Well, here is another Bible review using the NRSV translation. Lately, it seems that I have been spending a lot of time analyzing NRSV Bibles. I think the main reason for this is the fact that there are more editions of the NRSV being produced which have the Deuterocanonicals included in them. If you consider the main translations that Catholics use, the NAB, RSV, or NJB, you quickly realize that there is not much going on with those three currently. However, the NRSV seems to be the exception. I have mentioned before that I am glad to see HarperCollins, HarperOne, HarperBibles, HarperCatholicBibles or whatever they are called, continue to publish NRSV Catholic editions. They have been coming in different sizes and covers, some with more or less study helps. (Still no cross references though!) So, I decided to do a quick review of the two best NRSV compact editions that are available with the Deuterocanonicals.
NRSV Go Anywhere Bible Catholic Edition:
The NRSV Go Anywhere Bible CE is published by HarperCollins and retails for around $29.95. It comes in three different types, a Catholic Edition, a Regular/Protestant Edition , and an Orthodox Edition (w/ full "Apocrypha"). This edition of the NRSV is the Anglicized version. In all cases, the publishers went with a imitation leather/NuTone™ covers which "combine extraordinary durability with the softness of calfskin leather." Right. However, what makes this compact NRSV unique is its shape. It is 4” x 8 1/4”, which makes it one of the most oddly shaped Bibles out there. I guess that means its compact, but maybe it doesn't. It certainly won't fit in a pocket or a purse easily.
The NRSV Go Anywhere Bible also includes the standard prefaces that come with the NRSV and a concise concordance. Oh I forgot to mention that it does have a Bible ribbon marker, which for many Catholic publishers is considered a "bonus feature".
I have used this Bible on a number of occasions, mostly for private reading before Mass or during daily prayer time. Two things instantly stand out: 1) The paper is very thin and one can easily see the back side of the page through the paper. It is pretty distracting. 2) The odd shape of the Bible makes it hard for it to lay flat, either on a table or in your hand.
The New Revised Standard Version Bible with Apocrypha: Pocket Edition:
This edition, published by Oxford University Press, comes with or without the Apocrypha. There is no specifically Catholic edition. It is also the standard NRSV translation, not the Anglicized version. It's size is truly compact, being 4 1/2" x 6 1/8". OUP has published this NRSV compact edition in multiple cover options, including genuine leather, bonded leather, imitation leather, and zipper closure editions. Depending on what cover you decide to get, the price range is anywhere from $29.95 to $39.95.
It should be pointed out that in some of the product descriptions online, like here, it states that this edition contains a concordance. This is not true. However, it does contain the standard NRSV preface, a table of measures and weights, and of course the much coveted Bible ribbon marker. The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonicals are placed in the middle, between the Old and New Testament, and they are ordered to reflect the various canons, beginning with the Catholic.
While this edition is very bare-bones, I find it easier to read and certainly more portable than the HarperCollins edition. It also lays out flat on a table and is much easier to take around with you. Therefore, I definitely recommend the Oxford edition over the HarperCollins one.