High Quality Bibles

Because the Bibles we purchased a few years ago did not hold up well, we went on a quest to find publishers who made quality Bibles. 

When I tried to get one of my Bibles rebound, I discovered it had a glued binding and could only be rebound by cutting it off, resulting in a smaller inside margin. Once that is done, the text moves so far toward the spine that I was told most people are no longer happy with their Bibles. I agreed. It could be hard to read a Bible with some of the words hidden by the inside margin.

We went on to discover that the best quality Bibles have a sewn binding. A sewn binding generally lasts longer than glued, and it can be better rebound if it begins to fall apart. 

There are some glued bindings that look sewn to the untrained eye. Here is an article that will help you know if the Bible you are evaluating is sewn or glued.

Faith, with Leonard’s Book Restoration, gave me these hints for publishers who print sewn-bound Bibles:

As for a quality bound Bible, Cambridge Bibles are always sewn. So that is a safe bet, but if you don’t see one of those you like, Holman Bibles are frequently sewn as well. Those two are your best bet, though you will find a few Zondervan Bibles that are sewn.

Blessings,
Faith

Bibles from Schuyler

Recently two of our children invested in hopefully quality, lifetime Bibles with sewn bindings printed by a company called Schuyler. Their new Bibles have soft goatskin covers that are extremely flexible and lay easily over the hand or sit comfortably in a lap. The thin, quality, matte finish pages feel nice and make the Bible lightweight. They are unlike any we have seen in a Bible.

Who published the oldest Bibles you have in your home that are holding up to daily use?

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto
them that put their trust in him” (Proverbs 30:5). 

39 thoughts on “High Quality Bibles”

  1. Hello Teri,

    Thank you for your post about high-quality Bibles – it’s very interesting and informative. I love reading your blog and this post interested me because I work for the Trinitarian Bible Society. All of our Bibles have a sewn binding and the English Bibles are all the Authorised (King James) Version. Please take a look at our website (www.tbsbibles.org) to view the wide range of editions we produce. I work at the headquarters in London, England, but we also have branches in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.

    With kind Christian regards,

    Hannah

  2. I have a Scofield Study Bible, by the Oxford University Press. I have had it since the early/mid-1990’s. One section from Genesis 35-42 has finally separated and the page with that ends in Hebrews has come out. I have so many notes I really dread the day I have to replace it. It is like a well worn and comfy blanket to me! My husband has the same type of Bible that he was given when he was ordained in 1984. It has seen better days….but his pages are still intact although some sections are becoming loose. Like me, so many notes!!! At least we now know of a place with quality Bibles should we desire to replace them! Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. Oh yes, so disappointing when the Bible you have read, highlighted, notated, (I even put special dates in the front and back of mine) falls apart. Your Bible is the age mine was that recently fell apart. The company replaced it, but they didn’t have genuine leather covers just the bonded leather on those Bibles and it wasn’t my faithful, beloved Bible of all those years.

  3. We have one that is written in German that came to the United States with my Great Grandma. It is from the 1860s.

    1. That is very special. Those old Bibles can represent so much spiritual heritage. I was thinking of current publishers of quality Bibles, but we can certainly be grateful for those who published Bible that long ago that we still have. We have one of those Bibles, but we keep it on our mantle because it looks and feels fragile and is well worn. There is no date in it and only the words “Dad and Mom’s Bible” written in my grandmother’s handwriting. A treasure to us!

  4. I need a new Bible too. One problem I see with the new Bibles is the poor quality of paper. I think it is called “ghosting”. Where you can see the words coming through on the other side. Does your new Bible do this?? Also, I like a slick feel of the paper/pages. Not like the paper you feel in cheaper books and even on coloring books. Like a thick, rough paper. If that makes sense. How do the pages feel in your new Bible? I know you said “matte” finish, but I’m not sure I understand what that would be like. Thanks so much!!

