Monday, February 6, 2012

Review of the Waterproof Bible


The following review is the opinion of Tony Miano and does not necessarily reflect the views of Living Waters. Tony's review should not be seen as an endorsement of this product, by Living Waters.

For Father's Day 2011, I received the gift from my wife of an ESV Waterproof Bible (produced by Bardin Marsee Publishing).

Since June of 2011, I've used my Waterproof Bible as my primary Bible for open-air preaching. I have hesitated to write a review of this Bible because the weather in Southern California is beautiful just about year-round. There hasn't been enough adverse weather conditions by which to give the Bible a thorough test.

That is...until last weekend.

In the above picture, I am standing atop a box and open-air preaching on the southwest corner of Meridian Street and E. Washington Street, in downtown Indianapolis, IN. In my hand is my Waterproof Bible. The occasion was the Super Bowl Outreach, for Super Bowl XLVI.

While we had beautiful weather on Friday and Sunday, Saturday was another story. The temperature dropped to about 42 degrees, with the wind chill bringing the temperature below 40. While this may be a balmy winter day for most who live in the Midwest, for a Californian it was just plain cold. Add to the cold a steady misting rain and, well, you get the picture.

Before I share how my Waterproof Bible held up in these cold and rainy conditions, let me give you some specs for the Bible.

Specs

754 pages
5 7/8" x 8 3/4"
8 pt font
Material: 100% Waterproof Synthetic Paper and Binding
Weight: 2 lb. 9 oz. (with waterproof cover)

Durability

The synthetic paper used in the Waterproof Bible makes the pages tear-resistant. Bibles take a pounding when used for street evangelism and open-air preaching. My Waterproof Bible has shown very little wear after months of frequent outdoor use.

The only damage thus far to my Waterproof Bible is a pulled and slightly separated seam stitch between pages 710 and 711. This likely occurred when I dropped the Bible from about 5', with it landing open-faced, on a wet concrete sidewalk.

In addition to being waterproof and tear-resistant, the pages of the Waterproof Bible are designed to hold ink from note taking, without smudging or smearing when the pages get wet.

I use fine-tip Sharpie pens (multiple colors) in my Waterproof Bible. The ink, when dry, will smudge if you wipe it with considerable pressure with your fingers (you have to work at it). And if you have suntan lotion or other similar substance on your hands, you can damage the pages. But regular, normal handling of the Bible does not seem to cause any smudging or smearing of either the Bible text or the additional hand-written notes.

As previously mentioned, Saturday was a cold day with a steady, light rain. The Bible was exposed to the elements for most of the nine hours I was on the streets, and it was used by a few different people on my team.

After letting my Waterproof Bible dry for about six hours, I went through the Bible to check on the condition of my hand-written notes. With the exception of a little smudging on the very last blank page of the Bible (and this just on a couple of lines of text), my hand-written notes were in tact.

Six hours was not quite enough time for my Waterproof Bible to completely dry. However, as I found wet pages within the Bible, all I had to do was gently dry them off with a cloth. In doing so, I was able to wipe the cloth over some of my hand-written notes without smearing or smudging the notes.

All-in-all, I would say the Waterproof Bible has lived up to my expectations regarding durability.

Convenience and Portability

At 2 lbs. 9 oz. (with waterproof cover), the Waterproof Bible is a bit heavy for street evangelism and open-air preaching. Obviously, the type of material used to make the pages is what adds to the Bible's weight. While less than three pounds may not seem like a lot of weight, your arms may get tired after holding it for 30-45 minutes during an open-air; or carrying it in a backpack for several hours on the streets.

However, what one loses in portability one quickly makes up in the Waterproof Bible's other positive features.

The pages of the Waterproof Bible are very bright, which makes the Bible easy to read in low-light conditions. Even though the pages are shiny due to the material of which they are made, the pages do not produce any unreasonable glare in direct sunlight.

The 8-point font size is large enough to allow for the reading of lengthy passages of Scripture in virtually any lighting situation.

Price/Value

Currently, the Waterproof Bible is priced at $39.95; and the Waterproof Bible Jacket is currently priced at $19.95. At approximately $60.00 for the Bible and cover, it may be a bit outside the budget of some. But I believe the Waterproof Bible and cover is a good value, especially for those who are on the streets sharing and preaching the gospel.

Conclusion

The Waterproof Bible lives up to its name and the assertions of the manufacturer/publisher. It is durable enough to withstand the rigors of street ministry. It is reasonably priced for what the buyer receives. I'm not only well-pleased with my Waterproof Bible, but I recommend it to any brother or sister in Christ who hits the streets to herald the gospel, regardless of the weather.