If you read my review of the Chronological Life Application Study Bible, you may recall that I really like bibles that are in full color (which typically applies only to study bibles from what I have seen so far). It is strictly a preference on my part. Not that they necessarily make it easier to read or study the bible – I just find it aesthetically pleasing for me.
You may be different in what you like. I requested an evaluation copy of the Holman Full-Color KJV Study Bible from B&H Publishing so I could review it. I accidentally requested the hardcover version and with the completion of this review will be requesting the leather bound one for another review as I feel more people would be interested in the nicer leather bound one for their personal use than a hardcover. Watch the blog for a follow-up review for that version of this bible assuming B&H is willing to send it to me. I’m looking forward to reviewing that version.
I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by this particular bible. The Study tools are done very nicely, although admittedly, I would have liked to see some of the study notes go into more details and a deeper dive into the cultural and historical background. As I mentioned this review is of the Jacketed Hardcover version of the Holman full-color KJV Study Bible, which I would recommend highly if you want a good desk reference study bible. I hope to do the leather bound review which would then end up being the bible to carry around (for those of us that like a thick, heavy bible to lug around with us. 🙂 Printed on nice opaque paper (less show through from back side of pages), nice color photos and other full-color items. Easy to use. Overall a thumbs up for this bible.
DESCRIPTION OF THIS BIBLE:
- Full color dust jacket
- Smyth sewn and glued back (not perfect bound)
- 1 tan ribbon marker
- Words of Christ in “red” text (see comments below on this)
- 2,240 pages (not including Pre-Scripture Text Pages and final Maps at end)
- Type size is 9 point (for scripture – it’s smaller for Study Notes)
- Dimensions: 6 11/16″ wide x 9 1/8″ high x 2″ thick
- Approximate weight: 4 lbs
SPECIAL CONTENT OF THIS BIBLE:
Pre-Scripture Text Pages
- Presentation page
- Marriage page (much like a marriage license)
- 2 pages of Births
- 1 page of Marriages
- 1 page to record “Occasions to Remember”
- 1 page to record Deaths
- Table of Contents
- Books of the Bible with page numbers (in page number sequence)
- Books of the Bible (arranged alphabetically)
- Introduction to Holman KJV Study Bible by Jeremy Royal Howard (General Editor)
- Features of the Holman KJV Study Bible (explains how to use it)
- 5 pages of Contributors (Editorial and Study Notes)
- 4 pages of List of Maps, Illustrations and Charts
- Abbreviations used in the KJV Study Bible
- God’s Plan for Salvation with a toll free number to call the Evangelism Response Center to talk to someone about Jesus (888-537-8720)
- 3 pages of Steps to a Classic (explains some history to the KJV translation) by Ed Blum (General Editor)
- 16 pages of Epistle Dedicatory and the Translators to the Reader (full)
- 9 pages of How to Read and Study the Bible by George H. Guthrie
- 7 pages of Origin, Transmission and Canonization of the Old Testament Books by Jeremy Royal Howard (General Editor)
- 5 pages of Origin, Transmission and Canonization of the New Testament Books by Jeremy Royal Howard (General Editor) NOTE: This is actually located in the pages between the Old and New Testaments on pages 1564-1568
Scripture Text Pages
- Each book starts off with a nice introduction that includes
- A brief summary statement
- Circumstances of Writing
- Message and Purpose
- Contribution to the Bible
- Outline of the book
- Holman Study Notes on the lower portion of each page of biblical text (approximately 15,000 of them per the publisher … and no, I did not count them to verify) 🙂
- 141 Full-color photos throughout giving a nice example of biblical places and ideas
- Cross References
- 59 full-color maps that are very nicely done
- 16 illustrations and reconstructions showing mock ups of some biblical buildings and locations
- 15 charts
- 20 Articles and Essays
- 62 Timelines putting into perspective when a book was written and what is contained in it
Post-Scripture Text Pages
- Table of Weights and Measures
- 18 pages of King’s English (glossary of terms used in the King James Bible like “gainsay” which is to “deny or contradict” for example)
- 50 page concordance (not exhaustive by any means, but then again, if you’re a serious bible study person, you probably have a separate concordance like Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance or something similar).
