Schuyler Quentel Reference Bible (NASB) in Firebrick Red Goatskin

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Introducing the Quentel NASB in Firebrick Red. Designed by 2K/Denmark. Printed and bound by Jongbloed. Type: 11 pt. Paper: 45 gsm

The Quentel NASB, the first reference Bible in a new line from Schuyler, features a new typesetting by the Danish firm 2k/Denmark and was printed and bound in the Netherlands by Jongbloed. To make the Quentel stand out, Schuyler specified 11-point type and a luxurious 45gsm paper, two choices that make this edition roughly the size and weight of an ESV Study Bible. This is not a thinline by any means and won’t charm the weight weinies out there, either. If you can manage the girth, however, the Quentel offers nice big type and vintage-style opacity. In essence Schuyler has done what a lot of Bible Design Blog readers dream of: they jettisoned the thinline chic to find out what happens when you increase type and paper thickness. If you ask me, the Quentel is a triumph.

The specs from EvangelicalBible.com look like this:

Goatskin Covers with Full Leather lining
11 point font
Line Matching
45 GSM Bible Paper (most opaque in the industry)
6 x 9 trim size
16 mm margins (approx 0.65″)
45mm bulk (thickness) – approx 1.5″
4 x 1cm ribbons (All Navy Blue)
Art-Gilt edging (red under gold) with gilt line (gold line inside the cover)
9mm yapp
Smyth Sewn
Black letter text (chapter numbers, headers and page number in red)
more than 95,000 entry cross references
Concordance, 4,025, 20,000 Scripture references.
7 presentation pages
32 pages of extensive oxford maps

To put this new edition in context, I stacked it up with two Bibles I use just about every day, the Cambridge Clarion and the Crossway Legacy (the one in the photos was rebound by Leonard’s Book Restoration). Both are single column settings. I chose the Clarion because it’s the reference edition I’m most likely to recommend, and the Legacy because its footprint is the same as the Quentel’s. As you can see in the photo, the Quentel is significantly thicker than both, and while it stacks up even with the Legacy in height and width, it dwarves the Clarion.

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The Quentel compared to the Cambridge Clarion (top) and the Crossway Legacy (bottom)

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The Quentel compared to Crossway’s ESV Study Bible (bottom)

The closest match to the Quentel I could find was the ESV Study Bible (pictured above), which mirrors the Quentel in all three dimensions and weighs about the same to boot. This should give you some perspective when it comes to carrying the Quentel. If you found the ESV Study Bible to be a brick, you’re going to feel the same way about the Quentel. Don’t say I didn’t warn you: this Bible is big.

DESIGN BY 2K/DENMARK

In October I posted a link to Andreas Krautwald’s reflections on designing the Quentel. His piece offers a detailed walkthrough of the main features. While I haven’t met Andreas, I had the pleasure several years ago of sitting down with Klaus Krogh and Thomas Silkjaer at the International Christian Retail Show, giving me an opportunity to gush about the Design and Production Bible showcasing the work 2k/Denmark (then 2Krogh) and Jongbloed have done together. Ever since I got my hands on that book, I’ve been encouraging people in Bible publishing to go the whole way and have an edition designed by 2k/Denmark and printing and bound by Jongbloed. In fact, during that same weekend at ICRS, I had this conversation with Sky Cline of EvangelicalBible.com, who was already thinking along the same lines.

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The Quentel at first glance appears to be a conventional two column text setting. It looks almost conservative. The design doesn’t scream for you to look at it, but when you do, you notice several refinements. The references are placed at the bottom of the page — textual notes at the end of the outside column, and cross-references in a single column at the foot of the page. This allows more space for the text itself, which the Quentel needs given its 11-point type.

Another refinement is the use of red ink to offset page headers and chapter numbers, and a red rule to separate the text from the references. In traditional printing, using red as an accent for aesthetic purposes was commonplace. Now we tend to associate the practice with red-letter Bibles, especially in North America where the trend got started. The Quentel’s use of red lends the layout a classical elegance I find very attractive to the eye. It helps that the printing was done so superbly.

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Here’s another thing I’ve noticed about the Quentel. You know how two column text settings tend to slice-and-dice poetry sections? You end up with choppy breaks and often a word all alone on the line. Reading the poetry sections in the Quentel, I was impressed how carefully set they seemed. I’m not sure if this required special effort, or if the combination of the NASB text and the type size was serendipitous — but as a writing professor of mine once said, if you did the work, you get credit for the result. Hopefully other Quentel readers will chime in with their experiences. To me, the poetry here looks much better than I expect a two column setting to appear.

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My first real job, circa 1986, was setting type, so I’ve always had a special appreciation for good typography. When you set type in all-caps, the elegant thing to do is reduce the size in relation to the rest of the type, so that it doesn’t shout. You can also letter-space the capitals. I can only imagine how frustrating it is for the designers who work on my novels: they receive my hand-annotated galleys with instructions like “make all-caps small-caps!” accompanied by citations from Robert Bringhurst. While I do not consider myself an expert, I can appreciate the work of those who are. The Quentel’s small headers and its nicely-scaled section headings fill me with joy.

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As you look at the photo above, a page spread from Exodus, you can get a feeling for just how thick the Quentel is. The edge-lined binding from Jongbloed is limp and certainly has the mechanics to open flat. But when you’re near the front or back, the weight of the pages makes it a little bit tricky, and there’s a heavily-reinforced tab on either side of the book, too.

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I’ve never rhapsodized about a concordance before, but the Quentel’s concordance is simply beautiful. It would look good in a frame on the wall. Here the use of red accents, rather than traditional, comes off as very modern (in the best sense).

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THE QUENTEL’S PAPER

For Bible design fanatics, the Quentel’s main selling point has to be the 45gsm paper. For a couple of years, publishers have been pushing the threshold on paper in response to reader concerns about opacity and “ghosting” — that five o’clock shadow that comes from the print on the back of the page showing through to the front. My beloved Clarion’s paper is 27gsm. To minimize ghosting Cambridge uses line-matching, the theory being that if the lines of print on either side of the page match, the five o’clock shadow is reduced. When the lines do match, you can see the desired effect. My Clarion, from the first edition, has a few spots where the lines are off.

The Quentel also uses line-matching while going where no man has gone before — into the 40s, that is. Past Schuyler editions have used 32gsm paper, while the ESV Study Bible and Crossway’s current Thinline, Personal Reference, and Large Print Thinline use 30gsm. The Crossway Legacy, printed in Italy by LEGO, uses 36gsm Thincoat Plus, which has proven very popular. But as far as I know, no one has broken into the 40s before. Flipping through sample books, it’s always seemed to me that in the 40s is where you’d start seeing real improvements in terms of opacity. Don’t expect miracles, though. Tomoe River paper, which I’ve written about before, is considered very thin by fountain pen enthusiasts, and it’s 52gsm.

The Quentel is not free of ghosting. As you can see in the photos, show-through remains visible. However, thicker paper makes a noticeable difference. Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

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For the photo above, I snapped pictures of the Quentel, the Legacy, and the Clarion under the same lighting and in roughly the same position. I’m not an expert on paper, but Cambridge’s Bob Groser is. He told me there’s about a 2.5% difference in opacity between the Clarion’s 27gsm paper and the 32gsm stock used on earlier Schuylers (which is one of Jongbloed’s favorite papers for Bible printing these days, I’m told). I don’t have opacity percentages for the Legacy’s Thincoat Plus or the Quentel’s 45gsm paper, but eyeballing the editions, I think a stair-step of several percentage points is probably right. Even 45gsm paper is still thin, so the gains are marginal — but they are definitely visible. In some light, the contrast is stark.

[Update: Thanks to Andreas Krautwald, I can share the precise specs of the Quentel's paper. It's printed on Bolloré Primapage 45 gsm, which has an ISO opactity rating of 84%, ISO brightness of 87.5% and a bulk of 1,17 cm^3/g. From Bob Groser's numbers I know that the Clarion's Indolux 27gsm paper has an opacity rating of 79.5% and the Primabible 32gsm I mentioned above is rated at 81.5%. This gives a more accurate sense of the incremental gains I speculated on in the previous paragraph. Of course, there are a variety of factors at work in how we perceive opacity, including brightness and print impression.]

There’s a trade-off, though: thickness. As you see below, the Quentel’s thicker paper makes the book much thicker than either the Clarion or the Legacy. Is the extra 2.5-5% opacity worth the extra bulk? Maybe not if portability is your highest priority. If that’s your goal, though, you probably aren’t in the market for a Bible with 11-point type.

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BINDING

The Quentel binding features the edge-lined cover with stitching around the perimeter than Jongbloed has made its staple ever since the release of the Cambridge wide margins a number of years ago. This one is leather-lined, though — in the case of my Firebrick Red review copy, the lining is a dark plum color. The Schuyler logo is blind embossed on the cover, with a gilded version is on the spine. The book’s edges are art-gilt, and there are four thick ribbons (red in this case).

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In front of the Quentel, there are several pages with a thick decorative border designed for hand inscription. The pattern is pretty wild, channeling an Arts and Crafts vibe.

