There's a lot to like about the regular size Thompson Chain Reference KJV in genuine leather:
- The leather itself is surprisingly supple.
- The twin narrow column layout is pleasing.
- I'm not a big fan of the chain references themselves, but I like the marginal headings in bold type.
- The paper is fairly opaque and isn't very reflective, so you won't be annoyed with having to shift the angle between the page and the lamp to avoid glare.
- The font is a reasonable size. It's supposed to be 8 points, but the capital T is about the same size as a Times New Roman 8.5 point capital T, maybe a bit larger.
- Line spacing is generous. That and the lack of clutter due to the absence of reference markers (superscript letters) are attractive.
- I also like the fact that the KJV Thompson includes pronunciation symbols for some words (e.g., Diotrephes).
My biggest complaint about Thompsons is that they often don't tell you where quotations came from. For instance, Ephesians 2.17 quotes Isaiah 57.19. Just about any reference Bible will point you immediately back to the passage to Isaiah. Not the Thompson. (This deficiency is more obvious in the Thompson NASB, because it uses capital letters for quotations. For many quotations, you can search the chain references and never find the source of the quotation.)
Another problem is the bright red letters. A darker red would be easier on the eyes. Thompson used to offer black letter editions. It's too bad they stopped.
My copy of the Thompson KJV has two other defects. (1) The print darkness varies page to page. For instance, the characters on page 744 (Isaiah 3.18 to 5.8) are quite faint, but those on page 746 (Isaiah 6.1 to 7.8) are reasonably dark. Curiously, the study helps in the back of the Bible are uniformly dark. (2) The words "Thompson Chain Reference Bible" on the spine aren't centered.
Not a complaint - just an observation. People say that Thomsons have no doctrinal bias. The bias is there. It's just more subtle. The fact that references to baptism are written out in full in paragraphs 756 and 757 of the "Condensed Cyclopedia of Topics and Texts" at the back, while the Lord's Supper is tucked away in 761, an entry only three eighths of an inch tall, tells me something about what Dr. Frank Charles Thompson thought was important, and what wasn't.
Finally, a note on shipping. The cost for shipping seemed quite high (over seven dollars), but the item took four days to travel 470 miles. Maybe I'm so used to free shipping from a certain giant internet retailer that I'm out of touch with the real world.
I love using the Thompson Chain Reference Bible for it is the best Bible to study from. Ever read a note in a Bible and your like, "No, that is totally wrong!" Well this Bible doesn't have comentary; it uses the thought that the best comentary for Scripture is Scripture itself. There are no doctrinal slants in this Bible. This in itself makes it amazing. Besides that, if you get the genuine leather, you will have a Bible that lasts a lifetime!
For the first time I tried the thumb indexed and I am glad. There was a good internet video on how to use the thumb indexed edition of the Thompson Chain Reference Bible. The tips and tricks really help to navigate from book to book and all the help sections. Simple ideas that makes the decision to get thumb indexed a good idea. I got the blue bonded leather and it is a beauty. I got free shipping and it was a slightly imperfect edition. I love a bargain. The imperfections are difficult to discern. I hope it lasts and lasts. Love the color and all the study helps. Really recommend Christian Book Distributors and their Bibles. There is so much good to say about this study Bible. Check it out for yourself, you will be glad you did. Five stars all the way across.