Friday, February 18, 2011

Review: Biblia Sacra (Ex Fontibus Company)

Those of you who are looking for a portable New Testament and Psalms in Latin and English should give serious consideration to this fine edition published by Ex Fontibus Company. Biblia Sacra: Libri Novi Testamenti et Psalmorum is a parallel Bible that contains the Douay-Rheims Bible, Challoner and the Biblia Sacra juxta Vulgatam Clementinam. While this Bible is not technically compact, it is very portable and available in paperback and hardcover editions. (Although Amazon only sells it in the paperback edition.) There are no notes or cross-references from the Douay-Rheims, simply the two texts printed side-by-side. I was actually in the market for something just like this for the high school where I work, so I was very happy when Joseph from Ex Fontibus Company contacted me and sent along a copy. If you are interested in taking a look at some sample pages, check out the Amazon site.

After receiving this Bible, I asked Joseph, from Ex Fontibus Company, to give a little background on how he got started:

"Two grad students, whose Latin was not quite what it ought to have been, wanted a dual-language Latin-English bible that would be aesthetically pleasing and have some of the grandeur of Bibles and hand-missals from the days of yore. At the time, neither of these desiderata was readily available, so they set to work on their own, scouring the internet for suitable images and fonts. Some months later, they produced a three-volume hardcover edition of the entire Bible but, upon requests for a more easily-portable NT edition with Psalms, they produced this item, which has the dual effect of allowing them to practice their Latin while putting food on the table. Although sells only the softcover edition, the hardcover is available from the publisher’s website. We are always eager to hear what you think of these products and would therefore welcome any comments that you might have, sent to our email address at"

(Again, thanks to Joseph for the review copy.)


Theophrastus said...

How does it compare to the Baronius Press edition? It sounds like the Baronius is a little larger but more complete (with notes, complete OT, and better typsetting).

Note that the Nova Vulgata and RSV-CE are parallel format in the Navarre New Testament Expanded Edition

However, I personally find the use of computer software (I use Logos) better for parallel Bibles, prior to that I sometimes used the Greek-Latin NT.

Timothy said...


I don't own the Baronius Press edition, which you can see samples of:

It is certainly larger and does contain the notes and cross-references, and yes the type-setting seems to be better. But if you are looking for something more portable, the Ex Fontibus edition would certainly fit the need.

T. said...

If I were inclined to have a D-R / Latin version, I would rather consider the osnova Kindle version:

I did, in fact consider this just to have a truly portable Catholic bible (i.e. including the deutero-canonical books). I downloaded a sample and it is beautifully formatted but I just don't like the D-R and simply don't need the Latin.

Osnova bibles have the best ereader navigation that I have seen!

Matt said...

The Baronius edition is the same size as a family bible. I've seen it a couple times and in my perspective it isn't really useable for serious study. The Loreto Press one, even though it has a terrible format and odd introduction, is decent. This one looks even better.

Theophrastus said...

Matt -- I've used the Baronius edition; it is not bad for serious study (and, of course, it includes the OT as well -- unlike this volume). There are a number of oversized books that I use for serious study, including Bible atlases, dictionaries, concordances, the Greek Synopsis of the Four Gospels. I don't find that an oversized volume interferes at all with it being used as a serious study resource (although, of course, it is necessarily less portable.)

My top preference is for the Harvard University Press diglot of the Vulgate/Douay-Rheims-Challoner, but that edition may not meet your needs: it uses the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate but rather a reconstructed Vulgate that is closer to what Gregory Martin probably used when he made the D-R translation. It is also a multi-volume set.