5 Stars Out Of 5
My New Favorite Bible
May 28, 2015
This review is for the NKJV Large Print Personal Size Reference Bible in Brown Genuine Cowhide (ISBN-13: 9781433613180) by Holman Bible Publishers. The review will include translation, dimensions, binding, format, features, and price. For clarification, I am bilingual, and English is my second language.
Translation: As a kid, I memorized verses using the KJV, but I grew up using the NIV 1984. I switched to HCSB about 5 years ago then to NASB. For some reason, I never warmed up to the NKJV. I recently just realized how beautiful the NKJV version is, but it is still more difficult to read than the NASB. Of course, NKJV uses the Received Text for its basis (Textus Receptus) whiles the NASB, NIV, HCSB, NLT uses the critical text for its basis. Although English is my second language, it is easier for me to read the Bible in English, and the NKJV translation is growing on me.
Dimensions: This Bible is what I would call a hand-size Bible. The measurement of this Bible including the leather binding is 8.5 inches long, 5.75 inches wide (from the spine to the edge of the leather cover) and 1.3 inches thick. The Clarion Bibles published by Cambridge has similar dimension as this bible except that the Clarions are only 7.5 inches long. The Clarion looks short and fat as a result. This NKJV Bible has the perfect dimensions for my taste. It is easy to carry and hold. Some Bibles are ultrathin, but they are too long and too wide making it look like a clipboard, and when you open them, it looks like you are reading a newsletter instead of a book. Publishers forget that the Bible is a book, and this NKJV Bible looks and feels like a book. Holman got the dimensions of this Bible correct. 5 stars for the dimensions.
Binding: This calfskin NKJ Bible is Smythe-sewn making this Bible durable. Because it is Smythe-sewn, it lays flat even at Genesis 1 or Revelation 21. This handsome Bible is bound with calfskin. The leather is soft to the touch, but it is not limp or supple because it is not leather-lined. I have a leather-lined calfskin HCSB that is very supple. The down side to supple Bibles is that when you hold it while you are reading, the pages droop. I prefer this Bible not being leather-lined for the simple reason that when you read it, the stiff non-leather lining prevents the pages from drooping down. Although the lining is non-leather, you can tell that the quality is one of the best. The spine has raised ridges that give this calfskin NKJV a classic look. 5 stars for binding.
Format: For the format, I will discuss the layout, the paper quality, ghosting, text size, and text color:
Layout This calfskin NKJV Bible uses a double column layout. The margins are rather narrow, and may not be suitable for writing notes. Each book of the Bible starts on its own page. 4 stars for the layout (I am deducting a point for the narrow margins).
The paper quality is surprisingly thick. As I mentioned before, this Bible has the same thickness as the Clarion series Bibles by Cambridge. The Cambridge Bible has about 2000 pages, while this NKJV Bible only has 1560 pages. Therefore, this NKJV Bible has thicker paper. Every time I turn the page, it feels like I am turning two pages. 5 stars for paper quality.
Ghosting I am happy to say that the ghosting and bleedthrough in this Bible is very minimal. The reason is not for the thick paper that I mentioned. Rather, ghosting is minimal due to its line matching technique. Usually found in high end Bibles ($100 and above) like the Clarion, Allan, and Schuyler Bibles, line matching technique is where the lines on the pages matches the lines of the reverse page. Holmans use of line matching technique will give the Clarion, Allan, and Schuyler Bibles a tough competition. 5 stars for minimal ghosting.
Text size This calfskin NKJV Bible boasts of an 11 point size which is very readable. Perhaps they could have made it 10 point with wider margins? 5 stars for the font size.
Text color Unfortunately, this Bible has the words of the Lord Jesus in red. I know some people like the Lords words in red, but I do not for the simple reason that red turns pale when reading under indoor lighting. This makes for difficult reading when indoors, especially at night. Holman uses somewhat of a darker red color, but the red color still turns pale under indoor lighting making it difficult to read at night. I have said this before and I will say this again. If Bible publishers want to highlight the Lords words, why not use a darker color like blue or dark green? That way it is easy to read even at night. Or why not just simply make it one color altogether? 4 stars for the red letters that turn pale at night.
Total score for format is 4.6 stars.
Features: This calfskin NKJV Bible is a text only Bible. The cross-references are minimal and are located at the end of the paragraphs. The translators notes are located in the footnotes at the bottom. I prefer text only Bible as the typical cross-references in Bibles are not usually meaningful, and they tend to use up space. It does have a concordance, and it has 8 full color maps. 5 stars for features.
Price: This Bible is only $33.99 excluding shipping. As always, CBD is the best in price and customer service. The price of this Bible is a great deal considering that it is a calfskin, Smythe-sewn Bible with line matching technique. As stated above, these features are typically found in high end Bibles only like the Clarion, Allan and Schuyler Bibles. 5 stars for the price.
Conclusion: If you prefer the NKJV Bible, consider this Bible first before purchasing a Clarion, Allan, or Schuyler NKJV. I give this Bible a total score of 4.92 stars based on the above scores, but since I cannot give 4.92 stars, I give this Bible a 5 star rating with my heartiest recommendations. If my review has been helpful, please vote for it as such. Thank you.