How do you approach the Bible? As a reference volume to look up answers to certain questions? As a divine book given to us by God in which we hear him speaking? Have you ever wondered if the layout of your Bible affects the way you view it?
One of the surprising things about reading the Bible is how much ‘clutter’ can be on the pages. In light of this, a current wave of ‘reader’s Bibles’ are being produced, raising important questions about how we interact with Scripture. This edition is one of the latest contributions.
If you are new to reader’s Bibles, you might wonder what all the fuss is about. Put simply, you get the plain text of the Bible, uninterrupted by chapter numbers, verse numbers, headings, footnotes and cross references. Red lettering is also absent. Chapter breaks are still present, however, and the chapter numbers are summarised at the bottom of the page to aid navigation.
Reading this edition, I have found that having the verse numbers removed does make it easier to read smoothly from one ‘verse’ and ‘chapter’ to the next. Fewer breaks in the text encourages you to read larger portions of Scripture, and even to read a whole letter or book at a time. This can only be a good thing!
You also interact in a different way with God’s Word once you no longer have verses marked out for you. You are more aware of the overall context, rather than zeroing in on individual verses.
This edition is nicely laid out with a single column on each page. This does make the whole volume slightly thicker: the Psalms, wisdom literature and prophets take up more pages than in most Bibles.
It comes in a hardback format, and lies flat fairly well. The leather-effect cover with embossed detail is smart to look at and feels comfortable in the hand.
One small downside is the tendency for print on the reverse of a page to image through. However, since the lines are spaced identically on each page it is less of a problem. It is more noticeable in larger blank areas, but can be greatly reduced by placing a piece of black paper behind the page.
This is a great Bible edition of high quality. It is, perhaps, not a Bible for making notes in, but for simply reading and digesting. It makes a refreshing change to engage with the Word of God with fewer distractions. Although it is not cheap, I think it will prove to be well worth the money.