HCSB Giant Print Bible

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Recently The Theology Nerd received a copy of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) in giant print to review and share with you. After a few hours getting familiar with the layout and design, I found it a very enjoyable Bible to read. While I would recommend this Bible to anyone, I heartily recommend it to anyone with visual impairment. I have diminished eyesight and found this Bible quite helpful in my reading time. Many other Bibles that I think are excellent finds turn out to be challenging to use due to my visual impairment. This Bible is designed for one thing: to present the text of Scripture in a manner that even those with impaired vision will find accessible. In my opinion, this is a success!

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The HCSB translation of the Scriptures favors, in most cases, a literal translation of the original languages and is based off the very best Greek and Hebrew documentation. The translation flows in a natural manner that is very readable; it comes across fresh and lively. Some readings sound a little different to anyone who is used to the King James Version, but in every case they are faithful renderings of the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. The text manages to be both literal as well as readable – a balance that is difficult to achieve. Written on a 7th to 8th grade reading level, it is very comparable to the New International Version (NIV), but it achieves literal translation where the NIV does not – a serious plus in my book.

The edition I received was a brown and tan leather touch version whose  material felt very close to a soft leather. It felt good and natural and was also very nice in appearance. All way around, the materials of this Bible are very highly rated. The paper is not top of the line, but the very finest paper allows for too much bleed through if you mark up your Bibles like I do, so I prefer the paper from which this Bible is made.

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Commonly, large print Bibles lack reference sections – an important feature to have in any edition of the Bible – and the lack of references is even more pronounced in giant print Bibles. I believe references are far more important than even the notes in a study Bible. I am thrilled to report that this Bible includes references at the end of paragraphs, aiding you in solid biblical research or study.

The layout of the text of the HCSB Giant Print Bible is easy on the eye. Some giant print Bibles are printed in such a way that the black overtakes the white on the page. A balance between the blank space and the printed text makes it much easier to focus on the words, something particularly difficult for the visually impaired. This Bible does an outstanding job on balance in this area as well. I can read it for hours without major strain on the eyes. There is much to be applauded here.

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The Bible includes the words of Christ in red. This has debatable value; there are some who resent this kind of feature because it tends to value the words of Christ higher than the rest of the Bible. However, it is a convenience to be able to quickly locate the words that Christ spoke. There is also a concordance; it is limited (about 20 pages in length), but does provide some help on difficult issues. This is one of the few areas where I feel there could be some improvement. Expanding the concordance would not significantly increase the Bible’s size, even if the length of the concordance were tripled. However, the publisher is to be commended on including any concordance.

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One last very interesting feature to this Bible is bullet points listed in the back of the Bible just before the concordance. When difficult concepts come up in the text, there is a bullet inserted before the word. Looking up that bullet point in the back of the Bible brings the reader to basic information about that issue. Some examples of this include the words synagogue, Herod, divination, atonement, propitiation, and justification. This is a wonderfully helpful feature as these explanations convey the culture, setting, and meaning of many passages.

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Overall, this is a wonderful Bible for anyone. It is an extraordinary benefit to those that suffer from diminishing eyesight. The HCSB Giant Print Bible combines a giant font, readable modern text, and ample helps to achieve a very positive feel. We recommend this Bible fully. It supplies a need for many desiring a Bible that they can access without a magnifier. This was in every way a positive experience.

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Comments are always welcome.

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