Zondervan Artisan Collection Bible (NIV) Review
I took this opportunity to review the Zondervan Artisan Collection Bible (NIV) hoping to be able to find a new resource for study and engagement.
I received this Bible for free as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid.
I am always looking for new tools to study and research new Biblical truths, and more accurate historical facts.
This Bible had neither of those. In fact, when I opened it, I found it to be a very plain Bible with marginal note sections and a few full pages for notes in the back.
That’s not to say it’s a bad Bible. I wouldn’t ever say that any scripturally sound book was bad, it just didn’t meet my expectations.
To be fair, it is named the Zondervan Artisan Collection Bible, so I shouldn’t have expected study resources.
Personally, I have never been a fan of writing in any Bible. I know some do feel that there is benefit to this practice.
I hated writing in text books in college because I felt it devalued those texts. I don’t think marking up a Bible devalues it, I just feel like I shouldn’t deface the Holy Book.
Personal issues aside, I was asked to review this Bible by BibleGateway.com, so I will do so to the best of my ability.
Let’s start with the book cover. When I received this hardback Bible, I was actually very impressed with the blue marbled cover. It was very calming and beautiful to look at.
The margins are wide, but the lines are narrow.
I opened the Zondervan Artisan Collection Bible to find a very plain table of contents as I would most modern Bible versions.
Thumbing through the pages, I could see there were no footnotes, and I didn’t see any interesting facts or historical information in boxes or pages before each of the books.
Turning my attention to the back of the Bible, I noticed a lack of maps, a feature I remember having in any Bible.
I know these lacking features may not mean much to some, but for someone who loves to study everything Biblically related, it seems a glaring omission.
The Bible has a large notes section in the back
What you would benefit from the Zondervan Artisan Collection Bible is a distraction free way to read the Bible. The area in the margins reserved for notes is close to an inch wide.
For someone with shaking hands like me, that’s not much room to work with. If, however, you are like my former classmates who could transfer a text book onto an index card, you can make do.
Adding 5-6 pages for notes in the back of the Bible doesn’t seem to do a lot for someone who writes big (like me). I can see using it for a dedication before gifting it to someone, and it would work well for special notes.
I don’t think the artist had anything to do with the layout of the text, so if I were to grade her, I’d give a full five stars. The cover is exceptionally serene to me, and I love to gaze at the cover.
For a book we as Christians hold dear, that’s not great. I’m not reviewing the Bible translation (NIV), so it leaves me to wonder why I was asked to write a review in the first place?
I guess because it is the “Artisan Collection”, it is for drawing? If I’m looking to doodle or draw, the Bible is the last book I think of picking up.
If you’re bored in Church or at Bible Study, I believe there are plenty of alternatives to draw on.
Are these wide margins for drawing?
Church bulletins, printer paper, manilla paper, and devotional books are all available within the first 20 steps into our church, and all would make a better drawing pad to me than the margins of a Bible.
Besides, the area has lines, and that makes me think the area is for notes. The lines are too close together for many of us to use them, being closer than college ruled lines.
For me, this one is a swing and a miss. I’ll likely pass this gift along to one of my small group members who borrow one from the church each week.
All in all, the Zondervan Artisan Collection Bible is not a bad Bible. It’s as complete and whole as any NIV version out there. The cover is an absolute beauty to behold. I just can’t seem to find a use for the margin lined area.
Perhaps you will?