This, my friends, is truly a pocket bible! You can easily put it into your back or side pocket without barely noticing. I realized fairly quickly, when testing this out, that my cell phone is actually bigger than this pocket bible. The Scepter Pocket RSV-CE NT, along with the USCCB's Pocket Gospel and Acts, represent the best answer to the call of Pope Francis to read the Gospels daily. Yet, unlike that aforementioned pocket bible by the USCCB, this one is actually a tad smaller and comes in various cover options. The price is $14.95, which also makes it highly affordable for not being a paperback edition.
As someone who prefers the original RSV-CE over the second edition done by Ignatius, I was really happy to see that this was going to be published. The RSV-CE certainly deserves to remain in print, even as we are fifty years after its initial publication. Upon receiving both a bonded leather and red synthetic leather edition, I can commend Scepter for creating a pocket bible that is portable and nice to hold and feel, while also being easy to read from. The bonded leather has the nicer feel compared to the synthetic, but to be honest there isn't a huge difference. The size is 3" X 5", making it slightly smaller than the USCCB pocket NAB. Each edition comes with a nicely made and attached ribbon marker, which certainly should be mandatory for a bible like this which is meant to be read on the run or away from home. There are also head and tail bands, along with four page endpapers. I should mention that the black bonded leather edition has pages that are gold-gilded. Overall, a well-constructed pocket bible that will last daily use wherever you take it.
One of the highlights for me is how readable the text is. The biblical text is spaced well and printed dark enough so that one does not have to strain their eyes to read. If you were to compare the page layout of this to any of the more recent Oxford compact NRSV's or NABRE's, the differences would be dramatic. Perhaps this may serve as a reminder that it is better to have a pocket New Testament, or Gospel/Acts, that is can actually be read with ease instead of a complete Bible that gives you a headache when you are finished. In this pocket RSV NT, the verses are places on the margins, which I think is an aid to reading this pocket bible. There are paragraph headings which are bolded and help to break up the text, again, making it much easier to read. If you have poor vision, I would guess that most pocket bibles would not be your cup of tea, but this one should appeal to most bible readers.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a truly pocket Catholic New Testament, this is the one for you. If your favorite translation is the RSV-CE, again, this is the one for you. At under $15, this is truly worth every penny. As I had been trying to mention more and more before the summer sabbatical, when Catholic publishers produce quality Catholic bibles like this, it is important that we show them support by purchasing their products. I know that many of you have wished to see more premium Catholic bible editions available. This can become a reality only if we make it clear that there is a market for them. Publishers like Scepter, as well as others like Baronius Press, have been producing quality Bibles for a number of years now. Let's make sure to support them by not only purchasing their products, but also by promoting them when we can, particularly on social media.
I would like to thank Scepter for providing two copies of this edition for an honest review.