Friday, December 28, 2012

Your Allan's Catholic Bible

R. L. Allan, of the UK, is known for producing quality high-end Bibles.  As stated on their website: "Since 1863 we have been producing and selling our own exclusive Allan range of high quality, hand-finished Bibles which are both beautiful and durable. They are probably the finest leather-bound Bibles you can buy."  Indeed, from the reviews I have seen, their Bibles seem to be produced with the utmost care and quality.  However, for those seeking a truly Catholic edition, with all 73 canonical books incorporated, Allan has yet to produce one.  All of their Bibles are Protestant editions, with the closest one a Catholic might get would be the beautiful NRSV in Brown Highland Goatskin.  Of course, this edition does not include the Deuterocanonicals.

So, what is a Catholic to do? Complain of course!  No, not really.  In truth, most have simply found their favorite Bible edition and simply had it rebound by the fine people at Leonards Book Restoration Station.  I have done this and so have quite a few others who have done guest posts on this blog.  But, wouldn't it be nice to be able to purchase a premium edition Catholic Bible?  The closest to this, I maintain, is the NRSV Reference Bible with Apocrypha from Cambridge.  Yet, again, it isn't truly a Catholic edition. 

So, let's just suppose that Allan's decided to produce a high-end Bible in a Catholic edition.  What would be your dream Allan's Catholic Bible edition?  When answering that question, consider the following questions: 1) Which current translation would you like to see utilized?  (Please stick to a translation that is already published, not one like the proposed ESV-CE which no one is sure will ever actually be published.)  2) What kind of page layout would you like?  3) What, besides the text itself, would you like to see included? 4) What kind of cover?

My choices:
1) NRSV or NABRE (not sure which one to be honest) 
2) Two-columns, center references
3) Nice selection of maps (Cambridge NRSV Reference Edition), concordance, Sunday Mass Readings, and three Bible ribbons
4) Brown Highland Goatskin


Jason Engel said...

- NRSV-CE (since we're talking Catholic Bibles, though my personal preference would be the NRSV with Apocrypha)
- Two-column, center references (preferably using more thorough references than found in the current Allan NRSV, which misses a lot of obvious ones)
- Maps and extensive concordance and readings
- Don't forget the 32 pages of blank ruled paper for note-taking
- red-under-gold art-gilt page edges
- I know Mark Bertrand loves the brown highland goatskin with gold ribbons, but my preference would be black highland goatskin with red ribbons. I have an out-of-print Allan ESV with that combo (sort of a limited edition they produced some years ago) that is really quite striking.

It's important to remember that Allan does not produce the bookblock. They take pre-existing bookblocks and put their own wonderful cover, ribbons, and note-taking paper on it (in the case of the Allan NRSV, the bookblock is published by the UK subsidiary of HarperCollins). Also, the current Allan NRSV is already a solid chunk of book on the upper end of comfort for holding and extended reading; adding a decent concordance and deuterocanonicals and other material would turn it into a heavy book (though I think if they bumped up the size to match their Reader's Edition which is an an inch or two taller and wider it would be able to hold that content without being too think). The added weight, though would have the benefit of causing the book to really hang in your hand as if it is trying to melt through your fingers.

Timothy said...


Thank you for reminding me that Allan does not produce their own bookblock. I should have added that info to the post.

Anonymous said...

Allan Bibles have heirloom status; the NABRE is transitional, so I would pick the NRSV. I would think about leaving out the Mass readings for the same reason.

Timothy said...

I would guess that there would be a new NRSV before there would be changes to the Sunday lectionary.

Jose Grajo said...

I would love to see the RSV-CE compact edition or the RSV-2CE since there are cross references (although I would see it difficult to obtain a book block from Ignatius).
It would also be nice to have four ribbons. I know its a lot, but the reading plan at has four readings. Also, Sunday Mass has four readings.
Lastly, art gilt edges bound in black highland goatskin. Oh to dream!

Thanks, Tim!

Steve said...

Very interesting question, and one that we can only pray, someone such as Allan would one day answer 8-)

For me:
1. RSV-CE or the DR While I own and am OK with the NRSV, in a Bible of this quality, I'm not interested in inclusive language.
2. Single column paragraph format. It has become my favorite text block type. (Think Cambridge Paragraph Bible).
3. Art gilt edges
4. Goatskin. OH that lovely, supple, dreamy leather. (Black or brown is fine)!

I'm sure I could think of other things, but these would be my primary

Theophrastus said...

