Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Review: ICSB Exodus
Earlier this year, Ignatius Press released the ICSB: Exodus. Those of you who are familiar with the ICSB NT or ICSB Genesis will find nothing new with this volume. Although it should be pointed out that many of the more recent volumes have been considerably larger in size, this one as well comes in at a large 10.7 x 8.2 x 0.7 inches. This allows for greater space for personal annotations. While I find this to be acceptable for these individual volumes, I sure hope that when the complete ICSB is published in 2014 or 2015, it will be smaller, even more so than the ICSB NT. As usual, the translation used is the RSV-2CE.
A few notes on the particulars of this volume:
** There are four pages of introductory material which cover topics such as author and dating, structure, themes, historical authenticity, and Christian perspective.
** Three word studies on Pharoah (par'oh), serve (abad), and merciful love (hesed).
** Two topical essays on The Date of Exodus and After the Golden Calf.
** Two maps (Moses' Flight/Return to Egypt and the Exodus), an illustration of the Tabernacle, and a chart on the 10 Plagues.
** A very helpful three page section in the appendix which gives quotes from the Church Fathers and other early church writings concerning the Mosaic Ceremonial Laws: Occasion and Purpose.
** The appendix also includes study questions for understanding and application for each chapter of Exodus.
As I mentioned above, if you are familiar with any of the ICSB volumes, what you will read in the ICSB Exodus will be much of the same. Typicall, the annotations/commentary take up a third to half of each page. There are, however, some sections where the annotations are considerably fewer and take up less than a quarter of a page. You can see this in Exodus 35-40. This is not terribly surprising since this section covers the actual building of the Tabernacle which was revealed in 25-31. (The NABRE has very limited notes in this area as well.) Exodus 9-10 also has limited annotations.
When I received this volume in the mail a couple weeks back, I was excited to see another well-design ICSB edition. However, my joy was tempered due to my frustrations with the pace of production the ICSB, which has been well documented on this blog. Recent comments by Dr. Scott Hahn about a possible completion date of 2014 or 2015 are encouraging, but that is still 2-3 years away at the earliest. Let us pray that the ICSB is completed in good time, but let us also pray that there would be additional good Catholic study Bibles in some of the other translations as well.