Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review: Cambridge RSV New Testament and Psalms

This is sort of a retro mini-review. I was blessed to receive a wonderful little pocket RSV New Testament and Psalms from reader Tim. So, thank you, once again, Tim!

This pocket RSV was published by Cambridge back in 2003, and I must say that it is a delightful little volume. The edition I received is the brown, French Morocco Leather one which has a similar feel to the NRSV Reference Bible with Apocrypha. For Catholics who are looking for a Bible with high quality leather binding, the Cambridge Bibles are often the number one option. What makes this pocket RSV so unique, besides the Moroccan leather binding, is the fact that the text is in a one-column format. This edition is very easy to read and definitely a pleasure for the eyes. An added bonus is that the paper is opaque, much like the NRSV Reference Bible with Apocrypha.

If you can find one, and you are a fan of the RSV, than I highly recommend it. One quick note, this Bible uses the 1971 revised RSV New Testament. Also, the only other pocket RSV that I can compare this to is the Ignatius RSV-2CE New Testament and Psalms. If you are looking for the non-archaic and updated RSV-2CE, than go with Ignatius. If you want a more high-end cover and binding, than the Cambridge edition will delight you! (For some additional photos of this edition, you can check out the listing on Amazon here.)


Colleague said...

It's funny that you posted this, Tim, since I was recently looking at this exact Bible on Amazon the other day along with some of the other fine pocket Bibles which Cambridge has produced. Since I recently sent off my compact NRSV with Apocrypha to Leonard's for a complete overhaul, I've been looking at other compact Bibles to carry around with me in my satchel. I typically keep a compact NRSV or RSV-CE with me at all times, wherever I go.

As you say, this NT with Psalms is a real treat. It really takes me back to my younger days when I was introduced to the Bible through one of those tiny Gideon's NT with Psalms. I remember reading the Gospel of Matthew for the first time. Gee, if only I could get back that child-like appreciation of the text!

Anonymous said...

Cambridge does make the finest Bibles I have seen. It is too bad they don't do Catholic books as well.

I like the simplicity of the Gideon Bibles also, Colleague. I carry the Ignatius hard-back 1st edition RSV-CE with me to read on my lunch break at work. It has that aspect of compact simplicity to it as well, although I did have to press through the pages to work the binding open good. It is the only Catholic edition I know of that has the phonetical marks for the pronunciation of proper names in it (besides the Handbook for Proclaimers of the Word, listed in the back.)

I do like the option of having a coat pocket Bible as well, but I do already have a pocket Baronius Press D-R NT & Psalms, and a Scepter Confraternity NT, both of which are of quality construction.


Mark in Spokane said...

The RSV NT & Psalms combined with the craftsmanship of Cambridge -- that can only mean one thing: a winner as far as the quality of the text is concerned. What a great little find.

FWIW, I am becoming increasingly dismayed at the way the NABRE OT is shaping up. I was seriously hoping that I would be able to embrace the new OT translation for daily use, but the more I read of the texts that are being pieced out, the more I come to believe that that will not be happening. Looks like I will be sticking with my current reading duo of the New English Bible (Oxford Study Edition) and the New King James Version NT & Psalms (Orthodox Study Bible edition).

Tim B. said...

I really like this edition. I wish Cambridge made more like it. I also have the REB new testament and Psalms and it is slightly bigger but thinner.

Now if only we could get them to make a full RSV w/ Apocrypha.

Stephen said...

Thanks Timothy for posting.

Anyone have any info on the font size of the Cambridge RSV Pocket New Testiment & Psalms?

Same question - Ignatius RSV-CE New Testiment Pocket size edition Font Size?

I've tried to research a bit...but not having any luck on the font size.


Timothy said...


I don't, but I will keep looking as well. I will say that the Cambridge edition is slighly thinner, with the single-column page format. Overall, the font size, between the two, is very similar.

Tim B. said...


The font & size of the Cambridge is "8 on 8.25pt Times Semi Bold 421".

Stephen said...

Thank you Tim B very much for the sharing the font size. I think having it in single column will make it easier to read.

I've been looking around for a small New Testament that I can carry with me on planes, as as I go about different locations in town. Could read in coffee shops, while I'm waiting in line, etc. Something that I could keep with me that wouldn't take up much space. Suppose I could get a Kindle. Right now, I like to keep a collegeville commentary - not because of the commentary (which I think some of the commentary leaves a bit to be desired), but becuase they are so small you can carry them anywhere.

Thanks again.

Owen said...


I feel a bit like I just found the pearl of great price. At the very least I have landed a copy of this edition of the Bible which appears by all Internet searches as of this writing to be the only copy available. From a seller from Quebec I got a very good price. I've seen it going for three times what I paid.

I was recently paid for an art commission (an icon of the Beautiful Shepherd) and decided that I would be extravagant and get this bible that I have so wanted for so long.

May seem odd in this day of Bibles on tablets and smartphones and ereaders but I prefer paper and leather for a NT that is going to travel with me on my bicycle commuting and for that matter I prefer the old codex form period when it comes to reading sacred scripture.

At any rate I wanted to thank you for posting this back nearly two years ago. At last I no longer must confess the sin of envy - well, as far as this goes at least.