TBS KJV Classic Reference Bible, Black Calfskin
Black Calfskin cover
2 ribbons and gold gilt
Page Size: 6.8″ x 4.5″
8 pt. font with words of Christ in black
See Description below for more details.
Classic Reference Bible Black Calfskin (photos of this Bible and sample .pdf page)
Leather medium-size Bible in classic setting with centre references and attractive gift presentation box. Special features include colour maps with gazetteer.
Gift presentation box
Black text throughout
Same page numbering as Concord Reference
Quality sewn binding
Two marker ribbons
Gilt page edges
Semi-yapp page protection
Decorative head & tail bands
Gift presentation page
Translators to the Reader
The Epistle Dedicatory
Bible word list
Daily Bible reading plan
Page Size: 6.8″ x 4.5″
Print Size: 8 point
10 reviews for TBS KJV Classic Reference Bible, Black Calfskin
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Extraordinarily durable Bible, particularly for the price. I use mine to carry to church, and as a KJV reference when studying other translations. I love that it is page-for-page the same as the Cambridge Concord, so it is my carry to church Bible (I use a standard Concord a lot at home).
It will never lay flat though, mine is probably 3+ years old now but it still wants to close itself. It’s not a huge deal to me but might be to you.
To me the Concord reference system is by far the best – no reference marks in the text!
Words of Christ in red should be better.
Alexander (verified owner) –
This is a very nice Bible for the price. Leather cover is soft and flexible. Text has line matching to minimize “ghosting”. Font is bold and sharp. Good Bible paper. Two ribbon markers. Glossary of archaic words. Maps. Includes Epistle Dedicatory and Translators to the Readers. TBS make a great Bible and is a ministry worth supporting. You will not regret purchasing this wonderful Bible.
Ken Avery (verified owner) –
For the price, this is a fantastic Bible, it is basically the Cambridge Concord. It is time to order another one, I gave the last one to a beloved Haitian brother while on a mission trip to Haiti with Coreluv. Most people are not aware that american English is one of the few languages that does not front load sentences; given this, the KJV is ideal for foreigners learning English as a second language. What I love about TBS Bibles is the cost and that they are built like a tank, they make great gifts when in the mission field!
God bless you and keep you,
Bob Snyder –
For the money it is a great value.
As many of you know TBS is a Christian ministry that provides high quality, good value KJV Bibles to many Christians in need, worldwide. To support the ministry, we purchase Bibles from them and are also blessed. Not only do we get to be a part of providing God’s word to our brothers and sisters, we also get a durable, well built Bible for our own use. Knowing the proceeds go to furthering the Kingdom is a comforting thought as well. I hope you will consider purchasing your next Bible from TBS after reading my review of the Classic Reference Bible.
As always TBS exceeds my expectations in the packaging and shipping department. They go above and beyond to ensure that your Bible gets to you undamaged. They are the winner, hands down, when it comes to packaging. The Classic Reference Bible arrived undamaged in a heavy duty, white, cardboard box, cushioned inside with foam packing peanuts. The Bible itself was inside a sturdy cardboard slipcase, that should be retained for storage. After removing the plastic wrap from the slipcase, I could take the Bible out. It is not a large Bible and it is not as small as a typical compact Bible. It is a full KJV Bible and it does have the Cambridge Concord cross references. It is just a very handy size. It measures about 4 ¾” across, by 7 ¼” tall, by 1” thick. Most typical reference Bibles are around 6” across, by 9” tall, 1 ½” thick. So you can see there is a substantial difference in size. Of course a compact is smaller yet. If this Bible were the size of a typical compact the font would be too small for normal use. Fortunately, the font in this Bible is a legible 8 pt. in size. Since it is the traditional typesetting instead of a modern digital setting, the font would contrast a bit less against the page if not for its boldness.
The cover is listed as, “Calfskin” on the website. Keep in mind there is no industry standard. Technically the French Morocco Leather cover is made of calfskin, so it is true, but if you are expecting supple calfskin like some premium Bibles use, you will be disappointed. I don’t know why anyone would think that though considering the value pricing of this edition. I seriously don’t understand how a person could complain about this cover. Especially in light of the low cost and how much they are getting. For under fifty dollars they are getting a full KJV reference Bible, smyth-sewn binding, and genuine leather. Even if it is French Morocco, it is far superior to the covers of other Bibles in the same price range. Other Bibles in this price range use synthetic covers or bonded leather. The front cover is blank. The only gold lettering on the outside of this Bible is on the spine. It has the words, “Holy Bible” at the head, “Classic Reference Bible” directly under that, and the TBS logo at the tail. The cover is uniform in thickness and has a nice pattern pressed into it. It is on the smooth side and feels very durable. My first impression was, “This is a tough little Bible.”
This Bible is case bound, and as such utilizes black vinyl covered paper as an interior liner and to join the cover to the text block. The front, inside, bottom edge has, “French Morocco Leather” in gold lettering stamped in it. Red and gold colored head and tail bands decorate this edition. It also includes two, black ribbon markers. The page edges are gold gilt. The corners and the spine are rounded. From the outside this Bible looks like what you’d expect a Bible to look like. It is a venerable style, and is very familiar.
