I have been looking for a new NIV reference bible that I can travel with yet still use in the pulpit, and after four months use this does seem to be a great purchase. It is a very handy size with a good concordance/reference system, yet still readable. It also lies flat straight out of the box! I had toyed with purchasing a Cambridge Pitt Minion, but the price of this and the slightly larger font size persuaded me. The cover is a slightly cheap bonded leather which is already wearing, and the gilding is also flaking, but the binding seems durable and hopefully it will last for a few years. If only it were available in real leather and with anglicised spelling!
Years ago I settled on this size and format for my personal Bible, and I have both a NASB and an NIV-1984 edition that are nearly identical.
I thought this was going to be the same, but it is slightly different and I actually like this one a lot better.
1. The leather seems is higher quality, more flexible and softer, like you might find in a pair of woman's dress gloves or super soft handbag. And the front part of the cover is actually two-pieces of leather sewn together that dresses it up a bit. The older Bibles are more like a man's billfold leather, shiny and stiff.
2. They formatted the center column cross references in two groups- some at the top of the page and the rest at the bottom. This opens up a big space in the center of every page- perfect for writing notes and such. It's -awesome-!
3. They cut back on the book introductions. Now all you get is a little paragraph. GOOD! When I want all that stuff, I can look it up easily enough with better resources than they could fit into a personal Bible. It's better to leave those things out and just have the basics- cross references and concordance.
4. The edges of this Bible are silver, not gold. I like that too.
5. Best of all, it's the NIV-2011. The more I read this and notice the differences between this and 1984 version, the more I like it.