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September 29, 2007



What are the margins like? I have the hardest time finding a mid-level bible with really nice, good margins. I have one large print bible and I enjoy it because I can write between the lines. It is a hardback John Macarthur study bible in NKGV that I picked up for cost when I worked at a bookshop. It too doesn't look as funky as other large prints I have seen and sold, but it is not really a translation I enjoy and I really don't like the notes either.

This square format actually sounds cool. I always enjoy textbooks that are more square, and having this much size seems that it would be very handy to mark in....yes I am one of those people.

J. Mark Bertrand

Chad, if you follow this link, you can see what it looks like inside:


In person, it's a little more attractive than the page image suggests -- the two-page spread is more balanced somehow than the page on its own. But the margins are pretty tight and I don't think there's room to write between the lines. By the way, the entire line was available (with all the color options) at my local Barnes & Noble, so this would probably be an easy one to check out in person.


I saw one today at Cokesbury on campus here at Asbury and I was pretty disappointed. The square format looked as cool as I thought it would but the margins were really tight. I know at one point in time Asbury required students to have a wide margin NRSV (or maybe an RSV) to build their own study bible while they were getting their masters...I think I am going to ask around to find out if anyone knows where to get one.

But I am with you. I REALLY REALLY REALLY wish there was a good single column, wide margin ESV out there.


There is also a Catholic edition XL with a green cover that I like better than the tan or brown.


I'm attracted to the XL's comfortable font size, and the wide width permits a reasonable number of words per line, but I've had a bad experience with the Harper Collins NRSV Standard Text edition--the ghosting was atrocious making the thing unreadable for any period of time. Since HarperCollins published both the XL and Standard Text at about the same time, I'd be tempted to believe they're using the same paper and ink. Is that true? For those of who've seen or handled an XL, how is the bleed-through?

You could say I'm afraid of ghosts!

Mark S.

I think you'll find bleed-through with the XL to be as much of an issue as it is with the Standard Text edition.


The Amazon Used street price is getting cheap enough on these XLs that I took a chance on a brown one, which arrived yesterday. I'm quite pleased! The paper, in fact, is particularly nice, at least in feel. Yes, there's ghosting, quite bad compared to Bibles of a few decades ago, but quite tolerable by today's standards. My Standard Text, on the other hand, was totally unusable.

I was a little disappointed by the page edge treatment on the XL, as in there was no page edge treatment! I was expecting gold with the brown cover so was a little disappointed by the overall appearance of the volume. But at least the edges are rounded, which makes a big difference as the volume ages.

The cover arrived quite dry and faded. I actually thought it was real leather and proceeded to apply mink oil, ,which brought back the color and a supple feel. In fact, it now feels like some of my better bonded leather covers, although after paying more attention to the product description, I see it is apparently a totally man-made product. But it truly is a different feel from the TruTone, etc covers, which can feel nice, but certainly not be confused for leather.

Overall, I'm pleased. I'm old enough that I appreciate the large print for everyday usage. Even if you don't need it, it seems to me this funny-shaped volume is ideal for public reading from a lectern, pulpit, or podium--the font is the size of a traditional lectern Bible but the stubby form factor when open leaves quite a bit of room for notes to stick out the top!

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  • J. Mark Bertrand is the author of Back on Murder, Pattern of Wounds, and the forthcoming Nothing to Hide, crime novels featuring Houston homicide detective Roland March. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and lived in the city for fifteen years. After one hurricane too many, he and his wife moved to South Dakota. Mark has been arrested for a crime he didn't commit, was the foreman of a hung jury in Houston, and after relocating served on the jury that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead.

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