Thomas Nelson’s NKJV Vines Expository Bible review – Rating: 9.0


Thomas Nelson's NKJV Vines Expository BibleI requested an evaluation copy of Thomas Nelson’s New King James Vines Expository Bible through their BookLook Bloggers Program (HarperCollins Publishers) so I could review it. This could be classified as a Study Bible but only in certain aspects. It is not just a text-only, but it doesn’t have the normal notes at the bottom of the page that you come to expect in most Study Bibles. I guess I would classify this as more of a Bible with commentary added.

Overall, this is a very nice Bible.  The copy that I received is a hardcover binding and actually, it feels pretty good in the hands even though I normally prefer a genuine leather Bible.


In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by Thomas Nelson 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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

Overall, the NKJV Vines Expository Bible by Thomas Nelson is a really nice Bible. The copy that I am reviewing is the hardcover version. It really feels pretty good in the hand and has a nice size to it. The print is nice and large and easy to see at about a 10.5 point font for the Scripture text and a 9 point font for the study notes. It is very readable.

This is not what I would classify as a Study Bible as it doesn’t have the typical study tools like cross-references or study notes at the bottom of the pages. Rather, Thomas Nelson took the expository sermons that Pastor Jerry Vines preached over his 24 years as pastor at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida and adapted them into articles and outlines for this Bible. Those sermons were Pastor Vines’ exposition that covered every book in the Bible.

With tools such as Book Introductions and key word studies, there are some nice study notes in this Bible. Also, there are a lot of articles about applying the message and living that message based on his expository sermons. All of these articles and tools provide you with a way to help you apply the Word to your life and live it out. They are very helpful.

They also provide over 200 of Pastor Vines’ expository sermon outlines in sections entitled “Presenting the Message”. I find these to be excellent articles relating to the portion of Scripture they are covering. Think of it as a “sermon-lite” if you will. While I have not read every one yet, the ones I have read are written very well and are solid.

I do like the tools contained in this Bible – while not as abundant as a typical Study Bible, they are well designed and easy to follow.

Overall, I would say that if you enjoy the sermons of Pastor Jerry Vines or lean more toward a Baptist background, then this Bible should be fairly high on your list to get. It is very well written and the design and layout are very pleasing. I would recommend this Bible for sure. If you are looking for a Study Bible that has notes on every single page geared toward the text on that page, then this is not the Bible you are looking for. However, if you are looking for an NKJV Bible that has some really good (and solid) commentary from a Baptist background to help you learn and apply God’s Word to your life, then I would highly recommend this Bible for you.

I received a copy of this Bible in exchange for this review from Thomas Nelson and all opinions are my own.



Type of Bible:  Bible
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publish Date: March 27, 2018
ISBN-13 of Bible Reviewed: 978-0718098513
Price: At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this Bible from is They have it for $26.99 – suggested retail from the publisher is $44.99. Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges.

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


098513: NKJV Vines Expository Bible--hardcover, cloth over board NKJV Vines Expository Bible–hardcover, cloth over board
By Thomas NelsonThe Vines Expository Bible offers scriptural truth alongside guided explanations of key passages from influential preacher Dr. Jerry Vines. With biblical exposition and practical teaching culled from years of faithful ministry, Dr. Vines presents helpful insights from God’s Word are presented in a warm, pastoral manner. Features Include:

  • Paragraph-style text with in-text subject headings
  • 200 “Presenting the Message” detailed outlines from Jerry Vines’ sermon archive
  • 100 “Living the Message” articles with illustrations for living the Christian life
  • 200 “Applying the Message” notes that help you see the relevance of Scriptures for your walk with Christ
  • 300 “Discerning the Meaning” word studies that illuminate the meaning of key words in Scripture
  • Book Introductions
  • Topical Index
  • Concordance
  • 10.5-point print size
Cover with the Dust Jacket

