CBP 120RL Wide Margin Cameo Review

The 120RL Wide Margin Cameo from Church Bible Publishers is a reprint of the old Cambridge Cameo wide margin edition. This one takes a different approach to the setting. The original version only had wide margins on the outside. This creates a large area that’s easy to write in, but this makes it difficult to place notes next to the verses they correspond to. The CBP 120 design places a 1 inch margin on all sides. Another change is the red letter for the words of Christ. The standard Cambridge design had red letter only for the words of Christ while on Earth. This means Revelation was black letter. The CBP 120RL includes red letter in Revelation.

It’s available in both Ironed Calfskin and Top Grain Cowhide. I’m reviewing Ironed Calfskin. Both are made in USA.

Church Bible Publishers provided this Bible free for 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 from Church Bible Publishers

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VIDEO REVIEW

COVER and BINDING

The cover is ironed calfskin. Even though it’s ironed it has a nice grain and a little bit of texture. I like the look and feel of this cover. It’s flexible but not too floppy to handle. Nothing’s printed on the front. The spine includes 5 raised hubs with text stamped in gold. The text is sharp and clean. The cover is stitched around the perimeter and is stitched to the liner for improved structure. The liner is synthetic and is edge-lined. The binding is sewn. The edge-lined tab is stiff out of the box. It wants to close in Genesis. After a few days use it’s already much looser. I’m sure it will break in just fine with use.

It includes two black ribbons and black and gold head/tail bands. The ribbons are thin and long, making them easier to use. They’re sized perfectly for this Bible. The overall size is 8 7/8 x 6 3/8 x 1 5/8″. The spine seems to be wider than it needs to be. The thickness could be 1 1/4″. It weighs 2 lbs, 1.2 oz. This is an excellent size and weight for carry.

PAPER

The paper is 22#, which comes in somewhere in the mid 30’s in gsm. It’s white in color and has a slightly rougher texture than I’ve seen in other editions from CBP. This rough textures makes the pages easy to turn. It does have glare under direct light but not when reading with the normal lighting of a room. I only notice it with a desk lamp or reading light. In natural light it has no glare at all. The paper’s decently opaque. The only time I noticed the text on the other side of the page was when reading red letter with black letter behind it. Even then it wasn’t bad. The page edges are red art-gilt. The red isn’t dark but the red and gold are elegant and well-done.

I used Pigma Microns for notes. This is good paper to Pigma Microns. I’ve only used a couple so far, a 05 in green and the PN in black, and I’m impressed with how well it takes the ink and how little show-through it has. I think I prefer 01 to 05. The 05 would be a good choice for underlining while 01 is better for notes.

The front has presentation and family pages on thick paper and the Epistle Dedicatory. This edition does not include the Translator’s to the Reader. It has 4 pages in the back for notes. I wouldn’t mind having 32 or more pages as this would make this Bible even better for preaching and teaching.

TYPOGRAPHY

The text is presented in double column verse-by-verse format with footnotes and references in the center column. The header shows the book name and chapter numbers for all the chapters that start on that page in the outer margin. The inner margin displays two summaries- one for each column. The page number is centered in the footer.

The font is 8-point Petit Medieval Clarendon with 8.5 leading. It’s just slightly smaller than the Concord wide margin, but I can only tell that because I measured both using a typography scale. It includes red letter that goes all the way through Revelation. The black and red letter are a very dark semi-bold. This is the darkness that I like the most. It’s easy to read in low lighting but not so dark that it hurts my eyes in good lighting. There is a very small amount of variation, but I only noticed it because I was looking for it.

It has around 32 characters per line with around 6-7 words per line. This is an old Cambridge setting that was typeset by hand, so you’ll see a few words too close together to make them fit and a few lines that have extra spaces. There are more with extra spaces than those that are too close. None are really so close that I can’t tell they’re separate words. It doesn’t have line-matching, but it doesn’t have enough show-through for that to be a problem.

The text is self-pronouncing. A guide in the front shows how to pronounce the markings. It does include reference and footnote keys in the text, but they’re small enough that I can ignore them while reading.

MARGINS

It has 1″ margins on all sides of the text. This is enough space for word studies, short notes, references, thoughts, bullets, etc. I do find the inner margin more difficult to write in, and it does lose some of the inner margin because of the binding, but it’s still large enough to be usable.

