4 Stars Out Of 5
Have you ever wanted to compare the changes in the 2011 NIV against the KJV or NKJV?
March 26, 2015
Hendricksons Parallel Bible with the KJV, NKJV, NIV, & NLT in black bonded leather gives you that opportunity.
I saw this Bible on Hendricksons web page. It struck me as an interesting opportunity to look for myself at the changes made in the NIV and compare them to a trusted version like the NKJV. Ive read a number of books on the topic. My studying was done between the time when the TNIV was introduced and when the 2011 NIV replaced it. Im not going to say I can tell the future, but I called it when I told my wife that they will just drop the, T off of TNIV and try to sneak it by everyone. Well, I was right. That is what happened. Ive written about the 2011 NIV on my blog. So if you are curious as to what I think about the translation you can check it out.
Hendrickson did a decent job of packaging this large Bible. It was shipped in a cardboard box, with airbag type packaging cushions inside. The Parallel was wrapped in plastic, and was in a two piece retail box, that should be retained for storage. The Parallel has a black, bonded leather cover. Bonded leather is less expensive than genuine leather, which is made from pigskin. Good bonded leather can last a very long time. Bonded leather is kind of like the particle board of leather. It is bits and pieces of leather that are pressed together with adhesives and die to make sheets of bonded leather. It is typically a bit stiffer than calfskin leather and very stiff compared to goatskin leather. It is the lowest grade of leather cover, but it does fill a niche in Bible cover options. If I were to buy a goatskin hide from a supplier it would cost me about $80.00. I could probably get about three or four Bibles this size case bound. So if the publisher wanted to make any money they would have to pass the costs along to the consumer. Synthetic covers are less expensive. They are also almost as flexible as premium covers. The problem is that they arent as tough and dont last as long. Bonded leather covers, in my opinion are tougher than the synthetic covers. It might not be as flexible as a synthetic cover, but it will add more structure to a big Bible like this than a synthetic one. Your other option is to get a hardback. These are good for giving the Bible structure. They are also pretty durable, but they can get bent, torn, scratched, and waterlogged pretty easy. They are easy to rebind as well. So you see, there are several options, you just have to decide how much you want to spend, what features are must haves, and what you can compromise on.
I think as far as parallel Bibles go this one is built pretty well. This Bible has a sewn binding. That is almost a necessity on a Bible this size. You actually have four complete Bibles in one volume. The sewn binding makes this Bible much more flexible than a perfect bind. Perfect bound books have all of the pages stacked up, cut square, and glued together to form the spine. A sewn binding stacks pages into separate pamphlets called signatures. These are stacked up against strips of material called binding tapes. The signatures are sewn to the tapes and to each other. This gives the Bible the ability to open fully, last longer, not lose pages, and hold together even if the glue gives way.
It is case bound, which means it is glued into the cover by the end papers. An edge lined binding glues the inside cover tab to the end papers of the text block and then covers the tab with another piece of paper, vinyl, or hide/fabric. You see edge lined bindings on premium Bibles. Premium Bibles usually are $150 and up. Case binding is the most common kind youll see.
On top of having a sewn binding, four Bibles, and a bonded leather cover, this Bible has pretty decent paper and print for a giant like this. I was expecting to have some difficulty with legibility due to how much they had to put in this volume, but this one uses clean sharply printed modern digital typeset. It was printed in China. The font is 8 point in size. That doesnt sound like much. Dont let that fool you. It is very legible. I was pleasantly surprised. The paper is pretty good too. It offers good contrast with the font without being too white. The spine is square, not rounded. There are decorative head and tail bands, a ribbon marker, publishers notes, limited foot notes, and gold colored gilt page edges.
I am not going to address the translations in depth for this review. I am going to focus on the quality of materials, features, and manufacture of this parallel Bible. If you want know more about translations and methods just do a search for translation notes, the version you want to know about, and the year of the edition. Google is your friend, kind of It is also the gubbermints intelligence machine! Put on your foil hats and look out for the black helicopters! Im not joking! Do it NOW! GET TO THE CHOPPA!!! (In conspiracy mode the government is always referred to as gubbermint)
I dont want to sound like a, negative Nelly and wait for it wait for it BUT I didnt expect to dislike the NLT so much. Ive always heard that it was, dumbed down. I never expected it to be as gender neutral as the NIV. Now, dont get the wrong idea, I am not anti-NIV or NLT per say. I am just a big fan of formal equivalent translations. Dynamic equivalents have their place. There are many new Christians who have trouble and need the extra help. My first Bible I was given was a parallel KJV/NIV. There are people who have trouble with English and need a little help. When you get down the road a little bit, you really need to get an NASB or ESV in my opinion. If you feel that you need a little help, I would suggest an HCSB over either the NIV or the NLT.
Overall a person buys a parallel Bible for the purpose of comparing translations. In that regard alone this Bible handily accomplishes that end.