Saturday, August 3, 2013

Our Sunday Visitor: The Fathers of the Church Bible

If you follow my blog and books I review, you should know three at least three things about me. I LOVE Bibles, the Fathers of the Church, and Mike Aquilina's books. Therefore, when I heard that there was a Bible being published called The Fathers of the Church Bible and that Mike Aquilina was involved in the project, I knew I had to own a copy! Unfortunately, my excitement quickly faded once it arrived in the mail. Before I get to what I didn't like about the Bible, let me give some basic details about the Bible.

The translation of this Bible is the New American Bible Revised Edition, also known as the NABRE. This is the version you hear proclaimed at every Mass, so you know this is a faithful translation. Like your basic NABRE Bible, you get both the NAB and NABRE introductions. You also get footnotes and cross-references. How is this Bible different then? There are 88 color inserts in the Bible with writings from the Church Fathers on topics such as the Canon, Baptism, Angels, etc. I would have liked for these inserts would be placed near the Scripture passages that they address, but instead they are just spread about evenly to make for a uniform distribution.

Let me start with the positive aspects of this Bible. The Fathers of the Church Bible itself is a paperback, but the pages have a nice weight to them. The font is easy to read, and the Scripture cross-references and notes are easily separated on the page to make for easy navigation and easier reading. The margins aren't very large if you are looking for a Bible to make notes in. I am not, so that wasn't a deal-breaker for me. The inserts are especially enlightening and full of important teachings. I am VERY pleased that St. Ephrem the Syrian merited his own insert, as he is too often overlooked and forgotten.

As for the negatives, it is mainly the combination of presentation and price that I find lacking with this Bible. If you are looking to buy your FIRST copy of the NABRE Bible, then this would be a good choice. If you already own a copy of the NABRE, then you will be a little disappointed with this Bible. In my opinion, the inserts would have been better served as a small booklet sold separately. So if you already have a NABRE Bible, then I wouldn't recommend getting this one as well, because the inserts don't justify the cost. You would be better served buying a copy of one of Mike Aquilina's many books on the Church Fathers.Overall, I would give this Bible 3.5 out of 5 stars. I expected much more from this Bible, and I believe it could have been better than it was.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Fathers of the Church Bible. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith.