As I was trying to keep warm yesterday afternoon in the frigid Minnesota winter, I sat in my recliner with my latest gift, Zondervan’s TNIV Reference Bible. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the TNIVRB, but I couldn’t help but notice that the text font size is rather marginal for these old eyes, and the font size of the notes is almost to the point where I need a magnifying glass to read them.

Admittedly my eyes are not what they used to be when I was in my 20s; but neither are they as bad as they were when I hit 50. It’s a little known fact that people’s eyes frequently improve when they reach their 50s, and mine have definitely done that. When I was 45, I couldn’t read much below a 12-pt. font. Now I do all right with 9-pt, though I’m more comfortable with 10- or 11-pt.

As I was struggling with the font in the TNIVRB yesterday, it occurred to me to take another look at my NASB Giant Print Personal-Size reference Bible, which coincidentally was also published by Zondervan. The NASB is smaller than the TNIV, about 5.5 inches wide by about 8.5 inches long. The TNIV is a standard size Bible at about 6.25 X 9.25 inches. Both Bibles are about 1.5 inches thick, in fact the thickness is nearly identical.

But when I read the NASB, I find a very clear 10-pt type, very dark, and the text notes and cross-references are only slightly smaller. I can even read this Bible without my glasses!

I also find the NASB’s text notes to be considerably more comprehensive and of far greater use to me than the also very good notes in the TNIVRB. So in spite of the slightly more difficult-to-understand text of the NASB, the notes make for a better learning session when I use the NASB for personal study.

So what I want to know is, why can’t you make the TNIV Reference Bible with a larger, darker, more readable font, as well as with the better text notes of the NASB (especially since the TNIV is a larger Bible)?

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