The new flexible cover edition of the Knox Bible ($59.95) from Baronius Press was published late last year. The previous edition was a bonded leather hardcover, which is now out of stock. I had mine rebound in goatskin almost nine years ago, but I was really excited to get a copy of this edition as well.
This new edition is almost identical to the 2012 edition. The page layout is the same as the 2012 edition, as well as the margins. It is a single-column format with Msgr. Knox’s notes and cross-references at the bottom of the page. The main difference is the flexible cover. According to Baronius: “The flexible cover books are made using leather, hand covered over flexible boards, which are specially designed to flex many times without breaking. The corners are rounded and the edges are then meticulously stitched to create an elegant and durable appearance. “ This makes the flexible cover edition lighter than the hardcover edition. Also, the page corners are rounded. One other minor difference is that flexible edition is being printed in India compared to the hardcover one which was printed in the Philippines.
The flexible cover Knox Bible is another high quality (though not premium) Bible from Baronius Press, as you would expect. It feels similar to the Douay-Rheims editions with the same flexible cover. Just like their earlier hardcover edition, as well as all their other premium books, the flexible cover Knox Bible is smyth sewn, gold gilded, contains two ribbons, head and tail bands, and endpapers. These are the elements which make a Bible a lifelong companion which can be passed on to future generations. While it would be nice to be able to purchase a Knox Bible in some of the premium leather editions we are are seeing from Cambridge and like the Schuyler Quentel RSV, I am sure Msgr. Knox, himself, would be satisfied with this new flexible cover edition.
So, if you never purchased the hardcover Knox Bible from Baronius this might be a good time to do so. As I mentioned above, the hardcover is now out of print. The Knox Bible is still one of my most favorite bibles. My rebound edition has remained with me over these many years. I remain a “fan” of Msgr. Knox, both in his translation of the Bible as well as in his other writings. His Bible translation continues to provide moments of surprise and joy.
(I would like to thank Baronius Press for providing a review copy for my honest review.)
26 thoughts on “Review: New Flexible Cover Knox Bible”
I think I may have had one of the first off the press and I mentioned in a long ago comment from last summer. When I posted it seemed like a fairly “stiff” flexible leather but has since worn nicely (in softness not actual wear).
I’m happy with it still, more so even. The translation remains a joy
Tim in Miami,
Yeah, I get why they offer the rather stiff “flexible” covers as a compliment to the hardcover. But, they aren’t all that flexible, at least at the beginning. Glad to hear that it has worn nicely since your purchase of it.
Where did you get your old one re-bound? What is the cost for that sort of service?
I had it rebound by Leonard’s Book Restoration: https://www.leonardsbooks.com/
It has been almost ten years since I had it rebound, but I believe the total cost was around $150. A lot depends on the type of leather you would want to use.
Leonard’s looks to do some really nice, high-quality work.
Well after six months of agonizing and saving coffee and soda money (I budget myself), I ordered an old Thomas Nelse 1953? Edition of the RSV so I can get a $10 preview before dropping serious Ducati on the Schuyler I want. I’m also going to order the Baronius Press edition of the Knox Bible. I have read enough of it online to know it’s a definite must have. If funds hold out and the Nelson edition proves solid as i suspect, I’ll order the Schuyler, then save to refurbish the Knox in goat skin too.
I am certain you will love both your rebound Knox and the Schuyler.
I forgot to mention that “On Englishing the Bible” is not included with the flexible cover edition.
Tim, do you remember what you rebound your Knox bible in? It looks so nice. Wish we had more premium options for our bibles.
It was rebound in goatskin.
I would say that more options are becoming available. We shall see what Cambridge does with the ESVCE later this year. But, if you are willing to get an edition that isn’t specifically Catholic but includes the apocrypha/deuterocanonicals, the ESV w/apocrypha Diadem looks like it will be great and I highly recommend the RSV from Schuyler. It is probably my favorite Bible. Truly.
Is that sheer Schuyler quality or do you also prefer the RSV to the ESV, Timothy?
For sure, the sheer quality of the Schuyler is superior to any Bible edition I have ever owned. It feels great to hold and read from. The textual layout is the best, period. I haven’t found a space air situation where I have had to adjust my Bible in order to be able to read it. I tend to read in the early morning and at night. Occasionally the Diadem font size is a bit small and I need to adjust my view. (I don’t wear glasses.) That has never been an issue with the Schuyler. The whole production just works and is of the highest quality. The references are solid, the glossary/concordance is rather helpful. The maps are the kind I prefer and are not printed on super glossy paper, hence making them clearly distinct from the rest of the Bible paper.
