If you are looking to deepen your Christian faith by living it, then the Life Application Study Bible is for you. This is not the type of study Bible that merely presents history, background, and facts. This study Bible takes scripture and teaches you how to apply it to life and actually live the Christian faith.
The bonded leather is good! Bonded leather doesn't last as long as genuine, but this is exceptional for bonded leather. The grain is nice and glossy, but rather stiff to the touch. If you are looking for a limp leather Bible, this is not it (although it will loosen and soften up with time and use).
I can't speak for all editions, but mine was printed and bound in the USA. The text is in single column style rather than the two column traditional setting. This makes it read more like a book and increases smoothness and flow of the text when reading. The red lettering is very consistent, but is on the lighter side. The font is a very readable 9.5 point type.
The Bible itself is on the larger side, but about the average size for a study Bible. It measures in at 9.25x6.25 inches. If you are purchasing a cover, you will need a size X-Large.
It has a presentation page, and a concordance. It has side column references rather than down the middle. Each book has a very concise but interesting introduction, with a timeline, key verse, main idea, and all the other essential information when studying the Bible. One of the interesting features is the character profiles of many popular Bible characters that gives you everything there is to know about their life.
I recently purchased this Bible, having heard a lot of good things about it. It is a beautiful book. It has a great cover and binding and is very well laid out. The character sketches and charts and maps are wonderful. So, why only one star, and why wouldn't I recommend it to someone else? The stated aim of the Life Application Bible is to help people learn to apply the timeless truths of God's Word to their lives today. This is a laudable goal. However, it is hard to teach application of God's word while contradicting it at the same time. For example:
Matthew 10:22 - "And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved." These are words spoken by Jesus himself. The annotation for this verse reads as follows: "Enduring to the end is not a way to be saved but the evidence that a person is really committed to Jesus. Persistence is not a means to earn salvation, it is the by-product of a truly devoted life." No matter how learned we are, and/or how much expertise we have, we are not infallible as humans. The Bible is the inerrant, inspired Word of God, and therefore infallible. Using a study Bible that directly contradicts the Word of God is dangerous. These scholars are not God and are not inspired by God, therefore, contradicting the Word of God is not something that should be attempted by anyone.
Also, in the back of the Bible, is the Christian Worker's Resource, the first section of which is entitled, "How to Become a Christian." This section does not give the entire plan of salvation, therefore making it even more dangerous. In both Mark 16:16 and I Peter 3:21, the Word of God clearly states that Baptism is necessary for salvation, and there is plenty of additional proof throughout the New Testament as well. Believing in Christ and praying the Sinner's Prayer will not save anyone. I know I am in a minority here on that point, but since there are verses that say that repentance and confession are also required, the plan of salvation at the back of this Bible leaves an awful lot of stuff out. It is truly a shame because it is a truly beautiful and well-laid out book, but the Bible is the Bible, and nothing we humans can say can improve on it one little bit.
Revelation 22:18 - "For I testify to everyone that hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life."