My default translation is the NRSV (note: I say “default” not “favorite”). Recently the text block started to detach from the cover and so I decommissioned it. I thought about having it rebound but decided to just get a new one instead. I went with the Oxford NRSV without Apocrypha, genuine leather. Here are some pics:

It came with a nice two-piece cardboard box case.


Genuine leather is typically a little stiff right out of the box. Because “genuine leather” is made from pig skin it is certainly not as supple as calfskin or goatskin, but it is still miles better than “bonded leather”. The gold foil really shows up nice against the black.


The edge of the cover is stamped with a border which you can see in the picture below, along with the grain which is also stamped (as opposed to a natural grain)PQpuq+KbRbey8%3VM+USGw

The gold gilt line inside the cover is nice and thick.


The sewn binding allows it to lay flat nicely. And the two golden ribbons complement the black cover.


The pic below displays the way the two-column text block looks within a narrative book (the pic above displays the poetry format). I like that it is a simple text edition, without references or study notes, though if you want to write in the margins there isn’t much room for that.


And now for the gymnastics…


These pics show the relative strength and flexibility of the genuine leather. You can also see the nice shiny gold gilt page edges.


Although the pages are smith-sewn the spine is glued together so that the sewn pages remain together. The glue that can be seen in the pic below could either be from that process or from glue used to attach the tail band.


Unfortunately, there is considerable bleed through on the pages.


Though, it’s not as devastating in the main text.


There is a 96 page concordance in the back which, interestingly, includes references to the apocrypha. This is a nice feature if you have a separate copy of the apocrypha laying around.


There are 8 pages of full color Oxford maps.


My favorite feature of this Bible is the size. I have owned several premium Bibles but most of them are either too thick, too wide, or too small. This one is just right. Perfect size for personal reading, traveling with, and even preaching (if that’s something you do :)).




All in all, this Bible manages to hold a nice in-between spot between cheaper and premium Bibles. The genuine leather will last much longer than bonded leather but does not cost nearly as much as goatskin or even calfskin.