Zondervan NIV Reader’s Bible Review – Rating: 8.7

Zondervan's NIV Reader's BibleI have been wanting to get my hands on a reader’s Bible at some point, and I got my chance to check one out with the NIV Reader’s Bible from Zondervan. Reader’s Bibles are a unique format in the aspect that they don’t have the chapter and verse numbers in some varying aspect.  If you want to get technical, this is not a new concept.  In fact, just to give very rough date approximations, it wasn’t until  around the 1200’s when the chapter numbers were introduced and then in the 1500’s when chapter and verse numbers were added to Scripture. The first English Bible to actually contain them was the Geneva Bible which was published in 1560.

My review is of the hardcover and cloth-bound version, but you can get it in different formats as well.
In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by Zondervan 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.”



**See all sections below for full detailed review**
The NIV Reader’s Bible is a unique type of Bible that some people will find very interesting. Think of it like a text-only Bible, but a much different reading experience than what most people have had before. It’s almost like reading the Bible as a novel.

Reader’s Bibles are designed slightly different between them, but they all have a similar concept where they remove the blatant breaks within the text by either moving or removing altogether the chapter and verse numbering.

This is not a new concept, but rather an original concept since chapter numbers were not introduced in Bibles until roughly the 1200s and the verse numbers in the 1500s. This particular Reader’s Bible does it in a way where the design does allow you to know fairly close as to what portion of each book you are in without deterring the reading experience. Overall, it really is very clean and well designed.

With a very pleasant 10 point font, if you are looking for a Bible that you can immerse yourself in the story of the Bible without distractions, then the NIV Reader’s Bible is one that you may want to strongly consider.  No study notes, no articles, chapter numbers are very subtle in the margin, no verse numbers within the text. Even the translator’s footnotes have been moved to the last pages within each book of the Bible.

I received a copy of this Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.



Type of Bible:  Bible
Publisher: Zondervan
Publish Date: October 10, 2017
ISBN-13 of Bible Reviewed: 978-0310446613
Bible Version: New International Version
Price:  At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this book is at Christianbook.com.  They have it for $25.49 – suggested retail from the publisher is $34.99. Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges.

If you would like to purchase this book, please support my blog and purchase by clicking any of the links to Christianbook.com on this page like the one below. If you want it in a different format, Click Here for those links.

446619: NIV, Reader&amp;quot;s Bible, Hardcover, Gold and Gray NIV, Reader’s Bible, Hardcover, Gold and Gray
By ZondervanFind a quiet, comfortable spot and immerse yourself in the story of God&rsquo;s Word with the NIV Reader&rsquo;s Bible. Designed for a seamless reading experience, this Bible contains the complete text of the accurate, readable, and clear NIV translation in single-column format without chapter and verse numbers in the text so you can immerse yourself in the story of Scripture. With footnotes at the back of each book and scripture references elegantly noted at the top of each page, you can smoothly read from Genesis to Revelation while accessing the references you need.Features

  • Complete text of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version text
  • Reader-friendly single-column, black-letter text
  • Line-matched text for the optimum reading experience
  • Verse numbers removed throughout text
  • Footnotes follow every book
  • Scripture reference included at the top of each page
  • Ribbon marker
  • 10-point text size
  • 8.75&quot; x 5.50

Physical Characteristics:

  • Hardcover (cloth hardcover)
  • Smyth sewn
  • 1 gray ribbon marker in this hardcover version
  • Single column format
  • Words of Christ are NOT in red text – black text only
  • No cross references.
  • 1,984 pages
  • Type size: 10 point for Scripture text
  • Dimensions: 5.9 x 2.1 x 9 inches
  • Approximate weight: 2.7 pounds


Pre-Scripture Text Pages

  • 1 page for the Contents
  • 1 page letter from the NIV Reader’s Bible Development Team explaining the purpose of this Bible

Introduction to the NIV Reader's Bible from the Development Team

Scripture Text Pages

Reader’s Bible Concept
So, there really isn’t a ton of features to talk about as this is NOT a Study Bible, or a Reference Bible.  It is a Reader’s Bible, which means just that.  It is designed to be read – kind of like a novel if you will.  It is the full New International Version Bible text, but without the chapter and verse numbering in the middle of the text.

