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.