Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Premium Leather Bible Round-Up

OK, so what we have learned is that there just aren't many premium leather Catholic Bibles out there on the market. I have listed the ones that were mentioned below by translation. Please notice that I have included Bibles that aren't specifically Catholic, but do include the Deuterocanonical books. Also, while all these Bibles are at least "genuine leather", I make no claims on the actual quality of each edition mentioned.

Oxford NAB Genuine Leather

Oxford NAB Catholic Study Bible

NAB Catholic Youth Bible

New Oxford Annotated Bible

RSV-CE Readers Edition

Cambridge NRSV Reference with Apocrypha Black French Morocco

Oxford NRSV Catholic Edition: Standard Edition

NRSV Text Edition Bible with Apocrypha

NRSV Catholic Youth Bible

HarperCollins Study Bible NRSV (1993)

New Oxford Annotated Bible 3rd Edition NRSV

New Oxford Annotated Bible 4th Edition NRSV

New Interpreters Study Bible NRSV

Baronius Douay-Rheims
(Baronius Press used to make their Douay-Rheims in genuine Moroccan leather, but they no longer do. Many of the reseller websites have NOT updated their descriptions accordingly. Baronius is in the process of finding the resellers with incorrect descriptions and asking them to update accordingly. So make sure to find out before you purchase one. Thanks reader David for the info.)

REB Standard Text with Apocrypha Black French Morocco

Update (10/21/09): St. Benedict Press now publishes a line of genuine leather Douay-Rheims, RSV-CE, and NAB Bibles.


ElShaddai Edwards said...

"Please notice that I have included Bibles that aren't specifically Catholics, but do include the Deuterocanonical books."

So where's the REB? :>

Timothy said...

El Shaddai,

Good to hear from you. I will add that right now! Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

I have a compact RSV-CE which
I love. It's beautifully made but the print is not suitable when studying (it's more of a travel bible). How has the binding
of the Ignatius Hardcover RSV-SCE
been holding up? I'm torn between that and the leather edition?
Is the leather edition durable?
How readable is the text in each
editions? The durability of the binding, etc. ? --I appreciate any
information you or other posters
can provide.--Thanks!

Timothy said...


I will try an answer your questions the best I can.

As for readability of the text, its kind of a subjective thing. The one thing that is evident is that there is not a lot of room to take personal notes, but if you don't plan on doing that, then it shouldn't be a problem. The Ignatius Press site has a sample page on its site that you might want to check out: http://www.ignatius.com/ViewProduct.aspx?SID=1&Product_ID=2765&SKU=IB2-P&ReturnURL=search.aspx%3f%3fSID%3d1%26SearchCriteria%3dRSV

As for durability, I would probably suggest getting the hardcover edition at this time. I have a classmate who has used his leather edition a lot over the past couple of years, and it is beginning to look pretty brokendown. There seems to be a good amount of peeling off of the cover. I know that I will never use, as my primary Bible, one that is made of bonded leather. Unfortunately, that is the case with the RSV-2CE at this time. I hope when they finally finish the Ignatius Study Bible project that they will at least offer it in genuine leather or the newer synthetic leather. Like I said above, if you want the RSV-2CE I would recommend the hardcover. You could always by a Bible cover for it.

I have recently seen the RSV-2CE at Barnes and Noble and Borders. Perhaps you could examine a copy there before purchasing.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your answer to my
question regarding hardcover vs.
leather RSV-2CE bibles. I take
your comments as sort of a confirmation, being that I was
leaning to hardcover for a variety
of reasons. (Leather bibles
never feel right in my hand.---
Books are our friends. And a Bible
should be our best friend, not
an alien on the shelf, but like a perfect fitting glove, a made to order weapon , OUR SWORD!!)
--And thanks for the information
on bonded vs. imitation leather
bibles. I am soon to purchase
a Bible for my father. (He's
coming into the fold.---Yes, God
answers prayers!!) And thanks to your fine blog, I know to avoid
bonded leather like the plague.
Thanks for the info. and keep up
the great work.

CG said...

I was looking through the Ignatius RSV-CE 2nd ed. and, at the second spread I happened to open, immediately noticed a typo in the heading of Job chapter 15: the heading read 'Eiphaz' although Eliphaz was spelt correctly in the first line below. Given that I found this by chance I wouldn't trust this printing not to have other typos.

I also thought the headings were excessively capitalized (for example, 'Her' does not require an initial capital, except possibly when referring to the Church, which was not the case in this context). And the bold sans serif font used for the headings did not seem to me to be a good match with the body font.

Dina said...

Any of these Bibles would probably last a life time.

Timothy said...


I have been told that there are a few other typos, but I am not sure where they are. Someone had told me about them when this edition came out. Hopefully any future editions will fix the problem.

Timothy said...


Yes, I think you are right. It is too bad that these are all I could come up with. There should be more options out there for Catholics who want a premium leather Bible. There are just way too many bonded leather editions out there!

Nickel said...

Hi Timothy and ElShaddai Edwards,

Sadly, the "REB Standard Text with Apocrypha Black French Morocco leather REBA143," by Cambridge University Press, is no longer being made, and went "Unavailable - out of print" just this May of 2010. (See CUP's website here.)

--Nick M.

Timothy said...


Thanks for the update on the REB.

Tim B. said...

There are 3 King James Version bibles coming out soon that will include the apocrypha:

King James Bible: 400th Anniversary Edition - Oxford University Press

KJV Cameo Reference with Apocrypha Black Calf Split - Cambridge University Press

New Cambridge Paragraph Bible with Apocrypha Personal Size Black Calfskin - Cambridge University Press