Perhaps some of you are familiar with the beautiful publications from Alabaster Co. They have been creating beautifully bound individual volumes of the biblical books for a few years now. Their goal is to “integrate visual imagery and thoughtful design into different texts of the Bible. We’re interested in how imagery changes the way you experience the text. Art allows us to ask questions and reflect in ways we wouldn’t on our own.” I own a copy of their edition of the Psalms (ESV) which is made with quality materials and beautifully curated photos. I have used this edition occasionally for prayer and have had it prominently displayed in my classroom.

Recently. I was very happy to discover that there was a Catholic organization looking to do something similar, with a Catholic edition of the Bible (NABRE). KINDRED is attempting to bring the Bible to Catholics in a more accessible and visibly attractive way. As stated on their website: “Rivers are historically boundary markers. In this case, the boundary maintains the sacredness of a relationship – our relationship with God. Over time we have allowed various things of lesser importance to infringe upon our devotion to God. God’s calling to move the river is a calling to resist the encroachment and reclaim His rightful place in our daily life. It is a call to action for daily prayer, reflection, and discernment. The mission of KINDRED is to recover God’s territory and His place in our society, community, family, and personal life through inspired Christian living. We believe this begins with the Word of God. KINDRED exists to make the Word of God accessible.” I found that description intriguing so I ordered a copy of one of their first editions.

A week later I received KINDRED’s edition of The Gospel of Mark. The images on each page are beautifully rendered on glossy paper. The text is the NABRE, including the notes and book introduction. The marriage of sacred text to image is designed to preserve and portray “each scriptural lesson in a manner that fosters prayer and reflection. Prayer and meditation help us understand how to apply the wisdom of God’s teaching in our daily life.” From my time with KINDRED’s Gospel of Mark, I think they succeed in doing this. If you are looking for a new way to read the Gospel of Mark this year, particularly since it is Year B in the Lectionary calendar, this might be worth checking out.

Specifications: 206 Pages, Softcover, A4 Size (8.25”x11.75”), Perfect Bound, Full Color, Printed on Heavy Stock Gloss Paper, Large 10pt Type Size, Premium Finish. Cost: $19.99.

11 thoughts on “KINDRED: Gospel of Mark”

    1. As I was looking at this volume I couldn’t help but think how needed resources like this are. New ways of reading the text outside of our standard word-crammed two column bible editions. I also thought about how great it would be to have something like this displayed in a parish during Word of God Sunday.

    2. Honestly, my first thought was “Is this related to Word on Fire at all?” Very similar concept to the WoF Bible(s). This one looks quite impressive, though I think making the verse numbers so bold was a step in the wrong direction.

      1. The verse numbers stood out to me too. Overall, I love this idea. I’m so glad to see a Catholic publisher run with a similar concept to the Alabaster Bible. Since the whole idea is to help readers engage with the text and spur meditation and Lectio Divina, I would think making the verse numbers far less prominent would move further toward that goal.

        1. Agree with both of you. I wonder if the reason is due to the fact that they likely were required to include the NAB notes. Without verses, they would be tough to use.

  1. I’m also glad to see a Catholic publisher attempting a project like this. That being said, I also sense a very strong similarity to the WOF Bible project, and already having their Gospel collection, I don’t see why I would get this. Perhaps a good product for those who might not already have the WOF Bible, but given the apparent sales numbers of WOF, I might wonder if their target market isn’t already saturated. I think they may have just been beaten to the punch.

  2. If they intend to publish the entire Bible like this it could get pretty expensive, 73 volumes $50-$100 a pop? Only libraries could afford that.

    The only multiple volume Bible I would like to buy are the full 120 volumes of the Anchor Bible, which offers not only a brand new translation of every book, but a full commentary. Not that I could afford that either, or have the time to read it even if I could.

  3. It appears there is a trend toward high-priced, incomplete Catholic Bibles. As an example, Bishop Barron’s Bible will be close to four hundred dollars, complete.

    I’ve seen the Alabaster editions and the focus seems to be on an art perspective (minimalism), with an art gallery price ($70 for a hardcover edition of the Psalms).

    The Kindred edition seems to be a semi-minimalistic update to the youth-oriented Bibles of the 1970s (I thought of the Living Bible).
    As noted in other posts, it’s laudatory that publishers are teaching into areas where non-Catholic editions have (or are) gone, yet the cost is rather prohibitive. For the four Gospels, in a softcover edition, the cost will be $89.96 (sans shipping and tax).

  4. I wanted to like this, but the more or less random (though pretty) nature pictures strike me as rather kitschy.

  5. I found this review on Kindred’s website. I found Kindred because I was looking for Lectio Divina passages this morning Kindred’s site has a lovely explanation of how to practice Lectio Divina and these volumes are made to help foster this practice. I’m very excited to have a resource where I don’t have to decide where Lectio begins and ends, something that is inviting to spend time with the page and prayer. One volume should offer hours worth of meditative prayer 🙂

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