Saturday, September 3, 2016

Lavender's New Testament

I just heard about a new translation that is available.  It is called Lavender's New Testament.  It appears the translation work was done by Dr. Malcom Lavender.  The notes were written by Dr. Russ Lavender.  You can view a sample of Romans, purchase the NT or their book The Case for a New Translation at the Lavender's New Testament website.

Thanks to JP for this notice.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

New Living Translation 2015 update

The New Living Translation was updated last year.  The text is now available on Bible GatewayHere is a list of the changes made in 2015.

ESV Permanent Text Edition (2016)

The Crossway board of directors and the ESV oversight committee have unanimously decided to make the English Standard Version a permanent text.  They announced 52 changes (you can see the announcement here) which are to be the last ones.  If I were making a permanent text, I wouldn't add the "(2016)" on the end.  But as a Bible reader, I am delighted to hear that there will not a constant string of updates.

UPDATE on September 28, 2016:
As James Snapp noted below, there is now longer a permanent ESV text.  It was permanent for a little over a month.  Yes, Crossway has reversed the decision to keep the ESV unchanging.  You can read a statement by Lane T. Dennis,President and CEO of Crossway about today's reversal here on Crossway's blog.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

King James Bible 2016

I just got notice from a friend about a new Bible version.  It is called the King James Bible 2016.  There is a free download of the New Testament available.  Visit the King James Bible 2016 at

Thanks to JH for this find.

Updated American Standard Version

I just got an e-mail with an update on the Updated American Standard Version.  It has its own dedicated website now.  Visit to learn more about it.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Warning: High Village Publishing 1901 American Standard Version

I read a warning recently about the 1901 American Standard Version reprint from High Village Publishing.  Someone recently posted to a Facebook group that this Bible has bad ghosting (text showing through from the other side), a section of Exodus (verses 16:22-36) missing, 4 errors in 2 Timothy 2 and possibly more.  Be very wary when purchasing one of these.  Check Exodus 16 and 2 Timothy 2.  I do not know if they produced a corrected edition or if all of them have errors.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Review: Bible Rebinding - Cambridge Cameo NASB by AA Leather

 Cambridge Cameo NASB Bible

Rebound by AA Leather

It started with a purchase in a local thrift store.  I love to check any store that sells Bibles - especially used ones.  This time, I found a Cambridge Cameo KJV Bible bound in Morocco and leather lined.  The gilding is nearly gone, a huge stain affects about half the pages, the cover is worn, the front flyleaf is gone and many of the pages are wrinkled.  But the paper is opaque, the print is dark, the Bible opens quickly, lays flat and is easier to read than many larger Bibles.  I thought I was stealing it for just $1 (USD).  It is a wonderful Bible.

I don't use it as much as I should since I prefer the New American Standard Bible.  Several years after this purchase, I joined some Bible collecting groups.  I dreamed about finding this Cameo setting in another translation.  After some time, I heard a rumor that there had been a Cambridge Cameo published in New American Standard!  So I started searching and asking around to see if one would surface.

I found one on eBay but the price was too high for me.  At least I knew they existed!  I kept watching for about a year.  Then a very nice one, essentially new in the box, appeared.  But again, the price was too high.  I watched it anyway, hoping for a price reduction.  It was finally relisted with a "best offer" option.  The seller and I came to an agreement and I finally had the Cameo.

The cover was bonded leather.  It did not appear that 35+ years of sitting in the box were good for the leather.  It was extremely stiff.  It also gave off a strange chemical smell.  The cover made it hard to open the Bible.  Finding a passage was difficult as the stiff cover didn't allow quick thumbing to a passage.  I was hoping to work it enough to make it lay flat like the KJV with its super flexible leather lined cover.  I am sure over time it would have improved, but it would never be as good as that.

But I now had my NASB Bible now sitting by my computer.  It immediately became my quick reference Bible.  The print and paper are just as good as the KJV.  I need bifocals (actually progressive lenses) to read.  But even without them I can read this Bible.  I have to hold it at arms length but it is readable.  This is a testimony to the strong print of this wonderful text.

I tried some leather conditioner but it did not help.  No amount of Lexol or mink oil is going to turn a bonded leather into goatskin.  I started thinking about sending the Bible off to be rebound.  But I wasn't sure about spending the money.  I've had a few Bibles rebound with varying degrees of success.  The first was at least 10 years ago.  It did put a split Bible back together but otherwise it is a horrible work.  The cover feels like fake leather on cardboard.  The hinge is glued so poorly that pulling the cover open pulls the first 10 pages with it.

The second time  I still didn't know enough about getting a Bible rebound.  But thanks to the Bible collecting groups I had seen pictures of rebinding projects.  I at least knew a binder that would do quality work.  I had a cheap large print NIV (1984) rebound in goatskin.  The binder inserted binding cord to reinforce the glued binding.  I got a good quality rebind on a Bible I've used for preaching many times.  But a couple aspects kept it from being perfect:  The leather wasn't skived where it was folded over.  This makes for a strange, thick edge all around the cover.  The imprinting on the spine was a little rough. These are cosmetic details, of course, and do not affect the reading of this Bible.

