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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.

NIV Deluxe Single-Column Comfort Print Reference Bible with Topical Link References

NIV Deluxe Single-Column Comfort Print Reference Bible with Topical Link References

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Zondervan has taken one of my favorite Bible formats and added a  an interesting tweak to it. The new  NIV Single Column Reference Bible, now, not only has standard references, it also includes topical link references. Before we go any further, I disclose that Zondervan sent me a copy of the Premier Collection Edition free of charge in exchange for an honest review. I am not required to give a positive review and  my opinions are my own.

 

From Zondervan:

features:

  • Complete text of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV)
  • Hand-bound in a supple goatskin leather cover
  • Smyth-sewn and edge-lined construction for flexibility
  • Art-gilt page edging, with gilt line and perimeter stitching
  • Bottom-of-the-page topical links tie Scripture themes together
  • Over 100,000 cross-references and thousands of topical link connections
  • 8 Pages of full-color maps
  • Concordance
  • Single-column format
  • Elegant two-color page design on premium European Bible paper
  • Theww satin ribbon markers
  • Premium goatskin leather cover lays flat when open
  • Exclusive Zondervan NIV Comfort Print Typeface
  • 9.5-point print size

 

Translation

We start off with the New International Version (NIV), the world’s best-selling English translation of the Bible. For those who do not remember, or are not familiar with the NIV, it is a mediating translation, meaning that it blends the best of both modes of translation, word-for-word and meaning based translations.

NIV is one of the most ideally suited translations for study of the Scriptures, offering the largest range of commentaries, Study/Reference Bibles, Dictionaries etc. It is one of the main translations that I use for study and teaching and will suit the needs of virtually any Bible student quite well.

Cover and Binding

As with all of the Premier Collection, this edition is goatskin, black in this case. As usual, it is quite delightful to the touch.

It it leather/edge-lined for enhanced flexibility, i.e. more suited to one handed use. The end papers are very thick to provide a little extra sturdiness. All in all I would say this is a very well balanced book and it feels absolutely wonderful in my hands while using it.

The signatures are sewn together to ensure that the Bible lays flat and also to ensure that it will last for a lifetime of use.

Paper, Layout & Font

The Comfort Print Font lends nicely to the readability of this edition. It is listed as 9.5 for the font size and this appears to be a true font size. It is a very readable Bible. Also, this Bible is a black letter edition.

The layout is single column paragraph format with “wide margins.” I put wide margins in quotes because the wide margins also house the references. At the bottom of each page you will find the topical links for each chapter.  (more on that in the reference section)

We have a generously opaque, 36-gsm European Bible Paper. Most writing instruments should be able to be used with no issues.

References

There are two sets of references offered. First, we have the standard NIV Cross-Reference System which has around 80,000 references. Then we have the Topical Link References.

There are around 8,000 topical link references. These remind me of the NIV Topical Reference Bible that was available when I was a child. The topical links are keyed to the Concordance to further enhance your ability to have Scripture to interpret Scripture.

Additional Helps

Concordance

Kohlenberger’s full NIV Concordance is offered. It is keyed to the set of Topical Reference Links to aid with Scripture interpreting Scripture.  There is not really much that needs saying about a concordance other than to say that it serves as a basic topical guide to the study of Scripture. I would go so far as to say that if a person studied every topical like and concordance entrt offered, here, then that person would have a stronger grasp of the Bible than around 90% of the Christ professing world.

Maps

There are 8 full color maps available to help visualize the world of the Bible

Footnotes

We are provided with an abbreviated set of Translator’s Footnotes. These are found in a small callout box at the bottom right of the page.

With Premier Collection Single Column Bibles

I have also reviewed the NASB Single Colum Reference Bible and the NRSV Single Column Reference Bible in the Premier Collection. The NIV offering is thinner and lighter than its NASB cousin and about the same size as the NRSV offering.  Of the three the NRSV is my faavorite because of certain design cues but the NIV is the most useful with the 2nd class of references.

As and Every Day Carry Bible

The  NIV Single Column Reference Bible is offered in a somewhat thin-line format. It is about one and one quarter inches thick. I have a tablet pocket in my briefcase which normally holds my carry Bible for the day and this Bible fit in that pocket quite nicely. It is very light weight and did not pose any issues with carrying

As a Teaching Bible

For most people, this format is very useful for teaching. As it happens I prefer a verse by verse format but all in all this is not bad. I did not notice and difficulties in reading the text in bright light. (The font is a touch small for me to read in soft light)

Should You Buy

You should purchase this Bible if you do any kind of Bible teaching. Pastors, Sunday School Teachers, Biblical Counselors, and small group leaders will all find this Bible very useful.  I think it would also come in quite handy for the student. We often say that the Bible speaks to life, and it does, in this case with more of a practical emphasis than others.

Final Thoughts

I love the idea. My only wish is that we had lined notes pages. Half of the margins are used up by the references so it would be nice to have a place to put notes.

This is, probably, one of the most useful NIV that I have encountered in a while. The Topical Link References are an unexpected but delightful surprise. I think this Bible is an excellent offering.

CSB Pastor’s Bible (Recovered Content)

CSB Pastor’s Bible (Recovered Content)

The following content has been recovered and reposted for your enjoyment.

 

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The most important tool any pastor carries is his Bible and a number of publishers have released special Bibles for pastors, all of which are worth consideration.  Previously, we have reviewed the EVS Pastor’s Bible from Crossway and today we are reviewing the CSB Pastor’s Bible in brown genuine leather. (Note: This Bible was acquired at my own expense; no review has been solicited by Holman Bible Publishers.) 

