Zondervan Note-Takers Bible KJV – Review

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Zondervan’s Note-Takers series presents the text in two columns with a wide outer margin for writing, and good quality writing paper to go with it. I like writing in Bibles that are made for writing. They have better paper than your normal everyday thin paper. This Bible is great for writing, but it’s also great for just reading.

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Pros

  • Thick paper
  • Nice print
  • Wide outer margin

Cons

  • The only Note-Takers edition without translation notes

Features

  • KJV
  • Duo-Tone imitation leather
  • 1 1/8” outer margin
  • Red-letter
  • 8-point font
  • Thick paper
  • Section headings
  • Concordance
  • One brown ribbon
  • Gilted edges
  • 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.25
  • ISBN: 9780310434160
  • MSRP $54.99
  • Amazon: Zondervan KJV Note-Takers Bible

Cover and Binding

The cover of this review copy is caramel Italian Duo-Tone imitation leather. It has a stylized design across the top with a cross over the words Holy Bible. The cover itself is stiff and bends upward after it’s been used for a while. It’s nothing special. The liner is paper. One thing I fond odd is the very first page is the presentation page. The binding looks to be signature sewn. The cover doesn’t allow it to stay open in Genesis but it does lay flat anywhere else with little or no trouble. Once it’s broken in it should be fine.

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Paper

Where this Bible really shines is its paper. It’s about the thickest paper I’ve seen in a Bible. It feels great to the touch. It feels like I can write with a pencil and not worry about it. It is extremely opaque and has very little show-through. I’ve used color pencils and a regular mechanical pencil and I’m very happy with how it looks. The paper takes color really well. Of course you don’t have to write in it. It would make a great reading Bible. It does have a slight blue hue. Blue is not my favorite color-tone for paper (I prefer cream or ivory). This doesn’t affect readability in a negative way at all. I preached from it today and it was a joy to read. There are 4 pages in the back for writing. I would have liked more for sermon outlines or personal notes.

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Print

The font is probably an 8-point with a 9~9.5 leading; but that’s just a guess. It’s about a medium boldness and is sharp and consistent. The red letters have a nice shade of red. I actually enjoy reading this shade of red. The red is not as consistent as black, but the variation is only slight.

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Layout

The setting is double-column, verse-by-verse, with a 1 1/8” margin on the outside. The header contains the chapter and verse number for the first verse that appears on the left page, and the last verse on the right page. Section headings are in italics. Other than section headings this is a text only edition. Unlike all the other editions of the Zondervan Note-Takers, the KJV edition does not have translation notes. What’s bad is the KJV needs them the most. Books start on the same page the previous book ends. Starting them on a new page would have given a little more writing space, which is a good place to add notes for preaching and teaching.

Concordance

The concordance is 64 pages with 2 columns per page. It has 12 verses for God. It might be enough to help if you’re out somewhere or for basic study.

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Conclusion

Overall Zondervan’s KJV Note-Takers is a good choice for writing and reading. I do wish they had included the translation notes. If I could make one change that would be it. Its size and weight are good for carry. I like the thick paper and the print is sharp. It makes a great Bible to preach or teach from or for personal journaling and note-taking. The opaque paper, overall size, and legibility of the text make it a fine reading Bible.

Comparisons

Below are photos of the NKJV, NASB, and Amplified editions. For the NIV, see the review here: Zondervan’s NIV Note-Takers Bible Review

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Zondervan provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review- only an honest review.

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.

10 Comments

  1. norm

    Hello Randy, This series looks like a great inexpensive alternative to some of the other more expensive wide margins. I don’t remember seeing the blue hue in the NIV or Amplified NoteTakers. Is the blue hue isolated to the paper only in the KJV? I’m not sure of this, but I’m thinking that blue tinted paper is recycled paper?

    Reply
    • Randy Brown

      Hi Norm. The other editions that I looked at didn’t have the blue hue. One of them had a very slight greenish hue, but that could have been the lighting at the Life Way store I was in. I’m wondering about the idea of recycled paper. You might be on to something. I have a few Holman’s that have the blue hue and I’ve seen the same Bible at Life Way without the blue hue. I think the paper they use varies. Some could be recycled and others not. That would make sense.

  2. RCal

    What a low blow. I’ve been waiting for this for months now and they couldn’t even include the kjv translator’s notes. Not having references is a drawback, but not even the translator’s notes? Why in the world not? All the other translations get their respective translator’s notes/textual notes, but the KJV gets the shaft. Is Zondervan biased against the KJV? Or are their people lacking intelligence? I’m also wondering why the dimensions weren’t made a little wider to accommodate AN INNER MARGIN TO WRITE IN.

    Zondervan, revise this bible and do it right already. I’m glad I didn’t pre-order this because it would be going back.

    Reply
    • Randy Brown

      I think if any of the editions have translators notes it should be this one.

  3. norm

    Randy, it seems some of your readers have misunderstood your comment, “The only Note-Takers edition without translation notes”. This is not something that is unique to only Zondervan, but the majority of KJ Bibles. There are only two editions of the KJV that I’ve owned that actually contained the original translators notes and those are, the TBS/Schuyler Westminster and the Cambridge Paragraph Bible and neither of these are wide margins.

    Reply
    • RCal

      I was referring to the whole Note-taker’s line by Zondervan. The Nasb, Niv, and Nkjv Note-taker’s all have their textual notes included, but Zondervan chose to exclusively omit them from the KJV note-taker’s bible which is such a disappointment.

      This is not something new or unique. Even Zondervan’s own KJV Study bibles have the marginal translator’s notes, so does their KJV center-column reference bibles both the regular print and giant print. And there are lots of other KJV bibles on the market that have the translator’s notes other than the ones you mentioned, for example: Cambridge KJV Concord Wide-Margin, Cambridge Regular and Personal Concord Reference Bibles, KJV Cameo, KJV Clarion, KJV Pitt Minion, Allan KJV Wide-Margin, and KJV bibles by various American publishers I could go on. All the best KJV bibles have the marginal translator’s notes.

  4. norm

    That’s funny Randy, I’ve owned a recent Concord and I don’t recall the Translator’s notes, also a couple of Presentation reference bibles. Are the Translator’s notes mixed in with the references? Now, I do have the original translator notes in a reproduction 1611 King James Bible, are these the same notes you’re referring too?

    Reply
  5. norm

    Randy, I stand corrected, the Concord does have the Translator’s notes in the center column and I believe the Longprimer does as well. I don’t understand why Zondervan didn’t include the Translator’s notes, but if they are mixed in with the center column references, that may be one reason. Most modern translations have the translation notes at the bottom of the page and separate from the references, such as the NIV, HCSB, etc.

    Reply
  6. jordan kurecki

    Are you sure those dimensions are accurate? they don’t seem right, can you please double check?

    Reply
    • Randy A Brown

      You’re right Jordan. I wrote this in Word and then it dropped the first digit when I copied and pasted into WordPress. Thanks for bring it to my attention.

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