R. L. Allan’s KJV Long Primer in Black and Brown Highland Goatskin

Everything I wrote about the Allan's Oxford KJV Long Primer in May 2008 is true today, though a few of those sentences should be upgraded with an exclamation point. If you want to know what I think of the Long Primer, this is all you need to know: of all the Bibles I could have given to my father as a gift (and as you can imagine, there are a few to choose from around here), I picked the Long Primer. It's a beauty. It's the beau ideal of Bible binding. It's … It's … awesome. 

And now it's back. In fact, it's back again. The review copies pictured here are from the original reprint, and since that time there's been an additional printing (can anyone say demand?) which features "substantially larger margins." Well, I like the original margins just fine, but you really can't have too much of a good thing, right? 



The real news, in my book, is the introduction of the brown highland goatskin cover, matched with a trio of exquisite gold ribbons. This color combination works. In fact, despite my preference for tan, I'm going to go out on a limb and say the dark brown with gold is the best combination currently available. For you traditionalists, there's black with blue ribbons.


Above: Oops! My secret's out. My tape measure was made in China!


The Long Primer is special for another reason. This edition is the first since Allan's was granted the royal license to print the KJV in Scotland. The license, signed by the Lord Advocate, is on the reverse of the title page, along with some more heart-warming news. The Long Primer is printed in the Netherlands by Jongbloed. (I have a Design & Production Bible guide produced by Jongbloed and the Danish design firm 2Krogh to write about here, as soon as I can get photos that measure up to its brilliance.) The point is, this is a well made volume inside and out, a real pleasure to use.



The Long Primer features an elegant, readable layout in the old school verse-per-paragraph configuration, with center column references. One quirk of the layout that drives KJV purists crazy is that the italicized words from the original are rendered in roman type. The center column references will occasionally include a note reading "The best MMS. omit," as at Romans 8:1, where the note precedes the KJV's "… who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." I don't want to get bogged down in manuscript debates, but I'll say that when I taught from the KJV, I always appreciated pointers like this. But I realize others find them infuriating. So decide which camp you're in and choose accordingly.



Above: The print impression in my review copies is consistent and dark. I spotted one or two broken letters. There's some ghosting, but it's not bad. The paper quality seems quite good.


Allan's has upped the bling factor with the Long Primer by adding an extra gilt line. When the Bible is open, the text block tends to land right on the inner line, obscuring it, but in the photo above you can see the extra detail. It's an attractive touch. The stamp inside the front cover says HIGHLAND GOATSKIN, the one inside the back cover says ALLAN BINDING. Although this is an old Oxford text setting, Allan's commissioned the printing and is credited as publisher on the title page. This is a black letter setting with additional lined notepaper in back, along with a set of color Oxford maps, a concordance, a subject index, and a dictionary of proper names. Some of the harder words get self-pronouncing treatment, but it's executed sparingly. Theophilus is broken into syllables and so is Timotheus, but Jesus isn't.


The highland goatskin covers are every bit as beautiful and flexible as the originals. The full yapp on my review copies isn't as full as on the original, but you still get those wonderful organic "pinches" near the spine, an effect I happen to love. 


Liquid flexibility is the order of the day. The Long Primer melts in your hand, soft and pliable. Folding the cover back (below) takes no effort at all. As if the cover wants to bend and fold. 


Above: Somebody wouldn't know a white balance if it bit him. Sorry about that.

The photo below says it all. The flex of cover and text block in perfect symmetry. It feels as good in the hand as it looks in the picture.


Whichever way you turn, the highland goatskin offers no resistance. If you like your Bibles limp and soft, there's no question you'll love the Long Primer. If you don't, the Long Primer might just convert you.




Above: a close-up of that "pinched" corner. I love it.


For a sense of scale, I rounded up a whole bunch of KJVs and plopped an Allan's ESV Reader's Edition on the bottom for reference. From bottom to top, here's what you're seeing: Allan's ESV Reader's Edition, Allan's KJV Long Primer, Cambridge KJV Concord Reference in black calf (well used), Allan's KJV Brevier Blackface, Cambridge KJV Cameo, Allan's KJV Ruby, and Allan's/Cambridge KJV Crystal.



I suppose the Long Primer is to the KJV what the Reader's Edition is to the ESV — a large format edition with generous type that's suitable both for reading and study. They're not the smallest Bibles, but their ratio of height and width to thickness guarantees that they show off the flexibility of their highland goatskin covers to maximum advantage.

You can view the entire R. L. Allan's Long Primer range by visiting Bibles-Direct.co.uk, where you'll find options in goatskin and French Morocco. EvangelicalBible.com has an excellent Long Primer resource page along with ordering options that will run you anywhere from $180 to $99, depending on your edition of choice.

119 Comments on “R. L. Allan’s KJV Long Primer in Black and Brown Highland Goatskin

  1. I really enjoyed reading your impressions, which are very pertinent about these edtions. Yes it pleased my father and mother greatly to have the longprimer for the last few years of their bible reading days. My father also gave his mother one in 1960 (the first one in our family) and then my grandfather used it until his end. I value having that bible. They are a real pleasure to read and hold and I find that the continuation of the 100,000 chain reference system in the centre column a nice study tool for many subjects. This is often never mentioned in a review. The nature of the self-pronouncing methods chosen for the longprimer are also just right.

  2. I enjoyed reading your review as well Mark. I have the brown edition of the second printing. I love that the gold ribbons are not a garish gold but more of a soft Naples Yellow color with some sheen to it – very beautiful indeed. Two friends who owned this bible highly recommended it to me. It’s simply the finest quality bible I’ve had the pleasure to look through. It’s beautiful design and craftsmanship raise it to the level of fine art. My favorite reference feature of the Longprimer is the chronological dates at the top of each page’s center reference column.

  3. I had been waiting for the second printing now for what seems like a long time. In between I had purchased an Allan Longprimer 59 & a Brevier Clarendon in brown highland goatskin. The 59 natural goatskin cover was very stiff & hard. I loved the Clarendon but the type was too small for me to read comfortably so I ended up selling both bibles. When the new Longprimer was finally available at Allan’s site I immediately ordered one. However, when it arrived I have to say that although it is a beautiful bible, I was a little disappointed. Why?…Not because of the workmanship as it is solidly built but there was something different about it I couldn’t put my finger on at the time. After handling it & looking it over I think it may be that the full yap cover doesn’t seem to wrap around the pages like my Clarendon did & feels different. This might be due to a larger page count as was advertised on the site, I’m just not sure, it does seem thicker then the 59. Also I don’t care for the lined note paper in the back, I am not about to write in a 200 dollar bible but that’s just me. The other thing I didn’t care for is the double gold line embossed on the inside of the cover, it seems a little tackey. Overall it is a fantastic bible & one that I will keep. I just wish that these changes had not been made, like they say if it’s not broken why fix it.

  4. I am glad to find a whole blog devoted to the Bible as an artifact or object. I hope the Bible publishing industry takes note… I never buy soft cover Bibles anymore, even though I enjoy them on a physical level (the smell, texture, etc.). For me, they just don’t hold up to use without being handled with extreme care. Always, the pages separate from the cover, usually in the front of the book. Yes, this happens with hardbound books as well but they are cheaper to replace. I have repaired the bindings of several leather-bound Bibles, but would really like to see a book designed to resist tearing in that crucial zone. Perhaps a company has made some effort toward a design that will overcome this defect?

  5. >LXX
    Allan bindings use overstitching to sew the front, and sometimes the back, of the book to the leather in order to prevent this problem from happening. You will spend more on a bible from Allan but will not have to worry about it falling apart. They are made well and to last.

  6. I may be reading wrong, but it seems that the copyright page makes it unlawful to have your Longprimer rebound if the cover needed to be replaced for some reason.
    Am I reading wrong, or is this truly the case?
    Seems a little over the top to me.

  7. You are right Isaac! I just looked at the copyright page. That’s pretty intense.

  8. but you still get those wonderful organic “pinches” near the spine, an effect I happen to love.
    I love those pinches as well.

