Cameo vs Brevier Clarendon


Two of my favorite hand-sized Bibles are the Cambridge Cameo and RL Allan Brevier Clarendon (click their name to see the reviews). Both are amazing Bibles. If you were buying one, which would you choose?

Where to buy:


Click here to buy from Amazon: Cambridge Cameo

Brevier Clarendon

Click here to buy from Bibles-Direct: Brevier Clarendon in Brown Vachetta Calfskin

Click here to buy from EvangelicalBible: Brevier Clarendon in Brown Vachetta Calfskin


Both Bibles are about the same size. I’m not comparing their covers since my review copies have different covers. The Cameo on the left has goatskin and the Brevier Clarendon on the right has calfskin. Both are awesome.



Both include the Epistle Dedicatory. Neither contains the Translators to the Reader. The Cameo isn’t lying flat here because of the leather tab in the edge-lining. Notice the cover itself is lying flat. It would break in if I worked it a little. This is common with goatskin editions that are edge-lined.



The Cameo is on the left.




The Brevier Clarendon is on the bottom.




Here’s a closeup of the Cameo at Genesis 1:1. It has 11 references for verse 1.



Here’s a closeup of the Brevier Clarendon at Genesis 1:1. It has chapter summaries and it has 12 references for verse 1. There’s not a clear winner yet for references.

The paper in the Brevier Clarendon has a more creamy tone than the Cameo, but it’s not as thick and opaque. I find the Cameo easier to read and turn pages. I like the Cameo’s paper better. I think the Cameo is better for reading and marking.

The fonts are about the same. They’re too similar to even say there’s a difference.

Both have translators’ notes.



The Cameo is on top throughout all of these photos.









Brevier Clarendon




The Cameo has 1 verse for Matthew 10:33.

The Brevier Clarendon has 4 verses for Matthew 10:33. It’s looking like the Brevier Clarendon has more references, but this is only a small sample. I’ve found a few places where the Cameo has a note and the Brevier Clarendon does not. Overall, they’re similar in references and notes.

This edition of the Cameo has red-letter. It’s available in black-letter as well (as an older edition). The Brevier Clarendon is only available in black-letter.





The Cameo has a good concordance. It has 137 pages and lots of entries.

The Brevier Clarendon has an encyclopedia/concordance combination. I can use the Brevier Clarendon for Bible study and for sermon prep. It has 324 pages and far more entries and features than the Cameo’s concordance. It even works as a topical index.

If you want a concordance the Cameo is good but the Brevier Clarendon is the clear winner. There is an older edition of the Cameo with a dictionary, but I haven’t seen the paper, print, and construction quality so I can’t make a comparison.




Brevier Clarendon







Both have great maps with an index. The Cameo has a much larger index. Both have 16 pages of maps on thick non-glossy paper (my favorite paper for maps). I like the look of the Brevier Clarendon’s maps better, but that’s just my opinion on color. Both have outstanding maps.




Here are a few more images of the outside to you can compare the size and ribbons. I like the Brevier Clarendon’s ribbons’ colors better, but the Cameo’s ribbons are longer and wider. For this size of a Bible, either is fine.

Which do I like better? It depends on what I’m using it for. If I’m reading I’ll take the Cameo. I like its paper a lot better. If I’m studying I’ll take the Brevier Clarendon. Both Bibles are good choices and I like them both, but for different reasons and purposes.







About The Author


  1. Richard

    Hi Randy,
    This is a very helpful comparison and I’m grateful for the time you put into this website. I have two Cameos (goatskin and calf with Apocrypha) and enjoy them a lot. I’m curious–regarding the Cameo, you say, “This edition of the Cameo has red-letter. It’s available in black-letter as well.” Cambridge, however, has not produced a black letter Cameo in its recent edition??

    • Randy Brown

      Thanks Richard. Looking at the current lineup over at EvangelicalBible it looks like they’re all red-letter. The older editions were available in black letter. I’ll make that more clear in the text. Thanks.

    • Michael J. Machnica

      Local Church Bible Publishers ( )has a black letter Bible using the Cameo text block in their 110 & 120 series. It is identical to my 1970’s red letter Cameo 77XRL, except mine is a PCE and theirs has a capitalized “spirit” in 1 John 5:8. They both share a defective letter “f” in Ps. 83:2, however.
      Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

  2. Richard

    Thanks Randy. While the Cameo Wide Margins are black letter, I think it’s been a long time (if ever??) since a regular Cameo was produced in black letter. Not sure why? I’ve asked the good folks at Cambridge if there are plans to produce a black letter Cameo in the future and the answer is “no.” Red letter Bibles (unfortunately, since the entire Bible is courtesy of Christ, the Word of God–not just the words He spoke on Earth) are just too popular in North America.

  3. Don Denison

    Dear Randy:

    Thanks for the review. I have decided to buy the Cameo in brown calfskin. The only reason, and it is a minor one is Oxford’s habit of occasionally making the statement “best sources say” thus giving the impression that the translation and the version I am reading is no good, and was included as a sop to conservative readers. This appears to be a holdover from the Schofield notes, but may not be so, certainly his commentary is not included. Both these bibles would serve me well, and it came down to almost insignificant details in making my choice. I do wish that this present edition of the Cameo included the dictionary that the previous edition did. These bibles are almost perfect for handheld reading and easy carry, the reference bookshelf is at home where it can be used during study. For sitting or standing, or one handed reading in one’s favorite chair both seem to be perfect, leaving the buyer having to use insignificant differences to determine his choice. Cambridge printing of Red Letters is the clearest and most vibrant of all publishers, I have no preference in red or black letters as long as they are all clear. Thanks again for an excellent review.

    Yours in Christ

    Don Denison

  4. Don Denison

    Dear Randy:

    Thanks again, even if you did this review just for me, I believe others may find that these bibles will serve them well. I love my Personal Concord, but it must be in strong light for easy reading. As soon as I can get together the money, I’ll be ordering my Cameo, probably from EVB, I have had good experiences with them. Thanks again.

    Yours in Christ

    Don Denison


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