On July 19, 2016, I received at my doorstep a package with two items from The Catholic Company that I have introduced to you their services in my last post. As promised, I would review the Revised Standard Standard Version (RSV) Catholic Bible published by Oxford University Press and generously sent to me by The Catholic Company.
The Friday after I received the package, I went to the Steubenville Youth Catholic Conference of the Archdiocese of Toronto at the University of Technology, Oshawa, ON. One of the things on the packing list was a Bible. I have prepared for the conference back in April and bought myself a copy of the NRSV Bible Catholic Edition published by the Canadian Bible Society (which has been reviewed here on The Catholic Man Reviews). With the great offer, I decided at first with the Ignatius RSV Bible. However, I decided to go with a non-Catholic publisher and see how their Bible would be and the results were interesting.
The Bible has dimensions of 4 1/2 x 6 1/8 inches and about less than an inch thick. Opening the Bible, I see endpages of what I think is some natural fibre paper that has a really interesting texture which was a surprise. Then, to my surprise, there was a presentation page and family record pages in colour, glossy paper. I really enjoy this feature in this Bible. It is just a convenient place to put Sacramental dates. This feature is also available in certain editions of the NABRE Bible from the Catholic Book Publishing Corporation that I will review in the future. Included is the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum on Bible reading which is a feature often found in Catholic Bible. I open the Bible section itself and one thing I do have to say is that the type is 8pt and is a bit small, especially for those who have weak eyes but it was the type size I expected in a Compact Edition Bible. Footnotes also appear from time to time referencing us to Bible passages in relation to another. The Bible is clear with explanatory notes in the appendix of both the New and Old Testaments which helps one understand a Bible text more. The appendix after the New Testament contains a comparison between some passages of the RSV Bible and RSV-Catholic Edition Bible which was quite interesting to see. Also included was the Table of Weights and Measures of the Bible which helps a lot, especially when reading the Bible story of Noah’s Ark in Genesis. As promised, there was also three pages of Catholic Prayers and Devotions which kept me from bringing my Manual of Prayers.
The Bible was plain and simple but seemed more equipped in features than the CBS NRSV-CE Bible. However two things that I noticed was first, the cross on the cover was stamped a bit slanted. Though I do not mind about that too much, I think that Oxford should take more care in their cover manufacturing as this is the Word of God and it should be treated with respect and as beautified and perfected as possible in my opinion. Another point is that even though I appreciate the ribbon that I wished was on my NRSV-CE Bible, the end seemed “raw”, in other words not burnt to prevent fraying and so after I took the pictures, I immediately had to burn the ends of the ribbon to prevent it from fraying anymore.
Title: Revised Standard Version Catholic Bible-Compact Edition
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Format: Print, blue cloth cover, thin white bible paper
Dimensions (approximate): 4 1/2 x 6 1/8 x 1 inches
- Catholic edition with Imprimatur
- Understandable English translation of the Bible
- Great size to slip into purse or backpack for a Catholic conference
- well constructed book
- hardcover edition likely lasts longer
- lays flat when opened,
- appendix(s) including  Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum  Measures and Weights in the Bible  Explanatory Notes  Prayers and Devotions of the Catholic Faith
- Presentation page in colour, glossy paper
- Family record in colour, glossy paper
- Ribbon attached
- Very thin bible paper compared to others but acceptable for a compact edition
- frayed ribbon
- cross not centered when stamped
- type of 8pt size, a bit small for those who have bad eyesight
On “The Catholic Man’s” Scale
Overall, I think that Oxford’s Revised Standard Version Catholic Bible-Compact Edition is great for Catholics on the go and for those who attend Catholic seminars and conferences. However, due to the size, I would not recommend it for one who uses it for Bible study. The font size may be too small for long hours of study and the margins are too narrow to take notes.
If you would like to purchase Oxford’s Revised Standard Version Catholic Bible-Compact Edition, visit the The Catholic Company to purchase it online. Or, you may check your local Catholic bookstore for a copy. This Bible is available in the blue-grey cloth cover version as reviewed here, or also in leather editions at Oxford University Press.