In a surprise announcement, The Augustine Institute (the parent organization behind the FORMED online Catholic resource library) has announced the imminent release of The Augustine Bible — a newly-printed edition of the English Standard Version — Catholic Edition which will be available in the United States! The expected release date is Tuesday, December 10th — 2.5 weeks from now. The bible is featured on the Augustine Institute’s brand new store website:

The bible is advertised as a smyth-sewn paperback with an anti-scuff matte lamination and foil stamping. It will come with a hard slip case and eight pages of color maps. The publication price will be $49.95. Currently, is offering a 20% off coupon using the promo code “LAUNCH” to celebrate the grand opening of the site. Here is a link to the promotional advertisement on the Facebook page.

23 thoughts on “Coming Soon: ESV-CE from the Augustine Institute”

    1. So far, I have no additional information than what the Augustine Institute lists on their product page. I hope to be learning more soon.

    1. It seems very strange to me. I think Cambridge has offered sewn paperbacks in the past. If I remember right, those bindings were called “perfect” bindings. Perhaps a reader can correct me if I’m mis-remembering the details.

  1. Oh come on! I’m just getting my ESV:CE from ATC back from the rebinder because I was sure a US edition of the ESV:CE wasn’t coming anytime soon and then I log in and see this!

    Though, I am glad that the US Church will finally have easy access to the translation.

    1. Hi Ronny,

      I’m looking to purchase an ESV-CE from ATC, but I’ve heard nightmares issues with shipping the item or payment problems. Do you have any advice? Thanks!


  2. Hello Bible Catholic,

    Just found your site; well done! I sent the following to Augustine Institute regarding the Augustine Bible and they had no answer for me–do you have any info..
    “Please tell me more about the Augustine Bible. What is the font size? Will there be a leather edition? Who translated the Deuterocanonical books? Explain why a paperback is $50, when most bonded or genuine leather Bibles sell in that price range.”
    On another note, is there a Catholic Publisher who has the wherewithal to publish premium Catholic Bibles? Or at least work with someone who can? I purchased a Schuyler made Bible from Evangelical Bible in Richmond, VA and would love to see that quality craftsmanship and premium leather in a Catholic Bible. Zondervan and Thomas Nelson Publishers have recently entered the premium Bible market, while Crossway has been doing it for a longer time. Thank you and early Advent blessings!
    Thank you.

    Thank you

    1. I don’t have any additional information on the font size or whether the Augustine Institute plans to print a leather edition. I was blindsided by the announcement for this bible, because I had not heard any rumors that an ESV-CE would be printed for the US market. I’ve also reached out to the Augustine Institute, and I hope they will share additional information as we move forward.

      It’s frustrating that most Catholic publishers do not offer premium bibles. There are a variety of Catholic Bibles that have some good features, but the only truly premium editions on the market for Catholics have been printed by publishing houses that traditionally print protestant bibles: Cambridge University Press printed their NRSV reference bible with Apocrypha in premium goatskin last year, and RL Allan printed an NRSV with Apocrypha earlier this year. Aside from those two options, many Catholics who long for a premium bible purchase a good text block and send it to a rebinder to cover it in premium leather.

  3. A sewn paperback in a cardboard box. Wow. Evidence this publisher doesn’t read online chat about the kind of stuff people are wanting. Even a plain hardcover would have been much better.

  4. Protestant Bible publishers: Here’s a smyth-sewn calfskin Bible for $40. We hope this allows you to enjoy God’s Word in a premium format.

    Catholic Bible publishers: What, you didn’t like our $70 bonded leather bible with a glued binding? Well fine then, here’s a $50 laminated paperback ya little whiners

  5. In fairness the problem maybe more than the publisher Ctossway is extremely restrictive with us license as a fact which Oxford University press complained about.

  6. Again, I still don’t see the attraction to the ESV. Yes, I own the recent ESV w/Apocrypha that I reviewed here and found it to be a nice edition. It’s serviceable and affordable, not like this $50 paperback. There must be more to it to justify the price, right? Can’t possibly be a text edition that is sewn for that price. Even if it did come with some supplements, think about how much you could pay for a paperback Oxford NABRE or NRSV study Bible for half the price, and with a ton more study helps.

