The NLT Thinline Reference Bible, Filament-Enabled Edition is a portable hand-sized thinline reference NLT that works with the free Filament app. It’s available in multiple cover materials, ensuring there’s an edition available for any budget. In this review, I’m looking at the navy blue genuine leather, the black genuine leather, and the brushed pink Leatherlike editions. All are made in China.
Originally published in September 2020, this post was updated in May 2021 to include the black genuine leather edition and in June 2023 to include the olive green genuine leather edition. Both updates were down by Lucinda Brown.
Tyndale 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.
These Bibles are available at (includes some affiliate links)
and many local Bible bookstores
Table of Contents
- Video Review
- References and Footnotes
- Tyndale Verse Finder
- Visual Overview of the Bible
I’m reviewing this Bible in three covers: navy blue genuine leather, black genuine leather, and brushed pink Leatherlike (imitation leather). All the Bibles are Smyth sewn. The genuine leather has no trouble staying open in Genesis. The Leatherlike takes a little longer to break in before it will lay open in Genesis.
Spines on both editions were prone to bending during the breaking-in process. The overall size is 5 5/8 x 8 7/8 x 1″.
Olive Green Genuine Leather
The olive green genuine leather is a fairly dark olive. In some light, it looks almost brown but never seems black. The leather is soft to the touch and has a pebbly grain. The front and back covers are plain and the spine has gold text (Tyndale, Holy Bible, NLT) separated by gold lines all near the top. It has a black vinyl pastedown liner. There is one 1/4″ wide lighter olive green ribbon marker and matching green head/tail bands. The page edges are gold gilt. It weighs about 1 lb, 6 oz.
Navy Blue Genuine Leather
The navy blue genuine leather has a pebbly grain. It feels soft to the touch. It’s dark and almost looks almost black on camera unless an actual black Bible is in the picture as well. There is no printing on the front. The spine includes Tyndale, Holy Bible, and NLT printed in silver at the top. The liner is navy blue paste-down vinyl. It has one silver 1/4″ ribbon marker. The page edges are silver to match. It weighs 1lb, 6.6 oz.
Black Genuine Leather
The black genuine leather is very similar to the navy with the same type of pebbly-grained, soft to the touch leather. It has a plain cover except for a few words on the spine. The text on the spine (Tyndale, Holy Bible, NLT) and the page edges are gold. The liner is black paste-down vinyl. It has one red 1/4″ ribbon marker and weighs 1lb, 6.6 oz.
Brushed Pink Leatherlike
This is a polyurethane (imitation leather) cover. It has a smooth texture. A fancy pattern with gold splotches and debossed lines and splotches creates an ornate design on the front, spine, and just touching the back. The front includes Holy Bible printed vertically. The spine includes Tyndale, Holy Bible, and NLT printed in silver at the top. It includes perimeter stitching. The liner is a brushed pink paste-down paper. It has a light pink 1/4″ ribbon marker. It weighs 1lb, 4.9 oz. The girls in my house are drawn to this design. Lucinda preferred the muted pink (she prefers the liner’s color, though) and Hannah felt the pink was more muted than she likes. They liked that the design was pretty without looking too girly.
There are four more cover styles currently available for this Bible. One additional genuine leather cover which is a smoother textured brown. Three additional imitation leather options, a berry red cover with a cross in a circle design, a teal cover with a wavy line design, and a smooth brown cover.
The paper seems to be in the upper 20’s or low 30’s in GSM. It’s off-white in color. It does have a little show-through, but it isn’t bad and the text is still very readable. It has a rough texture that makes it easier to turn. There is no glare under direct light.
The text is presented in a double-column, paragraph format with poetry set to stanzas, lists presented as lists, and letters indented. The header includes the page number in the center, and the book name and chapter number in the outer corner. Translation notes are placed under the text in the right column, and cross-references are placed under that. Section headings are bold.
The font is 9-point. This is a red-letter edition. The black text is about a medium/dark in darkness. There is a little bit of variation of the red print; mostly staying around the medium range, but sometimes it’s darker or lighter. It has around 9 words per line. An asterisk is placed on words to show there is a footnote. The text doesn’t include keys to the cross-references.
