Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Bible Shopping

Some might call me stubborn.  Others might call me persistent.  I think determined and picky might also cover some bases.  In any case, I wasn't giving up without a fight.

I've been searching for a new Bible for quite some time, six or seven months at least.  While I had one I liked, it wasn't a Catholic edition.  Plenty of people balked when I told them I had a New Living Translation Bible because it "wasn't accurate."  Even though it might not match the exact wording or meaning of each and every word in the ancient texts, it is easy to read and understand.  For someone who is definitely not a religious scholar, it worked very well.

The search for a new Bible led me to several towns and some very neat little bookstores.  I shopped Borders and Amazon frequently to see what they had in stock.  The Boy and I ventured into nearly every Christian bookstore in the mid-valley, including Mt. Angel Abbey and Holy Family Supply in Salem (both neat but tiny... great selection of books though).

I new I wanted the New American Bible, the Catholic "standard" in the United States, the version used in churches during Mass.  Most people tout the King James Version or the New King James Version, and some like the New International Version.  These version typically do not contain the Apocrypha, or books of the Bible not found in Protestant versions.  I know about the New Revised Standard Version, but I still wanted a New American Bible.  That's my decision, not yours.  I know it might have flaws, but at least I can understand the plain english!

Store after store had Ignatius Bibles (huh?), St. Joseph's versions (still don't know how those are different), and large print texts.  I didn't want something big and heavy.  I didn't care about red letter vs. black letter.  Gilded edges weren't high on my list of necessary things.  I didn't particularly want a study bible.  Just a plain, durable, small-but-not-miniature, nice-looking Bible.

Yesterday, I stopped at Borders in Corvallis to see if they had a book I wanted in stock.  On a whim, I perused their Bibles.  The Catholic Bible section there is terribly small, usually only two or three on the shelf at any time.  Yesterday, they had five.  Today they have one less. :)

I chose the New American Bible - Fireside Study Edition, published in Witchita, Kansas, by Fireside Catholic Publishing.  It's reddish leatherette cover contains a full three-year cycle of readings for the church, an explanation of the parts of the Mass, a short encyclopedic dictionary and Biblical reference guide, several maps of the Holy Land, and, of course, the scripture I wanted in a typeface I love.  The version contains introductions at the beginning of each book and footnotes at the bottom of each page that explain things a little bit more.

It was a long search, but I'm so glad I waited until I found the one I wanted.

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