Choosing a bible - devoted to versions (well maybe not Living Bible, Message ...)

Discussion in 'Suggestion Box' started by Eoghan, Aug 28, 2011.

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  1. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Senior

    I would LOVE a section devoted to Bibles. This is our primary textbook and I would like to know what editions are available.

    Tru-Tone - how durable is it?

    NASB 1995 - are the changes minor?

    Bonded v grained leather - no competition really but how many people really know?

    Two columns to a page or just a page of text?

    Is there an advantage to having no chapter and verses shown (there is such an edition)

    Should we read aloud? This was the practice in the NT when "reading" privately as witnessed by Stephen and the Ethiopian (?)
  2. GulfCoast Presbyterian

    GulfCoast Presbyterian Puritan Board Junior

    If this sort of stuff fascinates you, look at Mark Bertrand's blog at Bible Design and Binding and you will have a field day! :D

    Bonded Leather: Almost always cracks if you actually use it, since it is basically a mixture of leather scraps/dust held together by a resin.

    I greatly prefer single column, paragraph format, for study and reading so that I can see the "flow of the thought" develop. For teaching, and when I used to preach in the former denom, I liked a wide margin, double column, so you could put your notes in the text itself. Alas, Katrina ate my "old speaking bible."
  3. JennyG

    JennyG Puritan Board Graduate

    As far as I'm concerned, the absolute perfection of a Bible is the Cambridge Concord edition of the AV (goatskin leather, best of all).
    I reluctantly decided against the R L Allan goatskin longprimer (Oxford edition). There's no question that binding-wise, the longprimer wins by two or three hairs - it also has a choice of gorgeous colours and is utterly sumptuous, but I much prefer the Cambridge reference system to the Oxford. The Oxford text is all peppered with distracting letters and numbers. The Cambridge is perfectly plain, since everything to do with the marginal notes is packed into the centre column.
    The other reason for choosing the Concord is that it's printed in three separate sizes and all kinds of bindings.
    That means I can have a luscious goatskin desk Bible, plus cheaper, smaller workaday ones to carry in a pocket or leave in different places, like the car. The pagination being identical, swapping from one to another doesn't interfere with the process of becoming really familiar with it. The aim is to know it so well that whenever a text comes up I'll even know where on the page to look for it.

    Eoghan, I'm betting you probably won't even see this, or any further posts, - at least, if you've taken Mark's advice to check out Bibledesign blog. It's an absolute feast :)
  4. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Ditto's on Bertrand's blog. Warning it will promote a terrible syndrome: EBAD - Expensive Bible Acquisition Disorder.
  5. jackyond32

    jackyond32 Puritan Board Freshman

    i like the idea of a bible section especailly if someone knows how to add ribbons without making them look goofy.
  6. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritanboard Commissioner

    We've put some of our best minds on it and -- sorry to say -- it appears to be incurable. Once the virus takes root in the central nervous system, the poor afflicted benighted soul will be seen putting every Bible he finds through a Bible-yoga routine of rolling covers in unnatural contortions. This OCD-like compulsion will be closely followed by another round of the addiction cycle:

    Stress - "I preached my heart out this morning and all Deacon/Elder Jones could say was that he thought it wasn't my 'best effort'"

    Acting Out - "I feel lously. It won't hurt to check out to see what they have coming out. WOW! Look at the new Cambridge Clarion single column!!! Listen to Mark Bertrand's breathless (and more than a little addicted) patter:

    Guilt and Remorse - "I promised my wife that I would not spend the grocery money . . . again. Now we'll have to eat dinner for a week at the downtown mission. I hope that they don't recognize me there. Maybe if I put on my old clothes and carry a cheap bonded leather dispi Bible nobody will know. I am such an idiot. Maybe I should sell Bavinck or Muller's PRRD and put the money on the bills?"

    Shame and Depression - "How can I face the family after buying my umpteenth high-end, $200, leather Bible? Maybe If I sneak some of the old ones into the church social hall with a post-it on them, "Free," the Lord will be able to bless some poor person unable to buy a truly adequate Smyth sewn, leather lined, three marker ribbon Bible? Did I remember to take my Prozac this morning?

    Recommitments -"No honey, really, I promise. This time will be different. How many KJVs, ESVs, HCSBs, NASBs, and the various designer name study Bibles (MacArthur, ESV, Reformation, Holman, Apologetics, etc.) does one need in Highland Goatskin, Lambskin, and that truly natty Atlantic Blue Calfskin? I promise: No more $200 Bibles. Really!"

