Thomas Nelson Catholic Bible Press has released details and product listings for a large print NABRE (New American Bible Revised Edition) which is due to be published on October 6th. Their 2020 catalog (available here) shows that the new edition will feature the same “Leathersoft (R)” imitation leather cover as their NRSV-CE editions (one of the best imitation leathers I’ve seen), and it will be available in two colors: black and brown. This edition will feature all the normal NABRE introductions, notes, and cross-references. Some other notable details:

  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • 11-point font size
  • Double-column text layout
  • Two ribbon markers
  • Gold-gilded page edges
  • A newly-designed font called “Catholic Comfort Print (R)”

The product listings for these editions are already live on Amazon (black and brown) and ChristianBook (black and brown). The catalog listing indicates that this bible will measure 6 3/16 X 9 3/16 inches. This is a bit smaller than the Oxford Large Print NABRE (which measures approximately 6 3/8 X 9 1/2 inches in the genuine leather edition). The Oxford edition advertises 12-point type, but it is plagued by moderate ghosting and no line-matching.

I have high hopes for this edition. The NRSV-CE personal edition from Catholic Bible Press is excellent. If they produce a similar level of quality in this NABRE, it will be an exciting achievement. And with a pre-order price of $39.99 from ChristianBook, I expect it will deliver plenty of quality to match the price.

14 thoughts on “Coming in October: Large Print NABRE from Thomas Nelson Catholic Bible Press”

  1. I agree. I was really hoping they would make a NABRE in the same form factor as the NRSV-CE personal edition. That bible is a perfect size for me. Very portable.

  2. One of the reasons for the NABRE large-print by TNC is that the Catholic Publishing Company, which used to be the main publisher of the giant-print Saint Joseph Edition of the New American Bible has stopped printing and stopped selling these types of Bibles. This has left a vacuum that needs to be filled.

    Catholic Publishing has instead reserved its giant-print Saint Joseph Edition exclusively for its New Catholic Bible translation.

    While the Saint Joseph Editions may not be pretty, as giant-print Bibles they are excellent and probably one of the best of the kind, in practical terms, when it comes to providing a Bible for the visually impaired. So it is sad to see that they have abandoned the work of producing the official American Catholic Bible for those who need a giant-print edition in favor for a translation which has no liturgical territory (even the NRSV has Canada).

    On the other hand, the TNC font is beautiful. So it is a wonderful thing that those with visual needs can once again purchase a NABRE that will be not only functional but typographically pleasing–something which many have argued is not the case with the Saint Joseph Editions.

    Personally, I am puzzled as to why this has occurred. One has to look in used book stores for the giant-sized edition. It disappeared without fanfare. Perhaps this is a portent that Catholic Publishing will not be involved with the upcoming NABLE. With the USCCB now printing Bibles, perhaps Catholic Publishing lost future contracts that TNC will fill? I don’t know. Even if that is not the case, deciding to print an off-brand Bible in place of the NABRE when it comes to its Giant Size Saint Joseph Edition will not win Catholic Publishing any future agreements…Of course, what do I know?

    1. Carl, your commentary raises issues I hadn’t considered before. Up till now I hadn’t thought that NCB translation as a straight up replacement for the NAB, but since you raise the issue, maybe….

      I wonder though, can we be sure that Catholic Publishing was the driving force behind this decision? I have heard that the USCCB has always wanted the NAB to be a more mainstream translation, hence not including the word “Catholic” in it’s name. Plus, I’ve always found that the most distinctively “Catholic” elements in the St. Joseph additions always seem to be from additions made by Catholic Publishing itself (as in: lists of Popes, traditional Catholic Prayers index, copies of papal encyclicals or Vatican II documents etc…)

      The base NAB text itself has always struck me as almost aggressively non-sectarian. I used to be upset by this, but I’ve recently started to use the NABRE as my base text in a Bible study I’ve been doing with the aid of the Verbum bible study software and I’ve begun to really appreciate the virtues of this approach.

      But what if Catholic Publishing expressed a desire to continue the practice of adding these devotional aspects to future editions and versions of NABRE (or NABLE?) and were told they would not be permitted to? Or perhaps those approvals were kept “pending” for longer then they would have liked and so they started to explore the concept of an in house translation so as to side step the issue.

      I wonder all this because it seems to me that in the world of Bible Publishing, Catholic Publishing has got to be microscopic. I mean, I bet Crossway spends more on their annual office Christmas party than Catholic Publishing’s annual operating budget. So it stands to reason to me that they’d have very little reason to take on the very onerous task of commissioning their own translation unless they had a very good reason to.

      I have a NCB New Testament & Psalms single column. I’ve enjoyed reading it so far, the translation seems smooth, if perhaps a bit forgettable, but I get the sense all throughout it that it feels very much like the bible Catholic Publishing has always wanted to make, from the notes, which have thus far struck me as very orthodox and aimed more at spiritual edification than the NAB’s focus on textual criticism, to the choices made in the translation itself, as in using “Hail full of grace,” instead of “Hail highly favored one.” It was especially surprised, and charmed, that they included the sacral english of the text of the “Our Father,” when it appears, even though the rest of the text does not use thees or thous. It’s just such a neat and quirky translation, I’m glad it exists, whatever the reason.

      As I said above though, I used to be a NAB hater, but after spending more time with it, I’ve come to appreciate it’s qualities as well. And I certainly hope that the upcoming NABLE is everything the Bishops are saying they want it to be. But it strikes me that perhaps the USCCB and Catholic Publishing are perhaps at cross purposes, with the USCCB wanting the NAB to have a place among the more mainstream American Bible translations of the publishing world, which I think is a laudable goal, and Catholic Publishing wishing to provide a more distinctly Catholic Bible reading experience. I think there’s room for both approaches and I hope both succeed in what I presume their aims to be.

      1. The legislation of the Catholic Church based on Liturgiam Authenticam (LA) expects bishops to have legal control of liturgical texts wherever this is possible. This was the one of main driving forces behind the creation of The Abbey Psalms and Canticles since the copyright to the Revised Grail Psalms was held by GIA.

        While I cannot speak to your claim that the USCCB ever wanted to make a translation that was marketable outside the Catholic world, I do know that this is not the current focus. The USCCB is following LA in creating a Liturgical Edition and encouraging American Catholics to use the NAB now and once the NABLE is available so that Catholics can apply themselves to memorization of Scripture. LA advances the ideal of one Bible translation for each territory of language group, excepting the local bishop conference to have copyright control where possible to facilitate this.

        The title “New American” in the NABRE refers to modern language usage, such as a “new American” dictionary. It isn’t an attempt to hide the fact that it is Catholic.

        As for the change in the Catholic Publishing Co. , I cannot say for sure. But if anyone is making a commercial product, it is not the USCCB. They are merely following Church direction. This direction is mentioned on page xii of The Abbey Psalms and Canticles.

          1. The Catholic Book Publishing Co.’s “New Catholic Version” which was available as a Psalter and then later as a New Testament, is now available as an entire Bible translation known as the “New Catholic Bible” or NCB for short.

  3. will this NABRE Bible, coming in October, have an updated New Testament? The Old Testament was updated some time ago, but not the New.

    1. No, this bible will feature the same New Testament that currently exists in other editions of the NABRE. The USCCB is currently working on updating the New Testament translation, but the finished product will not be available until at least 2025, according to current estimates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.