This has to be the first ever full color study bible that I have ever seen in the New King James Version that is THIS informative. The Genuine Leather binding is supreme, the bible itself is smyth-sewn, so its durability is strong. It contains full color pictures, maps, timelines, silver gilt page edges, TWO ribbon markers, one in black, and the other in red. The words of Jesus are in red letter, and really informative study notes.
This is the type of study bible that you can't go wrong with, and I own quite a few of them, but this one is superb, and is definitely an excellent source of study for serious students of the Word of God.
Let me begin by saying I did not purchase this item from CBD because I was not aware of its existence until I saw it at a local bookstore.
I was immediately excited when I saw this Bible because I am a fan of the NKJV, and of Holman Publishers. The ONLY reason I gave it 4 stars is because I have a strict standard because I have seen many high-end Bibles. Here's what you need to know:
Holman's Genuine Leather always seems to be of much higher quality than similar publishers (Thomas Nelson, Hendrickson, etc.) in that it is thicker, more plush, and beautiful to behold (Holman also has a unique grain in their leathers that I am a big fan of!). The same is true with the leather of this Bible, it is high quality. It is not on the level of a Cambridge, Schuyler, or R.L. Allan, but again, it is not intended to be.
Holman usually has nice ribbon markers. I am impressed with the ribbon in this Bible, because I have been let down in the past with high-end Oxford and R.L. Allan ribbons before.
Holman almost always puts a Smyth-sewn binding in their Bibles. The same is true for this Bible. Most other publishers stopped doing this awhile ago and instead opted for the cheaper glued binding option (which will fall apart in a year or less -- smyth-sewn will not!). This is the biggest plus to me, the first thing I check for in a Bible is whether or not it is smyth-sewn. This one is, so you can rest assured that the binding will be in tact even if the leather wears out. Another positive to this one being smyth-sewn is that should you decide to get the leather cover rebound in the future it will make it easier on the company doing it because the binding is already sewn.
Inside, the layout is beautiful. I am a huge fan of the colored pages. I have a sleep disorder that causes me to be very drowsy during the day, and also causes me to fall asleep easier than most people, so this colorful interesting layout is a big bonus for me. It is very "aesthetically pleasing" you might say.
The pages are surprisingly thick for a study bible. That is pretty uncommon among study bibles since they are usually so much thicker than a regular bible. Again, Holman usually does a pretty good job on this.
For those of you that write in your Bibles, the print in here is good and WILL NOT smear. For those of you wondering why I am saying this, here's why: If you have ever had a cheaper Crossway ESV Bible and have tried to write or highlight in your Bible, you have probably noticed that the print smears very badly! You don't have to worry about this in this Bible.
The thumb indexes could've been done better, that is one of my few complaints. A few of them are off center and overlap out of the bible so that they stick to the pages under them. It is not like that in just my Bible, I checked all the others on the shelf at the bookstore (about 8 other copies) and they were all similar (if not worse) than mine. Still, the indexes are done much better than other bibles by Thomas Nelson. So unless you are just really picky, this shouldn't be too much of a concern.
This Bible is surprisingly not too terribly big. By comparison, it feels MUCH smaller than my ESV Study Bible or my New Oxford Annotated NRSV. That is definitely a plus if you intend on making this Bible your everyday carry Bible. With that being said, it is still a study Bible and is therefore pretty bulky. It is much bigger than thinline or even personal size large print Bibles. If you are a fan of putting Bible covers on, you will need atleast an XL cover. I have a few XL covers, some fit and some don't. My suggestion would be to bring your cover with you to the store and try it out before you buy (if you get it from here and it doesn't fit, CBD has EXCELLENT customer service and would be glad to either return, exchange, or help you in anyway possible -- so you can rest assured knowing that you will be taken care of).
Overall I give this Bible a strong 4/5 stars. It is a good translation, the publisher has a good reputation for durability and quality, it is smyth-sewn, and has a lot of interesting notes and articles in a beautifully done full colored layout. If you liked the revolutionary HCSB Study Bible, and you are a NKJV fan, then you will absolutely LOVE this Bible (because it was modeled after the HCSB Study Bible). This is a whole lotta Bible for a cheap price. This is essential for every Christian's personal library.
I anxiously await this Bible because I have the Holman HCSB and the King James Study Bibles and they are superlatively well done, visually attractive, of excellent quality and the features are interesting, informative, precise, and relevant. Holman has done everything right! Kudos!