When my friend Scott Kay shared his stack of Bibles with us, I couldn't help noticing the Greek NT he'd had rebound by LeatherBibles.com. Since I receive a fair amount of questions about that site, and don't have much first-hand experience, I asked Scott to share some photos and tell us about the rebinding process. Here's his report:
As a student of Scripture, one of my great loves is the Greek New Testament. There’s nothing quite like digging into the depths of a passage in the original language and mining out the riches for yourself. Secondary sources like commentaries are invaluable as a resource, but they are still only secondary sources. In fact, I would be quick to say that the single greatest benefit seminary afforded me was the opportunity to learn Greek so I could study the text for myself. Nothing has proven more beneficial in my own grasp of Scripture.
As a pastor, my weekly duties revolve around delivering expository sermons to the congregation. So, wrestling with the translation and meaning of the Greek text of a given passage is a regular task for me.
As a result, I am in constant contact with a UBS4 Greek New Testament. For some time, I had searched high and low to find a leather bound edition with a flexible cover. The United Bible Society offers a leather bound edition, but the cover is just as stiff as the normal hardback editions they sell. So, I decided to take a hardback edition and have it rebound in calfskin.
At the time I was ready to proceed with the project, the only high quality Bible rebinder I could find was LeatherBibles.com. They don’t sell a Greek New Testament, but they do take special orders.
The special order process is a simple but lengthy one. For around $190, I simply had to specify which particular Bible I wanted them to bind and the color of calfskin in which I wanted it bound. They purchase the Bible and rebind it as part of the price.
I specified a tan calfskin UBS4 with the dictionary (I had to provide the ISBN #). At the time, I didn’t think of anything else to specify (ribbons, stamping, raised bands, end pages, etc.), but despite my ignorance, LeatherBibles did a fantastic job.
The leather is a beautiful hue of tan. It’s not too orange, and just the right degree of brown. The calfskin is quite soft and flexible, and arrived in a beautiful matte finish. It compares very similarly to the leather on a Nelson Signature Series Bible.
Even though the hardback edition comes sewn, it appears that LeatherBibles had it resewn nicely as part of the price. They added two ¼” brown satin ribbons, gold stamping and raised bands on the spine, along with semi-yapp edges, and black leather-lined backing. Which, as it turns out, is exactly what I would have wanted. They really thought through the details well, and took great care to provide me with a beautiful and functional Bible.
The hardbacks lay very flat from the start, and this rebinding only seemed to have lost a little of that flexibility. Even the dictionary section in the very back lies fairly flat. Smaller Bibles like these make it more difficult to achieve the flatness of a hardback, since they lack weight, so for the size, I am quite pleased with the flexibility.
The only thing lost on rebinding a UBS4 are the 2 maps that come glued to the inside of the hardback covers. The 2 maps that are printed on the end pages were retained.
From time of order to arrival of my Bible, was a good 4-5 months, the time listed on their website. A long wait, to be sure, but it was well worth it. I absolutely love this little Bible.
Thanks for the report, Scott. I appreciate all the effort you put into the photos, too!