Friday, January 16, 2015

Book: The NASB Note-taking Bible

Look! It’s a hardcover Bible!

Today’s book is The NASB Note-Taking Bible, published by Zondervan. I asked for one, and they sent me one. That means this review is a review of a free book. Okey-dokey? Good.

First, let me say this up front: I like the New American Standard Bible. That is my go-to translation for just about everything. Yes, there are places where the English is a little stuffy in the NASB. There are some strange phrasings. I find it, though, to be the best Bible in English for study. I am not going to attempt a review of the NASB here.

My thoughts are simply on this printing of the NASB. What are the features of this Bible, and why you might want this Bible and why you might not want this Bible. Whatever printing of Bible you want, I’ll recommend you look at the NASB. If it’s not available in NASB, then pick a different printing so you can get one in NASB.

Now, let’s look at this printing. Mine is a hardcover, though this is available in imitation leather as well. The printing and cover feel durable. That’s a plus: the look is pretty minimalistic, which is fine, so if you’re looking for a durable book on the shelf, in the backpack, or on the pew, this is works well.

Then, let us consider the print size. I’m getting older. The fine print in the Bibles of my youth is a little tougher on my eyes. II ‘m not willing to admit a need for large print, but too small bugs me. The print in this Bible is just on the verge of being too small. That’s a necessity of the setup: you can’t get too much extra space without adding too many pages, unless you shrink the print.

This brings us to the final point: this bills itself as a “Note-Taker’s Bible.” With that moniker, I would expect copious space for jotting ideas and events alongside the text. There is a good amount of whitespace per page in which to take notes, and the paper does a good job blocking the bleed through of ink. Unfortunately, the double-column layout of the text puts all of the space alongside only one-half of the biblical material per page.

Essentially, I can take notes on 1 Chronicles 25, but 1 Chronicles 26 is out. I would have preferred either a single column layout or a centered layout. Instead, you have a page that looks like someone printed a 5x8 layout on a 7x10 page.

For me, that’s just not worth the effort. If you are needing a new Bible, then this may be worth it, but the “note-taking” aspect isn’t worth adding this to your shelf. Had it been combined with a few study helps, it might be, but overall I’d say this one is a “pass.”

Again, if you need a Bible, go for it. The NASB is worth having. Just don’t expect to take copious notes.

Free book in exchange for the review.

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