Showing the outside cover with the Dust Jacket on the Bible

Cover without the Dust Jacket

Showing the cover without the Dust Jacket on the Bible

Bible Version: NKJV – New King James Version
Physical Characteristics:
  • Guaranteed for Life
  • Hardcover (cloth over board with just jacket)
  • Two color
  • Smyth sewn
  • Two wide red ribbon markers
  • No thumb indexing
  • No gilding
  • Double Column format
  • Words of Christ NOT in red text
  • No cross-references
  • 1,984 pages
  • Scripture type size is 10.5 point
  • Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.7 x 9.4 inches
  • Approximate weight: 2.9 lbs
  • Printed in China
  • This Bible does very well at laying flat for reading and studying.  It’s probably one of the best ones for a lay flat Bible that I have encountered in a hardcover binding.    Here is a picture showing it laying open to the first page in Genesis (book introduction page).

This Bible lays very flat when opened to the first page of the Old Testament


Pre-Scripture Text Pages

  • 1 Presentation Page
    • This is the typical “Presented To”, “Presented By” and “Presented On” that most all Bibles have.
  •  1 page of Table of Contents
    • Typical Table of Contents
  • 1 page of Abbreviations of Books of the Bible
    • The typical list of the books in canonical order with the abbreviation used
  • 1 Page of a Letter of Greeting from Pastor Jerry Vines
    • A very nice letter explaining some background of Pastor Vines and how this particular Bible came to be and what this Bible has in it.
  • 6 pages of a Preface to the New King James Version
    • This is the typical letter from the Translators to the New King James Version that you see in most all other NKJV Bibles.

Scripture Text Pages

  • Book Introductions
    • This Bible follows suit like many Study Bibles that you see where each book starts off with an introduction to that book. For this Bible, the Book Introductions cover things such as Authorship, Dates of the writings, Outlines and Themes. Not the most detail I have ever seen, but very typical of what you will find in a majority of Study Bible book introductions and still very good and easy to follow.

Book Introduction to John pages 1534-1535

  • Discerning the Meaning Articles
    • One of the article types in the Vines Expository Bible is the Discerning the Meaning articles, which there are over 300 of them. These are brief articles that take a specific word in the Scripture and break down the meaning to give you a better understanding of the Scripture text. Very easy to follow and succinct.

Discerning the Message pg 771

  • Applying the Message Articles
    • The articles for Applying the Message are helpful from the aspect of understanding the Scripture better and how it is relevant for you and your Christian faith. These are very good and cause you to reflect and challenge you to action, whether it is to believe something about God that you didn’t think of before or maybe a challenge to do something or change something in your life. There are over 230 of these Apply the Message articles in the Vines Expository Bible.

Applying the Message pg 524

  • Presenting the Message Articles
    • With more than 200 of these Presenting the Message articles, you get the benefit of reading the detailed sermon outlines from Pastor Jerry Vines from his years as a pastor in Florida. These are derived from when he did expositional sermons on every book of the Bible. Typically, these are two pages long.

Presenting the Message pages 1384-1385

  • Living the Message Articles
    • 148 articles that give example illustrations and stories providing insight on how we can live out our lives of faith.  Very well done.

Living the Message pg 1461

  • Wide Red Ribbon Markers
    • I normally don’t put in much detail about ribbon markers.  They don’t make or break any Bible in my book, but these ribbon markers are wider (at 3/8″) than the typical 1/4″ ones that you normally see in Bibles these days.  While they may not be the ultimate in quality, they are a nice upgrade from the normal (and thinner) ribbon markers that I have seen.  I just felt like mentioning it in case you are a “ribbon markers make or break the deal” kind of person.

Wide Red Ribbon Markers

Post-Scripture Text Pages

  • Vines Expository Bible Index
    • 17 pages that allow you to quickly locate the many articles from Pastor Vines’ expository sermons categorized by topic. Part of me wished that there was a way to quickly tell if each entry is referencing either a Presenting the Message, Discerning the Message or Applying the Message type of article.  Oh well… that is very minor as this is still a very good tool when you are looking for a specific topic to look into.  There are also Additional Passages in many of the topics that list more Scriptures that pertain to the topic in the index.

