Disclaimer: I am not a book or binding expert whatsoever. I do love the Bible however and read it daily. The calfskin version of this Bible is awesome as far as I am concerned. For daily reading it is a great size. I also own a "real" super deluxe 32 lb 1611 King James facsimile in gothic script. This one is not as breathtaking but it was $900 cheaper. I am not sure why a few reviews were so low, Maybe the hardcover and genuine leather are not as nice as the calfskin. Some complained the script was Roman, but if you look at the picture you would see that before you buy it. As I said I own a Gothic version and love it, but this is more functional for daily reading. If you are looking for an heirloom Bible for daily reading this is it. The calfskin is really nice and soft plus the Apocrypha is a refreshing bonus since most modern versions removed it.
Have read several histories of the English translations of the bible. I have several friends who have what they say is a 1611 Bible, sad to say this bible proves that they do not. I have looked through my copy and have verified that it is a copy of the first edition of the 1611 KJV. I won't disagree with those who reviewed as to the quality as they know more about the printing process. I was looking for a photocopy of the original and am very satisfied with my copy. I use it with my other dozen different translations for cross-referencing, they all say the same thing, but some verses are easier to get the point across than in others. I would recommend this to others who are looking for a 1611 edition.
HENDRICKSON PUBLISHERS have done a wonderful job in this KJV ; the 1526 New Testament , as well as the 1537 Matthew's Bible. This AV Bible comes paper-wrapped & inside its own useful storage box. So you don't have to worry about shipping damages.
2 major complaints : 1, very very thin awful paper that creases instantly while turning pages. Also much harder to read because of backside print bleed-through.
2, WHITE paper is used instead of the proper CREAM or IVORY that is used in the other 2 Bibles mentioned above.
Let's have 28 or 32lb IVORY PAPER in the very next Edition of this worthy Hendrickson 1611 , please & thankyou !
Then these 3 English Versions can be used equally well.
The 1611 KJV edition is not a true facsimile edition. It is a modern printing of a 19th century typeset that changed the font from Gothic to Roman. It is still in early Modern English. Here is what Hendrickson has to say about it on their product information page,
For 400 years, the Authorized Version of the Biblepopularly known as the King James Versionhas been beloved for its majestic phrasing and stately cadences. No other book has so profoundly influenced our language and our theology. Over time, however, the text has suffered subtle and occasionally troublesome alterations. This edition preserves the original 1611 printing. Word for word and page for page, the text with its original marginal notes, preface, and other introductory material appears as it first did. The sole concession to modernity is a far more readable roman typeface set by nineteenth-century master printers.
A valuable and essential addition to every Bible library.
John R. Kohlenberger III
Here is a list of features from their page as well,
Original preface and translators notes
Alfred Pollard's classic essay on pre-1611 English translations and the history of the Authorized Version
New essays on the enduring impact of the KJV and the Apocrypha
Handsome page design with decorative initials
Page-edge gilding and ribbon marker (genuine leather only)
Clear type is convenient to read and reference
Special logo on book spine and packaging commemorates the 400th Anniversary
Includes the Apocrypha
I was curious about the quality of the leather when I requested this Bible for review. I wondered what they were going to use. I was also curious about how and where they would have it printed and bound. I thought, Perhaps because this is an anniversary edition they will give it special treatment? Surely for the steep price it has to be better built than some of the lesser Bibles Ive seen recently. Well, I was let down. When I opened the cardboard shipping box I was presented with a nice looking retail box. I was hopeful it contained something well done. I opened the retail box hoping to smell leather. Nope! No pleasing leather aroma. That is not to say that the cover is not genuine leather. It most likely is. Hendrickson says that it is. That being the case, the only way they can consider it genuine leather is if it is pigskin leather. Pigskin leather is the cheapest, stiffest, thinnest, leather you can get. Any cheaper and they would be using bonded leather or synthetic covers. The leather covers hardback book boards. There is a nice looking cross decoration on the front cover. It is not tooled leather. The next thing that struck me was the excessively wavy page edges. It looks as if when the text block was trimmed they used a dull blade or when they were finishing the text block they had a machine problem. I dont know for sure. I have also noticed a reviewer on a large retail site had the same problem. After noticing these two very big disappointments, I concluded that this must have been made in China. I opened it up. I looked for the publisher information page and confirmed my suspicions. I really hope the publishers of Bibles realize they are dealing with Gods word, not just a retail product.
Those were the two biggest gripes I had about this Bible as far as obvious design and construction goes. I cant criticize the typeset or layout as it is dictated by the 19th century typeset they chose to utilize. I know some have complained the font to be small. It is a bit on the small side, but overall, not bad. You have to remember what you are dealing with, an old typeset and layout, which includes the Apocrypha. If you arent familiar with it, dont feel bad. Most people have no idea what it is. It is a collection of non-canonical books the early Church used might have used (kind of like how we use other books in our studies) We dont use them, because they arent inspired. If you are looking for a modern paragraph format Bible with side column references, then buy a modern Bible That should go without saying. Alas, people are very indiscriminate when shopping sometimes. They can also be woefully ignorant about what they are buying. That is one of the main reasons I write these reviews. ? I hope to help shoppers find the perfect Bible for them. Then they can go out and purchase confidently without apprehension.
I opened the case bound Bible to see that even though it isnt the quality I hoped for, they did at least do a decent job pasting down the corners and the end pages. The paper and printing are next. The paper reminded me of cheap newsprint paper in color and texture. It was a bit smoother and higher quality than newsprint, but definitely not up the standards of Hendricksons competition. The Spine of the Bible was rounded, which is a good thing. The binding is sewn, giving it the ability to open flat and stay that way while reading it. The page edges were gilt, even if they were warped like a Ruffles potato chip. The ribbon markers were decent. There are decorative head and tail bands. The print seemed consistent, even if it smudged a little. I love some of the Books and Bibles Hendrickson publishes, but this one doesnt make the cut. If this Bible were only available at the suggested retail price I wouldnt buy it, but you can pick it up online around the fifty dollar range. In my opinion, even fifty dollars is thirty dollars too much.