NKJV Classic Verse-by-Verse Center-Column Comfort Print Reference Bible

Thomas Nelson’s NKJV Classic Verse-by-Verse Center-Column Comfort Print Reference Bible uses the same setting at the NKJV Verse-by-Verse Center-Column Reference Bible Premier Collection. As the name suggests, this is a classic design: verse-by-verse with 72,000 center-column references. What stands out, though, is this is a New King James Version and it retains the poetic setting. This modern translation continues the trend of using the NKJV Comfort Print typeface designed by 2K/Denmark exclusively for the NKJV.

It’s available in a premium edition and in imitation leather in black and brown with and without thumb-index. I’m reviewing the black leathersoft, ISBN 9780785229766, and the brown leathersoft, ISBN 9780785229568.

Thomas Nelson provided these Bibles 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 book is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Christianbook Black Brown

Amazon Black Brown

and many local Bible bookstores


Table of Contents

  1. Video Review
  2. Cover and Binding
  3. Paper
  4. Typography
  5. References
  6. Book Introductions
  7. Concordance
  8. Maps
  9. Comparisons
  10. Conclusion

Video Review

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Cover and Binding

The covers are imitation leather. They’re smooth and have a little bit of color texture. This is more obvious in the brown. Both have brown paste-down paper liners. The liner serves as a presentation page. They have HOLY BIBLE print on the front of the cover. The spine has HOLY BIBLE, NKJV, and the Thomas Nelson logo printed in gold. The spine has interesting patterns with debossed markings for the spine ridge indications with gold patterns in the middle and three blocks with gold patterns in the corners.

It’s Smyth sewn and has no trouble laying open, but it will need a little bit of use before it will stay completely flat in the first half of Genesis. Unlike the Premier Collection version, they do not have overcast stitching, which is understandable for this price-point.

They have two extra-long double-sided satin ribbons at 3/8″ each. The black has a black and a brown ribbon, while the brown has a brown and a red ribbon. They’re more than long enough to open the Bible in the corner of the page. The overall size is 6.5 x 9.75 x 1.5″ and they weigh 2lbs, 9.8 oz.

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I haven’t confirmed this, but the paper feels to be 36gsm. It’s slightly off-white in color and it’s highly opaque with no glare under direct light. It’s just rough enough to grab and turn easily between my fingers. Page edges are gold-gilt. I like this paper for reading and highlighting (using tools made for Bibles).

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Scripture is placed in a double-column, verse-by-verse format. It retains several NKJV formats such as poetry set to stanzas and letters indented. References are placed in the center column. The chapter and verse numbers, section headings, book titles, and the decorative line between the book introductions and the text are printed in red. The header shows the page number in the center and the book name and chapter and verse numbers in the outer margin.

The font is 10-point Comfort Print designed by 2K/Denmark for the NKJV. Unlike many of the earlier Comfort Print editions, this one doesn’t look smaller than it’s rated size. In other words, next to any other Bible in 10 point, this looks 10 point. This is a red-letter edition. The red is about a medium shade. The black is dark. Both are highly consistent throughout.

Most of the lines have around 7-8 words. I like the breaks for the poetic lines. They feel natural, breaking in phrases rather than continuing to the end of the line and then placing the rest under the line with too much space left on the line.

It includes line-matching, so the lines are printed in the same place on both sides of the page. This greatly improves readability and helps reduce show-through. The paper is opaque enough that show-through isn’t distracting even in poetic settings.

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It has 72,000 center-column cross-references. They’re keyed to the text with letters. The pilot numbers in the center-column are red. It shows the references first, and then the footnote for each verse. When there are too many to fit in the center column, the rest are placed under the last verse. There are a lot of them and I find them to be great for study and sermon prep.

Here are a few example references to help you compare:

  • Genesis 1:1 – Ps 102:25; Is 40:21; Jn 1:1-3; Heb 1:10; Gen 2:4; Ps 8:3; 89:11; 90:2; Is 44:24; Acts 17:24; Rom 1:20; Heb 1:2; 11:3; Rev 4:11
  • Deuteronomy 6:4 – Deut 4:35; Mark 12:29; John 17:3; 1 Cor 8:4, 6
  • Isaiah 9:6 – Isa 7:14; Luke 2:11; John 1:45; Luke 2:7; John 3:16; 1 John 4:9; Matt 28:18; 1 Cor 15:25; Rev 12:5; Judg 13:18; Titus 2:13; Eph 2:14
  • Matthew 17:20 – Mat 21:21, Mk 11:23, Lk 17:6, 1 Cor 12:9
  • Mark 11:23 – Matt 17:20; 21:21; Luke 17:6
  • Mark 12:29 – Deut 6:4, 5; Is 44:8; 45:22; 46:9; 1 Cor 8:6
  • 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; 5:20
  • John 2:19 – Mat 26:61, 27:40, Mk 14:58, 15:29, Lk 24:46, Acts 6:14, 10:40, 1 Cor 15:4
  • Acts 2:38 – Luke 24:47
  • 1 John 1:1 – John 1:1; 1 John 2:13, 14; Luke 1:2; John 1:14; 2 Pet 1:16; Luke 24:39; John 2:27; John 1:1, 4, 14