 

Before we begin, some information from Holman… 

Product Description 

Available in two editions, Genuine Leather or Deluxe LeatherTouch-theCSB Pastor’s Bibleis ideal for pastoral use during preaching, officiating services, or personal study. Helpful features include a single-column setting, large type, wide margins, a special insert section in the middle of the Bible. Also contains outlines for officiating weddings and funerals, and extensive tools and articles from some of today’s respected pastors and church leaders. TheCSB Pastor’s Bibleis a valuable life-long resource for Pastors. 

 

Features include: 

  • Smyth-sewn binding 
  • Single-column text 
  • Footnotes 
  • Black-letter text 
  • 10-point type 
  • Concordance 
  • Presentation page 
  • Two-piece gift box 
  • Over 17 articles on leadership and ministry by experienced pastors and leaders disbursed throughout the Bible’s pages 
  • Outlines for officiating weddings and funerals 

The CSB Pastor’s Bible features the highly reliable, highly readable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), which stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity. The CSB’s optimal blend of accuracy and readability makes Scripture more moving, more memorable, and more motivating to read and share with others. 

A Few Remarks About CSB 

The choice to preach and teach from the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is one that more and more pastors are making and I can see why. On a number of occasions, I have described the CSB as the perfect blend of NASB (the most literal) and the NIV (the most popular). CSB is fastidiously literal yet very easy to read. I would estimate at an approximately 8th grade level, which is excellent because it will afford the teacher of God’s word the broadest audience spectrum possible. I have mentioned, in previous articles, that CSB is one of the 3 main translations that I use for regular reading. I am happy to commend the CSB to you; you will find it to be very accurate, readable, and most importantly, faithful to the original text.  

Cover and Binding 

I selected the brown genuine leather version, for myself, and I want to tell you two things about it. 1. Brown genuine leather is a total understatement. This is actually goatskin leather, as you will see stamped on the back of the Bible. 2. This goatskin cover is absolutely exquisite and I cannot believe that you can find a goatskin Bible at this price ($99.99). The brown  goatskin has an ironed cover which provides a smooth texture and a softer feel. The coloration is similar to milk chocolate and is reminiscent of a cup of hot cocoa. Brown is not, normally, a favorite of mine but I really enjoy this. 

The liner is a paste down, which I think contributes to the pricing. Here, in Phoenix, the heat can make a paste down liner a little problematic because if you leave it in your car, you can melt the paste (This has actually happened to me in the past.). 

The block, itself, is sewn. If you know anything about bindings, you know that a sewn binding is the only type that will stand up to the near constant punishment a pastor will subject his Bible to and I can confidently state that the cover will wear out before the sewn binding will.  

One other note, there is no stamping on the front cover and I find it to be most appreciated. The Pastor’s Bible should be a reflection of the pastor, reserved but accessible and focused on the glory of Christ. 

Layout, Font, and Margins 

This Bible is laid out in a single column paragraph format. The margins are approximately 1-inch. A wide margin is essential for a pastor so that you can mark out your notes and references.  In all honesty, a wide margin is an often overlooked feature In the Bible a pastor chooses but it is a very smart feature to have because it is not always practical to carry notes into the pulpit with you but you can easily put the essential notes into the margins so you are still able to preach a passage.

 

2k/Denmark designed the font and, even though it is officially a 10-point font, it reads more like an 11-point to my eyes. The text is black letter and I have found this to be much more useful in the pulpit than a red letter.  

The single column paragraph format works out well for large scale consumption of the Biblical text and, since consuming the Biblical text is a pastor’s most important undertaking, this format is highly desirable.   

Helps 

At the end of the Bible are the various pastoral helps.  These include a “where to turn” section with Scripture references to help (pictured below), “A Brief Biblical Theology of Leadership,” “Eight Traits of Effective Church Leaders,” “Pastor, Find Your Identity in Christ,” “Glorifying God in Your Ministry,” “What is Biblical Preaching?,” “Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures,” “What is Doctrinal Preaching?,” “Four Keys for Giving an Effective Invitation,” “Five Ways to Improve Congregational Singing,” “Soul Care: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love,” “Letter to the Church,” “Five Steps to Start and Keep an Evangelistic Culture,” “How Do You Disciple Others?,” “The One Thing You Must Do as a Student Pastor,” and “Sharing the Gospel with Children.”   

In between Psalms and Proverbs is where you will find the “Life Events” helps. These are for weddings, funerals and so on.  Noticeably absent are helps for communion and baptism as well as cross-references, which can all be found in the rival ESV Pastor’s Bible. Whether or not missing these helps is problematic will depend entirely upon who you are as a pastor. The helps that are “missing” I have in other books that are in my library. 

 There are 3 ribbons provided so you can mark your spot in each of the 3 major sections of the Bible: Old Testament, Worship and Wisdom, and New Testament. 

As A Carry Bible 

The Pastor’s Bible is not small but it is not overly large, either. I would list it as just right. It fits in my bag easily, I can hold it one handed without my hand/arm getting tired, and it pairs well with my iPad when placed on my pulpit.  

 The Pastor’s Bible is, essentially, in the sweet spot for Bibles. Like many of my brethren, I preach from a tablet but I still carry a physical Bible as I always recommend to my colleagues.

Final Thoughts 

Would I recommend the CSB Pastor’s Bible? Yes. I use different translations (NLT, CSB, & NASB) for different purposes and I definitely plan on moving the pastor’s Bible into rotation as my pastoral care and discipleship Bible. I will also be using it alongside my Tyndale Select NLT Reference Bible for large scale consumption of the Biblical text.