While Allan has nice bindings, their textblocks are only fair. I think you'll do better with the NRSV from Cambridge! I think their books are vastly overrated (especially at their prices).

I think the most innovative Catholic volumes out recently are the St. John's Bible (hardcover set), the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible (hardcover), the Navarre Bible (hardcover set), the Harvard-Dumbarton Vulgate-DRC, the Baronius Knox Bible, the Harper NABRE (hardcover), and the Baronius Vulgate-DRC. All of these have perfectly fine bindings, although they are not softcover leather. That's a pretty wonderful set of volumes -- and most of them were not available a few years ago. Not too shabby!

(By the way, you can easily print-out Sunday mass readings and slip them in any volume. Similarly, using ribbons, epoxy, and a bit of folded cardboard or a popsicle stick you can easily add Bible ribbons to almost any hardcover volume.)

CJA Mayo said...

1. Neither. DRC, ESV w/ Apocrypha or RSV-2CE. If one must be chosen... NABRE. No one actually likes the NRSV, except to use it in academic settings (I know a few very rare exceptions exist on this blog).

2. SINGLE COLUMN PARAGRAPHS. Try to cross the Confraternity Pocket, the Jersualem Bible, Knox, the Clarion, and the New Cambridge Paragraph. Whatever you do, DO NOT place it in verse-by-verse format. Such a decision is a DEAL-BREAKER.

3. Gold or red under gold w/ beveled edges.

3. The matte black calfskin that has become standard on "high end" Bibles recently, if only one edition is produced. If two editions are produced, go with matte black calfskin and Cambridge goatskin (highland goatskin looks too similar to the matte calf). If three are produced, go with the standard Cambridge choices: 1. calf split, 2. calf skin, 3. goatskin. Color: BLACK. (This is where Mark Bertrand and I part company.)

Theophrastus: I think you under-rate Allan's textblocks. I've seen a few Allan's with Cambridge (Jongbloed or LEGO SpA) text-blocks, but the majority do have the inferior RR Donnelly text-blocks. I agree that high-end Cambridge Bibles overall evince an equal level of fit and finish, and are a good deal cheaper, and do agree that Allan's are quite overpriced.

(I did manage to get a full-size NCPB off of them, though, over five years after it had gone out of print, for 100 quid, when Amazon wanted a minimum of $300 [=185 quid] for a used one. And they can generally track down rare stuff.)

Jason Engel said...

Here's a few photos of the two Allan Bibles I have (the ESV will go to my cousin as a belated Christmas present).

Javier said...

I'd say I like the Schuyler Bible better (I'm only judging from the pics and videos. I haven't lay my hands on an Allan or a Schuyler, yet).

Jason Engel said...

I also like the Schuyler Bible, though that statement is based only on photos. I like the design choices they made. I personally would not want the various confessionals and doctrines they chose to include in their Bible, but I appreciate the decision to include them, and have spent some time considering what texts I might choose to hand-write into the ruled note pages in the back of my Allan NRSV. My only concern about the physical form of the Schuyler is that the cover has no yapp to protect the art-gilt pages, and my Allan with it's semi-yapp cover has already accumulated several scratches, so I would expect a well-used Schuyler may get dinged up more.

Timothy said...

One issue relating to using the NRSV is finding a Catholic edition with cross-references. Those are a must!

Javier said...


is there any essential reason that prevents catholic publishers from printing quality bibles like the Allans, Schuylers, and Cambridges?.

Timothy said...


My guess would be that it is costly to commit to producing high-end Bibles like Allans or Cambridge.

CJA Mayo said...

Needs a market, and Catholics don't have a reputation as ravenous Bible readers like Sola scripturists do. Even Protestant Bibles are generally crappy in quality, but there are high-end ones. Catholic Bibles are the same, except the high-end doesn't exist.

You can get a $20 Protestant NIV bound in a coat of chain mail or plate armor, or in your choice of five popular hunting camouflages. You can get an NIV that's smaller than an inch by an inch, sticks on a key ring, and requires a microfiche reader to read. Gimmicks seem to sell.

Even a hardcover Haydock Bible (full folio size) wrapped in either vinyl or bonded leather set me back $100 on Amazon ($120 from publisher). And its spine is glued - no signatures or sewing of any kind. The Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview has a better binding, even if the cover isn't nearly as nice.

That's a "high-end" Catholic Bible, and it costs so much because there's little market for it (or so I gather from economies of scale).

Anonymous said...