The front inside of this Bible has a nice presentation page on card paper with a couple of blank card paper pages following it. Then you have the title page and copyright/publisher’s information page. There is a list of the contents after that. It is followed by a guide to the pronunciation marks for self pronouncing text and an explanation of the bold-figure Concord cross reference system. Finally, there is the Epistle Dedicatory, the Translators to the Reader, and the list of the Books of the Bible.
The text of this edition should be familiar to KJV readers. It won’t take anytime at all to get right into and read. It is laid out in a double column, verse format, with center column references. The font is 8 pt. in size making it easy on the eyes. The center column references are pretty small and a bit tough to see, but they are discernable. The paper is thin Bible paper. It is opaque enough that the ghosting is mitigated. It does use the self-pronouncing text. Speaking of text, this is a black letter edition. The entire word of God is all the same color. There are two black ribbon markers to help you keep your place. This is very helpful for people who read out of the Old Testament and New Testament on a daily basis. One of the more significant, yet underappreciated features of this Bible is the smyth-sewn binding. Many publishers go for a cheaper glued binding. While TBS opts for a superior sewn binding in this edition. It is a bit tight at first, but as you use this Bible, the binding loosens up. Sewn bindings are much more durable and flexible. They add to the usefulness and longevity in a way that no other features do. I would say that it should be a prerequisite.
Contrary to popular belief, this edition of the Classic Reference Bible is not printed by Cambridge. Cambridge oversees the printing. It is also a typesetting of the Cambridge Concord that has been shrunk, and maintains the pagination. It is printed and bound by Printcorp in Minsk, Belarus for TBS. These distinctions can change depending on the production run at the time. It is acceptable to ask. TBS is always willing to answer specific questions. They are just an e-mail away.
Finally, in the rear of this Bible we have, Bible word list, Daily Bible reading plan, and 8 Color maps with Gazetteer. The long list of features are understated by the very familiar appearance of this Bible. It is a conveniently sized workhorse that should provide many years of service. I recommend this Bible to anyone in the market for a reference Bible that is a tad smaller than the usual fare, but not limited in helps like a compact.
Michael Freeman (verified owner) –
Great bible for the price.
Bound by Cambridge it is Cambridge’s version of French Morroccan and so labeled, not lamb skin or not of this he same quality lambskin usually associated with premium bibles. Typical Cambridge binding, I have several from the early 1900’s, so I anticipate a good deal of longevity. It is a very stiff cover but will soften with use as previous examples from Cambridge have proven.
The text block on my copy was in good order, with typical sticking at corners from cutting and gilding that seem prevalent to all bibles including Allan’s. Printing is exceptional, with very clear type without any “light ink” areas I’ve seen in many high end bibles. I purchased this bible as a low cost throw in my gear bag bible for work reading and I have no doubt that it will exceed my expectations. The size is fantastic (hand held) and print size is adequate for my middle aged eyes. Evangelical Bibles shipped the bible in good time and arrived five days after a weekend order. Gave it five stars because it is exceeds every expectation for the price of the bible as compared to other bibles in the price range printed on tissue and wrapped in thin cardboard.
Moises Salazar (verified owner) –
I like this bible. The leather is real smooth, but not a flexible leather though kinda stiff. But not a problem for me I always mink old my leather products. I’m sure with time & use this bible will soft up. It has very nice gold gliding around the edges. Nice readable & bold font. I gave this a 4 star because I had a tear in one the pages in the book of Job. Other then that I really like this bible. It will make a great bible for when I go on vacations!
Matthew Bassham (verified owner) –
I ordered this Bible from eb last year I believe and never thought to leave my comments on it. The cover is way stiff, said calfskin but was stamped french morocco (still nice grainand nice look and feel). It was and is way stiff though! I worked it in a good deal and now it opens a little flatter a little better. The paper quality, text block, two ribbons, clean look, font size and value deserves 5 stars, but that kind of stiffness kept it from 5 for me.
Donald R. Denison (verified owner) –
I found this Bible to be a great value. The quality is much higher than I expected. There were a number of pages stuck together due to the gilding process, but this was easily remedied. I carefully ironed the wrinkles out of the ribbon markers, and even more carefully applied a light coating of Lexol (a fine leather care product I put on all my leather goods), and every thing was fine. This is my second product from TBS. Unless you are expecting a luxury product, this Bible should satisfy anyones expectations.
Brice Edenfield (verified owner) –
When I received the TBS Classic Reference, I was kinda disappointed because I not only expected the calfskin to just be regular calfskin (it’s french morocco), I also expected it to lay flat at least after working with it a bit. Rather, It doesn’t open flat at all really and the pages came stuck together more than any other Bibles that I have (25). Overall though, I gave it a four for it’s cost, durability (prediction), two ribbons, great layout, and the paper is decent. Overall, it’s decent for the price.