Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bible Edition Review: HarperOne NABRE Imitation Leather

Back in April, I reviewed the hardcover edition of the HarperOne New American Bible: Revised Edition.  Needless to say, I was impressed with what HarperOne was able to do with the NABRE.  I still contend that the hardcover HarperOne NABRE is the best edition of the NABRE on the market today.  Last week, however, I received the imitation leather edition and found myself to be quite disappointed.  While the content and the page layout is the exact same as the hardcover edition, I was hoping that the binding would be sewn and the cover would be sturdy.  Unfortunately, the imitation leather edition is neither of those two things.  Upon examining this edition, I instantly felt like I had seen something like this before.  Alas, I remembered where!  If any of you own the black imitation leather NRSV Catholic Gift Bible, also by HarperOne, than you know what I am talking about.  While the size and translation of the editions are different, the binding and cover are identical.  In addition, both do not come with a ribbon marker!  The HarperOne NABRE binding is clearly glued and the imitation leather cover doesn't maintain its shape.  I would have much preferred something closer to what is found on the bonded leather, yet sewn NRSV Go-Anywhere editions from HarperOne. 

So, all I can recommend, at this point, is to purchase the hardcover edition, which is sewn, and find yourself a leather Bible cover.  Or perhaps have it rebound in premium leather.


Jake said...

Here's something I know you'll be interested in watching: GSN (Game Show Network) is going to have a new Bible game show, hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, beginning later this summer.

Maybe you should apply to be a contestant?

Diakonos said...

Thanks for this review. I was hesitating in which NABRE to buy for personal & devotional use and was gravitating towards HarperOne based on your hardbound edition review. After reading your latest, I have now ordered the St. Benedict Press black imitation leather NABRE instead.

Colleague said...


Are you saying that you disagree with Mickey Maudlin when he says that the new black imitation leather is "stunning and should assuage any Catholic still suffering from Bible envy"??

Are you saying that you're still envious of those beautiful R.L. Allans?

Timothy said...


Yes! Guilty as charged!

Timothy said...

With that being said, it is still the nicest looking page layout in any NABRE on the market, dare I say any Catholic Bible period.

Biblical Catholic said...

I definitely need a bigger copy of the NABRE, the one I have now is the 'pocket edition', which lives up to its name, I could totally fit it into my pocket......but the words are too small and I cannot read it.

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Matt said...

Hi Timothy,

I saw this in a Catholic bookstore, and it appeared to be sewn binding. You can tell by the hubs. I thought it was pretty obvious...but perhaps my eyes fooled me?

Timothy said...


Perhaps this was only found in the edition I purchased? If you look close at the picture above, you'll see the glue at the end of the spine. That was not there on the hardcover edition.

Matt said...

Hi Timothy,

Yes the glue is there, but even in your photo you can see "clumping" of the hubs. The glue is either to hold the headbands in place or oftentimes a book will be glued and sewn.

btw, I think this is one of the nicest Catholic Bible text layouts I've ever seen. they really did a fine job.

Timothy said...


You may be right. I just was shocked at how much glue was on either end.

And yes, I absolutely love the layout. It is easily the best Catholic one out there perhaps rivalled only by the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible.