Personal size giant print Bibles are great for those of us with older eyes that don’t want to carry our Bibles around in a wheelbarrow. The problem is there’s a tradeoff between tools and font size. Publishers have to include fewer tools, but the question is what tools are helpful? This is where the Hendrickson edition shines. In this review I take a look at Hendrickson’s Personal Size Giant Print Reference Bible in KJV. Note – this is the personal size edition that’s the companion to the wide margin edition.
The cover is two-tone Flexisoft – a polyurethane in brown and green with perimeter stitching and a paper liner. I like the color-combination a lot. They are earth-tones which are some of my favorite and they have a slight color texture that makes them look interesting. It has a plastic feel but it doesn’t feel cheap. One thing I’m not fond of is there isn’t enough end pages. The very first sheet is the only thick page and it is the presentation page. It’s sewn and lies flat easily. The overall size is 5.5 x 8.75 x 1.5”. it has a brown ribbon that matches the color scheme.
The paper is creamy tinted and doesn’t have any glare. I don’t know how thick it is but I would guess it around 28-30gsm. My one complaint is the paper isn’t opaque enough for my tastes. Not that it’s terrible, but it would be far more readable if it had less show through. As it is it’s too distracting. Of course when you consider that this Bible sells for less than $20 it is perfectly understandable. More opaque paper would have added a lot more to the price they were going for.
The text is presented in double-column verse by verse layout. The typeface is 11.25-point and is about a medium darkness. It has red letter and is also about a medium darkness. Red letter goes all the way through Revelation (like all red letter should). Both are fairly consistent throughout. The typeface is highly readable but readability would have been improved if it had line-matching. There are round 33 characters across and the columns are almost 2 ¼” wide.
Verse numbers are indented, making them easy to find. This also sets each verse as a separate paragraph. I’d like to see this problem solved by indenting the start of the paragraph and have the verses within the paragraph to be much less indented. This would identify each paragraph and indicate that the verses go together. At least the punctuation helps with that.
Section headings are in bold and they stand out nicely. There could be more of them (there’s only one for Genesis 1), but what is here is helpful, especially when you’re trying to scan the page to get the context. I ignore them for reading, but I like them when preaching or teaching.
The header includes the book name, chapter number, and verse number of the first or last verse that starts on that page. They’re in bold and are placed in the far corner making them easy to see as you turn pages.
Paragraph markers don’t stand out but they are there. Unlike some KJV’s, they’ve included them throughout the entire New Testament. I prefer this to those that end in the book of Acts.
The cross references are at the end of the verse. The advantage to this is the text doesn’t have to share column-width, giving the most room for the text possible. This format usually has fewer references than those with center, side column, or footer references. Here are some examples of references:
- Gen 1:1 – Jb 38:4, Heb 11:3, Rev 4:11
- Mat 17:20 – Mt 13:31, 21:21, Lk 17:6
- Mark 11:23 – Mt 17:20, 1 Cor 13:2
- Jn 1:1 – Jn 17:5, 1 Jn 1:1-2
- 1 Jn 1:1 – Lk 24:39, Ln 20:27, Ac 4:20
It has lists of Scriptures that are great for study, sermon, and class prep. Helps include:
- Key Bible Promises
- Harmony of the Gospels
- Miracles of the Old Testament
- Miracles of the New Testament
- Parables of the Old Testament
- Parables of the New Testament
- Old Testament Prophecies of the Passion
The concordance is 124 pages in double column. This is a larger concordance than I would expect in a giant print personal size edition. Here are some example entries with their counts:
- Christ – 5
- Christian – 3
- Faith – 14
- Faithful – 6
- Faithfulness – 1
- God – 17
- God (an idol) – 6
- Goddess – 4
- Godliness – 2
- Godly – 3
- Praise (n) – 12
- Praise (v) – 6
- Pray – 9
- Prayer – 9
There are 8 pages of maps on thick glossy paper. It doesn’t have an index but they are labeled well and are easy to use. The maps include:
- Geography of the Land of Israel/Palestine
- Exodus and Conquest of Canaan
- Kingdoms of Israel and Judah During the Divided Monarchy
- The Land of Israel/Palestine in the First Century of the Common Era
- The Roman Empire
- Jerusalem and the Temple in Old Testament Times
- Jerusalem and the Temple in New Testament Times
- Jewish and Christian Communities in Late Antiquity
At its price-point the Hendrickson Personal Size Giant Print Reference Bible in KJV is a bargain. It has a nice font and clean layout, and the helps in the back are the type of lists that help in personal study and sermon prep. It’s a light Bible and is easy to carry. I find the pages difficult to turn sometimes (but that’s normal for me). It’s great for reading and for teaching and preaching.
Hendrickson provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review – only an honest review. My opinions are my own.