Saturday, April 7, 2012

First Impressions of the A.W. Tozer Bible

This week I spent some time in the newly published A.W. Tozer Bible. I thought I would share my first impressions with you.

The text of this one is the King James Translation. I don't mind the KJV. I really don't. While it wouldn't be my first-first choice for a new Bible, it certainly would be in my top three. (To be honest, if this Bible had been published in the NIV, I'm not sure I would have talked myself into it. If it had been done in ESV, I probably would be giddy with delight and gushing about it nonstop.)

What I like best about the King James Version is the language and style of it. I think it's a great translation in terms of beauty and quality. Especially the Psalms. What I like least about the King James Version is its tendency to be published in red-letter. (That is most KJV Bibles publish "Words of Christ" in red.) I am not a fan of red-letter because even if the premise is a good one--and I am not convinced it is a good one, by the way--I'm like Goldilocks about the ink, the color of the red ink. It can be too orange. It can be too pink. It can be too faded. It can be too fluorescent. It can be too distracting. It can be hard to read--a real strain on the eyes. It's not that I've never ever seen red-letter printed to my liking, it's just that it is so rare to have it be "just right." Unfortunately, the red letter in the A.W. Tozer Bible isn't "just right." It's not horrible, I admit. But to me, the red-letters have a blending-in or faded-out appearance to them. So my eyes have to work twice as hard to read the Words of Christ. (This color "red" is also the color of the chapter-numbers. Unfortunately. It seems like such a small thing to mention. But it does effect every chapter in the Bible. Black font color would have been such a great, great thing.

Instead of the text being arranged in paragraph format--something that I think should almost be a requirement--the text is in verse, verse, verse, verse format. That is each verse begins on its own line. No matter if it is in the middle of a sentence. No matter if it's in the middle of a thought. New paragraphs are indicated by a paragraph symbol. (I found this VERY annoying. At the very least, it would take some getting used to. I'm not saying that it will still bother me a month from now, but for now, it's just a reminder that the formatting is not my style.)

The size of the font. Font size can be tricky to get right, I know. Well, I don't know really, I just imagine. You've got to balance between the weight, size, and bulkiness of a Bible and a comfortable reading font. And every reader's idea of a "comfortable" reading font differs. I found the font size of the A.W. Tozer Bible to be on the small size. Not the impossibly small size where I'm only kidding myself that I can use it as my everyday Bible. But the slight strain to the eyes size that makes shorter reading times more appealing. If they'd just gone one size up I think it would have been great! (To count down on bulkiness, they could always format it in paragraphs.)

Now, for the really good news. I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Tozer elements of this one. There are three features:

  • "On Scripture" Over 365 selections add depth and insight to a particular verse's application for the believer.
  • "Reflections" More than 100 excerpts that apply the deep meaning of the Christian faith to everyday life.
  • "Challenges" Nearly 100 entries that exhort the reader to resist complacency in particular areas of one's "living out" in the world.

I've read in the Tozer Bible nearly a week now and I am just LOVING the Tozer excerpts and quotes. I am. More than I even thought I would. And it's making me want more Tozer. I find myself wanting to hunt out more books by A.W. Tozer so I can read them in their entirety. Tozer's zeal is still contagious. And I definitely enjoy his tell-it-like-it-is approach. Yes, his words can convict and challenge. But that isn't a bad thing. I find his honest-zeal, his genuine love for God and God's holiness, to be refreshing and very much needed.

While the Bible isn't perfectly-perfectly appealing to my eyes (in terms of font size, font color, etc), it is definitely appealing to the heart, mind, and soul.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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