Friday, August 19, 2011

Guest Review: Fireside Librosario NABRE

Many thanks to reader, Jonny, for the following guest review:

I was looking at the NABREs on Amazon and noticed that Fireside has a “Church and School” hardback edition out now, in regular and large print. I looked on the Fireside website and saw that they also had a Companion Edition out as well (which is a medium sized edition, about 8 ½ by 5 ½ by 1 ½), and I decided to order it. It was listed under the “Librosario” section (the kind with the embossed crucifix on the front and pray along Rosary on the back.) When I received it UPS two days later I saw that it actually says “Holy Bible” on the front with embossed letters filled with gold, and the back is plain. It has a super-soft Endurahide cover that is a very nice looking dark burgundy with subtle black shades. I will list some of the other details in comparison with other NABREs:

1. Typeface and spacing: A very traditional looking Times New Roman-ish font typical of many modern Bibles is used for the Biblical Text. The chapter headings are in a slightly narrower and plainer bold font and slightly smaller and closer spaced than the previous Fireside Companion Bible. The spacing of the text and notes are about the same size as the Saint Benedict Press edition of the NABRE.

2. Other details about the text: This version has the chapter-colon-verse system of reference (e.g. Ben Sira 19:20), like the SBP version. The SBP version uses a series of symbols to locate the references, but the Fireside version uses an asterisk every time, and you simply look for the verse number. The cross-references are less cluttered and therefore easier to read in the Fireside version, but the SBP version has the advantage that the source of the reference location is listed (chapter/verse) rather than just the letter. Both Bibles have a unique symbol to indicate a textual notation.

3. Other details (the extras): The Fireside Bible has the “Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation”, “Origin, Inspiration, and History of the Bible”, and “The Bible: A Catholic Perspective” at the front of the book. It also has the complete lectionary reading list for all Masses throughout the year, a 156 page Catholic Encyclopedic Dictionary, and 8 maps with a grid index in the back. I know that some study Bibles like Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible have more information as far as the maps and essays go, but the Fireside has the advantage of having what Fireside calls the “Perfect Binding”, which is a lot of little sewn together signatures. My hardback Catholic Study Bible, for example, is falling apart page by page in the map section because each page was glued in individually. (I hope the NABRE edition has a sewn binding like my genuine leather Oxford NOAB RSV, or I won’t be getting that one at all.) The Endurahyde cover of the Fireside Bible I hear is supposed to outlast leather, but does not stay open as well as a hardback at the beginning and end of the book (but I am hoping that I can break it in more.) It also has indexed pages to find each book easily and one burgundy ribbon marker.

All in all, I think that the Fireside Bible is the best medium sized Bible available now. I personally prefer a smaller Bible, especially for devotions, and this one has a lot to offer, especially now with the improved Old Testament and Psalms.


Anonymous said...

I've been waiting, like many of you, for the Oxford Catholic Study Bible NABRE. However, I just had to get my hands on the new translation, so I picked up the New Catholic Answer Bible. The text is the same as this Fireside Bible, minus the dictionary and maps. I'm very happy with it so far, the translation as well as the Bible itself...i.e. construction, cover, etc.


Jonny said...

One thing I forgot to mention: I was glad to see that this NABRE edition of the Companion Bible has the OT quotes in the same size font as the rest of the text. In the previous NAB edition the quotes were in a smaller font which I didn't think looked good.

I am still waiting to see a hardback or leather-bound NABRE from Catholic Book Publishing or the World Bibles also listed on their website. I am anxious to see if another publisher can top the Fireside editions for me, but I am not holding my breath....

Anonymous said...

I've been using the Bible+1 NABRE on my iPad. Simple app, bible cost about $7, can jump to footnotes and back. My printed bibles are getting dusty :-/

Kevin Sam said...

It's good to see such a new, high quality, yet affordable bible out.

Since you declared a winner already, I'll have to get my own copy now? ;)

K.R. said...

At Mass today, the reading was MT 16:13-20. In the altered NAB read, I noticed Peter said "you are the Christ", where as the standard NABRE NT has "you are the Messiah".

I also know in LK, the altered NT has "hail full of grace", where the standard has "hail favored one".

The changes make the NAB NT much better, IMO.

Its such a shame the editors didn't incorporate the NT Liturgical changes into the NABRE. It could have been done when they postponed the release to redo the Psalms. What a wasted opportunity!!

Jonny said...

Wow, the St. Joseph edition of the NABRE just appeared on Amazon, copyright July, 2011.

This is, I think, the "full size" edition, 6 1/2 by 9 1/4. I am not sure if it has the full color pictures, Rosary, and Stations inserts in it. It is listed as being available in leather, but I am assuming it is bonded leather like the NAB version, so I ordered the hardback. Strange that the CBPC does not have these listed yet on their website.