Tag Archives: catholic

The Oxford NRSV Catholic Reader’s Edition

The frontispiece of the NRSVCE Reader's Edition.

The frontispiece of the NRSVCE Reader’s Edition.

The picture above found its way into my post on JPII’s apostolic letter, Salvifici Doloris. I had been so excited to receive this bible, and to finally have a copy of Scripture that was a good size to carry around. When I finally did get my copy in the mail, I was simultaneously happy and disappointed. Happy, because the bible was great. Disappointed, because I knew this particular copy just wasn’t going to cut it. For the sake of this review, I’m going to give you all the good news first and ignore the sad, unhappy bits.

A Bible Packed with Extras

In-text maps!

In-text maps!

What, you mean a Catholic bible with useful things inside? Yes, dears. Unfortunately, this particular version is out of print, but if you can find it and are satisfied with hardcover (the leather version has disappeared), this may be a good bible for you. Actually, it is a good bible. The Reader’s Edition is a great size at  roughly 6.5″ X 9″. It’s no slimline, but this isn’t a giant bible you’d never read away from your desk. The print is easy-to-read with good margins and headings in the text. What really makes this bible great are the in-text maps and charts—64 maps and 12 charts altogether. For example, in the beginning of the New Testament, there are a few pages entitled “A Harmony of the Gospels” that show parallel events from each Gospel and the corresponding verses. Check out the above map of the return from exile. All of the maps and charts are placed in relevant spots.

In addition, this edition has a table of lectionary readings, the papal encyclical Dei Verbum, the text of several common Catholic prayers, the usual Oxford maps, and a helpful concordance. The prayers in the back even include the Divine Praises, so you’re all set for Adoration! All of the goodies just had my Catholic heart a-twitter; if this bible had cross-references, I may have very well fainted. It really is a nice bible, and I have yet to figure out why Oxford won’t print something like this again, perhaps in their usual NABRE or RSV translations. A NABRE edition like this would be a welcome gift option!

A Binding Packed with Problems

Oxford's usual black and gold.

Oxford’s usual black and gold.

That, dears, is where the sparkly-eyed happy fit stops. For all the inside that’s just great, the binding has too many problems to justify keeping this bible. First, the good—the leather is beautiful and soft. It’s thick, too. The end result is a Berkshire leather cover that flexes without being flimsy and feels great in the hand. If you look back at the picture of the in-text maps, you’ll notice the bible also has the gold outline around the inside; it’s a nice touch also found in other editions like the Oxford Pocket NRSV with Apocrypha.

However, it seems this bible has been printed cross-grain, which I mentioned the other day. I had trouble snapping a photo of the issue, but this post over at Bible Design Blog does a good job of explaining and illustrating the topic much better than I could with dorm furniture and an iPhone camera. The pages crinkle very badly near the gutter, and to a lesser extent on the whole page. The spine cracks every time I open the book or flip pages, and the pages themselves have a very bad habit of sticking together. At first I thought it might be humidity, but the bible showed no signs of relaxing. In addition, the page crinkling shows up in the gilding as a subtle wavy line all through. I wanted to like this bible, but it’s too distracting to read when every single page is crinkled. Thankfully, the seller I got it from is willing to refund me. I can happily recommend Bell Wether Books!

You can check out Timothy’s post on Catholic Bibles here, and peruse possible buying options here on Amazon. Perhaps one day I’ll find a good, usable bible for everyday reading, but that day sadly isn’t today. I’ll be shipping the Reader’s Edition off tomorrow and heading back to the drawing board for “Project Reading Bible.” Next week is spring break, so I hope post more when I’m not working on schoolwork. God bless, and thanks for reading!

In His Sacred Heart,


St. JP II: Salvifici Doloris

The frontispiece of the NRSVCE Reader's Edition. St. JPII, pray for us!

The frontispiece of the NRSVCE Reader’s Edition. St. JPII, pray for us!

As a person, and especially a Catholic, with a permanent and sometimes painful physical disability, the doctrine of redemptive suffering resonates with me very deeply. And this idea of patient suffering made me love John Paul II, even before I was Catholic—underneath that slouching, frail body was an indomitable Spirit that even non-religious folks noticed. I think of John Paul II, and I see the fruit Jesus’ words when he said, “Do not be afraid.” This man was to me so brave, and I’m glad he’s interceding for us now in Heaven, asking God to help us patiently bear our own crosses; what a reassurance! And what a reassurance and grace that we have a God who still speaks to us in the Sacraments and from the pages of Holy Scripture proclaiming, “Do not fear, greatly beloved, you are safe! Be strong and courageous!” (Dan. 10:19) Because Friday is traditionally a day of penance and reflection on Jesus’ sacrifice, I’d like to share with you all this excerpt from St. John Paul II’s apostolic letter Salvifici Doloris:

As a result of Christ’s salvific work, man exists on earth with the hope of eternal life and holiness. And even though the victory over sin and death achieved by Christ in his Cross and Resurrection does not abolish temporal suffering from human life…it nevertheless throws a new light upon this dimension and upon every suffering: the light of salvation… This truth radically changes the picture of man’s history and his earthly situation: in spite of the sin that took root in this history both as an original inheritance and as the “sin of the world” and as the sum of personal sins, God the Father has loved the only-begotten Son, that is, he loves him in a lasting way; and then in time, precisely through this all-surpassing love, he “gives” this Son, that he may strike at the very roots of human evil and thus draw close in a salvific way to the whole world of suffering in which man shares…

The Redeemer suffered in place of man and for man. Every man has his own share in the Redemption. Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which the Redemption was accomplished. He is called to share in that suffering through which all human suffering has also been redeemed. In bringing about the Redemption through suffering, Christ has also raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption. Thus each man, in his suffering, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ…

You can read the entire thing here. It’s a beautiful letter, and a reminder of the truth—”See, I am making all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) Even our suffering can become beautiful and good when illuminated by the Gospel and united to the cross. Have a blessed and safe weekend, everyone!


from the incredible blog, Vultus Christi

from the incredible blog, Vultus Christi

It is no strain of music, no tinsel of vestment, no pomp of ceremonial which attracts us to our churches, which holds us captive in them. No! For Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament offers the same attractions, commands the same reverent attention, elicits the same humble adoration, whether we assist at His worship amid the poverty and simplicity of an Indian chapel, or assist at it amid the wealth and grandeur of a stately cathedral; it is Christ in the Eucharist Who holds us captive. It matters not to us whether He is worshipped amid the squalor of a stable, as at Bethlehem, by the lowly and the illiterate, or as afterward when offered gold and incense, He is adored by the hIgh-born and learned, by kings and wise men.

—Pere Huby

This is the Sacrament of His incredible, infinite Love. The Eucharist is no symbol; He is our reality, our everyday miracle. Every day Jesus gives Himself to the Church in the Eucharist and cries out,

 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.”

Praise this Heart which has so loved men!

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.

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Lenten Resolutions: “Do Not Be Afraid.”

Lent started Wednesday of this week, and I’m excited to share my Lenten resolutions, The first one is to get well and take the history exam I missed Thursday. I’m also working out law school issues, but beyond the very obvious school hopes, I have a few more things in mind.  Continue reading

Daily Prompt: No, Thank You

Because I’m running low on creativity, I decided to try my hand at a daily prompt offered by the Daily Post here on WordPress. Yesterday’s prompt was “No, Thanks.” The prompt asks, “Is there a place in the world you never want to visit? Where, and why not?” Now, I’m not sure about actual places in the world, because I’ve only ever been outside the country once, but I know a thing or two about places inside the mind I’d prefer not to return to. Continue reading