Berean Study Bible Review

The Berean Study Bible from Bible Hub is a large print edition of a new translation. Regardless of the name, this is not a study Bible. It’s a Bible to be studied. I’ve seen a lot of confusion around this name and it’s a good example of why publishers should stay with the established terms and meanings. This is a text edition with footnotes. It’s a well-made Bible and it’s available with several covers. I’m reviewing the softcover in tan, ISBN: 9781944757717, made in the USA.

Bible Hub provided this Bible in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.

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This Bible is available at:

Berean Study Bible website

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Video Review

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Translation

Rather than having a single translation for every purpose, the Berean Bible has multiple versions that are geared toward specific purposes. They use the same Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic sources that the other modern translations use. Each is free to license and you can read them for free online. The Berean Study Bible is the third tier of the Berean Bible. There are four tiers of the Berean Bible:

  1. Interlinear
  2. Literal translation
  3. Study translation
  4. Emphasized translation

Ironically, the one labeled “Study Bible” was developed for public reading, memorization, and evangelism. Tier 1 and Tier 2 seem to be designed for study. The Study Bible translation includes both word-for-word and thought-for-thought renderings and falls somewhere between the ESV and CSB on the translation scale.

In the front are a few pages that talk about the translations, licensing, and copyrights. I like the mindset behind the translation and the direction they’re going with it.

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Binding

This edition is called Softcover Tan. It’s an imitation leather with a grain that looks and feels similar to cowhide. It has perimeter stitching with a light tan thread. The front has HOLY BIBLE with a line above and below it, and Berean Study Bible is debossed with a dark brown. The spine has BSB in the center with a line above and below it. This imitation leather is more flexible than most imitation leather editions that I’ve seen.

The liner is pasted with yellow paper that has some color variation and seems to have a coating. The liner isn’t reinforced with binders tape. It stays open on the first page of Genesis and the last page of Revelation with no trouble. It doesn’t include any thick pages for structure in the front or back. The text block is sewn and includes a heavier than normal layer of glue on the spine.

The head/tail bands are yellow. It has one 1/4″ single-side satin ribbon. It’s just barely long enough to pull to the corner to open the Bible. The overall size is 7 1/4 x 9 3/8 x 1 1/2″, and it weighs 3 lbs, 4.1 oz. For this size and weight, and the flexibility of the imitation leather, it does flop around more than most Bibles while carrying it.

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Paper

The paper is 45 gsm Thincoat Plus Bible paper. It’s white in color and has a slightly rough texture that’s easy to grab and turn. It reminds me of copy paper. There is no glare and it’s ultra opaque. Show-through is noticeable, but not enough to be distracting. This paper is great for reading, marking, and highlighting. Its thickness does make the Bible heavy. The page edges are white.

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Typography and Layout

The text is presented in a double-column, paragraph layout with bold section headings in the text. Poetry is set to stanzas, personal letters are indented, and lists are presented as lists. Old Testament quotes are not formatted differently from the text. It doesn’t include italics for supplied words. They do include references in the footnotes. Footnotes are placed across the bottom. The header includes the page number in the outer margin, a verticle line, and the book name, chapter, and verse number all in bold.

The font is a 10.5-point Cambria printed in black letter. It’s about a medium darkness and it’s highly consistent throughout. It has lots of space between the words and lines, making the text comfortable to read and mark. Although there are some pages where the lines on both sides of the page are printed in the same location, it doesn’t seem to be line-matched on purpose and there are lots of pages without it. The paper is so opaque that it doesn’t matter much.

The text is divided into small paragraphs. Rather than indenting them, each paragraph has a space after it. Verse numbers are bold superscripts. They’re still large and they stand out, making them easy to find quickly. If there are parallel passages, the references will be placed under the section headings. Each day of Creation is indented slightly, which reminds me of the NIV formatting. I like this because it stands out at a glance. It has enough inner margin space so the text doesn’t bend too far into the gutter. I love the layout.

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Footnotes

The footnotes are keyed to the text with letters. The reference in the footnotes shows the letter and verse number in bold. There is extra space between the notes to make them easy to find. They cover measurements, references where something is quoted, where a quote is referencing, explanations from the original languages, manuscript variations, literal renderings, etc. Manuscripts and translations include the TR, BYZ, LXX, WH, Vulgate, SBL, NE, and NA. The notes are not large print, but I found them easy to read. They also have a lot of space so they’re not crowded. I found them helpful and excellent for study.

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Table of Weights and Measures

The table of weights and measures is a one-page table that covers the lengths, weights, liquid measures, and dry measures. The table doesn’t have labels, but the measures themselves do. It shows the name, size in the American measurement, metric measurement, and a Scripture reference where it’s used. This is a simple table, but it’s good for reference. The footnotes also include this information in much more detail.

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Comparison

The most similar Bible that I own is the ESV Large Print Wide Margin from Crossway.

ESV Large Print Wide Margin

 

Crossway’s ESV Large Print Wide Margin Bible has a similar layout, print size, and paper quality.

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Conclusion

Aside from the confusing name, the Berean Study Bible is a good Bible at a great price. It’s not an elegant Bible, so don’t expect extra-nice ribbons and art-gilt edges. However, except for the cover not being reinforced, it does seem to be made well. I do like the materials and design. The translation seems to be readable and accurate. If you’re interested in the Berean Study Bible, the softcover in tan is a great choice.

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This Bible is available at:

Berean Study Bible website

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Bible Hub provided this Bible in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All 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.

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