Thursday, January 5, 2012
Review: ABS NABRE
One of the more recent editions of the NABRE to be published comes from the American Bible Society. Available in both hardcover and paperback, the ABS NABRE is a fairly cheap edition if you are looking to have this translation on your bookshelf. On the ABS site, the hardcover goes for $16.49, while the paperback is only $7.25.
The hardcover is 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches, encompassing 1440 pages. While the binding is glued, the Bible itself sits open nicely. The overall page layout is the standard one you see with most NAB's or NABRE's, although I would say the print is bit smaller than usual. While this makes reading a little more difficult, the payoff is that there is plenty of room at the top and bottom of each page for personal annotations. (See photo) The Bible paper is a basic white, quite similar to what you would find in the older RSV-CE hardcover/paperback published by Ignatius.
Along with the standard NABRE text, notes, and cross-references, the ABS NABRE includes the lectionary readings for both weekdays and Sundays. Also there are two sections of maps included in the appendix. The first section includes four black and white maps covering the ancient world, the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, Palestine in the Time of the Maccabees, and Palestine in New Testament Times. Immediately following these maps there are eight additional full-color maps which chart the Empires at around 1300 BC, Egypt and Sinai 1400-1200 BC, The United Kingdom of Israel in the Time of Kings Saul, David, and Solomon 1000-924 BC, Jerusalem in OT Times 960-44BC, Palestine in the Times of the Maccabees 175-63BC, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, and Paul's Third Journey and His Journey to Rome. I found it quite odd to have to different sets of maps, one in color and the other in black and white. (I should note that the wonderful Cambridge NRSV w/Apocrypha does the same.) Also, if you are going to chart Paul's Third and Fourth Journeys, why not include the first two?
Again, this is a very basic edition of the NABRE. I certainly appreciate the low price for it, along with the margin space for notes. Is this the best edition of the NABRE out there? By no means! Or rather "of course not!" I have a few questions, in particular, about its durability, particularly since this is the first ABS Bible that I have ever owned. We shall see!