  9. Re. John and Isaac’s comments…is that wording a standard for Allan bibles? Or just the Queen-approved KJVs? Or ???

  10. It is standard on many books to include a line about the cover remaining connected to the book. From what I understand, a retailer can sometimes be reimbursed for unsold books by sending back to the publisher a portion of the front cover. When I was a kid I used to buy comics from a farmers’ market stand that were missing the title part of the cover. They were really cheap and I loved that stand, but they were actually illegal as the seller was getting paid twice for the same item. I imagine that is what lies behind the copyright above.

  11. BTW, thanks for the reply to my post, John. I checked out your link and you have some well-executed work.

  12. @Bill – No, I checked my ESV Reader and NIVC1 and neither have them have this on the copyright page, so it must have to do with the Longprimer being King James Version.
    @LXX – Thanks for the kind words about the work!

  13. @Isaac and John: I believe the key word on the copyright page is “circulated”. The way I read it, it is not necessarily unlawful to have the Bible rebound, as long as you’re planning on keeping it for your own personal use. Rather, it’s talking about having it rebound and then going out and reselling it.

  14. Hi Fernando,
    That makes sense. Thanks for the clarification!

  15. Most probably won’t care, but the Oxford text in the Longprimer KJV doesn’t have the words added by the KJV translators in italics. I’m not of the KJV-only persuasion, but I’ve always liked having this little extra insight into the translators’ work. Reading KJV text without the italics feels a little off, but that’s just me.
    I’ve seen a few other Oxford printings without italics, although thankfully not the marvelous Oxford wide-margin in calfskin – I found a copy a few years ago with a slightly wrinkled spine for $75.
    Otherwise, my Allan’s Longprimer from about four years ago is indeed a lovely Bible. My obsession with KJV text with italics is just enough, I think, to keep me from buying one of the new editions in brown, which means I’ll be able to afford the Cambridge Cameo w/ Apocrypha when Allan’s has it available.

  16. I didn’t know about the new Longprimer not having the added text in italics. That might be a problem with me; I will certainly mull it over some more.

  17. Thats really weird in my opinion.. quite gutted actually as I had my heart set on one of these in brown 🙁 I definitely like to know where the words have been added – particularly being so used to having it with a kjv.. surely that kinda counts as messing with the translation (in a roundabout way)?
    Still its a very nice bible so I’ll think about it some more. Any suggestions from anyone as an alternative from Allans? Something with goatskin. I’m basically looking for that one exquisite bible to be a long term companion. This is probably still it tbh as it seems like my perfect bible but the non-italics certainly is an issue.

  18. I think I’m gonna still go with this as I will be using a laptop and another bible aswell for study so so its not the biggest issue. Although I’d rather have the italics but oh well..
    I have a question though for anyone who owns it in the brown. I’m comparing the brown n black n not sure yet which to go for. Most likely the brown but I was wondering after looking at evangelical bibles pics (http://picasaweb.google.com/evangelicalbible/AllanLongprimerSecondEditionInBlackAndBrownAllan53?feat=directlink#) does the brown have a hint of redness in it? Some pictures show it very much *chocolate* brown – such as the first few in this review – whereas in some it seems more maroon n brown/red. Doesnt matter too much but it does mean if its more maroon then the black is still in with a chance. I guess it varies in different lighting n seems to be simply chocolate brown when pictured in natural light. thx alot

  19. @Matt T
    If you look at the Allan’s website, there is a great pic of the 53BR, which is very true to colour. An absolutely gorgeous book with the gold ribbons!

  20. I think you’d probably have to wrap it back up for a while(like they are when they’re shipped). Haven’t tried it yet myself.

  21. Alan Kurschner wrote:
    “ESV1 full-yapp <-- Dream Bible" This is my dream Bible too. A full yapp "clam shell" for the (now) smaller ESV classic reference would be the ultimate package, in my opinion. Actually, one more change would make it perfect; an ESV Oxford text design print. I'm missing those skinny center column border lines (the Crossway ESV text design doesn't have those).

  22. I learned sometime ago that the text of the Longprimer lacked the usual italics found in all other KJV bibles (Allan’s didn’t remove them). Very unfortunate move. I’m wondering why a text without the italics was ever produced. If the Longprimer had the italics I’d be first in line to purchase one. I’ll have to say with much disappointment that although Allan’s new edition of the longprimer looks fantastic I will stick to my Cambridge KJV bibles. Does anyone else feel that the italics are that important?

    • I would very much prefer having the italics, but if you have read the Bible for man years, you sort of know where the italics go. I need the larger print, and and I don’t see a Bible as a monetary investment, so I will discretely mark them, as a study exercise. Probably take years. Don’t care. I’ll be reading it anyway. This will be my 4th Allan. They are so beautiful. The goatskin feels right; the way the Word of God should be bound, butter soft and enduring.

  23. @AJ, yeah I like the center-column border lines too! Not a deal breaker for me, obviously, as I have an ESV1 and a Reader’s. But to me, it just gives it a more “classic Bible” look to it.
    I’ve been hoping for a “Classic Reference”-sized Bible with the Cambridge Pitt Minion text design, but I certainly like your idea of an Oxford text design.

  24. Michael, I’m with you. I wouldn’t accept a KJV without the italics. They are essential in my opinion.

  25. The Longprimer looks like a great bible! Thanks for the review Mark.

  26. In regards to the paper used in the R.L. Allan KJV Longprimer, here is a reply within an email I received from Allan, “The Cambridge paper is indeed very good and we use it on our Longprimer KJV and will use it on our wide margin Oxford reference edition coming next year.”

  27. The Only High End Bibles I can Honestly say LAST and are GREATLY BOUND are the Local Church Bible Publishers and they only want 45-55 dollars at the most. localchurchbiblepublishers
    I’ve own dozens of RL Allan and Cambridge Bibles and all of them only lasted 1-3 years, But I have a 15 year old Church Publishers Bible that is so marked up (Every-page) and was my old Pastors which preaches with his Bible in his hand and pounds his Bible while preaching and that Bible is still in Great condition. I’m going to be honest! I’m sick of the reviews I see on here when I know better. Are these people lying or do they never really put their Bible to use. I got proof on my side by videos I’ve done on you tube showing RL Allan,Cambridge,Oxford (for the exception of their wide margin, which will go down the tubes when RL Allan start binding them next year)and Nelson signature series (for the exception of the old KJV reference with overlap when ABBA was binding them). I think Mark is making some kind of profit or something on this Blog for Lying to these Good Christian folks LOOKING for a true and honest review. I know I’ll hear a bunch of junk about this comment, but I’d rather be honest then deceitful.
    Galatians 4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

    • I realize it’s 2013 and I ‘m replying to a comment of 2010, but I can’t resist. I’m beginning to feel nearly the same as you Dr. McClurg. I recently purchased a Cambridge Concord in Black Goatskin, a Red Letter edition. Felt great without a doubt, and the features were superior and more extensive than any other Bible except the Thompson Chain Reference. HOWEVER, the print quality was poor, going from bold to fading out in both the black type and the red. There was also a lot of break up in the print letters. Pages were beautiful but so thin and limp that it was hard to turn one page at a time and they tended to turn into the gutter easily and get crinkled. If that is what one likes fine, but I am in the Bible a lot and using this one requires too much love of the product when loving the Word.

    • The leather on Church Bibles doesn t come close to Allan covers. There’s no need to appear nasty in tone, either. These are all honest, well meaning producers of the precious Word. Brother-up a bit, brother.

  28. @Dr. Brian McClurg,
    You say, “I’ve own [sic] dozens of RL Allan and Cambridge Bibles and all of them only lasted 1-3 years.” So could you provide more detail, such as model, cover style, purchase date, and failure mode of your >24 Allan and Cambridge bibles that (each?) haven’t lasted 3 years? Did you sell them? Lose them? Are you saying they all wore out (lose signatures? separated covers?) in less than 3 years???
    Even if you’re a centenarian and these “dozens” of Bibles were bought serially, I find this a little harder to believe than JMB being a liar. I don’t doubt LCBP makes a fine volume, but I find it a little hard to believe their leather, string, and glue is FIVE times stronger or lasts FIVE times longer than Allan’s. Are you possibly prone to hyperbole, Sir?

  29. Dr. Brian McClurg is a KJVO guy. He’s not concerned about anything but that. LCBP just happens to be a KJVO organization.

  30. Brian McClurg: Just a few observations–
    1. I’ve seen you for a while on this blog. You know the kinds of reviews Mark writes. If you disagree with them so much, why do you keep reading this blog?? Surely there must be a better use of your time.
    2. I’ve seen your videos on You Tube. Videos can be doctored. I have no reason to believe that is true in your case, I take you at your word, but just to say that You Tube videos can hardly serve to prove your assertion.
    3. You quoted Galations 4:16. Your implication is that those who disagree with your post (or as you put it, “I know I’ll hear a bunch of junk about this comment”)–and are thereby your enemies (I guess??)–are against you because you speak the truth. My guess is that any enemies you may make on this blog will be, not because you tell the truth, but because of the harsh, judgmental, ungracious, unloving, and libelous tone of your post.
    4. Paul did indeed speak harshly to the Galation church. He was very confrontational. BUT, the difference is that Paul KNEW the Galation church. The harsh letter he wrote them, and other churches, was written in the context of a loving, trusting relationship he shared with them. In short, he had EARNED the right to be harsh and confrontational with them. You, sir, do not have the relationship with us, and therefore have NOT earned that right.
    5. In reading through the Bible, surely you must have come across James 4:11–“Speak not evil of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law…” Yet that is exactly what you have done against Mark. You accuse of him secretly making a profit and deliberately lying on the reviews on this blog. But you offer ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE of this accusation other than your personal gut feeling (which again, is not evidence that can prove your assertion). AT BEST, that is libel. AT WORST, it is bearing false witness, which the Bible speaks very strongly against. Moreover, the same accusation could be made against you with YOUR association with Church Bible Publishers, and on EXACTLY the same amount of evidence.
    My brother, and I DO consider you my brother in Christ, my intent is not to judge you or confront you, as I recognize that I, myself, have not earned that right with you. I offer these observations with great humility, praying that God will daily reveal to me the beams in my OWN eyes, and confessing that I TOO am a sinner, saved by the grace of God. If you are sincere in wanting an honest conversation, rather than just simply trying to prove that you are right and everyone else is wrong, than I welcome and look forward to your response.
    2 Corinthians 13:14–The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

  31. I always thought you were meant to read a Bible – not “pound it”!
    I too have had the problem Brian mentions with my Cambridge cameo reference Bible where it splits between the back cover and the spine – but this is only after 20 years of being my ‘main Bible’. The leather simply wore through.
    For me RL Allan publish some of the finest Bibles available – I have never had a problem with an Allan Bible. Unlike the Cambridge the design of their leather linings actually fix the above mentioned problem (unless you actually tear the leather lining). When treated with care these Bibles will last a lifetime.

  32. I’ve had nothing but an irenic tone for KJVO folk here in the past. In fact, I’ve been greatful to Mr. McClurg for making us aware of LCP and I may even buy an LCP Bible.
    But, for my part, I am losing patience, and it’s not just because of Brian’s divisive tone.
    I once viewed KJVO folk as Evangelical gospel believing Christians whom I just happenned to disagree with on the issue of translation and on some issues of morality (i.e., whether or not it was moral for a woman to wear slacks, or for a person to drink a glass of wine, etc.). I have come to realize over time, however, that the legalistic morality of fundamentalism does not simply touch on the question of practical morality–i.e., something where different Christians honestly disagree about how saved Christians ought to live their lives. Rather, the fundamentalist conception of morality cuts to the heart of the gospel, betraying a way of thinking that perverts the gospel such that it is “no gospel at all,” but rather a works salvation counterfeit gospel.
    The better fundamentalist KJVO types will say that one is saved “by grace through faith, and that not of yourselves” in a formal, intellectual sense. But then they will attach to that faith all sorts of works which are necessary to prove that the faith is genuine. The proclamation of salvation through the redemptive work of Christ is formally there, in the better versions of KJVO fundamentalism, but it is a veneer superficially applied to a works salvation. If one does not follow a very rigid, extra-biblical set of rules, then one does not have a genuine faith and is not, therefore saved (or, in Holiness/Arminian branches of fundamentalism, has lost his salvation). After all, they say “Jesus said, ‘by their fruits you shall know them.'” In the worse versions of KJVO fundamentalism, you will actually not even hear grace and forgiveness preached, ever–period.
    I believe that this legalism ties in directly with the fundamentalist movement’s ability to continue to hold to a view that is so historically ill informed and irrational as the KJVO view. Simply put, KJVO folk are afraid of going to hell because they broke a rule or got something wrong on the long list of works that they have to do to prove their salvation (or stay saved, for the Arminians), so this generates a fear of going to hell because they read a “perversion” of the Bible. Since the KJV was basically the only English translation of the Bible on the scene when legalistic fundamentalism came into being, it was easy to identify this revered translation with “THE Bible.” And, if you want to make sure you’re keeping all the rules so that you won’t go to hell, then, by golly, you’d better make sure you’re using THE Bible!
    So here we are, long after the KJV has lost its hegemony as the major English translation, and there are still KJVO people who believe things that are patently historically false, such as the idea that the so-called “Textus Receptus” represents a text that has an unbroken lineage all the way back to the original autographs (when, in fact, the TR was a CRITICAL text compiled by Erasmus that actually deviates from the Majority/Byzantine Text because it follows the CATHOLIC VULGATE at pionts). Why are people so willing to believe such bullocks? Because they are afraid of going to hell for not keeping all the rules.

  33. H Jim, excellent! I’m curious how they refute the Erasmus issue. I’ve always wondered about that.

    • Something usually missing from the assertion that KJVO’s are Textus Receptus only is a failure to consider other issues for the KJV preference over the subsequent Bible translations beginning with the RV of 1881. The issues I refer to can be observed by an actual comparison of differences in the texts, and of the Roman Catholic Church involvement in translation which is a turn off for many Protestants. The translations following in the line of the work of Westcott and Hort for the 1881 RV and progeny seem to change to accommodate a so called modern morality,i.e.:”sexual morality” in place of “fornication” and gender inclusive words to please liberalism. Another good example of changes objected to by those of us who prefer KJV is found in Matthew 5:22. When one leaves out “without cause” following anger, a technical discernment sees that it makes Jesus a sinner and says anger (period) is sinful. We get into intellectual la la land in debating the preference for KJV vs the line of translations started by Westcott and Hort. Those of us who just happen to trust the KJV over other English translations have good reasons that the usual intellectual politically correct critics can’t handle well because the reasons may be too simple and down to earth.

      What I hear too much of is calling those of us who “prefer and trust” the KJV over other translations, KJVO. That, to me, is a quantification the intellectual seems to need for intellectual purposes and in need of a reality check.

      God bless.

  34. Dr. Brian McClurg,
    I watched your video and noted 3-4 bibles that were damaged though repairable with binding tape. (The wear on the page edges and covers lead me to believe these books were not worn-out but mis-handled or poorly broken-in, but that’s another story.) Only 2-3 of these are Allans or Cambridges. Where are the “dozens of RL Allan and Cambridge Bibles” you offer as evidence of JMB’s lying on this blog? I believe you owe us another 20 or so to back up that claim. Or were you exaggerating?
    Many of us have grown quite fond of JMB and this blog and don’t take kindly to his being called a liar. You can harbor all the funny beliefs you want about textual criticism and the inherent superiority of the KJV–hey I like it myself!–but don’t make unsubstantiated accusations against good people.

  35. Something that’s become all too common, it seems to me, is the position that if I experience “x”, then “x” must be objective truth and others who say they don’t experience “x” must be wrong and/or untruthful. (I speak only of physical objects here, I’m not endorsing subjective theology!) A survey of product reviews on Amazon or Newegg.com would seem to bear this out: a product may have, say, 80% of its ratings be five out of five stars, yet someone who has a bad experience with that product states that the product *is* poor, with no acknowledgement of the excellent experiences that the vast majority of other uses report. When I review something I try to limit my remarks to describing my own experience, but I understand that that’s just my own experience and I don’t get “sick of” other peoples’ reviews if they report more or less satisfaction than my own.
    I’ve been scanning Bible reviews online for several years, and I’ve found that people do report problems with binding, paper, leather, etc., even with expensive, high-end Bibles. I don’t see any evidence that there’s any great level of untruthfulness on peoples’ parts. My own conclusion from what I read online and from my own experiences (I own about 125 Bibles) is that:
    1) Allan and Cambridge Bibles are generally well made and will hold up well for most people, even with heavy use.
    2) Mr. McClurg apparently handles his Bibles less carefully than most people. (Although certainly not with less respect for Scripture.)
    My nephew and his father both tend to break things. Watches, laptops and other items that tend to hold up well for me don’t last long in their hands. They’re both kind and loving people with big hearts, and I love them dearly, but they just handle things differently than I do. I work in IT and in my company there are a couple of staff who have far more computer problems than anyone else, regardless of what particular PCs they’re using. These staff just interact differently with their computers than others, but they tend to blame their problems on the software they’re using without understanding that that same software works well for almost everyone else.
    I own three Bearing Precious Seed Bibles (including two from a source other than LCBP that has since stopped selling to the public) and they are indeed very well made and are exceptional values. I encourage anyone interested in KJV Bibles to consider them. I’m happy that they’re holding up so well for Mr. McClurg, and I’m generally happy that he’s helping to promote LCBP as I think their ministry is a valuable part of keeping the art of quality Bible manufacturing alive. I’m not as pleased, however, with his accusations regarding other reviewers and against Mark. I’m all for reporting one’s own experiences, but we could do with less of the attitude of “If others are reporting experiences that differ from mine, they must be lying.”

  36. I have been looking at this site for a little over a year now, but have never posted before…….So hey everyone!
    I have to say that I really do enjoy the labor of love on Mark’s part that is Bible Design Blog. It has really helped me to make informed desicions on some bible purchases for myself and as gifts for others.
    I have purchased bibles from Allan’s and LCBP and have this to say:
    I really enjoy reading and studying from both of them, but at the end of the day I prefer the RL Allan design,mainly because (shamefully) they look better! I have probably lost all credibility as a Baptist now…LOL! but that is simply how I judge it.
    I only use the KJV when reading and studying, but I am also intelligent enough to know that I don’t know everything, especially about Greek and Hebrew and textual critisim ect, so I am simply happy to agree to disagree. In fact, a good friend of mine uses the NIV and we have never fired a shot at one another.
    All in all I am pleased that Mark has created this blog, it has heplped me to make informed purchases, for which I am extremely grateful. It has also opened my eyes to different publishers ect. that I was not aware of. So thank you Mark.
    I believe that if a person has a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, then the Holy Spirit will direct that person in their spirtual walk. Not me, not anyone else.
    I wish all of you well on your siritual walk with our Saviour and look forward to meeting all of you oneday in his eternal kingdom.
    Oh, and buy the Longprimer in Brown, you won’t regret it.

  37. Bruce, the irony is that I think more people would be willing to take a look at and support Local Church Bible Publishers if Brian M. were to have taken a more humble, positive attitude. Sadly, he has instead probably alienated many both to the publishing house and the KJV Only position.
    And Derek, welcome to the conversation! For the most part, it is a very enlightening and educational experience. We all look forward to your insights in the future.
    By the way, you mentioned something key: textual criticism is a highly complex discipline. Most of us here are probably not experts, and the experts at times disagree with each other. Therefore, I think a bit of humility and dependence on the guidance of the Holy Spirit is the best way to go!

  38. I have made my determination on the KJVO without Brian’s help. You don’t have to dig in too far on the LCBP website to see where they hold the views as Brian. They alienate me without Brian’s help.
    To get back on topic: you can’t go wrong with an Allan bible. I’m excited to see what they have planned in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

  39. JD, can you clarify your last statement…are you excited about what Allan MIGHT have planned? Or are you aware of some new Allan KJV editions that are definitely in the works? I’m only aware of (David Norton’s) New Cambridge Paragraph Bible coming in a personal-size (from Cambridge of course– http://www.amazon.com/dp/0521190630 ) as being a 1611+200 special. I think we’re all hoping for more. But are there?

  40. Bill, apparently, there is a blue longprimer in the works to celebrate.

  41. For those of you looking for the Longprimer in Black Bible Truth Publisher has some in stock, I just ordered one on tuesday and got it yesterday. Just letting you guys know there is an option other than Evangelical Bible and Bibles direct. I stumbled across their site by accident, boy am I glad I did. I don’t know how many they have but I paid $175, which is just a little cheaper than EVB… Hope this helps someone.

  42. You never know what you’ll find on this site…
    Thanks to Derek, I wander over to Bible Truth Publishers, note the selection of pacifist books, am amazed at the world’s largest selection of Darby bibles, and then proceed to check out the KJV models. (The Allans are filed under Oxford, if you’ve got big money to spend.) What catches my eye is one for $15 in bonded leather called a “compact paragraphed bible”, published by TGS. “Who are they?” I ask myself. After getting side-tracked in some esoteric gothic TGS Publishing site, I finally find the correct Mennonite TGS International publisher and locate the same EN1008 bible for a close-out price of $8 + $3.50 shipping. The lo-rez picture showed what truly looked like a 2-column, text-only, paragraphed KJV. How could I resist? I click, I buy, and I will report back when the thing arrives. The Brethren site says it’s only 4.5 x 6 inches so the type may be a little small for my old eyes but I think JMB just might be impressed with this out-of-the-way find.

  43. Ref: Alan, May 09; Is there any way to train full yapp to stay bent over?
    I discovered this by accident; when I carry my Ruby edition in my briefcase, I put a rubber band around it to keep it tight and intact. After a while, I noticed it took a “set” where the rubber band was. I added several more rubber bands , evenly distributed, and alas!! after a few weeks, it was trained nicely!

  44. Re. “full yapp training”…A tight fit in a zippered case should work too. And particularly if it’s a bigger Bible, consider a netbook computer case. They tend to be neoprene, so somewhat stretchy, and offer weather and wear protection as well.

  45. This is my first reply to any of Mark’s reviews… so I just wanted to say that I ordered my first R.L. Allen bible. Actually, I ordered 3 of them: a KJV Long Primer #53 like the ones in this review, an ESVR1, and an AllanPSR, all in brown highland goatskin. It looks like the Long Primer is shipping first, being that they are still in stock. I don’t think I will have to wait long for the other two… but the first one to arrive will keep me busy till the others come in.
    I’ve been looking long and hard for a fine quality KJV reference bible. This review has won me over. And by the looks of Mark’s review of the first edition compared to this second edition, R.L. Allen has made some improvements. I guess I am jumping in at the right time. Also, I noticed Mark’s review of Allen’s ESV Reader and how he compared it with the Long Primer. I think the two will compliment each other very well.
    The Allen Personal Size Reference will be more used for traveling and the like. I don’t share Mark’s preference for smaller bibles, but I really wanted the PSR. The single column format is really nice, and maybe I can comment that a larger single column ESV, similar in format to the PSR but larger, would be in my buying cart, if available. Anyone?
    Thanks again for the helpful reviews.

  46. I just got my Allan Longprimer Oxford Highland Goatskin Bible KJV.
    I ordered it in April and due to delayed shipping and media mail service it showed up today (19 July).
    My question is should there be any red bleed coming from the edges of the paper. As you know its red/goal edges are nice on the outside but I am seeing uneven bleeding onto the page itself especially the corners. Its not big but its uneven and and on every page.
    Other than that I am please with the product.

  47. Will, that is normal with an Allan bible. It usually doesn’t go more than a couple millimeters or so and it’s usually uneven.

  48. I just wanted to provide some balance to a previous poster’s comments. I am not a KJV only person; however, I do prefer the KJV for personal use. I must say that I’m a little perplexed that Mark hasn’t reviewed the Note Taker’s Bible from Local Church Bible Publishers (I emailed him about it months ago). I’ve had the Bible eight months now, using it every day, and it seems to be very well made indeed.
    There are two reasons why I would like Mark to review the Bible and give it more exposure:
    1) The format seems unique and superior to a typical “wide margin” Bible. Instead of having larger margins at the top, bottom and sides, the Note Taker’s Bible has 2.5 inch outside margins which have been fantastic for writing notes. It’s such a useable and unique format, that I think a review is warranted.
    2) At the price of $55 for a calf skin leather Bible that is incredibly soft & supple and well bound, I think I could probably buy 3 of them for the price of a comparable R.L. Allan Bible.
    What say ye Mark?

  49. Sorry, for the extra comment, but I couldn’t let my mistake above go. One of the many things I like about the KJV is that it makes it explicit when a pronoun is singular or plural, so when you see “ye” you know that it’s plural, i.e. y’all. So in a quick attempt to close with a KJV like expression, I totally messed it up 🙂

  50. I really wish I could find a review on the LCBP Notetaker Bible. I watched a youtube review of it and went ahead and ordered one.
    I do have one of their Mini Wide Margin Bibles (a little smaller thanan Allan’s Ruby)and it has erved me for several hard years of living out of a backpack Wwhich is a tough place for a Bible to live).
    However I am gouing to purchase an Allan’s but am stuck between the Ruby and the Brevier Clarendon.

  51. I have picked up both. An Allan Longprimer 53 and The Notetaker reviewed by Brian McClurg in his video.
    Typeface. The Longprimer wins hands down, while the typefaces appear to be of the same size, The Longprimer’s typeface is MUCH bolder giving much easier readability. This is very important to me as I am a heavy reader (generaly over 40 chapters per day)
    Notetakers layout is superb for taking notes in which is why I purchased it.
    Both are very well bound and I can find absolutely no complaints or weakenesses in either. The Longprimer is a good bit thinner and much more comfrtable in the hand, and is exceptionaly flexible. I have never seen a bible so comfortable in the hand before.
    The Longprimer uses a chain reference system which brings up parrallel verses. I am impressed while it is not perfect is a great improvement over most other reference systems I’ve come accross. The concordance and subject index are very good as well, and the dictionary of proper names is great.
    I can’t wait to get my Ruby edition and see if it uses the same reference system.
    Overall I’m very well pleased with the Longprimer. I don’t know how anyone could wear one out in just a year or two without considerable abuse. This is one fantastic bible. Especialy for someone who uses one a lot.

  52. Mike, can you look down into the spines and see if they’re Smyth-sewn or not? I’ve wondered if some of the claimed “endurance” advantages of the LCBP/McClurg Bibles could be due to their being side-sewn instead of saddle-sewn down the middle of the “signatures”. How many actual pages comprise a signature in each?

  53. Bill J
    I think you may have hit the nail on the head. I have taken some time to check and I have not been able to find the center of a signature on the LCBP Notetaker bible yet. They may be using a combination of saddle-sewn with side sewn. I have two of their bibles and both have proven to be very durable and of high binding quality. Their mini wide margin which I have is very readable for a small bible. The typeface of their notetaker bible leaves a bit to be desired. The Longprimer is easily 5-7 times as readable/legible, but then I think the Longprimer could easily set the standard for legibility.
    I wont know for sure untill after a couple years of use, but honestly I think the Longprimer will prove e very bit as durable as the LCBP bible. And as to my use it will see much more use. Due to it’s ease of reading and my heavy reading habits.
    As to the number of pages per signature. I can’t really tell. I can say that the notetaker bible is very flexible and of great binding strength, but I believe after a month of heavier use than most folks give their bibles in a couple years, that the Longprimer is of every bit as high quality of a binding strength and quality.
    I liked the Longprimer enough that I ordered an R.L. Allan Ruby edition as my carry along edition.

  54. Thanks, Mike. I think that explains a lot about LCBP Bibles. Smyth-sewn may be the highest quality binding, but it’s not necessarily the strongest. Some people prefer a Hummer over a Mercedes.

  55. Mike,
    I don’t have a Long primer (Christmas present just don’t tell my wife) but I used to (1 year ago) work for RR Donnelly’s in the press room. They handled pretty much all nelson and zondervan and some other bibles. I can tell you, just the nature of the beast, most of the signatures in a bible, (or any other book) are going to be 32 pages. 2 or 3 signatures might only be 24 pages. Unless the folks across the pond print on something completely different.

  56. LCBP’s Executive Series Note Taker’s Bible in single-piece calfskin is a great Bible at a great price.
    I paid $68 (including shipping) and received a handsomely packaged, beautifully crafted KJV whose features rival or exceed those of other premium bound Bibles I have purchased at higher cost. The Note Taker has a smooth and supple calfskin cover in semi-yapp, durable binding (side-sewn), stitched leather edging, wide outside margins, gilt edges, concordance, maps, note pages fore and aft, two ribbons (why isn’t that the bare minimum?), and raised hubs. Did I mention it’s made in America? Did I also mention it’s only $68?
    While I don’t agree with Brian McClurg’s assessment that The Note Taker is “The Best Bible On The Market” (my vote goes to the Cambridge Wide-Margin Reference in calfskin), he is certainly right to praise the high quality, unique layout, and low price of this Local Church Bible Publishers product on his video:

    The money feature of The Note Taker is the 2.5 inch bordered outside margin that accompanies the single column, verse-by-verse text format. Unlike the Cambridge Wide-Margin Reference, the Note Taker has a black border between the text and the outside margin. For me, that simple fencing, separating verse from white space, really differentiates the Note Taker from the Cambridge Wide-Margin in both style and utility. Whereas Cambridge’s lack of border invites a sort of spontaneous, fragmented gloss scattered across the margins, the Note Taker’s bordered margins encourage commentary that is more orderly, thoughtful, and narrative in form. I definitely use both Bibles for different purposes.
    Yes, there a few quibbles (death, taxes, and Bible formats!): the paper could be a bit thicker and the font a tad darker, (and it would be nice to have an ESV or NASB translation too), but those are trifles considering what you are getting for a bargain price. Did I mention it’s only $68?
    I was just about to upload some photos when I realized that Randy Brown has posted an excellent review (with several close-up photos) of the Note Taker here:
    I would add the following points to his review: the Note Taker is verse-by-verse format, the text is not self-pronouncing and contains no references or footnotes (the price you pay for the added margin real estate), and the Bible has a solid weight to the hand.

  57. It sounds like we’re reaching consensus that the LCBP Bibles are side-sewn. So unless you need the features of the NoteTakers or the size of the large prints, or you’re one who manages to rip the cover off within a year, you can get a true quality binding (saddle-stitched Smyth-sewn) for even less in the TBS Windsor. As the years pass, most bibliophiles will love the way they lie flat, and won’t have any trouble keeping the cover intact. Specify the black calfskin cover if you want tactile quality (prestige) that matches the practical quality.
    However, I will admit the LCBP 215E1B Large Print, especially with the 3-line height “initials”, is looking awfully good to me.
    And John D, 32-page signatures are pretty standard for the octavo-sized 6×9 book. But for smaller volumes, such as the Cambridge Emerald (43/KJ533) or Trinitarian Windsor, the slightly smaller size pages permit today’s roll paper to support 64-page signatures. Bible paper isn’t cheap so the less paper you waste, the cheaper you can sell the Bible.

  58. I was wondering if anyone could help me with a few questions. I have been biding my time getting my first Allan and am curious about the atlantic blue version about to come out. 1.) Why is it calf-skin? I know it will still be soft, (as soft?) but I thought the highland goatskin was the cat’s meow and all that. 2.) Does anyone have an actual clue what the blue will look like. Pictures anywhere?
    Thanks in advance.

  59. A few people mention that the center-column reference system is well liked. For those who have used it, is there anything special about the Allan center-column system compared to other KJV bibles with center-column references? I heard somewhere that Allan’s is a topically arranged system but I don’t know. I’d like to learn about anyone’s experiences with the Allan longprimer center-column references. Also, does anyone know the source of these references (from an Oxford edition bible, etc.?) Thanks.

  60. I’ve just received the Longprimer in brown (and the ESV Reader in black). Apart from the fantastic service given by Nicholas, the quality of this bible far surpasses anything I’ve ever own (in this category). Brown may be the new black, and RL Allan is the standard everyone must be measured against.
    A full 10/10.

  61. I own a black Long Primer (53), Allan NIVC1, and LCBP’s hand size Scofield. The Long Primer is my favorite. Thanks to Mark for getting me hooked. 🙂

  62. I just read through all of the comments here and my opinion about the Allen vs LCBP is this. Comparing the two that I own (Allen Black Highland Goatskin Long Primer, and LCBP’s hand size Scofield). Holding the two together the Allen really has a more luxurious look and feel. I would not mind if the Allen had the stitching along the outside of the cover though, but I am not sure yet how much this will effect durability. Come to think of it, it might actually throw off the aesthetics of the bible. The Long Primer is much easier for me to read, which should be a given. With the Scofield I wish the chapter numbers were bolder, to stand out a little more. One last thing that annoys me with the Scofield is the fact that the book titles are in the middle of the page, instead of the outside. I love both bibles and really, if the Allan only lasts me five years, I can still enjoy the fact that they have a lifetime warranty. Matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen where LCBP states what kind of warranty their bibles come with, does anyone know? I would not hesitate to recommend either, for me though, it’s Allan’s Long Primer.

