After several attempts at ordering this bible, it was definitely worth the wait. We love the cover, the size of the font and the overall look/feel of the bible. I would definitely recommend this bible!
Holmans KJV Ministers Bible was made to meet the specific needs of the minister: preaching and ministerial duties. With its large print and wide margins it has the potential to be a great preaching Bible. The top grain cow hide is one of the most flexible and elegant covers Ive ever seen.
Cover and Binding
The cover is black top grain cow hide with a leather liner. It has stitching all around the perimeter. The leather is about a medium thickness not as thin as Crossways calfskin and not as thick as Allans goatskin. Its about right in the middle. The grain looks and feels elegant. There are five ridges on the spine that give it an extra elegant touch.
This is the most flexible cover Ive seen in a KJV. I have placed this Bible in every useful contorted position I can imagine and it didnt complain once. I usually dont care for a cover thats so flexible that I cant hold it in one hand. Ive never been one to roll the Bible up like a newspaper to hold in one hand while I read. This one has convinced me of the merits. I took it outside and walked around with it for a while. The wind started blowing my pages so I rolled it up in order to keep the pages down. I was amazed at how tight I could roll this up with no effort whatsoever.
The liner is edge-lined leather and the binding is sewn. Some edge-lined covers wont let the first few pages lay open very well. This is not one of those covers. It lays flat at every single page.
Paper and Print
The paper is white with just a very slight touch of ivory- just enough thats not too bright. Its thin, but not ultrathin. Its opacity is not bad. There are places where the print would be easier to read if it had line-matching. There are other places where the lines line up perfectly and these pages are the easiest to read. I havent written in it yet, but it seems like it would be good for writing.
The print quality is consistent throughout. The font is black letter and around 11-point with a 12-point leading. It has about a medium boldness. Its not my favorite font because it looks tall and skinny, but its not bad either. It wont keep me from reading it. Bold numbers are used to indicate paragraphs.
Column width is almost 2 . The outer margin is 1, the inner margin is , the bottom is 1, and the top is .
References and Notes
References and notes are at the end of the verses. References are not keyed to the text, so theres no way to know which potion of the text they correlate to. Notes are keyed with a T.
Stars are used to indicate messianic prophecies. Empty stars shows the prophecy foretold and filled-in stars show the fulfillment. I like having them marked and Im used to seeing these stars as the markings, but the references are not given so theres no way to correlate the prophecy with its fulfillment.
Just like a standard old style KJV setting, there are page summaries across the top of the page. There is one per page.
The resources consist of tables and articles. Some are for simple reference and others step you through and help prepare you for events or your role in ministry.
A Harmony in the Life of Christ
Appearances After the Resurrection
Miracles of our Lord
Parables of our Lord
Tables of Weights and Measures
Eight Traits of Effective Church Leaders
21 Essentials of Authentic Ministry
A Classic Wedding Ceremony
A Contemporary Wedding Ceremony
Funeral for a Child
Funeral for a Student
Funeral for a Suicide Victim
Four Kinds of Expositional Preaching
30 Keys to Giving an Invitation
o Church Membership
o Assurance of Salvation
o Rededication to Grow Toward Spiritual Maturity
o Commitment to Vocational Christian Ministry
Leading a Child to Christ
Reaching Students with the Gospel
Two Things we Really Must Do
o The Importance of Baptism and Communion
o Why is Communion so Important?
o What is so Important about Baptism?
The Christian Year and Church Calendar
The Apostles and their History
Some of these are essential helps for ministry. I would like to see more for counseling such as grief, divorce, loss, etc. I would rather have these topics than the theological topics that are so controversial.
Some of them contain theological bias. Those articles are not even needed at all. If a minister needs the theological knowledge given in those articles then he or she is not ready to preach the Word.
It needs a topical index for ministry. Part of the purpose of this Bible is to use it in your ministerial duties: preaching, teaching, visiting, counseling, etc. Ive seen Bibles that were not made for this that have topical indexes that are more helpful for these duties.
The concordance is 53 pages. It is large print and has two columns per page. There isnt much in it. Its one of the least useful concordances Ive used. It doesnt have God, but it does have 4 entries for Baptism, 5 for Baptized, 17 for faith, 7 for pray, and 4 for prayer. It can help you find a few verse if youre looking for something in your visitations. I would rather have more ministry helps or blank paper for writing.
There are 8 full-color maps on thick non-shiny paper. These are the standard Holman maps. They are very colorful and easy to use. An index would be helpful, but theyre labeled well. The more popular places are easy to find. The lesser popular places might take a little more time to hunt down. Most likely you wont need them during your sermon anyway.
There are two ribbons one black and one dark red. Theyre long enough but theyre not as wide as I like. I like that theyre different colors. The black and red matches Holmans thumb-index scheme of black for the Old Testament and red for the New Testament.
I read this Bible in the car, at my desk, outside, in the living room, and in Church. The floppy cover wasnt too distracting like I thought it would be. I did have to spend a little more effort holding it, but when I read out in the wind I was able to roll it up and read it with no trouble at all. The paper and font were comfortable to read for long periods of time. I did like the pronunciation marks for Old Testament names but I dont need them for common names like Jes-us and Pe-ter. Holding it in the car while sitting behind the wheel (while waiting in a parking lot) was a little awkward but not enough to make me stop reading.
There isnt a lot of extra material in this Bible. I did get some good study by going through the charts in the back for the parables and miracles of Jesus. It was a good Bible to use for studying from other resources. When I do decide how I want to write in it I will add enough references and topical chains to make it my own study Bible.
I have a habit of keeping my Bibles in the boxes they come in, so when I carry them around I take the box too. I dont know what it would be like to toss this Bible in the back seat or in a carry-bag without the box. Id imagine the floppiness wouldnt be too good for it. As far as carrying it around, it almost feels too floppy to me.
I enjoyed preaching from this Bible. It laid flat on the pulpit and I could turn it to any page I wanted with ease. Using the references in the header made it easy to find the pages I was looking for. Preaching is by far its best use. The text is easy to see while it lays on the pulpit. There is enough room to write some references, definitions, or quick bullets.
Thoughts about Using It
I abused this Bible. I carried it with me every time I left the house. I walked around with it in my back yard. I used it in moderate wind. I carried it around the house. It sat in my lap. It sat on the table. It sat on the pulpit. It drooped down from my hands. I rolled it up in many different positions just to be able to read it in the wind. It held up easily. I have no doubt this Bible will last me as my primary preaching Bible. I completely enjoyed using it as my daily and preaching Bible.
How to use the Margins
Since the next book starts on the same page as the last book ended, there isnt an overabundance of writing space even with the wider margins. The margin space in the inner margin is good for drawing symbols, writing references, and maybe a topic name. The outer margin is twice the size, so you can get a short definition and maybe some bullets if you need to. Another idea for definitions is to use the space at the bottom. You could write every definition you need in alphabetical order all the way through the Bible. Another idea is to write definitions that only pertain to that page. You could also use it for translation notes.
Holmans KJV Ministers Bible feels like a very high quality Bible from the cover and binding to the paper and print. I cant stop holding and reading this Bible. I love the paper and print, and this cover just melts in my hands. I love reading and preaching from it. The resources could use some work. Theres nothing here for sermon prep, so this isnt meant to be your one Bible. This Bible excels at what it was made for: preaching. For other ministerial duties its hit or miss. I would like a little more inner margin. If it does nothing else, it serves as a preaching Bible as good or better than any Bible Ive preached from so far and thats saying a lot.
Holman Publishers provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review- only an honest review.
Step into my office and pull up a chair. I'm going to tell you about this Bible.
As you adjust to an unfamiliar chair, it hits you. Silently, you ask yourself, "What is that intoxicating aroma I'm picking up?" Words aren't necessary but before the words can even leave your lips, I pick up the product box and bring it up to your nose and open it slightly revealing the aroma you find irresistible. Quickly I close the box, put it down, say nothing, and smile. You'd say, "Please sir, that wasn't enough" as you exercise restraint. Rather than prolong your growing anticipation to see what's inside, I'd open the box and slowly push it in your direction. Here's what you'd find upon inspection:
This Bible is very pleasing to the eye. The raised hubs on the spine separate gold stamping identifiers such as: Holman, KJV, "Holy Bible", and a wheat graphic. Supple doesn't even begin to describe the feeling upon handling. When opening this top grain cowhide leather Bible, it drapes across your hand ever so comfortably. Bible study helps are minimal but useful. The article, "Why Read the King James Version?" by Calving Miller acts as a nice dedication though I would have liked to have seen the 1611 original, full length preface included, too. Margins are about 1" out to the side, top and bottom. The gutter spacing in only 1/2" wide so think twice before writing in here. I would've like to have seen more cross references, too but I know this is not a study Bible. Pages seem thin so I'd exercise caution in choosing a writing instrument to make notes. Verses appear to be line matched which minimizes ghosting. Minor annoyance: Books of the Bible do not begin on their own page. Also, why not include the pastoral helps at the end of the Old Testament instead of being lumped with the concordance? It would more evenly distribute weight when open. The Bible comes with two ribbon markers, one back, and one red. The Bible would've seen incomplete without maps but once again, this is not a study Bible. Still, it's nice to have a few high caliber maps handy. That just about does it. Simply and sweet.
