NRSV Single-Column Reference Bible Premier Collection

The NRSV Single-Column Reference Bible is a new Premier Collection edition that follows a similar design to the NASB Single Column. It adds more space in the gutter to bring the text out onto the page a little more, and it reduces the size just enough to make it easier to handle. It retains the paragraph layout and provides some note space in the outer margin. This is ISBN:9780310454939 printed in China with materials from around the world.

Zondervan 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.

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This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Amazon

Christianbook

Church Source

Thrift Books

and many local Bible bookstores

_________________________________________________________

Table of Contents

  1. Video Review
  2. Binding
  3. Paper
  4. Typography and Layout
  5. References and Footnotes
  6. Glossary and Concordance
  7. Maps
  8. Comparisons
  9. Conclusion

Video Review

Table of Contents

Binding

The cover is black goatskin. It’s thick and soft to the touch. The grain is mostly smooth, but it looks and feels elegant. It has perimeter stitching and a little bit of a yapp. It’s extra floppy. There is no printing on the front. The spine has 5 raised hubs and HOLY BIBLE, New Revised Standard Verse, and the Zondervan logo printed in gold. The text is small, so it doesn’t overpower the spine’s design. This leather has a stronger chemical smell than the other Bibles I’ve seen in the Premier Collection. It isn’t bad, but I wanted to mention it.

The liner is edge-lined leather. It has a gold gilt-line around the inside. The block is sewn and has no trouble laying open to any page. The edge-lined tab is a little stiff, causing the first few chapters to have a noticeable hump rather than laying flat. The first signature has overcast stitching to add strength.

It has three 3/8″ double-sided satin ribbons: silver, purple, and gold. The head/tail bands are black. The overall size is 6 3/4 x 10 3/16 x 1 1/2″ and it weighs 2 lbs, 13.8 oz. It comes in a one-piece textured box with an elegant design.

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Paper

The paper is 36gsn premium European Bible paper. This is the same paper used in all the other Bibles in the Premier Collection. It has a slightly off-white color and it’s highly opaque. It has a smooth texture that’s just rough enough to grab and turn easily. I did see a slight hint of glare if the light hit it just right, but it isn’t enough to bother me. The edges are purple under gold art gilt. The purple makes it stand out from the other Premier Collection editions, giving it a unique look. I like it a lot.

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Typography and Layout

The text is presented in a single column paragraph layout with cross-references in the outer column and a wide outer margin for notes. Poetry in stanzas. The header shows the book name, chapter and verse number, and the page number printed in black. A black vertical bar separates the page number from the book name. A black horizontal line moves from the page number to the inner margin where it ends with an icon. The footnotes are placed in the footer and are separated from the text with the same horizontal line. All highlights are in black.

The font is 10.5 black letter Comfort Print typeface designed by 2K/Denmark for the Zondervan NRSV. The text is dark and consistent throughout. It’s darker than most editions from the Premier Collection. Most lines have between 12-14 words. It has enough space between the words and lines to make it easy to read. It’s printed with line-matching, meaning the text is printed in the same location on both sides of the page to improve readability. Even the references seem to be line-matched. This is an excellent layout for reading. The font boldness can be a little harsh after reading for a while in certain lighting.

The first verse of every paragraph has extra-large verse numbers. Those within the paragraphs are much smaller and can be a touch difficult to find quickly. I usually didn’t have much trouble finding them, though.

It has extra space in the inner margin so the text never bends into the gutter. The poetic settings are just about perfect. This makes sense considering that this word-count is ideal for poetry. The outer margins are 1″. This isn’t much, but it is enough to add definitions, short notes, bullet points, symbols, references, etc.

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References and Footnotes

Footnotes are placed in the footer and include the chapter and verse numbers they correspond to in bold and the key in a regular font. This does make them easier to find. The keys are printed small and can be a little difficult to see. They include manuscript variations and other ancient authorities, but they don’t identify them. They also include alternate renderings, words in the original languages, etc.

Cross-references are placed in the margin. Rather than placing them next to the verses they correspond to, they’re evenly spaced down the page. They look nice and clean this way, but it does take extra time to find them and you can use them to help you locate the verses. There aren’t a lot of them, but those it does have are helpful for study and sermon prep.

Here are some example references to help you compare:

  • Genesis 1:1 – Jn 1:1, 2; Ps 8:3; Is 44:24; 42:5; 45:18
  • Deuteronomy 6:4 – Mk 12:29, 32; John 17:3; 1 Cor 8:4, 6
  • Isaiah 9:6 – Is 7:14; Luke 2:11; Jn 3:16; Matt 28:18; 1 Cor 15:25; Is 28:29; 10:21; 63:16; Eph 2:14
  • Matthew 28:19 – Lk 24:47; Ac 1:8
  • Mark 12:29 –  Deut 6:4
  • John 1:1 – Col 1:17; 1 John 1:1; Phil 2:6
  • John 3:16 – Rom 5:8, 1 Jn 4:9
  • Acts 2:38 – Luke 24:47; Acts 3:19; 5:31; 8:12, 16: 22:16
  • 1 John 1:1 – John 1:1, 14; 2 Peter 1:16; John 20:27

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Glossary and Concordance

In the back is a large 62-page NRSV Authorized Concise Glossary and Concordance. This is better than a standard concordance because of the definitions. The words included are actually biblical words rather than theological concepts. It provides the word, a concise definition, and a list of references. It includes names, places, items, terms, tables, etc. For places with a different modern name, both names are included. This is an excellent glossary/concordance for study and sermon prep.

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Maps

It includes 8 pages of full-color maps Zondervan maps printed on thick glossy paper. 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 they’re annotated well. I find them helpful and easy 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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Comparisons

Here’s a look at how the Zondervan NRSV Single Column Reference Bible compares to the NASB SCR and the NRSV Thinline Large Print.

NASB Single Column Reference Bible

The Zondervan NASB Single Column Reference Bible in the Premier Collection is the closest equivalent of this NRSV. The NRSV followed the NASB’s design and made one major improvement: the inner margin in the NASB was too small and caused the text to bend into the gutter. It was still usable, but it wasn’t ideal. The NRSV fixes this. The NRSV also has a more narrow column for the references and a thinner text-block. The main difference is the NASB is verse-by-verse. The NASB also has a few things I like better including more references, a slightly lighter font, and red highlights.

NRSV Thinline Large Print Bible

The NRSV Thinline Large Print Bible has a similar footprint, but it’s a lot thinner. It has a much larger print, a double-column layout, and no references. It includes a reading plan and several lists. It’s a much cheaper Bible and it’s a great choice for carrying, reading, and preaching.

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Conclusion

Zondervan’s NRSV Single Column Reference Bible is an excellent version Bible. It’s made some good improvements over the NASB version. The materials are high-quality and it’s made well. I like the paper and print quality. The large and dark font and the premium paper is excellent for reading. I’m glad they kept the paragraph layout, which I prefer for reading. I would like to see the references next to their verses. It doesn’t have a lot of references and the glossary is smaller than a detailed concordance, but what it does have is still excellent for study and sermon prep. The margin space is great for small notes. The NRSV Single Column Reference Bible a great choice for reading, studying, preaching, and teaching.

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_________________________________________________________

This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Amazon

Christianbook

Church Source

Thrift Books

and many local Bible bookstores

_________________________________________________________

 

Zondervan 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.

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