NIV SCR Bible Wide Margin Premier Collection Review

The NIV Side-Column Reference Bible Wide Margin in the Premier Collection from Zondervan is a reference edition that’s easy to carry and use, but also has wide margins, giving you space to record your thoughts. It’s available in several covers in all price ranges including several with goatskin. I’m reviewing the blue goatskin edition, ISBN: 9780310461135, printed in China.

Zondervan 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 (includes some affiliate links)



Chruch Source

and many local Bible bookstores


Table of Contents

  1. Video Review
  2. Binding
  3. Paper
  4. Typography and Layout
  5. References
  6. Table of Weights and Measures
  7. Dictionary-Concordance
  8. Bible Atlas
  9. Comparisons
  10. Conclusion

Video Review

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The cover is blue goatskin leather. The blue is slightly dark and bold. I like this blue. The goatskin is thick and has a pronounced grain. It has perimeter stitching and a small yapp. There is no printing on the front. The spine has HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, and ZONDERVAN printed in silver. It has 5 raised spine hubs. They’re large and look elegant. The cover is a touch stiff, so it’s easy to hold open in one hand.

The liner is black edge-lined leather with a silver gilt line tracing around the perimeter of the liner. The edge-lined tab is stiff, so it will need to be broken in for a while before it will stay open in Genesis. Out of the box, it stays open in the middle of Exodus. The text block is sewn and has overcast stitching in the first signature to give it more support.

It has 3 3/8″ ribbons: dark blue, red, and black. They’re extra long and are cut at an angle. The overall size is 6 x 9.3  x 1.5″ and it weighs 2 lbs, 7.6 oz. This size is great for carrying, studying, reading, and preaching/teaching.

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The paper is a 36gsm premium European paper that’s used in all the Premier Collection Bibles. It looks and feels premium and has a slightly off-white color. It’s highly opaque with a smooth texture. I find the pages to be easy to separate and turn. It has a slight glare under certain lighting. It’s just noticeable, but it’s not enough to be distracting while reading.

The page edges are art-gilded with silver under gray.

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Typography and Layout

The text is presented in a single-column, paragraph layout with poetry in stanzas, lists formatted as lists, and personal letters indented. Cross-references and footnotes are placed next to the verses they correspond to. The outer margin is wide, for note-taking. The header shows the page number in the outer margin next to the book name, chapter, and verse number printed in blue. A horizontal line fills the rest of the header. All highlights are in blue.

The font is a 9.5-point Comfort Print typeface. This is a black-letter edition. The font is dark and highly consistent throughout. It has around 10 words per line on average. This is the word count that I find to be the most comfortable between prose and poetry. The lines are not too long for prose and poetry doesn’t have too many awkward line breaks. Both look great and it’s highly readable.

It wasn’t printed with line-matching (the words on both sides of the page are not placed in the same location). This is most noticeable in the poetic settings, but the show-through isn’t bad. The verse numbers are small and can be a little difficult to see at a glance. It might take an extra second or two to find them. Fortunately, the cross-references in the margins make it easy to know where to look. The section headings contain references to parallel passages.

The outer margins are .8″, so just under an inch. It’s too small for sermon outlines, but this is great for small notes, references, symbols, etc. It is a touch awkward not being able to write next to the verse (instead, you’re writing next to the references), but it still works well. It also isn’t too much space for those that don’t want to write notes. It doesn’t feel like I’m carrying around a lot of wasted wide-margin space.

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Cross-references and footnotes are placed in the margins next to the verses they correspond to. This is my favorite placement for references for usability. It makes the references, footnotes, and verses easier to find. It has 53,000 cross-references, which is great for most Bible study needs. Here are a few examples:

  • Genesis 1:1 – Jn 1:1-2; Job 38:4; Ps 90:2; Isa 42:5; 44:24; 45:12, 18; Ac 17:24; Heb 11:3; Rev 4:11
  • Deuteronomy 6:4 – Mk 12:29; 1 Cor 8:4
  • Isaiah 9:6 – Isa 53:2; Lk 2:11; Jn 3:16; Mt 28:18; Isa 28:29; Isa 10:21; 11:2; Isa 26:3, 12; 66:12
  • Matthew 28:19 – Mk 16:15, 16; Lk 24:47; Ac 1:8, 14:21; 2:38; 8:16; Ro 6:3, 4
  • Mark 12:29 – x
  • John 1:1 – Rev 19:13; Jn 17:5; 1 Jn 1:2; Php 2:6
  • John 3:16 – Ro 5:8; Eph 2:4; 1 Jn 4:9, 10; ver 36; Jn 6:29, 40; 11:25, 26
  • Acts 2:38 – 8:12, 16, 36, 38; 22:16; Lk 24:47; Ac 3:19
  • Rom 10:9 – Mt 10:32; Lk 12:8; Ac 2:24
  • 1 John 1:1 – Jn 1:2; Jn 1:14; 2 Pe 1:16; Jn 20:27

