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Thompson Chain NASB - One of the best Bibles out there.
on January 28, 2005
This review was originally written shortly after my NASB Thompson Chain purchase. To make it more usable to you, the reader, I updated it with information about the other versions available in a Thompson Chain format. I'd also like to point out that there are two companies that print this Bible, the ones I own are printed by Kirkbride. My suspicion is that the ones printed by Kirkbride are better constructed than the ones produced by that "other comapany."
My Bibles get used every day, so when I decide to replace one it needs to be something that is going to last. After looking at Bibles for three days at various bookstores, I recently bought a Thompson Chain NASB. I love it.
The page layout is very pleasant to the eye and the Bible is printed with a nicely sized print. While I don't agree that the Thompson Chain system is totally free of denominational bias, it is pretty close. If you don't want to use it, it sits unobtrusively off to the side of the page. Chances are though, you'll use it a lot. Other Bibles I've seen give you about one third of each page with some commentators opinion of what he thinks God's word says, which gets kind of annoying.
My first Thompson Chain was a NIV with bonded leather. I bought it in 1985 and it's still holding up. This one is the genuine leather and should hold up just as well. I've seen other reviews where people complain about shoddy workmanship, cheap paper or the fact that its printed offshore. My 1985 version was printed in Canada (not US) has similarly thin paper, and has held up just fine. I think that this one will also. Another word about the paper: the paper in this version has a nice, silky feel to it.
I also have the NIV version ISBN 088707166X, KJV, and the NKJV all of which I have purchased in the last six months. The NIV version is thinner and easier to carry due to the print being smaller, and the fact that the NIV contains less textual notes. The helps in the back of the Bible are the same, but the concordance in the NIV is better than the concordance is the NASB. Surprisingly, my new Thompson Chain NIV is printed in the USA.
The NKJV is the heaviest of the Thompson Chain Bibles. It has over 2400 pages. It is printed in the US. The print size is a little larger than average, which makes it easier to read than some.
The KJV version is the thinnest of the versions available from Thompson. It has 1923 pages. Mine was printed in the US. The concordance is better than that found in the NIV, and NKJV versions. There are no textual notes in this version. In other words, there is nothing to alert you that different manuscripts don't contain the longer ending in Mark, all of 1 John 5:7, or Acts 8:37. The paper in my Thompson KJV was different than that found in the NIV, NASB, NKJV. It was not as smooth. The type size is smaller than that found in the NKJV, and NASB versions.
Make no mistake, this is a big, heavy Bible. If you are looking for something less massive, and don't mind giving up a few "helps" consider the "New American Standard Ultrathin Reference Bible; Black Genuine Leather" also available through Amazon.
Like I stated earlier, I compared Bibles for 3 days and ended up going back with a Thompson. The only other Bibles in the same league are the old version Scofield (not availible in NASB), and the Open Bible (which I also have). The only things that I would like to see improved are the concordance, and the introduction/background information for each book of the Bible. If you like the NASB your choices are somewhat limited when looking for a serious study Bible. Chances are, in the NASB the Thompson Chain is your best bet.