Thursday, October 08, 2009

Only one on the market.

For those interested in a Catholic wide-margin Bible (which really does not exist) comes the next best thing from Oxford - the NRSV Notetaker's Bible.

The NRSV, like it or not, is a Church approved translation. And as far as I can tell and have searched for, this is the only Bible out there with a Church approved translation that features wide margins for bible study note taking. It is an area we are severely behind in.

This edition contains the "Apocrypha" which also includes (I assume) all the extra books like 3+4 Maccabees and the rest. It was reviewed here on the Bible Design Blog. He gave it a good review. I wish the blogger would also look at Catholic Bibles. Our publishers would do well to review that site and see what goes into a serious quality Bible.


Timothy said...


Nice blog. It is nice to see another Catholic blogging about issues like Catholic bible editions. I too would like to see greater quality Catholic bibles on the market, including ones with wide-margins, premium leather, cross-references, etc...

God Bless,

Matt said...

Hi Timothy- thanks for the compliment and the link from your blog. You also have a good blog going, I noticed it sone time ago. I have been curious why you are partial to the NRSV. I have an NRSV here but it's just a standard text edition with TruTone cover.

And yes I too wish our publishers would give us more options and higher quality or at least competitive quality Bible. They are doing better but work remains...

Timothy said...


The are a couple reasons why I am somewhat partial to the NRSV.

1) I like the textual basis, particularly of the OT which uses the DSS and osides with the LXX over the MT more frequently than other modern translations.

2) The NRSV is keyed into many different study tools, including commentaries, concordances, dictionaries, etc...

3) I like the plentiful textual notes that are scattered throughout the text. In particular, when they go a bit over-board with the inclusive language, there is usually a textual note at the bottom with the literal greek/hebrew translation.

4) I can use the NRSV in almost any circumstance. It works well in Bible study groups, where people typically use the NAB or RSV. Also, it is helpful in ecumenical gatherings.

5) Outside of a few rendering, I think it reads really well.

Ultimately, at least for me, the NRSV is no where near perfect, but in many ways it is the only one that meets my needs currently. If another translation were to be published that was better, I would certainly consider changing.

Matt said...

Thanks Timothy - since I tend to run in traditionalists circle I've never really heard anyone mention the NRSV as their preferred translation.

A few months ago, I bought one at a discount store to check it out and its not nearly as bad as it was made out to be.

Those are some good reasons you give for your preference. I especially think #2 is a strong reason.

As to the inclusive language, I have noticed the footnotes indicating when it is used. Honestly the inclusive language in every version that uses it is rather obvious.

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton