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NKJV MacArthur Study Bible Premier Collection

The MacArthur Study Bible has sold over 2 million copies, making it one of the most popular study Bibles on the market. NKJV MacArthur Study Bible has now been updated. This 2nd Edition is the first study Bible in the Premier Collection, which includes a premium goatskin leather cover with an edge-lined leather liner, premium European paper with art-gilt edges, three satin ribbons, and the Comfort Print typeface designed by 2K/Denmark. ISBN: 9780785230885, made 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 book is available at (includes some affiliate links)




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. Study Material
  8. Concordance
  9. Maps
  10. Comparisons
  11. Conclusion

Video Review

Table of Contents

Cover and Binding

The cover is brown goatskin. It’s soft and has a deep grainy texture. The brown has a mohogany shade that looks elegant. It’s sewn around the perimeter. The spine has 4 thick raised ribs. The title is printed so that it’s upright with the Bible is laying horizontal. The text is printed in gold. It feels thick.

The liner is edge-lined leather. It’s a darker brown and includes a gilt-line. The tab is large but it isn’t too stiff. It has no trouble staying open to any page. The block is Smyth sewn and includes overcasting in the front and back. This helps give it structure an is extra important on a Bible this large.

It includes 3 satin 2-sided ribbons (brown, red, and blue) at 3/8″ wide. The overall size is 9.75 x 7.75 x 2″ and it weighs over 3 lbs. It does feel like a large and heavy Bible. The flexibility of the cover can make it feel a little difficult to hold.

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The paper is 39gsm premium European Bible paper. It’s similar to the paper used in the rest of the Premier Collection, but it’s slightly thicker. Although it does make the Bible thicker, I do love this paper and I think it was a great choice. It’s slightly off-white in color and it’s highly opaque. It has a semi-coated feel but the texture makes it easy to grab and separate with one hand. This paper is excellent for reading and for highlighting. The edges are art-gilt with red under gold.

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The text is presented in double-column paragraph. Cross-references and footnotes appear below the text in one column that goes across the page. Commentary appears at the bottom of the page in three columns. The header shows the page number, book name, and chapter and verse in the outer margin. It contains blue highlights.

The typeface is 9-point Comfort Print that 2k/Denmark designed specifically for the NKJV. It does read as a 9-point when compared to other Bibles at 9-point. It’s black letter and it’s dark and easy to read. It’s line-matched for both the text and the commentary.

It has around 8-10 words per line. This is a good balance for prose and poetic settings. Prose doesn’t feel too wide and the poetry isn’t broken in awkward places. Letters are indented and they don’t feel cramped.

Book titles, chapter numbers, verse numbers, section headings, chapter and verse numbers for the references, and connecting text in the commentary are printed in blue.

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Cross-references and translation footnotes are placed in a single column under the text. It contains the complete 72,000 NKJV cross-reference system. They’re small and don’t stand out, but I found them easy enough to read and use.

Here are some 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 full-set  of NKJV translation footnotes. They’re great for study and seeing insights on the translation because they provide manuscript variations and identify the manuscripts.

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Section introductions take a couple of pages and discuss the types of books that are in that section. They show the overall themes and show how those books fit together and how they fit within the Bible. They include an outline that harmonizes the books. They also include charts for events, such as a harmony of the Gospels, Passion Week, prophecies fulfilled, etc.

The book introductions include information about the title, author and date, background and setting, historical and theological themes, interpretive challenges, and an outline. They take around 3 pages. They’re well-written and include a lot of information and Scripture references.

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Study Material

This is the second edition, which has been redesigned with updated notes and more maps and charts. There is a lot of information. It’s well-written. It’s presented in a clean way that’s easy to follow. There aren’t articles within the text, so the biblical text remains uninterrupted. Like always, I recommend using the commentary for reference and do your own study.

Commentary – It has close to 25,000 verse-by-verse study notes placed at the bottom of the page. The cover specific phrases of the text (which are printed in the notes in teal). They cover in-depth teachings on the text.