CJA Mayo is absolutely correct. My Evangelical son just went in the Coast Guard and I went to the bible store to buy him a small bible. They have 2 NIV bindings of Coast Guard Bibles. I was astounded. In the mean time Catholic Book Publishing Company is still putting those horrid drawings (you know the ones where the printing plates don't quite align and Jesus, who looks like he's a mad pirate or something, has a blue shadow around him) wrapped in a kind of quasi-leather binding

Javier said...

The number of bibles that each community (catholics and evangelicals) buys seems like a good reason to print or not high-end bibles.
Still, there must be something else. Something intrinsic to the relative place that the bible holds in each community. (And that place might in turn dictate how much a given individual is ready to spend on a bible.)
I live in Argentina. As most of latin america it is an overwhelmingly catholic country (at least nominally). It is hard to believe that in absolute numbers evangelical argentinians buy more bibles than catholics. Still, the physical quality of their bibles is way better.
(I know most bibles are not printed locally in my country. But the proportion of catholics and evangelicals for the whole spanish speaking demographic, is more or less the same as here).

Biblical Catholic said...

Well....the only use I have for an expensively bound book is to put it on a coffee table or on a bookshelf to display....I'm certainly never going to actually read a really expensively bound book because when I read a book, I beat the hell out of it, dog ear the pages, write notes in the margins etc and I don't mind doing that to a cheap book that I can get for $20 or less, indeed, one of the reasons why I am always buying new Bibles is because I'm always tearing up my old Bibles....I bought an NAB with a leather cover from a Christian Book Store once, and they engraved my name in the cover and everything it was really fancy for a cheap $20 Bible...and now I feel guilty because that book is all torn up, pages have fallen out, the cover is damaged etc....I'm not intentionally abusive it's just that if you frequently use a book, it's gotten to get torn up...but if you're talking about a book that costs me $100,%150,$200....I'm just not going to use it at's for display only. And to my mind, a Bible that exists solely for display is just not respectful....books....but especially the Bible, exists to be read....expensive, highly ornamental editions, are never going to be read...which makes them kind of pointless....

I don't think those expensive, ornamental Bibles get used very much....or if they are, they aren't going to last long...

I bought the Knox Bible from Baronius Press on the first day, and it's a lot fancier and more expensive than I usually buy...if I had had the option of buying a cheaper, paperback edition I would have done I'm going to be uber-careful with this one to make sure that it doesn't get beaten up like every other book I own...

I don't like expensive editions because I feel guilty about actually using them....

Timothy said...


You say "I don't like expensive editions because I feel guilty about actually using them...." Perhaps is this a reason why there are so few, if any, high-end Catholic Bibles on the market. I have found, particularly with Catholics over 40 that they are very careful when reading their Bibles. Many do not like to draw, underline, or leave a crease in it.

Jonny said...

I think that the simple answer to why the lack of "high-end" Catholic Bibles, is that there are simply none worthy of such treatment, and publishers know that.

A case in point is stated in Tim's comment above about the NRSV-CE having no cross-references (or notes for that matter.) What is going on here? The original edition of the King James Bible is over 400 years old and it has cross references, even into and out of the deutrocanonical books! Is it reasonable that Catholic Bibles from the King James tradition currently being published (RSV and NRSV w/apocrypha, RSV-1 & 2 CE) have less references than their predecessor (that is now in public domain?!) let alone wrapping them in expensive leather?!

The other possibilities might be the New Jerusalem Bible or NABRE, but after the smoke from the burning bras cleared away it was made officially apparant from the Vatican that the gender-inclusive language and other some other issues made these versions quite unacceptable, especially in the liturgy. Fortunatly, the U.S. Bishops are beginning to realize that what is approptiate for the liturgy and catechesis is what should appear in the Bibles as well. Bottom line is the newly released NABRE and the NJB are still unaccaptable and scheduled for another overhaul, so why wrap them in expensive leather either?

There are other less popular translations with the Deuteros, but I think the only translation currently available I would buy in genuine leather is the Douay-Rheims Challoner, and only if it were reformatted into paragraphs, and as poetry where appropriate. My leather-wrapped hardcover from Baronius looks great and echos back quite nicely, especially while kneeling for family prayer, and I am not anxious to replace it with one that has softer leather, even if it were hardback.

I guess I still don't totally understand the novelty of the floppy animal skin Bibles. I do have a few "pretty" Bibles, but they mostly sit in a drawer or inside a box, and I end up grabbing the handy hardcover edition off my bookshelf because they are easily accessable and lay open flat whether it be a glued binding or not! I must say that I do have, however, a particular special copy of the DRC and the RSV-2CE that I use for nothing else than taking to Mass, Adoration, or Bible Study, and these are also in my drawer in leather cases. But again, I would rather the leather RSV-2CE be a hardcover for the reasons stated above.

Theophrastus said...

Johnny -- I agree with you on the superiority of (well-made) hardcovers to paperback leather bindings. But I do not have problems finding cross-reference NRSV w/Deuterocanonicals & Apocrypha. All study NRSVs I have found have cross-references in the text of notes), as do specialized volumes such as this one. (Indeed, that latter volume is the most detailed cross-reference Bible with Deuterocanonicals I have seen. Sadly, it is out of print, but used copies remain available.)

The Bible that lacks good cross-references is the NABRE -- their cross-references are appallingly bad, and I'm surprised more have not pointed this out.

Is anyone aware of a Catholic equivalent of a cross-reference guide, such as this Protestant one?

Jason Engel said...

I see one further possible explanation for the lack of a high-end Catholic English Bible: Of the 21 posts before this one, there's more than 21 opinions about what would be the right characteristics of such a book. As I begin exploring the possibility of selecting a suitable bookblock and bindery to have a custom Bible made, I'm inclined to think there is not much reason in having more than one made because I doubt anyone here would want the one that meets my specifications. So even if I had the financial resources to accomplish a limited run under my own label, I'm not sure I would do it considering so few people would likely buy it.

Variety is a good thing, but not to a publisher ;)

Steve said...


I agree, to a point. However, what I describe above, is my idea of a perfect Catholic Bible. I'd be MORE than happy to be able to find one in just a standard edition from say Cambridge or Allan.

I own a Cambridge Cameo KJV with Apocrypha that is gorgeous, and if I could find an RSV-CE, DR etc. just like it, I'd be thrilled. It's bound in calf skin, has red art gilt edging, two ribbons, India paper etc. I spent roughly $115 for it, and it's perfect.

I've recently ordered a KJV Cambridge Paragraph Bible with Apocrypha as well. Bound in the same calf skin, sewn binding etc. etc. Cambridge makes dozens of different variations of their Bibles. All I'd REALLY like to see is ONE Catholic version of this quality. 8-)

Till then, it's the KJV w/Apocrypha for me. Yeah, seems shallow I guess, but there is something about the smell, feel and layout of a quality made Bible that just adds something to the experience for me. 8-) Nothing from any Catholic publisher I have ever seen even comes close. You would think Ignatius or someone out there could do it!

CJA Mayo said...

I was here first, Steve.

Colleague said...

I reached a point a couple of months ago where I actually felt as if all the money I have been spending on Bibles and having Bibles rebound was truly sinful, even if, on a psychological level, such a pursuit had more to do with seeking stability of faith. Hurricane Sandy happened and I realized that rather than sending money to help these poor neighbors in need, I hoarded my money to spend on myself. When you find yourself seriously debating whether you should donate more money or save up to have Leonard's rebind another Bible in goatskin, it's time to cut the cord. Not everybody has this problem, I'm sure. I'm sure many people who can afford goatskin Bibles also donate to various charities and tithe their parishes, but I wasn't and this was a problem.

I would be interested in learning about what started the trend of limp, goatskin Bibles. For me, owning a goatskin Bible was more about appealing to my senses and my sense of self-worth than it was about the biblical text itself although I could justify such extravagance by appealing to the sacredness of the Word and the necessity that it be adorned with the finest materials, but the Word made Man came clothed in the humblest, most decrepit of all skins.

I still have my calfskin NABRE, but as I mentioned in another post I don't use it that often. I've personalized my Oxford NABRE and it really fits my daily needs quite well. If I were to get back into teaching RCIA or something like that then I might use the larger Harper calfskin, but that's about the extent of my usage for it.

Timothy said...


I certainly understand where you are coming from. I too probably have way too many Bibles. Sure, I have tried to give quite a few away over the years, but there are still plenty of others that could be appreciated by others who don't have the ability, for whatever reason, to have a nice Bible. I plan to over the next few months to really thin out my Bible editions. Any one looking for a particular version? :)

With that being said, I would like to have the opportunity to be able to purchase at least one well-made Catholic Bible edition. At this point, translation is less of a concern for me since I find that most transitions are more alike than different.

Anonymous said...

