Saturday, January 23, 2016

Beautiful Word Bible NIV

Illustrated Faith

When I had the chance to review the new Beautiful Word Bible from Zondervan I just couldn't pass it up! The concept is so lovely,

"Be drawn into God’s Word through a fresh, creative expression of the beautiful words of God. Crafted on high-quality paper and balanced with inspiring full-color art and blank space, the NIV Beautiful Word Bible will encourage a deeper and more authentic quiet time. With 500 verses illustrated to help you see the rich diversity of stories, characters, prophecies, rewards, and hope contained within Scripture, you will discover wisdom to sustain you in every season, drawing you deeper into God’s life-changing and inspired Word."

cover without dust jacket
It certainly is a very pretty Bible. Personally, I prefer the cover without the dust jacket. Ascetically I think it hits the mark throughout. There are tons of illustrated verses that are both inspirational and beautiful. It's really fun as you read to turn the page and be surprised by a new illustration. Some take up the full, double page spread, while others are in the margin.

Most are as you see in the photo, in the margin area. I like that the margins that don't have illustrations are lined and waiting for your own notes and markings.

So, it's pretty. Is that enough to make this Bible a worthwhile investment? Personally for me, with my limited funds, it's not. There were some things that I really didn't love about this Bible.

The first thing I noticed about the Bible on arrival was how thin the pages felt. I know, it's a Bible. The pages are always thin. However these feel downright tissue-y. They just feel a little cheap. The paper quality is a real issue here. I noticed immediately when I wrote in the margins or underlined text the pen showed through to the other side. Not only the pen, but the darker illustrated pictures are visible in the margins on the other side of the paper as well. If you don't plan on writing in this Bible, this shouldn't be a problem. A huge part of any Bible for me though, is marking it up.

The Bible itself is a little smaller than your standard Bible. The measurements are roughly 6x8 inches. When you add in the space taken by the margins the text room is very limited. Because of this, the font size is incredibly small. I actually compared it to all the other Bible's we have and it is considerably smaller than any of them. I have great vision and I struggle to read the words.

Here we are so far-- I can't write in it because the pen bleeds through the pages, and I can barely read the tiny font. This is just not a very practical Bible. With a list price of $44.99, I wouldn't purchase this. My Bible is constantly on the move with me- church, Bible study, marriage group, youth group. It gets used, beat up and inevitably I will spill some coffee on it. This is just not the type of Bible that is going to work for my everyday life.

It does look downright lovely sitting on my coffee table though. My children and guests have enjoyed flipping through the pages and looking at the illustrated verses. I am glad to own it and draw inspiration from both the text and the images. However, it's not something I would have purchased myself!

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