Thomas Nelson KJV Study Bible, Full Color Edition

Thomas Nelson KJV Study Bible, Full Color Edition


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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.

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