Timothy and Colleague,

I enjoy having one "nice" edition because it aides in my study and worship. The Bible is special, the Word of God, and reading from an edition that doesn't feel like any other book off the shelf helps me in appreciating the importance of what I am reading. But that's me.

Also, having the option of being able to purchase a nice Catholic edition has to do with giving one as a gift. For example, I won't buy the RSV-2CE as a gift because, quite frankly, it's not nice enough. I think the reason non-Catholic bibles sell more is because there are more nice editions to choose from for giving as gifts -- the options are there. I know Catholics who have given non-Catholic bibles as gifts because they couldn't find a nice Catholic bible. I think Catholic publishers need to realize that once the product is available, the demand will be there.

Michael P.

Timothy said...


I agree with you. We really aren't asking for much are we? Just one really nice high-end Bible in a Catholic edition.

I would also say that across the board, no matter what style, Protestant Bibles are superior to Catholic ones in basically every way. This would include study bibles, compacts, large-print, and thin-lines. Take any of the major modern Protestant translations (ESV, NIV, NLT) and you will find them in dozens of binding and editions, ranging from paperback to premium leather. Yet this is not the case with basically any Catholic translation. (Perhaps if the Knox Bible sells well we might see some additional editions to match the quality of the most current release.)

Jason Engel said...

Stereotypes I have observed (with plenty of exceptions):

Protestants, especially evangelical ones, focus so much on the Bible that they have elevated it to the point of an idol, and they craft such wonderful, sturdy, thoughtful, well-appointed editions of the physical paper and cover that contains the words (the words being the important element). As much as they focus on the book, they ignore any other visual or physical elements. Not much art. Austere architecture. Uninspiringly bland externality as they carry around the best-crafted books like talismans to defend against the world they are in but don't want to be of.

Catholics (and Eastern Orthodox), especially traditionalists, focus so much on the "Church" and all of the things that the leadership of the Church produces to guide its flock, that they are known for not actually spending time reading the Bible. They craft such beautiful and inspirational religious art in the form of paintings & statuary & cathedrals, and surround themselves with things that make them feel as if they are within the kingdom of God instead of in the world. It almost makes sense, then, that they don't concern themselves so much about physical form of a book they don't spend much time reading when they are otherwise surrounded in such grandeur.

Let me reiterate: These are stereotypes I have observed, and I have seen exceptions. Let me also say that I respect and appreciate both approaches, and like the opportunity created by having that variety.

rolf said...

Jason I agree with you, however, there should be at least ONE Bible publisher who would be willing to take the RISK and publish a premium Catholic Bible edition! I would not put my hopes in Allan or Schuyler because they are evangelical Christian based publishers (and it is not in their DNA), the only real hope can only be with Cambridge or Oxford. And Oxford doesn't really publish the very high end Bibles, so that leaves Cambridge! You would think that someone would want to corner the market on a high end Bible for over a BILLION Catholics?!?

Theophrastus said...

As I mentioned above, I think English speaking Catholics have better access to outstanding Bibles and Bible-resources than they ever had before.

I'm also not certain that Allan-Envy is called for. Buying an Allan Bible in the US is not trivial (you cannot get one from Amazon or most Christian bookstores.) Ido not have statistics, but I would not be surprised to find out that fewer than 1% of Protestants own a luxury Bible (e.g., a Bible that costs more than $100.)

Regarding Bible extras, I think we can divide them into two categories:

(a) Those that make study of the Bible more effective (e.g. cross-references, study notes, clear typography and layout, affordability); and

(b) Extra frills that make the Bible more attractive, but do not improve Bible study (e.g. goatskin binding, gilt edges, super-fancy ribbons).

When it comes to issues like (a), the situation is not that bad for Catholic Bibles. Especially if you count ecumenical editions of the NRSV, there are several nice study and reference Bibles.


The other factor that I think deserves to be mention here is that rules about imprimatur make it substantially more difficult to publish a Catholic Bible. Tyndale published a Catholic edition of the NLT, but was not able to have it considered for imprimatur (Tyndale claims the USCCB showed no interest in evaluating the NLT-CE). The NEB and REB both had Catholic involvement, but were unable to be formally evaluated for imprimatur. The CEB reports similar problems. Even the RSV-2CE has a "shaky" imprimatur, and was not able to get a full evaluation. The ESV+Apocrypha has been out for three years, and only now is going through an long, convoluted imprimatur process (and only for those sections of the ESV+A that are in the lectionary).

