quite fascinating; not only do you get an introduction to each chapter, but you also get a peek into the minds of the most learned men who crafted what would become the dominant Bible in the English speaking world for over 400 years.

The Cover

Calfskin. Do I really need to say more? Well yes. While this is a genuine calfskin cover it is not floppy like a Side Column Reference. I will leave it up to you to decide it that is good or bad. For me it comes down to this, it feels just right in my hand. I don’t really have a better way to say it than that. When I hold this Bible, open or closed, it feels like it was meant to be in my hand.

Font, Text Layout, Readability

This is a very readable 9.6-point font. The layout is double-column verse by verse with the references in the side columns. Because of the generous font and amount of references, you are, sadly, left lacking a useful margin (By now you know that I love wide margins). On the other hand you do get what is probably the most readable handy sized Bible.

The Paper

The paper is a major win for this Bible. It’s cream colored with excellent opacity. Unfortunately, TBS does not offer much in the way of technical details on their website and, at the time of my writing, I have not successfully reached them to find out the specifications on the paper, though I am not certain that it matters unless, like me, you are a total nerd and cannot properly geek out without knowing such things.

I have used this Bible in several settings with various lighting conditions: at church with the bright lights in our massive auditorium, the break room at work, the restaurant with breakfast, and in the soft light of my bedside table (40W Bulb); in every instance it was totally successful. Sometimes, I enjoy a Psalm or two before bed and this is where I would usually find ghosting. There are one or two spots but if I were to complain about that, it would be nothing more than ungrateful nitpicking.

The texture and feel is amazing. Some paper feels abrupt, coarse and heavy. This paper, though, is quite soft and (if you will pardon the cliché) smooth like ice cream fresh from the churn. It begs to be touched, to caress the hand, to draw you into an interaction with the Word. I said earlier and I will repeat myself, this Bible, to my hands, feels like someone came and noticed every flaw, every callous, every ridge on my hands and then custom crafted a Bible just for me.

Actually, to say that it has excellent opacity was an understatement. From a normal distance I could not distinguish any ghosting or see through. I could see a little when I held up a single page, but as I said to go any further on that would be ungrateful nitpicking.

A Pastoral Perspective

The church I grew up in used KJV almost exclusively (NIV came to the mainstream in 1984 when I was 2), my first sermons were preached from KJV, and I still reach for it quite often. Until the Westminster Reference Bible, my choice of KJV was a cowhide Giant Print Reference Edition from Holman Bible Publishers and while it does have larger font, I am happy to say that my Westminster will replace it for most, if not all, KJV related needs.

You will find it to be an excellent pulpit Bible, a faithful companion during visitation, and an able companion for your study.

If you can only buy one more Bible, get this or the Thompson. If you can get both, do not hesitate to do so. At a price of $65-$80 for a calfskin you cannot go wrong. I also encourage the giving of this as a gift for your pastor. It will be a resource he treasures and uses well for a lifetime.

Until next time, Beloved, Worship Vigorously, Serve Actively, Teach Faithfully, and may mercy, grace, and peace be with you.

 

 

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THOMAS NELSON PREMIER COLLECTION GIANT PRINT KJV BIBLE REVIEW

THOMAS NELSON PREMIER COLLECTION GIANT PRINT KJV BIBLE REVIEW

 

Disclosure: This Bible was acquired at my own expense. Thomas Nelson did not solicit this review.

I have had terrible trouble finding a KJV for my pulpit but I believe Thomas Nelson has solved that problem for me. Read on to find out why… 

Product Description from Thomas Nelson

The Premier Edition of Thomas Nelson’s KJV Giant Print Reference Bible combines fine craftsmanship with the depth of a complete cross-reference system. Typeset in Thomas Nelson’s KJV Comfort Print. in an extra-large size, you will enjoy a smooth and easy reading experience in a beautiful King James Bible designed to last. Featuring a supple goatskin leather cover, durable edge-lined binding, premium Bible paper, beautiful art gilding, and four ribbon markers, this special edition is a treasure for a lifetime in God’s Word.

Features include:

  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Fine goatskin cover
  • Presentation page
  • Black-letter text
  • 12-point type
  • Concordance

 Initial Impression:

Previously, I reviewed the Premier Collection NIV Large Print Thin-line and I was quite impressed. That being said, the Premier Collection KJV Giant Print Reference Bible (hereafter, Premier KJV) takes that impressiveness up a notch. It is the best KJV that is available at this price point, $149.99, and I would dare to go so far as to say that the Cambridge Turquoise and Concord Reference Bibles, the definitive KJV reference Bibles, have met their match.

Silly as it may sound, There is something special about holding a high quality KJV in your hands. To me, at least, it feels different, almost more reverent.

Font:

The font is the stand out feature of the Premier KJV. It was designed by the preeminent font type foundry, 2K/Denmark. As part of the Harper Collins Family, Nelson calls this font, Comfort Print and it is aptly named as you can easily spend hours with this text and not have any eye fatigue.

A 12-point font size is what we are given here; it is just right for use in the pulpit or the classroom. I have tried a number of different Bibles trying to get the right font size and typeface for my preaching and have not had any success, until this Bible. What we are given, here, is absolutely perfect.

When I stand before the saints to open the word, the last thing I want is a Bible that I struggle to see since I don’t always hold it up close to my face when I read the text. As I mentioned earlier, I have tried over a dozen different KJV Bibles in my pulpit and this is the one that works the best. 12-poin hits the sweet spot for text size. Previously, I had been using a specialty KJV with a 13.5-point font but it was a little cumbersome in the pulpit.

Layout, Coloration, References

The Premier KJV is laid out in a double column verse by verse format with center-column references. This is the format that I have used for most of my ministry career and so it is quite familiar to me. It will sound cliche but this is the way I expect a Bible to look. I have used this format for over 20 years and I find to to be the most practical.

Verse numbers, Chapter Headings, Page Numbers, and the 1st letter of each chapter is in a cranberry red. This is a crisp rich red that really stands out on the page.

Unlike other Bibles, the center column for the references is not broken off by a harsh black line. It makes the page more pleasing to the eyes. Nelson offers around 70,000 cross-references.

Cover, Ribbons and Binding:

The Premier Collection all have goatskin covers and a sewn binding. The binding is tighter than on the NIV so it feels less likely to fall out of my hand. It also has a better feel to my finger tips; I think the leather is a little thicker but it is still edge-lined. The leather smell, which I always look for, is not as pronounced as I would have expected but it is there and is still intoxicating.  There are three silk ribbons, 3/8″ wide to use for marking your readings.

There is a signature, in Genesis, where the sewing is quite clear. At first this was a concern to me but after speaking with some of the folks at Thomas Nelson, I am not worried about it any more. This particular signature is sewn in such a manner as to help the book, itself, lay flat when opened to Genesis. This was quite a smart play on Nelson’s part as it can be very frustrating to try to preach a text in Genesis if the Bible will not stay open.

Paper

Even though I know they use the same paper, I prefer this one over the Premier NIV. It seems to be more opaque and there is less of a shine in the sunlight. I would be more inclined to mark in this vs the Premier NIV, though I would only use a ball-point pen or a gel highlighter for marking.

The paper is 36 GSM European Bible Paper and it is similar to what you will find in Cambridge Bibles. Tactile perception on this paper is incredible, almost as if the Bible screams, “hold me. Study me. Preach from me.” I have mentioned in a number of reviews that you really want a Bible that feels comfortable in the hand and this Bible pushes all the right buttons.

As a carry/daily use Bible

The KJV has more girth so I like carrying it better than the Premier NIV. It feels more substantial. As expected it fits quite comfortably in my laptop bag.

