18 December 2014

Book Review: NASB Note-Taker's Bible

Not only do I like the Bible--the Word of God--but I like Bibles. I like to look at the different translations, construction, and features of the Bible. Recently, I have been looking for a new Bible with wide margins that allows ample space for taking notes. Zondervan's NASB Note-Taker's Bible seems to foot the bill nicely.

 when I do reviews of Bibles, I like to discuss the operating system.  This particular Bible is in the New American Standard Bible (NASB), which is considered to be one of the more literal, word for word translations of the Bible. If you are trying to get a feel for exactly what the Greek and Hebrew say without mastering these languages, this version is a good bet. However, with the rather more literal approach, it can at times feel wooden when you are reading it. Regardless, it remains a wonderful translation of the Bible. I would add, however, that Zondervan has also released the Note-Taker's Bible in the following versions: NIV, NKJV, KJV, and Amplified.

The Bible itself contains all 66 books, both Old and New Testaments. The Bible also includes a concordance, promises from the Bible, perspectives from the Bible, ministry of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, miracles of Jesus, and parables of Jesus. On the other hand, it does not contain study notes, chapter introductions, or cross references.

 At just over a thousand pages, this Bible is smaller than I expected it to be. It is certainly of a size that one could easily transport it to church or in a backpack. The print is a bit smaller than I would like, it appears to be about an 8-point font, but the lettering stands out on the page. The words of Jesus are in red, a feature that I personally do not like because the entire Bible is the word of God, not just those red ones.It is presented in a double column format, a common feature that I wish would become less common, yet seems to be the established standard for most Bibles. In my opinion, a single column format improves readability. As to the primary selling point, the outside columns are generous, by my measure nearly 1.5 inches. The bottoms of the page leave more than 1.5 inches. If you wisely purchase good archival pens like Pigma Microns, you will be able to write plenty. The gutter (interior margin) is a bit cramped, though you should still be able to read the words. The pages are bright white and there is minimal ghosting.

One of the features I look for in a Bible is will it lay flat when opened. As you can see from one of the pictures, I opened the Bible to Genesis 1 and it lays flat open without support. Initially it closed on its own after a few moments, though I was able to open it wide and have it stay open on its own. To me, this is an essential feature and one to look for in purchasing. After removing the dust jacket (because let's be honest, if you are in the Bible, your Bible shouldn't be collecting dust), I was presented with a dark, rather unadorned Bible. Rightly so. The overall construction seems quite good.

On the whole, this is a very good Bible that I would happily recommend. The availability of multiple versions is a beneficial feature. I did not see an ESV version, but this Bible is in some ways reminiscent of Crossway's Legacy Bible, which is my go to Bible. The list price is $34.99, though I have seen it for less. As a side note, Bible readers place many demands on publishers. We want our Bibles to be small, yet with large print. We like study notes, but want ample space to write our notes. We want them durable, but inexpensive. This Bible is a good balance.

A complimentary copy of of this book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for a review through Zondervan and the Book Look Bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review of this book. The review represents my own viewpoint.

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