This is a serious study Bible which has an enormous amount of linguistic information in it. The large print is a very great blessing. It's a huge book, but it's actually easier to use than the regular print edition, because it is so crammed full of information that the regular edition is a strain for me to read, although it didn't used to be.
The notes are keyed to appendixes in the back. It will take a little time to get used to the system of references. For instance, there is a detailed study of the names of God in the appendix, and different forms of the basic font are used in the text to indicate exactly which one you are looking at. This goes further in its scope than just indicating the name Jehovah by all capital letters the way it is done in most editions of the KJV. Once you achieve familiarity with the system, just reading will shed a lot of light on the meanings that would be missed otherwise. There are also notes about God's names in the side column references.
Side column notes will also refer you to appendixes in the back. For instance, there are many different Hebrew words for sin, transgression, and the like, which have very specific meanings as to the particular kind of wrongdoing referred to. When you first start referring to the appendix to see the full meaning of the words indicated in the notes, it seems very time consuming, but as you do this and get familiar with the particular Hebrew words that Bullinger (the author of the notes) is indicating, you no longer have to go back to the appendix to check.
Honestly, I hardly know how to characterize this book other than to say that I treasure it. I also use other study Bibles - and often when I am puzzled by a passage, I will discover that the person doing the study notes either tells me something that is clearly a wild guess -- or has ignored the puzzle, because he/she doesn't know the answer either. Being able to go to the Companion Bible to gain a better understanding of the original language and the context usually brings understanding.
I believe - after a lot or reading about original manuscripts and the history of the early church - that God has given us our King James Version as a full and accurate translation of the Word of God in English. While it's quite true that you don't have to be a linguist to understand the Bible, delving deeply into the precise meanings of the words of God in the manuscripts which underlie the KJV is an activity that becomes a very great blessing, and I think God honors this willingness to study His word.
The Holy Spirit of God will enlighten us as we go along -- He never teaches us everything at once. If we study to show ourselves approved, He teaches us the things we are ready to learn and as our faith grows, He teaches us more and more. The Companion Bible is an exceptional learning tool. It is often more helpful than Strong's concordance, because of the way the information is presented.
As to the size and quality of the book, it is a good hardcover book. It's huge, and it must be handled like a huge book. It's a basic good quality -- not a luxury item, but a serviceable one.
While I would love to own this large print edition in a good leather, Smyth-sewn binding edition, I think the price of such a thing might be prohibitive for most people and more so -- since if the publisher can't sell a large quantity, the price is necessarily higher. I admit I would want to try to fit such a thing into my budget if it were available, but really I think it would be a sinful extravagance and foolish if I did that. So I am simply grateful to God for the opportunity to own a copy of this book that I can actually read. It is a treasure.
So much is being lost with the so-called easier-to-read versions that leave things out and over-simplify so as to actually lose ideas --
While this Bible might be overwhelming in its scope to a new Christian, it's my contention that with the determination to obey God's command to "study to show ourselves approved and to rightly divide the Word of Truth" - and with the help of the Holy Spirit, whom God has promised to those who love Him - we can make good use of this tool God has provided.
I would never say that I agree with any commentator 100%, because I am constantly surprised at some of the ideas sensible people can come up with -- It's the Word of God that is infallible -- not particular believers.
This enlarged print edition of the Companion Bible with commentary by E W Bullinger is an excellent choice for the serious student of God's word. It's also a good Bible to just read, since the text is clear and dark. Just be prepared to get comfortable with a large book if you choose this one.
Many people will be perfectly comfortable with the regular size type edition, and that's a much easier volume to hold and carry -- but I"m no spring chicken, and I like the larger print, especially in the appendix.
There is a "Wedge shaped Black XX-Large Bible cover" CBD Stock No: WW021466 which actually fits this enormous book. It took me a while to find that, so I pass this on for your convenience.
I'd like to also give some real thanks to Christian Book Distributors for years of reliable service. I have been shopping here for at least 45 years now -- ever since my pastor handed me a catalogue many years ago. I have never been dissatisfied.
I bought one after reading some of the reviews, but I am returning it for quality issues.
The prints and paper are the worst. It is like an ugly old dress, remodified to become a "new" wonderful gown. If you remember how the old printing machines quality appear, then this it. There are letters and lined that are broken. Bad quality and production.
Doctrine-wise, this isn't a good bible either. This study bible is trying to disect the texts of the KJV and gives it's negative critcism. Very unhelpful if you try to correct the text. It only cause confusion and doubts to the readers' minds.
If you look for a study Bible, get a one that will uplift and improve your understanding on the words of God, not this Bullinger that only introduce you to "hebrew", "greek", or whatever dead langauge that is not beneficial to a common man.
I have a pile of study bibles, but if I had to keep one and discard the rest, I'd keep this one. I'd never even heard of the Companion Bible until recently. As an earlier reviewer noted: 'This bible was written about one hundred years ago before the words "study bible" even existed and is still the best on the market.' I heartily concur. Be sure to get the genuine leather edition, so that it will last, and so that you can savor it by feel and smell as you read.