The translation issue is the one area. I am not 100% sold on the ESV. I am giving it another run through right now. It is certainly better in some areas compared to the RSV. Oftentimes it isn’t something huge. For example, I am leading a study on Lamentations for my parish currently and the ESV provides a better rendering in Lamentations 2:2 “swallowed up” as opposed to “destroyed” in the RSV. In the end, not a huge deal, but a slight improvement here by the ESV, which does it more often than not. (I will say that I still have a few issues with the ESV, most notably it’s lower ecclesiology in a number of its NT renderings, how it translated Gen 3:16, and the way it renders “doulos” in the NT.)
I have to speak up and defend the old 1950s era RSV. 🙂 I really enjoy that translation very much. The Knox version is lovely. Very very lovely.
With regards to the old RSV, how would you say the N.O.A.B. 2nd Edition in leather compares with the Schuyler? Obviously the latter is far more premium and expensive, but is it worth the $150 more than the former?
I assume you mean the NOAB with the expanded RSV. Let me just say up front that I love both of those bibles. The size and print of the NOAB makes it a great study Bible. I find that the larger a study Bible gets, the less useful it becomes for me. I have a lot of commentaries to use so if I needed in-depth exposition of a text, I would always refer to them, instead of a study Bible. Yet the NOAB has just enough to make it useful in a pinch. It gives you the scholarly basics. The essays (thought dated) are still helpful and you have the fine Oxford maps.
The text is, of course, the same between the two.
When I use the Schuyler (which I have right next to me) it is a different type of Bible, yet has enough tools that makes it helpful outside of being a simple reading Bible. For sheer beauty and craftsmanship, the Schuyler RSV is the best there has ever been in the RSV with the apocrypha included. The cross references are better than in the NOAB. The maps are better. And the glossary concordance (which is found in the NRSV Reference Cambridge) I have used quite often. I find it to be incredibly useful.
So, it comes down to what you are willing to pay for. The NOAB is solid and you can get it at a decent price at various locations online. It comes in a rather pedestrian genuine leather but is very readable. If you want some commentary, than the NOAB might be the way to go. The Schuyler will cost you $215. It is made with the best possible materials and if you have never had a premium Bible in your life, you will instantly feel the difference. It’s in a different ballpark. They go out of print fairly quickly, with a number of the options already sold out.
Hope that helps.
Timothy, does the Schuyler RSV have the same expanded Apocrypha that the NOAB does (assuming I’m remembering correctly – I seem to recall the NOAB having Psalm 151, 3 and 4 Maccabees, and maybe one or two other books)? If so, then that makes it very attractive indeed, it’s so hard to find Bibles with those books included.
Yes. It is the full apocrypha as in the NOAB.
I have the hardcover Knox now. The flex cover sound tempting, especially as it softens with time. But I will save my pennies, nickels, and dimes.
Finally going to order my Schuyler RSV with the Apocrypha! Trying to decide if I should get it imprinted or not. I kind of like the idea of having my name on it as investing this much in a Bible is hopefully a lifetime commitment for me. On the other hand, the Catholic argues against against something that weirdly feel like gaudy “desecration” . Is the imprinting nice?
I have some bibles with my name on it while others not. I haven’t done an imprinting with the folks who do the RSV, so I can’t say whether it is good or not. If you are going to make it a lifetime reading bible, I am all for customizing it. Make it yours!
Kinda mad that the hardcover is no longer available. Does the flexible cover stay open? And why would they change it from hardcover to flexible? Why not make 2 kinds? It’s kind of infuriating. lol.
It does lay flat when opened. So you are good to go with that.
As for why not both? I think it is important to remember that Baronius is a small publisher. They don’t have the luxury to publish multiple editions, so they need to have the ones they produce sold before new ones are created. Notice that this flexible edition only came out after they had sold out of the hardcover.
Well I hope they sell out fast and make some hardcovers again someday.
I ended up caving and buying the flexible cover, it’s nice, but I really hope they
do make that hardcover. The ribbons on this thing unravel too easily, good thing
I tied them.
Let me also make a quick update, since as I have been reading my original hardcover Knox I noticed a typo at 2 Timothy 3:15, where the word “learning” was rendered “learnin” in the hardcover. It is noticeable because a footnote is attached to it. Well, that typo has been fixed in the flexible edition. If there are any more I spot, will post here.