Hodder Faith’s NIV Deluxe Edition in Bonded Leather:
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. Psalm 42:3
With that said, I received a few weeks ago in the mail Hodder Faiths’ NIV Deluxe Bonded Leather Bible and contrary to what I had led everyone to believe from some earlier posts, the print and paper in this edition are both very good. In my opinion this is one of the better textblocks currently on the market and it’s a shame it hasn’t gotten the attention that it deserves. Don’t get me wrong it has a certain amount of ghosting as most India and bible papers do, however as a result of the 35gsm paper and line matching I do not find that the ghosting reaches to a distracting level.
The NIV Deluxe Bible is a standard double column center column reference edition. The print is dark and consistent throughout the edition that I received. The type is listed as a 10pt. font and it is not exactly what I would call a large print, but I find that I can read the main text comfortably.
Besides the main text, this edition includes 8 pages of Bible Maps, a 65 page Concordance, and several very practical study helps.
The following is a list of some of the basic study helps located in the front and at the back of the Bible.
Located at the front you’ll find Bible At A Glance which is a condensed chronological survey of the Bible
- People of the Bible which is a basic summary of the main characters
- Well Known Events in the Bible and events in the life of Jesus
- Selected Parables of Jesus and Miracles of Jesus
- Help and Guidance which is a list of scriptures topically arranged covering about 35 different topics ranging from Afraid to Worried.
- Three basic two week reading plans.
- At the back of the Bible is a Table of Weights and Measures.
- A Bible Guide, which gives a brief introduction to each book of the Bible.
- 65 page Concordance
- 8 pages of Bible Maps
The burgundy bonded leather is rather stiff, but it has a nice appearance. The textblock is sewn with paper liners and overall it appears to be well constructed. The bonded leather edition doesn’t exactly lay flat right out of the box, but after some effort the bible is beginning to lay flat and overtime I’m sure it will improve with continued use.
This edition has two ribbons about a 1/4″ in width, one is gold and the other is reddish burgundy in color. The foot and head bands are yellow/gold and the page edges are gold gilted and as you can see from the pictures below Holy Bible is imprinted very large on the spine and the front cover.
The bible comes with a sturdy slipcase with bible care instructions printed very conveniently right on the end of the box.
This Bible can be purchased direct through Hodder Faith and if you live in the USA you can purchase it through 10ofThose.com, for more information please read the article below.
I was unable to locate the NIV Deluxe Edition within the USA, so I ended up ordering it through http://www.10ofthose.com located in the U.K. At first, I attempted to order direct through their website, but since I live in the USA I was unable to continue past the shipping stage. I ended up sending a message through a convenient popup menu on their site and was contacted by an associate within a short time frame. The associate contacted me through my email and she was most helpful. Once she had received all of my shipping information she re-contacted me with shipping prices and after a few questions and assurances I placed my order. As an assurance the associate did inform me that as a convenience 10ofthose.com inspects the products for any imperfections prior to shipping. And after a few weeks’ time my Bible arrived carefully packaged with everything intact and in order. During the process I also preordered a copy of the soon to be released Hodder Faith Proclamation Bible in bonded leather, which I’m looking forward to receiving when it is released. Overall, I’m very pleased with my new Hodder Faith Bible and also my experience ordering through www.10ofthose.com.
R.L. Allan Bible Publishers
For reasons I hinted at earlier I have held off ordering R.L. Allan’s NIV Bold Print Readers, which is basically Hodder Faiths NIV Deluxe Edition wrapped in Allan Highland Goatskin. But after receiving the Hodder Faith Deluxe Edition I was content enough with the paper that I went ahead and purchased the R.L. Allan Bold Print Readers edition in Navy Highland Goatskin.
This textblock paired with the Highland goatskin binding really takes on a life of its own and after receiving this bible I was also happy to find that it opened flat right out of the box.
The cover is nice and supple and the grain of the hide is long and deep which is what I prefer when it comes to natural hides. The cover is also one of the nicest, plushest, and more flexible Goatskin bindings I currently own.
The leather liners are flat black in color with a single gilt line imprinted around the perimeter. The flat black liners increase the flexibility of the cover, however they really don’t add to the appearance of this bible. The gilt line could have been applied a little closer to the edge of the liner extending it further past the textblock, which in my opinion would have made it more visible and appealing when opened.
The red art edge gilting combined with the three 3/8″ wide red ribbons provides a beautiful visual presentation when opened as well as closed.
Another nice surprise is the 32 pages of lined note paper found at the back of the Bible.
Overall, when it comes to paper, print, and binding the NIV Bold Print Readers is on par with Allan’s ESV NCR edition (pic: stacked NIV Readers top, ESV NCR bottom/ opened NIV R left, ESV NCR right).
However, tilting the scales in favor of the NIV Readers are the 35gsm paper, the line matching of the main text, and the darker printing, which is consistent throughout. The 35gsm paper feels a little thicker and stiffer than the 32gsm paper that is found in the Allan ESV NCR. Although, it is difficult to tell as a result of the line matching and the bolder text in the NIV, but the 35gsm paper appears more opaque than the 32gsm paper. The NIV Readers and the Allan ESV NCR both have the same page count at 1326 pages and the textblock in the NIV Readers is approximately .25″ thicker than the ESV NCR.
If I could make any improvements I would suggest a slightly larger and bolder font, more and better maps, (something more similar to the maps by Oxford or Cambridge), and line matching in the Concordance.
The NIV Bold Print Readers is also available in Black and Brown Highland Goatskin and can be ordered through Bibles-Direct out of England or Evangelical Bible in the USA. And for all of you international buyers, R.L. Allan does offer free international shipping.