- NOTE: The advertisements show it as a 40 page concordance, however unless someone was using some new kind of math, it looks like it’s actually 50 pages (starts on page 2183 and ends on page 2232). So we apparently get 10 bonus concordance pages! 🙂
- One year Bible Reading Plan
- Three year Bible Reading Plan
- Art Credits page for Photos, Illustrations/Reconstructions and Charts.
- 8 additional full-color maps
MY OVERVIEW OF ENTIRE BIBLE:
Ease of Use:
Study Tools Helpful & Informative:
- Quite a lot of study notes – as I mentioned before, some don’t go into much detail while others do go quite deep.
- Glancing through a few of the Essays, they are pretty good, most of which are from authors with a background in the Baptist church.
- Maps are done nicely in color, however on some of the maps, the font size is very small which would make it hard for some people to read without some kind of magnifying tool.
- Illustrations (hand drawings) are done pretty well. I did really like the one about the High Priest’s Garments on page 151.
Example Topical Chart for Proverbs.
- Charts are done very cleanly. As a very nice example, on page 136 is a chart of the Ten Commandments which shows the Commandment, the Passages where the Commandment was given, any related Old Testament passages, any Related New Testament Passages and then Jesus’ teachings related to the Commandments.
- Additional comment – The Proverbs Topical Chart on pages 1039-1044 are done very nicely giving you where to look in proverbs for certain topics and are grouped nicely like Emotion (Anger, Desire, Grief, etc.), Godly Traits (Fear, Humble, Integrity, Pure, Righteous, etc.), Ungodly Traits (Evil, Fools, Pride, Sin, Vanity, etc.) and other great principles.
Example Summary page of the Introduction
- The book introduction pages are done very nicely and give a great background to each book of the bible. This includes a timeline for each book as well which helps the reader to get an idea of the timing of the events surrounding the time of when the book was written.
|You might have to zoom in a little to see, but these are
the indications of a Smyth (section) sewn book.
Durability of Bible:
- Scriptures appear to be about 9 point Times Roman font, which tends to be fairly standard size
Showing smaller sized font for Study Notes.
and font used in many bibles.
- The study notes are substantially smaller in point size (maybe a 5 or possibly 6), but it is done in a very clean font (similar to an Arial or Verdana possibly).
- Study Notes verse number references are done in that nice light blue color and the text is black. When a portion of the study note quotes directly from Scripture, the publisher put those quoted words in a bold font.
- Scripture text and the commentary text (and maps and charts) are very clearly separated by a tan colored horizontal bar separating the two areas into an upper section (scripture) and a lower section (study notes, maps, charts, etc.)
Showing section headers, Verse Numbers and
Cross References in blue color.
- The section headers (such as “Saul in Damascus” for Acts 9:19-22) and the chapter numbers are in a very pleasing blue color which gives it a nice distinctness from the actual scripture text which is in black.
- The actual verse numbers are in a slightly lighter blue hue.
- The center-column cross references are distinguished nicely by the verse being in that same lighter blue and the actual cross reference being in black.
|Showing the “red” Words of Christ as mentioned
in my comments to the left. See how the image
below looks to have the correct colors.
- Words of Christ are in red, but you may notice that the color is closer to the magenta side vs a true red. Some people would interpret this color as a darker pink. It doesn’t look bad – just different from what I would normally expect.
- NOTE: from a purely technical perspective, true red is obtained by using 50% magenta and 50% yellow on a printing press in two separate printing units. Sometimes you could argue that the printer had too little yellow giving the Words of Christ this pinkish-magenta hue. However this is not true because, for example, on page 1784 the Words of Christ in John 11:34-42 are directly “in-line” with a 4 color photograph directly below. If the yellow was too low, this color photograph would look terrible. It does not. Therefore the color appears to be an intentional design by Holman. Plus, the color seems to be pretty consistent throughout the scriptures.
