When Ascension Press released the Great Adventure Catholic Bible in 2018, I ordered a copy from the first printing. My original First Look review is here. Subsequently, I requested and received a replacement Bible from Ascension press because the original copy had a split binding. At the time, an Ascension customer service representative assured me that the binding is both sewn and glued, but both the original copy and the replacement copy I received featured a glued binding. Here is an update post I wrote showing the glued binding on the replacement Bible.

A reader recently wrote asking if the binding has changed on any subsequent printings. I’ve seen comments suggesting that recent printings have featured a sewn binding, and the product description on the Ascension Press website very explicitly claims a sewn binding:

Binding that is sewn and glued for extra durability. Groups of folded pages (referred to as signatures) are stitched together using binder thread. The individual signatures are bound and sewn, and then glued together to create a high quality Bible that will last for years

Product Description from Ascension Press

This year, Fr. Mike Schmitz from Ascension Press is recording a “Bible in a Year” using the RSV-2CE and the Great Adventure Bible Timeline, so there has been renewed interest in the Great Adventure Catholic Bible. If any readers have purchased the Great Adventure Bible recently, could you provide feedback on whether the binding is sewn?

13 thoughts on “Does the Great Adventure Catholic Bible Now Have a Sewn Binding?”

  1. That Bible is sold out until Summer. Father Mike should get royalties. Copy: “ Temporarily out of stock due to extremely high demand. More on the way! Please note that these Bibles are not expected to ship until early May. ”

    1. Thanks Taylor! This makes me strongly suspect that the binding is still glued. I received a glued copy as a replacement in January 2019, and you received a glued copy in summer of 2020. Ascension Press was already marketing the GAB as “sewn and glued” in 2019. My guess is that the printing process has not changed. I’m puzzled about why they continue marketing the bible as sewn. Their description of the “sewn and glued” process is the way many modern sewn bindings are produced. But there are no folded signatures in either copy I received, contrary to the description they provided.

  2. If the binding is sewn, I think I might purchase. I bought the Ignatius Press version around 2007ish, so it is getting up in age and a bit worn.

  3. I have one and it seems glued. It looks a bit like there might be signatures, but its hard to tell as the area certainly has a gob of glue.

    This edition of the Bible is definitely way more helpful than I would have previously guessed. I use it with the Confirmation class I teach. I never took it seriously, thinking it was basically a couple glossy inserts and a weird embossed compass on the cover, and that was it, but I am quite wrong.

    It is a wonderful introduction to salvation history. I have definitely made some connections I would not have otherwise made reading this edition.

  4. I recently re-bought the Great Adventure Bible after some of the pages in my old printing (c. 2020) started falling out. The new Bibles have a totally different binding, and they look to be glued and sewn. The signatures are easily visible (which wasn’t the case in the earlier printings), the Bible stays open far more easily and has that “floppy” feel, and you can see where it’s sewn (I think) when you open it wide enough. I can’t stand the off-white pages of the Ignatius RSV-2CE, but I was apprehensive about rebuying the GACB until I saw the new printings. I’m VERY happy with the purchase.

    1. Thanks for sharing this info! Multiple readers have now reported that the binding is in fact sewn in the most recent printings. This is great news! The binding was the only thing holding this Bible back from being a top-notch option. Now that it is truly sewn, this Bible can take its place among the best options currently available for Catholics. I’m going to order a new copy and post an updated review on the blog.

    2. Good to hear the binding situation has been totally rectified. The GACB isn’t for me because I personally dislike red-letter Bibles (the red ink is too often printed much too lightly and, even if printed uniformly dark throughout, it can cause unnecessary eye strain vs. black-letter throughout), and between the standard Ignatius RSV-2CE—whose cream-colored pages I actually prefer to white because they then fit in with my other, quite older Bibles with aged paper—and the Didache Study Bible with its footnotes and essays, I tend to feel I have my bases covered when it comes to RSV-2CEs. Nevertheless, for newcomers to the faith, I can now comfortably direct them to the current printing of the GACB to go along with Fr. Schmitz’s podcast. I really don’t want to tacitly encourage glued Bible bindings, neither for publishers to keep doing them nor for newcomers to Bibles to accept them as a norm, and thankfully now I won’t have to in this case.

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