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While I haven’t spent much time looking at Bible maps since childhood, when they got me through many a boring sermon, the ones in back of the Quentel are quite nice. If you get tired of looking at the concordance, you can brush up on Holy Land geography.

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As I mentioned, the Quentel cover is strongly reinforced, which this book block probably requires. That means that while the cover is capable of limp Bible yoga moves, the hinges get in the way. When the Quentel is in your hands, you probably won’t get the urge to bend it back on itself. Just to prove you could, though, I offer a little photographic proof:

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FINAL THOUGHTS

The Quentel is my favorite Schuyler offering to date. I don’t use the NASB much, and I prefer short-and-thick Bibles to big-and-thick ones. Having said that, I admire the Quentel for what it represents. Ever since EvangelicalBible.com began its publishing journey by launching the Schuyler imprint, they’ve been doing for Bible publishing what they did before for retailing: listening to the community and trying to give people what they want. The two biggest complaints I hear from average readers who get in touch via Bible Design Blog are that the print in their Bibles is too small, and the paper is not opaque enough. The reason for both problems is that publishers are betting readers prefer small and thin to big and thick, even if small and thin means too small to read and paper that’s practically see-through. This is the traditional wisdom in the industry, and it’s hard to swim against that tide. The Quentel does just that.

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In the photograph above, you see the two best options for NASB reference editions known to me. The Clarion (right) isn’t thin except in comparison to the Quentel, but it is hand-sized, about the same footprint as a small trade paperback. When the line-matching is dead-on, the 27gsm paper is a livable compromise. Some people disagree, but I grab the Clarion more than any other reference edition … and I have a few to choose from. If you go with the Clarion NASB, you get a well-designed, relatively small, handy Bible printed and bound by Jongbloed. Assuming the level of show-through is acceptable to you, and the type isn’t too small for your eyes, you’re good to go.

The Quentel is also well-designed and printed and bound by Jongbloed, but it bumps the type size and the opacity up considerably. If you struggle with smaller type or find your sensitivity to five o’clock shadows growing, I think you’re going to love the Quentel.

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One of the hardest decisions for me was choosing which color Quentel to review. The Firebrick Red is a great color, quite vibrant in certain light, and in others more subdued. An elegant scarlet color with a hint of a purple undertone. It’s also available in black, dark brown, and imperial blue. The blue tempted me, but just a leopard doesn’t change its spots, my hardwired preference for red (or, when available, tan) won out. There’s something beautiful about that shade. Perhaps I should have been a cardinal instead of a writer. Too late now.

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For more information about the Quentel Series, including Schuyler’s plans for future releases of other translations, be sure to check out the Schuyler Bibles site. The ESV, NKJV, and KJV are all slated for Quentel treatment, meaning the Quentel will be Schuyler’s first “standard” edition. I’m happy to see them taking this approach, which is similar to what Cambridge has been doing with the Clarion, the Pitt Minion, and the Wide Margin. It’s always frustrating to see a format you like and discover it’s unavailable in the translation you need.

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82 Comments on “Schuyler Quentel Reference Bible (NASB) in Firebrick Red Goatskin

  1. This is a great review. I wish you had compared side-by-side with an In Touch NASB text block for bleed through.

      • Just in way of compliment the Quentel is indirectly your child. Because you created BDB, with thousands of subscribers a collected voice was formed. Publishers understand that this group buys thousands of premiums a year. So they listen. Alone we were powerless to influence.

  2. Thank you, Mark, for writing such a thorough review. You included a lot of photos that give a helpful tour of this Bible, especially the size.

    I think you are right that the Quentel does as good a job as any setting poetry in a double column format. Not too many single words stranded on one line.

    I’m normally a brown Bible guy, but I really like this edition in red. I think the red chapter numbers and headers look beautiful own their own, but when combined with the red cover and red ribbons, it’s outstanding. The dark plum lining is a unique touch (we’ve seen enough non-black covers with black linings). I also love the decorative presentation page.

    It’s a bit large for my preferences, but that’s the nature of the beast. I’m not in the market for a NASB, but when the ESV comes out I may be able to compromise on the size in favor of all the other positive features.

    One more thing: no plans for an NIV? Say it ain’t so.

