Thompson Chain

The Thompson Chain Reference Bible. About a year and a half ago I was searching for a new reference Bible and finally decided on the Thompson Chain Reference Bible. I didn’t want commentary surrounding the text, just solid references, something to aid my study not provide an opinion. This lead me to the Thompson Chain [TCB] Bible. After reading the reviews on Amazon I was very leery about buying one. The reviews about the construction of the new TCB seemed to contradict each other. Most wrote that it was of cheap construction and fell apart, but others wrote that it was a very good quality Bible, so I asked around and found out that Thomas Nelson is also producing this Bible, not just the original publisher [Kirkbirde]. It seems the Thomas Nelson version is the cheaper of the two and received the bad reviews so I ordered the following Bible.· Genuine Leather with Levant Grain: 1923 pages
· Publisher: Kirkbride (January 1988)
· ISBN-10: 0887071082
· ISBN-13: 978-0887071089
· Product Dimensions: 25.9 x 19.8 x 4.6 cm

I was pretty happy with what I read and seen of it online but when I opened the box after it arrived I was let down in a BIG way. It was supposed to be leather, it was very thin.  Thinner than the cardboard giveaway Bibles we have at our church. When I opened it I thought the cover would eventually crack or break off. I took a quick look through it and seen that it was Smyth sewn instead of glued which is a plus. Working in a library for over 15 years you come to respect the Smyth sewn binding over the cheaper glued versions. I didn’t give up hope, the content of the Bible seemed good at a glance, the references seemed to be what I was looking for so I got back online and contacted Kirkbride directly. After a few days they did respond giving me a list of ISBN numbers to choose from and I became interested in what they call “Deluxe Kirvella.” It’s a man made polyurethane cover. My wife uses the Life Application Bible made of the similar stuff so I had something to compare it to, it’s extremely soft and supple in the hand, it feels better then many of the genuine leathers on the market today.

· Kirvella bound: 1923 pages
· Publisher: Kirkbride Bible Company (September 2006)
· Language: English · ISBN-10: 0887075525
· ISBN-13: 978-0887075520
· Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.1 x 2 inches

The pages are nice and white, similar to the pages used by Oxford University Press, the text is easy to read and the names are self-pronouncing which comes in handy if you read out loud. The ribbon place marker is nice and thick, a little long, but if it frays you can trim it. It comes with a mini library added to the back but it’s just overkill. It would be lighter if much of it was removed, here’s a complete list of “helps” it came from.

• Alphabetical Topical Index
• Numerical Topical Index
• Outline Studies of the Bible
• Historical Bridge between Old and New Testaments
• Origin and Growth of the English Bible
• Condensed Bible Book Outlines
• Detailed Bible Book Outlines
• Character Studies
• Outline History of the Apostles
• Portraits of Christ
• Prophecies concerning Christ and their fulfilment
• Journey Maps
• Harmony of the Gospels
• The Seven Churches of Asia
• Golden Chapters of the Bible
• Topical Treasury / Helps for Christian Workers
• Key memory verses from each Bible Book
• Differences in Religious places mentioned in the Bible
• Archaeological Supplement
• Hebrew Calendar
• Concordance
• 14 Full-color maps

If it was up to me I would remove everything that hasn’t been placed in bold. They all contain the opinions of the authors including Arminianism. The Bible itself will service its purpose well enough. It contains thousands of chain references, it’s a good quality Bible and should last for a while. I hope to study it to until it falls apart and would recommend this Bible to anyone looking for a comprehensive reference system.


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