Bibles

Bible Review—Tyndale Select Reference Edition

Review---Tyndale-Select-Reference-EditionTyndale | Amazon | CBD

I received this bible from the generous folks at Tyndale Publishers and let me say this is a lovely bible! This bible belongs to the new line of Select Reference Editions (hereafter TSRE) and it is simply exquisite. This isn’t a study bible, so its primary function is obviously to be read. To that end, Tyndale has incorporated all the requisite elements one might expect of a premium bible to make the reading experience as enjoyable as possible. My copy is bound in glorious black goatskin leather and unlike my NIV Pitt Minion, this goatskin is supple straight out of the box—it required little to no use to detect and appreciate the soft feel of good leather. To further contrast with the Pitt Minion, this bible smelled like good leather from the outset. I’m not sure why the Pitt Minion took a little longer to become more leathery smell-wise, but it did.

As for other features, the TSRE is Smyth sewn, which in my opinion is necessary to ensure it maintains its structural integrity through what would likely be many years of use. While the bidning initially makes the bible a little stiff, by following the included instructions (or your own method) for stretching the spine, the TSRE readily lays open without closing, whether you’re reading Genesis 1 or Revelation 22. The TSRE also includes two ribbon markers, eight full-color maps, and a 118-page dictionary concordance to facilitate the location of/definitions of particular words and/or concepts. Also contributing to this bible’s exterior beauty are the reddish gold art-gilded pages—always a nice touch!

The single-column layout is also a positive. While I don’t mind double columned bibles, the single column simply allows more room for larger fonts, which in turn, contribute to the overall readability. The font is a suitable 8.75 (Lexicon) and the paper is of good quality—thick enough to prevent too much ghosting and white enough to adequately underlay the black ink. The footnotes and marginal references are fairly numerous (40,000 +), but the pages remain uncluttered and provide plenty of information to allow the reader inroads to other texts and similar concepts.

In sum, this is simply a splendid bible. The craftsmanship behind it ensures that with proper care and use, this bible will last for many years, perhaps even generations. I treasure my premium bibles, most of which were produced by Cambridge, but this Tyndale edition can stand right alongside my Cambridge bibles in terms of quality. Some may even say that the Tyndale Select line doesn’t just rival Cambridge, but surpasses it. Perhaps time will tell!

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Bibles, Reviews

Bible Review: NIV Pitt Minion Reference Edition

Review---NIV-Pitt-MinionPitt Minion NIV Reference Edition published by Cambridge

Cambridge University Press | Amazon | CBD

I was pleased to receive this little gem of a Bible from the generous folks at Cambridge! Having just introduced the HCSB Ultrathin Reference Bible into my rotation, I have a measure of sorts with which to compare this bible.

First, I conduct the aroma test. This is the only goatskin bible I have and I’ve not ever handled one that I can recall, so I was not sure what to expect. I opened the box and held the bible close to take in the aroma of its binding. My first impression was it did not have the lovely leathery aroma of top grain cowhide, which was a bit disappointing. There is the smell of leather, but it’s definitely deeper, almost musky, and thus not quite as appealing as cowhide, at least not initially. Though I wouldn’t liken it to the comparison of goat cooking on an open flame to beef (the goat is somewhat off putting), it is an earthier scent. However, I can say after having used this bible for a few months, the aroma is much more subtle and more pleasing than at first.

Second, and the most important aspect, is the bible’s overall usability. This particular bible is smaller than most I have. It is more like a slimline and measures approximately 174 x 120 mm (6.8 x 4.7 in). The downside is obviously the readability; however, despite its smaller size it’s a very readable font face (6.75/7 pt Lexicon) and a very portable bible. Several months’ use has also loosened the leather so that it is more pliable than when straight out of the box. The text is laid out in two-column format, which with a font size of 7 could be a little small for some. Surprisingly, the font and format is quite readable. The two columns are intersected by a center column populated by cross references noted in the text. Other features include the words of Jesus in red, an NIV concordance, and fifteen bible maps, each of which are nicely colored and coded with an index of various features of the maps themselves.

The binding is quite nice, though as I noted, the leather is not as aromatic as others. Nevertheless, the leather having softened a bit is nice and looks really good. There is a very clear grain to the goatskin that seems commensurate with its provenance. It boasts art guild edges and two ribbon markers, seemingly standard fare for higher-end bibles such as these. All these elements contribute to overall pleasing aesthetic and a perfectly nice bible for regular reading and handling.

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*UPDATE – Having kept this bible in my reading rotation, the goatskin leather has become much softer and supple, thus increasing the overall flexibility. The increase in softness also lends to a nicer feel, naturally.