I don’t think there is anything more recognizable than the King James Bible and this Bible is no exception. Several times, people have seen it on my desk at my secular job and it has sparked conversations about the Bible, why I carry it, and given opportunities to share the Gospel.

Final Thoughts

You may have noticed that I have not covered every feature of this Bible but I have covered the ones that are important to a buying decision. At $149.99, the Premier KJV puts a premium reference Bible within reach of many more Christians than Cambridge, Allan, or Schuyler Bibles. It is well worth your money.

 

Concord Reference Bible: The King of KJV

Concord Reference Bible: The King of KJV

 

Important Note: Since this was originally published, I have upgraded to the goatskin. I will add some comments regarding that but I will not be updating pictures at this point. 

When I think of the King James Version of the Bible, the first name that comes to mind is the Concord Reference Bible from Cambridge University Press. As cheesy as this may sound, holding the Concord feels different than holding any other KJV with one notable exception, the Westminster Reference Bible; It feels more scholarly and using it gave me the sensation of standing amongst great men of our faith, but that’s just me and my obscure little oddities, I’m sure.

I have had conversations with a number of peers and we all agree, there is just something special about the Concord.

Binding & Cover

Cambridge sent me the black calf-split leather edition to review. It has that certain scent to it, the kind only a real Bible nerd would notice and appreciate; it’s the smell of pure leather and it’s almost like a drug. Every time I hold this Bible, I catch a whiff of the leather scent and I am flooded with euphoria. (total nerd but that’s ok. )

I mentioned that I have upgraded to the goatskin and the leather scent is even stronger, almost intoxicating. 

The cover is not as limp as a goatskin liner and it is also a little stiffer than the calfskin in my Holman Minister’s Bible and I really like that fact. The concord is much easier to hold than other Bibles, staying open/flat with single hand use without me worrying that it will spill out of my hand. The grain is quite visible and the texture is luxurious. If you have never felt a calf-split leather Bible from Cambridge, it would be difficult for me to describe; suffice it to say that this Bible feels like no other.

Both editions of the Concord have a somewhat pronounced grain. It is hard to describe, except to say that the moment my Concord is in my hands, I immediately fell the compulsion to preach.

Of course it is a sewn binding; Cambridge Bibles are bound in cooperation with Royal Jongbloed, the best binder in the world and you can see the attention to detail that Jongbloed has brought to Cambridge. The smythe sewing guarantees a lifetime of use. How long? Well, I have a Bible that is 70 years old with a sewn binding that is still going strong so I would have to say, with proper care, this Bible could probably last 70 years or more. On the other hand using it so much that it falls apart is also a very good thing.

 

Paper:

Good luck finding any ghosting (see-through) in a Cambridge Bible. I am sure that if you looked hard enough, you could find some but the eye-strain required would then result in a nasty headache.

Cambridge always uses the finest papers available and this is no exception. I would estimate a 30 gsm paper although I could be wrong. It is just the right shade of white to allow you to see the red-lettering with no issues. Incidentally, unlike some other white papers, you do not get the nasty glare when out in the sunlight.

 

References

The Concord reference Bible references are so exacting and precise that they are one of the two sources of references for my beloved Westminster. I would go so far as to say that if the Concord Reference Bible were the only Bible that you had available, you could effectively interpret Scripture with no issues.

Glossary

This is a feature that you do not often see in a KJV Bible but one that every KJV publisher needs to adopt. The glossary offers explanations of words, which have changed their meaning or are not in use any more. For example, oblation, which means anything offered in a sacrifice and is no longer used in everyday English.

Concordance

The 140 page concordance is a shining star amongst Bibles. Every topic you could possibly imagine is included along with Scripture references. You really don’t need any other tool for topical analysis of scripture.

Bible Dictionary

This 129 page offering is a concise expository dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament words geared toward those faithful men who stand in the pulpit every Sunday. While you will not find every word that you may want to study in depth, there is more than sufficient material to keep you studying until the 2nd Coming.

I understand why Randy Brown at Bible Buying Guide keeps coming back to the Concord Reference Bible and why I, too, keep finding myself going back to it; you just don’t need anything else.

There are two other English translations that would pair well with the Concord NASB and ESV. I really do not understand why one of the top two reference Bibles on the market only comes in a single translation.

Concord Reference Bible is the King of the KJV. Long live the King…

 

 

CBP Classic Study Bible Review

CBP Classic Study Bible Review

 

If you’re a Baptist, and chances are good that you are, you have probably heard of the Classic Study Bible albeit under its other name, the Old Scofield Bible. First published in 1909, the Scofield Reference Bible has been a mainstay in Baptist and other circles and for good reason; the Scofield and the Thompson Chain Reference, which came out around the same time, are the oldest “study” Bibles available and the longest currently in production. What sets the Scofield apart it that it was the first that offered commentary on the Bible.

I mentioned in a previous review that Church Bible Publishers (CBP) is an endeavor of the local church in Michigan and that they offer their Bibles at cost, which is a marvel in today’s money driven society. I have had a small amount of interaction with CBP staff and I found them to be knowledgeable, friendly, and generally seemed like the people you want to eat fried chicken with (It’s the official bird of Baptists, fried chicken). A note before we get into the review: CBP did not provide this Bible for review nor did they solicit a review; this is my own endeavor.

 

THE REVIEW

Translation Choice

CBP publishes in a single English translation, the King James Version (KJV). Even though I read other translations besides just the KJV, I am pleased to see CBP specialize in a single translation; I find it makes for better overall quality because you can focus on providing what customers need rather than vetting a translation. One point about the choice of KJV: Many people say that the KJV is not copyrighted in the US and so makes for a better translation choice. This is actually incorrect; The US honors the Crown Copyright in the United Kingdom (Elizabeth II currently holds the copyright and granted letters patent to Cambridge) even though to try to enforce it would be a logistical nightmare. When you see the term Authorised Version or Authorised King James Version, you see that because the Official King James Version is being used as is the case here.

Leather Cover

As was the case with the Thompson Chain that I reviewed earlier, the Classic Study Bible came to me in black ironed calfskin. There is an alternate choice of Top Grain Cowhide but, in my opinion, the calfskin is to be preferred. You may order in black, brown, burgundy, read, two-tone (black and brown) and thumb indexing is an option. I have no clue where CBP gets their leather but it is some of the softest most luxurious leather you will ever touch; I love the feel of it.

Two other publishers offer the Classic KJV Study Bible, Oxford University Press, the original publisher and copyright holder of the Classic KJV Study Bible and Barbour Books, neither of which offer calfskin. Barbour offers hardback and bonded leather while OUP offers bonded or Genuine Leather (read pigskin). That fact, alone, would be reason enough for me to endorse the CBP version over the others but lets continue.

Paper and Font

CBP offers a much larger font vs OUP and Barbour. OUP and Barbour use an 9-point font for the text and an 8-point for the notes while CBP offers the following for font size: Bible Text – 10 pt, Center Reference – 6-7 pt, Footnotes – 9 pt. I have both of the other versions and I can tell you with absolute certainty that this version will replace the other two.

CBP’s paper is bright white and very opaque making this Bible very easy to read indeed. The black is rich, deep, and bold and the red jumps off the page. Many publishers screw up the red and you end up with pink; I am happy to say that this is not the case here. The red is exquisitely done.

Sewn Binding

This is one feature that is non-negotiable for me; I live in Arizona and a glued binding would melt if I happened to forget it in my car. A sewn binding guarantees a lifetime of use and also guarantees that it will lay flat anywhere you open the text. The fact that CBP can deliver a sewn binding on every Bible they sell tells me that other publishers have no excuse.

