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Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Bible Exchange

The Bible Exchange is a new website where you can "Buy, Sell & Trade New and Used High Quality Bibles."  Part of the site is devoted to auctions of high quality Bibles.  The glossary explains all the terms used to describe Bibles.  I recommend reading it - it is well written and illustrated with clear pictures.  The site also offers new Bibles for sale, a place to list Bibles you want to tradenews about Bibles and reviews of Bibles.  The goal of the founders of the website was to provide a place where high quality Bibles can be bought and sold with honesty.  Too many have had bad experiences buying Bibles on other auction sites where they did not receive what they expected.  Now Bible lovers have a place to exchange Bibles!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bible Giveaway Winner

And the winner is ... Neil Short. Or more accurately, Neil Short's daughter. Please send me an email with your address to receive her new Thomas Nelson NKJV Single Column Bible!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Another Queen Jane Bible

I just heard about this one this morning.  It is called the Queen Jane Bible.  I don't believe it has any relationship to the Queen Jane's Version by Douglas Rankin.  This one is by Peter Kelly who self published it on Smash Words.  He has replaced gender and names throughout the Bible, including God's name.  This will likely be offensive to most believers.  For instance in Matthew we find this:
1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lady by the prophetess, saying, 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a daughter, and they shall call her name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, Goddess with us.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

NKJV Single Column: Thomas Nelson vs. Schuyler

I have lately been on the hunt for good single column Bibles in my favorite translations. One of those is the New King James Version. I read some excellent reviews about the Schuyler New King James Single Column Bible.  One review is by Mark Bertrand on his Bible Design Blog (the 2nd run of Schuyler NKJV) and on Beth Rhodes' Tresses' Other Corner (the 1st run of these Bibles). Both are excellent reviews and there is no need for repetition of their fine work here

Beth mentions that Schuyler NKJV single column Bible is a reprinting of Thomas Nelson's "but better." I decided to see for myself what "better" meant. My skill in photographing Bibles is negligible, but hopefully these will help illustrate some of the differences.

These Bibles have exactly the same layout.  There is no difference in page numbering or anything else.  The layout is by Blue Heron Bookcraft in Battle Ground, Washington.  The Thomas Nelson Bible is printed in the United States of America (printer isn't given).  The Schuyler NKJV was printed by Royal Jongbloed in Heerenveen, Friesland, Netherlands.  The main reason I considered the Schuyler after getting the Thomas Nelson was in hopes that it would be more readable.
Thomas Nelson (on top) and Schuyler have the same layout.
Thomas Nelson (top) and Schuyler have exact same layout

I got the Thomas Nelson Bible first. Nowhere on the Bible does it mention the cover, although "Genuine Leather" is written on the box. Although the Bible is reasonably flexible, it feels more like bonded leather. I read that the Thomas Nelson Bible has a glued binding. I haven't been able to verify this.  I have to admit that I don't mind the feel of it in my hand. The Schuyler Bible is bound in soft goatskin and is very flexible. I LOVE the feel of it in my hand.   The Schuyler has a sewn binding (as do all Schuyler Bibles). Borrowing from Mark Bertrand's famous "Bible Yoga" style you can see that the Schuyler is more flexible.
Bible Yoga:  Thomas Nelson vs. Schuyler (Schuyler wins)
Thomas Nelson (left) is less flexible.

Both lay similarly on a table.  The Schuyler has a larger margin in the gutter so there is less text curving.  Both have some trouble when you are the beginning or the end of the Bible.  When opening to Genesis or Revelation, the lighter side raises slightly off the surface. Perhaps both would settle down with use.
Both Schuyler (left) and Thomas Nelson have trouble laying flat.

When thumbing through the Bible I noticed the page edges on the Thomas Nelson are a bit rough.  It appears that they were cut poorly so the gilding didn't stick well.  It is also duller than the Schuyler. Also, the pages tend to fan out a bit right from the start.  I haven't been reading this Bible much at all yet, but already the pages fan out.  The Schuyler is art gilt red under gold.  The edges are smooth and shiny.  You can even see a bit of reflection of the ribbons!  The pages lay flat though I haven't leafed through this one as much as the Thomas Nelson.
Thomas Nelson duller edge gilt vs Schuyler shiny gilt
Schuyler (bottom) has superior edging.
From another angle you can see bits of paper stick out from the page edges of the Thomas Nelson.  This is only on the bottom, so I don't feel those while thumbing through to find a verse.  Here you can also see the Schuyler is larger.  They took the same layout and increased the size.  On the right in this picture you can see where a small triangle of the Thomas Nelson cover corner sticking down.  It appears it wasn't glued properly.
Thomas Nelson (top) is smaller than the Schuyler
The Thomas Nelson Bible has a trim size of 8.4375 x 5.5 inches.  Schuyler's Bible measures 9.125 x 6.25 inches.  It doesn't sound like a big increase but it is noticeable when reading.  This is a key criteria for me in selecting Bibles.  I'll carry any size Bible if it is better for me to read.  In this picture you can also see the black genuine leather (Thomas Nelson) compared with the brown goatskin (Schuyler)

