Review: Loreto Publications’ newly typeset Hardbound Douay-Rheims Bible

One Bible translation favoured by traditional Catholics is the Douay-Rheims Bible. It has been translated directly from the Vulgate Bible, translated from ancient sources into Latin by St. Jerome. While there are copies of it circulating in the public domain online, including, nothing beats a classic hardcover book that you can physically hold and flip in your hands. 

Loreto Publications, a publisher committed to delivering to Catholics beautiful reprints of traditional Catholic books, has just released copies a newly typeset edition of the Douay-Rheim’s  Bible. Previously, Loreto Publications did have in stock copies of the Douay-Rheim’s Bible but it was not clean typeset, but rather looked like photocopies based on earlier reviews I have seen surfing around the internet.

The book is hardcover, with black bonded leather, gold stamped with a bottony cross. Very simple and clean design, nothing too fancy. 

However, getting to the end pages, I saw there was just row after row of blue bottony crosses. I am personally not a fan of such design – it just looked a little too hard on the eyes. I would have preferred plain white or cream coloured end pages.  I think that would fit better with the simple black cover. 

Opening the book, I am greeted with nice clear typeface, and the size of the Scripture text is very easy on the eyes. I can imagine the hard work that was put in to typeset this edition. 

There are some critiques however, that I hope can be improved on in future editions. First of all, the table of contents was in a sense, unusual. Often times, when dotted lines are used to connect a header to its page number, a straight dotted line is used. For example: 

Genesis …………………………………………………………………………….21

However, this Bible, instead of a straight dotted line, uses a line of 3 dot intervals like this: 

Genesis …     …     …     …     …     …     …     …     …     …     …     … 21

(You can see the images for a better sense of what I’m talking about.) I don’t know if this was a word-processing error or that was the intention of the designers, but honestly, I found it to be odd, and my sister, upon flipping through this Bible remarked the same. 

I am also not too keen with the verse numbers being the same size font as the text itself. I am used to having Bibles that have large numbers to mark a chapter and superscripts that mark the verses. This is, however, not the only Bible that I will be talking about the format of verse numbers. In a review that will come out soon, Random House’s The Jerusalem Bible uses a verse number formatting system that I find inefficient. So this is not the worst I’ve seen. Yet, this is solely all personal preference. Some people may prefer verse numbers in this format or that used in The Jerusalem Bible that I will review. 

Another point worth mentioning is the Family Record used in this Bible. I am in favour with having a Family Record in the Bible, and almost all the Bibles I have at home from Catholic Book Publishing Corporation have them. They enhance the sentimental value of the Bible as a Bible is passed on from generation to generation. Many traditional Catholic Bibles had them too and it came as no surprise to me that this edition of the Douay-Rheims Bible has one. While the layout of the Family Record is amazing, what underwhelmed me was the paper used for the Family Record, which was printed on the same type of paper used throughout the Bible. Personally, I think the Family Record should be printed on a thicker paper than the rest of the Bible since it will be written on. Especially if a ballpoint pen is used and one uses too much force, there would be indentations on the following pages. Or, even worse, if an incorrect type of pen is used on Bible paper, it will bleed through. Therefore, I much prefer the Family Record be printed on a different, thicker type of paper than Bible paper. 

I have to give some positive remarks to the ribbons of the Bible. They are large (width is about 0.5 inches) compared to that of most Bibles I’ve seen. It is of the size I’ve seen in some Chapel editions of Roman Missals. But the thing I like about them is that there is not only one ribbon, but two of different colours. I have not seen many Bibles with two ribbons. The only other one I’ve seen have two ribbons is a Catholic edition of the Holy Bible in Vietnamese, but they were both of the same colour. I prefer two ribbons or more inside Bibles since the reader might want to have one for the Old Testament and one for the New Testament. The Bible I often use (Catholic Book Publishing Corp. New American Bible Personal Edition) had only one ribbon, but I wanted more for ease in marking pages as I use it for The Catholic Bible in 365 Days Challenge. Fortunately, I had a set of Breviary Ribbons from an old Breviary which I had the ribbons replaced. I took the old ribbons and placed them in the spine and they have been serving me well. Therefore, checkout Breviary ribbons if you need more ribbons for your Bibles, or even Altar Missal ribbons if you need one for a larger Bible.

I also like the table of epistles and gospels  and chronological list of events of the Old Testament available in this Bible, which is a useful feature. Also included is the encyclical Providentissimus Deus of Leo XIII on the reading of Scripture. In more modern Catholic Bibles, Dei Verbum , the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation from the Second Vatican Council often appears now it place of this encyclical.

There are also pictures depicting Biblical scenes throughout the Bible, something I did not expect in this Bible. They were reproduced in greyscale. They would have looked nicer in colour, in my opinion. Nevertheless, I love having art in Bibles – they bring the text to life. 

