NKJV Deluxe Thinline Reference Bible Review

The NKJV Deluxe Thinline Reference Bible from Thomas Nelson is a hand-sized reference edition in the Comfort Print typeface designed by 2K/Denmark. These Bibles are printed in thick, highly opaque, paper. They also have genuine leather covers that are edge-lined. They’re available in black or brown, with and without thumb-index. In this review, I’ll take a look at all four options to help you choose if they’re a good fit for your needs. These Bibles are printed in China.

Thomas Nelson 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)



and many local Bible bookstores


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Each of my review copies is genuine leather. They have a textured grain that looks and feels elegant. Nothing is printed on the front. The spine includes 5 raised hubs outlined in gold. The text and logo are also printed in gold. They have tight perimeter stitching. The liners are heavy-duty edge-lined vinyl. The tab is stiff out of the box, but these Bibles will stay open around the middle of Genesis. Each is sewn and has overcast stitching in the front. Edge-lining and overcast stitching are highly unusual for genuine leather and at this price range. The overall size is 5 3/4 x 8 7/8 x 1″. They weigh 1lb, 7.8 oz.

Black Genuine Leather

The liner of the black genuine leather is black edge-lined vinyl. The black edition has two extra-long and thick double-sided satin ribbons; one black, and one dark red.

Brown Genuine Leather

The brown genuine leather is a dark brown that almost looks like a chocolate brown. It has deeper lines and a more streaky grain than the black edition. I love this color and this is my favorite of the two colors. Its liner is a dark brown edge-lined vinyl. The brown edition has two extra-long and thick double-sided satin ribbons; one dark brown, and one dark red.

Thumb Index

Most of the thumb index tabs have 4 books. There are a few that have more. They do help you find the general area, but more tabs with fewer books per tab would be ideal. I am glad to see this option for those that want it.

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The paper is 36gsm. It’s white in color and extremely opaque. It has a slightly smooth texture which feels elegant and makes it easy to grab and turn. It has no glare under direct light. I think this paper is perfect for highlighting and notes. It seems to be the same paper as used in the Maclaren Series and the Minister’s Bibles.

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Typography and Layout

The text is presented in the standard NKJV format with a double-column, paragraph, layout. Footnotes and cross-references are placed at the bottom of the page. Across the top are the book name and chapter and verse number in the outer margin followed by the page number.

The typeface is a 9-point red-letter font designed by 2K/Denmark for the Thomas Nelson NKJV. It does look to be smaller than 9-point, though. Both red and black are dark, sharp, consistent, and readable. It has 8-9 words per line with enough space that it never feels cramped or crowded. The text is printed with line-matching. The paper is opaque enough that the line-matching never darkens the text.

Poetry is set to stanzas, letters are indented, and lists are presented as lists. Poetry is always divided into the best places. Section headings are in italics in a larger font than the text. The text is a joy to read and study from. It does have a lot of Scripture on a page, so it could be a little dense for some readers. For me, it didn’t feel too dense while I was reading it. The verse numbers sometimes took an extra second to find. The reference and footnote keys were easy enough to ignore for reading.

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References and Footnotes

The cross-references and translation footnotes are placed in a single column across the footer. There is a little bit of space between the verses, which helps make them easier to find. There isn’t a lot of cross-references. There’s enough for basic study, but you’ll need external sources for deeper study or sermon prep.

It includes the reduced set of NKJV translation footnotes. I prefer the full set of notes, but even the reduced set is excellent for getting insights into the translation and seeing the manuscript variations.

Here are some example references to help you compare:

  • Genesis 1:1 – Jn 1:1-3; Acts 17:24
  • Deuteronomy 6:4 – 1 Cor 8:4, 6
  • Isaiah 9:6 – Luke 2:11; John 3:16; Matt 28:18; Judg 13:18; Titus 2:13; Eph 2:14
  • Matthew 28:19 – Mk 16:15; Lk 24:47
  • Mark 12:29 – Deut 6:4, 5
  • John 1:1 – 1 John 1:1; Rev 19:13; John 17:5; 1 John 5:20
  • John 3:16 – Rom 5:8; Isa 9:6
  • Acts 2:38 – Luke 24:47
  • Romans 10:9  – Lk 12:8
  • 1 John 1:1 – John 1:1; John 1:14; 2 Pet 1:16; Luke 24:39; John 1:1, 4, 14

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The concordance is 51 pages and it has 3 columns per page. This is a smaller concordance than most of the NKJV reference editions. It does not include proper names. It has enough entries for basic study. It’s not ideal for extensive study or sermon prep.

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

  • Christ – 13
  • Christian(s) – 2
  • Faith – 40
  • Faithful – 20
  • Faithfulness – 5
  • Faithless – 2
  • God – 38
  • Goddess – 2
  • Godhead – 2
  • Godliness – 4
  • Godly – 3
  • Praise – 25
  • Praised – 4
  • Praises – 2
  • Praiseworthy – 1
  • Praising – 3
  • Pray – 14
  • Prayed – 2
  • Prayer – 16
  • Prayers – 5

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Reading Plan

In the back is a 365-day reading plan with a morning and evening reading. It provides individual charts for each month. They show the date and morning and evening readings for each day. The morning reading is from the New Testament and the evening reading is from the Old Testament. This is a good reading plan, but it has a reading for Feb 29th, which I find a little awkward. This means you have to read extra on the 28th or March 1st for three years out of every four. I still prefer having it in the Bible, so I’m glad to see it’s included.

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Bible Atlas

The NKJV Deluxe Thinline Reference Bible has the standard 7 Zondervan maps on 8 thick semi-glossy pages. These maps are printed in full color with bright earth tones. They include topography, distance, routes, borders, possible locations of lost places, battles, elevation, cities, and locations for the events of Jesus’ ministry. It doesn’t include an index but the maps are annotated well and I find them easy enough to use.

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 how the NKJV Deluxe Thinline Reference Bible compares to a few similar NKJVs.

NKJV Large Print Thinline Reference Bible

The Premier Collection NKJV Large Print Thinline Reference Bible is in a different price range, but they do have similarities. The large print is noticeable larger while the overall footprint is only an inch larger. Materials are of higher quality, but for the price, the regular thinline holds up well. I love the overall size of the regular edition, so I’m more likely to grab it over the larger edition, especially if I’m taking it with me. I’d love to see the regular edition in the Premier Collection.

NKJV Compact Single-Column Reference Bible

The NKJV Compact Single-Column Reference Bible has better paper and a more elegant layout with its two-color printing. It has fewer verses per page, making it a lot thicker than the thinline. They have the same font size. Both have the same leather, but the single column has a paste-down liner. The single column is a better fit in my hand, but I prefer how thin the thinline is. Both are excellent Bibles. I’d choose based on the preference between double vs single column or a thin vs thick spine.

NKJV Compact Reference Bible

The NKJV Compact Reference Bible is noticeably smaller, but the font isn’t that much smaller. It has a verse-by-verse layout, making it easier to follow along with others and find your place quickly. It doesn’t have many references. It’s an excellent choice if you want a small Bible in a vbv layout and don’t need many references.

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The NKJV Deluxe Thinline Reference Bible is an excellent thinline reference edition. The size is great for everyday carry. The tools are good for general use and light study. The paper is some of the best in any price range. The font is a touch small, but it’s still dark and readable. The materials and construction quality are a notch above the other genuine leather editions I’ve seen from Thomas Nelson. I was surprised to see edge-lining and overcast stitching in a genuine leather edition. If you’re interested in a thinline NKJV for everyday use, I highly recommend the NKJV Deluxe Thinline Reference Bible.

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This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)



and many local Bible bookstores



Thomas Nelson 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. Kevin Moss

    I’m curious because I have tried to find the Thomas Nelson deluxe thin line reference Bible in KJV. However it appears they only have premium KJVs in large or giant print. Do you know anything about this?

  2. Brian Morgan

    Very nice! I’ve really been drawn to this line of format. You mentioned them having the “reduced set of NKJV translation footnotes…” Do you know that by your past experience/comparison, or do they mention that fact in the literature? One of my attractions the NKJV are those translator footnotes, so I’d want to be aware of an edition didn’t have the “full set.”
    Thanks again for an excellent review!

    • Randy A Brown

      Thanks Brian! It’s from comparisons. I noticed a Bible several years ago that didn’t have some of the notes, so I asked Thomas Nelson about it. They gave me the details about two sets of footnotes, so now I look at a few passages to see what’s there and what’s not. I tried to find that conversation with them for reference because they mentioned which types of Bibles have which notes. I couldn’t find it, but I’ll keep looking. What’s removed is things that repeat and alternate phrases that don’t affect the text. All of the manuscript information is there.

    • Brian Morgan

      Thanks for your reply!

  3. brian morgan

    A follow up. As a Bible reviewer, you obviously get a large volume of copies in your possession. Do you have an outlet where you sell them? Just curious. Thx

    • Randy A Brown

      Hi Brian. I don’t sell them. I get lots of questions about them and I use them in comparisons. If I get multiple copies I’ll give those away to people in my local area.

    • brian morgan


  4. Simon

    Is there a comparable ESV thinline or carry edition that mimics the Deluxe Thinline in both quality and price point? The ESV buffalo leather thinline would be hard-pressed to compete with the materials and construction of this edition, it would seem? Is Crossway planning to step into the semi-premium market in the way companies like Thomas Nelson have?


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