Pocket Bible of Choice

nrsvacompactThe winner is this one, which is jacket pocket sized, attractive, and has a font that is quite readable for its size.

Why the NRSV with Apocrypha Compact? If I were being snarky I would say because it has something to offend everyone. Reams of Protestants and Jews don’t like the inclusion of the Apocrypha; Almost no denomination entirely likes the inclusive language and translation choices; Orthodox like the reliance on the Septuagint in the OT, Jews dislike the same. And so on.

But if you want to talk to Roman Catholics and Orthodox, you’ve got to have those pesky Apocrypha in some form. And if you’re doing serious bible study, you need them for the cultural background to the NT and the cross-references.

In short, I see this as the most useful Bible translation in a small size I could find. And did I mention it’s dark blue with silver edges and pretty?

It’s true I have entirely too many copies of NRSV bibles, but outside of finding a good cross referenced edition, this should about do me in that translation. If the NET folk want to get busy and produce a NET with the fuller NRSV apocrypha, I’d gladly adopt that, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen soon. Thus, this is the one I go with.

So while the summer months are questionable, in the fall and winter at least, whenever I have a jacket or overcoat on, this book is going with me from now on. I wonder if  it qualifies as “something sensational to read”?

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4 responses to “Pocket Bible of Choice

  1. Have you seen the Oxford Pocket NRSV (ISBN: 0195288297 and others)? They are about the same physical size (just a tiny bit larger, but with much better paper) and also contain a concordance.

    For a cross-reference edition, by far the best I’ve seen is the Oxford hardback (ISBN: 0191000167, now out of print but still widely available.) Not only does it have the most cross-references, but the cross-references are integrated with the Apocrypha (which is rare among cross-reference editions.)

    As far as the NET Bible is concerned, I’d take even a single well typeset copy. All of the copies I’ve seen look amateurish in design. The NT diglot is probably the nicest of the bunch. I’m still waiting for the Oxford Parallel NT Greek+NET+Net notes+5 other translations you blogged about years ago. (As long as I am fantasizing, I would also like to see Oxford produce Hebrew+parallel OTs to match their Greek + 7 translation Precise Parallel NT and Parallel Apocrypha.)

  2. Theophrastus,

    I’m hindered in bible buying by the fact that there is no good bible store near me, and the nearby chain stores don’t carry many editions beyond the trendy new study editions. When it comes to compact bibles, I definitely want to check the font before buying. The Compact Thinline is the first small readable NRSVA I’ve seen.

    As for the Oxford Hardback Cross Reference, I checked out the review and photo on El Shaddai’s defunct blog, and have now ordered a copy. It looks to have a decent font size, its sewn binding should make it durable, and the extra inclusive cross-references are perfect for study. Here’s hoping it is as good as it looks.

    That Greek/English New Testament is still listed at Amazon; in fact Halloween will be the fifth year since it was due out. I’d stop holding my breath now. 😉

    The NET’s strength as an independent production, which allows it so free a copyright policy, also condemns it to be a less polished published book, I fear. Like you I think the NET/NA27 diglot the best edition: a great reference work in one cover and with nice large fonts.

    TC: As per above, the NET diglot is generally the favorite edition from what I’ve seen on the web. Rick Mansfield calls it the best diglot he’s ever seen “by far”, you may have noticed. And like Rick, I think the NET Reader’s edition makes a nice gift bible (I gave out most of a ten pack a few Christmases ago to relatives)for anyone considering it’s slim size and large 11 point type. It would also make a nice public bible for pastors and teachers thanks to that large type. The Reader’s edition is the version that can best make the NET a commonly accepted translation, so I hope they will indeed reprint it soon and hopefully find a way to get it into some stores.

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