Bonus Feature: Wide Margins

This is not advertised as a wide-margin edition but it has wide margins anyway. Why is this bonus feature important? It is in the margins that your Bible truly becomes yours. All of your study notes, perhaps some prayers and so on; it all goes here and makes your Bible uniquely yours. It is true that there are literally millions of Classic Study Bibles around the world, from all three publishers, but no two are identical and the wide margins guarantee that.

Important Features of the Classic Study Bible

Why do you want a Classic Study Bible? It offers you

  • An unparalleled, subject-based topical chain reference system that will enable you to follow major themes throughout the entirety of Scripture
  • Enlightening introductions, complete outline subheadings and a complete chronology for each book of the Bible
  • Illuminating, same-page explanatory notes
  • Comprehensive indexes to annotations and subject chain references which permit thorough topical study
  • A detailed study Bible concordance with integrated subject index and dictionary of Scripture proper names
  • 12 pages of accurate, full-color Bible maps (with index of places and natural features) that illustrate the biblical world

Final Thoughts

Buy this Bible. Do it today. If you have never seen the inside of a Scofield, you are missing out and that is irrespective of how you view Dispensational Theology. The Classic KJV Study Bible from CBP is the best edition of the Scofield Reference Bible that is available today. To say anything else is gilding the lilly.

 

CBP Large Print Thompson Chain Bible Review

CBP Large Print Thompson Chain Bible Review

 

 

Thompson Chain Reference Bible (TCR). It is one of the top two pure study Bibles that you can buy today. When I say it is a pure study Bible, I mean that it is free of any commentary and comes as close to not having any denominational bias as is possible, which is an amazing feat because Fran Thompson was a Methodist Minister.  The TCR has been around for a little over an hundred years and my family has trusted TCR for almost 60 of those years. My grandfather studied and taught from a TCR and, even though it is not my primary preaching Bible, I also study from the TCR; nearly every pastor that I know references it as well. We will talk about why TCR is preferable in a minute. Since we are doing our first review of a Bible from Church Bible Publishers, I want to give you some background and then we will talk about the features of the Bible. (Note: CBP did not provide this Bible and they did not solicit this review.)

Based in Cadillac, Michigan, Church Bible Publishers (CBP) is a true not for profit Bible publisher. CBP sells their Bibles at cost to make it more readily available to average Christians. In addition to making high quality, low cost Bibles available, CBP also provides Bibles for jail/prison ministry and they also support World Missions/Bearing Precious Seed to provide Bibles overseas. I would liken CBP to my dear friends at the Trinitarian Bible Society and I would love to see them cooperate since they have the same stated goals and both publish some amazing editions of the KJV Bible.

Now the review…

 

Translation Choice

CBP only publishes the King James Version of the Bible. Because they use the Cambridge Text Block and not the Oxford, they can rightfully say that they publish the Authorised Version (I used the Anglican spelling on purpose as Cambridge is Her Majesty’s publisher and holds letters patent to print the KJV.) I will say two things about the choice to only print KJV and I am sure that I will anger some of you in so saying: 1. I am not a King James Onlyist which means I do read other translations. 2. I am grateful that CBP has chosen to only publish the KJV. If you are scratching your head right now, those are not contradictory statements. I love the KJV and read from it often but I also read other translations. More importantly, when you focus on a single translation, you can focus more on putting a quality, enjoyable product into the hands of your customers. I say, regularly, that the entire Bible experience should be a joy and that includes the choice of translation and publisher.

Cover Material

The Large Print TCR that I was able to acquire is bound in black ironed calfskin. “Ironed” means that the grain has been pressed out and that it is very smooth. To give you an example of how smooth, I told a friend it is like touching your face after a professional hot lather shave. It is luxuriously soft and nearly as touchable as velvet or silk. I love the way the leather feels and smells. There is nothing quite like a nice leather and CBP has found excellent stock.

