If you read my review of the Hardcover Holman Full-Color KJV Study bible, you may recall that I intended to get the leather bound version and accidentally requested the hardcover version from them. It actually worked out well though because during the review I felt that the hardcover version would be an excellent desk reference KJV Study bible if that was what you were interested in. Upon finishing the hardcover version review, I requested the one I really wanted to review – the premium black genuine cowhide version. I was very happy to see the bible show up in the mail a couple weeks ago. I am doing this review after using this bible for myself for a couple of weeks to get a good feel for it.
QUICK SUMMARY: 9.0 out of 10
**See all sections below for full detailed review**
- Obviously, the cover is MUCH nicer and more durable with this version
- Silver gilding in the cowhide leather bound version (shiny edges of the pages that are an aesthetic addition) – see my observations about the gilding in the details below…
- Rounded corners of the printed pages in the cowhide version
DESCRIPTION OF THIS BIBLE:
Type of Bible: Study Bible
- Genuine cowhide leather
- Smyth sewn
- 2 ribbon markers (black and gray/silver)
- 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: 7 1/8” wide (outside spine to cover edge – cover hangs past pages by about 5/16″) x 9 1/2″ high (top edge of cover to bottom edge of cover – cover hangs over top and bottom of pages by 1/4″ each) x 2 1/16” thick (including cover thickness)
- Approximate weight: 4 lbs.
SPECIAL CONTENT OF THIS BIBLE
Pre-Scripture Text Pages (same as hardcover version)
- 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 (same as hardcover version)
- Each book starts off with a nice introduction that includes the following:
- 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 (same as hardcover version)
- 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: (same as hardcover version)
Study Tools Helpful & Informative: (same as hardcover version)
- 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 Baptist background.
- 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.
|Map showing Ehud and the Moabite oppression found on page 418|
- Reconstructions and illustrations (hand drawings) are done well.
|8th century B.C. Hebrew house on page 1470|
|New Testament Jerusalem on pages 1744-1745|
|Solomon’s Temple reconstruction on page 738|
|Olive press reconstruction found on page 888|
- Charts are done very cleanly. For example, on page 465, there is a very clean chart showing the family of David.
|Family of David chart on page 465|
- 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.
Does Commentary Convey Biblical Truth: (same as hard cover version)
Durability of Bible:
|Example of the Smyth sewing in the maps on the last pages.|
Leather bound cover and spine:
|The cowhide leather has a very nice texture and soft feel to it|
|You can see the VERY slight flare in the spine in this
shot. VERY minor and very normal in modern
|Drawing showing spine flare and how medieval
bookbinding methods used the rounding method
for their backbone/spine.
The spine has the ribbing that is done in older style of bindings where they secure the spine of the pages together more securely. In the older manual method of bookbinding, this is done by sawing a “divot” perpendicular to the spine of the pages and then gluing in a nice thick “cord” to secure the pages even more. This caused a raised “rib” on the spine of the book where the cord was. However in the case of this bible, the ribbing is strictly done in the spine of the cover and is not securing the actual pages in any way, so it really is more of an aesthetic look than anything. With that said, some people like the look and some don’t. I personally like the looks of it, but would rather have it be an actual backbone ribbing vs. just aesthetics. Maybe I’m just being an old-school medieval book binding purist. Lol
The spine also has gilded (see section below explaining gilding) text on it – at the top showing “KJV” to let you know what version. In the middle it shows “STUDY BIBLE”, then at the bottom, it shows the Holman logo.
|Here you can see the decorative ribbing they put on the spine
as well as the spine gilding.
Gilding of the pages:
Time to be honest… I think I may be a little O.C.D. with this, but I did actually go through every single page to separate the pages due to gilding. I have always done this with gilded books. When I first get a gilded bible in my hands, I start to “fan” through the pages to separate the pages because gilding will tend to make the edge of the pages “stick” together a little bit. One interesting fact for this bible is that for any pages where the full color bleeds off the page (extends to the very edge of the page), the gilding made it stick in the corners a little more than normal and the fanning of the pages didn’t separate them. I will have to do some investigation to see why that may be from a print process standpoint. It did this in my Chronological Life Application Study Bible as well for the pages that bled to the edge. To safely separate the pages of the full-bleed color pages, I simply separated the pages a little on the face of the book and then used my finger to pull the upper and lower corners separate. Once that was done, just opening the page like a normal page turn separated the pages very easily with no issues. Not a big deal at all and most people could safely be a little more aggressive than I was…. I don’t like my bibles to have creased or folded pages if I can avoid it. I told you I’m a little O.C.D. with some things. 🙂
|This bible has silver colored gilding on the edge of the pages.|
|Cowhide version has the nice rounded edges which will help
the pages with wear and tear.
|Hardcover version has the squared edges. One of the many
reasons I would classify the hardcover version as a desk
Typeface and Print: (same as hard cover version)
- Scriptures appear to be approximately 9 point Times Roman font, which tends to be fairly standard size 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.)
- 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.
- 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, if you look at pages 1738 and 1739, the Words of Christ in Luke 21:14-17 are directly “in-line” a color separator bar and then also with a full-color map directly across. If the yellow was too low, this color map and the color separator bar would look different. It does not. Therefore the color appears to be an intentional design by Holman. Plus, the color seems to be pretty consistent throughout the Gospels.
- 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 (same as hardcover version):
Study Tools Helpful & Informative (same as hardcover version):
Does Commentary Convey Biblical Truth (same as hardcover version):
MY CHRISTIAN REVIEWER RATINGS:
Quality: 9.4 (I would classify this one as very well made. Not the highest quality bible that you can get, however for the price it is VERY well made. To get a better quality bible, you would be spending more than $300 or more.)
Overall Rating: 9.0 out of 10 (see note about Value above)
Bible Formats and Options:
Here are some of the different formats that this bible comes in per the publisher. You can simply Google the ISBN number to find where you can get your desired version;
ISBN: 978-1433603785 (Black Genuine Cowhide – This review)
ISBN: 978-1433600340 (Jacketed Hardcover)
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.