  3. Awesome review, I can’t believe how massive this bible is. Very excited to start reading this behemoth, although living in Canada I’ll be waiting substantially longer to get mine…

  4. You knocked that one right out of the ballpark Evangelical Bible!! Congrats on the extraordinary work. No surprise considering the folks you’ve teamed up with to create this masterpiece. That being said, the “brick” comments are going to haunt this thing like ghosting on the first Allan ESV Reader’s Edition (no pun intended). I know we all want 100 GSM paper, 18 pt. font in a Bible that can fit in your back pocket but this is a clear example of the draw-backs of getting what we demand. My ESV Study Bibles sit on my desk at home and church. This too will become your desk Bible folks which is ok if that’s what you want. My Personal Size Study Bible, however, is portable enough to pop in my backpack for Bible studies etc. As an ESV Legacy user (the real “Readers Edition” R.L. Allan should have produced–not a slightly enlarged awkward sized ESV 1) 36 GSM is more than enough for opacity. The paper in my Legacy is stunning and makes for exceptional reading. No need for anything thicker. Schuyler should rethink this one in future translations, get it down to Legacy thickness using similar paper and bingo you’d have a hands down winner. Mr. Bertrand’s picture comparing GSM says it all. Thank-you for another wonderful review and thanks again for making the Bible world a better place Evangelical Bible!!!

    • Richard: you nailed it in regards to size vs ghosting! I’ve seen others make the same exact comment. The next Quentel should consider downsizing a bit. The ESV Legacy is a wonderful balance.

  5. Dennis–as a fellow Canadian the postage costs on the Evangelical Bible items price them way out of the ballpark for this canuck. I find costs are usually in the $30-35 dollar range. Out of curiosity popped this one in the cart to check out what postage to Canada would cost and, yes, $35.04 to be exact. Now, add the currency conversion and, you’re paying $285.00 for this if my calculations are correct. Yikes.

  6. Great job Mr. Bertrand! I can’t think of one single question I have about this Bible that you didn’t answer. I am excited to hear they will be offering this Bible in my translation of choice as well. I must say that just as you stated the Clarion has also become my go to reference edition. I have really taken to the single column setting. Do you think Allan has any plans of doing a single column version in classic Allan semi or full yapp style?

      • Awesome, I was about to pull the trigger on the RL Allan’s ESV New Readers Edition until I saw this and that they are releasing it in ESV. Now I have to decide how long I can wait. I have to Crossway Omega but it’s hard to flip between pages with the paper being so slick and thin.

        I absolutely love your blog. I’ve not came across a writer that can write about things as well as you do. Such a joy to read.

  7. I wish there was (and maybe there is…?) a brick-and-mortar equivalent to EvangelicalBible.com. Perhaps in a highly populated and highly pious part of the country, a luxury Bible boutique would be a viable business! I would love to be able to get up close and personal with the beautiful diversity of Bibles available these days.

  8. Just a technical note, 45mm – if it is that thin – is more like 1 3/4″ than 1 1/2″ thick, 1.77+ to be exact.

  9. “It’s always frustrating to see a format you like and discover it’s unavailable in the translation you need.” Those of use who are fans of the NRSV feel this pain all the time. Oh how I long for a Pitt Minion NRSV, or a NRSV Personal Reference Bible (like Crossway’s ESV in that format), and now a Quentel NRSV! I may have to start my own publishing company, because none of the existing ones seem willing to do so.

  10. Hello,how easy is it to read a bible in the beginning few books and last few books being this thick? Seems like I’d have to tilt my head to read the pages as they curve around. I’m really interested in this bible format when they release the ESV version. I’m wanting the 11pt font.

    Thanks

    • Michael, it’s not such a challenge because you can shift the binding back and forth. Here I kept the spine flat to illustrate the effect of the thickness on opening.

  11. Yet another great review. I think the red chapter numbers, for such a tiny detail, is an extraordinary addition. Kudos to Schuyler on this Bible. It almost convinced me to purchase an NASV. Almost.

  12. Thanks Mark for the plenary review of the Quentel, such as others that I’ve become accustomed to on your blog. Exactly seems such a strong word but as a pastor this would seem to be ‘exactly’ what I have been desiring in a Bible. It is for one being delivered initially in the NASB, determined by many to be the most literal translation of the Biblical texts from the original tongues, kudos. Secondly, the quality of materials and craftsmanship seem to be top of the line, goatskin, love the double column format, references at the bottom, typeset, and the gsm for opacity. Thirdly, it is simply beautiful, strong again I know, the contrasting red header, chapter and even it’s use in the concordance, bravo. Thanks to Schuyler for casting off the thinline movement and forging ahead and providing a product for those consumers who desire substance over style and have been privileged to receive both.

  13. Point blank BibleDesign fans… should I buy the Schuyler Quentel NASB or the R.L. Allan NASB Reader’s Reference Edition? And please don’t say “both”!

    • Go with the Schuyler. The Allan NASB Reader’s Reference has verse-by-verse formatting, which in my opinion completely removes it from consideration. While the Schuyler is a double column, it’s done fairly well.

