Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Review: New American Bible Revised Edition

On Ash Wednesday of this year the revised edition of the New American Bible translation was released.  This edition is the first major update to the NAB in twenty years.  The New Testament portion of the NABRE is exactly the same as the NAB, the changes have been made to the Old Testament.  In addition to the updated language of the Old Testament, this translation also includes a complete revision of the Psalter.  This translation of the Bible is intended for private use and study.  The lectionary does not use this translation for Mass.

As with any approved translation of the Bible, it's really a matter of personal preference when it comes to which translation you like.  If you're like me and you prefer the updated language of the NAB, you'll likely also like the NABRE version.  For comparison purposes, you can check out the difference in language between the NAB and NABRE translations of Isaiah 9:1-2

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, As they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing; They rejoice before you as people rejoice at harvest, as they exult when dividing the spoils.

The changes in language as slight, but it gives you an idea of what you can expect to find in the NABRE translation.  I personally had no issues with the old translation and I really can't say that I prefer one translation of the Old Testament over the other.

Now that I've covered the translation itself, I can shift focus to this particular Bible.  This New American Bible Revised Edition Black Ultrasoft NABRE is actually quite nice.  The faux leather cover feels nice in your hand. The pages have a gold tone gilded edges.  Because of the gilded edges, the corners of the pages curl upwards a bit when the Bible is set on a table in an opened position.  It's not really a big deal and considering the pages are very thin, I think you would have a hard time turning the pages without the gilded edges. Since the pages are so thin, you can see a shadow of the text that is on the back of the page.  The font is small, but it isn't so tiny that you can't read it easily.  The font for the notes, however, is considerably smaller so those who find it hard to read very fine print may not appreciate the size of the font. In this Bible, you will find the words of Christ in red, although it looks more like a maroon to me.

For more information on this New American Bible Revised Edition Black Ultrasoft NABRE please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.  

I wrote this review of the New American Bible Revised Edition Black Ultrasoft NABRE for the Tiber River Blogger Review program created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic store online.  I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


  1. thanks for the review, Karen. i was curious what the differences were. I too use the NAB bible, and love it.

  2. Gardenia, Overall, the language in the Old Testament and Psalter has been updated. Words like holocaust are now replaced as burnt offering because of how we use the word holocaust today. The difference in going from NAB to NABRE is slight as opposed to going from Douay Rheims to NAB or NABRE where the differences in style are like night and day. As someone who was raised on the KJV version, it took a while for me to get used to the modern language of the NAB after I converted.


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