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Holman KJV Minister’s Bible in Black Top Grain Cow Hide – Review

Holman KJV Ministers Bible in Black Top Grain Cow Hide (1)

Holman’s KJV Minister’s Bible was made to meet the specific needs of the minister: preaching and ministerial duties. With its large print and wide margins it has the potential to be a great preaching Bible. The top grain cow hide is one of the most flexible and elegant covers I’ve ever seen.


  • Soft cover
  • Sewn binding
  • Large print
  • Wide margins


  • Inner margin too narrow
  • Not enough resources
  • Ministry helps contain bias


  • KJV
  • Top Grain Cow Hide
  • Smyth sewn
  • White paper
  • 11 point font
  • Double column
  • Verse format
  • Wide margin
  • End of verse references
  • End of verse notes
  • Page summaries in the header
  • Ministry helps
  • 2 ribbons
  • Gilted edges
  • 1608 pages
  • 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5
  • Printed in China
  • ISBN: 9781586409302
  • MSRP $199.99
  • Amazon $125.47

Cover and Binding

The cover is black top grain cow hide with a leather liner. It has stitching all around the perimeter. The leather is about a medium thickness – not as thin as Crossway’s calfskin and not as thick as Allan’s goatskin. It’s about right in the middle. The grain looks and feels elegant. There are five ridges on the spine that give it an extra elegant touch.

This is the most flexible cover I’ve seen in a KJV. I have placed this Bible in every useful contorted position I can imagine and it didn’t complain once. I usually don’t care for a cover that’s so flexible that I can’t hold it in one hand. I’ve never been one to roll the Bible up like a newspaper to hold in one hand while I read. This one has convinced me of the merits. I took it outside and walked around with it for a while. The wind started blowing my pages so I rolled it up in order to keep the pages down. I was amazed at how tight I could roll this up with no effort whatsoever.

The liner is edge-lined leather and the binding is sewn. Some edge-lined covers won’t let the first few pages lay open very well. This is not one of those covers. It lays flat at every single page.


Paper and Print

The paper is white with just a very slight touch of ivory- just enough that’s not too bright. It’s thin, but not ultrathin. Its opacity is not bad. There are places where the print would be easier to read if it had line-matching. There are other places where the lines line up perfectly and these pages are the easiest to read. I haven’t written in it yet, but it seems like it would be good for writing.

The print quality is consistent throughout. The font is black letter and around 11-point with a 12-point leading. It has about a medium boldness. It’s not my favorite font because it looks tall and skinny, but it’s not bad either. It won’t keep me from reading it. Bold numbers are used to indicate paragraphs.

Column width is almost 2 ¼“. The outer margin is 1”, the inner margin is ½”, the bottom is 1”, and the top is ¾”.


References and Notes

References and notes are at the end of the verses. References are not keyed to the text, so there’s no way to know which potion of the text they correlate to. Notes are keyed with a T.

Stars are used to indicate messianic prophecies. Empty stars shows the prophecy foretold and filled-in stars show the fulfillment. I like having them marked and I’m used to seeing these stars as the markings, but the references are not always given so there’s no way to correlate the prophecy with its fulfillment.

Just like a standard old style KJV setting, there are page summaries across the top of the page. There is one per page.


The resources consist of tables and articles. Some are for simple reference and others step you through and help prepare you for events or your role in ministry.

  • A Harmony in the Life of Christ
  • Appearances After the Resurrection
  • Miracles of our Lord
  • Parables of our Lord
  • Tables of Weights and Measures
  • Pastoral Care
  • Eight Traits of Effective Church Leaders
  • 21 Essentials of Authentic Ministry
  • A Classic Wedding Ceremony
  • A Contemporary Wedding Ceremony
  • Funeral Preparation
  • Funeral Sermon
  • Funeral for a Child
  • Funeral for a Student
  • Funeral for a Suicide Victim
  • Four Kinds of Expositional Preaching
  • 30 Keys to Giving an Invitation
  • Commitment Counseling
    • Salvation
    • Baptism
    • Church Membership
    • Assurance of Salvation
    • Rededication to Grow Toward Spiritual Maturity
    • Commitment to Vocational Christian Ministry
  • Leading a Child to Christ
  • Reaching Students with the Gospel
  • Two Things we Really Must Do
    • The Importance of Baptism and Communion
    • Why is Communion so Important?
    • What is so Important about Baptism?
  • The Christian Year and Church Calendar
  • The Apostles and their History

Some of these are essential helps for ministry. I would like to see more for counseling such as grief, divorce, loss, etc. I would rather have these topics than the theological topics that are so controversial.

