Responding to a listener question on a recent Catholic Answers Live radio program, Fr. Fessio of Ignatius Press stated that he hoped the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible Old Testament would be completed in a year or two. That, of course, is nothing new. We heard that from Dr. Scott Hahn a few months backs on EWTN Bookmark. What was interesting, however, was that it appears that Ignatius may not ultimately publish the complete ICSB in one volume, but rather two. Citing the amount of commentary and study helps found in the ICSB, he said they are struggling to figure a way to publish it in one volume. You can listen to the entire program here. He answers the ICSB question around minute 32.
Now, what do you think about the real possibility of there never being a complete, one volume edition of the ICSB? Personally, having examined many study Bibles over the past ten years, including ones like the ESV Study Bible and the NLT Study Bible, both of which contain more notes and study helps than the ICSB, I would be highly disappointed if it is only available in two distinct volumes. Those two study Bibles I just mentioned are full of annotations, contain a ton of extra material in the appendix, and come in many different editions and covers. The NLT Study Bible, which I am flipping through as I write this post, has well over 300 pages of extra material in the appendix and contains more cross-references and in-text theme notes/person profiles/maps than the ICSB. The ESV Study Bible, like the recently revised NIV Study Bible, is produced with full-color charts, images, and in-text maps. When you compare these three study Bibles to the overall look of the ICSBNT, there is a huge difference in appearance and the amount of material contained within. While the material in the ICSB is outstanding, something that has never been in doubt, the overall look and production quality is sorely lacking. And the possibility of there not being a one volume edition is simply mind-blowing. Again and again I continue to wonder what is going on at Ignatius Press concerning the ICSB. Do they have limitations on what they can do? Have they looked at other study Bibles on the market? Where is the promotional support for the ICSB and the RSV-2CE?