Zondervan NIrV Giant Print Holy Bible Review – Rating: 7.1

I requested an evaluation copy of the Zondervan NIrV Giant Print Holy Bible through their BookLook Bloggers Program (HarperCollins Publishers) so I could review it.  I have to be honest with you… at first I wanted to request this Bible because it had the word “reader’s” in the name.  I quickly equated that to the “ESV Reader’s Bible” that I would like to get a copy of, and thought that this was an NIV Bible that was similar to the ESV Reader’s Bible in that it was the text only and didn’t have the Verse or chapter numbers included.  I was incorrect.  I honestly was not aware of the NIrV Bible in that it is actually a Bible “translation”.   Either case, this review is based on what I received from the publisher.  After I ordered it and realized what it was, I was curious about this Bible, not just to see how well it is made, but also to get a firsthand look at the NIrV translation
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In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by Zondervan, Harper Collins, or BookLook Bloggers to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

<http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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QUICK SUMMARY:

**See all sections below for full detailed review**

In my Bible reviews, I try to stay away from including the translation in the review, however, I do want you to understand about this particular translation.  This is NOT an NIV Bible – it is a translation that is based on the NIV translation as its core, but simplified even more for younger readers.  This is not a study Bible, but rather a text Bible with a very nice large font.  I would say this would be a good “stepping stone” Bible for a very young reader to transition them from the typical “My First Bible” into one of the more advanced translations that adults use.  You could also view this as a good potential for someone who doesn’t read well or has English as a second language.  Quality of this Bible is acceptable, but not great.  However, considering the price point of this Bible, it isn’t too bad.  The best thing this Bible has going for it is the size of the font and the ease of reading it.  This Bible is printed on fairly thin paper, so it has some show through from back side of pages, but the fairly decent line-matching does help the readability.
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DESCRIPTION OF THIS BIBLE:

Type of Bible:  Text Bible
Publisher: Zondervan
Publish Date:  October 6, 2015
ISBN-13 of Bible Reviewed: 978-0310751205
Price: At the time of writing this, you can get new from Amazon for $21.40 -suggested retail is $29.99  http://www.amazon.com/Giant-Print-Holy-Bible-NIrV/dp/0310751209/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448728058&sr=8-1&keywords=9780310751205
Bible Version: NIrV (New International Reader’s Version)
Physical Characteristics:

  • Hardcover
  • Smyth sewn and glued back (not perfect bound)
  • Slightly rounded back
  • No ribbon markers in this hardcover version
  • Single Column format
  • Words of Christ are NOT in red text – it is all black text
  • 2,358 pages
  • Type size looks like about a 14 point which means it is nice and large
  • Dimensions: 6 5/8″ wide x 9 1/2″ high x 2″ thick
  • Approximate weight: 3.5 lbs
  • Printed in China

SPECIAL CONTENT OF THIS BIBLE:

Pre-Scripture Text Pages

  • 1 page of Table of Contents
    • typical Table of Contents and includes page numbers for OT and NT books.
  • 1 page of Books of the Bible in alphabetical order
  • 4 pages of “A word about the NIrV

Scripture Text Pages

  • There are no Introductions to the books or any study notes as this really does not qualify as a study Bible.
  • This Bible does not have any cross references, however, if there are any scriptures that are quoted from a different book of the Bible, they did do a nice job of listing out the book, chapter and verse of where the reference was quoted.  For example, on page 1991, in Luke 20:17, Jesus quotes from Psalm 118:22 and the scripture reference is shown at the end of the quotation.

 

Post-Scripture Text Pages

  • 12 pages of a VERY basic dictionary
  • 6 1/2 pages of 150 Famous Bible Stories which is in canonical sequence.  These are broken into sections such as “From the Beginning” and “Kings of Israel”, etc. Then in each section, it lists the story description and what range of Bible verses in which the story is covered.  I actually really liked this section – especially for younger readers.  Obviously, this isn’t a complete list of the stories in the Bible, but they did do a nice job on this section.
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MY REACTIONS:

OK, this is the part where I get to tell you about how I like or dislike this Bible in a detailed manner.  What I typically try to do is do a quick glance over the entire book at a high level to get a feel for it.  Then I will go in depth in a shorter book such as Philippians so I am comparing the same thing from Bible to Bible.  That gives my reviews a certain consistency to them.  Since this Bible is really a text-only Bible, there are no study notes for me to cover this, so I won’t break out the Philippians portion like I normally do in my reviews.

MY OVERVIEW OF ENTIRE BIBLE:

Ease of Use:

I would say that this bible is pretty easy to use.  Normally, I don’t go into the readability of this version vs. that version.  However, I feel that I need to go into it a little bit with this Bible.  The NIrV is based on the NIV translation, but what they did was to break it down into a more basic language.  The intent was to do this for younger readers or those that don’t have English as a primary language.  Many of the sentences in the NIV were broken into smaller sentences and made more simplistic in the wording.  I have to admit that the first time I read this, I wasn’t too keen on it.  Then I read the “notes from the translators” section in front in more detail.  Their intent was geared toward a younger reader for the most part (or someone who doesn’t read English very well).  With that in mind, remembering back to the Bibles that we got for our children, we didn’t start them out being a brand new reader with a King James Bible.  So, if your objection is to this translation, you could think of it as a stepping stone for your brand new reader I suppose.  But, I would probably move them into a different translation rather than leaving them in the NIrV for a long time.  I honestly have some mixed feelings on it, but that is just my personal take.

Study Tools Helpful & Informative:

Really, about the only study tools that this bible has are as follows:
  • Scripture Quotations referenced – not quite a cross reference, but still when a scripture is quoted by someone else within the Bible, they do include the scripture reference.  Nicely done.
  • Dictionary – I’m not 100% sold on this, but if you base it off of the intent of the translators, then this Bible is geared towards new readers or those that don’t read well or people that have English as a second language.  If that is the case, then this would be a good tool for that level of reader.
  • 150 Bible Stories – similar to the dictionary, this is nice for newer readers, even though it is not anywhere near an entire list.

Does Commentary Convey Biblical Truth:

This really doesn’t have any study notes in it, however, I do feel like I need to point out that with this translation and how it is done, there really is some level of interpretation involved in the actual text.  By no means is this a word-for-word translation.  It is more of a thought-for-thought, but even at that, it is a simplified thought-for-thought.  Again, when you look at some of the beginners Bibles like a

“My First Bible”, these are not the entire Bible or a more challenging translation.  So, I suppose you could move your new reader from those “My First Bible” to the NIrV and then into a more literal translation.

Durability of Bible:

For a hardcover Bible, I would say that this seems to have an average durability.  It doesn’t feel as sturdy in my hand as other hardcover Bibles that I have looked at.  Again, please note that I have a personal preference toward leather bound books.  This Bible does appear to be Smyth Sewn (or section sewn), which means it will hold up better than some strictly “perfect bound” or glue back bibles (similar to general paperback books).   Knowing that the NIrV translation was geared towards younger readers for the most part, I was a little surprised that it didn’t feel as sturdy as what I would expect. Knowing that it is geared toward a younger age and depending on how “rough” your youngster is on books, you may want to consider getting a zip up case for this Bible to protect it.  It feels like it could easily be damaged by mishandling the book.

Typeface and Print:

  • Scriptures appear to be about 14 point font, which is a larger font, making it easier for younger eyes to read
  • The print is pretty decent overall, however, the paper is fairly thin, so there is some show through from the back of the page, however they did do a fairly good job at line matching in most cases, but not all pages that I looked through.

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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.

Quality:  7.2 (I 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.  With that said, for a hardcover book, the quality of this Bible could have been a little better – see my comment above about the

possibly needing a Bible case for younger readers)
Appearance: 7.5 (The appearance of this Bible is clean – layout is fine for a basic Bible. Nothing stands out particularly above other study Bibles in appearance)
Value: 7.3 (Basing this rating as a hardcover bible – the value of this bible is acceptable – especially considering the low price for what you get)
Innovation: 6.3 (I can’t say that there is anything major that stands out as innovative on this Bible.  I will rate it a little higher than a medium score just because of the Dictionary and 150 Bible Stories at the end, but nothing outstanding in my opinion.)
Other/Wildcard: n/a (No real wildcards to speak of to adjust the rating points for this Bible.)

Overall Rating: 7.1 out of 10

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Bible Formats and Options:

From what I can tell, this one only comes in Hardcover version.  I didn’t find any other options such as leather-like or softcover.  If I end up finding additional versions, then I will update this post.ISBN: 978-0310751205 (Hardcover version – This review)
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Company Summary:

Zondervan, part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, is a world leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. For more than 80 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products. The company’s products are sold in multiple formats, worldwide in more than 60 countries, translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan is the North American
publisher and licensee of the NIV Bible translation.  Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, MI.

HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc. is a world leading Christian content provider. Our parent company, HarperCollins Publishers, is the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world and is a subsidiary of News Corp. Though the Company formed in 2012, its heritage dates back to the late eighteenth century. Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, two highly sought-after Christian inspirational brands, are the keystone publishing programs.
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Please leave a comment or question and I will try to respond a.s.a.p.

 – Michael

https://thechristianreviewer.wordpress.com

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