Im kind of biased because I love the NASB translation and Lockman Foundation but, I know there is always a, but after the review starts the way this one did. The, but in this case is the hit and miss nature of some of the Chinese manufacture processes. This would have been a great Bible if fit and finish quality of the work were better. This is $100.00 Bible and should reflect that in the finished quality. Their was a section in the back where the overly thick card paper edge was glued improperly so that the white paper edge was visible and exposed.
also on the front of the Bible the card paper was splitting on the bottom corner. I dont know if it was not glued well, bent during shipping from China, or the card paper that was used was just to thick and rigid for this application.
The Head and foot areas of the Bible could do with more precise attention to quality. The notches could be smaller.
The ribbon markers could be a thicker, higher grade of ribbon.
Lockman needs to move away from using the higher clay content shiny paper for the presentation pages and maps and move to a flat paper. The glossy ones are too prone to falling out. The presentation page should have been a couple of pages in so that you could actually write on it. It is glued to the card paper that attaches to the binding and cover.
I think if Lockman Foundation left the manufacture of their Bibles that cost less than $50.00 in China it would be alright, but with their middle and top end products they really need to bring it back home. They sent me a copy of the hardcover Charles Stanley text Bible that is made here in America and it was excellent. I loved the paper and the binding. If this Bible got the same treatment it would be worth the $100.00 price tag, but as it is I would have to pass. They did send this Bible to me for free to be reviewed on my blog.
With all the cons, I dont want you to get the idea that this Bible does nothing right. It has a sewn binding, and a calfskin cover. It includes two ribbon markers and it is pretty thin considering that it is a real reference Bible. You get all the benefits of a full reference Bible with a pretty thin profile.
The Side Column Reference Bible I did a review on previously had more attention paid to fit and finish. It was better so I overlooked some of the smaller cons like the opaqueness, excessively notched near the head and foot, and ribbon quality. The opaqueness isnt near as bad as other Bibles Ive seen. I just mention it because it isnt as good as some in the same price range. It seems like a more flexible card paper was used to connect the cover and text block on the side column reference which I love. This one con seems to cause others or make them more noticeable. It is difficult to design the perfect Bible because, well it is subjective. We like what we like though, so you can either make a ton of variations and try to please a lot of people, or you can make a few, really well made Bibles and hopefully sell a bunch of them to a smaller crowd.
The bottom line is that you still get a great translation, in a sewn binding that is very flexible and lays flat, with genuine calfskin cover. I would just suggest they make these here in America or lower the price.
Features, Ultrathin, large print 10 point font, making it easy on the eyes, double column verse format with center column references, Black letter edition, 8 pages of full color maps, Concordance, 2 Ribbon markers, gilt page edges, Presentation page, Family record pages, Gilded edges, Smyth Sewn, Printed on high-opacity paper to limit bleed-through, Lifetime guarantee, Black Calfskin leather.
I love almost everything about this bible. The ONLY thing I do not appreciate is the lack of softens or suppleness in the genuine leather cover. It is stiffer than it should be, which I'm OK with, but the texture of it is quite harsh, not soft like genuine leather should be. I'm very disappointed by that.
One other thing which really bothers me is the horrific toxic fumes emanating from this Bible. It really smells toxic. I am waiting for it to air out, though I have separated all of the pages, which took forever, and will see if I end up with a rash on my hands from it, as I am sensitive to many chemicals.
The pages are nice and crisp, cut properly, the text is nice and clean, and easy to read thanks to the 10pt font. It appears that the guilding is minimal but that's not a big concern of mine. The leather seems okay, no obvious marring or cracks or anything. The inside cover paper is properly glued to the leather creating a nice clean, firm border. There are 5 pages of thick paper (card stock?) on either end of the bible front/back even after the maps in the back, so that is nice to be able to put notes, though I'm not sure regular ballpoint pen will work well on it due to it's glossiness. The maps are of excellent quality, bright, clear, well marked.
The binding is very sturdy, It appears to be Smyth-sewn and it does lie flat when opened to the middle of the bible. Of course the front 1/4 and the back 1/4 of pages won't lie flat but it is very easy to hold it down so that it does.
I don't have a ruler with me, but I can give a hint as to the actual dimensions (for verification purposes):
OK, I have a 2013 NASB MaCarthur Study Bible (the Raven version) and sitting them right on top and matching the left and bottom of them, this reference bible is the same exact width as the study bible. This bible is no more than 1/4 inch (more likely about 1/8 inch) taller. This bible is about 2/3 the thickness of the study bible. It is definitely much lighter than the study bible, making it very easy for me to tote around with me without hand strain, I do have weaker hands due to some autoimmune issues.
This bible includes a nice presentation page, marriages page, Wife's family tree, Husband's family tree pages which include a spot for info about the wife/husband, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, a births page, deaths page, and last but not least, occasions to remember.
Since I purchased the Large Print edition in genuine leather, my bible is not a red-letter edition. I wish they had that option but I really preferred the large print so I had to choose, large print or red-letter.
The references are in the center column. There is one ribbon marker.
Overall I am quite pleased with this bible. I hope it lasts a lifetime.
This is a sturdy Bible and the cover is soft and flexible. I experimented with the cover by folding it and crumpling it in my hands in many different ways, yet it continued to hold it's shape. The Bible opens up very easily, so there's no need to open it up and press down on the spine area to keep it open.
While this probably isn't the best Bible to carry around all the time, it's a wonderful Bible to keep and use at home. However, that might just be my personal preference.