• Ignatious_Bible New TestamentBonded Leather: 727 pages ($15 to $20)
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; 2nd edition (April 30, 2006)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898705850
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.4 x 0.8 inches

The most important feature of this (New Testament) Bible is the translation. Ignatius Press used the Revised Standard Version (RSV) – Second Catholic Edition.

The RSV is considered by language experts to be the most faithful translation from the original languages into English. This edition does not use archaic language in references to God (thee, thou, thy, art…). Also this translation does not use gender-inclusive language. The next most important feature is the size of the book. It is very portable. The blue, bonded leather cover is soft, supple and beautiful. The pages are a cream color, but a little thin. This leads to some small but noticeable bleed-through from the printing on the opposite side of the page. Bright lighting makes the bleed-through less noticeable. There are no pictures or drawings in this book. There are very few footnotes, perhaps one or two word translations at the bottom of a typical page.  At the back of the book is a 16 page Appendix of explanatory  notes. The binding includes two long red ribbons for page holding.

Perhaps many people do not read the Bible because they are intimidated by the size of the typical “wedding Bible” that people received when getting married. I measured our “wedding Bible”, it is 12 x 9 and over 2 inches thick. There may be a psychological factor with people thinking that the Bible is so big that I could never finish reading it, so why bother start reading it. This small size book should eliminate that problem.

Another significant point about this specific Bible is the size of the print. The trade off for the small form factor is small type size. While the typeface is small, it is an easy to read “Monotype Plantin”. If you are getting older you may be able to read this with good reading glasses and bright lighting. If you already know that you can not read small font, then this is not the Bible to buy.

Approximately 1/3 of the book is the Psalms, so the New Testament is about 500 small pages to read. If you have been thinking about starting to read the Bible, or you want a different translation than the one you have, Ignatius Press has produced a great small form for the Revised Standard Version. It is worth repeating that this translation is the most important feature of this Bible. If you are wanting a complete Bible with the Revised Standard Version translation, Ignatius Press produces one that is 1100 pages and 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches in size.  Available in paperback, hard cover and bonded leather,  it costs $21 to $32, ISBN-13: 978-0898708332.

Note: The official English language translation used by the Catholic Church in the United States (used for the readings at Mass) is the New American Bible.