Friday, July 21, 2017

News on the update to the New American Standard Bible

The following notice was posted on The Lockman Foundation's Facebook page:
From the Translation Committee:
Our primary concern is that NASB remain the best English Translation available. To that end, we are still working hard in the Old Testament and this means that the publication, at this point, will be late 2018 to early 2019. We do not want to rush the update because so many faithful pastors and scholars depend on the NASB and we want to make sure that you have the best translation of the Holy Word that can be put in your hands. Thank you so much for your patience while we work.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Review: Zondervan Large Print NIV Thinline Reference Bible

Zondervan NIV Thinline Reference Bible

Large Print

Zondervan sent me a copy of their large print NIV Thinline Reference Bible for review.  The receipt of this Bible did not influence the outcome of my review.

As soon as you pick up this Bible you realize you are holding a quality construction.  The leather has a wonderful, soft feel.  It even has that new leather smell.  But the binding is not just for show.  Flip this Bible open and it immediately lays flat.  I scarcely had to fan the corners at all.  The binding is so good that even in Genesis and the concordance there is little to no text in the gutter.

The font is large and bold enough for me to read clearly with my progressive lenses.  Bold section headings help greatly in finding passages.  I am able to sit at the table and read this Bible comfortably.  I don't have to hold it at arms length to get a good focus!

The paper is average quality.  There is some show-through (also known as ghosting).  In some passages with more white space I found it a bit distracting.  I am pretty sensitive to ghosting so others may not find it a problem at all. The type of lighting makes a difference as well.

One feature I really appreciate is the parallel verses listed underneath the section headings.  This feature is used in the Old Testament and the New.  Anywhere it is relevant to list other passages with the same information you will find this handy feature.

Compared with the NIV Giant Print Compact (GPC) the print is smaller and the Bible larger.  The Thinline Reference is for both reading and studying while the GPC is designed for sitting down and reading longer sessions. Both have a simple elegance that is very appealing.  The two make a good pair that should cover nearly every usage.

This binding is one of my favorites of all the regular commercial Bibles.  Obviously publishers like Schuyler and Allan produce high quality bindings.  But it is wonderful that mainline publishers are now entering the premium Bible market.  I am not much for fancy bindings no matter how beautiful they look.  But bindings that last for decades and open flat for better reading are a blessing.  Zondervan's premium bindings have what I call simple elegance.  The covers are not for admiring; the covers invite you to open them and read God's word!

I happily recommend this Bible with one concern:  This is a pricey Bible at $129.99 retail.  Online it can be found for $80 to $118.  However, the construction is high quality — well worth saving up to purchase.

The Bible:
  • Published by Zondervan
  • Printed in China
  • Ebony Premium Leather
  • Two-Piece Cover
  • Rounded Corners
  • Tight Binding
  • 1,460 pages
  • Perimeter Stitching
  • Sewn Binding
  • Lays Flat
  • Bible Measures 6.5 inches wide x 9.625 inches high x 1.25 inches thick
  • (Pictures may make Bible look larger, please note actual measurements listed here)
  • Silver Page Edging
  • Silver Printing on Spine
  • 2 Black Ribbon Markers
  • Presentation Page
  • Retail Price = $129.99
  • Boxed
  • ISBN: 978-0-310-43637-9

Introductory Material:
  • Table of Contents
  • Preface
  • Books of the Old and New Testaments

The Text:
  • New International Version (2011)
  • This is #9535.110 in The Encyclopedia of English-Language Bible Versions
  • Double Column Text
  • Large Print
  • Approximately 10 Point Type
  • Paragraph format
  • Center Column Textual References
  • Footnotes
  • Words of Christ in Red
  • Chapter Headings
  • Sectional Headings
Study Helps:
  • Table of Weights & Measures
  • Concordance
  • Color Maps
Extra Features:
  • Beautiful leather smell!
  • Extra-thin Edition
  • Two Piece Cover
  • Beautiful Patterned End Papers
  • Section Titles with Parallel Passages Listed

Review: Zondervan NASB Classic Reference Bible

Review:  Zondervan NASB Classic Reference Bible

I recently received Zondervan's NASB Classic Reference Bible for review purposes.  The receipt of this Bible did not affect my review either way.