    The Bible I have and love is by Thomas Nelson Publishers. It is “Personal size Giant Print Edition”. Says copyright 1992 but I bought it in 2000. It is absolutely perfect for me and I cannot find another one just like it. The Bible bookstore I bought it from has been closed for years now.

    1. That was my experience, too, when my Bible was falling apart and had a lifetime guarantee. They didn’t make the same Bible anymore. The inside was the same but not the outside. Plus the page layout was a little different.

      I asked Jesse your questions. Here are his answers:

      Ghosting: Yes, a little, but nothing that is noticeable. Meaning, if you look you can certainly see it, but it’s never obvious during reading – unlike some Bibles where it can be distracting.

      Page feel: It’s hard for me to describe. It’s very smooth – almost like a thinner version of the pages of a waterproof Bible. It does not feel rough to me. More like glass and less like sandpaper.

      1. Ok!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to respond!! I will be looking into the Bible you suggested and the ones other readers have commented on!!! Thanks Jesse and Mary!!

  5. We like Zondervan Bibles but we’re pretty biased as my dad worked there for most of his career 🙂 I don’t think we’ve even tried other ones, haha! Interesting to read about though!

      1. Yes, they seem to last fairly well. I had a “prize” type Bible from Zondervan (the ones some churches give out for a confirmation gift) that lasted about 10 years. It had a sewn binding and a bonded-leather cover. I had a paper-covered, glued-binding New Testament/Psalms/Proverbs Bible that I kept in my book-bag in college, and it actually lasted through 3 read-throughs (I was surprised it lasted so long because it seemed rather flimsy, but I got it as a gift). I have a reference Bible (I’m sorry I don’t know the “model number” or how else to identify it!) with a sewn binding and leather cover that has lasted nearly 20 years. It’s very nice quality!

  6. I received a beautiful TBS Bible as a birthday gift 13 years ago (calfskin cover, sewn binding), and it’s still going strong!

  7. My son’s first real bible was a hardcover, large print KJV with study questions. Glued binding, unfortunately so after 2 or 3 times of duct-taped spine and the rigours of small boy use, it now rests in his special box. He, like me, prefers to use a KJV bible app on his phone. For his 18th birthday (age of majority in Alberta) next year I am planning to give him a high-quality KJV print bible. Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. It will be a very special gift for him. I use a Bible app, too, but really prefer having that Bible with a cover and pages that turn in my hand. I have my phone or ipad beside me, though, because I often use Olive Tree to find a verse or look at the Strongs meaning of a word. Such powerful tools available on our devices to help with our Bible study.

  8. Hello Teri,
    My Bible is a Thompson Chain Reference KJV hardcover. It has lasted me 25 years without falling apart, but in the past two, though the pages are fine, the covers are pulling apart from the binding. So far, I’m planning to order another (from the same place – christianbook.com), because it did last well and I love the reference sources included in it.

    As you mentioned in a comment above, though, there are notes in there that I will miss. Actually, some are so important that I am planning to re-copy them into the new Bible!!

    I also know the locations of books, chapters, verses by “feel” at this point, having read it so often.

    One thing not mentioned was Bible covers. Do you all like to use those, too, to additionally protect the Bibles? Since I live where we often have wintry and/or rainy weather, a fully-zippered cover also helps protect my Bible. I also need a new cover, not because the old one does not work, but because it has faded and looks worn. It’s a canvas-type material, and CBD now uses a more rugged nylon-type material that will not fade or be able to get water stains like this one – if I buy their same organizer-type cover.

    1. That is amazing that your hardcover Bible has lasted 25 years! It will be interesting if you get another hardcover to see how it does. Anna’s Thompson Chain leather Bible is one of ours that fell apart. It lasted ten or twelve years. Hers was a sewn binding and could be rebound. Steve keeps his Bible in a cover, but the rest of us don’t. We have a different Bible that we carry to church than the one we use daily at home so our daily Bibles don’t have the wear and tear of being taken out.

