Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bible Edition Review: Baronius Press Pocket Douay-Rheims

“And thou shalt say in that day: I will give thanks to thee, O Lord, for thou wast angry with me: thy wrath is turned away, and thou hast comforted me.” –Isaias 12:1

Within the past few weeks, Baronius Press has released its fourth impression of their Pocket Douay-Rheims.  For some time it had been unavailable, but fortunately that is now not the case.  As you would come to expect with any publication from Baronius Press, the overall presentation is of the highest quality.  The gold gilt edged pages and the classical-looking page layout (with only minimal ghosting) make this pocket Bible a true pleasure to read and carry around.  In many ways, this is the nicest pocket Catholic Bible that I have seen, probably along with the Cambridge Pocket RSV New Testament and Psalms

 As you will notice below, where I list the features found in Bible, this pocket Bible is packed with stuff.  The maps and engravings are printed on a very thin glossy paper, which add a nice touch, without hindering page turning.   I have pointed out in the past some Bibles that include glossy inserts and how they have a tendency to kind of get-in-the-way.  Those who regularly attend the Extraordinary Form of the Mass will appreciate the inclusion of the Mass readings for Sundays, Holy Days, and Saints Days.  The Table of References is nice two page addition which can be of help for doing apologetics or study. Also included are three Papal encyclicals, although I wouldn’t have mind having Dei Verbum included.  As it has been noted by others elsewhere on this blog, if they are going to include Divino Afflante Spiritu, why not include Dei Verbum as well. 

Again, this is a really wonderful pocket Bible.  My only, although slight, disappointment is that the cover is made of a rather stiff bonded leather.   While this may allow for greater protection of the pages from being bent, it does hinder the Bible’s ability to be opened flat on a table.  This may change in time with regular use, but at this point I am unsure. Perhaps someone else who owns this edition will be able to chime in.

Everything else about this volume has the feel and look of a well-crafted Bible that will last a lifetime.  As their website state, Baronius Press strives “to raise the quality of traditional Catholic books in order to make them more appealing to a wider audience. In an age of mass production and cost cutting overriding aesthetic beauty, Baronius Press is re-typesetting (rather than producing facsimiles) classic Catholic books, to obtain clear text which is easy to read. These are then published in high quality bindings that are beautiful and durable.”  I hope they continue to produce high quality Bibles, and I would love to see them produce a pocket edition of their Knox Bible in the future.

The Features in this Bible include:
-1512 Pages
-4.25" x 6.85"
-Bonded, Flexible Leather bound cover (black, white, & burgundy) with stitched edges
-Enlarged text from previous edition
-Gold gilt edged pages and 2 ribbons.
-Completely retype-set to reproduce the original 1899 edition
-Eleven colored maps digitally redrawn by hand and fully colored
-32 beautiful engravings that recreate key moments in Biblical History
-Family Register section
-Historical and Chronological Index of the Old and New Testaments
-A Table of References to Catholic Doctrines
-A Table of Epistle and Gospel Readings for the Extraordinary Form Mass for Sundays, Holy Days, and Feast/Saint Days

The Baronius Press website contains sample pages for you to look through.

Thank you to Baronius Press for providing a review copy


Theophrastus said...

How thick is it?

You only mention two dimensions: 4.25" x 6.85".

(I have the hardcover Baronius D-R, and it is not skinny.)

Timothy said...

About an inch and a half.

Deep South Reader said...

I agree that they need Dei Verbum added as well as the 2008(?) Verbum Domini written by B16.

Biblical Catholic said...

I really wish someone would reprint the original 1609 Douay Rheims....or at least reprint the full notes.

The Challoner edition removed about 80% of the notes, and even though the original notes tended to be highly polemical, they were very useful and insightful. What we have today is a severely truncated version of what once was.

Amfortas said...

Dei Verbum? Well, yes, but the encyclicals are not so easily available in print form so they are very welcome. Let's hope Baronius also brings out a pocket Knox. I'd also like to see the full size Knox in a flexible cover version. Shame the pocket D-R is not available in the UK where the publisher is based.

Biblical Catholic said...

I would like to see the Knox is an audio Bible and e-book format. I've read enough of it by now to know that the Knox will never be my primary Bible (gotta stick with the RSV CE for that for now) but I do like having it as a secondary option to look up a particular passage when I'm confused about a passage and want to look at multiple renderings, which happens often enough that it justifies my continuing to buy new translations as I find them.

Theophrastus said...

Michael -- The original Douay-Rheims is readily available, in print, electronically, and on the web.

Here are some web sites:



French National Library

Google Books (NT, OT 1, OT 2)

Some of the extreme polemical annotations in the original Douay-Rheims (about race, women, Jews, Protestants, governments without kings, etc.) are quite surprising to read now for those who are not familiar with the style of 16th century polemics; for this reason, I think that the original Douay-Rheims tends to be read mostly by scholars.

I have been surprised, though, that a number of Protestants have expressed interest the 1560 Geneva Bible which also contains some highly polemical annotations. (The Geneva's anti-monarchy notes bothered King James so much that at the Hampton Court Conference, James explicitly required that the translation he was sponsoring have "No marginal notes at all to be affixed, but only for the explanation of the Hebrew or Greek words, which cannot, without some circumlocution, so briefly and fitly be expressed in the text.")

Biblical Catholic said...

The polemical tone of the original Douay Rhiems was fairly typical of the time, and are no worse than what can be found in places like Luther's works or Calvin's Institutes. Well...actually....the Douay Rheims is pretty mild compared to Luther. I've never seen any Protestants censor either Luther or Calvin due to the polemical nature of their works, although they do address the negative tone sometimes in marginal notes or the introduction.

Leo Bass said...

Have to say I agree with King James' opinion on marginal notes. I would rather have a separate volume or two for commentary.

Unknown said...

Hey Tim!
I have you seen and/or reviewed the full size BP Douay? I have a copy and really love it for all the reasons stated regarding the compact version. But my full-size copy has some inconsistency in print darkness... some pages are dark and others are noticably more faded. I wanted to see if this was a BP issue or just my copy?

Timothy said...

I do not. You should contact Baronius about this. If the DR was my everyday Bible, this compact edition would be my favorite.

Anggha said...

Are there any introductions for every book in this pocket-size one? I mean like what this book about, who is the writer, the sections in this book, etc? Thanks!

Timothy said...

There is a short introduction to each book. These introductions, along with the annotations, are over 100 years old, however.

Anggha said...

@Timothy: Thank you very much for your reply. Hmm, how short is it? Will it be like the one in The CTS New Catholic Bible (Standard Edition)? Like for example its introduction for The Gospel of John? Thanks! God bless.