Monday, February 22, 2016

First Look: The Catholic Study Bible (NABRE) 3rd Edition

Yesterday, I received a paperback edition of The Catholic Study Bible 3rd Edition, which appears to have been released about 10 days earlier than expected.  It has the same look and feel as the the 2nd edition (NABRE), which came out in 2011.  The big difference, of course, is that all the reading guides have been updated to reflect the NABRE OT translation.  Also, there are brand new reading guides for the Pentateuch, 1&2 Chronicles, 1&2 Maccabees, Lamentations, Baruch, Tobit, Judith, Mark, and Acts of the Apostles.  All of the other features found in the prior edition, like the New Oxford Maps, concordance, full lectionary readings, in-text maps and charts, are all present in this edition.  I think there may be a few more.  This is a fine edition and certainly worthy of your consideration.  My only complaint is that the bonded leather edition is $95, which is crazy.  The past two editions, including this one, have not come out in genuine leather, which is a shame since the NOAB 4th (NRSV) was produced in a very soft genuine leather.  Get on it Oxford!

Thank you to Oxford University Press for providing a review copy


Jason P said...

Is it 100% based on historical-critical scholarship or is there any patristic/traditional scholarship included?

Timothy said...


The Oxford Catholic Study Bible is meant to be an academic one, so historical issues are going to be the main focus. The revised NABRE OT notes due make a greater effort at connecting OT to NT realities. (Canonical Exegesis) I have seen this in my comparisons of the older and newer NAB OTs.

Tom said...

Seems unlikely to me that the Biblical scholarship has changed so much in a mere five years to warrant a new edition.

rolf said...

Since I had my CSB 2nd edition rebound at Leonards, It will last me until the 4th edition. I really like the CSB and find myself referring to it all the time!

Timothy said...


Technically, the edition that came out back in 2011 wasn't new. The translation of the Old Testament was, but the reading guides were not keyed to the new translation. That edition was originally published about 15 years ago or so. S

Timothy said...


I like it quite a bit as well. I am actually trying to make a decision in using this new edition or the Little Rock as my primary bible.

Eric Barczak said...

Well Tim, if you do decide to leave that Little Rock behind, let me know. I haven't gotten my deluxe edition yet, and would love the chance make you an offer. :)

Timothy said...


Email me. We can chat.

Biblical Catholic said...

I picked up the Little Rock Study Bible for Kindle, it's only about $23, very cheap.

I just wish that Oxford University Press would finally join the 21st century and start offering its books for the Kindle.

rolf said...

BC, Oxford Study Bible (notes) which includes the reading guide is available on 'Olive Tree Bible Study' app. The NABRE is available to pair up with it. It is the 2nd edition, unknown when the third edition will be avaiable?

Biblical Catholic said...

Oh yeah? For how much?

rolf said...

BC, right now the Catholic Study Bible notes are $19.95 and the NABRE Bible is $19.95, but I bought them when they were on sale but I don't remember what I paid then?

Theophrastus said...

Oxford has a 60% off sale tomorrow (leap day) only: Link

Jeff S. said...

Much thanks to Theophrastus for the alert on the 60% off sale for
today (Leap Day).
I just took advantage of it and bought all three versions of
the new 3rd edition study guide. Before taxes and shipping,
the total for all three is only $74 = $16 + $20 + $38

What a deal!

Christopher Buckley said...

Bought mine Saturday.
LOVE it.
Selling off my other Bible.
[I'm moving. It's practical.]

This will be my one Bible until they "finish it" (e.g. complete the NT revision)

Timothy said...


If you ever want to do a guest review, you are most welcome.

Jeff S. said...

Since we're all always seemingly scurrying to the latest newest and best Bible version,it makes me feel sad for the two Didache versions that came out one year ago in January (RSV-2ce) and May(NABRE).

The Didache NABRE has all the usual official USCCB notes and
added to it are the Didache catechism notes from Midwest Theological Forum. How did the two Didache versions become forgotten so quickly when at this time last year everyone on this forum seemed to be so excited over them.

Note that I myself have just bought the new Catholic Study Bible
(3rd Edition), just so I'm not left behind when reading the online discussions here ! :)

I'll be interested in comparing the thrust of the notes with the
Didache NABRE of last May.

Christopher Buckley said...

I hear you. I love the Didache Bible commentary content too, and wish that either the USCCB or the Oxford notes contained at least some reference to catechetical and patristic content for easy cross-reference. For nearly 1500 years, all theology was basically commentary on scripture. There's no reason to exclude that wealth of insight from academic commentaries.

That said, I hated the layout of the Didache Bibles. NABRE was better than RSV-2CE, but even still the production felt rather low-rent and the cover design looked a bit schmaltzy, like those awful oversized, devotional podium Bibles you see in funeral homes, with big flowery script on the front (and color plates of Thomas Kincade paintings).

The Oxford CSB LOOKS like a Bible should: tight, solid, heavy, simple. Block letters on the front that simply say HOLY BIBLE. It doesn't look like it's apologizing for being a book of Scripture. I can read it like an evangelical because it looks as authoritative as it ought.

Someday, should they ever finish it, I have no doubt I'll pick up the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible specifically for its commentary content. In a way it's the middle of the spectrum between the CSB and the Didache: academic commentary blended with catechism and patristic references. But again, I've lost my patience with the RSV-2CE as a base text. I consider Ignatius' offering a commentary rather than a Bible, per se. In fact, I wish they'd just publish it AS a one-volume commentary, without the Biblical text at all.

rolf said...

The Didache Bible looks a lot better in a dark forest genuine cowhide cover that has Holy Bible on the top of the spine and RSV on the bottom and no writing on the covers!

owen swain said...

Well look at that. You kept your LR limited ed leather. Nice. I let mine go.

As to the new NABre Ox, those margins are mighty small and that run into the gutter, ugh. Wonder if it's better in the hardbound?