Congratulations! I hope you are finding the work fulfilling.I've received a few days ago my copy of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament -- I hope by the time you start blogging again, you'll have your copy too.
No problem. I WELL recall the first year...OI VEY. I am now in my 16th year (college level)and trust me it gets better each year as you become more organized and familiar with things. Hang in there.
Theophrastus,Thanks!What are your first impressions if the Ignatius Study Bible?
Diakonos,Yes, it has been a good year, however I am definitely walking into the finish line. Very much looking forward to the summer which begins on June 12.
Timothy, I got a chance to see the Ignatius Study Bible at my local Catholic book store. It is layed out just like the study booklets. The print is bigger and and well spaced out. The paper is heavy stock paper (like the booklets, with vitually no bleed through. There is an approx. 160 page concise concordance in the back, with maps. It is larger and much thicker than the RSV-2CE bible, but the larger size is worth it for a true study bible (N.T.) The ease in readability is important for me. I compared its size to the Navarre New Testament (expanded version) and the Ignatius bible was a little taller but narrower in width and not as thick. The Ignatius New Testament felt much better carrying around than the Navarre New Testament. I did not buy one because I have the leather version on order from Ignatius.
I like it very much. There is not much new to say about the content -- it is mostly identical to the booklets (mostly they did not even re-typeset the pages) minus the study questions, and with the addition of the Gospel introduction, the Concordance (which comprises about a fifth of the book), several indices (the most useful is the index of Doctrines), and a few simple color maps.My hardcover is nice and sturdy, although a little large. It weighs more than the NOAB (either the RSV or 4th edition) or the Oxford Catholic Study Bible. In one way that is nice: it is easy to make notes in the book, which has more white space than the booklets and there is no problem with bleed-through. The text is larger and easier to read than the booklets. On the other hand, it may be too large to carry around. (Especially since you would need to carry around a separate Bible to be able to cross reference all the references in the notes to the OT. It was especially frustrating to see references to "topical essays" that will be included in the OT -- e.g., the notes to Revelation 12:1-6 include a reference to a topical essay to appear at 1 Kings 2!)Onto the content -- I obviously haven't had time to read the whole book yet. Still it seems to me to be of rather high quality. The text has plenty of references to Catholic beliefs. There are a generous number of references to the CCC, also referenced are sources as diverse as Ambrose, Augustine, Aquinas, Athanasius, Bede, Caesarius of Arles, the Council of Trent, Gregory, Hyppolytus, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Oecumenius, Pastor aeternus, Simeon, Tertullian, etc. There are also rather sophisiticated references to non-Catholic sources (e.g., the notes in Revelation alone reference 1 Enoch, Virgil, Cicero, Pirque de Rabbi Eleazar, Suetonius, and Josephus). Notes giving the Latin titles of famous verses (e.g., Luke 2:14) are also helpful. I also like how Catholic beliefs are concisely and elegantly presented without negative attacks on other theological systems (see, for example, the notes to Romans 3:28, and especially the topical essay on "Faith and Works" on p. 443).The text does engage with both the Hebrew and the Greek throughout the notes (not just in the word studies).I do think the text could have been better edited in places: for example, I just opened to the book at random to page 290-291 (1st Corinthians) -- in the notes to 4:21, the text says "Ideally, Paul hopes to avoid an unpleasant confrontation when he arrives." but "Ideally" is both ungrammatical and redundant. One that that surprised me, somewhat unpleasantly, is that the notes frequently spell out the Tetragrammaton (like the JB and NJB), and I thought that was being discouraged. (See, for example, the notes to Romans 1:17, 1 Corinthians 5:13, or James 2:25.)Overall, the sense I get is of a very intelligent and thoughtful study that is suitable for advanced high school students, college, and serious adult learners. It seems considerably more sophisticated (and detailed) than the Oxford Catholic Study Bible, for example. This work fills a real need, and I hope it enjoys substantial sales. I feel frustrated that it took about a decade to get this far, and who knows how long it will take for the work to be finished. In the meanwhile, at $15/$21/$26 on Amazon for different bindings, this book is relatively inexpensive and incredibly useful. I hope it enjoys wide use.
Theophrastus,I find your first impressions to be very helpful. When I read from you and others about the size of this volume, I decided to switch my order and get the hardcover. It should arrive tomorrow, just in time for the long weekend.
Curious...why switch to hardover over leather due to volume size? I have leather pre-ordered so am wondering about your rationale and if I should consider same. Thanks.
Diakonos,I was thinking about it, and I relealized that I tend to use leather Bibles as everyday Bibles. However, the apparent size of the ISB NT makes me think that I will be using it for home reference or at work, but not so much as a carrying around kind of thing. So, I decided to go for the hardcover. Plus, it is only the NT. Whenever the complete OT and NT is published, maybe I will then get the leather edition. But by the speed of publication so far, I am not holding my breath for anything in the near future. Perhaps by the 100 year anniversary of the publication of the original RSV! ;)
Ok thanks. A different approach than I would take I guess. I have the NISB in leather and it has to be among the largest Bibles in dimensions if not weight. I like leather for durability and typically it makes for a slightly thinner Bible as a different type of paper tends to be used. Usually I do not write in my Bibles but something tells me this might not be so with the Ignatius NT...hmmm...decisions, decisions.
Great! I hope you get some time to look at it over the holiday weekend. I think you'll be quite excited about it, as I am.
By the way, I think you were smart to switch your order to the hardcover. In the past, Ignatius has made beautiful hardcovers, but their leather editions have been lacking. For the price, I think this was a beautiful hardcover.And, if you change your mind, you can always get it rebound!
Ignatius is probably going to have to reduce the size of the print and use thinner bible paper when they put out their complete Ignatius Study Bible. If the N.T. is this big and they didn't make those changes, can you imagine how big the complete bible would be?
I think I may have overplayed the "size" issue, a bit. True, it is bigger than a typical Bible -- even a typical study Bible. But on the other hand:* This larger print is very comfortable for reading -- I'm glad it doesn't use smaller print. * The edition is not so large that it is uncomfortable to read in bed. * The edition is larger than a typical Bible, but not as large as a big college textbook (e.g., a typical chemistry, physics, or biology textbook). (That seem like damnation by faint praise, but many people managed to handle those textbooks in college!)* The relatively thick paper makes it easy to read and easy to take notes.Now I do think this edition is too large for most people to carry around regularly (especially since one would probably want to carry around a full Bible with the OT as well.) But for me, at least, that's not a problem -- I prefer to keep my study Bibles at home. (I also keep one at work, and also have an electronic Bible on my phone.) I think I'm not the only one -- as Tim points out, there is a big market for thinline and compact editions.One disadvantage: if I make Biblical notes away from home, I have to transfer them to my "master Bible" later when I get home. (On the other hand, there is a silver lining to copying notes as well -- by the time I copy the notes, they are usually better written and expressed.)I hope that this book is a wild success for Ignatius, and based on strong sales, they decide to make more editions available (in more sizes) and to step up production of the full Bible. So, I'm eager to spread the news about the advantages of this NT edition.
Theophrastus,By chance, what us your master bible?
I second Timothy's request (out of sheer curiosity)...which version/edition is your master Bible?
My main "go to" Bible is this one.Unfortunately, it lacks the Deuterocanonicals (why don't they make a Catholic/Orthodox edition of this, I wonder?) and also lacks space for notes, so I now keep my notes in three volumes:* BHS Wide Margin (Hebrew)* NA27 Wide Margin (Greek)* Rahlfs (Septuagint)* I also keep a combination NRSV/REB/NAB/NJB handy, although I don't keep notes in it (the paper and margins are not sufficient for note-taking.)I bemoan the lack of high quality wide margin Bibles -- but at least that the BHS and NA27 have been published in wide margin editions.I used to keep notes in the Logos program, but for many reasons, keeping paper notes is better (I can add diagrams and figures, paste and notes, write translations next to individual words, etc.).
Tim. Congratulations on finishing your first year at high school. I recently retired after many, many years as a high school nurse. I know the last few weeks are often chaos. Thanks to everyone for their notes on the new study bible. I decided to switch my order from leather to hardcover and hope it gets here soon. Thanks/Sharon in Waxahachie, Texas
Sharon,Thanks for the kind words. Yes, this year being my first working full time at a high school has been long, but very good. While I am looking forward to the summer break, I am also encouraged for the upcoming school year this fall. I think you will be very happy with the switch to hardcover. I have been reading it quite a bit over the past day or so, and it is definitely a wonderful gift for Catholics. More on that soon!
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