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Lockman NASB 2020 Large Print Ultrathin Reference Bible in Calfskin Review

The Lockman NASB 2020 Large Print Ultrathin Reference Bible is a standard large print cross-reference Bible but is now available in the 2020 edition of the New American Standard Bible. It’s available in several cover options, including the one I’m reviewing in black calfskin leather. This is ISBN: 9781581351811, made in China.


  • 2020 NASB
  • Black calfskin
  • Synthetic edge-lined liner
  • Sewn binding
  • 2 3/8″ ribbons
  • 7 x 9 3/4 x 1 1/4″ overall size
  • 2 lb, 5.8 oz
  • 30GSM blue-tinted paper
  • Gold gilt page edges
  • Double-column paragraph layout
  • Line matching text
  • 10-point font
  • Black letter
  • 95k center-column reference
  • Family Pages
  • Topical Index
  • Charts
  • 9 maps
  • Printed in China
  • $75

Lockman provided this Bible in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.


This Bible is available at 

Lockman Foundation Store


Table of Contents

  1. Video Review
  2. Binding
  3. Paper
  4. Typography and Layout
  5. References
  6. Footnotes
  7. Tools
  8. Bible Atlas
  9. Comparisons
  10. Conclusion

Video Review

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The cover looks like the split calfskin that’s available from Cambridge (which happens to be some of my favorite leather). The cover is a touch more flexible than that leather, though. It has a pebbly grain with a muted finish. I love the look and feel. Nothing is printed on the front. It has tight stitching around the perimeter. The spine has 5 raised hubs. The text is printed in gold. The name is included on the spine. The spine is slightly rounded, which is my personal preference.

The liner is heavy-duty vinyl. It’s edge-lined and has no trouble staying open at the beginning of Genesis. The block is Smyth sewn.

It includes two single-sided 3/8″ ribbons. The one for the Old Testament is a deep red and the one for the New Testament is black. They look great and do the job, but ribbon aficionados will want to replace them with double-sided ribbons. The overall size is 7 x 9 3/4 x 1 1/4″. It weighs 2 lbs, 5.8 oz.

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The paper is the 30gsm. It has a slightly blue tint that’s just noticeable. It’s more noticeable in some light than others. The show-through is more prominent than I’d like. There is no glare under direct light. The texture is rough enough to make it easy to turn. Many of the pages are wavy in the middle as well as on the edges. The page edges are gold. The paper is the main aspect of this Bible that keeps it from being in the same category as the Chinese-made premium editions from other publishers. It’s easy to use and read from, but a better quality paper would make this Bible stand out.

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Typography and Layout

This Bible was designed and typeset by 2K/Denmark, and both are excellent. It takes the traditional layout approach. The 2020 edition of the NASB text is presented in a double-column, paragraph layout with poetry in stanzas. The text is left-justified only, creating a ragged right edge. Old Testament quotes are in all caps. Cross-references are placed in the center column. The text is close to the header. The header shows the book name, chapter, and verse numbers in the outer margin. Page numbers are placed in the center. Footnotes are placed across the footer and are printed in a smaller font. Section headings are in a bolder print in all caps.

The typeface is about a 10-point, black letter. The print is dark and consistent throughout. There is enough space in the text to keep the lines and the words from feeling cramped. Verse numbers are large and bold, making them easy to find at a glance. The text is line-matched, meaning the lines on both sides of the page are placed in the same location to reduce show-through. It does reduce show-through quite a bit. The text on the other side of the page is a touch distracting at times, though.

Supplied words are printed with italics. It has around 6-8 words per line for most lines. Cross-references and footnotes are keyed to the text with letters and numbers. They’re easy enough to see and I don’t find them too distracting. The poetic layout is exceptional. The lines of text seem to be divided in the best possible places to create a page that looks balanced. There aren’t many lines with a single word.

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There are 95,000 center-column references. They’re excellent for study and sermon prep. They’re marked with letter

Here are a few example references to help you compare:

  • Genesis 1:1 – Ps 102:25; Is 40:21; Jn 1:1, 2; Heb 1:10; Ps 89:11; 90:2; Acts 17:24; Rom 1:20; Heb 11:3; Job 38:4; Is 42:5; 45:18; Rev 4:11
  • Deuteronomy 6:4 – Matt 22:37; Mark 12:29, 30; Luke 10:27; Deut 4:35, 39; John 10:30; 1 Cor 8:4; Eph 4:6
  • Isaiah 9:6 – Isa 7:14; 11:1, 2; 53:2; Luke 2:11; John 3:16; Matt 28:18; 1 Cor 25:25; Is 22:22; Is 28; 29; Deut 10:17; Neh 9:32; Is 10:21; Is 63:16; 64:8; Is 26:3, 12; 54:10; 66:12
  • Matthew 28:19 – Mark 16:15; Matt 13:52; Acts 1:8; 14:21; Matt 25:32; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 8:16; Rom 6:3; 1 Cor 1:13, 15; Gal 3:27
  • Mark 12:29 – Deut 6:4
  • John 1:1 – Gen 1:1; Col 1:17; 1 John 1:1; John 1:14; Rev 19:13; John 17:5; 1 John 1:2; Phil 2:6
  • John 3:16 – Rom 5:8; Eph 2:4; 2 Thes 2:16; 1 John 4:10; Rev 1:5; Rom 8:32; 1 John 4:9; John 1:18; 3:18; 1 John 4:9; John 3:36; 6:40; 11:25
  • Acts 2:38 – Mark 1:15; Luke 24:47; Acts 3:19; 5:31; 20:21; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12, 16; 22:16;
  • Romans 10:9 – Matt 10:32; Luke 12:8; Rom 14:9; 1 Cor 12:3; Phil 2:11; Acts 16:31; Rom 4:24; Acts 2:24
  • 1 John 1:1 – John 1:1; 1 John 2:13, 14; Acts 4:20; 1 John 1:3; John 19:35; 2 Pet 1:16; 1 John 1:2; John 1:14; 1 John 4:14; Luke 24:39; John 20:27; John 1:1, 4

