Thursday, March 29, 2012

News on LRCSB Deluxe Edition

According to the Little Rock site:

Enhance your Bible study with this elegant, limited edition of the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible with a beautiful embossed, brown, leather-like cover. Gold, gilt-edged pages, ribbons, plus a presentation page and three family tree pages also make it a perfect family Bible or gift.

Experience Sacred Scripture with ease and understanding. Find solid scholarship plus insightful connections to life, ministry, and the practice of the faith. Filled with informative sidebars, charts, maps, photos and cross-references, this lasting volume uses the authorized translation in the New American Bible, Revised Edition.

Open the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible and feel at home with the Word of God. Through accessibly written information and engaging visuals that highlight and clarify significant areas of Scripture, readers will easily gain an understanding of these ancient texts that can be carried into today’s world. Using the authorized translation in the New American Bible Revised Edition, this lasting volume is ideal for both personal use and group Bible study.

The valuable information in the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible is offered in small notes and inserts that accompany the Bible texts as well as in expanded essays, articles, and graphics. Key symbols help readers quickly identify the type of information they need, such as explanations, definitions, dates, character and author profiles, archaeological insights, personal prayer starters, and insights connecting Scripture and its use in today’s church. Colorful maps, timelines, photographs, and charts further enhance the study experience. Longer articles are dedicated to explaining study Bible fundamentals, the Catholic Church’s use of the Bible, and the people and places of the biblical world.


Keith said...

I contacted them and got some conflicting information about the quality. The dimensions are just a little bit bigger as the cover will overlap a little. The pages are gold edges.

I wanted to know if the paper quality would be the same and here is where the confusion came in. One person said the same quality as the existing hardback and paperback but with slightly darker print.

The other person said the paper would be a little thinner which would be a concern to me especially is they are using darker print. Bleed-through would be a concern.

So apparently they aren't sure.


Timothy said...

Thanks for that additional info. I own the hardcover and just love the layout. Hopefully this edition will have the same paper quality! In any case, I will be sure to provide some commentary on it whenever I actually attain a copy.

Xian Garvida said...

Nice review! I would love to have this one...

Chrysostom said...

As I'm sure has been made clear on this site, my favorite modern translation is the English Standard Version. However, the ESV with "Apocrypha" (deuterocanonicals plus 3,4 Maccabees and Esdras) has the worst bleedthrough I've ever seen. This one can't be worse. I've nearly given up on reading it and gone to the RSV-2CE for my deuterocanon due to the bleedthrough.

By the way, I bought the Penguin Classics edition of the KJV New Cambridge Paragraph Bible - the print size is decent (probably in the low 8-point range), the paper is better than in any leather Bible I have (it's the very white stuff that never yellows), the layout is cleaner (yes, that's including the leather CUP NCPB), generous margins, and more attention was paid towards getting the lines to match up so the minor amount of bleedthrough is not at all distracting. And that was for $11, better than any actual "Bible Bible" I have.

It doesn't have any cross-references or topic headings, which I do miss, but it's a secular "Bible-as-literature" piece, and it's the closest to "Bible-as-a-book" that I've ever seen.

And not a single line was double-struck anywhere in the Bible. That's a major problem with modern Bibles, double-struck pages: it's in the ESV study Bible, the NETS, the ESV with Apocrypha, pretty much anything printed by Oxford or Cambridge...

I'll have to see if, even though it's glued, Allan's can rebind this one in goatskin. It's that nice for $11. If it was bound in leather, it would be that nice for $150.

I wonder: do these Little Rock Bibles come with the horrid NAB annotation on every page, without it, or all stuck in the back like the Cambridge versions, and with new annotation from Little Rock? (The NAB is almost as good as the NRSV when it is sans notes.) Or, is it like the Fireside Catholic Study Bible with inserts/additional notes added here and there along with the NAB annotation? (The effect is quite jarring, to have orthodox Catholic teaching on inserts and the NAB notes on the pages.)

Anonymous said...


Looking forward to your review. Of interest, sewn or glued binding? How's the bleed-through? How's the paper thickness? How well-attached are the pages at the front and back of the bible? Does the cover stay bent open/warped after use, or does it go back to being flat when closed?


Timothy said...


Will do. I hope to give it a proper review, including your suggestions, once I am able to get a copy. So, some time in April.

Anonymous said...


Any idea what Little Rock means by "limited edition"? Are there other editions planned? Is this just a "trial run" to see how well it sells?

owen swain said...

I contacted Liturgical Press to find out when this would be available in Canada and if it would be available via AmazonDOTca or ChaptersIndigoDOTca. I was told to contact their Canadian Distributor, B. Broughton Company, Ltd. I did but they have not even acknowledged the email.

Would certainly like to have a copy. We shall see...

Timothy said...


I think it simply means that there won't be as many produced as they did for the hardbound and paperback editions.

Chrysostom said...

Does anyone know if these come with different annotation than the normal NAB? And, what, exactly, are those differences?

I have a friend who I'm talking to about Catholicism, and she's receptive to returning to the Church, but has a keen mind, and her first objections to Christianity are, "Well, hasn't the Bible been rewritten over and over again? Didn't the Apostles falsify the Gospels because they considered Christ so much greater than he actually was?"

A combination of logic, proof of God (the five ways), proof by miracle, and proof by Church have got her to consider the Church, or at least act like she is, and I've given her FF Bruce's "The NT Documents", the Catechism, the Catechism, the ICSBNT, and an English translation of the Septuagint, (and am thinking of giving her JAT Robinson's "Redating the NT"), but don't want to throw an NAB/RE or NOAB on her plate yet, supposing that it will likely confirm all of her doubts and do nothing to water the ground in which the seed hath been planted. Nor do I want to give her a Protestant study Bible, less seven inspired books, and with certain translation choices and notes that may be slanted by a Calvinist theological agenda.

I highly doubt she finds gender-neutered language as offensive as I do, but indeed she wants something close to "the original" (without knowing Greek or Hebrew), and thinks the Bible should sound like the KJV.

This Little Rock NAB seems like it may be a good starter Bible for someone in such a circumstance, as long as the OT of the ICSB isn't complete (and I don't have the money to shell out $500 for another Navarre, unless I want to go in to debt, which would probably be overwhelming and send the wrong impression, as it's a massive "gift-like" set).

I thought the NETS was a nice touch: it is based on manuscripts three-quarters of a millennium older than any of the Hebrew we have, and right in the translation shows that there is valid difference between different translations, while at the same time showing that none of it is of ultimate importance, as no important OT doctrines are impinged upon; it also allows for a discussion of the role of the Church in discerning the Canon.

If not, I'll probably get her an "Orthodox Study Bible" if she wants notes (as the commentaries I personally own are not for beginners, except for Navarre and the CCSS, and even if they don't require knowledge of the Greek, which they do, they are all about technical issues), figuring it's easier to do damage control on the Pope than it is to do it on the entire Bible.

I've considered an ESV w/ "Apocrypha" OT, but figure it's a bad thing to be introduced to the Bible where seven equally-inspired books are segregated in to a separate section.

Biblical Catholic said...

Have you looked at the New Jerusalem Bible? It's a decent translation with fairly extensive notes that tend to present for lack of a better word 'moderate' positions on most issues, the notes are nowhere near as bad as the NAB and it handles inclusive language probably better than any other modern translation in print. And you can pick up a used copy in decent condition for around $20. My only problem with it is that uses the divine name 'Yahweh' fairly liberally, but some recent re-printings have changed that.

Timothy said...

I am not aware of any NJB being printed with 'The LORD' and not Yahweh. There is the older Jerusalem Bible, which recently the Catholic Truth Society produced which corrected this issue.

Biblical Catholic said...

Well I know that countries which use a lectionary based on the New Jerusalem Bible have revised it to remove the Divine Name due to Papal decree of 2007, so that the Divine Name is no longer used in Mass.

Chrysostom said...

The actual question: does the Little Rock Bible have the NAB notes, or not? Does it just have additional notes on top of the NAB ones, or a complete replacement of them?

Further rambling:

I actually have a New Jerusalem Bible, but figure it to be a bad introduction for the reason that the notes are of a similar bent to the NAB, and the translation isn't actually used anywhere. At least with the RSV series one can say "Vatican documents use this", and with the NAB series "The liturgy is based on this", etc. Ironically, I used and was a proponent of the NJB when I first converted to Catholicism, before learning bit by bit of its suboptimality (I actually used the NRSV first and abandoned it by the same process). I moved to the OJB for a while after, before moving to my current RSV-2CE/NETS/OSB/ESV/DRC/KJV/Greek mix.

I have an old Jerusalem Bible Reader's Edition, which probably would make a good starter Bible, but it has no annotation whatsoever. Maybe I should try to convince her to read the Bible without notes first, as, is often done when reading an unfamiliar scripture, the notes take on the same cast as divine writ itself by virtue of association. A commentary would be ideal in that case, but very few commentaries are introductory. A problem with some annotation is that it points out problems that a normal reader may not even notice at first (the dating disparity between the synoptics and John, for example), although I should likely let the Spirit do his work and not attempt to perform more than minimal shielding at first. (I don't know why I consider myself an odd case: I was converted to Christianity by being plunged head-first in to historical and textual criticism, as it was a tenet of my former religion that the Bible was corrupt: that a religion could evaluate its scripture critically and still have faith was amazing to me: the Koran is never, ever challenged, not even the smallest 'ayn or hamza.)

I was worried with the JB series that the translation is so far afield from the Tyndale stream that it would play in to fears of "the Bible having been rewritten" or "why so many different renderings?", but I assume if those would be deal-breakers the woman isn't going to convert to Christianity in any case. I can see something like NOAB 4th Ed. or NAB annotation prompting legitimate and severe doubts in the mind of a seeker, regardless of the renderings given.

