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Well, at least to some extent.

I’m thinking about the leather-covered MacArthur Study Bible I bought a couple weeks ago. I have a hard-cover version of it as well, but I was never overly-impressed with it. The hard cover was never very comfortable to handle, and a canvas cover over it never really fixed that problem, although it did afford it some protection.

The hard-cover version always bothered me because I found the type rather light, and I had a hard time reading it comfortable for any period of time. The notes also seemed to my eyes to actually be a little bit blurry.

The genuine leather-covered version seems to be quite different. I find the text to be very clear, including the notes, even though it appears to be identical to the hard-cover. The type seems to actually be a little bit darker and crisper, which makes it a real pleasure to use, despite the still-smallish font. I don’t know if the fact that the hard-cover Bible was a free one from “Grace to You” has anything to do with this. Back in 2006 when they first came out with the Mac SB in the NASB they sent out thousands of hardcovers free to anybody who wrote and asked for one, and since I have long supported their ministry, I did just that. In a few weeks I received a box in the mail from Thomas Nelson containing the new Bible. I was excited at first, but it didn’t take long before I realized I just wasn’t going to be able to use it very effectively or comfortably.

The leather is quite soft and flexible, and judging by my co-worker’s experience with his NKJV MacArthur SB, it should be quite durable as well. It certainly feels like it should be!

And for the first time in any Bible I’ve ever owned, it has two…TWO…ribbons to mark my place! They are a beautiful burgundy, which I think is a bit unusual. I’ve almost always seen either black or red ribbons in black Bibles. The burgundy ribbons lend a very rich appearance to it.

While I was never satisfied with the hardcover, the leather version, while nearly identical, is a completely different animal (no pun intended). This is a Bible I can see myself using constantly for many years to come!