Quentel 006-001a

[Edited to add: this review was written before I started working for the publisher.]

When Schuyler first announced their plans for their new Quentel line of Bibles, and that they’d be starting with the New American Standard (NASB) translation, my heart went aflutter. If you’re an ESV or KJV reader, there is no shortage of high quality or premium editions to choose from. Not so with the NASB. So now there would be, not just a premium NASB, but one in a totally new format. Schuyler’s original line of Bibles (available in ESV, KJV, and NKJV) were re-printings of existing textblocks. Like taking your favorite Bible and improving the paper and binding. (I reviewed the Schuyler NKJV back in October.) The Quentel, on the other hand, is a totally new typesetting. 

The Quentel provides:

  • Goatskin covers with full leather lining
  • Perimeter stitching
  • 11 point font
  • Double column paragraph format
  • Line matching
  • 45 GSM Bible Paper (most opaque in the industry)
  • 6 x 9 trim size
  • 12 mm margins (approx 0.5″)
  • 45mm bulk (thickness) – approx. 1.75”
  • 4 x 1cm ribbons
  • Art-gilt edging 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)
  • 6 presentation pages
  • 27 pages of extensive Oxford maps 

As J. Mark Bertrand has already written a very thorough review of this Bible at the Bible Design Blog, and as I am a co-admin of the Bible Design Blog’s Facebook page, it would seem rather redundant of me to even attempt to do the same, but let me tell you what I think of it as one very happy customer.

I saved up for this Bible for months. Premium quality comes with a premium price tag; there’s no getting around that. Much of the cost of the Quentel is related to the 45gsm paper that Schuyler chose. It’s the heaviest paper currently on the Bible market, and it makes a difference. That paper combined with line matching means less ghosting. Ghosting, that shadow that creeps onto the page from the text on the page behind, drives me batty. That’s the technical term. Ghosting on modern Bible paper is, unfortunately, a given, but it is greatly reduced in the Quentel.

Quentel 038-001a

Got ahead of myself there for a moment. Let’s start with the outside. The Quentel is available in Black, Dark Brown, Imperial Blue, and Firebrick Red. I purchased the Firebrick Red edition, and it is just as beautiful in real life as it appears in photos. Gorgeous! The leather liner is plum, a lovely contrast to the red. The cover is edge-lined with perimeter stitching for added durability. Page edges are red under gold art gilt. The only embellishment on the cover is a blind stamped Jerusalem cross that Schuyler has adopted as their logo. Simple and elegant.

Quentel 008-001a

The goatskin is flexible, but this is not a floppy Bible. The binding is strongly reinforced, which is necessary for a textblock this size. This thing is very solid; there’s no sense that it will flop out of your hands.

Inside, the typesetting is designed by 2K/Denmark and printed in the Netherlands by Jongbloed. The paper is 45gsm, super smooth, and that creamy white that Jongbloed is known for. It looks like it might be ever so slightly brighter than the other Jongbloeds I have (the Schuyler NKJV and TBS Windsor), but I couldn’t capture the difference in a photo. I thought I was just imagining it, but my pastor commented on it as well. I wonder if it is due simply to the increased opacity of the paper. The font is 11 point and crisp. Great for my bespectacled eyes. The red chapter numbers, page headers, and accents are striking only because we’re not used to seeing that in a Bible. They’re not at all distracting, however.

There were a couple of concerns I had when I ordered my Quentel. One was that there are so few words per line and that that might lead to eye fatigue as my eyes jumped line to line so quickly. Several hours into reading it already, and that hasn’t been a problem. Another concern is actually my own short-coming. I am very easily distracted. Remember “SQUIRREL!” from the movie UP? Yeah, that’s the family joke about me. There are so many translation notes and cross references in the NASB, that I sometimes struggle just reading a reference Bible. Every superscript is a call to the margin. Not so in the Quentel. The superscripts are completely unobtrusive; there when I want to refer to them, but not distracting. Placing the notes and cross references at the bottom of the page also makes for an uncluttered reading experience.

Quentel Full Page 

There was some concern among the Facebook Bible crowd and at the Bible Design Blog website that the binding would curve in with the spine when the Bible was opened flat. Mine does not do that; it curves away from the spine.

Quentel Spine Curve

Spine curve

Any drawbacks?

Let’s be honest: it’s big. ESV Study Bible big. This is a desk Bible or a curl up on the couch and read it on your lap Bible (my favorite method). You could also haul it to church and read it on your lap there. But big is the trade off you make for thicker paper and larger print. It’s worth it. It is heavy, but at 3lb, 5-7/8oz, it comes in at about 8-1/4oz lighter than this ESV Study Bible in TruTone:

Quentel 054-001a

Quentel 056-001a 

(Special thanks to my youngest son for allowing me to borrow his new ESV Study Bible in the interest of science.)

The concordance. I’m torn on the concordance. It’s beautiful, which is saying a lot for a concordance, but I do wonder how functional the red ink is when the font is so small. Fortunately, the superbly crisp print helps here. Also, fortunately, I don’t spend much time in the concordance.

Quentel Concordance

Concordance

Overall, I am extremely pleased with this Bible. It is beautiful, well-made, and highly readable. What more could you ask for in a premium edition? If you’d like more information about Schuyler Bibles, this Quentel, and upcoming editions, please visit SchuylerBible.com.

Schuyler NKJV, top; Schuyler Quentel NASB, bottom

Schuyler NKJV, top; Schuyler Quentel NASB, bottom

Quentel 070-002a

A little fun. ;-)

A little fun. 😉

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