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October 02, 2007



All that leather! All those slipcovers! All those pocket Bibles that include the commandment not to covet!

Finding a decent pocket Bible to slip into my jacket when I'm making pastoral calls is an ongoing challenge. Next time I go shopping, I'm taking you along as a guide.

And thanks for the link to the Gideon information. My first Gideon Bible was red, given away in a public elementary school. When I received a green one in college, I wondered why they'd changed the color. Now I know. And though it's decades upon decades since that red Gideon Testament, there have been few experiences that compare to the feeling of receiving that gift.


While not a pocket NT, I have one of the ESV Compact TruTone Bibles (http://www.gnpcb.org/product/1581347049) and the portability is great.

I wish however the publishers had not put the words of Christ in red. While the text is small (6.2 font) I find it is usable, however, the red words are noticeably more difficult to read due to, I assume, the reduced contrast and the bit of bleed through from the black text on the other side of the page.

When looking at pocket Bibles I'd recommend trying to stick with black-letter only editions.

J. Mark Bertrand

Denis, I think you're right about the ultra-portable Compact ESV. I had a British Tan one that served me well until it had an unexpected sip of coffee. (It didn't exactly develop a patina, but it did smell nice.)

ElShaddai Edwards

I have the REB New Testament as well - probably the burgundy cover since it's fairly stiff and a close enough color match to my old Nelson NASB Open Bible. I really like the interior layout - Cambridge has a great product.

I'm curious if you know anything more about the REB Pocket Edition Bible (hardback [ISBN 0521507480] or white French Morocco leather [ISBN 0521507499]) and how it compares to this NT setting?

For what it's worth, I recently ordered the compact NASB NT from Foundation. Wasn't as impressed as I have been with their full-size Bibles - binding looked cheap and the text just felt too cramped with the two-column layout.

J. Mark Bertrand

The only other recent REB I have from Cambridge is the Standard Text Edition bound in French Morocco, which is nice but doesn't use the same setting as the Compact NT. Apart from the information available at Amazon, I don't know anything about the editions you mention -- although my guess is that they do not use the Compact NT setting, since a single-column format is still rare enough to be worth mentioning in advertising copy.

J. Mark Bertrand

One more note on the REB New Testament. If you order from the Baker site -- http://www.cambridgebibles.com -- although the cover is described as "dark red," you receive the burgundy version. An earlier one I received was marked burgundy, but as of today it looks like the burgundy is actually called dark red on the label. I can only assume that the red has been phased out entirely in favor of the super-stiff burgundy covers, which is a shame.


Burgandy...what a shame! while I like the color burgundy, I have never really liked it in bible design. What is it about Red/Dark Red??? For some reason red just looks better with bibles...as though it conveys royalty, power, beauty. Or as mark said it can be "splendid"

ElShaddai Edwards

Yes... my copy looks like burgundy, the slipcase is marked "dark red" and the cover is stiff. I ordered it from Amazon a few years ago.

I had a French Morocco REB briefly, but returned it because the page signatures broke apart after just a week of light use. Actually, the REB NT suffers from a bit of the same, but not so bad to return it. My green REB hardback from Cambridge has been very durable.


Why are hardback pocket New Testaments no longer made? I love finding them at used bookstores. Is there some reason for their rarity?


I've been trying to find one of the Pocket REBs, and it seems nigh impossible. The compact New Testament doesn't even seem to be available off Amazon.ca any longer. Any ideas as to where I might find one?

brian blair


A green Gideons (although they should not be re-sold)

David from Ireland

I Managed to get an Eyre & Spottiswoode Edition of the RSV New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs in bright red.

It is very soft and flexible with the same single column format as your

No 8. Cambridge New Testament and Psalms (RSV) Pocket Edition

I love it already, I just wish it came in KJV or ESV as well.



While sorting through the garage sale like environment of Half Price Books about a month ago I ran across an interesting New Testament with Psalms. I had been thinking to myself that I would like a NT and Pslams with Psalms numbered according to the Septuagint since that is numbering used at church. Lo and behold, I amongst the bibles did discover a little black leather Douay-Rheims (Chanoller revision) New Testament and Psalms. Knowing the DR is Vulgate based I knew it would be numbered the same as the LXX. Presto problem solved for 5 bucks. It is small enough to fit in to a carry bag or a slightly large pocket without problem, and it also fits nicely in to a ACU cargo pocket for drill weekends. Also while shopping I found a copy The Venerable Bede's Abbreviated Psalter for only a dollar, first time in English.



i carry my cambridge ESV.. it's small enough, and if I need even lighter, I just use my Laridian PocketBible on my iPhone.

Chris Bloom

Your first paragraph inspired me to go looking through my old Navy stuff. Behold, there was the little green KJV NT/Psalms/Proverbs I got in Sigonella, Sicily, while waiting to fly out to my first ship. At the time I was a pretty devoted NKJV fan, but even after finding a near-identical NT in that translation, I always carried the King James one with me when I was on board.

I have no idea why the Navy had so many green NTs, as those seem to be designated for colleges, but they were everywhere in the late 90s. Thanks for reminding me of that little green gem!


Baker appears to have the Cambridge red calfskin compact REB NTs back in stock, or at least Amazon has them:



Well, the red calfskin REBs are gone again, if they ever truly were available as the above link indicated.

Jonathan Ammon

I just posted about using Pocket NTs.


Let me know what you think.

cialis online

get what ever colors you want just remember that you will have those colors for a whole month. when there was a holiday in a month i would get colors that went with the holiday. christmas i would get red and green, 4th of july red, white and blue. so on and so forth. but it is really up to you.

cialis online

get what ever colors you want just remember that you will have those colors for a whole month. when there was a holiday in a month i would get colors that went with the holiday. christmas i would get red and green, 4th of july red, white and blue. so on and so forth. but it is really up to you.


