My Ryrie study Bible (NKJV) has been my primary Bible for 20 plus years. While I do have other Bibles that I read, this is the main Bible that I “know” like no other. It is filled with notes I have added over the years. And I like Ryrie’s study notes and the Bible doctrine section in the back. I still plan to use this Bible, but have wanted a new Bible for awhile now.
I wanted NIV, the 2011. I do have an old NIV Bible (the 1984) that is falling part. I teach the Bible, and would often find myself printing out the passage in NIV – because NKJV can sometimes be a bit clunky in wording, even though I don’t mind it. I also find that NIV is a common version people utilize, and therefore a good choice in a group setting. (If you think the NIV is of the devil, please refrain from commenting. This post is not about Bible translations. Thanks.)
However, I also decided I wanted a Bible with some study helps, but not too many. Notes at the bottom of every page (while helpful) can also be distracting – especially if you are teaching – and I thought straight Bible text would be better. I also wanted a higher quality Bible itself – leather, good binding, and such.
Well, I stumbled upon the world of premium Bibles, which I did not even know about, and found a Bible that was exactly what I was looking for! I ordered it, using some Christmas gift money to help defray the cost. I normally would not spend so much money on one item, but even as a frugal individual there are exceptions. Frugal people often save significantly by not spending on every day little things (Starbucks, convenience items) and would rather use the saved money on a special, more lasting, item every once in awhile. I noticed the price on this Bible has since increased, so my frugal self got this Bible just in the nick of time! It is rare I splurge like this. Yes, I apparently feel the need to defend myself.
The Bible is: the NIV Proclamation Bible. You can get this Bible in inexpensive versions, but I got the Allan Highland goatskin. If you fell off your chair when you saw the price, please get back up to continue reading the post. If you injured yourself, make sure you are okay. Remember, I did get it for a little less.
“Allan has a long standing reputation for high quality binding. Hand crafted, attention to detail, exceptional materials, durable, and beautiful are a few reasons to choose an Allan Bible.” – Yes! More about Allan Bibles here.
While it is the words of the Bible that is most important, holding this Bible is a pleasure. It feels supple and comfortable in your hands – a combination of the leather and binding, I think. It has a generous yapp (new word in my vocabulary) – the leather hangs over the edges farther than typical thus protecting the pages. There are 3 ribbon markers to mark places. The paper quality is good, and the pages were immediately easy to turn. I’ve had some cheap Bibles where the pages would “stick” together, and it took time and use for that to go away. The printing is quality; it is easy on the eyes to read. The font size and its color contrast with the page are ideal. Chapter and section titles are bold. It is double column format. (In case you are not aware, single column Bibles are becoming more common and popular.)
And this is called a proclamation Bible. It is designed specifically for those who preach or teach the Bible. There are not study notes on each page, however the beginning of each book has an introduction and outline. These seem written with an assumption that the reader already has some good commentaries and scholarly sources, so the notes are geared toward key themes and insights when preaching or teaching the book.
Cross references are found in between the columns on each page. There is a concordance and maps in the back. The back also has multiple pages of blank, lined paper for writing personal notes. I like that! And the front of the Bible has a series of practical articles on preaching and teaching the Bible – interpreting, applying to life, etc. The only thing I don’t like about this Bible is that the front has multiple pages for recording family history and such. A minor complaint.
Overall, I am very pleased with this Bible – the quality of the binding and material, and the contents of the Bible too. I am sure I will have this Bible until the end of my days. It will not fall apart. If you want to splurge, check out some of the premium Bibles available – this site specializes in them: http://evangelicalbible.com/