Friday, 11 January 2013

My new acquisition - Two Version Bible from Crimond House Publications (Ards Bookshop)

Let me say at the outset - I love this Bible. It is without a shadow of a doubt the finest quality Bible that I have ever owned or even handled and I find this is important, to me anyway having owned other Bibles in the past that have fallen apart! I should say at this stage that there is an excellent review of this Bible on the Bible Design Blog, I would also recommend that you bookmark that site in your favourites! I have a link for that site and also a link to Ards Evangelical Bookshop where you can buy this Bible from in my links section in the sidebar. Anyway back to my review...

Often times in a teaching meeting or Bible study group I will hear fellow believers quote the Revised Version, especially at our church where the King James Version, or AV is commonly read. For what it is worth I grew up with the AV and happen to love it, although I frequently use other versions for alternative renderings such as the Amplified or indeed the Revised version. This Bible contains the Authorised text with the differences from the Revised version in the margin. Genius! This Bible therefore, is extremely useful for people like me who use the AV all the time in meetings, but like to 'refer' to an alternative version where perhaps better renderings of words or phrases can be found. So without further ado, here are some of my thoughts about this new Bible of mine.

Compact dimensions but thicker, no doubt due to the heavier paper weight being used...
The Bible comes in a not unattractive burgundy coloured cardboard box, and this feels like it should take a beating, should you decide to store and carry it in there as I have done. Once out of the box the quality of this Bible immediately strikes you: the grain and superb smell of the supple calfskin leather, the stitching around the edge of the cover, the way it flexes in your hands, all indicating that this is a quality product and will almost certainly outlast me. The dimensions are compact at 21cm x 14cm (page size) yet the Bible is deeper or thicker, whichever you prefer. This isn't down to an abundance of study helps (for there aren't really any at all!) but must be down to the better quality, heavier paper that the publisher has decided to use.

I am all for this as it means that you can potentially mark the Bible (using the appropriate pens or pencils) and it means there is less bleed-through or ghosting from the other side, making it nice and easy to read. Plus the pages turn better and last longer than these Bibles with poor bindings, bonded leather covers and see through paper that creases and folds with the slightest bit of heat/moisture from your hands! I would happily pay a few extra few pounds for this, there seems little point in cutting costs in this area when a proper study Bible is there to be read a lot and possibly marked as well.

The paper used here is first class. As you can see the light is shining through the paper, but hardly any ghosting from the reverse side.
The calfskin leather is beautiful. Below left you can see the grain and the stitching around the edge for added strength. A nice touch as most Bible makers just glue the yapp down.

The cover and binding in general of this Bible deserves special mention, as it is top quality, and unlike any other Bible I own. It smells great (yes this is a mark of a great Bible!) and it has a lovely matt finish to it, with the grain of the leather fully visible - lovely! It is worth mentioning as well that this cover is so soft and supple, my other Bibles are nothing like this! I've tried to show you in one of my poorly taken pictures but the cover just folds open without any weight and the cover is truly limp meaning that this Bible is ready to fold to the shape of your hand.

The super-limp, beautiful leather cover of the two version Bible from Crimond House.
All of these features not only make for a beautiful and long-lasting Bible but a nicely usable one as well. This Bible will sit comfortably in the hand, on the lap, on the table or anywhere, it just folds and flexes to suit!

Now what about the text? Is it readable? Well this is the other good bit of news for the print is of a good size, not too big or too small (in fact usually it is smaller on a Bible this size, certainly on my Thompson chain reference) and is clear and well-printed, albeit in an older style. This means our eyes aren't straining to read passages and makes it a good Bible to read aloud from in public. I find the text clear and well-printed and of a good size too. This helped by the weightier, opaque paper of course!

The margin references are very good, pretty much the same on my other Bibles but the real value comes from the two version system which we will come onto now.

Having the Revised renderings in the OUTSIDE margin is very helpful. For the most part I read the Authorised text as normal, and then either have a brief scan of the Revised notes, or refer to them only if puzzled with the AV. Often times this can she light on the passage and help with my understanding and study. So not only is this Bible fantastic quality and very good to read (in terms of a physical book, I fully realise as a believer that the Word of God is ALWAYS good to read!) but it is also bringing something extra to the table, as those Revised differences are extremely handy to have in a Bible class!

Close up of the Two Version Bible text, taken from John's Gospel.
In the close-up above you can see for yourself how the system works. If I'd had more time I could have found some good examples of where this system has been really helpful. I will jot these down as I notice them and post some of these in the near future.

So all in all I can thoroughly recommend this Bible to any believer who predominantly uses the King James or Authorised version and doesn't want to give that up, but would like some alternative renderings close at hand. This Bible is not cheap (£90 currently from Ards Evangelical Bookshop in Northern Ireland), but I think having a good quality Bible is well worth it in the long run, and is not an investment that you will regret!

Here is a link to the Bible at Ards:

Opening pages of the two version Bible. Crimond House, Nigel Lynn, Jongbloed - take a bow, this Bible is beautiful.
So in summary, this Bible has quickly established itself as my favoured Bible for taking to any type of church gathering due to its handy size, good print and helpful margins. I think I just need to find a suitable Bible case/bag for it now, to keep it in good condition! So if you have seen this Bible advertised and wondered if it was any good, then I hope this post has been useful and informative.

Yours in Christ, Mark


  1. Thank you for this review!! I have wanted this Bible for A LONG time, however have not been able to afford it! I'm going to ask if I can send partial funds to ensure I have a copy!

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  3. Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place.. what is the holy spirit


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