[After posting this, I’ve since learned of a printing error in Thomas Nelson KJVs. In the Thomas Nelson KJVs, in 2 Corinthians 1:24, they read:
“Not for that we have “domination” over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.”
That word “domination” is wrong; the correct word should be “dominion.”]
Good mornin to you my friend.
If your eyes are anything like mine, you need the largest print bible that you can get your hands on. But the catch is, far too often bible publishers use their least opaque paper in these bibles. Perhaps it’s to keep the thickness down, or maybe it’s to save money, but either way, the ghosting (show through) in their paper greatly diminishes their readability. (Which negates the benefit of having giant print in the first place doesn’t it)? Leaving the buyer with a bible that has a lot of potential for readability…if only it didn’t have such lousy transparent paper.
Well that’s the thinking behind what I’m about to present to you in the way of bible comparisons. Which ones are worth buying for their readability? And which ones should you pass by for their inferior readability?
[Incidentally, I don’t currently own, but I have owned in the past, super giant print bibles from “Hendrickson,” “Local church bible publishers,” and “Trinitarian bible society,” and I don’t recommend any of them as readers. Because all of them had very low opacity paper in their 16+ font-size bibles. (However their regular-size font bibles were fine readers, because they had better paper with higher opacity].
Here in this comparison of super giant print bibles we have one from Thomas Nelson, and two from Holman (which have similar names, but very different text presentations to the reader). Moreover, the price for each of these bibles is in the $30 – $40 neighborhood.
I sat down at the Barnes & noble bookstore in Beaumont Texas to set these bibles side-by-side for this review. And at the end of my visit there, the Holman bible with the maroon wrapper came home with me, while the other two bibles went back on the shelf.
(Some of the photos in this post are more “focused” than others, however you should know that it was never my intention to blur any of the photos. I should have taken the time to be more steady with all of my snapshots, so I offer my apologies to you for the poor quality of some of the following photos).
I thought I was going to favor the Thomas Nelson bible, but when compared side-by-side, the Holman bible in the center, (maroon wrapper) clearly had the most readable presentation of text. It had the boldest font, and the most opaque paper of these bibles. In summary, it’s stellar in every aspect for readability. If readability is your primary necessity in a bible, I don’t know of a more readable printed bible out there than this particular bible.
[It’s also worth noting (as a measure of the readability of the maroon wrapper Holman bible) that I’ve owned Schuyler, Allan, and Cambridge bibles as well. And this particular Holman bible beats even those bibles for readability in my opinion].
(Ironically, the other Holman bible in this review had the worst readability of this comparison). The Holman bible on the right (with the red & white wrapper) not only had the poorest-quality paper, (the least opaque), but it also had the most whispy font of them all, making it needlessly difficult to read. The font was so thin & feint in that bible, that at times it felt like the font competed for your attention against the show-through from the other side of the low opacity paper.
And if that weren’t bad enough, that Holman bible has self-pronouncing text, which adds yet another layer of reading difficulty.
(However the two bibles on the left do not have self-pronouncing text, which is much better for readability).
Have a look for yourself at how each bible compares with one another in readability:
Thomas Nelson (left), Holman maroon wrapper (center), Holman red & white wrapper (right)
Always turn to Matthew chapter one to see if a bible has self-pronouncing text, if a bible is going to have self-pronouncing text, you’re going to find it there.
Have a look:
Thomas Nelson, (no self-pronouncing text)
The maroon wrapper Holman, (no self-pronouncing text)
The red & white wrapper Holman, (has self-pronouncing text)
So how does the red-lettering in each of these bibles compare with one another? Let’s have a look.
(By the way, all of these super giant print bibles are red-letter all the way through Revelation).
Holman, (with the maroon wrapper)
Holman, (with the red & white wrapper). The ghosting on the page doesn’t look so bad in this picture, but in person its ghosting is far worse than this picture conveys.
(The covers on the two Holmans were also opposite in quality).
The cover on the maroon wrapper Holman bible has a soft, velvety texture to it that’s a delight to the touch. While the cover on the red & white wrapper Holman bible feels like cheap lacquered cardboard in the hand.
Here’s the ISBN for each bible so that you can do a little more research on your own.
The Thomas Nelson bible, (my second choice in this comparison)
The maroon wrapper Holman bible, (my favorite of all these bibles)
And (in my opinion) the least readable bible of this group, the red & white wrapper Holman bible with its self-pronouncing whispy text, & very low opacity transparent paper
Here’s one final look at the maroon wrapped Holman bible before I move on to large print bibles.
It brings stunning clarity to the reader that would please even the most discriminating bible lover.
(I don’t recall when I’ve been this enamored with a bible).
This bible’s bold line-matched text presentation is so beautiful to read, that the font just seems to leap off the page at you almost in 3D…
Now how about standard “large print” bibles?
Let’s have a look shall we?
Here’s a $20 Holman that beats a $200 Cambridge turquoise for readability.
Why is that? It’s because this Holman has no self-pronouncing text, it has a more-readable font than the Cambridge, and it has red-letter through Revelation.
The Cambridge turquoise does have red-letter while Jesus walked the earth, but it doesn’t have red-letter through Revelation, (I had to color it in myself).
Holman left, Cambridge turquoise right
Cambridge turquoise left, Holman right
Holman left, Cambridge turquoise right
Do you want to see self-pronouncing text make a big mess of the reading presentation?
Then have a look at the Cambridge turquoise.
If only bible publishers wouldn’t do this to scripture, (but that’s just my tastes, you may prefer self-pronouncing text).
Here’s the Cambridge turquoise large print KJV bible’s ISBN. (Incidentally, this particular blue Cambridge is an exclusive of evangelicalbible.com. However you can find black versions of this bible at various bible sellers).
And here’s the Holman personal size large print KJV bible’s ISBN
Well that’s my comparison for you, and I hope that it’s blessed you in some way.
I also have a video review of a few other very good bibles (not listed in this review) that you might enjoy here: https://youtu.be/SLcqeHQeikI
All glory to the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and no glory to us whatsoever.