The next time I thought I knew more about rebinding.  I chose yet another binder.  I picked out leathers that I wanted and wrote out specific directions.  I sent off two Bibles that belonged to my parents.  As it turned out, my leather selection wasn't good.  My directions weren't specific enough and I'd even switched two important details.  Add to that the binder glued over part of the dedication pages.  I wish I had left the tattered Bibles alone.  Lesson learned:  I do not know enough to direct a rebinding project.

My experiences led me to decide I probably wouldn't try to rebind anything anymore.  I don't make a lot of money so each of these was a significant investment for me.  If it didn't either improve my reading or preserve old Bibles then I couldn't justify the expense.

A pastor (Ray Cabrera) I met through the Bible groups had sold me a hard-to-find NASB some time back.  I'd been watching his posts since then about Bibles and rebinding projects.  He obviously had experience and knowledge about Bibles.  And he posted pictures and videos of his projects.  You can view Ray Cabrera's video about one of his rebinds.  I loved the look of the Bible.  It also appeared to have the flexibility I wanted.  I asked Ray about it.  He gave me details and good advice:  "be very specific in what you want."

The rebinder Ray used for that project is AA Leather.  Many members of the Bible collecting groups have had Bibles rebound by AA Leather.  I filled out an order form.  I filled out the PDF on my computer rather than writing it out by hand.  This was good because I changed the form a dozen times before I made up my mind.  I went back and forth for a few months.  When I suddenly had some online sales go through, I decided to give it a try.

The whole process went smoothly and easily.  I took Ray's advice to have it bound in Nappa goatskin with kid skin liner.  This gives a bit more stiffness to the leather.  I didn't want a floppy cover - just a flexible one.  I wanted it to look much like the original but in black goatskin.  I asked for the spine to be like the original.  The front cover was to be the same but with "Holy Bible" centered.  They also replaced the single burgundy ribbon with three black ones.

When I got it back I was speechless. The Bible looks absolutely beautiful (better than the publisher's original binding). But more importantly, it feels as though it has been fitted to me personally. I can turn quickly to passages. It opens easier and flatter for extended reading. My wife commented "That's the best one you've gotten yet!" It was a good bible before. But AA Leather turned it into an excellent one. I am already reading Scripture more thanks to their excellent work.

The spine looks even better than the original.  This is sometimes a weak point of binders.  I think that getting the various tools necessary to do customized stamping is expensive.  It may be that some don't invest in various sizes since it is really only a cosmetic issue.  But this is a big purchase for many of us so details matter.

The most important issue for me is that the Bible opens better.  It opens almost as flat as my KJV Cameo already.  And this is with a new binding.  With use I expect it to become even better.  I can hold it in one hand to read while I sip a cup of tea.  What a great start to every day!


The leather liner meets the edge of the cover where it is folded over.  If you bend the cover it looks like it is coming apart.  But AA Leather assures us that it isn't coming apart.  The liner is glued solidly to the backside of the cover.  By meeting the edges of the liner and the cover it helps avoid that strange ridge all around other binder's covers.  On a small Bible that makes a greater difference than it does on larger Bibles.  The corners are very smooth and flat.  The craftsmanship is wonderful.  I was looking for functionality.  I got that but they added artistic elegance!

I was already reading through another Bible on a daily schedule when I got this one back from the binder.
So now I read one Bible in the morning and this one in the evening.  It is wonderful that it looks great.  It is helpful that it is easier to open and hold.  But it is a blessing that I am getting more of God's word in my mind and heart.  If it stays on the shelf it is useless.  If it gets held unopened in my hand like a piece of art it could become an idol.  But since it is open and being read it is serving God's purpose.

I recommend AA Leather very highly.  They offer expedited service, Bible repair, fine binding, matching journals and more.   I am so pleased with their work that my next project is to trust them to rebind a Bible given to my grandmother when she was a young girl by her mother on Christmas day.  Exodus 35:35 talks about skilled craftsmen that the Lord has called. I am convinced that some of them are at AA Leather  - preserving God's Word for us to read!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The World's Largest Bible

I have often referred to the Macklin Bible as the largest Bible ever printed.  It was very big:  7 volumes, 16 x 19 inches, over 100 pounds.  And as regularly published Bibles it is certainly one of the largest.  It is the largest massed produced Bible ever printed.

Louis Waynai & wife with press and Bible
But I just recently heard of a one-off Bible that is much larger.  It was printed by Louis Waynai, a Hungarian immigrant.  He used a home-made rubber stamping press to print each of the 8,048 pages of this King James Version Bible.  Just developing the press took him about two years.  When his press was ready, He then spent over 8,700 hours on the printing.  His work was ready to read in 1930.  Opened up it is 43 inches tall and 98 inches wide and 34 inches thick.  Waynai spent about $10,000 (USD) - a big expense for a carpenter!  It was constructed so that it could be disassembled into 31 sections.  Want to take this one to church?  You'll need help as it weighs 1,094 pounds.  There is a short video on Youtube (shown below) showing Waynai's Bible and demonstrating his press.

