Tuesday, November 10, 2015

USCCB Publishing NABRE: Personal Edition

For a long time, the USCCB left the NAB(RE) to be published by other Catholic publishing houses. This changed last year when the USCCB published a pocket Gospels and Acts in the NABRE translation.  Now recently, the USCCB has produced a regular sized NABRE in various covers, including hardcover, paperback, and bonded leather.  I was able to obtain the "personal edition" which comes in the bonded leather cover, and I must say that it is quite a nice edition for the modest price of $19.95.

To begin, here are the basic specifications of this Bible:

Exterior features:
● Soft, brown leather cover with gold embossing on the cover and spine
● Beautiful gold-gilded edges and rounded corners
● Convenient ribbon to bookmark your place

Inside features:
● Seven newly designed, full-color maps of biblical places and journeys    
● Two-color print (black and burgundy) for easy reading                
● Side tabs to distinguish the different books of the Bible
● Lightweight, smooth 24-lb paper

Starting with the exterior features, the leather is neither premium nor genuine.  However, as I mentioned above, it is quite soft for being bonded along with being fairly flexible.  It is not as stiff as most bonded leather bible covers that I have felt in the past, most notably the NJB readers edition.  The binding is sewn, which means that it could be a candidate for a rebind.  The gold-gilded edges and rounded corners give a classic look to it.  (One of my regrets on the Knox Bible from Baronius is that the corners are not rounded.)  One burgundy ribbon comes with this Bible.  The burgundy color of the ribbon matches quite well with the burgundy print that is found in the text.  It would have, however, been nice if they had offered this with two ribbons, but that is only a minor issue.

When you open the Bible. you will find that the print is quite readable.  It utilizes a two-color, black and burgundy, print, with the scriptural text and notes in black and the paragraph headings and chapter numbers in burgundy.  It works really well.  It might remind some of you of the HarperOne NABRE that came out a few years back.  I very much enjoyed what Harper did with their NABRE.  What makes the USCCB edition better is that the print is larger and bolder.  You will not have any problem reading from this Bible in pretty much any setting.  The standard NABRE notes and cross-references are found at the bottom of each page.  One final comment about the layout that stands out for me is the generous size of the margins.  They are large enough for personal annotations, even with the side tabs that are present on each page.  While this is not a "wide-margin" bible, it certainly has one of the largest margins of any NABRE or other Catholic bible recently published.

Overall, I find that this NABRE from the USCCB is quite a good deal.  For under $20 you get an NABRE with a beautiful page layout, sewn binding, flexible bonded leather, and a decent selection of maps.  If you know someone who is looking to get a new NABRE for Christmas, this might be an affordable option.  It even has a presentation page for such an occasion!    Now that they have produced a pocket edition and this personal edition, I would really like to see one done in premium leather.  If they were to do one with a similar page layout, it could easily become the nicest NABRE on the market, by far.

I would like to thank USCCB Publishing for sending me a review copy.


Anonymous said...

Tim, could you give us measurements and estimate font size? These things are not listed on the USCCB web site. Thanks. susan

rolf said...

That looks like s pretty nice Bible for about 20 dollars! I like the chapter headings and numbers in a different color (and burgundy is nice). I might buy some to give to the people who go through RCIA at my parish!

Timothy said...


Working on this for you.

Timothy said...


Would be perfect for RCIA. Better than those old red cover paperback editions!

Anonymous said...

You mentioned "wide-margin" Bibles. I have been looking for a wide-margin Bible for journaling, but so far haven't found a Catholic one. Any suggestions? Thanks

Christopher Buckley said...

I got mine too. I really like it.
Will still probably default to NABRE Didache for the quality of its additional notes... but MAN, I wish it were bound like this one.

Michael Demers said...

Timothy, I'm guessing the pages are about 6 1/4 by 9 1/4". Am I close?

Biblical Catholic said...

Well, I already own 3 print copies of the NABRE, two print copies of the 1991 NAB, and one ebook edition of the NABRE. I can't really justify to myself buying another copy, but I have to admit that this looks like a nice edition.