Thomas Nelson black leather (top) with Schuyler brown goatskin
Thomas Nelson (top) and Schuyler
The increase in size made a noticeable improvement in readability.  I find the Schuyler is easier to read that the Thomas Nelson.  The Thomas Nelson has white paper which I thought I would like better.  I changed my mind once I compared it with the Schuyler's cream paper.  This is certainly subjective and your eyes may give you different results.  Here is a comparison of the two showing the slightly larger font.  Unfortunately, the page color doesn't show in my picture (TN on the right).  A problem with both Bibles is ghosting where the words on the back of the page show through.  The Schuyler may be slightly better but I am not certain.
The Schuyler on the left has a slightly larger font.
Schuyler (left) has a slightly large font.

One problem I found with the Thomas Nelson (I wasn't able to get this to show in my photographs) was uneven print darkness.  The print on some pages was lighter.  This was noticeable when cross referencing or when flipping between two pages.  The lighter pages were still readable though it made the ghosting more troublesome.

If you like multiple ribbons, the Schuyler (right, below) wins here too.  I use differing amounts depending on the reading schedule I use.  This year my schedule works with 2 or preferably 3 ribbons.  This picture shows the similar layouts, the ribbons and perhaps you can see the difference in paper color.
The Schuyler (right) has more ribbons that Thomas Nelson
Schuyler (right) has more ribbons.
As you can see, I do favor the Schuyler over the Thomas Nelson.  However, these Bibles are in two completely different classes.  The Thomas Nelson cost about $40 (USD) on Christianbook.com.  The Schuyler cost $190 (USD) on evangelicalBible.com.  If the Schuyler wasn't of superior quality there wouldn't be any reason for it to exist. 

I would still recommend the Thomas Nelson as an affordable single column reading Bible.  I do think it could have been executed better for the price range.  I have other Bibles in the same price range without these defects.  If you can afford the investment, the Shuyler is an excellent and much more readable upgrade.  It was worth the extra money for me.  I did find it more readable and believe I will use this often and long.  If ghosting is a problem for you, you make wish to wait until Schuyler releases the NKJV in their Quentel series.  I heard that it will be out in 2015-16.


 Comparison Chart
Thomas Nelson (top)Schuyler (bottom)
$40 (USD)$190 (USD)
Genuine leatherGoatskin leather
glued binding?sewn binding
somewhat flexiblevery flexible
Trim size: 8.44"x5.5"Trim size: 9.13"x6.25"
white paper32 GSM cream paper
9 pt font10.5 pt font
uneven printingexcellent printing
1 ribbon4 ribbons
weak/faulty giltexcellent red under gold art gilt
rough page edgessmooth page edges
Christianbook.comevangelicalBible.com

If my review hasn't scared you off from the Thomas Nelson, here is a treat for you:  One lucky reader gets to have the Thomas Nelson Single Column Bible.  Please leave a comment with your name and BRIEFLY say why you want this Bible.  I will choose a winner next Saturday (2-28-2015).  I will post the winner's name whereupon you can email me with your address to receive your new Bible.

Friday, February 20, 2015

NIV 1984 Bibles

If you like the 1984 edition of the New International Version, you probably know they are starting to get rare. It is hard to find good ones at a reasonable price now. Christianbook.com still has some - and they don't price them at some ridiculous level. You can visit their closeouts section or try a search. I found a Noteworthy New Testament in which every other page is blank for taking notes. It is constructed in the style of the Moleskine notebooks. I also picked up a One Year Bible ("leatherlike" but suitable for a read through).

A fantastic source for premium Bible is, of course, evangelicalBible.com. On their NIV 1984 page they have several good Bibles still available. They also do not overcharge just because the translation is getting rare. I picked up the Cambridge bonded leather single column Bible for just $80. Also, shipping is free for anything over $75.00. While bonded leather isn't a premium option, this is a particularly nice one. It is pretty flexible and I found it very readable. There are photos of the two-tone imitation leather one here. The inside text block is the same as the bonded leather.

If you know of other good 1984 NIV Bibles, please leave a comment.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Premium Bibles

I am new to the world of premium Bibles. Until just recently I haven't often been able to afford anything better than bonded leather. Frankly, I didn't see any need for anything better. Since I collect and study different Bible versions, I have focused on paperbacks and hardbacks much of the time. Many years ago, I did purchase a Thomas Nelson Signature Series NKJV bound in calfskin. It immediately became my favorite all-around Bible. One church goer even commented that he liked the way it lay in my hand when I preached.

Last year, I started my 2015 Bible reading early. I decided to read through the NASB this year. The nature of my current work makes it a dangerous environment for any book much less a printed Bible. So I read on my Kindle (which can be wiped off as necessary). I chose the Lockman Foundation's Daily Reading Bible. I started noticing how nice it was to have a Bible that was set up for reading - not for reference.

