Several years ago, Timothy published a thorough review of the Saints Devotional Bible (NABRE) from Our Sunday Visitor Press. I don’t have anything major to add to that review, but I recently was given a copy of this Bible and thought it was worth a quick second look.

Unfortunately, OSV has not released any hardcover or imitation leather bindings for this text block, so the paperback binding is the only option. To me, that nearly disqualifies this Bible from the outset. I strongly dislike paperback bibles because of their lack of durability. As if to illustrate that point, the family member who gave me this Bible to review ordered multiple copies and said every copy arrived with wrinkling on the corner of the front cover.

The glossy insert section with quotes from the saints in the middle of the Bible is another major drawback. It is an odd choice. There is another section of quotes from the saints at the front of the Bible, and those quotes are printed on normal paper. Why not print the quotes in the center section on normal paper also? The only saving grace is that the glossy inserts are limited to a single section. They are not scattered randomly throughout the Bible like they are in Catholic Book Publishing Corporation’s Dura-Lux St. Joseph Edition bibles—a maddeningly abominable arrangement.

All that said, the one major positive about this bible is the page layout. The fonts for both the biblical text and the footnotes are exceptionally clear and easy to read. The spacing between lines is excellent and not overly cramped. The font size for the footnotes is also relatively large and readable. Of the NABRE editions I own, the footnotes in this edition might be the clearest and easiest to read comfortably. Cross references are also very nicely organized in a shaded gray box and preceded by bold verse numbers for easy reference. Ghosting is quite well-controlled. There is some show-through of text from subsequent pages, but it is not a hindrance to reading.

The one complaint I have about the page layout is the relatively narrow columns for the biblical text. Lines of poetry are frequently broken up onto two printed lines.

The MSRP for this edition is $39.95, and it is hard to justify that price for a paperback Bible. Currently at Amazon, it is listed for the full MSRP with no discount. OSV publishes an imitation leather NABRE edition with what appears to be the same page layout and fonts. If anyone has experience with that edition, I’d be interested to read your comments.

4 thoughts on “Quick Look: Saints Devotional Bible (NABRE) from Our Sunday Visitor”

  1. Growing up Presbyterian (OPC), I have fond memories of my large-print, bonded leather NKJV Reference Bible, which was my Bible of youth, had a great text-block, and which is totally torn apart from use. I was very confused to receive a paperback NAB when my family became Catholic in 2004

    I’ve still never found a translation or edition that I like better than that NKJV… I wish we could get one with the LXX canon, like Thomas Nelson did with the KJV.

  2. Any paperback book that I will heavily use I normally cover with clear contact paper. Takes a little time but it’s not too difficult.

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