      • On the other hand, the Allan NAS Reader’s is large font, very readable, easily held in the hand being very thin (which means you don’t need a fork lift to pick it up), and has pretty decent yapp, to say nothing of the fact that it is, after all, an Allan Bible………….

    • Well, if you take into account the major size difference between those two Bibles and you are fine with either one, I’d say, without a doubt, get the Quentel. I’ve owned the R.L. Allan NASB Reader’s Reference Edition, and while a decent Bible, it’s not a “triumph”. The font in the Quentel will be much clearer and larger than the Allan NASB and it has less ghosting, AND even line matching! For legibility, getting the Quentel is the obvious option. The font seemed a little small in the Allan NASB and in my opinion, and more ghosting than I would of liked. As for the binding, the Allan NASB wasn’t even bound in their London bindery (it was bound by Jongbloed), so you’re not quite getting Allan’s signature binding style and people have complained about that. The Allan NASB does have “wide yapp” though, while the Quentel has 9mm yapp, which seems almost non existent.

  14. Mark, thanks for the great review. I am considering purchasing one of these Bibles, however, I do have what I think is a significant concern and I’m hoping you will give me your best guess. It seems to me that with a spine that is so wide that it will inevitably curve inward or the leather will “indent” with use. I’ve noticed on several of the website photos (and perhaps even one of the photos which you have taken) that you can even see beginning of an indentation. I had that happen with an old NIV Study Bible (“top grain leather”) and hated the effect. It seem to me that a Bible which costs this much should avoid that happening.

    Any help you can give would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Gregg

    • Good question. The cover curves with the spine rather than against it, so instead of forming a U when opened flat it’s more of an arch. Since this is the only copy I’ve seen, I don’t know if thy il all do likewise, but let’s assume so. Given the weight of the book and how easily you can shift these limp bindings side-to-side it’s possible you could bend the cover in such a way that a crease develops on the spine. Once more of these are out it will be easier to say. Right now I would only be speculating. It’s not currently showing this problem and that’s all I know for sure — but I see what you mean about the “bump,” and I can’t rule out the possibility.

    • Yeah, at least amongst any but the most liberal Protestants and Roman Catholics.

  15. So thankful for this new NASB! Those of us with man-hands are rejoicing!

  16. ESV, ESV, NASB, BCP, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, ROMAN BREVIARY? Where’s the Examen of Chemnitz?

  17. Another question — does it look like they’ll release this in (Old) KJB? It’s the only translation I use on a regular basis, and, with the Clarion for some personal use, I generally am stuck using the odd old-new fusion of the Westminster Reference Bible from TBS — even though I have nearly a full shelf of more “high-end” Bibles, and better-formatted ones. This looks like it would be ideal — large font, and not verse-by-verse. (I’ve looked at the Longprimer but it doesn’t have italics: might as well go all the way and get the NCPB if you’re losing italics. Pitt Minion is too small; etc.)

    This would be a Bible for public and/or pulpit use, and maybe desk study (replacing my leather NCPB full-size), to complement the Clarion (KJB) and Westminster, my two main editions of the Bible.

    In regards to some of the NRSV comments: yes, users of the NRSV (a translation I have a strong dislike for) are stuck with a variety of crappy bindings and formattings, for the most part: but there are some available, and they are modern and easy-to-read. The user of the KJB is stuck with a nearly infinite variety of excellent, old-world bindings wrapped around archaic, terrible formattings, for the most part — the Pitt Minion and Clarion being the only two exceptions I know of, except for the two (Old and New) Cambridge Paragraph Bibles, neither of which are part of the mainstream of the KJB textual tradition (as shown by both editors, Scrivener and Norton respectively, in their respective justifications for their work: “The Authorised Edition of the English Bible”:and “A Textual History of the King James Bible”).

    • On the NRSV issue, OUP has produced two anglicised editions with Apocrypha bound by Jongbloed – a cross-reference edtiion published in 2003 but no longer available and a compact text-only edition that you can still get (isbn 9780191000041). But the frustrating thing is that, though beatufully sewn and bound inside, they have horrible hardback covers with no finely bound options at all. If only Allan would get the book blocks for the latter (or even the former if OUP still have some) and do their thing…..!

    • Hi Fr. Christopher,
      By “Old KJB” do you mean the regular KJV which you are calling “old” or a pre Blayney version of the KJV?? That’s a little confusing. And, I’m not sure if you realized the KJV Schuyler is actually the TBS Westminster wrapped in fine leather? How about the KJV Concord–yes, it’s verse by verse but larger print and I find it nice for reading. Just some thoughts.

