Monday, August 18, 2008

The Catholic Study Bible, 2nd Edition

The Catholic Study Bible, Second Edition is again published by Oxford University Press. Once again, the New American Bible is the translation used in this edition. This will certainly be welcome by many American Catholic's, whose primary Bible is the NAB. The first edition came out in 1990 and was known for its extensive study guides and quality of production that Oxford is known for. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons I like the first edition was because it provided a lot space in the margins for study notes. Very nice!
In regards to this edition, two things stand out to me:

1) I really don't see the need in revising the older edition. To be honest, much of the material remains the same as in older versions. The textual notes, which come with all NAB's, are the standard notes that come with every NAB edition. In addition, the inclusion of expanded reading guides and the terribly bland looking in-text maps seems to be hastly arranged. However, the addition of a concordance in the back was a good idea.

2) I dislike the visual format of this edition. Personally, the original 1990 version of the Catholic Study Bible is much better. Does anyone else find the print too light? Also, the cross-referencing apparatus I think is not helpful, as well as the divide between the Sacred Text and the notes, which seems too similar. How about coming up with a one column study Bible, like the Jerusalem and New Jerusalem Bibles?

While there are other study Bibles for Catholics in the process of being developed, like the Ignatius Study Bible, I am not sure this version is going to stand the test of time. I would rather use an older edition of The Catholic Study Bible or the much better HaperCollins Study Bible.


kentuckyliz said...

Your review is helpful to me. I have the 1990 edition and was wondering if it was worth getting the new one. The ones at the bookstore are shrinkwrapped so no browsing. Now I know to save my money.

Tim said...

I was hoping that it would be a considerable upgrade to the older version, but unfortunately it wasn't. To be honest, I am still waiting for a really good Catholic study Bible. Perhaps the upcoming Ignatius one will be it, but I think the wait might be long for it.

CalCatholic said...

I like the revision, I bought the genuine leather addition and like the quality. I also prefer the new font style, finding it more readable. I have found the intext maps useful during study (without having to flip back and forth to the maps in the back).
Now if Ignatius could come up with something like this using the RSV 2CE translation, I'll be happy.