Do you celebrate Halloween? You could get orange and black for that. I know some Christians choose not to celebrate Halloween and instead celebrate Reformation Day and any color would be appropriate for that.


I have a copy of the Cambridge NRSV (#4) that I am looking to sell for $15 (plus shipping). Email me if interested rjcarter3(at)juno(dot)com.


does anyone know if nelson ever published the whole bible in the format of the last nt in the stack (#9)? i fear that my dream of an nrsv pitt minion will never materialize. but i have this nt, and this edition in the full bible might be the next best thing. thanks

Dan Collins

I am looking for a New Testament with Psalms & Proverbs for memorization. I'd prefer single column and ANY size will do. I had a paperback version, but the binding is deteriorating very quickly. I am looking to maximize the font size while minimizing the thickness. Thanks.
PS: Mark, I didn't email since I read through your email policies and it seemd I would be in violation. ;-)


@Dan, well you didn't offer a preferred version so let me throw this one in...the "God's Word" translation (formerly God's Word to the Nations, and before that Beck's) is available as a NT in a nice enough Duravella binding. It's a nice typeface, single column, very readable. Not quite shirt-pocket size but fits in pants or jacket.

Plus they're available for under $1 from various Amazon distributors, + $4 shipping. NT only, not even Psalms, but it's a nice layout, far easier to read than a Gideon's Giveaway. I just replaced a lime green one with a black one so if you want my old one let me know. (Warning: the green is a little sissy-looking.)

The translation has been taken over by Baker, and my guess is that it will get a wider distribution in the future, so I think that's why the leftover old editions are selling cheap. It's a "dynamic equivalence" translation at a pretty basic English level. I'd prefer the NLT, but they don't come in NTs nor single column (except the The Book edition which unfortunately isn't yet avail in the second edition.)

Dan Collins

@Bill, I did neglect to mention a preferred version. For memorization, I like to use the KJV. Based on this sight, I have the ESV SCR Calfskin for daily, personal use. But I find it a little more difficult to memorize large passages in contemporary translations. I don't have a clear-cut rationale as to why. It just is, for me. I've heard the remarks of prose and meter and such. Perhaps it has some merit as it applies to memorization. Who knows.
I do most of my "new" memory work in the car during my commute. So, I liked having a large NT/Ps/Pr in the car all the time. I bought a paperback version to insure the routine stuck. That was James, Titus, and Ephesians, and a third of the way into Matthew ago. Yesterday, the binding glue just began disintegrating. So, I'm on the hunt for a longer-term solution. I saw in another commentary thread on this site a mention of a Thomas Nelson KJV SCR (http://www.amazon.com/KJV-Single-Column-Bible-Thomas-Nelson/dp/141854311X/). I think this is the closest thing to ideal I have seen. I am on the fence about the paragraphing format. I like it alot, but I wonder if it will be difficult to use for my intended purpose.
I would still prefer to something like my ESV SCR in KJV but only a NT/Ps/Pr. However, that is merely an ideal; not nearly a must have.
Oh, I also saw a hardback KJV NT by Cambridge with HUGE font. But I worry that I'd wear it out too fast again.
Thanks for the reply, Bill.
And Thanks so very much for this Blog, JMark.


I hear you. There used to be lots of large print KJV NTs avail that were still of moderate physical size, but they all seem to be out of print. This is about the only one that fits the bill:

I prefer the typeface of their model 135:

I haven't actually seen one of these, but the Facebook page has some favorable comments on it. (Models 410 & 415 may have the same font but include Scofield's notes, which isn't my cup of tea.)

I should probably mention that LCBP is one of these "KJV Only" outfits. I might think they're nuts, but that wouldn't prevent me from doing business with them. Others can feel differently, so caveat emptor.

pastor s jayababu

Dear Honorable God`schosen servants and our Honorable in the Lord brothers & sisters and all in your loving family and all the saint there with you many hearty greetings to you all in the wonderful and exalted name of our soon coming Lord and savior Jesus Christ

I’m pastor S Jayababu I’m working with many difficulties and with much sufferings in this ministry because we are working among the poor and needy enriched village areas please pray for this needy God’s ministry .I want in your free books or used English bibles and tracts please send me Sam tracts and information

In His service

Pastor S Jayababu

D. No. 72-5-10


Lalacheruvu post

Pin 533106


Robert Shultz

Just listed a REB NT on ebay...the impossible to find lighter red version...3/18/12.

James Shearouse

Does anybody know anything about this Bible?
I am looking for a teensy-tiny NT, preferably with Psalms and Proverbs, and I would carry it all over in my pocket. Any comments on this edition, or recommendations for others that can hold up well, and are not too pricy?

Thanks, James



I recommend the compact NT Bibles offered by LocalChurchBible Publishers. Check them out here: http://www.localchurchbiblepublishers.com/category/bibles/compact-nt/


Paul Stevenson

Several of the NT listed in this article are OOP and for sale at inflated $ etc. I wanted an RSV NT with Psalms/Proverbs a possibly. It had to be text only, sewn binding, and as big a text size as possible. I came across the RSVCE2 Catholic NT in a sewn binding, probably 9pt. bold text, 2 red ribbons, and bonded leather. The price was under $15 shipped. It seems like a candidate for rebinding. Comparing it to my RSV71 there are changes, but, they seem to modernize the language. Is anyone aware of changes made for "sectarian" reasons? Or have experience with this version/or/NT?

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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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