    But, what is the attraction of the ESV for Catholic readers? That must be the reason for the high price. I have read the ESV and I still don’t see what makes it superior to the original RSV (or 2CE if you want the archaic language removed) or the NRSV. Both, in my mind, remain superior. Is it a desire to have and use a translation that Evangelicals utilize?

  7. The appeal of the ESV is that it’s not politically correct it’s not liberal and it doesn’t try to dechristianize the Old Testament all of which are problems with both the RSV and especially the NRSV.

    The reason for the wide popularity of the NRSV in academia is due to the fact that is ecumenical in the sense that it shows very little influence of Christianity in the Old Testament.

    It is not a mere coincidence that the editor of the NRSV Old Testament
    was Harry Orlinsky who is also the editor of the New Jewish Publication Society translation of 1985 and many of the renderings from that translation we’re carried over wholesale into the NRSV.

    While there may be some value to academics in the Bible which removes any possible Christian interpretation from the Old Testament this should not be the primary Bible for any Christian.

  8. The ESV filled a need for Protestants for a formal but more readable translation than the NASB. It took the RSV and simplified the language and used some alternate translation choices, most notoriously Isaiah 7:14. It was a big hit, I had one of the first copies when I was a Protestant back in 2001.

    When I became interested in the Catholic Faith the first Bible I discovered was the RSV-2CE thanks to a parish Bible study that used the Ignatius Study Bible. Now, 10 years later, we have had an unbroken run of weekly studies with the RSV-2CE, thanks to the Ignatius Bible Study guides, Didache Bible, and the Great Adventure Bible Study. I have multiple editions of the original RSV-CE, and like to use them for personal prayer and devotions, but the RSV-2CE is better for group study. It is essentially the ESV for Catholics. I got the ESV-CE from India hoping for more extensive changes to make it more in line with Liturgiam Authenticam as was done with the RSV-CE, but I was disappointed in that regard. I have yet to get any of my RSVs rebound, but maybe one day. I really like a solid hardcover book.

  9. I have a ESV from crossways that is very portable. I guess besides the deutorcanonical books, what is the impetus for me to purchase? Also I have the RSV-CE2 so both are relatively light edits of the original RSV. Unless I hear of some substantive translation choices, I will pass for now.

  10. I own a Crossway premium leather edition of the ESV, and like the translation very much, but like Timothy brought up, wonder why the preference for it over the RSV-CE 2nd edition. I had my RSV-CE #2 rebound in goatskin leather by Leonard’s a while back— it’s beautiful— and suits me well.

    I think that there’s simply not as much of a market for premium bound bibles in the Catholic market. Fewer sales means they have to sell at higher prices, I suspect. ($50 for a paperback edition, even if it is signature sewn, is ridiculous at any rate.)

    Our Protestant brothers and sisters are more likely, in my opinion, to put out serious cash for a beautiful edition of the Bible (though I suspect that market’s demand is probably shrinking, too, given Kindle editions and a market that’s less concerned with book quality). So publishers can make premium bibles with the confidence they’ll actually be bought.

  11. I bought the Anglican Liturgy Press edition with the Apocrypha (their words not mine). So I won’t be buying this one. I would have preferred a Catholic edition, but it is a fairly good edition except that the paper looks cheap, but it wasn’t expensive.

    I keep it at my desk because it is smaller than the NRSV annotated version and I dislike the Nabre version that I have (thin paper that is almost see through).

  12. It is not, by and large, true that the RSV CE 2 fixes the problems of the RSV. Even in the RSV CE2, the vast majority of the Messianic passages in the OT are still translated in such a way as to obscure a Christian interpretation. Is 7:14 is merely the most widely known RSV attempt to dechristianize the OT, it is not actually the worst or most glaring.

  13. My opinion of the NKJV is largely negative. It is written in a very bizarre way, the 17th century text remains largely in place,
    however, at random moments, there is the introduction of a late 20th century English.
    Thus, it can truthfully be said they is written in a style of English that has never existed in history.

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