I started looking around the web for information about "Reader's Edtions" of Bibles. I ended up reading the Bible Design Blog for an hour or so. I decided to purchase the Cambridge Clarion Reference Bible in NASB, bound in brown calfskin. I fell in love with it immediately. I started getting up early to read in the Clarion rather than read at work on the Kindle. And I found myself picking the Clarion up when I got home. Soon, I was reading 2-3 daily readings out of the schedule each day. The way the Bible was printed and bound made a difference.

I've been learning for myself that the details do make a difference. Line matching (where the line on the back of the page lines up with the one you are reading) reduces ghosting (show through). Paragraphing makes reading more like reading and less like referencing. The opacity of the paper also reduces ghosting. Due to middle age eyesight I am given the opportunity to appreciate larger print. I also recently watched an excellent talk, Why Bible Typopgraphy Matters by Mark Ward, Jr.

Buying premium Bibles is the hard part. Most start at $100 (USD) and go up to about $250. There are some that cost more, but many excellent Bibles are in the $100 - $250 range. There are other sites (of course) but one of my favorite places to purchase them is now evangelicalBible.com. For many of us, these Bibles are a very significant purchase. So you want to know as much as possible before choosing a Bible.

That's where reviews are so helpful. As I mentioned, Mark Bertrand at Bible Design Blog reviews many premium Bibles. Beth Rhodes, of evangelicalBible.com, has several reviews at her blog, Tresses' Other Corner. The Bible Buying Guide has reviews of all kinds of Bibles. EvangelicalBible.com has pictures of all the Bibles they sell. There are also many video Bible reviews on YouTube such as this one comparing the Cambridge Clarion Reference Bible in black goatskin ESV and the brown calfskin NASB.

And if you want to see a sample, try Christian Book Distributors. Below the price, to the right of the picture you will see the words "Box Cover" "Front Cover" "Sample" (or "Excerpt"). Click on those to see a picture. For instance, here is a sample of the Nelson Single Column Reference NKJV. I save the images from those reviews, then print them out to see what the layout and font will look like. One can even do a rough comparison of Bibles that way. Be sure to print them according to the trim size, not the bound size. EvangelicalBible.com usually has the trim size listed.

Premium Bibles are a luxury. The Word of God is true whether it is bound in goatskin on fine paper or found in a paperback on cheap paper. If you are blessed with the ability to purchase one, take your time and research your purchase. The links I've given here will give you a start. You can also type the name of the Bible you like in Google followed by the word "review." Whatever type of Bible you have there is one thing you should do - read it!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Names of God Bible, KJV

In 2011, Ann Spangler created the Names of God Bible which was a name replacement revision of the God's Word translation. It used "Elohim," "Yahweh," and "Yeshua." Now Spangler has given the KJV the same treatment in this Bible. The ad on Amazon states that "The Names of God Bible restores more than 10,000 occurrences of specific names of God--like Yahweh, El Shadday, El Elyon, and Adonay" which are "printed in brown ink to stand out within the biblical text." You can see a preview of this Bible on Christianbook.com.

Credit for this discovery goes to JH.

Wind Spirit Bible

This is another "name" Bible with some added differences. The New Testament is currently available on Amazon. "Jesus Christ" is rendered "Joshua Christos," "God" is transliterated "Theos." There are some other interesting readings such as Matthew 4:8 "...if you will fall down and flow toward me." Matthew 3:15 has "...this is the fitting way for us to begin the journey toward justice." Matthew 4:10 has "Get behind me, satanic thoughts."

Thanks for this find go to JH.

The Morning Star Vision Bible

This is a new series by Rick Joyner. According to the Amazon page:
The most basic purpose of The MorningStar Vision Bible is accuracy and faithfulness to the intended meaning of the Author, The Holy Spirit. His written Word reveals the path to life, salvation, transformation, deliverance, and healing for every soul who would seek to know God. The universe is upheld by the Word of His Power, so there is no stronger foundation that we could ever build our lives on other than His Word. Therefore, we have pursued this project with the utmost care in that what is presented here is His Word and not ours. We were very careful not to let anyone work on it that had an agenda other than a love for the truth and the deepest respect for the fact that we were handling the most precious treasure-- God's own word.

So far he has finished:



Thanks for this find goes to K.

King James Version (Made Clear)

I don't know if there are plans for any more books but 1 & 2 Peter have been finished in the King James Version (Made Clear) by Don Krow. You'll find them in the center column about halfway down. There are two translations in each file: "1. A literal text (the King James Version with additional clarification). 2. A paraphrase (based on the Textus Receptus Greek text)."

Thanks for this version go to K.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bereavement

The lack of posts lately is due to a death in our family. I hope to be back to reporting on Bibles soon.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Song of Songs by Leonard Ng

Today, I got notice about a translation of the Song of Songs by Leonard Ng (thanks, K). You can download Ng's work at Rainy Blue Dawn. There are also translations of Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 3 and Psalm 95.