Cambridge Heritage Edition Review

The Prayer Book and Bible Heritage Edition is an edition from Cambridge to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Book of Common Prayer and the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible. I’m reviewing the black calfskin edition, ISBN: 9781107032699,  It was printed and bound in Italy by LEGO.

This Bible was purchased for review. 


This book is available at (includes some affiliate links)


and many local Bible bookstores



The cover is black calf-split with paste-down liner. Just like all the calf-split editions from Cambridge, the cover feels tough but looks good at the same time. It has a pebbly grain. It has nothing printed on the front. The spine has COMMON PRAYER, HOLY BIBLE, the KJV seal, and CAMBRIDGE printed in gold. The spine includes 5 tooled non-raised ridges. It’s Smyth sewn. It will need to be broken in before it stays open in the front or back.

It has two thin blue ribbons and blue and white head/tail bands. They look great against the black cover. The overall size is 7.5 x 5.25 x 1.75″. It’s the same footprint as the Pitt Minion, but it’s thicker than the Clarion. It comes in a nice slip case so it will stand upright on the shelf easily.


The paper is 45gsm Primapage paper made by Papeteries du Lemain (PDL in France). This is much thicker than the standard Cambridge, which ranges from 27-31gsm. The paper has an off-white color and is extra opaque, making the small text far more readable. The pages are easy to turn. I saw no page-curl even when the paper in other Bibles were curling. The pages are a nice shiny gold gilt. I love this paper.


The first half of the book is the 1662 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. The text is printed in large print using 11.6 Lexicon No. 1 A. It’s dark and looks great on this paper. The text is printed in single column.

The Prayer Book is primarily prayers for liturgy and Catholic services the Church of England and its daughter churches of the Anglican Communion, including the U.S. Episcopal Church (thanks Randall foor the info), but it has had an impact on Christianity for hundreds of years. We’ve all heard something from the Book of Common Prayer. The line I’m the most familiar with is “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…” It includes morning and evening prayers, charts, order of services and prayers for services  such as baptisms, births, ordinations, funerals, etc. It also includes a few amendments: Clergy Measure 1964, Prayer Book Measure 1965, and Prayer Book Measure 1968.

My favorite part of the Prayer Book is the Psalms (as morning and evening prayers) printed in large print. It’s in verse by verse rather than a poetic setting, but it’s still nice to read. The Psalms are a little different from the standard KJV. For example, Ps 119:11 reads “Thy words have I hid within my heart : that I should not sin against thee.”


The second half of the book is the Bible. Specifically, it’s the KJV Pitt Minion, 2nd. edition. Like most Cambridge reference editions, this is the 1769 (Oxford/Blayney) edition of the KJV. It’s presented in double-column paragraph format with poetry in a poetic setting. The font is black letter 6.75 point Lexicon No. 1 A with 7 point leading. I think the print is the same darkness as the regular Pitt Minion, but the thicker paper makes it seem darker and much more readable. The text does include footnote and reference keys. It’s printed with line-matching. It does have some show-through, but it’s mostly noticeable in the poetic settings.

Cambridge gets the KJV paragraph setting right. All verses that continue a sentence start with lower case letters (as they should), and verses such as Ps 98:8-9 are fixed. Acts 21:40-22:1 isn’t fixed, but that’s the only one I could find that wasn’t. There are a lot of verses in the poetic settings that have one word per verse. This edition is thick, so the text does bend into the gutter a little bit.

The Pitt Minion has footnotes and references in the center column. If there are too many to fit, the rest are placed under the last verse on the page. There is nothing else included with the Scripture portion of this book, so you won’t find the Translator’s to the Reader, Epistle Dedicatory, or tools such as the Reader’s Companion or maps.


It has 45,000 cross references from Zondervan. They’re placed in the center column with the verses for the left column at the top and the references for the right column at the bottom. They have the chapter and verse number in bold.

