Bible Review | NKJV Sovereign Collection

Thomas Nelson Bibles released the Sovereign Collection in honor of the over 400 years of legacy of the King James Bible which was originally published in 1611. Now available in the New King James Version, the Sovereign Collection draws from this rich legacy with elegant letter illustrations, book introductions, and extensive cross-references.

The NKJV Sovereign Collection is practically a personal-size reference Bible. It is currently available in three different leathersoft covers (brown, black, and purple) and in black genuine leather cover—which I will look at in this review.

Thomas Nelson is really stepping up their game! I have been reviewing their Bibles for a couple of years now, and I have already seen and felt quite a lot of Bibles to say that this one, by far, has the best genuine leather cover. It has a unique character and texture like I’ve never seen before in any Bible with this type of cover. It has beautiful, uniform pebbled grains, and it is flexible which really made a huge difference. The cherry on top of this outstanding cover is the elegant and archaic gold ornaments on the spine and the old-school “Holy Bible” printed on the front cover which matches the gorgeous gilded edge of the text block. It also has four raised spine hubs and perimeter stitching.

The black genuine leather cover of this Bible is comparable to the flexibility and quality of the blue buffalo leather used in the NASB Passagio Setting Bible from Zondervan. The main reason behind this is probably because both Bibles are edge-lined with a vinyl liner. I have yet to know if this binding and liner combination is durable in the long run, but so far my NASB Passagio is holding up very well with over six months of use. The text block also has a smyth-sewn binding which makes it all the more durable. I commend Thomas Nelson and Zondervan for always making efforts to provide us with high-quality Bibles.

As aforementioned the NKJV Sovereign is practically a personal size reference Bible, and this is one of the things that I love about it. It is a portable Bible with a wealth of essential study features. But the first thing that would absolutely capture your attention upon opening this Bible is the astounding red ornamental drop caps that lead each book introduction and chapter. It looks wonderful and I really love it. Aside from this, the format of the Sovereign Collection also references traditional Bible layouts with its double-column, verse-by-verse setting. The texts are line-matched and set at 9.5-point Exclusive Comfort Print typeface, printed on highly opaque 36 gsm paper. These are a great combination for a neat layout and excellent readability.

This Bible also follows a two-color page design—black for the scripture text and red for section and chapter titles, and verse numbers. While this color scheme complements the beautiful drop caps, I find it a bit off in the words of Christ which are also in red. The shade is too bright and looks “bloody”, especially on pages and instances where Jesus has long narratives. This is one of the two drawbacks that I find in this edition. The second one is that the texts are too close to the gutter which makes the reading of texts near it a bit difficult. Furthermore, the extra-reinforcement on its binding also made it too tight for the whole text block to lay fully flat, but this will surely improve with continuous use.

Some of the study tools that you’ll find in this Bible are the extensive end-of-page cross-references and brief textual footnotes which are impressively and neatly printed and formatted, book introductions, extensive NKJV concordance, and full-color maps in the back. It also includes two double-sided satin ribbon markers in red and black.

Final thoughts

Thomas Nelson outdid themselves again! The NKJV Sovereign in black genuine leather beautifully evokes a premium Bible with its excellent built and elegant design. It reminds me of the KJV Canterbury from Schuyler Bibles. With some upgrades, this would definitely make a pretty neat Premier Collection Bible in its own right.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the NKJV Sovereign, black genuine leather (ISBN 9780785264903) from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair and honest review. To purchase or learn more about this Bible, visit

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Shane Lopez says:

    What a beaut! 😍 I’m also interested in seeing the KJV Sovereign. I hope you could make a review of that as well. Thanks for the excellent review as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chris V. says:

      I second this!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It is indeed beautiful! I would love to write a review about it. I’ll try to request a copy from the publisher. Thank you for the kind feedback!


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