Vines Expository Bible Index pg 1875

  • NKJV Concordance
    • 73 pages of the typical concordance for the NKJV translation that you find in most NKJV Bibles.

Concordance on pages 1896-1897

  • 8 additional pages of full-color maps
    • These are the typical maps you find at the end of most Bibles and for the most part, these appear to be the standard set of maps you find in most Thomas Nelson Bibles.  Printed on good paper with nice graphics and easy to read compared to some of the other maps I have seen in some Bibles.
      • World of the Patriarchs
      • Exodus and Conquest of Canaan
      • Land of the Twelve Tribes
      • Kingdom of David and Solomon
      • Jesus’ Ministry
      • 2-pages of Paul’s Missionary Journeys
      • Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus

Color Maps at end of the Bible



This section is where I get to tell you about how I like or dislike this Bible in a detailed manner.


Ease of Use:

I would say that this Bible is extremely easy to use. I’m not going to go into the readability of this translation vs. that translation.  For this review, I am looking at the helpful tools that are provided and not at the specific translation (NKJV in this case).
To any Bible reader/student, the tools and layout/design of this Bible are done in a very easy to use and pleasing manner.  The articles that are in this Bible are based on expository sermons that Pastor Vines delivered when he was pastoring at a Baptist church in Florida. The flow of each of these articles is very nice and easy to follow, making the readability of the extra-Biblical text very user-friendly.

Study Tools Helpful & Informative:

  • The Articles – I did not read every single one of these articles by any means, but the ones I did read were solid and very helpful.  The Vines Expository Bible Index toward the end of this Bible provides the tool to look up specific articles or Scripture as needed.  There are many of them such as Applying the Message, Discerning the Message, Living the Message and Presenting the Message.  While this index does not list out which type of article a certain page has on it, the grouping by topics and also providing additional passages related to the topic are very helpful and well done.
  • Book Introductions – These book introductions are fairly typical to Study Bibles that I have seen in my many reviews.  They are typically one to two pages long.  Not too short, but not a dissertation either. Very nicely done.

Does Commentary Convey Biblical Truth:

While I did not read every single article or book introduction in this Bible, from the quick glance through hitting many of them, the commentary does seem to be pretty solid.

The Durability of This Bible:

The copy I received is a hardcover Bible.  I do have a personal preference toward higher quality leather in leather-bound books, but even so, this Bible is 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) in my experience and opinion. Overall, I would say the durability of this Bible is acceptable. If you want something a little more durable, I would recommend getting the genuine leather version if you can afford the price difference.

Lifetime Guarantee:
According to the Thomas Nelson website, their Bibles do have a lifetime guarantee.  This is shown on the back of the box the NKJV Vines Expository Bible comes in as well.  They do have some information about their guarantee on their website and used to have you “register” your Bible to activate it.  However, you no longer have to register your Bible which I received confirmation from the publisher on this.  Basically, if you have issues with your Bible, just contact the publisher, but it might be best if you kept your receipt in case you need it for any reason.

Typeface and Print:
  • Scriptures are a very readable 10.5 point font, which is a little larger than the standard size used in many Bibles and Study Bibles that typically are a 9 point font or sometimes smaller.
Showing size of 10.5 point font Scripture Text

Showing size of 10.5 point font Scripture Text compared to a US quarter.

