OBOY Challenge: Oh Boy…

It’s Just Problematic…

Well, the One Bible, One Year Challenge has been….erm, challenging, to say the least. I ruined my very nice Cambridge NRSV Reference. (Well, not exactly ruined, per se, but my anxiety won that one.) Then I purchased an Oxford Pocket NRSV with Apocrypha, thinking it would be lovely and also solve the size issue I had with the Cambridge. It was lovely, but unless I suddenly develop super vision, it won’t be used very often, and certainly not as my daily reading bible.

I’d like to post more on the pocket edition soon though; it’s a very nice bible if you have good vision. My roommate had no problems with it, at least. Hopefully I’ll have some extra time to take pictures and give you all a proper showing. In the meantime, I’ve “bitten the bullet” so to speak, and bought another out of print edition—the leather-bound Oxford NRSVCE Reader’s Edition. The seller claims it’s still in factory shrink-wrap, and I got it at a decent price, no organs required. It’s also an actual Catholic edition with the books in proper order and a table of lectionary readings, so I’m very hopeful. No, it doesn’t have cross-references, but I’ll take what I can get.

New and improved...

New and improved…

In the meantime, I’ve reverted back to my trusty hardcover Ignatius Bible, now adorned with pretty blue floral tabs. Of course, silly me had the bright idea to put the tabs on backwards, so the rows are uneven. Apparently you do need to use the included placement guide…

However, I have really enjoyed the One Bible, One Year Challenge overall. For one thing, I’ve learned a lot about what I like and don’t like in a bible, and I’ve also gained a new appreciation for just how much things like layout and binding matter. No, you don’t need a super-expensive bible to be happy, but a good-sized, well-spaced font goes a long way in eliminating eye strain and creating an enjoyable reading experience. It’s much nicer to read a bible you don’t have to squint at.

Moving Towards Bare Necessities…

Yes, I am a word-nerd and an overall academic; I love my study bibles, concordances, maps, and cross-references. I’ve just realized that I don’t want those things in an everyday reading bible. A nice solid hardcover study bible that I can toss around and mark in will do just fine for parish bible study, but for my usual devotions and general reading, I don’t really need all those things. I only need a plain, readable text bible. Perhaps a few maps and charts would be nice for context, but footnotes and cross-references are more like icing than cake.

One of the main reasons I decided to splurge one final time to try this reader’s edition was its inclusion of the lectionary readings for Mass. For me, this is indispensable as a devotional aid and I’d rather have the lectionary readings than any amount of cross-references and study helps. I’m not biblical scholar. I know a little Greek, but for me Scripture will always be God’s love letter to my heart before anything else. I want to be able to focus on His voice—especially in the liturgy, Scripture, and prayer. These are all so so deeply interconnected that I sincerely don’t understand why every Catholic bible doesn’t include a table of lectionary readings. Come on, publishers—pay attention for once!

Here’s hoping that the “final” experiment goes well. All I can say is, this college student’s given it the old college try. Hopefully the third time’s the charm. (Oh, so much cliché in two sentences!) Otherwise, I’m down for the count, and Iggy and I will have a long 2015 ahead of us.

Wow, still so full of cliché! So how goes it, blogosphere? Who of us is still struggling through the One Year, One Bible Challenge? I feel like I should get an F by now, since the Challenge meant not just one translation, but one bible period. Sigh. If only life were that simple. 

In His Sacred Heart,

Erica

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