Parrēsia, a Reformed Baptist publishing house based in Scotland, is a start-up company founded by Daniel Funke and John-William Noble. Established in Autumn 2020, this company exists as a not-for-profit ministry to produce Gospel-centred, God-glorifying publications. They recently released their first batch of books. Among which is a new edition of famed 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.
I personally own at least four copies of the London Baptist Confession of Faith. They are different editions, and I use them interchangeably from time to time. However, the proof texts in those editions are just listed without the verses, and they are all in paperback—they wear out easily. For the longest time, I have been searching for the best edition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith—one without all those downsides—and I believe, Parrēsia has finally ended my long search. In this review, I listed some of the reasons why I love this edition, and why you will surely love it, too.
Parrēsia’s edition has all the proof texts printed including the complete verses taken from the Authorized King James Version. This is what I love most about this edition. It makes the study easier and more convenient—especially at times when you do not carry your Bible with you. I also like the typeface that they used throughout this book. It is pleasant to the eyes and easy to read. I do not have the information regarding the font size, but I assume that the 32 chapters are probably printed at 9-point, while the proof texts (which are smaller) are probably set at 7.5-point font. I have no struggles reading them. Also, the paper that they used is highly opaque, so there are no ghosting problems here.
The publisher explicitly noted that they made some editorial changes with the Confession—which are largely limited to spelling and punctuation.
Material and Binding
This edition of the 1689 has an excellent cover! It is bound in a cloth-over-board cover which seems very durable and tough. I had my eyes set on two other nice editions of the 1689. One is from Banner of Truth. It looks so nice and portable; however, I have reservations with the material that they used on the cover. It is made up of vinyl leatherette which easily wears and disintegrates with constant use. The other one is from Solid Ground Christian Books. It is an edition better than that of Banner of Truth’s. It is bound in a bonded leather-over-board cover. I think it is pretty solid, but I have the same reservation—it wears over time. While it is really dependent on preference, I believe out of the three options, Parrēsia has the best and most durable cover which would sustain constant and vigorous use. It also comes with an attractive and beautifully designed dust jacket. Aside from this, the text block has a sewn and perfect binding. This means that the pages were sewn and then glued together—another feature that makes it more durable. With this cover and binding, we are looking at an edition of the 1689 with an heirloom quality.
I absolutely like the portable size of this book! It measures only 5.30 x 8 x 1-inch. I enjoy using it side by side with my Cambridge Pitt Minion and the Valley of Vision. It is very handy and you can bring it almost anywhere without hassle. I highly recommend this for persons on-the-go and those who love to travel. You can easily slip this inside your satchel or backpack.
This is definitely one of the finest editions of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, if not the best. For those of you who are asking if this includes the Baptist Catechism, it does not. Parrēsia published it in a separate paperback. I, honestly, think that it would have been much better if the Baptist Catechism were included in the Confessions. On the other hand, having it released in paperback makes it easier to distribute, plus, it is more economical. Also, this does not include any commentary on the Confessions. If you are looking for such, Parresia has a blog series on the 32 chapters of the LBCF, and it is currently on the 20th chapter. You may check it out here: https://www.parresiabooks.org/1689-blog-series
If you are interested in availing this excellent edition of the 1689, you may contact Parrēsia on the following links:
Disclosure: A review copy of the 1689: The Baptist Confession of Faith was provided for review by Parrēsia, from whom you may purchase a copy.