Waynai donated his work to a church in Fort Worth.  They eventually donated it to Abilene Christian University where it has been on display in the the Gaines B. Stanley Sr. Theological Reading Room.  In 2013 they sent the Bible off for restoration and to an exhibit.  There is another video on Youtube showing it being loaded onto a truck.  According to this page it is currently on display in Washington, D.C. (If you have a problem opening this link, right click on the link, copy it and paste it into your browser's address bar)

It appears that the Bible was restored at the Museum of the Bible in Oklahoma City, OK.  On their Facebook page they have a picture of what appears to be restoration work. 

Another video gives a different view of the Bible, again with Louis and his wife.  It is an old silent film but for some reason has an annoying thumping sound.  Turn the sound off by pointing your mouse cursor at the video.  In the lower left hand corner click on the speaker symbol.


Thanks to AM for bringing my attention to this incredible Bible.

Friday, January 29, 2016

New American Standard Bible, information update

Yesterday, on the Lockman Foundation Facebook page, there was this update about the coming changes to the New American Standard Version:

The whole text is being reviewed with more emphasis in the Old Testament.  The primary goal is to maintain accuracy and modernize English. As our base texts we use Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) and Biblia Hebraica Quinta (BHQ) for the books available and for the NT we use NA28. We don't always agree with the editors of those texts and choose alternate or variant readings when we feel they are more accurate.  Our current estimated publication goal is to have a first release by early 2017.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Bible mini-reviews: 4 more NASB Bibles

Here are four more short reviews of some New American Standard Bibles.  Three are out of print but sometimes available in the used book markets.  The fourth is a currently available production.

Crown Reference Edition NASB (1977).  This Bible can be found fairly cheap used though it is out of print.  The copy I found is a rather flexible premium bonded leather with paste-down liners.  It measures 5.75 by 8.375 inches by 1 inch thick.  1 ribbon.  The paper is good with some ghosting.  It is a two column, verse by verse, cross referenced layout.  The 7 point font print is bold enough to help overcome ghosting.  It is a slightly brownish red letter that is very easy to read.  This has book introductions, a guide to pronouncing Bible names, significant Bible dates, a harmony of the Gospels, a concordance and maps.  This is an excellent portable reference Bible.

Cambridge Cameo Bible NASB (1977).  This Bible is hard to find.  The copy I have is stiff bonded leather with paste-down liners.  It measures 5.125 by 7.25 inches by 1.5 inch thick.  1 ribbon.  The paper is "ultra thin Bible paper" with limited ghosting.  It is a two column, verse by verse, cross referenced layout.  The font size is 7.25 to 7.5.  The red lettering is an unfortunate red (almost pink) color.  A concordance and maps are in the back.  It was typeset by Lehigh/Rocappi.  It was printed by Kingsport Press in 1979.  This is a sought-after edition due to its readability.  My copy has some variation in print darkness between pages.  The print is larger than Cambridge's Pitt Minion.  This is a wonderful Bible - another portable edition.  This may become my reference Bible that I keep by the computer.

The Outdoor Bible:  Sportsman's Edition NASB (1995).  ISBN 978-0-9792384-4-1.  While some sellers have horribly high prices on this little out-of-print gem, one can still find some reasonably priced copies.  This is one of Bardin & Marsee's waterproof Bibles - what they call the "DuraBook format."  This contains just the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs.  It measures 4.5 by 7 inches by 0.75 inches thick.  The paper is a 100% plastic with almost perfectly opaque paper.  Ghosting is so minimal that it can just barely be seen in blank spaces.  Print is bold but very small - 6 points.  This is a two column, verse by verse format with no cross references.  For outdoor use or reading in the rain this can't be beat!

Zondervan Giant Print Reference Bible, Personal Size  NASB (1995).  ISBN 978-310-91913-1.  This is available on most book sellers for around $40 (USD).  The bonded leather on this copy is flexible.  It measures 5.625 by 8.875 inches by 1.5 inch thick.  1 ribbon.  The paper feels good but does have some noticeable ghosting.  The 9.5 pt, bold font helps overcome this fairly well.  It almost appears to have line matching, at least on some pages.  It is a two column, verse by verse, cross referenced Bible.  The red lettering is dark & bold - making it good for reading.  A concordance and Bible maps are included.  While the print is excellent in this Bible the ghosting may be a problem for some.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Bible Reading Plans

There are so many different Bible reading plans it can be hard to choose one.  Ligonier Ministries has a great article listing different styles and providing links to each one.  My personal favorite is a schedule that has one Old Testament and New Testament reading each day with the Psalms interspersed after finishing each book.  You can download that plan right here.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

New American Standard Bible Update coming soon

The New American Standard Bible will be updated in 2016.  Currently it is expected to be ready sometime in the summer.  The translation committee is currently working on the update.  This news comes from Lockman's Facebook page.