Thursday, August 27, 2015

Vintage Liturgical Press RSV-CE

Thanks to Chris for sharing these photos, and his thoughts, with us.  I was unaware that Liturgical Press published the RSV-CE back in the day.  This looks similar to the one Ignatius and Scepter published a decade or so ago.  Enjoy!


With the fiftieth anniversary of the RSV-CE around the corner, I decided to pick up a tight reading copy. Since you can still expect to pay more than $30 for a nicely bound modern printing, I opted to pick up a vintage copy on EBay instead, and boy am I glad I did!

It just arrived this evening and already I just love this little volume, a vintage 1966 first printing from Liturgical Press at St. John's Abbey. In one small package, it gets so much effortlessly right:
-a solid translation printed in a broad, readable font
-slightly dated, but largely timeless design devoid of Catholic kitsch and publishers trademark
-Simple trade dress that emphasizes "Holy Bible" over the name of the translation (or translator/commentator or specialized audience)
-the absence of dedication pages and other fluff that usually reduce the book to a devotional gift rather than a working book of scripture
-just enough explanatory material to unpack any given book without overly interpreting it (in fact the book introductions fall in a special appendix, so as not to vie for page space with the inspired word)
-Appendix outlining all the textual differences between the main Protestant version of the RSV and the Catholic Edition

What shocked me most was how thin it is! Compare this even to most "standard" (I.e. non-Study) Bibles, and it clocked in at about a third of the mass and half the thickness.  Best of all, it has that wonderful old book smell. While I use the Didache NABRE for Morning Prayer and study, this has instantly become my go-to reading Bible. They sure don't make them like this anymore.







10 comments:

Gerald de Belen said...

Good typeface, and the font size is amazing! Unbelievable that the RSV-CE text made it to a thin volume!

Javier said...

Very nice and classy hardcover.

Jeff S. said...

How does it differ in page appearance from the version printed by Ignatius with the blue cover?

I have a copy of that original blue Ignatius one(printed by Nelson) and it appears to have the same paging numbers since both of the text pictures you show have the same page numbers as mine.

Michael Demers said...

There was a very similar edition by Thomas Nelson Publishers but it didn't have the deuterocanonical books. I think it was a large print pew edition. I've always regretted giving it away.

Anonymous said...

Really amazing, you've dove marvellous

David Garcia said...

My first bible was the rsv given to me in 1978 in my Methodist church for communion. Always had a soft spot for this bible and the Nelson font/layout is burned in my brain :)

Gerald de Belen said...

With that being said, David, I just wondered why RSV-CE didn't make it to your main reading Bible, if the RSV is dear to your heart...

David Garcia said...

Gerald
The RSV is like my childhood love for the band KISS. I grew up loving them and listening to their music and then one day I realized I wasn't listening to them anymore and moved past them. But they still hold a special place in my heart. The RSV is the same thing. I moved past it. :)

Jason Engel said...

I'm always so impressed with material goods that come out of any of the craft shops at Saint John's Abbey, whether it's woodworking, pottery, arts, or in this case books. They have a masterful command of producing aesthetically understated yet technically excellent goods that are perfectly functional and wonderfully beautiful in their simplicity. LitPress is no exception. I'm going to try to find one of these, too!

Timothy said...

Chris,

If you ever want to sell that one, or bequeath it to your favorite Catholic Bible blogger, I would be happy to accept it! :)