  63. Has anyone dealt directly with bibles-direct.com before? If so, I need help!

  64. John, thanks for the response, brother. We got the situation rectified. I had ordered a Clarendon and have received no confirmation, and I just wanted to know the best way to reach them besides email. They got in touch with me though, they is good peoples!

  65. Zach, their online ordering system isn’t the most high-tech, but you cannot beat their customer service. They’re usually pretty quick at responding to emails, especially when you consider the time difference if you’re ordering from the U.S. I’m glad it’s all sorted out.

  66. which binding is better, Cambridge R L Allan or LCBP, is it true that LCBP are the highest high end for binding or are the new Cambridge ones also normally good. The Allan 5c is a great bible? I need strong binding as I have cerebral palsy.

  67. Andrew Short,
    All three are very durable. I don’t believe you’ll have an issue with either. My favorite is RL Allan, but LCBP might be better is cost is an issue.
    As far as the Allan 5c, it is currently out of production. Bibles-Direct now sells a Allan 5, which I assume is the same just without the cyclopedic concordance. I actually placed an order for the 5 last week. They have told me that the 5C will not be available until March. I believe the website actually says February though.

  68. I ordered the Long Primer from Evang. Bible. It is my first Allan Bible. I must say that it is a quite impressive Bible. I do have some quality issues with it though. The corners of the leather of the cover are coming loose. Upon receiving the Bible I noticed that the leather in the above center, above and below the text block, where there is different pieces of leather joined toghether was loose. I contacted Evangelical Bible and told them this, and they were very nice and cooperative. I choose not to send it back though. Does the leather above and below the text block, on the upper and lower inside parts of the spine supposed to be seperated, oe should they be glued toghether? In all truth, I found the Cambridge Concord in Goatskin to be more sturdy.

  69. Nathan, I’m surprised you didn’t return the bible. I have several Allans and they are all of very good quality and workmanship. I have owned them for several years and none of them exhibit the quality issues you’ve mentioned. While it’s possible for defects to occur it’s not typical of Allans’ bible.

  70. I must say after reading all of these rave reviews about the Longprimer, that I am not convinced. I am a longtime Cambridge owner. I haved used the Concord since my youth (I am in my 30s), and have not found a Bible to parralel it. I bought the Longprimer and when I received it I encountered the problems that I wrote about above. I have since used super glue and it seems to have worked. My biggest problem with the Longprimer is the paper quality in compared to the quality of my Cambridge editions. The India paper feels better to me than that of the Longprimer. Also, and again this is my opinion, the Leather feels more supple on the Concord. When I preach I do like the size of the text in the Longprimer, but just am not satisifed with it overall. One last critique. When I hold the Longprimer in my hand mid spine, and turn the page, it catches and this has caused a tear. Also the signitures pull up from the top of the spine. Wish I could jump on the bandwagon, but alas I cannot. It is just to “floppy” for me. I guess when you have used a certain Bible for so long, you just feel a bond with that particular Bible. I know that this is mostly a subjective critque, excluding the intitial quality issues, but I really think that Cambridge Bibles are superior. Take this critique with as many grains of salt as you wish, but I am just using the Concord, and shelving the Longprimer. Godspeed!

  71. Sorry to show-up so late to the dance, but I just found this blog.
    I’ve done business with LCBP in the past. They are a good company and offer great customer service.
    That having been said, I have been disappointed with their products. I order three different Bibles
    from them and had to send two of them back. Both Bibles had a number of pages that were stuck together and tore when seperated. The leather they use is very supple and limp. Torn pages make
    the cover quality a moot point.

    • I want to add my best shot at being objective about LCBP vs others. I have three LCBP Bibles; a Standard #180 which is text only in a large and very bold font (maybe 10/11) an Executive #180 which is the same as the Standard but a nicer softer cover, and an older 1907 Scofield Reference with a French Morocco cover (font 7/8). They are all good quality Bibles and easy to read…no ghosting complaint..all have two ribbons; far superior to anything you will find in a book store these days. They do not have the silky smooth feel of pages in the Cambridge Concord nor do they exude the quality of Cambridge, Allen, or Schuyler or even TBS. I consider them good quality workhorses that easily become a friend.

      I purchased one from LCBP that turned out to have a font that was too small for my old eyes. I called them and they very courteously authorized a return and refund.

      I don’t think it is a fair comparison to contrast LCBP Bibles with the high end Cambridge, Allen, Schuyler, products anymore than it’s fair to contrast a Chevy with a Cadillac. Chevy makes a truly fine, reliable, great looking car, but it is not a Cadillac. LCBP is the best model Chevy, Allen and Cambridge are Rolls Royces, and TBS makes a fine Buick.

      • Correction to my comment…..the LCBP Old Scofield I have is the 1909 edition , (no such thing as a 1907).

  72. Comparing the Long Primer with the Cambridge Turquoise, part 1
    (Sorry if this is too long: I found the comparison interesting, and hope you may too.)

    • The Cambridge Turquoise (also known as the Presentation Reference) and the Allan Long Primer are both first-rate large-print reference KJVs. They are superb for reading on a desk or in your lap; though, at more than two pounds in weight, they are quite large to take to church on Sunday … a weight you will happily carry if, like me, you find it hard to read small print in suboptimal light (such as a 16th century stone Church of England building on a rainy Sunday morning in December). People with better sight, or better light, could save weight by using an Allan Brevier or Cambridge Concord.
    • Both of them have the marks of top-grade bindings: both lie flat in Genesis and Revelation; both have “overcasting”, a line of stitches to strengthen the first signature; and my copies of each are free of “cockling”, crinkling in the gutter between the pages.
    • The Turquoise has not been printed at Cambridge for a while and it is getting hard to find. It was one of a number of editions (all KJV of course) developed by Cambridge in the 1920s and 1930s, and named after gemstones. The Diamond, Sapphire and Amethyst are long gone. Cambridge still publishes the Emerald. The Ruby, which was probably the most numerous of them all–the church where I grew up had Collins Ruby text editions by the boxful for teenage work–was named after UK Ruby sized type (at 5½ points, this is rather larger than US Ruby). The Cambridge Ruby is still available from the Trinitarian Bible Society; the Oxford Ruby is still published by R. L. Allan. AFAIK Turquoise is not a font name or a type size, still less a colour.
    • If you are one of those who prefers the KJV text to have italics, you will prefer the Turquoise to the Long Primer. To make the KJV flow in the English of the time, the translators had to add words which were not in the original Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek. Most KJVs, including the Turquoise, set these words in italics; the Long Primer doesn’t. Some members of this community strongly prefer the italics. Fair enough … though with the Turquoise being a receding tide, it is getting difficult to find a reference large-print KJV with italics.
    • The Turquoise differs from the Pure Cambridge Edition in only one letter. This is a more subtle point about the KJV text. There are KJV-only folk in our community, and others who hold the text of the KJV in high regard. Some of these people have studied many KJV editions and concluded that the best of all is the one used by Cambridge in the early 1900s, and in all the gemstone editions. They call this the Pure Cambridge Edition, and believe it should be used as a standard. I don’t share this view but, if you do, you will prefer the Turquoise. The only place where the text of recent Turquoise editions varies from the PCE is in 1 John 5:8, where “spirit” has been replaced by “Spirit”.
  73. Comparing the Long Primer with the Cambridge Turquoise, part 2

