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NKJV Wide Margin Reference Bible Review

Thomas Nelson’s NKJV Wide Margin Reference Bible is a version of their Journal the Word Reference Edition. They’ve printed it with white paper and removed the journaling lines from the margins to create a Bible that looks more like a traditional wide margin Bible. It’s available in several cover options with and without thumb index. I’m looking at several covers in this Bible review.

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

Christianbook

and many local Bible bookstores

_________________________________________________________

Table of Contents

  1. Video Review
  2. Binding
  3. Paper
  4. Typography and Layout
  5. References and Footnotes
  6. Table of Weights, Monies, and Measures
  7. Dictionary Concordance
  8. Comparisons
  9. Conclusion

Video Review

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Binding

The NKJV Wide Margin Reference Bible is available with several cover options, with or without thumb index. The overall size for each is around 6.5 x 9.5 x 1.75″. They weigh 3 lbs. Each includes 2 extra-long ribbons.

Blue Cloth Over Board

The blue cloth is grayish-blue with a gold pattern stamped into the front and back. The text, symbols, and rib indications on the spine are also stamped in gold. The design is elegant. The liner is pasted-down with a brown paper with a repeating design. The line doubles as the presentation page. It has a dark blue ribbon and a gold ribbon. The spine rises when opened, flattening out the pages. I love the way this one stays open. The page edges are white. It stays open on the first page with no problem.

Brown Leathersoft with Thumb-Index

Thumb index is available in each of the covers. I’m reviewing the brown Leathersoft with thumb-index. It has a dark brown with color variation and a little bit of grain to give it texture. I like the look and feel of Leathersoft. It includes perimeter stitching. Nothin is printed on the front. The spine includes debossed rib indications outlined in gold and text printed in gold. The liner is brown paper with a floral design. It doubles as the presentation page. It includes a dark brown ribbon for the OT and a light brown ribbon for the NT. It needs to be broken in well before it will stay open in Genesis 1.

The thumb index includes 4 books on most tabs. Unfortunately, the cutout for the index does cut away a portion of the margin space. It’s useful though, so it’s a good choice if you need the thumb-index more than the note space.

Purple Leathersoft

The purple is dark. There is some color variation in both the color and texture. A floral pattern is debossed across the side near the spine on the front. The spine includes a floral pattern and 5 rib indications outlined in gold and text stamped in gold. This one also includes perimeter stitching. The liner is paste-down paper with a floral design. The liner doubles as the presentation page. It has one purple ribbon for the OT and one gold ribbon for the NT. The page edges are gold. It needs to be broken in well before it will stay open in Genesis 1.

Black Genuine Leather

The black genuine leather looks and feels rugged. It has a pebbly grain and it’s just flexible enough to be flexible without being floppy. It includes perimeter stitching. Nothing is printed on the front. On the spine are 5 raised hubs outlined in gold with text that’s printed in gold. The liner is pasted-down vinyl. It includes two ribbons – red for the OT and black for the NT. The page edges are gold. It stays open on the first page of Genesis with no problem.

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Paper

The paper in the NKJV Wide Margin Reference Bible is the same for all of the cover options. It’s white in color and seems to be around 36gsm. This paper is highly opaque, easy to turn, and is great for markers and highlighters.

In the back are 5 lined pages for notes. This is the same paper as the rest of the Bible.

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Typography and Layout

The text is presented in a single-column layout with references in the inner margin, footnotes in the footer, and wide margins in the outer margin. Poetry is set to stanzas and letters are indented. All highlights including book titles, chapter numbers, section headings, cross-reference pilot references, and the book name/chapter/verse numbers in the header are in red. The NKJV Wide Margin Reference Bible is actually the Journal the Word Reference Bible without lines in the margins. For this reason, the text is not line-matched. Section headings include parallel passages.

