Holman KJV Giant Print Reference Bible (Genuine Cowhide)


Unbelievable. That’s exactly how I reacted when I saw this. I need to give you a little background before I review:

I purchased this exact Bible 5 years ago, but in genuine leather (pigskin most likely). My primary Bible is a NASB but being a good Baptist, I always keep a KJV at the ready (I use it almost as much as NASB). That Bible literally came apart at the seams so, since Holman has a lifetime warranty, I trekked off to Lifeway to inquire about a replacement and much to my shock found out I could pay the difference and get this as a warranty exchange. 

On to the review:

This is without a doubt one of the most well put together Bibles I have ever owned. From the moment you open the box and catch that new leather smell, it exudes quality. The leather is among the softest and most supple I have ever touched (and my dad and I have done more than a few leather projects together.) In fact, the leather is so pleasing to the hand that the best way to describe it is with the nearly cliche “soft as baby’s skin” and though not marketed as calfskin, rather as cowhide, I would not be the least bit surprised if it were calfskin.

14 point font. Can we say spectacular? There is one size larger from Holman, the Super Giant Print in 18 point font but that makes for a rather cumbersome experience. 14 point is so large that I can see it almost see it clearly without my glasses. There is a minor drawback with the color of the red though. It is not as bright as I have seen in the Kirkbride and AMG Bibles. That being said, it is one of only two things I could find that I didn’t like about this Bible so it isn’t really too bad. Whether you find yourself in the pulpit or the audience, you will have no trouble at all seeing the text.

References were a small surprise both the first time and when I got this Bible. Not every verse has a reference; those that do, find the reference at the end of the verse. This leads to a more pastoral feeling when using this Bible because you are free to follow your own line of thought or couple the text a resource like Nave’s Topical Bible to follow a line of thinking.

The paper seems quite opaque; I did not notice any see through from the Bible itself. I have not written in it yet so I cannot say for sure how it will go; when in doubt I find that I fine tip ball point stick pen will do nicely.

In the back you will find quite an extensive section of helps. They are:

  • How to read the Bible through
  • 52 week Bible reading plan
  • A short history of the Bible
  • Favorite Readings from the Bible
  • Harmony of the Life of Christ.
  • Appearances After the Resurrection
  • Miracles of our Lord
  • Parables of our Lord
  • Concordance

This Bible is perfectly balanced for single handed use. I am Italian and talk with my hands quite vigorously and find no difficulty with gesturing while holding it. Since it is so lightweight, you wont find yourself with tired arms if you are ministering outdoors.

I think, though, that the price point on this Bible is one of it’s biggest selling points. $69.99 retail and if you happen to be a pastor, Lifeway offers a 20% disount. Given it’s quality, I would be hard pressed to call it a bargain (bargain seems to imply cheap.) but it is doubtlessly an incredible value. It also has a gorgeous twin sister in the NJKV.

Lastly we have my only true complaint about this Bible. I don’t like the margins. At best they are 1/2 inch but I really think they are more like 1/4 to 3/8 inch.  I realize that not everyone likes a wide margin Bible. However, given the thought, care, and quality that went into this Bible, it is clearly intended to be a person’s primary Bible and I, personally, think that merits at least 3/4 to 7/8 inch margin.

Overall, 9.5 out of ten. You cant go wrong with a Genuine Cowhide Bible and, at a price comparable to some of the bonded leather versions, I am compelled to ask why (other than finances) you would buy a lower quality Bible.


click here to buy from Amazon: KJV Giant Print Reference Bible, Brown Genuine Cowhide


About The Author


  1. Don Denison

    Dear Matthew:

    Thanks for a good review of this bible. I didn’t see however, the dimensions. These measurements are important for those of us who read holding the bible in one hand while seated. I have a Thompson’s Chain Reference published by Local Church Bible Publishers that is a very high quality bible with so many helps, and appendices that it has taken a long time to learn how to use it. Because of its size, weight, and the soft ironed calfskin cover, holding it while seated in my recliner or standing, becomes fatiguing . This relegates this fine bible to use while seated at a table or desk. There is a place for almost any size bible, it just depends on how it is to be used.

    I am seeing more and more varieties of the NASB, (our pastor in our Southern Baptist Church) uses one) if one is aware of its shortcomings, the NASB is a good translation, I purchased Lockman’s first edition way back in the early 70’s, and used it happily for years before reluctantly returning to the Authorised for my regular use. Considering the popularity and the quality of this translation, it is good to see the variety of printings of it available to those who choose it.

    Yours in Christ

    Don Denison

  2. Don Denison

    Dear Friends:

    I see I just made a fool of myself! I saw a comment about the NASB in this review that made me believe it was about an NASB bible. So much for careful reading! I still stand by my comments about the importance of size and relative stiffness of the cover to the reader. I also stand by my comments about the NASB, I am glad to see the varieties being produced now for those who choose it, even if these comments didn’t belong in my earlier posting.

    After re-reading this good review of a bible in my favorite translation, I am glad to notice the large type. Even more important than size and stiffness of the cover, is the type size. I presently have on my lamp table next to my chair, a Cambridge Personal Concord bible with about a 7 point font. In good light this bible is ideal, but put it in a dimly lit sanctuary, and it becomes a little difficult to read. My favorite, occasionally used while in my recliner, and sometimes as a carry bible, despite its medium/large size, is the Westminister Reference Bible, it is well laid out and has an incredible number of helps and appendices. I believe though, that I will check out Holman’s offering to see if it would make the necessary compromises easier to deal with. There are many fine bibles that are either too large to read seated without resting them on ones chest or abdomen, thus damaging the bottom margins, or if they are small enough to read handheld they have often have marginal font sizes. It is difficult to find something that will serve for most uses. I have several wonderful bibles that are on my desk because they are too large for regular carry or for one-handed reading. I will check this offering by Holman’s out, I can only imagine what a 14 point type font would do for a bible that can be hand held. I did read that you found this bible easily hand held, it will be interesting to see how this can be for more than a few minutes with a soft cover that is large enough to contain the 14 point print. I hope that this bible will satisfy my needs, but I will wait and see till after I actually handle one. I have also been looking at a Cambridge Cameo in Vachetta Calfskin with what looks to be about 8 to 8 1/2 type font, it is compact, legible and of excellent quality, I’m still looking for a better compromise. Thanks again for a good review.

    Yours in Christ

    Don Denison


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