|World Publishing KJV Bible in Black Morocco Goatskin|
You may have a valuable "vintage" Bible in your possession.
|World Publishing Bible; Double Column Setting, Red Letter|
Formerly the leader in the industry, (insiders say some of their work rivals R.L. Allan today), World Publishers eventually sold off their various book, dictionary, and Bible manufacturing businesses to other companies including: Collins (Great Britain), Simon and Shuster, Putnam, Nelson, and Riverside Book and Bible (Iowa).
[See an article on the history of World Publishing here].
|World Publishing Bible; Gold Imprinted Spine, 5 Rib Spine|
This particular Bible is a beautiful, near-perfect condition double column reference Bible. It is cloaked in black Morocco goatskin, with full, hatched-style, leather interior lining.
I should say at this point, "They don't make 'em like they used to!" (Actually, some publishers do; Allan, Crossway, Schulyer, and Cambridge still make high quality Bibles, but most others don't even come close).
|World Publishing Bible; Leather Interior Lining, Hatched Style|
For my part, the paper in this book feels magnificent. It is rich, smooth to the touch, and sturdy. The India paper of that era seems to exceed the much cheaper "recycled" feel of many publishing works today, likely due to our obsession with staying "green." A publisher today may feel that it is more of a credit to their corporation to use recycled (or partially recycled) paper for public relations purposes than to use good, new, paper for high end productions. Pressures to incorporate recycled paper into their Bibles may be the partial cause for the weak and easily staining paper of today's Bibles.
|World Publishing Bible KJV; Circa 1960's, Cleveland Ohio|
|World Publishing Bible; Center Column References|
As for the Morocco leather, it is very flexible without being wimpy, and has been marked by just one notable battle scar in these five-plus decades. Then again, because it is goatskin, it could be original to the hide of the animal.
As it came to me, still in the box, with its original "owner care" papers in tow, I can't say that it ever endured much hard labor from its previous owner. It's only notable weakness is some very slight page warping due to many years of life here in the humid South. I smooth it with my fingers along the crease and it settles a bit, but I doubt that problem is going away soon and is probably related to its age.
|World Publishing; Bible Care Instructions|
Extras inside include a substantial concordance, color maps, and a "Bible Reader's Aids" section edited by one Rev. Charles H. H. Wright D.D. of the Universities of Oxford and London. Presentation pages for matrimony, births, marriages, and deaths are set in between testaments.
This Bible came to me with several documents in the original box including "Your World Bible and How to Care for It" (pictured), a certification that the leather is hand-grained Morocco goatskin, and "An Important Note about Gilded Edges." All of this shows me that World Publishing knew what it was giving the buyer--a Bible meant to last.
I want to thank the anonymous giver who handed this over to me several months ago. Honestly, I didn't even know what was in my possession until I began to research it.
So do just a bit of homework next time you are at a your church yard sale; you just might discover a vintage era World Publishing Bible.
-Matthew Everhard is the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, FL. Besides being a published author, he is an admitted Bibliophile and an active Bible collector.