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Table of Weights and Measures

This is a one-page table after the text that shows the biblical unit and approximate American and metric equivalents. It includes weights, length, and capacity for both dry and liquid measures. It also shows information about how the calculations were derived. Some of this information is also found in the footnotes.

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The dictionary-concordance is 29 pages with 2 columns per page. It actually does combine a dictionary and concordance together. It includes a short definition of a word and then provides several references with an excerpt from the verse. It doesn’t include a lot of words, though. It is helpful for looking up basic information and includes proper names. Here are a few examples of the number of references provided:

  • Christ – 4
  • Christian – 2
  • Faith – 12
  • Faithful (faithfulness) – 7
  • God – 11
  • Godly – 2
  • Praise – 3
  • Pray – 4

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Bible Atlas

The atlas contains 14 full-color Zondervan maps printed on 16 thick semi-glossy pages. They’re colorful and include lots of annotations. They contain topography, distance, routes, borders, possible locations of lost places, battles, elevation, cities, and locations for the events of Jesus’ ministry. It does not include an index but the annotations make them easy to use.

Maps include:

  1. World of the Patriarchs
  2. Holy Land and Sinai
  3. Exodus and Conquest of Canaan
  4. Land of the Twelve Tribes
  5. Kingdom of David and Solomon
  6. Kingdoms of Israel and Judah
  7. Prophets in Israel and Judah
  8. Assyrian and Babylonian Empires
  9. Holy Land in the Time of Jesus
  10. Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus
  11. Jesus’ Ministry
  12. Apostle’s Early Travels
  13. Paul’s Missionary Journeys
  14. Roman Empire

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Here’s how the NIV Side-Column Reference Bible Wide Margin Premier Collection compares to a few similar Bibles.

NIV Personal Size Bible Large Print Premier Collection

The NIV Personal Size Bible Large Print Premier Collection Bible is the same size. It’s a text edition with a larger print in a double-column layout. It includes the translation footnotes. The materials and build quality are the same. It includes maps, but no other tools. It’s a great choice if you don’t need the references and prefer a larger font in 2 columns.

NIV Heritage Passaggio Setting

The NIV Heritage Passaggio Setting is also the same size and it’s a text edition. It has a larger font and includes a hybrid layout with prose in a single column and poetry in a double column. It has the maps and a few charts in the back. The paper is the same. The cover is edge-lined buffalo leather, which isn’t as nice as the goatskin.

NIV Deluxe Single Column Reference Bible Premier Collection

The NIV Deluxe Single-Column Reference Bible Premier Collection has a larger footprint and a thinner block. The font is slightly smaller and it’s also in a single-column layout. It places more references in the outer margin at the top of the page and topical links in the footer. It has a concordance and maps. It’s also a Premier Collection, so it has the same materials and build quality. It’s a better choice if having cross-references is your goal.

NIV Clarion

The NIV Clarion is the Bible that has the most similar design. It has the same thickness and width, but it’s a lot shorter. The layout is similar, but the font is larger and has more space in the text. The paper is 28gsm Indopaque. The references are the same. It includes a large concordance and Cambridge maps. Both are good choices.

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The NIV Side-Column Reference Bible Wide Margin Premier Collection is an interesting Bible. It does have a wide enough margin for small notes, which is unusual in personal-size Bible. At the same time, it isn’t so much margin space that it feels like I’m carrying around a lot of intimidating empty space to fill in. This makes it ideal for anyone that wants to record a thought or small note here and there but doesn’t need space for extensive notes. As expected, the blue goatskin looks amazing and the materials and construction quality are excellent.

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This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)




and many local Bible bookstores



Zondervan 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. Andrew

    Hi Randy, thanks for the review. Worth noting that there are 2 versions of this now – you’ve reviewed the personal size, but there is a larger one with 10.5 pt type

  2. Jim Childers

    Is the cover the same as the Grace and Truth Study Bible?


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