As if I needed to buy another Bible, yet I decided to do so anyway! Yesterday, I picked up a copy of the new Hendrickson's NRSV Gift Bible with Apocrypha at my local Cokesbury store. I tend to like Cokesbury much more than the Family Christian stores that seem to be more numerous and popular. In my experiences, Cokesbury typically has a better selection of scholarly biblical works, as well as having a small Catholic section. But I digress.
This new NRSV Bible is pretty straight forward. It is the basic text of the NRSV, with the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonicals placed in the middle as they should be. This Bible seems to have the same page layout as the other NRSV Gift Bibles that Hendrickson produces. It comes in two different cover styles: Mocha on Cocoa or Cream on Blue. (Those are the publishers words, not mine!)
Here are the specs:
• Gilded page edges (silver on blue binding, gold on brown binding)
• Ribbon marker
• 9-point type
• Color map section
• Great for confirmations, birthdays and other special occasions
• O-wrap features a die cut window that displays the beautiful binding
While this Bible is pretty basic, I do have a few comments about it:
1) The cover material is Flexisoft Leather, which is the imitation leather that was discussed in the previous post. I tend to like the feel and flexibility of these covers. My only concern would be durability, and since these are relatively new to the market we will just have to wait and see.
2) I currently own two other flexisoft/imitation leather NRSV Bibles, the Go-Anywhere NRSV and the NRSV Catholic Gift Bible, both of them published by HarperCollins. While the other two contained some helpful extras, like a concordance, intros, some maps, I find that I prefer actually reading from this new Hendrickson edition. The page layout is much easier on the eyes, and there is a nice contrast between the bold paragraph headings and the Sacred Text. I also like the map section in the back of the Hendrickson edition best.
3) Once again, no cross-references! I simply don't understand why so few NRSV's have cross-references. At the very least, why not follow the lead of the ESV which includes OT cross-references in the NT as part of the textual notes at the bottom of each page. That's not too much to ask is it?
4) Interestingly, I was looking at the copyright info at the front of the Bible and noticed that the edition used by Hendrickson is "New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993 NCCUSA". This is interesting since only in the Catholic edition of the NRSV are the Deuterocanonicals dispersed throughout the OT. Also, the Catholic edition does not include the other apocrypha/deuterocanonical books that are accepted by some of our Eastern brethren, like 1 Esdras.
5) Finally, there is some inconsistency in how the apocrypha/deuterocanonicals are labeled. On the cover of the Bible, it is simply labeled as "with the Apocrypha". In the table of contents it is labeled as "Deuterocanonical Books" and in the text, itself, it is labeled as "The Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books". Perhaps trying to appease everyone?