Thursday, February 1, 2018

Preview: Cambridge NRSV Reference Bible w/Apocrypha 2018

Just a couple days ago I was delighted to receive from Cambridge Press two of their newest editions of the NRSV Reference Bible w/Apocrypha.  I know a number of you own a copy of the previous edition(s) of this bible, and I include myself in this.  In many ways, that edition was the standard for those who desired a Catholic bible (or at least one with full apocrypha) that was premium-made and contained cross-references, quality maps, and other study materials.  I am pleased to say that Cambridge has made a very good reference bible even better with their newest releases.  Available in a variety of covers, including goatskin, I am convinced that the Cambridge NRSV Reference Bible w/Apocrypha is the best premium bible, that a Catholic can use, on the market today.  Nothing is even remotely close to it.  Really. Over the next month or so, I am going to devote a series of posts looking at the goatskin edition that I have, as well has the hardcover one.  These new editions are due to be published on February 8th.

To tease you a bit, here are a few photos to whet your appetite:


James Ignatius McAuley said...


Looks nice - except these days I am more focused on Patristics. Sin the prior line of comments went off on a tangent, I will say that work has already begun on the revised NRSV. One of the changes is to take into account the variant texts found in early Christian works. The primary source being Origen, but we also have the variant Septuagint texts of Lucian and so on. Since the last edition of the NRSV in the 1980s, patristic biblical scholarship has exploded and the works of great men, like the late Robert Charles Hill, exploded myths dear to biblical scholars. One of them being that the medieval Masoretic text was an accurate reflection of Jewish scriptures of antiquity. In modern Israel Origen and Jerome are both studied for what they tell us about Judaism and the biblical text at their respective time periods.

Think about this - in 1989, the NRSV scholars had very little of Origen available, as well as Jerome. Today, the world has turned on its head and much of their works is now in English. The Patristic scholars working with other sources, have opened doors to understanding that had been long forgotten. Even the recent discovery of Origen's lost homilies on the psalms has an effect as Origen brings you through variant textual readings.

Anyway, here are some of the Patristic works on Scripture coming out this year:

Chromatius of Aquileia, Homilies and Tractates on Matthew, Ancient Christian Writers #72, Paulist Press, October 2018

Origen: Commentary on Matthew, Oxford University Press, August 3o, 2018. Oxford Early Christian Texts. This is done by the incomparable Ronald E. Heine.

Maximus the Confessor: On Difficulties in Sacred Scripture: The Responses to Thalassios Fathers of the Church Patristic Series, #136, Catholic University of America Press. Its target date for release is May 14, 2018
by Maximos Constas at 592 pages.

Gregory the great: Moral Reflections on the Book of Job, Volume 4 (Books 17-22) (Cistercian Studies) came out on Nov 29, 2017. Volume 5 in a six volume set comes out in November 2018.

So, good things to look forward along with a new NRSV! I just hope they give the apocrypha the same treatment.

Timothy said...

Thank you for the texts. Yes, lots to look forward to.

Surly Hermit said...

That's quite interesting, a little less MT influence can only be a good thing as far as Christian Bibles are concerned.

Regarding the Cambridge Bibles above, they're beautiful. If they ever released a KJV-CE with the full Apocrypha instead of the abbreviated one found in Catholic Bibles since the original Douay-Rheims, I'd snap it up in a heartbeat. Of course, they'd only sell about four copies total so that'll never happen.

Note to anyone involved with the NABRE revisions: please add the remainder of the Apocrypha in an appendix or something.

Anonymous said...

I would love a KJV- CE, so that’s two out of the four already! :-)


Evergreen Dissident said...

Surly Hermit, I would very much like to seee an NABRE “Ecumenical Edition” that included the Apocrypha (1 & 2 Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh) in an appendix. Those books were used in the traditional liturgy, and have value even if not divinely inspired.

Biblical Catholic said...

The Council of Trent actually decreed that 1&2 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh be included in all Bibles 'so that they will not be lost', and thus they were included in the original 1609 Douay-Rheims. But somewhere along the way, Catholic Bible publishers started omitting these works. Even the Nova Vulgata does not contain them. This is all, technically, in defiance of the decree of Trent. Although not canonical, these books are of great historical worth. Bruce Metzger always used to like to note that a passage in the book of 2 Esdras which gives an (inaccurate) estimate of the circumference of the Earth inspired Columbus to think that the East Indies could be reached by travelling west instead of east, which of course, led to the discovery of the Americas, which is, of course, very historically significant.