    • If you prefer the words of Jesus to be in red, you will prefer the Turquoise; if you prefer them to be in black, you will prefer the Long Primer. Revelation is entirely in black in both editions.
    • Even by R. L. Allan’s standards, the Highland Goatskin binding of the Long Primer is a wonder of suppleness and balance. It’s not just the flexibility of the cover; it’s the way that this works with the relatively large height and width, and the relative thinness, to make a book that flows into one hand and stays there securely while it is being used. My copy of the Turquoise is in calfskin–all that was available–but I have Cambridge goatskin bindings and they do not compare. Actually, neither do all Allan bindings: only the ESV Reader’s Edition have I found to be nearly as good.
    • The Long Primer has a number of luxury, rather than quality, features that you might feel you want/need. The Long Primer has three ribbons to the Turquoise’s two: an advantage when using a reading plan that has passages each day from the OT, the NT and the Psalms. It has full yapp edges to the cover, which offers some extra protection to the page edges. It has two gold lines on the inside of the cover, which create a pleasing frame for your reading when the Bible is in your lap. And it has red-under-gold art gilt edges to the pages … which probably is just cosmetic.
  74. Comparing the Long Primer with the Cambridge Turquoise, part 3

    • Both are equally readable, even in suboptimal light, but the Turquoise has larger print. Both are described by their publishers as being 10 point type on 11 point leading, but not all points are the same size. Partly this is historical–in a world where even the inch was not always the same, there was no chance that moveable type (and leading made of genuine lead) would be standard. Nowadays all computer geeks, though not necessarily all printing shops, use PostScript points, of which there are 72 to the Canadian inch. Even this is not as standard as it sounds since a final document can be expanded or contracted electronically to fit the paper on which it is printed.
      But I digress. As a matter of measurement, the Turquoise has 13 lines to every two column inches; the Long Primer has 15. But the Long Primer is not less readable. I’m not sure why. One factor surely must be the smaller gaps between words in the Turquoise, compounded I’m afraid by the red print.
      Possibly because of the fewer lines per page, the Turquoise weighs 40 oz; the Long Primer weighs 33 oz.
  75. John, great comments, thanks. Allen still makes the Long Primer but where would I find a Cambridge Turquoise?

  76. Hi Bill,
    The Cambridge Turquoise is getting hard to find at acceptable prices. There is a glimmer of hope. On an orphan page on the Allan website, it says
    “A reprint may be undertaken in 2013.”
    The demand for such Bibles is greatest in the US, so I had a quick look at some non-US sources this evening The best (not very good) current offering I could find was a retailer in Oregon advertising on Canadian Amazon:
    Cambridge Presentation Reference KJV in Black French Morocco
    Merry Christmas!

  77. Recently bought a LCBP midsized Scofield in black calfskin. Certainly worth twice what I paid. Also have older Cambridge (buffalo calfskin), and Oxford (morroco). KJV’s. Hope to obtain an Allan in the next year. Grew up in KJV churches in the 60’s. Numerically they are in decline and have moved to the fringe. Sad we can’t appreciate beautiful Bibles together. One point I didn’t understand in LCBP statements. They allow for new translations to be made in any other language than English (if using correct original language texts). But reject this for English. Where is the logic there?

  78. Dear Mark,
    I’ve only recently discovered your blog and I’d like to thank you, I’ve really enjoyed it and been introduced, for the first time, to the merits of a quality Bible. In fact, I’ve now purchased two Allan Bibles on the strength of your recommendation. The first Bible was the NRSV highland goatskin, which I use for preparing sermons (it’s the version we used in the church where I am rector). The second bible was the KJV long primer in highland goatskin. This is the most beautiful object I own in the whole world. I’m finding that the language of the KJV speaks to my heart and spirit in a way I’d never have dreamed possible even five years ago. It’s like reading art for the soul! Anyway, I have a question. Your review above mentions a black and brown binding, but I have this edition in blue highland goatskin. Did this version come out subsequent to your blog? Or, is my KJV long primer not the same as the above? Was it published for the 400 celebrations?
    Thank you so much for this blog, I love it!
    Best wishes
    Nick Bundock, Manchester, England

  79. Does any one out there have an opinion of the Longprimer 52 with the French Morocco binding. The Highland Goatskin is lovely and feels wonderful but it is really to soft for me. I would appreciate any assistance you all can give me.
    Don Denison

  80. Thanks, Don. I’m wondering the same thing. And in particular, is the textblock (binding/sewing and paper) identical between the FM and GS editions? That could be a deal-breaker for me.
    As far as just the covers go, I almost prefer the grain and more moderate yap in the FM. So why the HUGE difference in price? Hard to believe it’s just a material difference; the labor would be the same in both. Page gilding? The pictures look different in the Allan site but the red-under-gold description is the same. The GS explicitly has leather linings…perhaps not the FM?

  81. Thanks Bill: I figured some one would some ideas about this or at least know what the right questions are to ask. I can’t get out of my mind the Oxford Schofield Reference Bible the family bought my father in 1954 Dad taught Sunday School, propared lessons and did a lot of reading just searching God’s Word. 46 hard years of use (we lost Daddy in 2000) left it still useable and still attractive, the map section loosened, and needed repair, the ribbons were worn almost to the edge of the page, and some of the edges of the leather cover were worn away. I gave the Bible to my nephew who is in seminary at Concordia University at FT Wayne Indiana. He is going to stabilize the signatures and get it tightened up utilizing the existing parts, evidently they have a book conservation operation there. I want something just as durable. After so many years service, the bible was soft, but still had enough substance that it would not collapse when held in one hand. I am hoping the Longprimer 52 will be just as rugged and last as long as the old Schofield
    Maybe we’ll get lucky and hear from someone who has some actual experience with the 52 Longprimer, or if worse comes to worse, I’ll break down and buy one and find out what I want to know that way.

  82. I don’t mean to cut into your discussion, but I came across this YouTube link of the 52 Longprimer that may answer some of your questions.

  83. Dear Norm:
    I couldn’t get anywhere with the link, probably because I’m a 72 year old troglodyte and have never been on a youtube page in my life, I barely know what one is. Would you please post a summary for those of us who’re stuck in the 50’s. I would really appreciate it.
    Don Denison

  84. Sorry Don,
    This is my third attempt at posting a response to your query, I’ll lose the links this time around. Anyway there is a couple of reviews on Evangelical Bibles website on the indexed version of this bible. The YouTube Video posted by Andrew Bergren also posted one of the reviews on EV’s website. I’ll try to stick to the differences in construction between the 52 and 53 LP that Andrew mentions in his video. The yapp on the 52 is Semi and not full, the liners are made of paper and not leather, and the first and second pages are not glued together in the 52. The French Morocco of course is more stiff and the grain is pressed in unlike the natural grain in the 53 LP. I like the way Andrew summarized the 52 LP as “a Working Man’s Longprimer.” Anyway after seeing the video I wouldn’t mind owning one. I don’t know if Andrew peruses this Blog, but it would interesting to directly hear from him.

  85. Thanks Norm:
    It looks to me like this is the Bible I’m looking for. I don’t mind the paper liner or end pages as it serves to keep the Bible a little stiffer, unless I’m sitting at a table the soft supple ones cause difficulty for me when reading more than a few minutes. I’m presently using a Cambridge Personal Concord bound in French Morocco, I didn’t like it at first, but after using it for a few months it softened, then stabilized. The quality is not nearly as good as the 1954 Oxford Schofield Reference Bible that my father left me, but as a using Bible it works well and sits comfortably on the lamp table next to my recliner. Perhaps the 52 LP will be a better quality Bible. I thought of the Personal Concord as a temporary stand-in until I could find what I really wanted, it has served well as a Study Bible when used with the usual study tools , Cruden’s Concordance and a Bible Dictionary, it is not as elegant as I would like it to be though. I’m looking for a high quality Bible that will last me the rest of my life. I think I will try the 52 LP. Thank you for your help and patience.

  86. Don,
    I’ve been thinking. I wonder how some of the older Longprimers are constructed and when I say older I’m thinking somewhere between the late 90’s or early 2000 range. What got me to thinking? I just purchased an NIV secondhand from a very nice gentleman through a listing he posted on this site. I just received it last week and I really like it, it’s become my favorite bible. I don’t know the age of this edition, but the latest listed date of the text is 1998. The size of this bible is very comparable to the Longprimer. The cover is made of goatskin and it is actually quite stiff compared with the Highland Goatskin cover, which I like. The earliest review on the Longprimer that I could find by Mark was 2008, which according to Mark’s review the Longprimer at that time had the Highland Goatskin. Of course, I also don’t know when R.L. Allan started producing the Oxford Longprimer. Maybe someone with more knowledge of some of the older Oxford/Allan Longprimers would like to comment?