The problem is made more acute when extras are added to the Bible, such as study notes, cross-references, maps, introductions, etc. All of these require imprimatur as well. The imprimatur process adds expense, uncertainty, and delay.

(Under current rules, translations need to be approved by national conferences, while extras may be approved by a local Bishop -- but in both cases, the process may be time-consuming.)

Given the hassle factor associated with publishing a Catholic Bible (especially an innovative Bible with extra features) I think we can understand why general (not Catholic specialist) publishers shy away from jumping through the hurdles. (Perhaps the main exception to this rule has been Oxford's publication of Catholic study Bibles, but even here, Oxford seems content to allow them to be published without updating to the study material to match the NABRE.)


Finally, I'm not sure how strong the market is for luxury Catholic Bibles. For example, I know that Zondervan has had strong sales of its newly updated NIV2011. I have not heard any similar reports of strong sales about the NABRE, although both came out at roughly the same point in time.

Bottom line: there is an argument that current offerings are "good enough" for effective Bible study, publishers report that they have had extraordinary difficulty getting imprimatur for new translations, the process of getting Bible extras approved is lengthy and uncertain, and the market for luxury Catholic Bibles is unproven. These factors may help explain why Catholic Bible offerings are not always as exciting as Protestant Bible offerings.

Jason Engel said...

"You would think that someone would want to corner the market on a high end Bible for over a BILLION Catholics?!?"

I've heard there are some very nice Spanish language Catholic Bibles. Since there are more Spanish-speaking Catholics in the world than English speakers, I guess this makes a lot of sense. Go learn Spanish, and then I bet you might be happy with what you will find in that language.


Colleague said...

Theophrastus said: "Ido not have statistics, but I would not be surprised to find out that fewer than 1% of Protestants own a luxury Bible (e.g., a Bible that costs more than $100.)"

I do believe you are correct. For those of us who visit J. Mark Bertrand's blog, it is merely an illusion that many Protestants are hankering for expensive, premium editions. You'll notice, of course, that like any good blogger Mr. Bertrand maintains a fairly consistent, loyal readership. Leonard's Restoration also seems to maintain a loyal following, too, with several of the same people having Bibles rebound - like me.

I've been to several Protestant functions in my life - both services, funerals, celebrations, etc. - and I've rarely, if ever, seen a minister use anything more than a bonded leather Bible. In Protestant Bible studies, the most worn/torn Bibles are definitely not the premium goatskin copies.

Jonny said...

I like the "Catholic Editions", but is there really anything un-Catholic about having the Deutero books in a seperate section? After all, even the Vulgate segregated the later additions.

Does anyone remember the Guest post I did last year on the genuine leather New Oxford Annotated Bible RSV? That one was re-done by Oxford last year, and is really nice now, even better I think than the french morocco NRSV by Cambridge mentioned above, and save for the actual apocrypha books added to the expanded edition, does have an imprimatur, notes and all.

Javier said...


there are no high-end editions of the Bible in spanish that I am aware of.
This is one of the best (in physical terms) spanish editions you will find, and it is clearly not high end:

La Biblia de Nuestro Pueblo

As for the position of the deuterocanonical books in the Bible, curiously enough, the official Bible of the Catholic Church in Argentina has the Deutero books as a separate addenda between the Testaments. And this Bible is the only Bible in spanish on the Vatican site. And the Vatican site keeps that order for the books:

El Libro del Pueblo de Dios


Jason Engel said...

The Unitarian-Universalist church I teach at on Sundays recently picked up a dozen NRSV pew Bibles as text books for my students. At $4 each, I wasn't expecting quality, but I was very surprised to find they are sturdy hardcover books with the Apocrypha, decent paper, easy-to-read text, even sewn binding. No, they are not luxury, but they are well-made and tasteful (simple black cover without all that flashy bling), and I am guessing they are built to last even when handled by dozens of people over years. So, with that in mind, has anyone else looked at any other hardcover Catholic pew Bibles?

Theophrastus said...

Jason, I'm impressed that the church found pew Bibles that cheaply. I thought the price started at about $10. If you have a chance, could you check which publisher produced them?

Jason Engel said...

It was from (publisher according to the website was Hendrickson, though I can't confirm that directly with the ones we received at the moment) and they were discounted because they were "slightly imperfect" although each and every copy we received was as new as if they came off a bookstore shelf. I see their price for the same thing today has jumped up a few dollars, but you're still looking at only $7-$8 per book.