Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Top 5 for 2010

Since Christmas is fast approaching, and I am not sure how much blogging I will get done over the next week or two, I want to take the time right now to list my top 5 favorite publications relating to Catholic Bibles during this past year. Overall, I think it was a pretty good year. Looking a bit forward, 2011 should also be very interesting, in particular with the release of the NABRE, the Revised Grail Psalms, more editions of the NRSV, and who knows what else. So, even though there are still three days until Christmas, I would like to wish all of you a blessed Christmas and happy New Year.

Now my top 5:

1) The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament: While for the most part it is simply a collection of the already released single volume editions, the ICSBNT the best single volume New Testament study Bible for Catholics on the market. The commentary utilizes both the historical method, as well as following the principles of Dei Verbum. The additional essays, maps, and concordance make this a must have for all Catholic Bible readers. Now if they can only complete the Old Testament in a reasonable amount of time, perhaps by 2015?

2) Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible RSV-CE: This one kind of snuck up on me, since I only knew about it a month before it was released. I believe this is the only dramatized audio Bible that uses a Catholic translation. The quality of the presentation is high, and the voice acting is both convincing yet not distracting. Bravo!

3) NRSV Go-Anywhere Thinline: Praise for this is a little bit anticipated, since the official Catholic edition of this thinline will be coming out in February. However, the version with the full Apocrypha/Deutercanonicals was released in October. Overall, it is finally nice to have a true thinline edition of a Catholic Bible. While the same old issue remains with the NRSV, lack of cross-references, this thinline is very readable and contains a concordance and maps. It will be interesting to see if the full Catholic edition will contain anything anything not in the current releases.

4) New Oxford Annotated Bible 4th Edition: Overall, I was very pleased with this release. I think the commentary is better than in the 3rd edition, and they updated the maps section, introductions to each book, and essays. The leather cover on my edition is soft and very flexible. The only issue that some people had with this is the new type-setting, which was smaller than older editions. It wasn't too big a deal to me, but again that just depends on personal preferences.

5) Live Catholic Youth Bible NRSV: Since I work at a high school, I am always on the lookout for solid Catholic youth materials. This edition came out in August and provides a nice alternative to the St. Mary's Press Catholic Youth Bible. There are no inserts into this Bible, with all the material integrated into the actual Bible page. This edition is smaller than the CYB, and the focus is more on the teens interaction with the Sacred Text. The Live Catholic Youth Bible encourages teens to write, highlight, and draw in their Bible, which I think is a good way to bring the Bible alive.


Stephen said...

2015?! Please, no, let's hope (and pray) for more like 2012? They should really put in a big effort. This Bible has been so well received; the complete version should be smashing! A Catholic Study Bible of this nature has been long coming...

Timothy said...


I agree with you. But looking at how slow each volume comes out makes me think that it will take a few years. I mean, only Genesis is out right now.

rolf said...

I agree the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible (NT) was a great release this year and it has received good reviews. I think Ignatius will publish a separate Ignatius Catholic Study Bible(OT) and make their complete Study Bible two volumes. Look how big the NT is, the OT will be much bigger. To make a single volume Study Bible they would have to use much thinner paper, smaller font size and slim down on the notes. I would rather have two volumes in the current format. Now if they also want to release a slimmed down single volume after the two volumes are complete, that would be great.

Anonymous said...

I know you have looked at the Harper Collins Study Bible in the past. It seems like you prefer the New Oxford. Can I ask why? I was thinking of getting one or the other.

Timothy said...


Yeah, I think the HarperCollins Study Bible has its positive features as well. I also think the layout is quite atrractive and the maps are my favorite in any study Bible. The reason I prefer the NOAB is that it comes with more study helps and essays, as well as in a genuine leather edition. But, I you would be well served with the HarperCollins one too.

Theophrastus said...

Regarding the New Oxford Annotated Bible, I think the problems with the 4th edition go beyond mere smaller type.

* The paper is much thinner, and as a result, bleeds through more easily.

* I am not sure the print is actually smaller. However, the print of the notes has changed to sans serif font, which combined with bleed through, makes them hard to read.

* The Bible text is no longer right justified, which is just weird.

* The notes have become quite long-winded in points.

* The margins are much smaller.

On the positive side, the 4th edition is much easier to carry than the 3rd edition.

Regarding the HarperCollins Study Bible, 2nd edition -- it is so poorly edited that I would question whether it should be a primary resource for anyone. Almost every page contains a grammatical error; notes are repetitious; the maps are horribly pixelated. It is a real step backwards from the 1st edition.

Timothy said...

Yes, the in-text maps are not well placed/printed in the second edition, although I am quite fond of the ones in the back.