On The Catholic Man’s Scale

★★★★           4/5

Overall, I am not at all displeased with this newly typeset Douay-Rheims BIbleby Loreto Publications. I like its simplicity and easy to read typeface and its sewn binding. It is a Bible that fits well in the hand when reading.

Is it good for a family Bible? I personally prefer this as a personal edition. However, it seems that Loreto’s Haydock Douay-Rheims Bible which is double the price of this one, is a better Family Bible, considering its more elaborate cover, commentary and larger font size as advertised on the site.

You can purchase a copy of this Harbound Douay-Rheim’s Bible for $44.95 USD from Loreto Publications (click hyperlink).

P.S. Loreto Publications also included some of their seasonal catalogues which are beautiful! Thank you Loreto Publications!


Review: Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible


After a very long and busy break, I will be back reviewing Catholic products. I have a few I
will review and those will slowly roll out.

I received a parcel from Oxford containing two of its published books, the Oxford Catholic Study Bible (softcover) and the Oxford Bible Atlas. After months of using these two books, I finally have enough information to review them. I think these two books go well hand in hand for Catholics who want to dig deeper into scripture. However, today I want to look at the Catholic Study Bible first and the next post will be of the Oxford Bible Atlas.

This is one of the thickest bibles I have on my shelf right now but perhaps a very useful one. Lately, I have been trying my best to write reflections on a part of the gospels before I go to sleep every night. I often use my NRSV Catholic Edition Bible by CBS. However, sometimes there are some verses that I need a little more understanding of the context. The NRSV by CBS do provide very short footnotes but they are sometimes not what I need. Since the time I got a hold of a copy of The Catholic Study Bible, I have often used it to grasp a better understanding of certain Bible texts. The footnotes are great and most of the time, its language is easy to understand. There are also cross references to other parts of Bible texts. The reader can gain an even better understanding in the 574-paged Reading Guide. There are page references to the Reading Guide throughout the Bible itself. On the back of the Bible, it mentions the n411vqcshi2l-_sx344_bo1204203200_ewly expanded Reading Guide in this third edition featuring the new guides for The Pentateuch, Chronicles, Maccabees, Lamentations, Baruch, Tobit and Judith, The Gospel of Mark and Acts. The footnotes and Reading Guide aren’t the only great “Bible luxuries”. Short essays charts and drawings are scattered throughout the Bible and help explain certain Bible texts and bring them to life.

The Bible text itself is from the NABRE which I do own a copy by a different publisher. I wish they could make a Catholic Study Bible for the NRSV version too. However, I do understand how much work must be put in to create just one version of a Study Bible.

One of the things that I look at when reviewing a Bible is certainly the Appendix. This Bible contains many of the standard parts that appear in most Bibles including a glossary, table of measures and weights and an index. However, the standard features listed seem to be more expanded. The glossary itself seems to go more in depth than most that I’ve looked through. The table of measures and weights contains seem to be expanded. It contains conversions from Greek, the NABRE term, Equivalence, U.S. units and metric units (for Canadians!). One feature that I believe is found in most NABRE Bibles is the Lectionary table. I find this feature quite useful. I do not purchase the Sunday Missal in English every year. I often use an app on my phone or use my Vietnamese Missal to get the readings to prepare for Mass. However, there are some days when I find the Lectionary Readings get confusing on which readings to use. For example, the Palm Sunday procession of Year B contains two choices of either Mark of John (yes, its in the Roman Missal). Yet, hand Missals may omit the choice of John. Therefore, before, when I did not have a copy of the Roman Missal, Study Edition (to be reviewed later), I would often turn to the Lectionary Table. Or, the Christmas Readings (for Dec. 24 alone) for example, contain three: Christmas Vigil, Christmas at Midnight, Christmas at Dawn. Again, many hand missals may omit a set which becomes confusing. The Lectionary table would come to the rescue again!

An index of the reading guide is also provided which makes it very useful in finding a certain topic. It limits the time flipping through 574 to find a topic.

I was also amazed at the Concordance of the New American Bible. I expected it to be short the one of the NRSV Catholic Edition by CBS. But I was wrong! The concordance is almost 100-pages. This may be a feature I may use often when writing Spiritual reflections.

Another feature which I love about his Bible are the last 32-pages of coloured maps. Why did I emphasize coloured you might ask. Well, I have noticed that when a Bible is printed in black and white, they contain either no maps or black and white maps. Oxford’s maps are very detailed and the colour brings it to life. The maps clearly depict the changes of the Holy Land throughout Biblical times. A five-paged index is provided with the maps in the last pages.

Reversing to the beginning… I looked for the Imprimatur, a feature that I always look at in Catholic Books I review on this blog. It took me some time to scroll through the tiny text but all the Imprimatur and permission to print by the Catholic Church was on the fourth page. There are three separate approvals in this Bible. First is one for the New Testament of the NABRE which contains a Nihil Obstat and an Imprimatur. The Old Testament contains a short paragraph indicating the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approval with the approval of Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I who was the president of the USCCB at the time (2010). The general and introductory articles, reading guides, charts, maps, timelines, measures and weights, glossary and index received a separate approval in 2015 by the Very Reverend Ronald Hicks, then Vicar-General of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

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In Summary

Product: The Catholic Study Bible, Third Edition, NABRE

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Format: Print, paperback (also available in a hardcover version and a leather binding version)

Dimensions  (approximate): 9 inches x 6.25 inches x 2 inches

Imprimatur: Yes (for both the NABRE bible and the notes itself)

ISBN: 9780190267230



  • Reading Guide available in the front
  • Includes 32 pages of coloured maps
  • Glossary in the back
  • Tables of measures and weights
  • Index to reading guide
  • Concordance to the New American Bible included
  • Lectionary Reading reference pages
  • Reading Guide (RG) references available throughout the Bible text itself
  • Detailed footnotes helps reader to understand the Bible texts better
  • Sidebar essays, charts and drawings are provided throughout the Bible texts
  • The Bible bears the appropriate Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur and even assures approval by the USCCB


  • Large in size
  • Heavy, not the best Bible for travellers
  • The softcover version is best to have a book wrap cover to add protection. Frequent use may wear down the softcover Bible quickly

On “The Catholic Man’s” Scale

★★★★★ 5/5

I absolutely love Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible Third Edition. This Bible contains so many features that I have not mentioned all of them in this review. The Bible is good for those who want to dig deeper in the Word of God taking into consideration its spiritual and historical context. It is not the best Bible to travel but one of the best to buy for your Catholic Library.

Thank you Oxford for allowing me to review this Bible!




Review: Revised Standard Version Catholic Bible-Compact Edition by Oxford University Press

RSV Bible Review

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.

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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

Imprimatur: Yes

ISBN: 9780195288568


  • 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 [1] Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum [2] Measures and Weights in the Bible  [3] Explanatory Notes [4] 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 Editionvisit 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.

Review: The CBS NRSV Catholic Edition Bible

Bible Review.jpg

At the end of  April, 2016, I visited Pauline Books and Media with the intention of purchasing a copy of the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), Catholic Edition Bible in preparation for the 2016 Steubenville Conference. I have owned many bibles. However, most of them were in the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) translation which was the Bible translation used for the United States of America Lectionary. I wanted a bible of the NRSV translation as it was the  Bible translation used during Mass in Canada. I have found managed to find the translation at Pauline Books and Media and purchased a green, hard cover NRSV Catholic Edition bible at only $13.95 (price not including tax) published by the Canadian Bible Society (CBS). Luckily, I had printed a 20% off one item coupon off the Pauline website which left me paying only $11.16 (price not including tax) for the Bible. I was quite satisfied with the Bible. There was also an exact one also published by CBS but with a soft cover, a dollar less ($12.95). However, I wanted one that would last a portable bible that would last as long as possible and found the hardcover version suitable for my needs.

The NRSV Catholic Edition is a very simple Catholic translation of the bible. It is very easy to understand. As mentioned, it is the Lectionary translation used in Canada too and therefore, the texts sound very familiar to me. With CBS’ version of the NRSV, there are no commentaries. However, there are very short footnotes to accompany the reader in understanding the text better. The Imprimatur assures that this bible translation has no doctrinal errors and approved for Catholics.

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*** I wrapped my bible in protective cellophane after I purchased it. There was no cellophane protector when I purchased the bible!!!

Title: Holy Bible – NRSV – Catholic Edition

Publisher: Canadian Bible Society

Format: Print, hardcover book

Dimensions (approximate): 21 cm x 14.5 cm x 3.5 cm

Imprimatur: Yes


  • Catholic edition with Imprimatur from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Understandable English translation of the Bible
  • lightweight, fairly portable durable
  • well constructed book
  • hardcover edition likely lasts longer
  • lays flat when opened, readable type (approximately pt. 10 font)
  • appendix including [1] Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum [2] Measures and Weights in the Bible (one of my  favourite features!) [3] Tables of Readings [4] Prayers and Devotions of the Catholic Faith [5] Concordance
  • Inexpensively priced Catholic bible


  • No ribbon marker(s),
  • bible paper is thin and can see through the other side (most bibles are like that)
  • the hardcover edition is $1 more than the flexcover edition

Overall, despite the “cons”, I think CBS’ NRSV Catholic Edition Bible is one of the best and inexpensive bibles out there for Catholics. Consider purchasing one if you do not own a bible yet or complain that “Oh, bibles are so expensive!” The bible is such an important and special book to Christianity and a Christian should read the whole bible at least once in their life!!!

You may purchase the CBS NRSV Catholic Edition Bible at Pauline Books and Media, Toronto. You may also purchase a copy online at the CBS Store. Please note that the cover depicted on the Bible Store was the older cover. The cover depicted here is the new one.