REFERENCES and FOOTNOTES

References and footnotes are placed in the center column. They’re marked with letters for references and numbers for footnotes and they’re marked from left to right regardless of which column they’re in. This helps keep them as close as possible to the verse they correspond to. It has a decent amount of references for study and sermon prep. Here are some example references to help you compare:

  • Genesis 1:1 – Ps 136:5, Jn 1:1-3, Col 1:16-17, Heb 1:8-10, 11:3, Jer 4:23
  • Deuteronomy 6:4 – Mk 12:29, Isa 42:8, Jn 17:3, 1 Co 8:4, 6
  • Isaiah 9:6 – Lk 2:11, ch 7:14, Judg 13:18, Eph 2:14
  • Matthew 17:20 – ch 21:21, Mk 11:23. ch 13:31, ver 9
  • Mark 11:23 – na
  • Mark 12:29 – Deu 6:4-5
  • John 1:1 – Gen 1:1, ch 17:5, Col 1:17, 1 Jn 1:1, ver 14, Rev 19:13, 1 Jn 1:2, Phil 2:6
  • John 2:19 – Mt 26:61, 27:40, Mk 14:58, ch 10:18
  • Acts 2:38 – Lk 24:47, ch 3:19, 20:21, ch 8:15-16, 22:16, Mt 26:28, ch 10:45
  • 1 John 1:1 – Jn 1:1, ch 2:13-14, Rev 1:2, Jn 1:14, Lk 24:39, Jn 1:4

The footnotes are from the translators and include information on the original languages and alternate renderings. I’m glad they’re included. I find them helpful for study and sermon prep.

MAPS

It has 15 full-color Cambridge maps printed on thick non-glossy paper. It includes an 8 page index. I always prefer an index and I’m glad to see it included. These are the maps and index that Cambridge used previous to the current color-coded edition. They include cities, routes, Scripture references, distance, mountains, territorial expansions with dates, topography, kingdoms, battle sites, locations of events, addressees of Pauline epistles, etc.

It doesn’t include a Red Sea crossing. The annotations on the maps are bold and dark. I found some of them difficult to read against the dark colors of the maps. Even then, these are my favorite maps I’ve seen in a Bible from CBP. They’re also printed with wide margins so you can make notes if you want.

Maps include:

  1. The Biblical World of the Patriarchs
  2. Palestine: Political Regions
  3. The Route of the Exodus
  4. The Twelve Tribes of Israel
  5. Kingdoms of Saul, David & Solomon
  6. The Divided Kingdom: Israel & Judah
  7. The Assyrian Empire
  8. The Babylonian Empire
  9. The Greek Empire
  10. Old Testament Jerusalem
  11. New Testament Jerusalem
  12. The Ministry of Jesus
  13. The Missionary Journeys of Paul
  14. The Spread of Christianity
  15. Modern Israel

COMPARISONS

Here’s a look at how the CBP 120RL Cameo compares to the Cambridge and LCBP editions.

Cambridge Cameo Wide Margin

The original is now out of print and expensive when you can find them. They have better paper, but they’re also harder to replace. They’re the same size and include a concordance.

Cambridge Cameo

The original Cameo is smaller but has the exact same font and pagination. It has thinner paper and an even darker print, making it a little more difficult to read for long periods of time.

Cambridge Concord Wide Margin

The Concord wide margin is an amazing Bible. It has 38gsm paper, which is some of the best paper in any wide margin Bible, around 100 pages in the back for notes, concordance, glossary, etc. It also has wider margins, giving you a lot more writing space than the Cameo wide margin. It’s expensive and very large, so it’s more difficult to use as a carry Bible. It’s a great choice for a desk or pulpit. It’s good for carry if you like carrying larger Bibles.

LCBP 120

The Local Church Bible Publishers 120 has the traditional layout with the margin on the outside. It also includes a concordance.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE CBP 120RL

The CBP 120RL Cameo is a well-made reprint of the Cambridge Cameo wide margin Bible. It’s the first time I’ve seen the Cameo wide margin with space on all sides and red letter through Revelation. The print is dark and the paper is opaque. It does have glare under direct light, but most of the time I don’t see glare. The paper is good for marking and has a texture that’s easy to turn. The references are helpful for study. This edition doesn’t include a concordance. I use digital Bibles and Google for most of my searches, but this might be a problem if I don’t have access to digital resources.

I found this to be an easy Bible to carry and to preach from. The dark font easy to read from and had no trouble with the paper. It’s is an excellent Bible for anyone wanting a small wide margin edition that’s easy to carry. At this price it’s an easy Bible to write in, take along, and toss around without feeling like I have to baby it. It’s great for evangelists, teachers, and preachers, as well as carrying to Bible studies, Church, and using at home. I’ve enjoyed marking in it. I’m planning to use this one for carry, study, reading, and preaching.

_________________________________________________________

This Bible is available from Church Bible Publishers

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Photography by hannah C brown

Church Bible Publishers provided this Bible free for 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.

4 Comments

  1. A.T.

    How is the gutter, Randy? Has it got the crinkle issue that CBP often have?

    Reply
    • Randy A Brown

      No gutter crinkle in this one 🙂

  2. John

    I have a wide margin Concord I haven’t had a chance to really use, been debating on getting a Concord to match with wide margin Concord, but there’s something about this cameo that is grabbing my attention. Seems to be the all in one Bible. Print is large enough to read, study and peach from, margin for notes, built to last, not “too fancy” that the Bible becomes an idol itself, price hard to beat.

    Reply
  3. John

    Forgot to mention it’s size is great to carry everywhere! The best Bible is the one that is used everyday.

    Reply

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