Bible Review—Tyndale Select Reference Edition

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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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Bible Versions

When I became a Christian in 1994, my primary Bible for reading and study was the NIV. It was popular at the time so naturally that’s what I received from those who bought me bibles (both of which I still have). I knew of the KJV as a kid and later as a teenager, but I could never read it for long because its stilted old-world English was simply too much effort to enjoy. I preferred  something more modern.

As I got older, I branched out and read other translations–the NRSV, NASB95, NKJV, ESV, etc. In the 2000s, I was introduced to the HCSB and soon thereafter found myself referring to/reading it more than others. During my tenure as pastor I preached from the HCSB most of the time and to this day it’s one of my preferred Bibles for reading.

While my preference was for the NIV and/or HCSB, I also enjoy/ed a number of other translations: NLT, NET, NJB, CEB, and others. In more recent years I have come to really enjoy and read the REB, a translation I was unaware of until reading something about it on Jim West’s blog. I picked up a copy not long thereafter and have enjoyed it ever since. It has become one of my favorite translations.

So, what about you–what are you favorite translations?

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Preaching from the NLT

I have been preaching the Gospel for just over 9 years now. In that time, I have preached from only 3 versions of the Bible: a very brief stint in the KJV, followed by probably 5 or 6 years (maybe 1 or 2 more) from the NIV, and the last couple of years from the HCSB. There were times when I would preach from the Hebrew Bible or the GNT, if the passages were not overly complex, but I didn’t make it a regular practice. I did that mainly as an exercise in discipline–I had better know it if I were going to stand in the pulpit and expound it!

I’ve recently (as in the last two weeks) begun preaching from the NLT in the evening service. Let me say that I have really come to enjoy the NLT, much more than I did when I first read it many years ago. That being said, I have not enjoyed it nearly as much as my preaching bible. Granted, I’ve only been at it two weeks, but thus far I haven’t been as comfortable with it while preaching. I can’t quite pinpoint why; perhaps a few more weeks will reveal this and maybe I will even begin to enjoy it while preaching. So, I will continue with it up to my stop on the Mosaic NLT blog tour, which is scheduled for Nov. 2.

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