The retail price for this is $59.99; It sells online for about $38.00 (USD).  The same text block bound in bonded leather sells for about $12 less.

This Bible is bound in top grain leather.  This type of binding often causes confusion.  When we see the phrase "top grain leather" it is natural to think "top quality leather."  But it is much different from Zondervan's "premium leather" bindings (such as their Giant Print Compact NIV).  This top grain leather feels like bonded leather.  It is a bit stiff and has the same finish as that applied to bonded leather.  Top grain leather is not, however, a composite product like bonded leather.  I would like to see a top grain leather Bible after 10-20 years of use to see how it holds up over time.  The binding on this is exactly like that on Zondervan's NASB Study Bible.

This is sold as a "lay-flat" Bible.  When first unwrapped, it definitely needs work.
Zondervan recommends "loosening the binding of your new Bible by gently pressing on a small section of page at a time from the center."  Also, like many new Bibles, the pages stick together because of the gold page edging.
Fanning the page corners through a few times releases all or most of those corners.  Doing this and pressing the sections the Bible lay fairly flat.  It looks like frequent use will soon loosen this Bible up nicely.
The paper used in this Bible is average quality.  Show through of the text may bother some readers who are sensitive to "ghosting."  On pages with charts or more white space the page takes on a grey background due to the show through.  Pages with more text are much better.

The font size is about 8-9 points.  I wear progressive lenses; this text is a bit small for my eyes.  There is always a trade off between text size and Bible size.  This is a thin, easily portable Bible.  That means the font size is smaller to compensate.

Overall, I wouldn't be as likely to use this Bible.  That is because of my eyesight and problems with show through.  There isn't anything wrong with this Bible; it is a solidly built book with a great text.  But I prefer 10-11 point text for my daily reading and study.  My ideal Bible would be exactly like Zondervan's NIV Giant Print Compact but with the NASB instead.

I look forward to seeing what Zondervan NASB Bibles will come out with the new update to the NASB text.

The Bible:
  • Published by Zondervan
  • Printed in China
  • Black Top Grain Leather
  • 1,263 pages
  • Sewn Binding
  • Lays Flat
  • Bible Measures 5.625 inches wide x 8.875 inches high x 1.188 inches thick
  • Gold Page Edging
  • Presentation Page
  • Kept in a smoke free environment.
  • Retail Price = $59.99
  • ISBN: 978-0-310-93129-4

Introductory Material:
  • Foreword
  • Preface to the New American Standard Bible
  • Principles of Translation
  • Explanation of General Format
  • Abbreviations and Special Markings

The Text:
  • New American Standard Bible (1995)
  • This is #8100.120 in The Encyclopedia of English-Language Bible Versions
  • Double Column Text
  • Approximately 8-9 Point Type
  • Verse by Verse Format
  • Paragraph Markers
  • Center Column References
  • Center Column Textual References
  • Words of Christ in Red
  • Chapter Headings
  • Sectional Headings
Study Helps:
  • Concordance
  • Promises from the Bible
  • Perspectives from the Bible
  • Color Maps
Extra Features:
  • Warranty: Six years for defective binding
  • Gold Filigree on Inside of Cover
  • Average Paper - show through may bother some readers
  • In-Text Charts
  • In-Text Maps
  • In-Text Diagrams
  • Book Introductions
  • Book Outlines

Saturday, July 8, 2017

1984 Editions of the New International Version

I managed to dig up a few interesting editions of the out-of-print 1984 New International Version.  I have for sale Large print, study Bibles, interlinears, a water proof Bible and many more.  Please visit the 1984 NIV section of my eBay Store for several great Bibles.