Friday, October 5, 2012

SBP: "Year with the Bible"

I have never used a Bible devotional in the past, but this will change during the upcoming "Year of Faith."  Last week, I was very excited to get my hands on A Year with the Bible: Scriptural Wisdom for Daily Living and it has exceeded my expectations.

Here is the book description:

Beautifully bound and embossed, this daily devotional offers rich passages from the Bible accompanied by thoughtful meditations by Madrid, world-renowned writer and scholar.

This vibrant and spiritual collection is the perfect daily companion, packed with the wisdom of the Scriptures; the Word of God.

A Year with the Bible is a worthy introduction to Scripture, a daily devotional, a tool for deeper prayer, this book is as versatile as it is beautiful.

Premium Ultrasoft with two-tone sewn binding, ribbon marker and gold edges. 

Physically, this is a gorgeous daily devotional Bible.  I absolutely love the premium ultrasoft binding, which has a very nice smooth, yet strong feel to it.  Even better, the binding is sewn, not glued.  If you remember, most of the Bibles produced by Saint Benedict Press are glued, so maybe this is a signal to what we can expect from future SBP Bible releases.  (I know that would be welcomed by many readers of this blog.)  Since this devotional is brand new, it does not open flat quite yet, however, with the sewn binding I am sure that this will come in time.  Its overall size, coming in at 8.4 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches, makes "A Year with the Bible" very portable and thin enough to carry around with your favorite Bible or Breviary.  The paper is sturdy and glossy, not the thin Bible paper that we usually find in devotional books.  The gold edges also add a nice touch.

So, what is found on the inside?  The RSV-CE is the text used throughout.  No real surprise there.  When you open the book, you will be greeted by a charming presentation page which allows room for not only a name and date/occasion, but also seven lines for a personal note or greeting.  This will prove to be nice for those who wish to purchase this devotional as a gift for another.  After an introduction and a section on "How to use this book" there is a one page opening "Prayer for Grace and Illumination" by Saint Padre Pio.  Another nice touch!

When you get into the heart of this book, you will see that the devotions are numbered, not assigned to a particular day on the calendar.  That makes starting this devotional at any day of the year quite easy, as I will do beginning on October 11.  Each page contains a title, which gives the theme for the day's devotion, followed by a short one to three sentence opening consideration.  Next comes the biblical text itself, which is selected from throughout the Bible, and relates to the theme of the day.  While most often one passage is used, there are times when a particular day may display three or four short passages that relate to the day's theme.  After reading the biblical text, there is a concluding consideration, often in question form, and then finally a closing prayer that ties everything together.  Each page has a clean lay out and offers the reader plenty of space to add personal notes or to highlight verses that really touch them.   (If you want to take a look inside, just go to the Amazon listing which provides a generous sampling of this product.)

Overall, this is a beautifully produced and well thought out devotional.  I am truly looking forward to making this part of my daily devotions for the "Year of Faith".  I hope to post some of the insights I have gained while praying with this devotional as they come up.

Thank you to Saint Benedict Press for providing me a review copy.


ThisVivian said...

"Brother Theodore,

Please refer to the Douay-Rheims or King James daily in addition to the meditations presented herein."

In my handwriting, that's probably nine or ten lines in a normal-sized book. I'll have to try and cut it down to size.

Anonymous said...

I have just ordered this because of your review, and I also will use for the upcoming Year of Faith, thanks for the idea Timothy.

Tony, UK.