Regardless of your stance on the KJV vs. modern translations, this KJV Minister's Bible deserves your consideration as a preacher's Bible, a pulpit Bible, or just a good note taking Bible. You could spend far less for a note taker's Bible but it'll never seems this nice or light.
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this Bible in exchange for writing a review. I was not required to write a positive one, only an honest one.
Holman sent this Bible packaged in a cardboard box with some paper padding it. The retail box was inside. I had no idea which Bible they had sent me. I didnt remember requesting one for review. I was pleasantly surprised by the arrival of the KJV Ministers Bible. When I had originally requested it they were out of stock. It seems that Holman remembered and sent it when it became available.
When I opened the shipping box I found the retail packaging inside. Keep the two piece gift-box to store your Bible. This Bible is so supple that it will need to be laid flat for storage. When I opened the retail box I could see that the Bible was wrapped in a dark colored construction paper to keep it safe from being deformed. I like this better than being, shrink wrapped with plastic wrap. Plastic wrap has the tendency to pull the corners down and deform the cover and text block. If the Bible arrives damaged or during use develops premature wear, rest assured, Holman has a lifetime warranty on this product.
I was impressed by the feel of the genuine cowhide leather cover. It was soft and supple. The inside cover is not lined. The edges of the outer cover are rolled over and sewn down. The spine of the Bible has decorative spine hubs. They used to be where the journal tapes or ribbons were sewn to the journals. The cover would have to be fitted over them which produced the raised hubs. Now it isnt an indicator of a sewn binding or not. Youll be glad to know this one does have a very flexible sewn binding. It allows this Bible to do some pretty amazing things and come out unscathed. It lays flat right out of the box and can even curl back under the spine with both covers at the same time. I wouldnt make a practice of that, but it can do it. When held open with one hand it drapes over your hand. The spine of the Bible is imprinted with, KJV at the top, Holy Bible in the Middle, and Holmans logo at the bottom. The pages are edge gild with gold colored foil. There are two very nice quality ribbon markers in this Bible, one is red and the other is black. The pages are opaque and have a generous inch wide margin for adding your own notes. Wide margins are quite helpful for Pastors. The opacity of the paper is important so that text doesnt show through the page. While preaching and looking down at this Bible you should be able to focus on the text and not what is behind it. The font is equally conducive to preaching. It is a neat and clean 12 point font that is consistently inked throughout the Bible in this black text edition. The text is arranged in a double column verse format making it easy to quickly locate verses. Book names, chapter, and verse are printed on the top of the page along with headings. There are many aids for Pastors included in this Bible. Here is a list of some of them; Sixty-six page KJV concordance, eight maps, Where to Turn When, Plan of Salvation, color presentation page, Various wedding and funeral outlines by Jim Henry, Why Read the King James Version? by Calvin Miller, 8 Traits of Effective Church Leaders by Thom S. Rainer, 21 Essentials of Authentic Ministry by James T. Draper, Four Kinds of Expositional Preaching by Ed Stetzer, 30 Keys to Giving an Invitation by O. S. Hawkins, Leading a Child to Christ by Bill Emeott, Reaching Students with the Gospel by Lynn H. Pryor, The Importance of Baptism and Communion by Rick White, Commitment Counseling, The Christian Year and Church Calendar, The Apostles and Their History, and Table of Weights and Measures. With all that this Bible offers it would be a wonderful blessing for your Pastor as a gift, even if the Pastor is your Dad. Pastors shouldnt feel bad about buying such a nice Bible. It is money well spent on a product that should last for a long time.