Bible Review | NIV Thinline Large Print Premier

This one right here is the new edition of the NIV Thinline Large Print Premier which Zondervan originally released in 2018. New edition means a new cover, better construction, and improved design.

The most noticeable update in the new NIV Thinline Large Print Premier is its incredible brown goatskin leather cover with raised spine hubs. This is a remarkable upgrade from the plain black goatskin cover in the 2018 edition. What strikes me the most is that this cover is the same kind used in several Thomas Nelson premier Bibles—most notably the NKJV Single-Column Reference and the MacArthur Study Bible. I personally like the flexible yet at the same time stiff character of this cover because it does a great job of holding and supporting the text block when open. It is perimeter-stitched and has a grainy look and texture. Furthermore, I also love that Zondervan added five raised spine hubs to the cover. While it is really dependent on preference, I must say that raised spine hubs should be a basic feature in premium Bibles. Raised hubs not only beautify but also give added reinforcement to the spine and in effect to the text block. And if you love yapps in Bibles, this one has a semi-yapp that you will surely like. This Bible measures 7 x 10 inches and is about an inch thick. It is handy and perfect for carrying.

Aside from the superb brown goatskin leather cover of this Bible, Zondervan also made sure that this edition is built to last and really have an heirloom quality. In addition to its edge-lined and smyth-sewn binding which makes it durable and flexible, the text block of this Bible now has overcast stitching for the first signature in the front. This is an effort to reinforce the endpapers for a stronger and more durable binding. The edge-lined tab is stiff at first, so it might take some time before it will stay open and fully flat. Nevertheless, this improved binding and construction are praiseworthy.

The layout of this Bible reminds me of the ESV Omega. The format is double-column with footnotes at the end of the second column on each page. The 11-point large print text is bold and very readable. It is set at the exclusive Zondervan NIV Comfort Print® typeface. What sets this apart from the 2018 edition is the elegant two-color page design. With this, the chapter numbers and headings, section titles, and page numbers—which were previously black like the text—are now blue. This made the texts look more pleasant and alive. This also complements the gorgeous blue under gold art-gilt edges of the text block.

With all the impressive upgrades that Zondervan made in this Bible, there is one thing that was left behind which I find less desirable and somehow disappointing: the text is not line-matched. Though the show-through is not that noticeable—given that this Bible has a 36 gsm European Bible paper—there are pages and parts where line-matching could have greatly improved the overall reading experience. Like raised spine hubs, I strongly believe that line-matching should be a standard or a basic feature in premium Bibles.

Some extras in this Bible include a presentation page and a table of weights and measurements. It does not have full-color maps or concordance probably to maintain the thinline size. It also has three extra-long double-sided satin ribbon markers in brown, blue, and red. This Bible retails for $199.99 but is available at a much lower price in various Christian book outlets.

Final thoughts

Zondervan and Thomas Nelson make the finest yet affordable premium Bibles. I can honestly say that some of my favorite premiums are made by them. And this new edition NIV Thinline Large Print Premier is definitely among them. It has impeccable quality, excellent construction, and easy readability—all in one Bible. If you love the NIV, this is a must-have!


Disclosure: A review copy of the NIV Thinline Large-Print Bible, Premier Collection (ISBN 9780310458777) was provided for review by Zondervan, from whom you may purchase a copy.

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