She likes the KJV (it's what I've memorized and read out of, as, even using other Bibles, I found myself quoting it in a KJV-esque style, with "thees" and "thines"), sometimes incorrectly (I have been known to say, "Who gaveth his only begotten Son" or "my cup overfloweth", the former being ungrammatical, the latter being a mashup of two versions), and I have considered a New Cambridge Paragraph Bible but for the above concerns about separating out the "Apocrypha" (she loves Shakespeare, even in original spelling, so I doubt the KJV would be much trouble for her) and the complete lack of section headings (you know, if one starts reading at Genesis, one quits by the time one reads about the make of the priest's clothes in Leviticus) to tell her what is skippable, but it does a good job at not differentiating any of the text beyond verse-chapter, and, above all else, lists no alternate readings (it's bad in a way, and refreshing in another: that's the job of the translator, is to choose the right rendering). Unlike me she is culturally Christian, so she has some exposure to it.

Chrysostom said...

However, the problem with renderings isn't as bad as in the Greek NTs, where half of the text is in some form of brackets, and the other half of the text has a list of alternate readings that spills on to the next page (I prefer my UBS "Reader's Edition" for that reason; I wish they had a Textus Receptus or Majority Text Reader's Edition).

I'm leaning more towards a commentary-free RSV-2CE or Old JB for her first eclectic/Masoretic OT instead of the Septuagint, as detailed study or making sure every single prophecy is rendered correctly is not a top priority on the first reading. I would consider an NAB due to the similarity between it and the lectionary, even if I personally don't like it, if the notes are decent (I doubt that "In the beginning when" will be noted by a first-time reader). The KJV is classic (and, as I've mentioned, she has the unshakeable notion that Bible = 17th century English), but has the issue of including some incorrect renderings and dubious passages. I would consider the NRSV if it didn't fit so badly with the ICSBNT.

I probably should go to my shelf of thirty translations and play "Bible roulette" (if only they all had the deuterocanon), and remember the words of the Apostle: "the spiritual man can discern spiritual things, being filled with the Spirit and having the Mind of Christ; to the unspiritual man, such things are folly."

Whatever Bible it is, if the Holy Spirit so desires, it shall be interpreted with the Spirit. I have the problem of 1) using the Bible very little in my apologetics work, and 2) never having before come across a person that is still "on the fence" before reading the Bible, and wants to read it first. Most people that I've converted with the help of the Spirit (or failed to without his help) have either made, to borrow the Protestant terminology, "a decision for Christ" before they come near a Bible, and only after that become interested in it, or are moved to accept the Gospel by reading the Bible, and only need me to do as CS Lewis did, "make it intellectually respectable" or clear away any self-justifications for not converting. It's often telling to ask, "If I could prove to you with certainty that God existed, and beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus lived, died, was resurrected and founded a Church, and the Bible was a faithful record of him, would you become a Christian?" It's quite astounding how much hemming and hawwing or even outright negation one can receive in response.

Importantly, I view the need for Christianity of some sort to be higher than the need for Catholicism (so I consider myself at least partially successful even if the Holy Spirit makes a Protestant through me), and am now ultimately wary of NAB/NOAB style Bibles for neophytes: that my first Bible was an NOAB NRSV and didn't hurt my faith was a product of the culture I was raised in: unquestioning obedience with no analysis of the received and absolutely perfect text of the Koran and Nine Collections. Compared to that, it was refreshing. To an atheist, not so much, as I handed to one promising candidate an (old) NAB. I had answered some questions about the text (of the Bible, not the specific translation) beforehand. Response: "even your Church doesn't believe in this mish-mash of collected fairy tales and admits the gospels are gross exaggerations: why should I believe such pious lies it unless it does something for me?" (Standard postmodern "dialogue sharing", "nonverbal witness", "faith works for me" kind of stuff, which I avoid like the plague.) Never again.

Timothy said...

Only the original Jerusalem Bible is curretly being used in various lectionaries. I am not aware of the NJB as the text of any the basis of any lectionary.

Timothy said...


To answer your question, the standard NABRE notes are included in this edition. Little Rock has supplemented those with additional notes, charts, and maps. I will give some examples in a future review, once I get te deluxe edition.

Chrysostom said...

The Jerusalem Bible is being used in lectionaries where? I thought it was outmoded even in the UK.

I'll likely give her my OJB Reader's Edition, if it actually is used in the lectionary somewhere. Except for the Psalms. The OJB Psalms, bluntly, suck. It's unique in the use of "Yahweh" as well, which probably will have to be explained (as now condemned by the Church). And a KJV to boot. The Penguin edition of the NCPB is so cheap and so excellent that I can put one in to the hands of everyone now, instead of campus preaching and debating with it and an ESV (flowing off the tongue is necessary for good public reading, and they fit the bill; I don't use the RSV-2CE merely because it comes in no binding suitable for long-term holding in the hand with ease at any page for public use), and handing out $1.00 "outreach editions" of stapled paperback New Testaments.

Chrysostom said...

Ah, at that, I take my cue from Frank Sheed. I wish I could get my hands on some of the original Catholic Truth Society streetcorner apologetics training materials. Normally it's started with, "come one, come all, this rock isn't a person, you are one person, God is three persons! What say ye?" or phrasing the Kalam argument in the form of Genesis describing the Big Bang, or something like that.

I'm surprisingly tolerated.

Russ said...

Good luck with all that, Tim. :)