Every once in a while over the past several years, I’ve paused to consider buying the pocket New Testament and Psalms by Cambridge University Press. The long and thin form factor is unique, and I expected the imitation leather to be good quality, judging from past experience with their imitation leather REB.

I finally made the purchase a few weeks ago, and have spent time reading from it and taking it from place to place. The narrow design makes this easier to fit in a normal men’s pocket (in slacks or jeans) compared to my Cambridge REB New Testament. The overall size and shape is similar to the largest smartphones currently on the market. Here is a comparison photo with my old Samsung Galaxy S8+ for comparison:

Left: Samsung Galaxy S8+. Right: Cambridge NRSV Slimline New Testament and Psalms.

Overall, I’d say the quality of the book is good but not amazing. It has a sewn binding, one basic red ribbon marker, average-quality gold gilding on the page edges, and a decent imitation leather (similar to most other imitation leather on the market nowadays). Many of the page edges were stuck together due to the gilding when I first received it, so I took the time to turn each page and separate the pages for easier reading in the future.

Not surprisingly, the font size is very small. The front matter says that the biblical text is typeset in 7.25-point font. This is noticeably smaller than the 8-point font in my Cambridge REB New Testament. It is not for the faint of heart! If you have any trouble reading small font, this Slimline NRSV is not for you. My eyes are still young enough to not struggle with small font, and I can read the text with no serious problems. But I found myself wanting to pull a Bible with bigger font off the shelf rather than reading from this edition when I was at home.

The margins are incredibly narrow, with text printed very close to the page edges. The end result is a nice page layout with enough width to allow many lines of the Psalms to stay on a single printed line, rather than being split up and wrapped onto a second line. There is enough space between lines to not feel overly cramped either.

As the above image shows, there is some ghosting of text from nearby pages. The printing is not perfectly line-matched. Some pages appear to be line-matched, but others are not. Overall, I would call the ghosting average. It is much better than the Pauline NABRE New Testament and Psalms which I reviewed last year, but definitely noticeable. I wouldn’t avoid this edition due to the ghosting, but the NCB New Testament editions from Catholic Book Publishing Corp. have more opaque pages than this (I will be reviewing a couple of those editions soon). The NCB editions are also larger, so if portability is your primary concern, this Slimline NRSV is a good overall choice.

Currently, the Cambridge Slimline NRSV New Testament and Psalms is available at Amazon for $22.49 (the same as the price I purchased it for). In my view, that is a reasonable price for what this volume offers. In my view, the full list price of $35 is too steep for the overall average quality of the materials, but a price near $20 seems fair. I would only recommend it if your primary goal is portability.

Thickness comparison. Bottom: Pauline NABRE New Testament and Psalms. Middle: Cambridge Slimline NRSV New Testament and Psalms. Top: Cambridge REB New Testament.

8 thoughts on “Review: Cambridge NRSV New Testament and Psalms (Anglicized)”

  1. Where is the Pauline New Testament and Psalms printed? Iā€™d be interested to know more about this particular version.

    1. Wow! It looks like it might really be happening this year. I was very skeptical at first when I heard (not for the first time) that it was “finished.” But now that they have a dedicated website with previews and a general release window (fall of 2024), it’s looking more likely. This deserves a separate post. I’ll give it one more day to keep the NRSV NT and Psalms review on the top of the homepage for the weekend, and then I’ll put up a new post on Monday for the Ignatius Study Bible.

      1. The writing has been finished for years, the holdup has been the lack of someone to do the editing. Apparently, Ignatius Press got tired of the constant jokes at their expense and decided to finally prioritize getting an editor.

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