Binding

All CBP Bibles have a sewn binding; this fact is so important that I endeavor to not purchase any Bibles that have a glued binding. By using a sewn binding you guarantee some very important things will happen. You guarantee that the Bible will last a lifetime (my grandfather’s Thompson lasted him 40 years and 17 years later it is still going strong for me. You also guarantee that the book itself will open and lay flat regardless of where you open the Bible.

Paper and Ink

The paper is a crisp white and gloriously opaque. I am not sure how CBP does it, but it looks as though they have a darker ink that is much easier on the eyes. Even in the severe Arizona sun, I had no issues reading my TCR.

Price-point

The large print TCR is listed as $85.00 USD on the CBP website. This is important because it is nearly $30 lower in cost than the top tier offering from Kirkbride, the normal publisher of the TCR and Kirkbride does not even offer calfskin.

Warranty

Not finding any warranty information on the website or in the Bible itself, I called CBP to ask about the warranty. It was explained to me that they handle each warranty claim on a case by case basis to ensure that each customer has the best overall experience possible.

TCR Edition and Features

CBP is printing the 5th Improved Edition of the Thompson Chain. Each TCR includes the following features:

* Over 100,000 topical references * Over 8,000 Chain Topics * Updated Archaeological Supplement with photos and maps * Outline studies of each book of the Bible * Journey maps and Bible harmonies * Biblical Atlas * Bible Book Outlines

Detailed Features of a TCR (From my review of the NASB hardcover)

  1. Every Thompson Chain Bible has over 8,000 completed chain topics. These topics take every important verse of scripture and codify it into topics that can be traced from Genesis to Revelation. Operating under the principle that Scripture interprets Scripture, these chains take you through each topic in such a way as to allow the Bible to illuminate itself and guide you into deeper understanding of the Bible.
  2. Outline Study/Analysis of each Book. In the Helps Section, found in the back of the Bible, every book of the Bible is presented in outline form. Each outline serves as an excellent guide to expository study of the Bible.
  3. Updated Archaeological Supplement. The Archaeological Supplement brings the Bible to life in a new and exciting way. Each article is keyed to the Thompson Chain Reference System allowing you to see how recent discoveries support and affirm the truths of the Bible.
  4. Character Outline Studies. Character studies not only highlight the major players of the Bible, they also provide background information as to the condition of the society at their time, and how the character relates to God and to redemptive history.
  5. Harmony of the Gospels. The Harmony of the Gospels Supplement is as straightforward as it is useful. Each story from the life of Christ is listed along with the corresponding passages from the Gospels. This is an excellent resource for an in-depth study of the life of Christ.
  6. Portraits of Christ.  Portraits of Christ provide 7 different views of the Lord’scharacter as seen by Isaiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, and Revelation.
  7. Bible Atlas (13 maps). Many of the maps in the Bible Atlas are keyed to the Thompson Chain. You not only get to picture the lands of the Bible, you can also easily trace the journey of many of the key players.

 

 

Product Specifics

Weight 3.60 lbs
Dimensions 10.75 x 8 x 1.5 in
Products Bibles
Size Large Size
Cover Type Ironed Calfskin
Cover Styles 1 Piece
Cover Colors Black
Features Concordance, Large Print, Maps with Index, Red Letter, Self-pronouncing text, Study Bible
Font Size Bible Text – 9 pt, Center Reference – 6-7 pt
Margin Size Bottom – 0.25″, Inside – 0.5″, Outside – 0.625″, Top – 0.5″
Thumb Indexed No
Add Gift Box No

Final Thoughts and should you buy this Bible?

How could I not recommend that you buy this Bible? The TCR is one of the best study Bibles that you can buy and, unless Cambridge, Allan, or Schuyler release one in goatskin, this is the best TCR you can get. TCR is also available from CBP in a “midsize” which we would normally call the standard size TCR, no doubt in the same high quality leather. If you want the best study tool you can have and you want it in a format that will last a lifetime, this is the TCR that you want.