  9. I am so glad you posted this because I’ve been looking for another high quality Bible. My husband bought a Cambridge Cameo Reference Bible for me as a wedding gift on our wedding day August 9, 1997. The Bible pages have held up very well considering I have used it daily for over 21 years and have pretty much taken it everywhere I’ve gone and have 21 years of notes recorded in it. However, about two years ago, the cover began to disintegrate. A few months ago I decided to use a Bible I got as a gift in high school until I could replace the Cambridge. I loved the Cambridge because it was a wide margin and held up so well for so long, but Cambridge is no longer making the Cameo. The Cambridge Concord Bible is also wide-margin, but it’s a larger Bible – a little too big for me to want to carry around. I looked in my Cambridge and saw that it was bonded leather which explains why the cover eventually began to fall apart. Another website says the bonded leather could be compared to using particle board instead of solid wood. Thanks for the helpful information; I definitely want to invest in another high quality Bible that will last at least another 20 years!

  10. I scored a like new still in the box Cambridge goatskin KJV Bible at a thrift store about 13 years ago for $3!!! It has lasted as my daily Bible and has lots of life left.
    My husband on the other hand has an Oxford goatskin Bible and that has lasted almost 21years as a daily & travel Bible! Lots and lots of notes without ghosting and the binding is still strong!
    As for a travel Bible I have a Holman Bible that my husband purchased from Christian Book Distributors. It has lasted many years but I do notice the binding is separating a bit.
    So for the Matthews family Oxford or Cambridge goatskin Bibles seem to work.

  11. My Dad worked for the Trinitarian Bible Society here in the UK before he retired. I still support them and can vouch for the good quality KJV Bibles that they sell.
    Clara

  12. The best part about getting a new Bible is that words are in a different physical spot on the page than what you’re used to! It can feel like you’re reading something you have “never read before” (ha ha) just because it wasn’t at the top of the left column, a third of the way down. You have to HUNT for it and you see everything fresh! That’s what I like. Happy hunting!!

  13. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried this, but you can purchase “book glue” that is made especially for gluing in pages that have fallen out of books. When it dries, it remains flexible, allowing the pages to turn. I’ve used it on several books, including a small Bible, with great success.

  14. I loved learning about these great quality Bibles. Perhaps someday we could afford to purchase one. For now, the price is far from our reach. But I’ve saved the info for future reference!

    1. Keep an eye out, Sheri, if you are in thrift stores or go to garage sales. Rosemarie commented that she had found a Cambridge goatskin Bible at a thrift store for $3 thirteen years ago.

  15. I don’t have any real expensive Bible’s I had one that my older children gave me 30 years ago. It is filled with markings, church bulletins, Mothers Day cards etc. I had put it away a few years ago when I rec’d a new Bible from my youngest child. Last month, for my sons 32nd birthday I gave him my old Bible and all of its contents. He’s not currently in church but God’s word lays on his night stand. I know he looks at it, probably reads passages and verses that I have highlighted and circled, probably reads my notes etc. I know that he is a believer and if he never sets foot in a church again, he always has Gods word near.

  16. Many in my community use the Oxford Wide Margin Bible. I’m sure they are all sewn and they certainly stand up to long term use, many older members have only had one Bible their entire life.
    My father’s Bible was bought in the 60’s, and is printed on India paper (I think that’s right). My sister and I have the same Bible, printed in the 90’s. However, the paper being used then wasn’t great quality. Writing in pencil is fine but not using any sort of ink pen. I bought another printing of the same Bible 10 years ago which was one of the last to be actually printed by Oxford University Press. It’s still going strong but it’s in a case unless I’m using it at my desk, so well protected.
    I’m not sure if they are commercially available (ie through a seller outside our community) – the original Oxford University Press printing plates for this Bible went to another publisher some years ago and every few years our community book suppliers’ order another printing – they come with leather covers, beautiful paper and certainly look like they are built to last.
    It’s been interesting reading about everyone’s Bibles.

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