July 10, 2012

The Catholic Study Bible

You don’t have to be Roman Catholic to appreciate The Catholic Study Bible published by Oxford University Press, but if you are, you’ll be happy to know the Church has given an official stamp of approval as shown in the front matter by “Nihil Obstat” and “Imprimatur.” Therefore, if you want to know more about Catholicism or hope to write for Catholic readers or need to study the Bible thoroughly from an ecumenical and/ or Catholic Christian perspective, this is The Book to have.

NABRE: The New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE) debuted in March 2011 as a “formal equivalent” translation into English, making the NABRE as close to the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts as 100 Bible scholars, editors, theologians, and Bishops can make it.

Size and Binding: The hardcover edition by Oxford (shown below) has 2560 pages 9.2 x 6.5 x 2 inches in size and weighs about 3 pounds. Since I’m not a fan of bonded leather, my next choice might be a paperback edition, except that a Bible of this heft and immensity usually needs a sturdy cover, especially since it will probably be used often.

Footnotes: Key information provided in footnotes and sidebars guide readers into understanding verses within the intended context and gaining insight into cultural traditions practiced in biblical times. Word plays and poetic forms are also duly noted, which is a big deal for those of us who love, love, love to write Bible-based devotionals and poetry.

Additional study helps: Besides the authoritative study notes, book outlines, and biblical references throughout this edition, you’ll find Sunday readings and a Weekday Lectionary to keep up with the liturgical reading cycle that covers the Bible in three years. In addition, in-depth articles and essays, easy-to-use maps, and a Glossary help readers to see the bigger picture of a truly “Catholic” – meaning “universal” – view.


© 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler. Thank you for telling your church, Bible study, or other group where you found this Bible Review. Also, I’m glad for publishers to send me review copies of new English translations, study editions, and Bibles with new footnotes, articles, and even unusual formats or covers to review.

For more articles on a variety of Bible topics, see Blogs by Mary.


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