It’s printed with line-matching, meaning that the lines of text are on the same place on the page. This does help improve readability. The show-through is minimal so the text doesn’t look gray because of the text on the other side of the page. It has enough space between the words and lines to make it comfortable to read. It has extra space in the gutter that helps bring the text out of the bend.
References and Footnotes
References and footnotes are placed under the last verse on the right column of the right side. This is the best way to save space while providing usable references and footnotes that I’ve seen. Since they take the space of a single column, and the footnotes and separate from the references, they’re easy to use.
The footnotes show the chapter and verse number, the word or phrase from the verse in italics, and the definition. There are lots of them on almost every page.
Cross-references include specific verses and larger passages. It doesn’t have a lot of them and it leaves out some important passages, making references the weakest of the tools in this Bible. It does have a lot more in the Filament app, which makes the app an important element for Bible study and sermon prep.
Here are a few example references to help you compare:
- Genesis 1:1 – Jn 1:1,2
- Deuteronomy 6:4 – x
- Isaiah 9:6 – x
- Matthew 28:16-20 – Luke 24:36-49
- Mark 12:28-34 – Luke 10:25-28
- John 1:1 – 1 Jn 5:20
- John 3:16 – Rom 5:8
- Acts 2:38 – x
- 1 John 1:1 – x
Tyndale Verse Finder
The Tyndale Verse Finder is a 22-page topical index. Entries show the main topic with sub-topics. The sub-topics include the reference and page number. Even though it’s small, this is an excellent tool for study and sermon prep without having to open the Filament app. I prefer this to a small concordance.
Visual Overview of the Bible
Rather than just a set of maps, it has A Visual Overview of the Bible. This includes 15 pages of maps, charts, and infographics. printed on thick semi-glossy pages. They help provide insights on biblical settings and events and include lots of descriptions. I like this better than just maps because they visually provide more information.
- World of the Patriarchs
- The Plagues of Egypt
- Exodus from Egypt
- Israel’s Annual Calendar
- Twelve Tribes of Israel
- Kingdoms of Israel
- The Book of Psalms
- The Prophets
- The Exile
- The Ministry of Jesus
- Prophecies of the Messiah
- The First Journeys of Christian Leaders
- Paul’s Missionary Journeys
- The Old Testament in the New Testament Letters
The NLT Thinline Reference Bible, Filament-Enabled Edition is compatible with the Tyndale Filament app. This app lets you scan any page to see notes, devotionals, and interactive media. This is a great way to have a small reference Bible and access to a massive interactive study Bible at the same time. The material is from the NLT Study Bible, devotionals, and other material from Tyndale. As always, I recommend using the material for reference and do your own study.
The app is free and includes:
- 25,000 study notes
- 350+ videos
- 40+ maps and infographics
- 400+ profiles and articles
- 1,500+ devotionals
- Library of worship music
Scanning a page shows the page number and chapter number with three links: Study, Reflect, and See.
Study – this is the study notes from the NLT Study Bible and other resources. Click the title you want to see and it opens the notes.
Reflect – these are devotionals from Tyndale resources. They include the resource name at the bottom to help you find the books if you want.
See – this includes streaming video, infographics, and interactive maps. Each one shows a featured image, title, the type of resource it is, and the Scripture references they correspond to. Infographics include detailed descriptions. Interactive maps show detailed information for any area you select.
You can also navigate through the pages, books, and chapters manually. Double-tap the page number to enter a page number, or a book or chapter name at the top to see navigation for the books and chapters. Click the green check to see the options for that page. Settings include the font size, light or dark theme, switching between Bibles, and a tutorial. I found the app easy to use without needing help. It’s compatible with Android and iOS.
Final Thoughts on NLT Thinline Reference Bible, Filament-Enabled Edition
The NLT Thinline Reference Bible, Filament-Enabled Edition is a nice hand-sized Bible. The thin paper is easy enough to turn and it’s opaque enough to be readable. I’m a fan of clean layouts and this one finds a way to keep the layout as clean as possible while including references, footnotes, and access to lots of tools with the Filament app. If you’re looking for a small NLT with access to tools on your phone or tablet, the NLT Thinline Reference Bible, Filament-Enabled Edition is an excellent choice.
This book is available at (includes some affiliate links)
and many local Bible bookstores
Tyndale 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.