posted on this blog that my favorite Bible edition was Cambridge's NRSV Reference Bible with the Apocrypha--French morocco leather. Almost three years later, I feel the same way. While we have certainly seen some improvement in the quality of Catholic Bibles, none match this edition. Granted, this is technically not a "Catholic" Bible in the sense that it isn't the NRSV Catholic Edition. However, it does contain all the Deuterocanonicals and the translation, itself, is the exact same as found in the NRSV-CE.
The original edition I had received back in 2009 was a used copy purchased from Christianbook.com. It had been returned for some reason, but was in pretty good shape. The only real issues were that there was a name imprinted on the cover and some of the pages were worn. It was still in very good condition and it was purchased at a great price. I had used this NRSV often over the past three years. In fact, this was the one that I used for many of the major exams I took during the course of my S.T.B. studies, due to all the cross-references. During the past year, however, as I have been spending a bit more time with the NABRE, my Cambridge NRSV has seen only occasional use. Recently, I have felt the need to return to this edition, due to its clear text, copious cross-references, useful glossary, fine maps, and quality binding/premium cover.
When I began to flip through my original edition, I found that it had gotten wet somehow, thus some of the pages weren't in the best condition. Also, the fact that someone else's name was on the cover always kind of bugged me. So, I decided to contact my friend Louis, of Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, to see if he could acquire a new copy of Cambridge's NRSV. (It also helped that I had a gift card to use!) He was successful, and I received my new edition, with my own name inscribed on the cover, in the mail on Wednesday. Expecting an identical, albiet new, edition of the Cambridge NRSV, I was suprised to immediately notice a number of differences between the older and new Cambridge NRSV.
At first touch, the cover felt different. While my older edition had a rather stiff morroco leather cover, this newer one, though still morroco leather, was more limp. It had a more smooth feel to it as well, and when I bent the cover it recovered its shape better. The next thing I did was to get my older edition and place it next to the newer one. As you can see from the first photo, the bottom one, which is the newer edition, is clearly thinner than the older one. The other dimensions of this Bible are the exact same and include the same pages of material. Next, I decided to open up my new Bible to the first few pages.
Taking a look at the copyright, I noticed that my new edition was a 2006 reprint of the 1997 first edition. I had no idea that my older edition was the first edition, since I didn't know that it had been reprinted. (It is not like you see this Bible at local secular or religious bookstores typically.) In addition, I had never seen anyone else carrying this Bible in order to compare mine to it. Needless to say, the reality of a second printing of this edition was news to me. As I have been spending some time comparing the two versions since Wednesday, I am very happy to have purchased the reprinted (2006) edition of this Cambridge NRSV. In my mind, it is clearly a better product overall.
One other difference that I noticed was that the print, although still the same typset, was noticeably darker than the older one. It is difficult to tell by my second picture earlier in the post, but it is clearly darker in person. Again, another positive change from the original printing.
NRSV Reference Bible with the Apocrypha--French morocco leather. The changes to the first edition, though slight, are much appreciated. This edition remains my favorite Bible and it fits perfectly with my favorite daily prayer book: The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1962 edition).
(I wonder if anyone finds it strange that I am Catholic who prefers the Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo) Mass, prays the 1962 Little Office daily, and uses the NRSV?)
Again, thanks to Louis (and Mason) at Baker Book House in Grand Rapids for their wonderful customer service!