April 15, 2016
Some time ago, I posted a review of one of my most literal and beautifully produced leather Bibles in the “NASB wide-margin Bible in goatskin” – a Cambridge University Press edition now covered in a sturdy split-calf leather that’s shown on the review since Amazon no longer carries my particular goatskin edition.
Meanwhile, my copy has become my cache for thoughts that come as I read and insights that arise in my Bible study group at church. Studying for that discussion of God’s word, I also find interesting notes and comments that put a passage into its intended context while showing the Bible’s relevancy today. So, I pencil (never ink!) those notes into the wide margins.
Since I’ve been doing this for several years, most of the pages have some type of response to the scriptures read. Therefore, I began taking that Bible to my study group, instead of carrying one or more of my typically heavy study Bibles. Not only is this less cumbersome, but I can add new comments during our discussion and also have my own notes ready to share.
Recently, however, some changes occurred: 1.) I now have trouble seeing type smaller than 11 points, and this lovely edition has only around an 8-point font. 2.) The NASB (New American Standard Bible) has been updated. 3.) I'm praying my children will want to read my personal responses to God’s word. 4.) I have more than one child!
When I began an Internet search for a large print leather Bible with sewn pages and wide margins, I found that few existed. I also realized that most contemporary editions of the Bible will continue to be updated, often losing a precise word by substituting a fresh phrase that readers today will understand. But what about readers tomorrow?
As God-incidence would have it, the only 11-point font I found in a leather-covered Bible with wide margins is the King James Version (KJV) published by Hendrickson Bibles – a perfect choice for now and, hopefully, for ages to come!
Since I also plan to use this edition in my Bible study group, I welcome such “Special Features” as a concordance and color maps. In addition, the back matter includes:
Key Bible Promises
Harmony of the Gospels
Miracles of the Old Testament
Parables of the Old Testament
Miracles of the New Testament
Parables of the New Testament
Old Testament Prophecies of the Passion
Although I wish the cover were split cowhide, this genuine leather is supple and sturdy with sewn pages to last a lifetime and, Lord willing, long beyond.
Mary Harwell Sayler, poet-writer, lifelong Bible lover, Bible reviewer, and blogger for The Word Center and Praise Poems, © 2016
KJV wide margin large print Bible, genuine leather cover, sewn pages
January 13, 2015
Did you know that, if you have a blog or other outlet for reviewing Christian books and Bibles, you can receive free copies of titles published by Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, and Westbow? All you have to do is sign up (for free) and receive approval by BookLook Bloggers. Having done this some time ago, I’ve since reviewed a number of inspirational books, Bible storybooks, and other titles, and generally enjoyed the process.
As vow-swapping required, I agreed to post a review here on my own blog and do a brief word on Amazon, and therein lies the problem. Now that I’ve received my review copy of the KJV Note-Taker’s Bible, I’m in the unenviable position of having to give a Bible – the King James Version, no less – a low online rating. (Can you hear me sigh?)
To be as precise as possible, I’m giving the highest possible “score” of 5 stars to the KJV itself but only 1 star to the book at hand. Although I’d rather not star at all, Amazon insists, so the best I can do is average those ratings to a 3.
What I like about this edition is its handy, regular book size and a nice concordance in the back. The hardcover seems sturdy enough too, but sadly, this is not an edition for a serious note-taker.
My Bibles and I talk to each other. God's Word speaks, and I respond. Usually that means scribbling in the margins whatever insights God brings to mind or connective thought I want to investigate or phrases someone in our Bible study group says that I don’t want to forget. So when I saw that a review copy of a KJV with “Generous, wide margins for note takers” had become available, I requested it right away.
But, alas! According to the ruler in my desk drawer, the outer margin is slightly over one and a quarter inches but definitely less than 1.5 and less than the wide margin Bible I normally use. The latter also allows an interior margin of about three-fourths of an inch, whereas the KJV Note-Taker’s Bible has slightly more than a quarter-inch. This could be improved upon – and the regular book size kept – if the text were printed in a single, narrower column with a big, fat outside margin.
At present, the outer margin provides enough room to write tight or note a cross-reference, but personally, I’d rather have cross-references printed throughout the Bible. The one I use and have previously reviewed includes that feature and also has pages sewn (not glued) into the sturdiest possible binding of high quality leather – a necessity for those of us who do not want to transfer notes from one Bible to another in years, hopefully, to come. If, however, you just want a reader’s edition to sit down and read straight through, as you would any book-sized book, this non-intimidating, no-frills choice would work very well.
©2015, Mary Harwell Sayler, poet, writer, and reviewer, is a lifelong lover of Christ, the Bible, and the church in all its parts.
KJV Note-Taker’s Bible, hardcover