Review of Caloca Bibles by Noah Grove

 “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” Job 23:12
“Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” Psalm 119:104

“But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:24

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” 1 Peter 1:23

God called me out of darkness into His glorious light, He utterly destroyed the chains of my sin and set me free to know and serve Him, He saved me from the hell I deserved and promised me an inheritance of eternity in His holy presence. My spiritual birth was June 21, 2013. 37 years of sin filled, self centered and selfish living was brought to light and, by our LORD’s grace, I was repulsed by my life. The life He gives was not an option for me, it was the only way, for He made it abundantly clear that my way was nothing but desolation. God quickly and miraculously supplanted my earthly drive and desires with an insatiable thirst for His word and a longing to serve Him. For over three years now, I have been blessed to study our God in His word, He has seen and guided me through trials that I never could have navigated myself and constantly helped me trust in Him with all of my heart and not lean on my own understanding. And the fact that I didn’t do a thing to deserve any of this grace is completely incomprehensible to me! How amazing is the LORD!

I had to preface this review with a short version of the conversion and testimony that our LORD Jesus Christ has so graciously given me. For without Him, I can do nothing and all glory and praise belongs to Him.
Approximately a year and a half ago I watched a Bible rebind review on YouTube and the reviewer mentioned Diego Caloca Jr. as the artist and craftsman that rebound his Bible in a “butter cream” goatskin and did another Bible in dark blue goatskin. I was immediately taken by the craftsmanship and possibilities of taking any Bible and having an R.L. Allan-like cover put on it. Also, the reviewer said “my brother” in reference to Diego, implying that Diego was a born again believer of our LORD. So, I looked for information about Diego and watched his conversion testimony videos that he boldly put on YouTube. I was floored by the power, courage and truth that God had given to this early 20s something young man and I knew that if the LORD willed, I would contact Diego to work on a Bible for me.

One thing I never cared for in the Bible rebinding community was that one would take an obviously used Bible and put a beautiful new cover on it and yet leave the page edges scratched and the gilt spotty and old. I could not understand why no one did art gilt page edging as part of a rebind package. Well, I watched another review of Diego’s more recent work (I had been watching reviews for some time and was very impressed with how quickly Diego had progressed from an already high level of work) and the reviewer mentioned that Diego had done the outstandingly rich red under gold art gilt on his rebound sokoto goatskin Bible. That was it for me, the choice of rebinder was simple and clear, Diego was a born again Bible believer that was totally willing and able to do a FULL custom job on the Bible of my choice.

The next question for me was, which Bible to send to Diego? My favorite Bible is the one I use the most, and by use I mean study from, read from, teach my children from and by God’s grace even preach from. (from time to time…whenever my church really wants to have a renewed appreciation for our pastor) The Cambridge Concord WM was my choice, I have a newer one that I was using that did not need a new cover nor did I want to part with it for the time it took to have the work done. I had found a brand new (older) Cambridge French morocco version that had an “imperfectly embossed” cover for a greatly reduced price on one of the online “Christian bookstores” website. I thought “why not, Diego is going to rip the cover off it anyway!” I also found another identical Bible on eBay for an even more reduced price. (I think that the paper quality on the older WMs is better than the new ones) I bought both and sent both to Diego. One for me and one for him.

My order request was: black sokoto goatskin cover, semi yapp, tooled perimeter, leather lined with leather of Diego’s choice, three same colored ribbons, white head and tail bands, red under gold art gilt page edges, 5 raised ribs on the spine, HOLY BIBLE gold stamped on spine and front cover, 1611 gold stamped on spine and Diego’s new lighthouse logo and name on the spine. My chief concern and request was that the text block flexibility not be altered or stiffened. Since the concord wide margin has generous margins on all four side of the text, I wanted full use of the gutter side (inside) margin.

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During the communication process Diego was an absolute blessing. His understanding, humility and recommendations were invaluable.

Diego delivered on ALL requests without a hitch. His work is impeccable! The grain of the goatskin, the corners, the tooling, the feel of the raised ribs when holding the Bible, the smell of the sokoto, everything exceeded my expectations. I cannot describe accurately how well Diego did the page edge work! Complete satisfaction with Caloca Bibles is an understatement. He even made a slipcase to protect my Bible. I have been using this Bible exclusively since I received it in the mail. (Approximately one month as of this writing) Beside the obvious fact that it is an indescribable honor and privilege to study God’s word, there is an added element of tactile enjoyment when His word is covered by a brother and artisan like Diego. Who was clearly given a gift of craftsmanship, care, love and respect for our LORD and His holy scriptures.

I am thankful.
-Noah Grove

Galatians 2:20