Review | The NKJV Compact Maclaren Bible

Mid-2021, Thomas Nelson released the Maclaren Series Bibles, the re-brand of their Preaching Bible line. I can honestly say that it is one of the finest Bible releases this year and by far one of the best Bibles that I ever encountered. Just before the year ends, the Bible publisher made a nice follow-up to the Maclaren Series with the release of the compact editions.

The NKJV Compact Maclaren Bible is first and foremost designed to be a Bible that you can bring wherever you go. With its overall dimension of 4.5 x 6.75 x 1.25 inches, this indeed makes an excellent travel companion. It has the portable size of a pocket notebook that fits perfectly to the hand. With its cute and handy design, some Bible enthusiasts even call it the “Baby Maclaren.”

As its size was shrunk to fit your pockets and backpacks so is its text. This compact Bible contains the NKJV text in a 7-point Thomas Nelson exclusive Comfort Print typeface. That is a very significant decrease from the 11-point text found in the recently released Maclaren Large Print Bibles. This text size is really small and could be very difficult to read, especially for those with bad eye-sight. But I don’t write with disappointment as this is a basic expectation on Bibles with this size. Aside from this, the text in the compact edition looks a bit compressed in paragraph format, different from the more relaxed verse-by-verse typeset of the Large Print edition. On the other hand, it has the same classic two-column layout and beautiful blue and black color scheme. The texts are also line-matched and the pages are smyth-sewn with gilded edges. It also contains translation footnotes and lined end pages.

The Maclaren Compact is currently available in brown and black, genuine, and leathersoft covers. The brown leathersoft edition with paste-down paper liner is quite impressive. I wouldn’t have guessed it as a faux leather cover if I didn’t read what’s written on the box. Thomas Nelson’s leathersoft covers are getting better and better as time goes by! The cover also boasts a brown two-tone design, a gilded spine, and five raised hubs that look really elegant and premium-like. It also includes two matching brown double-sided satin ribbon markers and comes in a nice clam-shell box.

Final thoughts

Thomas Nelson made an incredible job in downsizing the Large Print Maclaren Bible. If you loved the full-size Maclaren and want a more portable one that you can carry everywhere, this compact edition does the job. While it does not have the same pagination as the full-size, it basically has the same content and design. This is a perfect Bible for kids and persons who are always on-the-go. The Compact Maclaren retails for $49.99 but is available at a cheaper price on various Christian book retailers.


Disclosure: A review copy of the NKJV Compact Maclaren Bible (ISBN 9780785250852) was provided for review by Thomas Nelson, from whom you may purchase a copy.

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