Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ignatius RSV-2CE Revisited

As I am perusing through the new Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament, I wanted to make a few comments about the RSV-2CE leather edition which came out a few years back. Ironically, the RSV-2CE was one of the first Bible reviews I did on this blog, back in August 2008. So why revisit the RSV-2CE? Well, if you have seen this edition in stores recently you may have noticed that it looks a bit different.
Well, first of all, the newer editions that Ignatius is putting out are not made in China, but rather the good old USA. While I didn't make any comment about this when I did the review back in 2008, it was something that bugged me. So, I am quite happy to see Ignatius make this change.
Secondly, you will instantly notice that the new edition seems slightly thicker. There is no new content from the first version, which contained the RSV-2CE text, with the original RSV-CE notes, and a small section of maps. What is different is the type of paper being used. One of my biggest complaints against the original version was that it used glossy paper, which I found tough to read in certain places. That is not the case anymore. The paper, which is still thick enough to avoid bleed-through, is not glossy. Thank you Ignatius! When I saw this in the store I thought to myself: "Should I buy another edition of the RSV-2CE?" Well, I have been much happier with this change in paper quality. So the answer is yes. For me, it makes the text much more clear and enjoyable to read.
Finally, one other difference is the leather cover. The first edition had a very stiff, bonded leather cover. This one, however, while still bonded leather (I think) is much more flexible and limp. It easily opens and sits flat in the lap or on a table. Again, another upgrade.
While these three upgrades may seem minor to some, I think they make this standard Ignatius RSV-2CE more enjoyable to read from. Now with the newly released Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament available, they make a fine combination for everyday Bible study and prayer. More on the ISBNT in coming days.


Colm Thomas said...

Pictures! Pictures!

P.S. I've been reading the blog for a while. I love it!God Bless!

Leland said...

How can you be sure that when you order one online that it will be this newer edition? Places like Amazon have no clue and wouldn't be able to give any info of that sort. Are the new covers black? Where can I get one? I ordered the new leather St. Benedict Douay but after having to send my order back 2 times because Amazon's description was really for the ultrasoft and not leather I send everything back--plus I got to preview the second one they sent as it was opened and did not like the thin see-through pages. So maybe this was a sign to get a copy of my runner-up....the RSV-2CE in leather. I have the paperback but was hoping to use the DR as my daily bible--but maybe I am supposed to use the RSV!!

Theophrastus said...

Too bad they didn't decide to offer the option of buying it without a hideously garish cover. Even when on the bookshelf, the spine alone is gaudy. The glaring, glitzy, glittery design is far too brassy.

(Plus, using such similar designs for the Bible and Study NT can only lead to confusion.)

Timothy said...


I would either purchase one from a local Borders or Barnes and Noble, which do stock this newer version, or order directly from Ignatius Press. The cover is still burgandy.

Theophrastus said...

Tim, here is another forthcoming Catholic Bible to announce on your blog.

Harvard University Press is inaugurating a new bilingual series (similar to its Loeb library) focusing on Medieval literature, called the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library.

One of its first publications is a five volume edition of the Vulgate together with the 1582-1610 Douay-Rheims. This is a welcome development since the original Douay-Rheims is relatively scarce (almost everyone uses a version derived from the Challoner revision). Besides being closer to the Vulgate, the original Douay-Rheims had extensive annotation -- most of which was eliminated in Challoner's revision.

The first of the five volumes, the Pentateuch, will come out in October. Harvard University Press has a brief (not very helpful) description here -- note, however, that they claim the volume is 1200 pages long (for just the Pentateuch). At that size, this looks to be quite an interesting edition and must have quite a few extras (I predict it will have both the original annotation and modern annotation).

It is already available on pre-order from Amazon.

This may be the most significant scholarly publication of a Catholic Latin-English edition since 2006, when Cambridge re-issued the 61 volume Blackfriar annotated Summa Theologiæ.

Christopher W. Speaks said...

I find the original Ignatius RSV-2CE very aesthetically appealling. I never really had much issue with the paper or the brassy design - though I do wonder why Ignatius Press has decided to publish the Study Bible in the same style. I guess it's just further evidence of how Catholic publishers are languishing in terms of original ideas in Catholic Bibles and Bible designs.

I will pick up a leather copy of the Study Bible, regardless, since my biggest beef with the original 2CE was lack of footnotes.

Matt said...

I posted some photos of the ICSB-NT. I'm sure Timothy will have a much more scholarly look at it than me.

Timothy said...


I am going to try and write a review in the morning,
although I may refer readers to your always stellar pictures!

Matt said...

Timothy- feel free to use them during your review here too, just put a link to my post up (if you don't mind).

Kenneth Massey said...

It is nice to see the changes made to the Ignatius Bible 2CE, It would be helpful to able to identify this when ordering online.I wonder how can one do that, rather ending up buying the older type?

Timothy said...


That is the issue isn't it? Like I mentioned above, do you have a Borders or Barnes and Noble near by? I have seen this new edition in stock at both stores.

Leland said...

Well, I ordered a leather RSV-2CE from Amazon, as I was placing an order for the new study bible any how. I received both today and have to say that I am impressed. The study bible is fantastic...I am wondering if I could take the concordance, etc. from the study bible and copy it to the same size as the leather RSV-2CE and alhave it all bound up together with a nice leather cover. The leather edition I received has a decent cover, nice gold edged pages, and non-shiny offwhite paper, printed in US. I really like the yellowish paper--but hated the glare in the paperback one. They all seem decent and I paid less for both than I would have for just the St. Benedict leather Douay!!