NKJV Compact Maclaren Series

Thomas Nelson’s new NKJV Compact Maclaren Series is a compact Bible that takes design queues from the regular size NKJV Maclaren. This is not a compact version of the regular-size Maclaren, though. Instead, this is a paragraph text edition designed for travel and everyday carry. It’s available with brown Leathersoft, black Leathersoft, and black genuine leather. In this review, I’ll look at each cover option. All were printed in China.

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.

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This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Amazon –

Black Genuine Leather

Black Leathersoft

Brown Leathersoft

Christianbook –

Black Genuine Leather

Black Leathersoft

Brown Leathersoft

and many local Bible bookstores

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Table of Contents

  1. Video Review
  2. Binding
  3. Paper
  4. Typography and Layout
  5. Comparisons
  6. Conclusion

Video Review

Table of Contents

Binding

The NKJV Compact Maclaren Series covers include brown Leathersoft, black Leathersoft, and black genuine leather. It does not include a goatskin edition. I’m looking at all three editions. All three include a presentation page that’s separate from the liner. Their overall size is 4 1/2 x 6 7/8 x 1 3/8″. The Leathersoft editions weigh 1 lb, .2 oz. The genuine leather weighs 1 lb, 1.2 oz.

Black Leathersoft

The black has a texture that looks like a smooth goatskin. It includes perimeter stitching. Nothing is printed on the front. The spine includes 5 raised hubs and gold decorations. The liner is black paste-down paper. Its 2 satin ribbons are black for the OT and a bright blue for the NT.

Brown Leathersoft

The brown Leathersoft is a two-tone cover with a medium shade of brown for the front and a darker shade of brown sewn to it for the spine. It has a smooth grain and some color variation that makes it look elegant. It’s perimeter-stitched with nothing printed on the front. The spine includes 5 raised hubs and gold block decorations. The liner is brown paste-down paper. The 2 satin ribbons are dark brown for the OT and a medium brown for the NT.

Black Genuine Leather

This cover is black genuine leather. It has a pebbly grain with an elegant look and feel. It has perimeter stitching with nothing printed on the front. The spine includes 5 raised his outlined in gold and HOLY BIBLE, KJV, Thomas Nelson printed in gold. The liner is edge-lined with heavy-duty black vinyl and it includes a gilt-line around the inside of the cover. It also has 2 satin ribbons with black for the OT and a bright blue for the NT.

Table of Contents

Paper

The Compact Maclaren paper seems to be the same 36gsm paper that’s used in the regular size Maclaren. It’s white in color and it’s extremely opaque. It has a rough texture that makes it easy to grab and turn. This is some of my favorite paper for reading, preaching, and marking.

In the back are 14 lined pages for notes. This is the regular Bible paper.

Table of Contents

Typography and Layout

The text in the NKJV Compact Maclaren is presented in a double-column paragraph layout with poetry set to stanzas and letters indented. The header shows the book name and reference in the outer margin and the page number in the center. Footnotes are placed across the footer. Lots of section headings appear throughout the text. The section headings, book names, chapter numbers, and verse numbers are in blue.

The font is 7-point Comfort Print, designed by 2K/Denmark. It’s not as dark as the full-size Maclaren, but it’s dark and consistent throughout. It’s printed with line-matching, so the text is printed in the same location on both sides of the page. The show-through is minimal and the paper is opaque enough that the lines behind the text are white, which keeps the text from looking gray. It has around 8 words per line and it has enough space between the lines to keep it from being too crowded. The blue verse numbers don’t stand out a lot, but they do make it easier to find the verses. The blue section headings are easy to use and there are lots of them.

The footnotes are the reduced set. The chapter and verse numbers they go with are printed in blue. It still includes the main information about the original languages, manuscript variations, and where something is quoted from.

Table of Contents

Comparisons

Here’s how the NKJV Compact Maclaren Series compare with the regular size Maclaren and several Bibles that are similar in size.

Thomas Nelson NKJV Maclaren

The regular size NKJV Maclaren is a reference edition in verse-by-verse and a different pagination. It’s much larger and the font is a lot darker. It has a couple more words per line. The paper and blue highlights are the same.

Schuyler Personal Size Quentel

The NKJV Personal Size Quentel is a reference edition. It’s noticeably larger and has a larger font.

Compact Reference

The Thomas Nelson NKJV Compact Reference is a smaller Bible and has end-of-verse references and a larger, darker, font. It’s probably the closest rival to the NKJV Compact Maclaren.

Single Column Compact

The NKJV Compact Single Column is a larger Bible and it’s a reference edition. It’s a completely different design, but this will give you an idea of different options.

NKJV Pitt Minion

The Cambridge Pitt Minion has a similar footprint and it’s a lot thinner. The font is about the same size, but the Maclaren has a little more space between the lines. This makes the Pitt Minion a little more difficult to read. The paper in the Pitt Minion has more show-through.

Table of Contents

Conclusion

Thomas Nelson’s NKJV Compact Maclaren Series is an excellent set of Bibles for carrying and reading. The text is small, but it’s also clean and sharp. The small font can be difficult for preaching, but it’s great for everyday carry and taking to church. If you’re interested in a compact text-only NKJV, the Compact Maclaren is a great choice.

Table of Contents

_________________________________________________________

This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Amazon –

Black Genuine Leather

Black Leathersoft

Brown Leathersoft

Christianbook –

Black Genuine Leather

Black Leathersoft

Brown Leathersoft

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.

2 Comments

  1. Simon

    Hi, Randy. I acquired this Bible on the strength of your review, and am immensely enjoying it. I had a chance to compare it to a Pitt Minion, and actually prefer it! That being said, I am wondering if you know whether Thomas Nelson plans to expand the Maclaren line with something in between the regular size and and the compact – say a personal or handsize edition, in the 8.5 x 5.5 footprint range – with a font somewhere in between the two existing editions? The compact is slightly too small to be an all rounder, but an edition that possessed the full NKJV footnotes and references and the design cues of the Maclaren series one size above would be a no brainer to me.

    Reply
    • Randy A Brown

      Hi Simon. I’m glad you like it! I’d like to see one in that size too. I don’t think they have plans for one. The upcoming NKJV Sovereign seems to be the Bible for that size. I’ll pass this along to them. You never know.

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