I want to thank Zondervan for the wonderful promotional copy of the TNIV Reference Bible in the Renaissance fine leather edition. And I also must say thanks to TC Robinson at New Leaven for his correspondence with Zondervan to get some of us pastors signed up for this outstanding gift.
When I opened the box, and looked at the fine black leather, I blushed and thought that this was even better than I expected…and it truly was. When I lifted the leather bible out of the box, I felt the soft and supple leather almost melded into my hand, and right away, I knew that this was a very fine bible indeed. The hand-crafted leather bible is not just any old leather, but it’s thick and soft leather, and it feels just fabulous. Everything about the bible is classy…not just the box and design but also the silver gilded edge. It is something I would cherish and be proud to carry around church. It is also a great bible to preach from the pulpit with because the soft leather is so comfortable that it droops and curves to the shape of my hands. Ah…a wonderful feeling. Okay, this is all beginning to sound like idolatry, and idolatry is a sin, so I will just say that it’s a great bible indeed.
One thing that bugs me is when I see nice leather bibles that have a glued binding. Doing that doesn’t make sense. The binding in the TNIV Reference Bible Renaissance edition looks like it’s Smyth-sewn rather than glued. How I can tell is when I open up the bible, the pages lays flat. Not many bibles are Smyth-sewn today and I have to give kudos to Zondervan for this quality feature which cannot be overlooked. Smyth-sewn binding allows the bible to last longer. And there are two ribbon markers.
The cross reference is also an important feature in this bible. I’m a cross reference user and prefer this in my bible because I do study and research and find it very useful. I would say that it’s a must-have for me. Another important reference feature in this bible are the Topical Ties. It’ a topical reference system. You can think of it as something like the Thompson-Chain Reference system, but basically, it does the same thing. There are 700+ Topical Ties and they are located at the bottom of the page. Together with the cross-reference system and the Topical Ties, this TNIV Reference Bible is one of the best reference bibles out today.
The text is in single column which is perfect. I used to prefer double columns but now I find the single column easier to read. I don’t know why but it just works better for me. The text is in black, no red lettering.
The TNIV is a great translation and is my favourite mediating translation. (FYI, mediating sits in between formal and dynamic). It is easy to read and it is accurate. It is now more accurate than the NIV because the editorial committee has made many improvements. It is also gender-inclusive, just like the NLT and the NRSV. I’m one of these people who can accept gender-inclusive language but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea so I don’t push it.
Thanks again to Zondervan for producing an excellent translation in the TNIV, and a bible of superb quality and craftsmanship.