The first thing to be noticed upon taking it out of the box is the cover. It's incredibly limp - can be rolled into a ball. But upon "playing" with it for a bit, you can see that the leather is far too thin. Leather is supposed to be protective, but this cover doesn't do anything like that. Just flops around uselessly.
The layout is good, and the paper quality is fine. There is significant bleed-through, which is also a downfall. The "gutter" crinkles when a finger is run through it, which shows it wasn't put together very well.
If you're used to TruTone Bibles, you'll love this one; if you're used to Bibles in the $100-$250 range, this one won't really cut it.
Another warning: based on the reviews and my own experiences, there is a high defect rate. The red letters can be boosted up half a line. In my Bible, the pages are really wrinkled, to the point of affecting the readability. Seems as though the Bible was extremely damp at some point.
So again, if you're used to TruTone Bibles, you'll be swept off your feet by the cover and will love it. It actually isn't that bad of a Bible, given there's no defects. I myself will look to buy a R.L. Allan Bible for their unparalleled customer satisfaction.
I was not looking for a Bible with lots of study notes. They are too bulky to me for pulpit use. This Bible is a great size, the print is just right, and with the calf skin cover and binding, it should last me a long time.
I have been researching online and at Christian book stores the different Bibles for preaching and studying. For teaching, I wanted an ultra-thin, leather Bible that would last me for years. I also wanted a version that was true to the text but still accessible to folks who didn't grow up with the scripture. The HCSB is a great translation with a good balance between word for word and thought for thought. The calfskin cover is AMAZINGLY soft and comfortable to hold in my hand. The craftsmanship is superb. It is well worth the extra money, and through CBD I saved about $45. I'm telling all my teacher and minister friends about this great Bible (and where to get it). I would prefer a little larger font as I have hit my 40's and my eyes stopped working, but as you'll read in some of the other reviews, the type is dark and even the red letters are dark enough to contrast well with the page. I went with the Hardcover ESV Study Bible for my at home/office study prep (also a great deal on CBD). It has tons of information and a more word for word approach which gives me a good comparison between my HCSB and other translations. I am extremely happy with this Bible as my preaching/teaching tool.
(Black Calfskin edition) This is the nicest Bible I've ever owned. The leather binding is so soft and supple, the book practically takes the shape of your hands as you hold it. And oohhhh, "that new Bible smell". The print is crisp, clear, red letters are RED not PINK, page bleed-through is minimal, and comfortable font size. This is the HCSB text only, no cross references except what you would normally find in the footnotes, and no concordance of any kind. For me this is a perfect plain-text reader. If I want to do further study I just write it down and study it later in my HCSB Study Bible. Super high quality in every way!
Wow, were the first words out of my mouth when I got my HCSB UltraThin Bible in Calfskin. I own several "premium" bibles including the Cambridge Goat Skin Wide Margin, Nelson Signatures Serious, TBS, and etc. For readability, usability, quality, and overall value, Holman takes the prize with this product.
The leather is very subtle and feels more like a thicker(better) version of my Cambridge goat skin than a calfskin leather. The binding is first rate and noticed the quality immediately. The layout of the HCSB UltraThin Calfskin makes this bible a pleasure to read and hold. I like this bible so much, that for the first time I am hesitant to write in it, LOL.
I am also appreciating this fresh, new translation the more and more I use it. I typically use various translations for my bible reading and study. However, I wanted to have a translation that I could use as my "go to" translation for reading, studying, teaching and preaching. Previously I was using the NKJV and was considering using the ESV but I wanted a more fluid English translation that wasn't just another revision of a previous bible translation but took into consideration the newest discoveries in ancient manuscripts and archeological findings, not just follow tradition. The translation notes is another BIG plus for Holman! I HIGHLY recommend this bible and translation!