Here are some example verses with their references to help you compare:

  • Genesis 1:1 – Jn. 1:1, 2; Heb 1:10; Ps 8:3; Is 44:24; Ac 17:24; Rev 4:11
  • Deuteronomy 6:4 – Jn 17:3; 1 Cor 8:4, 6
  • Isaiah 9:6 – ch 7:14; Lk 2:11; Jn 3:16; Mat 28:18; 1 Cor 15:25; Judg 13:18; Titus 2:13; Eph 2:14
  • Matthew 17:20 – ch 21:21; Mk 11:23; Lk 17:6; 1 Cor 12:9; 13:2
  • Mark 11:23 – Mat 17:20; 21:21; Lk 17:6
  • Mark 12:29 – Dt 6:4; Lk 10:27
  • John 1:1 – Pr 8:22; 1 Jn 1:1; Pr 8:30; ch 17:5; 1 Jn 5:7
  • Acts 2:38 – Lk 24:47; ch 3:19
  • 1 John 1:1 – Jn 1:1; 14; 2 Pet 1:16; Lk 24:39; Jn 20:27

The original translator’s footnotes are mixed within the cross references. They give information about Greek and Hebrew words, alternate renderings, etc. I’m glad they’re included as they are considered part of the translation.

Pitt Minion Comparison

Here’s a look at the Heritage Edition compared with the Pitt Minion.


The Cambridge Prayer Book and Bible Heritage Edition is an interesting book. I personally don’t use the prayer book, but this is a good edition of it. The large print is easy to read and the index in the front makes everything easy to find.

The paper makes this the easiest to read Pitt Minion text I’ve seen. I’m tempted to split this as two individual volumes and have them rebound. The Pitt Minion would be thicker than normal and wouldn’t have the tools in the back, but this paper is worth it. It’s so readable that I want to grab it over larger print editions.

If you’re interested in a handy sized edition with the Book of Common Prayer and a paragraph Bible combo, the Prayer Book and Bible Heritage Edition from Cambridge is an excellent choice.


This book is available at (includes some affiliate links)


and many local Bible bookstores


Photography by hannah C brown

This Bible was purchased for 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.


  1. Richard

    Thanks for the review Randy. The Psalms in the BCP are actually not KJV but from the Coverdale Bible. The KJV was not around when the first Prayerbook was published in 1549. This one is the 1662 of course, but the Psalms did not change. The issue with this combination and it was a major oversight was the lack of Apocrypha with the KJV. The Apocrypha is part of the daily lectionary in the BCP which renders this edition a bit of a problem when you get to those days. The could easily have included it and I’m not sure why they left it out. Thanks for the review.

    • Randy A Brown

      Thanks Richard. Excellent point.

  2. Randall

    You said that the BCP is used for Catholic services; this is incorrect. It is the prayer book for the Church of England and its daughter churches of the Anglican Communion, including the U.S. Episcopal Church.

    • Randy A Brown

      Thanks! I’ll update it.

  3. Landloper

    Thanks for this review, Randy. I’ve been thinking about this Heritage edition for a while now. It would make a perfect vade mecum as I follow the monthly Psalm settings and use the AV for daily Bible reading. I’m a bit hesitant as it is bound by LEGO S.p.A.. I have a standard sized BCP by them and it is poorly executed. I note your photograph of the paste down and odd-looking corner work. In the BCP I have they have just stuck one flap over another with no attempt at any pleating and the morroco is so stiff that if it is flexed at all the pastedown corners pop up. For whatever reason LEGO don’t seem to want to get the corners right. Perhaps, as you suggest, it is worth buying for a rebind on the Pitt section.

  4. Rosemary Garwood

    is this book printed on regular paper? i bought one that was tissue paper thin and the pages stuck together.
    i would love a book with regular paper like you find in most books
    pls reply via email, much appreciated.
    rose garwood

    • Randy A Brown

      Hi Rosemary. Yes. The paper is 45gsm, which is like a regular book.

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