Bible Review – CSB Pastor’s Bible

I am continuing to dig into the CSB, to read it and compare it with other translations and what (very) little Greek knowledge I have gained.  I am still enjoying what I am reading and finding.

Holman Bible Publishers graciously agreed to send me a few different editions to look over and review, and I hope to get to all three soon.

Today, I am reviewing the CSB Pastor’s Bible.

As far as I know, for the time being, if you want a single-column Bible in the CSB, you only have two options: the CSB Reader’s Bible, which I already reviewed, and the CSB Pastor’s Bible.  I do believe they have another personal size single-column being released later in 2018, but I’m not sure when it will be available exactly.

Some of the basic information for this Bible, from the back of the box, are that it has a smyth-sewn binding, black-letter text throughout (no words of Christ in red), and 11-point type (the Large Print Ultrathin Reference Bible has 9.5-point type; a picture comparing the two is posted later).  Unlike the Large Print Ultrathin Reference Bible, there are no cross-references in the Pastor’s Bible. It comes with three ribbon markers (one black, one red, and one white).  The edition I received is a black LeatherTouch, and it has silver gilding on the edges.  It has all the CSB footnotes throughout, and the CSB topical subheadings are included.  As with most Bibles, it has a presentation page, a concordance in the back, and full-color maps.  The perimeter has stitching around it: black on the outside and red on the inside.  But the inside cover liner seems like it is glued on rather than sewn in.

In terms of size and weight, it is certainly not the smallest and lightest Bible you can purchase.  It is, however, still a good size for carrying to church, unlike some of the massive study Bibles out there.  Even if you don’t want to carry this one with you, it is good for keeping at home to read.

Pastor's box cover front

Pastor's box cover back

Pastor's bible cover and ribbons

Pastor's bible table of contents 1.jpg

Pastor's bible table of contents 2

Pastor's Bible inside

Pastor's bible-LPUT compare.jpg

As you can see in the above two pictures, there appears to be a decent amount of margin space in the Pastor’s Bible for those who like to make notes while they are reading.  No, it is not a wide-margin Bible, per se, but it has more space than some Bibles do in the margins.

The Pastor’s Bible is designed to be a CSB resources specifically for pastors.  After the book of Psalms, it includes a section for wedding ceremonies (classical and contemporary, pictured below), information on funeral preparation, and some funeral sermons.

Pastor's bible classical wedding

Pastor's bible contemporary wedding.jpg

The funeral preparation is broken down into a few tips with detailed information under each one: what to do on receiving notification of death, what to do when visiting in the home, what to do when scheduling the service, what to do during the funeral home visit, what to do during the service, what to do when concluding the service, and what to do at the graveside.

The funeral sermons include a basic funeral sermon, one for a funeral for a child, one for a funeral for a student, and one for a funeral for a suicide victim.

At the end of the Bible, there are various pastoral helps.  These include a “where to turn” section with Scripture references to help (pictured below), “A Brief Biblical Theology of Leadership,” “Eight Traits of Effective Church Leaders,” “Pastor, Find Your Identity in Christ,” “Glorifying God in Your Ministry,” “What is Biblical Preaching?,” “Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures,” “What is Doctrinal Preaching?,” “Four Keys for Giving an Effective Invitation,” “Five Ways to Improve Congregational Singing,” “Soul Care: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love,” “Letter to the Church,” “Five Steps to Start and Keep an Evangelistic Culture,” “How Do You Disciple Others?,” “The One Thing You Must Do as a Student Pastor,” and “Sharing the Gospel with Children.”  The last two articles demonstrate that this Bible is equally valuable for youth and children pastors, as well as senior pastors.

Pastor's Bible pastoral care

While it is geared toward pastors, I have seen many discuss their love for this Bible merely because of the large print and single-column format, so if you are not a pastor, don’t rule out this Bible, thinking it is irrelevant to you.  The layout itself is beautiful and easy on the eyes.

If you are a pastor and are looking for a Bible with many helps and articles of encouragement and advice, this is a wonderful Bible to add to your library.

*Note: I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


Kindle Oasis Review – Sticking with My Voyage


I have owned just about every edition of the Kindle since the first one was released. As far as I can recall, this is the first strictly e-reader I have decided to return. I did return the Kindle Fire for Kids, too, but I am talking about a dedicated e-reader.

It’s not that the Kindle Oasis is horrible. It’s not. I just had a few issues that kept me from liking it more than the Voyage I already own.

Let me start with the positives.

As advertised, it is light. It is comfortable to hold in the hand. I do like the physical buttons to turn pages. The screen is very bright with the 4 new LED lights added. The cover is very nice. I like that the cover charges it.

I won’t go on with the positives, as the 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon’s Web site and many of the reviews online and on YouTube all go into great detail about them. I read quite a few before deciding to try the Oasis.

So why did I decide to return it? There were a few reasons.

First, when I compared the text next to my Voyage, I actually noticed that the text was darker on my Voyage than it was on the Oasis. I asked my wife her opinion to double check, as she normally does not notice differences in resolution in most screens. She noticed the difference immediately. The text on the Oasis was a little lighter. I made sure the fonts were the same and the same size when I checked this. Personally, I want my e-reader to have dark text while I am reading. Especially with the price of the Oasis, I at least wanted the text to be the same (some had said it seemed clearer to them; perhaps their reader looked different than mine).

Second, the battery life was not great when separated from the case. I read it for 10 minutes with wireless turned off and the light all the way up. Even with wireless off, it drained the battery 8% in 10 minutes. At that rate, I would have a little over 2 hours of reading before the Kindle itself would need to be charged. Granted, once you attach the case, the case charges the Kindle back up quickly, and if you leave it in the case, the case battery will be drained first, and it takes longer to drain that one. But the selling point of this Kindle, as I understood it, was the form factor when reading it out of the cover: the ergonomic design and weight of the Oasis. If I am having to frequently return it to the case, it seems that it is undercutting the main selling point of the device. Granted, I don’t often get 2 hours of uninterrupted reading time, but I do on occasion. My Voyage can go much longer before I have to charge it again. It may not last as long as the Oasis and case combined, but whether I have the Voyage in the case or out, it has a long enough charge.

Third, the design and weight of the Oasis, while nice, is not as drastic of an improvement over the Voyage as I thought it might be. I have been reading with the Voyage out of the case lately, and I have managed to find a way to hold it where it feels very comfortable in my hand. Again, the Oasis is nice, but for the price tag, I am not sure it is nice enough.

Part of the design is the ability to switch hands by rotating the Oasis; the screen now flips when you flip the Kindle. As I was reading, I found myself wanting to switch hands. I rotated the Oasis, and it was okay. But then I realized that while I switch hands a lot when using my Voyage, I never thought about it, since it has buttons on both sides for turning pages. Honestly, the Voyage was just more convenient in terms of switching hands.

Fourth, the lighting. I did not really notice the scalloping effect some have mentioned, but I did notice a few things. When I first got the Oasis, I tilted it so I could look at the side where the lights are. I immediately noticed that from some angles, the darker fonts and pictures seemed to have white flecks in them (almost sparkly, I suppose). I couldn’t see it all the time, but from some angles it was very obvious. The most noticeable thing with the lighting was that the screen started less white on the left and ended up more white on the right. I understand the lights are on that side, and I suppose the Voyage I have does something similar from top to bottom (although not nearly as noticeable), but it was more distracting, as I read left to right a lot more frequently and more quickly than I do top to bottom. In other words, on my Voyage, the screen may change shade, but it takes so long to go from the top of a page to the bottom of a page that it is a gradual change my eyes don’t notice. On the Oasis, however, each line takes you back from the left to the right, so you see it quicker and more frequently, making it more noticeable.

Fifth, the cover. It is a nice leather, but it is a softer leather. I have some Bibles with leather covers like this one, and I have seen them scratch a little easier than some tougher leathers. I am afraid that it would not take much to scratch the leather on this cover, although only time would tell.

If I were upgrading from a Kindle with no lighting or an earlier, and much heavier, Kindle, I think the Oasis could be a great investment. In my case, going from the Voyage (the previous top-of-the-line Kindle) to this one was not as advantageous. I always like having 3G, and I decided to try going ad-free this time, so after tax the total was just over $400. There aren’t enough new features to make it worth that price to me, and in some ways the Voyage I already owned was even better than the Oasis. If the Oasis weren’t so high priced, perhaps it would be better, but for me, my Voyage works great, and I can use the $400 for more books or something else. Or better yet, since I have been working on minimalizing, I could just save the money!