Zondervan King James Reference Bible Center-Column with Thumb Index – Review
The Zondervan King James Reference Bible is a hand-sized Bible that’s great for carry, but still contains plenty of features for use as a primary study Bible. It has plenty of material at an amazing price. In this review I look at the bonded leather edition in navy blue with thumb-index.
- Perfect size for reading and carry
- Great list of features
- Bonded leather will have to break in before it will lay flat in Genesis
- Not available in genuine leather
- Navy bonded leather cover
- Sewn binding
- Lays flat
- Presentation and family history pages
- Epistle to James
- 7.2 font
- Book introductions
- 45,000 center-column references
- Section headings
- Translation notes
- 8 pages of maps
- Navy ribbon marker
- Silver gilting
- Size ~ 8.75 x 5.75 x 1
- Printed in China
- ISBN: 978-0-310-93188-1
Cover and Binding
The cover I chose for review is navy bonded leather. I rarely get my hands on anything navy and it’s nice to see something different. I love the color. It’s a very dark blue with silver highlighting and gilting. There is a silver line that traces around the text-block to further highlight the silver on the blue. The liner feels like vinyl. At first I wasn’t sure that it was sewn, but then I found threads in the maps’ section. It will take a while to break in the bonded leather before it will lay flat. Once it does it will have no trouble staying open in Genesis.
Paper and Print
The paper feels like the same paper I’ve seen in other Zondervan Bibles. It’s thin (making this a slim-line) but it’s also opaque enough to not be distracting. I haven’t tried writing in it, but I think this would be good paper for writing.
The font is 7.2 with around an 8-point leading (but I’m just a guessing about the leading). There are no pronunciation marks. This keeps the text clean and easy to read. The print quality is consistent throughout.
The red-letter is about a medium shade of red. The red-letter goes all the way through Revelation (like any red-letter Bible should in my opinion).
References and Translation Notes
There are over 45,000 center-column references. There are 7 references for Genesis 1:1. They are keyed to the text by letters in italics. Chapter and verse numbers are printed in the center-column and the keys are printed under the verse it is keyed to. This is my favorite method for printing center-column references.
Translation notes appear at the bottom of the page under the right-side column. They are also keyed to the text with letters, but instead of italic they are standard and printed in bold. It is easy to tell them apart from the references. Translation notes show alternate renderings in Hebrew, Greek, Septuagint, etc., show clarity for words that may have changed meanings (or similar), show alternate names for people and the verses that use the alternate name. There are lots of notes throughout the text. They are very informative and help make this a great Bible for study.
Book introductions are a succinct paragraph that appears just before the text of the book. They include insights about the setting, author, history, culture, purpose, facts, etc. They often give events with their verses, creating a simple outline of the book.
It’s hard to find section heading’s in a KJV that’s not a study Bible. I like the addition of section headings because it breaks the text up, making it easier to read and find what you’re looking for. There are a lot of them, but they’re not overdone. They’re pointed in an italic font that’s the same size and boldness of the Biblical text. They’re helpful and easy to use, but at the same time they’re easy to ignore if you just want to read the text.
This edition contains a thumb-index. It’s printed as black text on silver and looks great against the silver gilting. Each tab has 3 book names. Books that contain multiple parts (1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, etc.) are combined. This means a tab might only have 3 book names, but could refer to more than 3 books, making some tabs more difficult to use than others.
The concordance is 46 pages. It is presented in 2 columns per page. It isn’t a large concordance, there are 12 entries for “God”, but is covers the basics well. It is still good for common searches and between the concordance and the references you’ll find what you need.
There are 8 pages of maps. Maps are in full color and printed on thick paper. They are labeled better than average and are easy to use. I would like to see an index to maps, but it is less needed than in other Bibles due to the notes and labels.
There are a lot of features in this Bible. It’s the perfect size for carry and reading. It has great tools for study, witnessing, teaching, etc. I highly recommend The Zondervan King James Reference Bible for anyone wanting a good Bible on a budget without sacrificing features.
Zondervan provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review- only an honest review.