Catholic Book Publishing Corporation (CBPC) has now released a wide variety of personal size editions of the New Catholic Bible (NCB). The entire NCB lineup is visible on their website here. There is a simple hardcover, several colors of dura-lux imitation leather, and a couple of bonded leather options. The product descriptions indicate that all personal-size editions measure 5 1/2 X 8 1/8 inches, and all of them are red-letter editions (where the words of Jesus are printed in red). Here is a PDF sample of the pages and text layout. The notes are printed as footnotes at the bottom of the page, unlike the giant print edition, where the notes are at the end of each book. As always, the new bibles include the color illustrations and supplementary material which are well-known features of Catholic Book’s bibles.

21 thoughts on “Personal Size NCB Editions Now Available”

    1. I concur. I can usually see pros and cons to editorial decisions but red lettering just drives me bananas.
      That said, I thumbed through an NCB NT in a local Catholic bookstore and I was intrigued so I’ll probably end up with a copy now that the whole Bible is available in a reasonable size, though the name will probably scandalize my fellow Orthodox 😛

    2. I love red lettering, though I understand why others would prefer not to use a Bible with it.

      I do, however, wonder if I am odd in that I don’t like asterisks in the text alerting to footnotes. (I understand they can be useful obviously, but personally I find them distracting when I am reading the text, even if I knew I agreed completely with the contents of the footnotes. But it is much more the case when I know I disagree with a lot of the footnotes, such as with the footnotes in the NABRE, for instance. While definitely to a far lesser extent, the same is true even with the New Catholic Bible at times. That is one of the reasons why, as much as I like the New Catholic Bible in many respects, I find myself preferring to use the ESV-CE.)

      1. I also find asterisks (and other footnote markings like crosses, daggers, etc) distracting. I like the layout of the New Oxford Annotated Bible (NOAB) because it doesn’t have any footnote markers. I have a very stormy relationship with the notes in that Bible, though. Sometimes they are very informative, other times they are maddeningly inane; sometimes they are refreshingly humble in explaining that scholars don’t know the answer, other times they seem excessively skeptical.

        Other bibles with a similar approach (not flagging footnotes with asterisks in the text) are the Oxford Study Bible (REB), Fr. Nicholas King’s New Testament (which alternates biblical text with commentary paragraphs) and the CEB Study Bible.

        1. Thanks for letting me know about some Bibles without such markings. I think if it wasn’t for the footnote markings, I wouldn’t even mind the NABRE so much (despite my not liking the notes that much), because it would be much easier to ignore them altogether if I wanted to.

          1. Good point. I also find the notes less distracting in the NABRE editions that print the notes at the end of each book. The asterisks are still in the text, but when it requires flipping to the back of the book to find the note, I find it easier to ignore the asterisks and keep reading. The new large print NABRE from Catholic Bible Press is my favorite edition with the endnote layout:


            I personally like the notes in the NABRE, but I completely identify with the distracting nature of the note marks. I often grab a note-free copy of the NRSV or the REB when I want to read long stretches of the biblical text. If I’m constantly stopping to read footnotes, it really breaks up the flow of reading.

      2. Footnotes in page have a venerable history. Both the original KJV and Douay-Rheim have a fairly formidable amount of notes, for the fairly obviously reason that the respective editors did not want wrongthink or heresy to take root in the minds of readers of these vernacular texts. This great armour of partisan notes disappeared with later editions of both, although the Haydock Douay Rheim did continue that tradition, and Loreto Press have reprinted a US version (a version I have, has some small issues, but that might’ve been fixed). In page notes are, for me, not bad, provided they try to tell me something I would not know, like how the Hebrew or Greek is unclear.

        1. Don’t get me wrong; I often love footnotes themselves, such as in the Haydock Bible (which I also have!) or the Ignatius Study Bible. I simply don’t like the footnote markers in the text itself, as it breaks up my flow of reading. This is all the more so when (as is the case with the NABRE) I am purposely trying to ignore the footnotes since I know there I will disagree with a lot of them, and my frustrations with the notes make it difficult for me to profit spiritually from reading God’s word, as the notes distract (and often upset) me so much. Needless to say, with the footnote markers as a reminder of the notes I am trying to ignore, that doesn’t help. lol.

          I realize that there are Bible apps in which you can turn off the notes altogether, but I prefer having a print edition without such markers as well.

  1. Could someone explain what “St. Joseph Edition” means? I’ve been wondering this for years and have never found an answer.

    1. Catholic Book Publishing Corporation’s St. Joseph Edition bibles (regardless of the translation that they use, be it NABRE or NCB, etc.) tend to include extra features like these:

      Decorative Presentation Page
      Beautifully Illustrated Family Record Section
      Rosary and Stations of the Cross in Full Color
      Printed End Papers
      8 Full-Color Maps
      Miracles and Parables of Jesus
      Over 80 Full-Color Illustrations
      Discovering Your Bible
      Old and New Testament Timelines
      Key Ideas in the Bible
      Lavish Panoramic Illustrations

      And other features like these:

      Words of Christ in Red
      Learning about Your Bible Section
      30 Self-Explaining Maps in Context
      The Bible and Catholic Life
      Over 100 Photographs, Illustrations, Charts, and Maps of the Holy Land
      Doctrinal Bible Index
      Bible Dictionary
      The Sunday Gospels

      In other words, they are not “barebone” Bibles that only include the text of the translation and not much else (like the current crop of Augustine Institutes’ ESV-CE Bibles).

  2. Ah, so is there a link between St. Joseph (the person) and the extra content, or did they simply choose the name of St. Joseph out of thin air as a marketing label? It doesn’t appear that CBPC publishes non-St. Joseph Edition Bibles, so does “St. Joseph Edition” = CBPC? By using the word “Edition” it leads me to believe you can get it with or without the extra content, by buying the non-St. Joseph Edition from CBPC instead. I feel like I’m missing something here.

    1. Some of their Saint Joseph Editions contain a dedication to
      “Saint Joseph
      Patron of the Universal Church”

  3. “The St. Joseph Edition is an editorial system developed over a span of fifty years. It consists in a series of features intended to ensure that a text is user friendly, leading to greater readability and easier understanding. Like large readable type, additional headings or titles. General introductions and cross references.”

    The above copied from St Joseph New Catholic Version/New Catholic Bible book of Psalms.
    Peter T above has also listed many features found in the St Joseph Editions of their Bibles as well as Sunday Mussels.

    1. Why wait for Sunday?
      I would really enjoy mussels any day of the week served in a nice white wine sauce. 😉

  4. Does anybody know the font size of personal version? I did not see it in specs

    Thanks really appreciate this website

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