The footnotes are the standard NKJV translation footnotes. These are my favorite footnotes because they provide manuscript variations and identify the manuscripts. They’re great for study and seeing insights on the translation.

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Book Introductions

Each book includes a short introduction of just a few paragraphs. They cover the title, author, themes, setting, major events, major characters, etc. They also include a simple outline. They discuss the unique features of the books or provide insights into what makes the book stand out. They’re short, but they’re excellent for personal study and sermon prep.

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The concordance is 165 pages and it has 3 columns per page. This is a large concordance with a lot of entries. Proper names for people and places include topical information. This is an excellent concordance for study and sermon prep.

Here are some example entries and the number of references they provide:

  • Christ – 33
  • Christian – 2
  • Christians – 1
  • Christs – 1
  • Faith – 56
  • Faithful – 26
  • Faithfulness – 9
  • Faithless – 2
  • God – 70
  • Goddess – 2
  • Godhead – 2
  • Godliness – 6
  • Godly – 6
  • Gods – 7
  • Praise – 38
  • Praised – 6
  • Praises – 5
  • Praiseworthy – 1
  • Praising – 3
  • Pray – 23
  • Prayed – 3
  • Prayer – 21
  • Prayers – 9

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It has the standard 7 full-color Zondervan maps. They’re printed in bright earth-tones on 8 thick glossy pages. It does not include an index to maps but they are annotated well and I find them easy to use. They show topography, distance, routes, borders, possible locations of lost places, battles, elevation, cities, and locations for the events of Jesus’ ministry.

Maps include:

  1. World of the Patriarchs
  2. Exodus and Conquest of Canaan
  3. Land of the Twelve Tribes
  4. Kingdom of David and Solomon
  5. Jesus’ Ministry
  6. Paul’s Missionary Journeys
  7. Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus

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Here’s a look at how the NKJV Classic Verse-by-Verse Center-Column Comfort Print Reference Bible compares to the NKJV Verse-by-Verse Center-Column Reference Bible Premier Collection and the NKJV Preaching Bible.

NKJV Verse-by-Verse Center-Column Reference Bible Premier Collection

The NKJV Verse-by-Verse Center-Column Reference Bible Premier Collection is the premium version of the same Bible. It has slightly higher-quality paper, although the paper in the imitation leather editions are so good it’s hard to tell the difference at first glance. Of course, the cover is far better. It also has art-gilt edges, one more ribbon, and overcast stitching.

NKJV Preaching Bible

The NKJV Preaching Bible has a slightly larger font and a wider column. It has 36gsm paper. Its references are placed in the footer. It doesn’t have book introductions, a concordance, or maps. Both are great for preaching and it’s hard to choose between them.

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NKJV Classic Verse-by-Verse Center-Column Comfort Print Reference Bible is an excellent Bible and makes a great alternative to the Premier Collection edition. The imitation leather isn’t something that would last for years, but it’s a good cover to use for a year or so under normal use. The design is great for study and preaching.

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the Premier Collection or just want an NKJV in verse-by-verse format, the NKJV Classic Verse-by-Verse Center-Column Comfort Print Reference Bible is easy to recommend.

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This book is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Christianbook Black Brown

Amazon Black Brown

and many local Bible bookstores


Thomas Nelson provided these Bibles 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. Ronnie Vonner

    Thank you for the great review.

  2. Jason

    I am purchasing this bible as my be all. Without this being an overcast stitching will this bible still make a good rebind project after a year or so?

    • Randy A Brown

      Hi Jason. I think it would be a great choice. Most Bibles today don’t have overcast stitching, so it isn’t a major issue.

  3. Jason

    Thanks a lot!

  4. Joe

    This was great! Just what I was looking for! Thanks for your time and effort!



  1. Gray NKJV Classic Verse by Verse Center Column Reference Bible - Bible Buying Guide - […] This is different from the black and brown leathersoft versions Randy reviewed a couple of years ago (review here)…

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