Immerse Messiah Bible Review
Immerse Poets is the 5th book in the six-volume Immerse Reading Bible Set, a version of the NLT designed by Glenn Paauw (see our interview here) to provide a Bible that is distraction free and enjoyable to read.
Randy’s review of the first volume printed, Immerse Messiah, can be found here.
Immerse Poets contains both the books of songs (Psalms, Lamentations, Song of Songs) and the wisdom writings (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job) from the Old Testament.
Tyndale provided me with a free review copy. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.
Click to purchase (includes some affiliate links):
or in paperback direct from Tyndale
This is a paperback edition measuring 8.5″ x 5.25″ x 1”, very similar in size (if not identical) to the larger of the two most common sizes of paperback novels. This is a glued edition like a normal paperback. A sewn binding would last longer but a Bible broken up in parts like this six-volume set will put much less strain on the binding than the entire Bible in one volume would.
The paper is 40# blended sheet. It is very opaque with little show through of the text on the other side of the page. It has an off-white color that creates a great contrast with the typeface. It seems a bit thicker than the paper found in some paperbacks and there are none of the dark flecks in the paper that cheaper paperbacks and some newsprint commonly have. The pages were easy enough to turn while reading that I never really took notice of the process.
The text is presented in single column, paragraph format. Poetry and OT quotes are set apart. Letters are slightly indented. Dialog starts on a new line just like a novel. The header includes the page number in the outer margin, book name in the center, and range of chapters and verses that appear on that page in a lighter typesetting.
The typeface is Arno Pro in black letter. It’s just under 11 point (measuring closer to 10 point with my scale) with just over 12 point leading. It has the right amount of darkness to make it easy to read for long periods of time. It’s consistent throughout and a joy to read.
Immerse removes the distractions. There are no chapter or verse numbers, footnotes, or section headings. Natural sections divisions are separated by crosses (for complete subject changes) and line spaces (for minor changes).
I’ve read Immerse, as well as other Bibles without chapter and verse numbers, and I find that I read more at a time. My daughter has read Immerse for a month or so and she’s understood more of what she’s read. She says that the dividers sometimes make her stop rather than continue, so she isn’t always reading more, but to her the quality of reading is better, making Immerse a quality over quantity reading experience.
Book introductions provide a literary and historical context for each book. It discusses the writer, audience, purpose of writing, date, key people, key events, sections or phases of the book, genre, etc. It includes an introduction to the volume as well as each book.
Book introductions use a different font than the text, keeping them separate which is less confusing. The introductions are labeled Immersed in Book Name. For example, Immersed in John.
Messiah presents the New Testament in a vastly different order than we’re used to. Rather than the current order (there have been multiple orders in the past), books are placed where the naturally fit.
For example, Luke and Acts are really two parts to one story, so they’re placed together. Paul’s books are placed in their probable order of writing rather than largest to smallest. This helps follow the conditions that Paul has faced through his journeys.
The new book order makes sense and is great for reading from cover to cover. It can be difficult to find certain books, but it’s worth it to see them in this context because it fits better with the bigger picture.
In the Back
There are several articles and tools in the back.
The Stories and the Story – How the Bible Works
This discusses what the Bible is and how to get the most out of it. It gives an overview of the Bible’s main stories and shows how they relate. The stories include:
- The Story of God and His Word
- The Story of Humanity
- The Story of Abraham and His Family
- The Story of Messiah Jesus
- All the Stories in One
Introducing Immerse – The Reading Bible
This discusses the purpose of Immerse and the problems with modern Bible design. It covers the layout, what features have been removed and why, book order, and more.
Literary Forms of the Bible
This discusses the prose and poetic genres with descriptions of each. Being aware of the types of genres helps in reading and interpretation – helping the reader understand the meaning the original writer intended.
NLT: A Note to the Readers
This is a one-page introduction to the New Living Translation.
It includes two black-and-white maps:
- Israel – During the Time of Jesus
- The Roman Empire – During the Spread of Christianity
The maps show distance, topography, water, and locations.
Quick Start Guide and Reading Plan
A card (which can be used as a bookmark) has a quick start guide on one side and a reading plan on the other.
The quick start guide shows 3 ways to get the most out of your experience. It also lists resources that are available at ImmerseBible.com.
The reading plan is an 8 week plan that lists the day, book name, and pages to read. It includes 4 questions to get your conversations started.
The Bible is meant to be read and Immerse – Messiah presents an excellent reading experience of the New Testament. It improves readability through visual design. The goal was to make the most readable Bible possible and that goal was achieved. I hope it will be available in higher quality editions. I love paperback editions but they don’t last long (especially if they’re glued like this one). I’m glad it’s available in paperback.
It’s a breath a fresh air to see God’s Word without man’s cluttered additions. The number one thing I do with the Bible is read it. I don’t want all of the “stuff” getting in the way. Immerse – Messiah shines in readability. It’s good to see this format is becoming popular in both multi and single volume editions in various translations. I highly recommend Immerse – Messiah. Judging by the quality of this layout I can easily recommend purchasing the 6 volume set. Immerse – Messiah gets Bible Buying Guide’s Editorss Choice award for readability.
Click to purchase (includes affiliate link to help us keep this site running):
Currently available for Kindle
It’s available at ImmerseBible.com
Photography by hannah C brown
Tyndale Publishing provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review – only an honest review. My opinions are my own.