As I mentioned in my previous post on New Year’s resolutions, I’m using this reading plan to make it through the Bible and the Catechism this year. I’m a few days behind, unfortunately, but I should catch up soon! My reading plan is part of The One Bible, One Year Challenge proposed by Tim over at Catholic Bibles Blog. The challenge isn’t easy; I’ll be using not only one translation, but also only one Bible. As a self-proclaimed person of letters, I enjoy reading many different translations of Scripture and searching out new bindings and editions. My “Bible geekery” has become a hobby as I delve deeper into my personal study and growth, but oftentimes that hobby gets in the way of what’s actually important—growing closer to Jesus though Scripture.
With that in mind, I’ve jumped aboard the proverbial bandwagon and chosen to use the NRSV this year. Although I personally prefer the RSV-2CE, its somewhat archaic language and lack of gender inclusivity can be a hurdle for people, and I want to be better equipped to evangelize those around me. The RSV-2CE is also limited in choice of bindings. Ignatius Press only offers paperback, hardcover, and bonded leather editions, each with the same garish iconographic cover. The Ignatius Bible also suffers from small margins and a lack of helpful extras like detailed maps, a concordance, or a table of lectionary readings. It’s a good edition for reading, but could use some work. (I have high hopes for the upcoming Didache Bible.)
As I’ve grown in my reading of Scripture, those “extras” I thought I didn’t need became necessities. To that end, I’ve decided to use the New Oxford Annotated Bible Third Edition in tandem with a Cambridge NRSV Reference. Yes, it’s cheating, but my copy of the NOAB is a massive, loose-leaf tome which is impractical for much beyond study. I’m still on the fence about using it; I may gift it to a seminarian friend and continue on with the Cambridge alone, but I would like to use it more before I decide. The NOAB of course features its well-known annotations and essays. The Cambridge boasts center column cross-references, a glossary, and fifteen detailed maps. I’ve wanted a Cambridge Bible ever since I read Tim’s “favorite Bible” post, and I’m excited to start using it.
I have been cheating a little and using the RSV-2CE in previous posts. Hopefully I can really get moving with the NRSV next week! I will post more when the Cambridge arrives. For all those attempting the One Year, One Bible Challenge, I wish you the best of luck! I pray this experience brings us all closer to the Lord.
In His Sacred Heart,