Friday, December 9, 2011
Review: Oxford NABRE Compact
Published back in April, the OUP Compact NABRE remains one of the few, besides the St. Joseph Personal Size, compact versions of the NABRE available today. The edition I am reviewing is the one with the black/blue pacific duvelle cover, although it can be purchased in black duradera (with a zipper closure) and paperback. For an inside look of the NABRE compact, go here.
Those of you who have Oxford's original NAB compact will notice that they are very similar. This edition, like the prior one, consists of the following features:
Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum)
* Placement of the NABRE notes at the end of each book to enhance the readability of the biblical text
* Table of Weekday and Sunday Lectionary readings
* Table of weights and measures in the Bible
* Glossy presentation and family record pages
* Glossy section of Catholic prayers and devotions
(Please note that the Oxford site mentions that this edition also comes with a concordance and essay on the lectionary, which it does not.)
This compact edition of the NABRE has pretty much all you would need for a compact Bible. The only omission, really, would be a set of Oxford Maps placed in the appendix, although it is common for maps, certainly in Oxford compact editions, to be excluded. One might also desire the inclusion of a concordance, but that would simply make the volume less compact and certainly more bulky. As it stands, this edition is the ideal 4-1/2 x 6-1/8 size for a compact Bible.
The page layout is very clean, containing the sacred text and bolded paragraph headings. As mentioned above, all notes and cross-references are consigned to the back of each biblical book. For a standard sized Bible this would be annoying, but since it is a compact I don't mind it. The NABRE book introductions, including book outline, are placed at the beginning of each biblical book, which actually serves to break up and space the text quite nicely. I have read some reviews that complained about the font size being too small. Yes, it is small, but last time I checked this was a compact Bible. If you have seen any prior Oxford compact Bibles, this edition is pretty much the same. But please do preview this Bible before purchasing it, if this is an issue for you.
Overall, this is a well-constructed and fairly inexpensive compact from Oxford. Time will tell as to what other styles of the NABRE will be produced in 2012 and beyond. We certainly can look forward to what HarperOne will be releasing in the coming months. But as it stands now, I believe this is the most durable and readable compact NABRE on the market.