Immerse Messiah Bible Review

Editors’ Choice for Readability

Immerse Messiah was designed by Glenn Paauw (see our interview here), who is a member of  the Institute for Bible Reading and author of Saving the Bible From Ourselves: Learning to Read and Live the Bible Well. His focus is designing a Bible for the best readability. Immerse is that project.

The purpose of Immerse is to create a setting that would allow the reader to be immersed in the Word of God by taking away the distractions and presenting the text in the most readable layout possible. Immerse is a six-volume set of the NLT. Tyndale provided me with a review copy of volume 6 – Messiah. This edition contains the New Testament.

________________________________________________________________

Click to purchase (includes affiliate link to help us keep this site running):

Currently available for Kindle

It’s available at ImmerseBible.com

________________________________________________________________

Materials

This is a paperback edition at 8.5 x 5.25 x 1”. The tall and narrow dimensions give the perfect page size for the layout. The cover has a nice design with Immerse, The Reading Bible, and Messiah on the front and spine. The back includes a book description. The cover material is thick and has a nice smooth feel that isn’t slippery or rough. This is a glued edition, so it’s made like a normal paperback. Even though it is a paperback I would like to see it section sewn so it would last longer.

The paper is 40# blended sheet. It’s super opaque with the text on the other side of the page just barely visible if you look for it. It has an off-white color that creates a great contrast against the typeface. The pages are some of the easiest to turn that I’ve used. It’s much better paper than what is found in most paperback Bibles, or even most novels.

Typography

The text is presented in single column, paragraph format. Poetry and OT quotes are set apart. Letters are slightly indented. Dialog starts on a new line just like a novel. The header includes the page number in the outer margin, book name in the center, and range of chapters and verses that appear on that page in a lighter typesetting.

The typeface is Arno Pro in black letter. It’s just under 11 point (measuring closer to 10 point with my scale) with just over 12 point leading. It has the right amount of darkness to make it easy to read for long periods of time. It’s consistent throughout and a joy to read.

It has 72 characters per line with around 12-14 words per line and 42 lines per page, although many pages have spaces between paragraphs and dialog, so most pages won’t use all 42 lines for text.

Immerse removes the distractions. There are no chapter or verse numbers, footnotes, or section headings. Natural sections divisions are separated by crosses (for complete subject changes) and line spaces (for minor changes).

I’ve read Immerse, as well as other Bibles without chapter and verse numbers, and I find that I read more at a time. My daughter has read Immerse for a month or so and she’s understood more of what she’s read. She says that the dividers sometimes make her stop rather than continue, so she isn’t always reading more, but to her the quality of reading is better, making Immerse a quality over quantity reading experience.

Book Introductions

Book introductions provide a literary and historical context for each book. It discusses the writer, audience, purpose of writing, date, key people, key events, sections or phases of the book, genre, etc. It includes an introduction to the volume as well as each book.

Book introductions use a different font than the text, keeping them separate which is less confusing. The introductions are labeled Immersed in Book Name. For example, Immersed in John.

Book Order

Messiah presents the New Testament in a vastly different order than we’re used to. Rather than the current order (there have been multiple orders in the past), books are placed where the naturally fit.

For example, Luke and Acts are really two parts to one story, so they’re placed together. Paul’s books are placed in their probable order of writing rather than largest to smallest. This helps follow the conditions that Paul has faced through his journeys.

The new book order makes sense and is great for reading from cover to cover. It can be difficult to find certain books, but it’s worth it to see them in this context because it fits better with the bigger picture.

In the Back

There are several articles and tools in the back.

The Stories and the Story – How the Bible Works

This discusses what the Bible is and how to get the most out of it. It gives an overview of the Bible’s main stories and shows how they relate. The stories include:

  1. The Story of God and His Word
  2. The Story of Humanity
  3. The Story of Abraham and His Family
  4. The Story of Messiah Jesus
  5. All the Stories in One

Introducing Immerse – The Reading Bible

This discusses the purpose of Immerse and the problems with modern Bible design. It covers the layout, what features have been removed and why, book order, and more.

Literary Forms of the Bible

This discusses the prose and poetic genres with descriptions of each. Being aware of the types of genres helps in reading and interpretation – helping the reader understand the meaning the original writer intended.

NLT: A Note to the Readers

This is a one-page introduction to the New Living Translation.

Maps

It includes two black-and-white maps:

  1. Israel – During the Time of Jesus
  2. The Roman Empire – During the Spread of Christianity

The maps show distance, topography, water, and locations.

Quick Start Guide and Reading Plan

A card (which can be used as a bookmark) has a quick start guide on one side and a reading plan on the other.

The quick start guide shows 3 ways to get the most out of your experience. It also lists resources that are available at ImmerseBible.com.

The reading plan is an 8 week plan that lists the day, book name, and pages to read. It includes 4 questions to get your conversations started.

Conclusion

The Bible is meant to be read and Immerse – Messiah presents an excellent reading experience of the New Testament. It improves readability through visual design. The goal was to make the most readable Bible possible and that goal was achieved. I hope it will be available in higher quality editions. I love paperback editions but they don’t last long (especially if they’re glued like this one). I’m glad it’s available in paperback.

It’s a breath a fresh air to see God’s Word without man’s cluttered additions. The number one thing I do with the Bible is read it. I don’t want all of the “stuff” getting in the way. Immerse – Messiah shines in readability. It’s good to see this format is becoming popular in both multi and single volume editions in various translations. I highly recommend Immerse – Messiah. Judging by the quality of this layout I can easily recommend purchasing the 6 volume set.  Immerse – Messiah gets Bible Buying Guide’s Editorss Choice award for readability.

________________________________________________________________

Click to purchase (includes affiliate link to help us keep this site running):

Currently available for Kindle

It’s available at ImmerseBible.com

________________________________________________________________

Photography by hannah C brown

Tyndale Publishing provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review – only an honest review. My opinions are my own.

About The Author

Randy A Brown

WordPress writer by day, Bible reviewer by night, pastor all the time. And there's also that author thing.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. New Bible Releases for September 2017 - Bible Buying Guide - […] through Deuteronomy) – available in September. These are great reading Bibles that Randy (his review here) and our daughter…
  2. What Is Immerse? - Institute For Bible Reading - […] Photo by Bible Buying Guide […]

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Affiliate Disclaimer

Some (but not all) of our links are affiliate links. When you use them we get a small commission on any sale but you don’t get charged anything extra. This helps keep Bible Buying Guide running. We appreciate your use of any of our links.

Logos 7

Recent Comments

Subscribe

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This