- There is a descent amount of room to write in the outside margins to write in if you desire (just about 3/4″ margin)
- Paper used for this bible is a nicely opaque paper so you don’t get nearly the show through that you do with other bibles that use cheaper/thinner paper.
- Full color maps, photographs, charts, timelines, and other content are done very nicely and the print is very good quality.
MY EVALUATION OF SINGLE BOOK (Philippians):
Ease of Use:
Study Tools Helpful & Informative:
Does Commentary Convey Biblical Truth:
MY CHRISTIAN REVIEWER RATINGS:
Below, we have the overall ratings that I would give to this particular bible with a 1 to 10 range. Keep in mind that when I am doing these ratings, it is based on the physical makeup, format, extra-biblical content and value of the bible, not rating the Word of God itself as that would be off the chart 🙂
Quality: 8.2 (I rated this a little higher than I normally would have. I will never rate a hardcover book higher than a nicely sewn and bound leather book simply due to long-term durability. Basically, this means without proper care, any hardcover bible type will not last as long as the leather bound sewn version of that same bible). I hope to get a copy of the leather bound version of this bible so I can do a review on it as well.
Appearance: 9 (the layout and colors are nicely done – I personally like the color scheme of the Chronological Life Application Study Bible a little better as it seems a little “softer” to me vs. the more harsh red-ish earth tones of the KJV Study Bible – just personal preference though. You may prefer the color scheme of this bible more)
Value: 7.5 (If you like hardcover bibles, then you personally should rate this higher. I personally like leather bibles that are sewn better simply because they feel better in the hand to me personally and are typically made better and will last longer. Overall for a hardcover bible, the value of this bible is very good)
Innovation: 9 the full color pages seem to make it much easier for me personally to read and use this bible. How to study the Bible section is very practical and will be handy for many users.
Other/Wildcard: 8.5 (the study notes are pretty good, although in some areas, they are a tad weak. I have seen other study bible notes that have more detail.)
Overall Rating: 8.4 out of 10 (see note about Value above)
Bible Formats and Options:
ISBN: 978-1433600340 (Jacketed Hardcover – This review)
ISBN: 978-1433603785 (Black Genuine Cowhide – The next one I would like to review)
ISBN: 978-1433614378 (Turquoise Mother’s Edition LeatherTouch)
ISBN: 978-1433603389 (Pink/Brown LeatherTouch)
ISBN: 978-1433603389 (Saddle Brown LeatherTouch Indexed)
ISBN: 978-1433600395 (Black Genuine Leather Indexed)
ISBN: 978-1433605154 (Slate Blue LeatherTouch)
ISBN: 978-1433600364 (Mantova Brown LeatherTouch)
ISBN: 978-1433603631 (Lavender LeatherTouch)
ISBN: 978-1433605130 (Soft Green LeatherTouch)
ISBN: 978-1433603488 (Pink/Brown LeatherTouch Indexed)
ISBN: 978-1433603341 (Mantova Black LeatherTouch)
ISBN: 978-1433603372 (Blue/Taupe LeatherTouch Indexed)
ISBN: 978-1433604362 (Father’s Edition Black/Tan LeatherTouch)
ISBN: 978-1433603365 (Blue/Taupe LeatherTouch)
ISBN: 978-1433600333 (Saddle Brown LeatherTouch)
ISBN: 978-1433603280 (Mantova Black LeatherTouch Indexed)
ISBN: 978-1433600371 (Mantova Brown Simulated/Imitation Leather, Indexed)
ISBN: 978-1586409265 (Dark Umber/Sienna LeatherTouch Indexed)
ISBN: 978-1586409258 (Dark Umber/Sienna LeatherTouch)
In 1993, A.J. Holman Bible Company was acquired by Broadman Press to form B&H Publishers. Then in 2014, B&H Publishing combined with Lifeway Church Resources. They are based in Nashville, TN and have roots that go back to 1738.
Please leave a comment or question and I will try to respond a.s.a.p.