Wednesday, August 27, 2008

NRSV Standard Catholic Edition

It has been truly wonderful that HarperCollins has come out in recent years with new editions of the NRSV, in particular specifically Catholic versions. This edition has many good qualities, but falls short in two important areas in my opinion.

Good Points:
1) The size is really nice....not too big, yet not too small.
2) I really like the single column format for many of the Biblical books. I am not sure why more Bible publishers don't do this. The only Catholic Bible that I am aware of that does this is the Jerusalem/New Jerusalem Bible. Although, on second thought, I think the Navarre Bible Commentary uses the single-column format as well. I have always found single-column formats to be easy on the eyes and they often provide ample marginal space for personal notations.
3) The overall product has a feel of being made well. It opens up nice on a table or in your lap when sitting in a chair.

Bad Points:
1) The paper is way too thin! The bleed-through, if you use pen or pencil is very distracting. It is actually quite shocking!
2) I would have liked to see a few more things added to this volume, like some basic Bible maps, modest cross-referencing, and maybe the three year Sunday Mass readings. For such a beautifully constructed Bible, it would have been nice to see them go the extra step.

Overall, I think HarperCollins has taken a great step in the positive direction, but I hope any future editions will go the next step. Hopefully we will continue to see more quality editions produced. How about a thin-line edition?

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