      • By “Old” KJB I mean the standard Parris-Blayney recension, or, more broadly, anything in the mainstream of the KJB textual tradition (e.g. not the Baskett printings or either of the two Paragraph Bibles, nor Oxford printings which omit italics). Sorry for any confusion!

        PS. Ironically enough, the Blayney recension, which included a good deal of standardization and expansion of the use of italics (although most of the work was carried out by Cambridge’s Parris) is no longer made use of in Oxford printings of the Bible,

        • To clarify, “Blayney, who worked at Oxford, and did a good deal of work on the italics in the KJB — his work on italics are no longer used by Oxford, who print editions without indication of supplied words, but his work on the italics is used by the printer of Oxford’s historical rival, Cambridge.”

  18. Based upon your photos of the different texts/papers in my opinion the paper in the Legacy looks the best and there’s a chart online that lists the opacity of the 36 GSM paper at 85%. If Schuyler would have used the same paper that’s in the Crossway Legacy it could have resulted in similar opacity while ending up with a thinner text block. But, with all of the 9 x 6 Thin Line Bibles currently overrunning the market I think Schuyler has done the bible industry and customers a service by releasing the Quentel. However, I also think there’s a happy medium when it comes to opacity and bible thickness, which apparently has yet to be discovered, although I do believe the Crossway Legacy comes closest. Also, the paper in the Cambridge Heritage BCP/KJV (which was released about a year ago) is listed at 45 GSM and also has an Opacity Rating of 84% and I believe it is the same paper that’s in the Quentel.

  19. The red chapter numbers are gorgeous! A very small change that makes a very stunning impact. I love it! I hope other publishers will try things like this in the future. I will never own or use a bible this large, but it is certainly delightful to look at. :)

  20. Great review as always. Pretty bible for sure.

    I was scrolling through the comments and I couldn’t find my answer. I know that the ESV Quentel will eventually be released but does anyone have a real time frame as to when? Thanks.

    • Adam,
      A few months ago a emailed evangelicalbible.com and asked that same question. They told me sometime late fall of 2014. Who knows what the actual date will be, but that give us a general idea.

      • Thanks Michael. That’s helpful. Probably be moving out of the country by then so maybe I’ll get one in several years. Or maybe the new ESV readers bible will be done by Allan or Schuyler by then… :)

  21. Oh yeah, and one more thing…Mark. What background (and lighting) do you use to get the photos with the white background?

    • The set-up varies because I’m an amateur on an on-again / off-again quest for better results. In this case I’ve pushed a desk against the wall and draped heavy white paper to serve as a seamless background, using two soft boxes for lighting. I find books to be one of the most difficult things to photograph, especially the interior, but it’s a lot of fun trying to get it right.

      • Thanks Mark,

        Instead of more follow-up questions….I’ll just research what a soft box is as well and give it a whirl :)
        I’ve noticed that my new ESV Allan classic reader edition has the identicalpage/column/margin sizes as my 1560 (1st edition) Geneva bible leaf. But I wanted to get some good pictures of it and send submit it to the rest of the BDB nerds on Facebook. It will be a picture of Biblical proportions…(pun regretfully intended). Eventually I’ll get to it. Thanks for the blog.

  22. Great review! I thought the Two Version Bible (KJV/RV) by Crimmond House had paper with a GSM above 40. I have a copy of this Bible and I love it! ….I will certainly be on the lookout for the KJV Quentel…*sigh* I thought my collection was complete :)

  23. I think the binding on the Quentel NASB is not yet on par with Allan. The Allan’s leather binding is out of this world. It is awesome. The Quentel does not look like it will hold its structural form in the area called the spine. It is my prediction that after a period of use, the spine will curved along with the leather covering in a permanent way because of a ‘flat’ spine instead of a rounded one.

    Just look closely at one of the photo above and you will see how the leather seemed to stick together with the spine, as it curves up in an opened book. A book that curves in a ‘U’ shape in the spine permanently is an ugly book. I have one and it brought me heartaches for 15 years.

    • I know what you mean. One of my favorite Bibles (NRSV New Oxford Annotated, 3rd ed.) is in leather with a spine that sticks to the spine of the page block rather than bowing outward…lots of stress on the hinges (I’m sure I’ve used a wrong term here) when I fully open the book (as one does with a Bible!).

  24. With regards to the spine “arching/bowing” on the Quentel a recommended fix would be reinforced raised bandings on the back. It would add a little more bulk, but it would correct the “problem” and give the Quentel a “retro” look of a custom-bound medieval leather volume. Spines also tend to give the leather a nice well-worn leather look over time and protect the gold imprinting.