Some of them contain theological bias. Those articles are not even needed at all. If a minister needs the theological knowledge given in those articles then he or she is not ready to preach the Word.

It needs a topical index for ministry. Part of the purpose of this Bible is to use it in your ministerial duties: preaching, teaching, visiting, counseling, etc. I’ve seen Bibles that were not made for this that have topical indexes that are more helpful for these duties.


The concordance is 53 pages. It is large print and has two columns per page. There isn’t much in it. It’s one of the least useful concordances I’ve used. It doesn’t have God, but it does have 4 entries for Baptism, 5 for Baptized, 17 for faith, 7 for pray, and 4 for prayer. It can help you find a few verse if you’re looking for something in your visitations. I would rather have more ministry helps or blank paper for writing.



There are 8 full-color maps on thick non-shiny paper. These are the standard Holman maps. They are very colorful and easy to use. An index would be helpful, but they’re labeled well. The more popular places are easy to find. The lesser popular places might take a little more time to hunt down. Most likely you won’t need them during your sermon anyway.


There are two ribbons – one black and one dark red. They’re long enough but they’re not as wide as I like. I like that they’re different colors. The black and red matches Holman’s thumb-index scheme of black for the Old Testament and red for the New Testament.


Using It


I read this Bible in the car, at my desk, outside, in the living room, and in Church. The floppy cover wasn’t too distracting like I thought it would be. I did have to spend a little more effort holding it, but when I read out in the wind I was able to roll it up and read it with no trouble at all. The paper and font were comfortable to read for long periods of time. I did like the pronunciation marks for Old Testament names but I don’t need them for common names like Jes’-us and Pe’-ter. Holding it in the car while sitting behind the wheel (while waiting in a parking lot) was a little awkward but not enough to make me stop reading.


There isn’t a lot of extra material in this Bible. I did get some good study by going through the charts in the back for the parables and miracles of Jesus. It was a good Bible to use for studying from other resources. When I do decide how I want to write in it I will add enough references and topical chains to make it my own study Bible.


I have a habit of keeping my Bibles in the boxes they come in, so when I carry them around I take the box too. I don’t know what it would be like to toss this Bible in the back seat or in a carry-bag without the box. I’d imagine the floppiness wouldn’t be too good for it. As far as carrying it around, it almost feels too floppy to me.


I enjoyed preaching from this Bible. It laid flat on the pulpit and I could turn it to any page I wanted with ease. Using the references in the header made it easy to find the pages I was looking for. Preaching is by far its best use. The text is easy to see while it lays on the pulpit. There is enough room to write some references, definitions, or quick bullets.

Thoughts about Using It

I abused this Bible. I carried it with me every time I left the house. I walked around with it in my back yard. I used it in moderate wind. I carried it around the house. It sat in my lap. It sat on the table. It sat on the pulpit. It drooped down from my hands. I rolled it up in many different positions just to be able to read it in the wind. It held up easily. I have no doubt this Bible will last me as my primary preaching Bible. I completely enjoyed using it as my daily and preaching Bible.

How to use the Margins

Since the next book starts on the same page as the last book ended, there isn’t an overabundance of writing space – even with the wider margins. The margin space in the inner margin is good for drawing symbols, writing references, and maybe a topic name. The outer margin is twice the size, so you can get a short definition and maybe some bullets if you need to. Another idea for definitions is to use the space at the bottom. You could write every definition you need in alphabetical order all the way through the Bible. Another idea is to write definitions that only pertain to that page. You could also use it for translation notes.



Holman’s KJV Minister’s Bible feels like a very high quality Bible – from the cover and binding to the paper and print. I can’t stop holding and reading this Bible. I love the paper and print, and this cover just melts in my hands. I love reading and preaching from it. The resources could use some work. There’s nothing here for sermon prep, so this isn’t meant to be your ‘one’ Bible. This Bible excels at what it was made for: preaching. For other ministerial duties it’s hit or miss. I would like a little more inner margin. If it does nothing else, it serves as a preaching Bible as good or better than any Bible I’ve preached from so far – and that’s saying a lot.


Holman Publishers provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review- only an honest review.

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