Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Guest Review: Royal Electronic NABRE/D-R

After months of anticipation (due to mysterious postponements from the manufacturer), I finally received my “Royal” brand NABRE/Douay Rheims with Baltimore Catechism electronic Bible from Christianbook.com. I was reluctant to order this because I already have a pocket electronic Bible I used for reference (the Franklin KJV-570), and a really cool Bible program called E-sword I got online for free. I liked the convenience of the KJV-570 for use as a concordance, but since it does not have the Deuteros in it, I decided to go ahead and get this new one from Royal.

I must say I am really impressed with the overall product here from Royal. It is about the same size as the Franklin (about 5.25” x 3.25” x 0.25”), but with a slightly thicker ridge in the back to accommodate the two AAA batteries instead of the watch battery. This one has many of the same features as the Franklin, including search the Bible by word or reference, bookmarks, clock, alarm, calculator, and phone book, but the Royal version has so much more and it moves through the Scripture passages and word searches instantly without delay.

There are so many cool features with this product. First off, I must say that this does not include the “original Douay-Rheims” as advertised, but yet the standard 1899 edition as reproduced by current book publishers. More specifically, I think the D-R text may have been taken from the Baronius Press 2005 or earlier edition because St. Matthew 24:27 reads: “For as lightning cometh out of the east and appeareth even into the west: so shall also the cowling of the Son of man be.” I thought this was actually the translation until I got a copy of a 2008 edition corrected by the same publisher: “coming of the Son of man”. (BTW, the original D-R reads “advent” in this verse.)

Regardless of this one inconsistency I have noticed, I am pleased that the Challoner version was used for this. I was even more pleased that the book introductions and all of Challoner’s notations are included as well! And of course, it is not only a D-R, but also a complete NABRE as well, with all of the cross-references, notes, and introductions included! You can toggle between the D-R and the NABRE with the touch of a button, and it even compensates for chapter and verse numbering differences (e.g. the Psalms.) You can also surf back and forth through the NABRE cross-reference webs quicker that anyone could ever do with a hard copy, even with the handy thumb tabs. The concordance feature is also very effecient; it lists the D-R and NABRE references separately, and you can search by Old, New, or Entire Bible. It includes over 18,000 words. Unlike the Franklin edition, it will only list the exact word you are searching for and not every conjugation thereof, which I think is easier when looking for a specific verse.

Yes, I am impressed with the efficiency and novelty of having two Bibles and a Catechism reference tool compact enough to fit in my pocket or Missal cover. But it also has a good devotional quality I did not expect as well. It has a weekly reading plan that covers the entire Bible in a year, inspirational verses grouped by topic and at random, and a generous selection of Catholic prayers and devotions. It also includes a backlight for low-light situations, and you can select normal or large size fonts.

Thank you to Jonny for another fine guest review.

1 comment:

Bob said...

One excellent use to make of a device like this is Scripture memorization. With the scrolling display, you can bring up each passage, line-by-line, as you try to recall it, repeating it from memory. It sure beats the old system of carrying around 3x5 cards with the verses written out!