The NIV Reader's Bible Reading experience example

Even with “taking out” the reference points of chapter and verse directly in the Scripture text itself, they did not leave readers in a state of not knowing where they are at.  They did this with two tools.

First, they did actually put in the chapter numbers, unlike a couple other Reader’s Bibles that I have seen that leave them completely out.  But it is in a small font in the left column that does not interfere with the reading experience at all.

Chapter Numbers in far left margin

Second, they also provide some guidance as to where you are at the very top of each page.  To do this, they show you the section of Scripture that is covered on the page.  For example, on page 1157, you can see in this picture below that this page covers Isaiah 46:4 through 47:1.

Example showing Verse Locator at top of each page

At the end of each book of the Bible, they have the translator’s footnotes for that book that you would normally see at the bottom of most Bibles.  This helps to keep the reading experience pure and assists in a non-disruptive flow of reading.  I’m a little mixed on this one personally, because I tend to be someone who pays fairly close attention to the translator’s footnotes when I am studying.  With that said, this is designed specifically for the reading experience, so this design fits nicely for the specific application of reading rather than studying Scripture.

Translator's Footnotes at the end of each book

Post Scripture Pages

  • Table of Weights and Measures
    1 page which is a fairly standard table in most Bibles you see.  I’m not completely certain why they included this, as I view this type of table as a study tool which this Bible is not designed to be.  It is only a single page at the back of the Bible, but it just felt out-of-place for the purpose of this Bible in my opinion.
  • A Word About the NIV
    6 pages of the typical Translator’s Letter explaining about the NIV Translation.  Usually, this is seen in the beginning pages and not at the end.  Interesting choice of placement in my mind.  Possibly placed there to have the NIV Reader’s Bible feel more like a Novel at the beginning to help a reader start right away getting immersed in the story of the Bible.

Typeface and Print:

  • Scriptures appear to be a 10 point font, which provides most people with a very pleasant reading experience.
  • There is not a ton of margin space for note taking, but in reality, why would you want to take notes in this Bible?  This Bible is designed toward the reading experience, not for taking notes and studying the Scriptures.  Of course, that’s just my opinion.  If you really want to take notes, there is a little room depending on what page you might be on.
  • The line-matching (printed lines on the front of the page vs. the back side of the page) is actually handled quite impressively.  From the pages that I looked at, the line matching was very accurate, which is something that is always a challenge for publishers that do study Bibles.  On a text-only Bible this is a much easier feat as you can see with the NIV Reader’s Bible.



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:  8.5 –  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 is very good and durable as it is Smyth sewn.
Appearance: 9.0 – The appearance of this Bible is clean – design and layout is done very nicely making it a very pleasant experience reading it.  The cloth hardcover feels very nice in the hand and is a nice size.  The Scripture text is a very pleasing 10 point font which makes the reading experience very nice.
Value: 8.9 – Basing this rating as a hardcover bible – the value of the NIV Reader’s Bible is very good – especially considering the reasonable price for what you get.
Innovation: 8.5 – I’m not completely sure I can call this an innovation since leaving out chapter and verse numbers is not a new concept.  However, the layout and design of how they accomplished this actually hits a very nice sweet spot in my mind.  You can still see the chapters, but I only noticed them if I wanted to.  Very nicely done.
Other/Wildcard: n/a – No real wildcards to speak of to adjust the rating points for this Bible.

Overall Rating: 8.7 out of 10


Bible Formats and Options:

Here are some of the different formats that this Bible comes in per the publisher as well as links to the purchase each of them:

ISBN: 978-0310444671 (Cloth Hardcover – This review)
ISBN: 978-0310446620 (Imitation Leather Brown)
ISBN: 978-0310447085 (Imitation Leather Brown and Gold) available around 2/7/2018


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.

Please leave a comment or question and I will try to respond a.s.a.p.

– Michael

This entry was posted in Bible, Bible Reading, Bible Reviews, Gospel, Hardcover, Harper Collins, Jesus, NIV, Reader's Bible, Scriptures, Word of God, Zondervan and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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