Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Saint Benedict Press Douay-Rheims

Back in April, I reviewed the newly re-released Douay-Rheims pocket Bible from Baronius Press.  Now, I am happy to give a short review of one of the editions of the Douay-Rheims produced by our friends at Saint Benedict Press.  Much like the King James Version, the Douay-Rheims continues to have a strong connection to many of the faithful.  However, up until recent years, one could find the KJV in many different editions and attractive styles.  That wasn't the case with the venerable Douay-Rheims.  Things have been changing over the past decade or so, however, principally due to the work of Baronius Press and, of course, Saint Benedict Press.  

The edition I have is the burgundy premium ultra-soft one, and I chose to review this one for a reason.  For while I think the Baronius Press edition has more of a "classic" feel to it, including a superior binding, which will likely appeal to a certain group of Catholics, I do find the Saint Benedict Press edition, particular in this format, has a more contemporary/up-to-date look and feel to it.  I mentioned once in a post, which I couldn't find, that I think one thing that would increase the popularity of the older Douay-Rheims was to be able to find it in a more "hip" binding and presentation.  If you ever go to a Christian book store and look at all the KJV offerings, you will know what I am talking about.  There are KJV youth Bibles, study Bibles, and other themed Bibles that come in all kinds of different formats, many of which are appealing to youth and young adults.  The Douay-Rheims, like many Catholic translations, doesn't have the variety that it deserves.

The SBP edition, however, goes a long way in providing the traditionally-minded Catholic an edition of the Douay-Rheims that doesn't look like it has been transported from the early 20th century.  Along with the editions that come in genuine leather and paperback, as well as large print editions, this premium ultra-soft version includes:

The standard cross-references and annotations as found in most Douay-Rheims (Challoner) edition, the words of Christ in red, updated full color New Testament maps, beautiful pictures depicting the life of Christ., family record and Presentation pages, an historical index, an index to important Catholic apologetic verses, the Mass readings according to the Extraordinary Form, a section of "Beloved Prayers", and a list of the Popes through Benedict XVI.  

So, as you can see, this medium sized Bible is packed with Bible aids and devotional materials.

Even with all that is included, I believe the best feature of this Bible is its overall feel and readability.  I love the premium ultra-soft cover, which is wonderful to hold and read from.  I actually prefer it to the genuine leather editions which SBP produces.  And again, this style of cover, with its blind imprinting, gives the Bible an overall contemporary look and feel to it.  The readability of the text is also quite good as well.  The print on my edition is very dark, including the words of Christ in red, compared to most other Bibles I own.  It is actually quite striking.  They even left a good inch of space in the margins and at the bottom of each page for personal note taking.  

In future editions, I would like to see the inclusion of a few Old Testament Bible maps to compliment the New Testament ones.  Also, it would be great to see the Douay-Rheims in a single-column page format, much like the Knox Bible from Baronius Press.  Overall, however, this is a fun Bible that I think would be perfect for someone who desires the traditional text in a contemporary format.  

If you are considering purchasing from Saint Benedict Press, if you follow the link below your humble blogger will receive a small percentage of the sale. Grazie!
Saint Benedict Press - The Source for Catholic Bibles

Thank you to Saint Benedict Press from providing me a review copy


Theophrastus said...

This is the 2009 edition, right?

For Douay-Rheims Bibles, I think that the most pressing issue is to produce a paragraph version -- a single column version without paragraph formatting would, I think, simply be awkward.

I do agree with you that synthetic covers can often be better than leather covers.

ThisVivian said...

I agree wholeheartedly. It's one of the reasons I prefer a KJV for reading - the cover might not look like it escaped the TARDIS in 1899, but the text setting sure does. (The lack of goatskin is nothing compared to the lack of readable formatting.)

They need to do a "Clarion DRC" - 80k cross-references, single-column paragraphed, black-text setting with superscripted, small verse numbers.

Anything that is formatted like a dictionary - less than a sentence per paragraph, with numbers intruding at the start of every line, and carriage-returns at the end - is a pain to read; this is doubly true when reading archaic English (although the DRC is notably less archaic than the KJV).

Not to mention all of the other ill effects - from the perspective of a reader who wishes to read the Word written - of the "classic" setting.

Jim said...

I may be looking in an incorrect link, as I am unable to find the medium size Douay-Rheims at the St. Benedict Press site. Might a link be provided to the page where the Bible is for sale?

Thank you!

Jim said...

I believe I may be looking incorrectly, but I am unable to find a listing for the medium size Douay-Rheims on the St. Benedict Press site. Might a link be provided to the page where it is listed for sale?

Thank you.

Timothy said...

How about this:

Deep South Reader said...

CJA Mayo "TARDIS" reference. Awesome.