  • The book introductions and articles only have a little bit smaller 9 point font which provides a very clean and easy to read experience.
  • Scripture text and the text of the articles are very clearly separated by a box with an outline. Each of the different article types has a slightly different look to them so you can easily know at a glance what type of article you are seeing.
  • If you are a note-taker, there is not very much room to write in the margins of this particular Bible – outside margins are about 1/2″.
  • Show-through is where on thinner paper stocks, you can see a ghost of the print from the other side of the paper showing through.  You will get a little bit of the distracting show-through that see in some Bibles, but it’s not as bad as what you see with other Bibles that use real cheap or thin paper.  While you can see it in the NKJV Vines Expository Bible, I personally didn’t find it overly distracting.  It is more noticeable with the colored headers for the articles and the design elements of some of the Presenting the Message articles (for one example) if they are on the opposite page, but again, I wasn’t overly distracted by it.  If you are highly sensitive to show-through, then you may notice it more than what I did.  You can probably see it in a majority of the photos in this review if you look closely at the pics full size (just click them and they will open full size in a separate tab in your browser).
  • The line-matching (printed lines on the front of the page vs. the back side of the page) aren’t lined up the best, but it isn’t the worst I’ve seen either.  You can see this in a any of the pics in this review that show Scripture text. Publishers try to do line matching when they can because it helps with that previously mentioned show-through when printing on a thinner paper stock.  With all that said, I think that from a design perspective, line matching in a Bible with study tools or partial page articles is a very hard thing to do effectively unless it is a text-only (only Scripture and no other tools or study notes). Usually, this is due to all the study features incorporated into the design of Study Bibles or Bibles like this one, which will oftentimes throw the lines “out of alignment” from the printed lines on the back side. It is much easier to do line matching on the Text Only or Reference Bibles for this reason.
  • Full-color maps in the back of this Bible are very good. Some of the maps in the back do have some slightly smaller print which may be harder to see for some people, but I did not have any trouble. Of course, I just got new glasses last month, so maybe that is playing into the equation.


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 or a particular translation.

Quality:  8.9  This is a hardcover (cloth over board) Bible and even so, the quality is perfectly fine for this type of binding.  Yes, it is Smyth sewn which helps the quality level from my perspective.  If you want to have a leather or imitation leather Bible instead, you do have those options with the NKJV Vines Expository Bible. Overall, this is a good quality Bible.
Appearance: 9.6   The appearance of this Bible is actually very clean and easy to follow. The design that the publisher came up with does make it very easy to follow the different types of articles and tools.
Value: 9.1   Considering the price you can get this Bible at, I feel that the value of this Bible is actually very good.
Innovation: 8.2   Don’t forget to look at the back of the dust jacket on this Bible. They have a website link to you a free sample digital download of a “Church History in Plain Language 4th Edition” by Bruce L. Shelley in a PDF format.  Keep in mind, this free download is just a sampler – not the whole book.  The sample is roughly 43 pages of the book, so it’s not a complete book, but if you are in the market for something like it and want to just check it out, it’s a nice freebie to get.

Other/Wildcard: n/a  No wildcards to speak of with this Bible

Overall Rating: 9.0 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 (prices listed below are at the time of writing this review and are subject to change):

ISBN: 978-0718098513 (Hardcover – This review) $26.99
ISBN: 978-0718098636 (eBook – ePub format) $14.99
ISBN: 978-0718098650 (Genuine Leather, Black) $66.99
ISBN: 978-0718098629  (Bonded Leather, Burgundy) $44.99
ISBN: 978-0718098612 (Bonded Leather, Black) $44.99


Company Summary:

In 1798, Thomas Nelson founded his first publishing house in Edinburgh, Scotland, determined to make books, particularly Christian classics, affordable to the common man.  In 1931, Pat and Bernie Zondervan began their publishing journey in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they began buying and selling books and Bibles.  HarperCollins Publishers acquired Zondervan Publishers in the 1980s and Thomas Nelson in 2012, integrating the two similar, yet uniquely different, publishing groups under one leadership.  Today, the strength of these great names—Thomas Nelson and Zondervan—continue to represent the highest quality in Christian publishing, creating the Company’s foundation.

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.

@ThomasNelson @HarperCollins @BookLookBlogger @jerryvines

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

– Michael


This entry was posted in Apply the Word, Bible, Bible Reviews, Bible Study, Bible Study Resources, Bonded Leather, Commentary, Concordance, Expository, Full Color, Gospel, Illustrated, Jerry Vines, Key Words, KJV, NKJV, Scriptures, Spiritual Life, Study Bible, Study Bible Reviews, Studying, Thomas Nelson, Word of God, Word Studies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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