In-text Maps, Charts, and Diagrams – it has 190 in-text maps, charts, and diagrams that appear within the bottom of the pages. They discuss themes, places, people, teachings, etc. They often provide lists or maps of the context of the page they’re printed on. They’re printed in the same teal as the highlights.

Section Introductions – these are introductions of each of the major sections of Scripture. They include charts and chronological timelines of the major biblical times, a harmony of the Gospels, prophecies fulfilled, Christ’s life, ministry, and Passion Week.

Bible Reading Plan – this is a reading plan that takes you through the Bible in one year with readings from the OT and NT every day. It provides the month, date, and morning and evening readings to take you through both testaments in standard biblical order.

Index to Key Bible Doctrines – this is a 23-page index that covers the 10 classic doctrines. Some include sub-topics. They provide the topic and the references where you can see the Scriptures and commentary on each topic.

Table of Monies, Weights, and Measures – this is a 3-page table that includes the unit, monetary value, equivalent, and translation. It provides information about the values and how they were used in Scripture.

Articles – it has several articles in the front and back. I like that they’re not placed within the text. I find those get in the way as you turn pages. Anything that would normally be covered in an article is covered in the commentary except for a few articles. They include:

  • Introduction to the Bible
  • How We Got the Bible
  • How to Study the Bible
  • Introduction to the Intertestamental Period
  • Overview of Theology in the Holy Scriptures

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The concordance is 130 pages with 3 columns per page. It’s comprehensive and includes names with topical information about people and places. 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 includes the standard Thomas Nelson maps. This is 7 full-color maps printed on 8 thick glossy pages. I love the bright earth-tone colors. It doesn’t have an index. The maps are annotated well, which does make them easier 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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The second edition of the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible with Comfort Print type in the Premier Collection is a well-made and well-designed Bible. It never crossed my mind that it’s made in China. It looks and feels like a premium Bible from the design to the materials to the construction. It’s easily worthy of the Premier Collection title with the goatskin leather, satin ribbons, and 39gsm paper. This is the best paper I’ve seen in the Premier Collection. The overcast stitching helps ensure this Bible will last, which helps a lot considering it is a heavy Bible.

The design is clean. The 9-point font is large, dark, and readable. The text doesn’t get lost in all of the commentary, charts, and maps. The commentary is extensive and is good for reference. This is an excellent edition of the MacArthur Study Bible in NKJV.

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This book 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.

Photography by Randy Brown

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. Robert

    I don’t understand why they would do such a nice goatskin edition but not bother to use a leather liner. Makes no sense to me.

    • Randy A Brown

      I’ve confirmed that it is leather. I’ve updated the article.

  2. Cody Trail

    Do you know if they are going to be publishing this in the NASB95?

    • Randy A Brown

      Yes. They haven’t told when yet, but it will be in the NASB95.

  3. Brian mcdonald

    Mr. Brown,

    I discovered a typo in the text this morning and would like to inform Thomas Nelson of it.

    Do you have any POCs over there? The typo is found in Genesis 31:52 where “witness” is misspelled “witvvness”.

    For what its worth I have noticed one or two typos in the notes as well, but didn’t write down where they occur.

    Typos aside, as serious as I consider them to be, this is one beautiful Bible!

    • Randy A Brown

      Hi Brian. Thanks. I can pass the info along. If you wanted to contact them, I’d recommend messaging their Facebook page.


      Sir, if you can pass the info along to them that would be great. Thank you!

    • Brian mcdonald

      Mr. Brown,

      I found one more discrepancy in this study bible this time a formatting mistake in the study notes.

      The notes for 1 Corinthians 1:1 actually begin at the end of Romans 16. This wouldn’t be so obvious if there weren’t a couple pages of introduction separating the text of Romans 16 (p. 1572) and 1 Corinthians 1 (p. 1576).

      I’m not on Facebook. If you wouldn’t mind relaying this feedback to Thomas Nelson as well I would be grateful.


    • Randy A Brown

      Thanks Brian. I’m passing them along.

  4. Michael

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