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It has a lot of footnotes placed in a single column along the bottom of the page. They are separated from the text with a line and they’re printed with a smaller font. They include alternate renderings, explanations of the original languages, etc. These are helpful for study and getting insights into the 2020 NASB translation.

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There are several family pages in the front and tools in the back for study.

Presentation and Family Pages – several thick pages in the front for records. They include the presentation page, marriages, wife’s family tree, husband’s family tree, births, deaths, and occasions to remember.

NASB Topical index of the Old and New Testaments – this is a large index that covers many topics. It’s somewhere around 120 pages with two columns per page. It includes people, places, events, concepts, theology, etc.

Introductions to the Books of the Bible – this provides a paragraph for each book of the Bible with information about its title and the main themes of the book. They’re not detailed, but they are insightful.

The Parables of Jesus – this is a table that lists every parable that Jesus taught and provides the reference for each of the four Gospels.

The Miracles of Jesus – this is a table that lists every miracle that Jesus performed and provides the reference for each of the four Gospels.

Important Events in Christ’s Life According to the Gospels – this is a table that lists the most important events of Jesus in the Gospels. It provides the reference for each of the four Gospels.

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Bible Atlas

There are 9 maps printed on 8 semi-glossy pages. They’re colorful and have lots of information. The large land areas have a sandy texture while all of the other colors are flat (or solid). The maps have lots of annotations with explanations and Scriptures. This is extremely helpful. It does not include an index to maps. The maps include cities, empires, distance, routes, battle sites, mountains, settlements, seas, journeys, etc.

Maps include:

  1. The Biblical World of the Patriarchs
  2. The Exodus Route and Conquest of Canaan
  3. The Twelve Tribes of Israel
  4. The Divided Kingdoms of Israel and Judah
  5. The Herodian Kingdom in the Time of Christ
  6. Old Testament Jerusalem
  7. New Testament Jerusalem
  8. The Ministry of Jesus
  9. The Missionary Journeys of Paul

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The NASB Large Print Ultrathin Reference Bible in Leathertex uses the same text block (in other words, the same paper and layout). It also uses the same ribbons. This edition is available in multiple colors. I reviewed the gray.

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Lockman’s 2020 NASB Large Print Ultrathin Reference Bible in calfskin is an excellent traditional design. The large font and even larger verse numbers make it a good choice for reading, study, and preaching. The leather for the cover is looks and feels elegant. It’s soft to the touch and has a pronounced pebbly grain. The paper isn’t my favorite, but it’s functional. A few refinements, such as a leather liner, white paper, and double-sided ribbons, would add to the price but it would raise it to the level of other Bibles printed in China. It’s still a good choice for anyone interested in a 2020 NASB in calfskin.

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This Bible is available at 

Lockman Foundation Store



Lockman provided this Bible in exchange for an honest 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.


  1. Fernando Serna

    Thanks, Randy. What is your opinion on NASB 2020 translation update?

    • Randy A Brown

      Hi Fernando. I haven’t read enough to decide yet. I plan to read it through next year. So far, it seems to have a little less literal than the 95.

  2. Emerson

    Thank you again for another great review, Randy! Your website is my go-to and I tell anyone looking for a Bible to come to it first.

    I appreciate your comments with specs such as the weight of the Bible, as that is often one of the things some people may not consider when searching for Bibles online (without having the opportunity to hold one in their hands before buying). I’ve found that Bibles over 2-1/2 lbs (40 oz) for men, or 2 lbs (36 oz) for women, tend to be harder to carry, handle and/or hold for extended periods of time at church.

    One thing I’d ask that you add in both videos and pictures is how the Bible holds in one hand. I’ve found that publishers have mistakenly made a feature that was good for smaller Bibles (“floppiness”) the same for larger Bibles, but that makes larger/heavier Bibles hard to hold open flat in one hand. Larger Bibles need to have firmer leather/lining combo so they can hold open flatter in one hand (a good example is Cambridge’s wide margin/Aquila calfsplit Bible, it holds fairly flat in one hand).

    Three-Sixteen publishers of the LSB have made their large reference Bibles way too floppy, which in my opinion is not a good feature for that size because it makes it a requirement for the Bible to always be held with two hands, or to always be in someones’ lap, or resting in a podium.

    Commenting on Fernando’s question above, a good website to compare the NASB 2020 and 1995 is

    I think the ’20 has made many great improvements both in readability and literalness (some of which the LSB followed). But looks like some changes had an unfortunate lessening of literalness. I have not switched to the ’20, but I have started using it for study along with others.



  1. Prime Edition NASB Large Print Ultrathin Reference Bible Review - Bible Buying Guide - […] Lockman NASB 2020 Large Print Ultrathin Reference Bible in Calfskin also has a paste-down liner, but it’s vinyl instead…

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