    • True. The raised bands will prevent the problem I mentioned. The Quentel uses only slightly embossed bands – I call them fake bands. This gives the look but not the function. Riased bands is the proper way to go. Hope Evangelicalbible will take note of this.

      I am surprised that Mark did not comment on the leather binding regarding the first photo. Isn’t it obvious that the red cover could not stay still? It is slightly warped. This, imho, is due to a lack of finesse.

      Just look at the Allan’s ESV New Classic Reference and you will know what I mean.

  25. Outstanding blog! I love what Schuyler is doing with the Quentel series!

    As a pastor, I hope that one day they will print something in the Quentel in an ESV single column format with verses lined up on the side. I love my single column Allan ESV but the pages are too thin and crinkle easily making it hard to flip through the Bible.

    Mark, I love your blog. I love the way you give attention to type, layout, readability, opacity, ease of use, quality of bindings, and so many other important details. A quick question. Is it possible to self-publish a Bible with all the specs one desires? I would be willing to pay $1000+ for a bible that was exactly made to my specifications (12.5 font, 90% opacity high quality paper, Single Column format, Calfskin (I like the feel better than goatskin), Very strong reinforced binding etc). Is this possible? And is it possible to do for that price?

  26. Another great review Mark. I’m being picky, but I would have liked to see this bible’s trim size 7 x 9 in. The proportion of page width to length would have been much better and it wouldn’t appear so much like a short, fat bible. And, I think that it would be much easier to handle since the considerable weight would be distributed better. The Quentel’s trim size reminds me of the page width to length proportion of the first leather edition of the Oxford Annotated RSV Bible. It was rather thick too and the page size just didn’t seem to fit the thickness of the bible. Later editions of Oxford Annotated NRSV Bible changed the page dimensons. This later edition had a width to length to thickness configuration that made the bible more pleasant to hold in one’s hands.

  27. My Quentel just arrived. It is absolutely lovely. The spine was one of the first things I checked. The binding on mine bows outward, not inward with the spine, when it is opened flat. No worries here.

  28. Could you please tell me which NASB has the most extensive concordance, the Allan or the Schuyler?

    • Don, I don’t know, but having owned both the Allan and now the Quentel, I believe they both contain the same Lockman Foundation Concordance.

  29. Got my NASB Quentel Schuyler Bible today. I was disappointed. Rather than confirm the good about the Bible which everyone has already said, and all is true, here is the downside. It is nothing more than a very expensive reading Bible for people who need a large print Bible. You are not going to study with it, you are probably not going to preach from it. All you will do is read this very high end Bible. Do you want to spend $220 for a Bible you will only read from? Answer that question and you will know whether you will like it or not. I have got to return it. Too bad.

    • Thanks for your alternative perspective, Jim. But what do you mean when you say this Bible is no good for ‘study’?

    • Me, for one :) That is to say, yes I spend that much on a Bible to only, or mainly, read from.

  30. This Bible looks lovely. Unfortunately, I pray for and someday hope to see an NASB Bible, such as you describe in terms of its crafting and features, but as a SINGLE-column. Were such available, I would very quickly buy it (Do you hear that, Allan?). The quality would justify the cost.

  31. Actually Jim, I always felt there was a void in the market for a high quality large type reference bible, for instance the Cambridge Presentation KJ Bible which is no longer in print. I know a lot of people would really treasure a bible like the Quentel, if it was given to them as a gift. Also, there’s not many Study Bibles, at least in my opinion, that rate a $200 price tag. Now, I would pay a premium price for an Allan or Schuyler bound Thompson Chain or even a nice BHS Hebrew Interlinear, of course that would all depend upon the paper.

    • ‘Norm’ said, “I know a lot of people would really treasure a bible like the Quentel, if it was given to them as a gift.” I think this is a good point to stir some thinking.

      Norm could be saying that people will not treasure the Quentel, if it has to be BOUGHT. If so, it does tell something about the ‘place’ of the Quentel in a person’s heart, doesn’t it? Or maybe knowingly or not, Norm is actually saying that the Quentel is just not up to mark yet for all the tired consumers searching for the perfect bible.There is this uncertainty about the Quentel that it will only be treasured if it is a GIFT from someone. May I add that if that is the case, then there is something about the Quentel that one is not yet ready to give an arm or a leg for it. Perhaps the latest iPhone.

      • Albert,
        Actually you missed my point all together, but I certainly could have worded my statement a little better. Here’s what I meant to say, basically the Quentel would make a very nice readable reference bible for anyone and also a very nice gift for someone who might not necessarily spend $200 plus for a bible. Personally speaking, I view any bible at any price as an investment, however I could not say the same in reference to an iphone. I apologize to everyone for my lack of clarity.

  32. Thanks for the awesome review on the Quentel! I found it very helpful as I contemplate purchasing this Bible.

    A question for you: The photo with the red Quentel on top of the ESV Study Bible–is that the ESV personal size study Bible or the regular edition?

  33. I recently bought this Bible, also in red, and had to return it. This was my second Schuyler and I had to return both. There was a manufacturing defect in both, but the Quentel was the worse of the two. In the back of the Bible where the cover attaches to the book block over the “tab” was pulled up. It looks like it wasn’t properly glued and there looked to be some tearing.

    I am not one to expect perfection in a Bible, but let’s be honest this Bible is $220 and a defect like that is inexcusable. I returned it for an Allen and I am sure I will be more happy with it. I have several Allen and Cambridge Bibles and have never had to return any of them. For this to be somewhat of a specialty market Schuyler doesn’t seem to be doing well. They cost more than the other high end publishers and their quality seems to be much lower.

    The good about this Bible is all true though, nice paper especially. However, the quality control is just lacking.

  34. I wouldn’t buy this Bible. I think when you go a large font like that for the 6″ wide page, you need to do a single column. There is an average of 7 words per line per column in the prose sections, less (with many words cut into two lines) on the poetic sections. The eye has to do a lot of jumping, reading doesn’t flow smoothly. Smaller font (10 pt) would greatly improve the flow in that regards.

    I also think the ESV Legacy erred on the opposite: it has too many words in one line. For a Single column Bible it should have slight larger font (10 pt would be prefect) or smaller page width (5″ or so instead of 6″).

  35. Great review! And a stunning bible. Is it possible to purchase this somewhere other than evangelicalbible.com? Postage to the UK is around $80, making the total cost around $300! I’ve tried searching and can’t seem to find any other suppliers. Many thanks.

    • EvangelicalBible.com is the exclusive distributor of Schuyler Bibles.

  36. I got a copy of this as a gift and a preview of what might happen if they ever release this in the KJV. (I don’t use any other Bible in my ministry, and if I want a more literal translation [which is rarely an issue with the KJB], or a more understandable one, I go to the original languages and paraphrase it myself.)

    This format could have been close to ideal, if larger margins were added to make the text-to-white-space match the golden ration (think the new edition of Etienne Gilson’s “God and Philosophy”, a little paperback book formatted impeccably).

    The verdict is thus: too little words-per-line, (Also, the leather-lining isn’t up to other publishers’ standards, and it does have the spine problem.) This edition has fewer characters per line than the Westminster Reference Bible, which is already bordering on uncomfortable to read, especially in poetry sections. Columns could benefit by up to 50% extension, IMO. This Bible is a great instance of “better” being the enemy of “good”, or of “close but no cigar”, or, “the bigger they come, the harder they fall” — by approximating the ideal setting so closely, but failing at capturing it, an experience is left which falls short of many less ideal (in theory) settings. It is uncomfortable to read in formatting, with cross-references that are hard enough to use they might as well be removed as un-wanted page clutter, in a form-factor that is too small for the pulpit and too large for personal use, considering the trade-off that has to be made in negative readability for such a form-factor. (The size is forgivable if the formatting is better.)

    I’ll use the $180 and change after restocking to buy new religious books (I’ve been eyeing a few, including Bavinck’s Dogmatics, which I have not read, and Ayres’ book on Nicaea), commentaries, vestments, or the new Kindle Paperwhite when it comes out.

    • Personally, I could not disagree more. While the words per line issue does indeed border on being to few, it really is a non-issue if one makes this their everyday reading Bible. I know of no one who would use a Bible this size in the pulpit anyway. One’s eye gets accustomed to what it sees on a regular basis. And the lack of any real ghosting, the 11 pt bold font, and lack of distracting issues going on in the center column make this a winner for me in the every day reader department. I would suggest to anyone: Read this for a month and then try going back to that Allan NAS Reader….just saying.

      • “One’s eye gets accustomed to what it sees on a regular basis.”
        While that is truth in that, there is also a limit, and I wholeheartedly agree with the fact it is more tiring to the eyes to have to move up/down and side-to-side every 6 words or so, than have longer lines per column, even at a font size 9. I agree that the Quentel fails to be a great reading Bible, and in my opinion, for the price it is just not worth it as there are other options more readable.

  37. I just wanted to say that I found this blog to be an invaluable resource when looking for bibles. I have moved from studying the bible to looking for quality copies for my collections. I stumbled across this blog and after reading about the Schuyler Quentel I had to pick up a copy.

    It is a fantastic volume! The feel and finish are top quality. Feels very good in the hand and looks awesome in Firebrick Red.

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