The NIV Premier Collection Heritage Bible Review
The New International Version is continually the best selling Bible translation. It features a blend of accuracy to the original languages and readability that make it a widely accessible translation for both teachers and students. If you don’t currently use the NIV, chances are that you have at some point. Because of these reasons, I was excited for the opportunity to get to review one of the Bibles from Zondervan’s Premier Collection. This is their collection of Bibles that use premium materials and are of a higher quality construction.
The first thing I noticed when I received this Bible is the attractive design of the box. This is probably the most attractive box design I’ve seen thus far. The box is a two-piece design that is grey with silver lettering and it has a raised design of swirling lines that are grey and subtle, yet attractive. In a slightly darker grey, Premier Collection is stamped at the bottom in silver lettering. On the back is tan lettering giving a description of the Bible within.
I was also surprised when I opened the box. The Bible comes encased in a thick, protective black paper secured by a silver circular sticker that says Premier Collection. Zondervan has truly made this Bible feel premium before you ever even see the Bible. Once you unfasten the sticker, you can open up the folded paper to reveal the Bible. Underneath the paper, is an included insert giving you more details regarding the Premier Collection and informing you that this Bible is guaranteed for life.
The Bible itself is beautiful. It is hand-bound in a black goatskin leather cover with the inside appearing to be leather-lined as well. This cover is soft. The grain in the cover is slight and it has a smoother look to it as opposed to Crossway premium Bibles that feature a more textured grain. This cover might be more comparable to the CSB Ultrathin, however, the NIV has more grain than the CSB. The spine features silver lines and lettering and has a very clean look. The Bible features art gilt page edging in a very attractive blue with silver overlay. Zondervan says the Bible has a generous yapp, which is the part of the cover that hangs over the page edges, but I might consider it to be more of a half yapp. The Bible comes with three very nice satin ribbon bookmarks in red, black, and blue that are 3/8” wide. Honestly, these are really nice bookmarks. The width and the length both make them feel more premium than what Crossway includes in their premium ESV models. I wish Crossway would take note here because these make the Bible feel more premium.
This Bible is printed in China. Jongbloed in the Netherlands is typically the name of the game when it comes to binding and printing, but I am told that China has really stepped up their game and Crossway is following suit and moving their premium Bible production to China as well. The Bible is Smyth-sewn and has edge-lined bindings. One particular thing I noticed about this Bible is that it doesn’t lay flat at Genesis and Revelation. It will definitely take some break-in. The Bible is flexible, but has a very stiff reinforced construction at the beginning and end. Typically, with premium Bibles, you would expect them to lay flat, but this one isn’t going to do that because of the reinforcement (which you can see in the pictures).
When you open the Bible, you’ll find a section for family records such as marriages, births, adoptions, and deaths. You’ll also find eight pages of full-color maps in the back and an NIV Concordance. I say this over and over, but I would be totally okay if Bibles quit including maps. We have the internet now and I’m typically not one who uses maps anyway. Maybe others do and I’m wrong—if so, let me know.
I think inside is where this Bible really shines. Zondervan is using 36 gsm paper in this Bible! That’s on the thicker side for premium Bibles these days and something that most who invest in them really value. It does add to the thickness of the bible, but honestly, I find this Bible to be a good size for an every day Bible. It’s definitely not a thinline, but it’s also not a study Bible. I’ve included some comparison shots with various Bibles so you can get a good idea of the size. Nevertheless, the paper thickness is a welcome feature that I know anyone considering this Bible will appreciate.
This is a single-column Bible, which is my preference. If you do prefer a double, Zondervan also has a double-column thinline Bible in the Premier Collection. The Bible includes a 10-point font and the typeface they use is called Comfort Print, which is exclusive to Zondervan. The typeface was designed by 2K/DENMARK and they are the world’s leading Bible type foundry. I know the name because they also have worked with Schuyler on their signature Quentel Bible. The page design is two-color with the text being black and the chapters and headings being a blue that matches the art-gilt edging. It has a very attractive look. Obviously, if you are buying a premium Bible, you should expect the font to be line-matched to eliminate ghosting from one page to another and that’s the case with this Bible. That paired with thicker paper really helps prevent ghosting, although it was more noticeable to me in poetry sections.
The one thing about this Bible that I really don’t like is the footnotes. Instead of sectioning off the entire bottom of the page and running them across the bottom, they’ve chosen to stick them in the bottom right corner of the page. This seems like a big mistake in a single-column Bible to me. I find it distracting and annoying when I’m reading. In choosing to do this, the single-column gets shortened to about three quarters of the page width. I find it distracting whether there are several footnotes or only a couple. It breaks up the uniformity of the text and essentially creates an uneven double-column at the bottom of the page. I hope if there are future editions of this Bible, this will be changed. I really don’t like it and find that this choice makes this Bible less reader friendly.
That being said, you can’t beat the price of this Bible. If you’re interested in experiencing a premium Bible and you enjoy the NIV translation then this is a great option at an absolute bargain of a price. At the time of this writing, you can get this Bible for $83.86 on Amazon. For the quality of this Bible, that’s a steal. Most premium Bibles start in the $120 range so this would be a great pick up if you’ve been wondering what all of the fuss is about.
Zondervan has created a great Bible at an incredible price that is guaranteed for life. If you enjoy the NIV then I’d recommend you check out a Bible in the Premier Collection. You won’t be sorry you did.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from Zondervan in exchange for a fair and honest review.