Thank you for that information about the writings of the Fathers leading to a decreased interest in the Masoretic text. You may have just that there actually have been 'major new discoveries' in Biblical scholarship to justify a major revision of the NRSV and other translations. But given that they are only taking 3 years, it leads me to think that it won't be a major revision.

Tom said...

Pics look lovely except there seems more bleedthru in the text than I would've expected in a premium Bible. Perhaps the picture just makes it more obvious than irl.

Evergreen Dissident said...

What might be interested in to take a Bible that comes in both Catholic editions (with the Books of the OT in proper order) and editions with the Apocrypha and created a "Catholic edition with the Apocrypha." Have the proper Catholic OT and NT order of books, and then in an appendix include the Apocrypha. I don't know how much of a demand there would be for such a Bible, but it would be neat!

Biblical Catholic said...

You can get the RSV or NRSV Ecumenical Edition which is called "Expanded Apocrypha", it has 1&2 Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh and Psalm 151. Another place you can find these books in the Good News Translation Catholic Edition.

James Ignatius McAuley said...

Biblical Catholic, I first heard about the revision in 2016. There have been groups already working on it for over a year at the patriotic end. One of the things to be revised is the footnotes to show variant texts that were not covered the last time.

Evergreen Dissident said...

I suppose with permissions almost any translation that has the Apocrypha and was approved by the Church would work: RSV, NRSV, REB, GNT, etc.

Timothy said...

Part of the issue with the apparent bleed through is the photo. The dark/bold print along with the line matching makes the page absolutely easy to read from. I have no issues with it at all.

James Ignatius McAuley said...

Patriotic? Lol! I mean "patristic."

Biblical Catholic said...

" I first heard about the revision in 2016. There have been groups already working on it for over a year at the patriotic end. One of the things to be revised is the footnotes to show variant texts that were not covered the last time."

Is it possible that they have been working on it much longer than that? I do know that there have been rumblings about a revision of the NRSV since at least 2009 when a survey was sent to many seminary professors asking if they thought that a revision of the NRSV was needed, and if so, what changes were needed. I remember hearing about this when it happened, and then when I heard nothing else, I assumed that the answer from the surveys must have been 'no', but maybe the data from the surveys indicated that a revision was needed, and they've actually been working on it since then. That would make sense if they are going to be done in 3 years.

mediasniper said...

How does it compare with the leather NOAB? I know the NOAB has all those additional helps, but what about the leather?

Timothy said...

The goatskin on this one from Cambridge is 100 times better. And it is leather edge lined.

Jeff S. said...

When you go to the Cambridge NRSV link you provided,
it goes to the United States version of their web,
and it doesn't show much and there's no way to purchase.

However, if you go the United Kingdom version of their website

Note that as of today £1.00 is roughly equal to $1.40
so multiply all the prices below by 1.40 to get the dollar

you'll get the complete details and it shows four versions:
Goatskin Leather £ 200.00 Publication planned for: February 2018
availability: In stock
Cowhide Leather £ 175.00 Publication planned for: February 2018
availability: In stock
Hardback £ 32.50 Date Published: September 2017
availability: In stock

French Morocco Leather £ 110.00 Date Published: September 2017
availability: In stock

Timothy said...

It might be worth your time to find the Fans of the NRSV page on Facebook. There is some more info as well as other goodies on that page.

Jeff S. said...

I'm not a member of Facebook or any other social media.

Jeff S. said...

You were right; on the publicly accessible page
they show USA dollar prices and appear to be giving a nice discount.

So, thanks very much.

Timothy said...

Glad you found it. It is a nice discount indeed.

mediasniper said...

Tim, I own a Caxton NLT Schuyler dark purple goatskin bible. It is the most beautiful bible I own. And the leather is just so supple. It's a joy to hold. The pictures above seem to show that the Cambridge is just as soft.

Timothy said...

I have seen those before. Beautiful and so very supple. Yes, this one is very close to it.

straykat said...

My favorite Cambridge is the Cambridge Paragraph Bible (KJV with Apoc). It's calfskin, and very soft. The type layout is awesome (obviously, in paragraphs). This NRSV is goatskin, which is even softer.. and more durable. So it has the KJV beat there at least.

Oxford has disappointed me for awhile. Many are Korean made these days and the typeface is strangely faded and almost a dark grey. Very hard to read. The only reason I like their NRSVs over Cambridge though is that they tend to have a blank front cover. Cambridge likes putting the Lamp insignia on theirs.