The Comfort Print typeface is 8.5 with red for the words of Christ. Both the black and the red are dark and consistent. It has around 12 words per line. The cross-references being in the inner margin brings the text out onto the flat part of the page. The lack of line-matching is evident, but it’s not enough to keep me from using it. Poetry is divided in the best places, making it as beautiful as possible. This text is great for reading and studying. The verse numbers are small and can be hard to find, making it difficult for preaching.

Margins

The outer margin has a touch over 1.5″ of writing space. This gives lots of space for notes, thoughts, bullets, definitions, chain references, artwork, etc. I’m using a Pigma Micron 005 in black. It does show through a little as expected, but it doesn’t bleed through.

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References and Footnotes

The NKJV Wide Margin Reference Bible includes all the standard NKJV translation footnotes. These are excellent footnotes they provide manuscript variations and identify the manuscripts. They’re placed in the footer, so they’re easier to find quickly. The chapter and verse pilot references are in bold instead of red like the cross-references.

The NKJV Wide Margin Reference Bible has 72,000 cross-references. They’re separate from the translation footnotes (which is my preference) and are centered in the inner margin. The chapter and verses they go with are in red. Since they’re in the center, they don’t line up with their verses.

There are plenty of cross-references, making this Bible excellent for personal study and sermon prep. 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 28:19 – Mk 16:15; Is 52:10; Lk 24:47; Acts 2:38, 39; Rom 10:18; Col 1:23
  • 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 3:16 – Rom 5:8; Eph 2:4; 2 Thes 2:16; 1 Jn 4:9, 10; Rev 1:5; Isa 9:6
  • Acts 2:38 – Luke 24:47
  • Romans 10:9  – Mt 10:32; Lk 12:8; Ac 8:37; Rom 14:9; 1 Cor 12:3; Phil 2:11
  • 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

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Table of Weights, Monies, and Measures

In the back of the NKJV Wide Margin Reference Bible are several pages with weights and measures. They include money, weight, length, dry measures, and wet measures. They include the unit, measure, equivalents, and translations. These are also found in the footnotes, but it’s helpful having them in a handy table.

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Dictionary Concordance

Rather than a standard concordance, the NKJV Wide Margin Reference Bible includes a combination dictionary/concordance. It’s 28 pages. It doesn’t have a lot of entries, but it does have useful information. It includes a description or definition and then a list of references. Not all entries include references. It includes people, places, and things. It’s good for basic study.

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Comparisons

Here’s a look at how the NKJV Wide Margin Reference Bible compares with several other wide margin Bibles.

NKJV Journal the Word Journaling Bible

I don’t have the reference edition this Bible is based on, but I do have the NKJV Journal the Word Journaling Bible without references. This can help you get an idea of the size of this Bible. The wide margin has a lot larger font and white paper, making it easier to read. The journaling edition is ideal for those who prefer the lines in the margin.

NKJV Interleaved Bible Journal Edition

The NKJV Interleaved Bible Journal Edition has yellow paper and two columns per page, but it adds one blank page between every page of text. The text has less space between the line, but it seems to be about the same size font. This one is ideal for those that want a lot of writing space.

NKJV Single Column Reference Bible

The NKJV Single Column Reference Bible isn’t technically a wide margin Bible, but its design does include a lot of outer margin space. It has the same references and footnotes and a larger font. It’s a great choice for those that just want a little bit of writing space. The references are in the outer margin and most only take half the space. You can get it in several cover options. I personally prefer the overall size of the wide margin, but both are good options.

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Conclusion

The NKJV Wide Margin Reference Bible is a well-made wide margin Bible. The layout is beautiful and it’s great for reading and study. The lack of line-matching is noticeable, but the show-through is still minor. I personally wouldn’t mind having maps and a reading plan. It’s especially good for those that like the journaling Bible layout, but don’t want the yellow paper with lines in the margins. If you’re interested in a wide-margin NKJV, this one is a great choice.

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_________________________________________________________

This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Amazon

Christianbook

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.

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