Because the only good King James Version Bible I owned was the Pilgrim Study Bible that was a gift from my wife’s Grandfather, and because I want to keep that Bible in good shape, I knew it was time to get a new King James Version Bible. Thanks to J. Mark Bertrand’s helpful blog I had no doubt as to which Bible I should purchase: a Windsor Text with Metrical Psalms from the Trinitarian Bible Society in London.
If there is a better deal out there on any kind of Bible, I would sure like to know about it. Sure, there are less expensive Bibles out there. But they are not made of calfskin leather with sewn binding. Sure, there are better high quality Bibles out there. But they are not priced anywhere in the same stratosphere as this Bible. At $32 + shipping, this Bible is a steal.
I ordered it online last week and it arrived at my house this week. I open the package…
…and admire the product:
What is so great about this Bible? For starters, it is made from calfskin leather, which means it is already a cut above the average “genuine leather” Bible you would buy. Second, it has a sewn binding, which means it is going to hold up well over time. It should last a lifetime and be handed down to the next generation. Third, it has a very pleasant typeface in an adequately sized font. And it is, in my opinion, the perfect size (5.5″ x 8″) for carrying. Not too big, not too small. Just right. Furthermore, it comes with two ribbon markers. I prefer 3 (like with the Allan’s ESV1), but I’ll take 2 ribbons over 1 any day.
What excites me most about this Bible is the extras. They are unique. First, this Bible includes the “epistle dedicatory” to King James and the prefatory remarks from the translators to the reader, both of which are usually omitted in most modern KJV Bibles. Also included? A Bible word list which gives definitions for many of the antiquated words, a Bible reading plan, and most unusual: the “Psalms of David in Metre” (Scots Metrical Psalter, 1650).
I am especially intrigued by the metered Psalms and have already begun to read through them. Many modern Christians are not aware that for many years after the Reformation, singing only the psalms was a standard practice in many Protestant churches. By including the metered Psalms in the back of a Bible, churchgoers had the Bible and the hymnal in the same volume.
I am not sure how well it would fit into our contemporary churches today, but from a theological and biblical point of view, psalms successfully set to a contemporary worship style would probably do more good than harm!
In case you were wondering, these metered Psalms are not in replace of the regular King James text in this Bible. As with the Bibles from the past, the “Psalms of David in Metre” are located in the back of the Bible as an appendix.
Aesthetically, this Bible is visually attractive with its fine calfskin leather in black matte finish and gilded page edges (gold trim). It also has a very pleasant feel to it. It is not as flexible out of the box as my Allan’s ESV1 was, but lays flat easily and one senses that with a little breaking in, it will become even more flexible. Beside the Allan’s ESV1 it holds its own, which is not bad when you consider the price difference: $145-200 (depending on exchange rate) to $32!
So is there anything not to like about this Bible? First, you might notice in the pictures above that the edges of the pages in my copy of this Bible are kind of wavy. I was originally thinking that it was exposed to some humidity somewhere in the storage or shipping process, but it turns out I was wrong. An interesting discussion on the issue over at Bible Design and Binding seems to indicate that other potential causes.
Second, it seems like every Bible today comes with a concordance and with maps, but this Bible lacks both. I would love to hear the publisher’s reasoning for omitting such commonly accepted study tools.
Regardless of these negatives, they are minor issues for me for a Bible at this price.