  87. Hopefully someone will see this comment on a three-year-old post.

    Are there italics (indicating supplied words, as per Blayney 1769) in this edition, or not (as per Norton)? What a shame if they didn’t include italics, ruining this – extremely finely-made – edition for the serious student who studies in the English Bible. (Yeah, as Norton said in “Textual History”, ‘the italics are kind of pointless, and Strong’s numbers are a better indicator of relation between English and the originals anyways” – what a cop-out for not being able to update the italics, since Norton is not a scholar of the Biblical languages.)

    I take it “roman” is distinguished from “italic” type in the body of the review, so, indeed, there are none, which is disappointing, as I’ve been looking for a good old-world style, full-yapp goatskin leather-lined King James Bible, and was about to drop $200 on this one (as it’s the only one that fits the bill that I can see) before I decided to pop over to Bible Design Blog to see the review – thank God I did. (I’m one of the “King James Bible purists”, although I’ll use the NCPB for reading over against study, and will appoint the NKJV for children and those who have ESL – with the goal of eventually trading up to the “real” Bible, of course!)

    I thought all King James Bibles had italics (or roman type in the original blackletter settings), and the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible (which falls somewhere between an editorial revision of the King James Bible a la Parris and a true “New” King James version, where Norton most certainly overstepped his mandate) did not.

    If this is not a “Pure Cambridge Edition” (i.e. a somewhat faithful reproduction of the 1769 [Oxford!] Blayney text, italics and all), does anyone know of a King James Bible that:

    1. Has the italics.
    2. Has chapter summaries
    2.1. Has running headers.
    3. Is goatskin-bound.
    3.1. Is full-yapp.
    3.2. Is leather-lined.
    3.3. Is art-gilt.
    4. Has cross-references.
    5. Is octavo/Clarion-sized (between 5.5-6.5″ x 7-9″)
    6. Has some kind of concordance or other padding in the back so it’s possible to read Revelation.
    7. Is paragraphed (I’m resigned to giving this up if I want the other requirements.)

    I think that list is as good as a pipe dream. The Clarion has it all – even paragraphs – but is lacking the yapp and the chapter summaries and running heads, which are important for timely reference and preaching (and for not getting lost when opening the Bible, for that matter).

    This edition appears to be lacking italics and paragraphs, but has the yapp and chapter summaries and running heads.

    Is there any that has at least the italics and chapter summaries and running heads?

  88. Note, three ribbons at least are also required, and that even rebinding won’t work here, because neither Leonard’s (nor any other Bible binder I know of) can rebind a Bible with leather lining and a full (1.0″/2.5cm or more) yapp for any price. (I’ve asked several and offered a cut-rate marquess’s ransom.) Otherwise I’d just buy the cheapest Cambridge Concord and have it de-bound and rebound.

    The TBS Westminster is interesting, and has four ribbons (excellent), side-column references (excellent), chapter headings and running references, but the font is way “off” for a Bible (not in size – it’s too modern and lightweight, it reminds me of a Palatino knockoff), and, additionally, there are too few characters-per-line, and it only comes in calfskin without yapp.

    • I like your specs Father! But like you say, isn’t a custom rebound Cambridge Concord exactly what you want? Just make sure they don’t trim off the art-gild edges.

  89. That’s what I’d think, but no binder can do leather-lining with a full yapp that I know of. Do you know of a bookbinder who could rebind a Cambridge Concord with full yapp (at least 1/2″ per side) and leather lining?

    I know Leonard’s can do leather lining and semi-yapp now, but I don’t think they can do full yapp yet.

  90. True “full yapp”, although I’m not sure if there’s a further technical name for it (i.e. half circuit, full circuit, etc.; I’m not a bookbinder, although I should learn more of the lingo). Speaking of that most people probably have no idea what “yapp” is in the first place!

    Full yapp, as I understand it, is where each part of the yapp is long enough to nearly reach the other side of the text block (in the process overlapping the opposite-side yapp when closed). This is a prominent style on quite a few late 19th c. Bibles I’ve seen (earlier ones were all leather over boards).

    So, for a typical personal Bible, it would be between 1/2″ (for a reasonably-sized thinline) and about 0.9″ for a Clarion, which is a bit thicker.

    • Fr, the binderies given on this site all do “specials” so they’ll have no trouble doing full yapp, your description of which is spot on. You choose the hide and they cut it to proper dimensions. Give some thought as to how flexible your want the cover…that will determine what they use (if anything) between the cover and the inner lining.

  91. I bought a Longprimer three years ago. I never really used it. I got bored with it to be honest. Why?

    Firstly, because the goatskin leather has a plastic feel.

    Secondly, because the text block and leather cover self evidently do not belong together – they look like separate component parts shipped in from different factories, which indeed they are (unlike, say, a Cambridge Bible).

    Thirdly, because the font is boring (like all the fonts used by Allen in all Bible versions).

    The future is very definitely Schuyler.

  92. I received my Allen Long Primer today from evangelicalBible. I was apprehensive about ordering another expensive Bible due to disappointment with a Cambridge Concord in Goatskin that I had ordered a short time ago. The Cambridge was a very fine Bible without question, but the size of the print was just too small for my old eyes. I was also a bit concerned because the very thin pages felt too delicate for my tastes. So the disappointment was just all my needs and not a criticism of the quality or beauty of the product.

    The Allen Long Primer is perfect for me! I am elated! I love the feel and look of the black Goatskin. I am much happier with the feel and appearance of the paper; no ghosting. The boldness, size, and type of font is easy for me to read comfortably.
    The references are tiny but, oh well, they are not intrusive. It satisfies my search for a main carry Bible. The only thing I wish it had is the Dictionary that Cambridge includes in the Concord.

    This is the first high end Bible I have ever had and I am glad I splurged and got it.

    • Adding this to the above……..the leather cover material has come loose in a couple spots where it is folded over to the inside. Apparently it was not glued successfully. I called evangelicalBible and I was told that a little Super Glue would fix it.

  93. Just for fun. I found out that the magical highland goatskin is in fact a rare all natural skin with no impressions. Also known as sokoto goats. These goats come from an extremely hostile territory in Africa. Very dangerous to aquire, thus the expense. You can buy it at Siegal leather. Most of these hides run $150 so that explains the cost of an Allan. Makes me wonder how much Allan actually makes when you figure in all the other binding elements. Yes I think that the price of the long primer is modest compared to the facts. Thought this might interest some folks

  94. Words cant describe how good the Longprimer 53 is. I also have a Sovereign 63. I like it better except for the fact that the cover is too thin for the thick book block. I highly recommend Allan bibles. The Longprimer 53 is great in the hands no matter where you are page wise. Its so easy to carry and manipulate. Im very interested in seeing a review on the 63. Im curious to see what your thoughts are on the Sovereign. Even though I like it, I do have a couple of complaints and do wonder how long it will last. The price tag for a first edition from th U.K. was pretty high. Im not as satisfied as I would like to be considering the price. I mentioned the cover already. The other issue I have is that the text and inner lining are stitched together through Genesis chpt. 24. Bibles sewn like that have caused major page crinkling in the past for me. I hope this isnt the case for the 63. I lost a very special Thompson chain reference because of this issue. God bless

    • Yes the 53 is awe inspiring indeed. I like it for being the perfect size and text layout.
      Most Allan bibles I have seen have that overcast stitching on pages in genisis and toward the back. A lot of Allan bibles suffer the cockling effect, but it adds to the hand bound charm. It used to bother me a lot but now I try to ignore it. (First world problems) I agree that if you have a 53 you might not want to get a sovereign. While its a bit bigger I personally feel its not necessary.
      My NKJV suffers the most extreme cockling of all my bibles; because its no longer in print I cherish it above the rest. But in all seriousness there are a lot of rebinders that do better work for less (I.e. Caloca Jr. And Bensbibles come to mind). But Allan has that extra special something that I can’t put my finger on. Maybe its the Nigerian goatskin or the art guilding.

      • I would do just fine with the 53 alone. I bought the 63 strictly for taking notes. I like to keep the text in the 53 clean. I will admit that the 63 is much easier to read.

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