    Stress . . . and

    Acting Out - "Did you realize that Mark Bertrand wrote: 'You have to understand, I have been dreaming about a Bible like this for a long time. A classically -proportioned single column text setting with elegant, timeless typography in a hand-sized form factor, beautifully printed and bound.' Honey, I've got to get this one. It will be my last Bible ever . . . I promise! By the way, If I don't buy any more R.L. Allan Bibles at $200, would it be OK to pick up a couple of the $55-$65 executive series Local Church Bible Publishers ones . . . pleaseeeeee? I hear tell that their 400th Anniversary Edition KJV with a dry stamped spine feels just like butta."
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  7. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritanboard Commissioner

    Actually, I was "channeling" Lawrence, not my own experience. Yeah . . . yeah . . . that's the ticket. Afterall, I can stop buying leather Bibles anytime. I'm just a social reader. Not an addict. Not my problem. No sir.

    But, did you see that Cambridge Clarion review by Bertrand? WOWIE ZOWIE!!!!!!!! :rofl:
  8. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    I thought I felt a bit of my spirit flitting away the other day. Now it all makes sense. I have conquered by case of EBAD. I can stop it anytime I want. I haven't bought one in a least six months. SIX MONTHS! Egad! I need help. Typing that makes me realise just how much I need a new Cambridge Clarion. I don't prefer a single column style, but that one . . . oooo baby, it is sweet.

    My name is Lawrence. I am an EBAD sufferer. . . .
  9. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritanboard Commissioner


    Be strong, brother. We are here for you. Maybe you should do something dramatic and divest yourself of some of those overpriced Bibles? As your brother, I would be willing to receive them and keep you away from them. Just email me and we can arrange it.
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    I think it might be a good idea. The way it stands now, some of these topics probably belong in the Literary forum. Others (like the NASB question) go into translations and manuscripts.

    I don't know if you want the questions answered here or not, but I'll answer some of them briefly. The 1995 NASB is not a massive change. The most noticeable change was the removal of Thee, Thy, etc. when addressing God, which as one would expect, mostly affects the Psalms. Otherwise, the text has been smoothed out a bit here and there. Sometimes a synonym is substituted. Occasionally there are more changes, probably where the 1977 was felt to be really awkward. There has been a slight move toward gender-neutral translation where the generic "he" is unwarranted in the original and where it doesn't distort the meaning, unlike the latest NIV and the NRSV. But it's probably not as much as the ESV or HCSB, which also don't take it too far (at least not that I've heard.) Michael Marlowe's Bible Researcher site is a good resource for this kind of question. I figure that unless you have the 1977 NASB practically committed to memory the way some have done with the AV that it won't be a huge problem unless you really want the Thee's and Thou's.

    It appears to me that Tru-Tone (I think that's Crossway's term--different publishers call it different things) is in some cases better than bonded leather and also less expensive. My guess is that it is probably at least as durable in many cases, but I don't currently own a copy with that kind of synthetic cover. It's usually more pleasing to the touch as well as more aesthetically pleasing unless the design and color are outlandish.

    Genuine (top grain) Leather v. Bonded--You really have to inspect before you buy, which is difficult if you don't live near a good Christian bookshop. In that case you can see if there have been a lot of complaints on Amazon or elsewhere. I've seen some Bonded leathers that are of a better quality than some supposed Genuine Leather. Sometimes the cover will be fine but the inside paper will start peeling from the cover. I've seen some do this right out of the box. Calfskin is better. The cost in many cases is prohibitive, but Trinitarian Bible Society has some calfskin editions (AV) that are affordable.
  11. jpfrench81

    jpfrench81 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I would recommend a Bible with the Jewel Verse Reference System if you can find one. The cross-references are at the end of paragraphs instead of in between columns. It may not seem like a big deal, but the references do come a bit more naturally in my opinion. My Hand Sized Giant Print HCSB has them and they're wonderful.
  12. GulfCoast Presbyterian

    GulfCoast Presbyterian Puritan Board Junior

    I have that same bible I use as my "brief case" bible a lot! I got it for the print and it was about $6 in a "bargin bin" but I have warmed up to the translation a good bit. Other than the bonded leather cover cracking already, I really like it b/c its small enough I can take it on a plane, but the print is easy on my diabetic peepers. I don't know why, but I have never been able to warm up to bible reading on a Kindle when I travel. I guess I just want to "hold the book." I may send it to Leonards and get it corded/rebound in good leather I like it so much.
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