Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Semi-Regular Weekly Poll

  • The Catholic Study Bible (Oxford)
  • The Catholic Bible: Personal Study Edition (Oxford)
  • Little Rock Catholic Study Bible
  • Anselm Academic Study Bible
  • Other
More polls: Free poll


rolf said...

I have both the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible and The Catholic Bible-Personal Study Edition. I use both but I like the page layout and the readability of the Little Rock Bible the best. The single column text, the cross reference placement and visibility make it a joy to read.
The Catholic Bible-Personal Study Edition is a little better for study. It has the 500 page reading guide in the front (just like the Catholic Study Bible) which overall gives you more study information than the Little Rock Bible, but the information that the Little Rock Bible provides you is on the page that you are reading.
I bought the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible recently in the 'deluxe edition' which has the synthetic cover (with a nice blind imprint of a Celtic cross), gold page edges, two ribbon markers and the most important - darker print! It is worth it just for that.

Pomeranian Catholic said...

Shameless plug: Buy the Anselm Academic Study Bible. I'm a huge fan of Anselm Academic Press.


Timothy said...

The darker print is definitely a major plus!

Timothy said...

I was wondering when you were going to show up!

Theophrastus said...

I'm not a particular fan of any of these study NABREs -- part of that has to do with the format that NABREs use. All NABREs have the same annotations, cross-references, and book introduction. Thus, study NABREs are largely the same, except for typesetting, side boxes, additional introductions, or a limited narrative commentary before the Bible proper (Oxford study NABREs).

In particular, none of the study NABREs I've seen are really adequate for use in a college classroom or for someone who already has some knowledge of the Bible. (Contrast with the academic study NRSVs from Oxford or HarperCollins; or the Oxford Jewish Study Bible); or the Norton Critical Edition (KJV) English Bible.)

The Little Rock and Anselm study NABREs seem aimed at a high-school level. The Oxford study NABREs are aimed at a higher level, but the format (a prefatory "Reading Guide" commentary) is awkward and page limitations make them relatively short. Frankly, the notes are a real problem with all study NABREs. I have spent quite a bit of time reviewing them, and they have a wildly inconsistent tone -- and are pedagogically questionable. Some critics attack them for being too historical-critical in tone, but I think they are inappropriate even for readers who desire a historical-critical study Bible.

If a reader is determined to study the Bible using the NABRE text, I think he or she will be better served by using a well-designed NABRE and ignoring the notes and using a single-volume commentary instead. For the NABRE text, I recommend the Oxford large print NABRE with notes at the end of each book. (The Harper Bible NABRE, is quite elegant, even though it contains the problematic NABRE notes with the Bible text.)

My favorite single-volume commentary is the Eerdmans Commentary, but although that has Catholic contributors and covers all the books in NRSV Deuterocanon/Apocrypha (plus 1 Enoch), it is not specifically a Catholic commentary. An excellent Catholic single-volume commentary is the New Jerome Biblical Commentary; a less-sophisticated Catholic commentary (but still better than the NABRE annotations) is the Collegeville Bible Commentary; and a well-respected pre-Vatican II commentary is the Orchard-Sutcliffe commentary. (Note that the Collegeville and Orchard-Sutcliffe are available for Logos.)

There are many other excellent single-volume commentaries, and a vast number of multi-volume commentaries that can be used with the NABRE.

hoshie said...

While I don't have any of the study NABREs listed, I have the St. Joseph medium softcover edition NAB (the second edition that has the 1991 Psalter). I haven't upgraded to the NABRE. The St. Joseph edition seems to be a great help to me. I do wish the Bishops would redesign the layout of the NABRE the next time it is revised because it hasn't seem to have changed much since it was released.

Pomeranian Catholic said...

Theophrastus, you really think the Anselm Academic Study Bible is aimed at the high school level? Where do you live, and which high schools have you had experience with? I'd love to teach there.

Frankly, my experience with teaching kids math at the university level has led me to believe that for most undergrads these days, even a picture Bible would be a little too advanced...

Theophrastus said...

Geoffrey: yes, I really do think the Anselm Academic Study Bible is aimed at high school students. I am not speaking here of the NABRE notes (which, as I mentioned above, are the same for all NABRE volumes and of dubious pedagogical value). Rather I am referring to the bonuses in the Anselm: its additional introductions, sideboxes, and photos/illustrations.

Most of the classes at my university that deal with Biblical studies work directly with the Hebrew and Greek texts, but there is one freshman-sophomore class that uses an English translation, a "Bible as Literature" class using New Oxford Annotated Bible as a textbook.

I notice that NOAB does not include pictures (just maps) or simple little side boxes. The supplements in the Anselm Academic are aimed at a lower level than that.

Timothy said...

My 2 cents:
LRCSB is for a beginner or an adult who attends a parish Bible Study. I would also include the Catholic Bible: Personal Study Edition in that category.

Anselm Academic could be used in high school or even an intro to Scripture undergrad class in college.

The Catholic Study Bible is a college text which would also be used at seminary.