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March 12, 2008


David Swain


Do you know what point size the font is by chance? TIA

J. Mark Bertrand

I'm afraid I don't know the point size, and it's hard to guess because point sizes aren't uniform across fonts. But I'd say it's in the same range as the Personal Reference ESV, so maybe 7-ish to 8-ish? Don't quote me on that, though.

David Swain


Mark (the other one)

In the last couple days I've become fixated on the design of a Bible's spine.

Maybe it's because the ESV Personal Reference spine design looks so cluttered. (Does one Bible's spine really need to tell me three times what translation is held inside?)

This one, as with most RL Allan designs, is classic.

Nick Mackison

Great review. I'm going to get one!

Do you know if Cambridge Bibles have any new editions of the TNIV on the way?

Kevin Sam

This is a great looking bible. Does RL Allan produce a TNIV reference edition? I would like to get one so I'm considering TNIV Reference Bible or this one.

btw, great blog Mark.

Nathan Stitt

I asked Allan's that a week ago Kevin. They told me there are no plans for any further TNIV bibles besides these, but that I could check back in three months to see if they are offering something after all.

Marion Hawkins

Great review as always. How does the readability of the font and page presentation compare to Cambridge's Pitt Minion series? I wish R.L. Allan would provide a pdf of an interior page of their bibles. One would hate to return a bible to Scotland!

Thanks for providing a great resource. I'm glad to know many others share my passion for great book design and binding especially for the bible!

J. Mark Bertrand

Marion -- Doing an eyeball comparison, I'd say the type in the TNIV is comparable to the Pitt Minion NIV, perhaps a hair smaller. The Pitt Minion uses a slightly thicker type, so it appears a little darker on the page. Obviously, the TNIV is smaller than a Pitt Minion, but they're both paragraphed, double-column settings. The TNIV doesn't have references.

Marion Hawkins

Curiously, I found that Cambridge Press (UK not USA) has two TNIV editions.

Personal Text Edition
Typography: 6/6.5 pt Slimbach
Page size: 156 x 104 mm (6.1 x 4.1 inches)
Page extent: 960 pp.
Spinewidth: 21 mm (0.8 inches)

Popular Text Edition
Typography: 9/9.5 pt Minion
Page size: 198 x 129mm (7.75 x 5 inches)
Page extent: 1216 pp.
Spinewidth: 29 mm (1.1 inches)

Both Editions are available in black or burgundy French Morocco leather. They can be ordered directly from the Cambridge Press UK website though I'm not sure about overseas shipping.


Please note that currently, to the best of my knowledge, Cambridge Press UK cannot ship the TNIV directly to the US. If you try to order from their website it refers you to Baker Publishing Group and gives you a number to call. You're then told that Baker Publishing Group does not publish the TNIV. Only Zondervan has rights to publish the TNIV in the US.

In the US you have a couple of options. You can order a Zondervan TNIV, the R.L. Allan's described above, or the Cambridge from a third party vendor in Europe.



How do rank the paper on this TNIV?

And the font and readability is somewhere in between the Personal Reference ESV and the Pitt Minnion?

I wish Zondervan would put out something great.


J. Mark Bertrand

Stan, paper has to be really good or really bad for me to notice, so I'm probably not the best judge. I'd say the paper is good. Not outstanding -- you don't open it up and say, "Wow, look at the paper!" But it's not bad. You can judge the opacity yourself in the photos.

Cristian Franco (Argentina)

Friend, you can buy the Cambridge TNIV through Amazon.co.uk. I buy the popular one around a year and a half ago, and I received it in Argentina. Amazon.com from USA doesn't sell it. Also, I buy the TNIV form R.L.Allan's (Highland black) and I agree with Mark: it's excellent! But, I wish that - in the near future - they publish it with flexible cover (goatskin also, of course). TNIV is perfect for people like me, who has English as a Second Language.

David N

Hey Mark. I just found your site yesterday while searching (I assumed hopelessly) for a Cambridge ESV. It's comforting to finally know that there are other "Bible collectors" out there. I own at least one copy of every translation, although most of them are cheap (bonded leather, paperback). The first time I ever spent more than $50 on a Bible was when I recently bought Crossway's Classic Reference ESV in Cordovan Calfskin. I might be hooked on expensive Bibles now! (which isn't good, since I'm a poor college student!)

I just have to ask you a question: Did you go to the Sioux Falls URC? I noticed the paper in the inside pocket. My home church is a URC, and I also attended Dordt College for one year, so I'm quite curious.



matt morales

Are you referring to the binding quality? the paper weight? possibly the typeface implemented? or any other DESIGN and BINDING aspects? if not you are probably on the wrong blog. Better yet, I would encourage you to eliminate such speech that does not build the body of Christ, and in the future take a scholarly approach when you disagree with something.

Steve Lockhart

Well said Matt. From what I've heard about the TNIV I would not be inclined to use it either but comments like the one above are completely uncalled for. I have no doubt that the persons responsible for the TNIV love Christ as we do and we ought to show grace where we can. I think that I may sound a little hypocritical though as I believe that I may have may a disparaging remark about the NRSV, albeit a little less rudely, on this same blog and I am sorry for it.



I notice that the black version is highland goatskin, while the cardinal red is simply listed as goatskin. In your opinion would the highland goatskin make much of a difference over the red one, given that it is a hardback? Thanks.


The TNIV23 for £40 in French Morocco on Allans site is a flexible binding.



David, do you have any other info on it (color, lining, loop closure, etc.)? If you've got one, could you post pictures? Thanks.


This is all Nicholas Gray mentioned about it once...

The TNIV23 is a flexible leather edition with page size 6 1/8 x 4 1/16 inches.

Afraid that's all I know.


You may already know this, Mark, but these Bibles are now selling at a huge discount from the original price. I just ordered a Cardinal Red (SO EXCITED) for £35.00. How's that for a good deal?


Mark, I just received my Allen's TNIV and there are significant problems with the binding - the last signature of the Bible is coming out and many of the pages are glued together. I am hoping to send it back to them ASAP. Just thought you might want to know that - while the exterior of the bible is indeed very beautiful - the quality control in the binding isn't as great in the production models.

J. Mark Bertrand

Mine's a production model, too, and doesn't have that problem, so I'm guessing you got a dud. I'm sorry to hear about the problem. Hope you get it sorted out!

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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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