In the last several years I entered “the world” of premium Bibles – that is Bibles of fine craftsmanship. I have an Allan and Schuyler Bible, both I love. I reviewed the Allan here, although my review is not as technical as some out there. https://evangelicalbible.com/ is a primary source for premium Bibles in the U.S.A.
I decided to try a premium Bible by Zondervan and ended up disappointed compared to my Allan and Schuyler. I wrote a review on the Christian Book Distributors site, and thought I’d share it (edited a bit) on the blog too. This review is for the:
NIV Deluxe Single-Column Comfort Print Reference Bible, premium goatskin, black (Premier Collection) by Zondervan. Available here.
First…this IS a beautiful Bible, high quality. I have two premium Bibles (other publishers – Allan and Schuyler) that I paid significantly more for than this one, yet this NIV Deluxe matches in quality with the leather cover, binding, art-gilt edging, etc. It is impressive!
Regarding features of the Bible, I really like the topical links.
But the comfort print/font? I am having difficulty reading it compared to my other Bibles! I am not an expert with print, but I think a combination of little things make it easier or harder to read, such as: font type, the size, space between lines, etc. This font is not “comfort” to my eyes but the opposite – it is a strain on them.
It is a regular size Bible, and I can read another Bible I have (Schuyler) that is a smaller “personal size” one, much easier! Oddly, the font size in that Bible is 8.5 while this NIV Deluxe is suppose to be 9.5. Perhaps it is aspects besides the font size that it causing me difficulty. Also, oddly, I have another Zondervan Bible, a hardcover in the NRSV version, that also says “comfort print” and I find that one very easy to read – the font is great and easy on the eyes.
I find the verse numbers very hard to see in this Zondervan NIV Deluxe! I compared it with my other Bibles and those verse numbers stand out in some way – such as a bit bold, slightly bigger size, etc – thus easier to see. But these verse numbers HIDE! I struggle to even see them. I can’t have a Bible that I use for personal study and leading studies where I struggle to see a verse number. If this was a reader’s Bible (where they purposefully remove “distracting” things like verse numbers) that would be different, but it is not a reader’s Bible.
I am early middle age, and perhaps those younger would not have this issue, but my vision is not that bad yet. I sometimes read with reading glasses, but I can still read sometimes without glasses too.
So, a mixed review of this Bible. It is awesome craftsmanship and quality for the price, but it will be too much of a struggle for me to actually read it. [Thankfully, I was able to return this Bible to Christian Book Distributors and appreciate their generous return policy for Bibles.]
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