Baronius Knox vs Oxford NRSV with Apocrypha?


I am going to buy either of the two Bibles below and would appreciate feedback on readability from anyone very familiar with the translations and quality of the product from anyone who happens to own either.

Baronius Press Knox Bible:
Oxford University Press NRSV with Apocrypha:

I love the fact that the Baronius version of the Knox is single column and the craftsmanship is supposedly excellent. I have been told by several people that the Knox has some incredibly beautiful renderings of certain passages but am adverse to archaic language and the Knox seems to read a little clunky in places. Moving to a Bible with Vulgate roots is of interest but not a deal breaker by any means.

I have read the RSV-CE cover to cover almost five times and am extremely comfortable with how it reads. I also like the way the NRSV reads, very naturally and smooth, based on what I have read online. I’m a big fan of Oxford University Press products as well.

So does the Knox use archaic language, words like shew and spake? Does anyone have that particular non-annotated Oxford NRSV with Apocrypha? How extensive are the notes? I really don’t care for notes or commentary - the fewer the better.

I hope to read this next Bible cover to cover at least once and so will be living with it daily for quite a while. Any serious and constructive input on the Knox and NRSV translations in general or these two products in particular would be appreciated. No hystrionics please, and please don’t suggest the Douay-Rhiems as I own two already.



I like the NRSV Catholic Anglicized myself.:thumbsup:,204,203,200.jpg


So does the Knox use archaic language, words like shew and spake? Does anyone have that particular non-annotated Oxford NRSV with Apocrypha? How extensive are the notes? I really don’t care for notes or commentary - the fewer the better.

Knox purposely retained thee and thou, but that was about it. Otherwise it is mid-20th century english.


Can you get a bit more detailed? What do you like about it?



I received the Baronius Knox as a gift. I personally like it. I have other Baronius books as well, and they are all nicely crafted.

Keep in mind that the numbering and book names are also Vulgate based.

I mention this just in case you consulted the online knox version, they changed the numbering and names to be modern. It’s not like that in the book. So psalm 21 is “My God my God why hast thou forsaken me” just like the vulgate, where as its 22 in modern translations like rsvce. Paralipomenon is Chronicles, 1 Kings is 1 Samuel etc


You can test drive the Knox translation here.


I’ve been looking at it.

Here the supply of wine failed; whereupon Jesus’ mother said to him, They have no wine left. (John 2:3 Knox)

The sentence structure and use of the words whereupon (for example) seem jarring. The extra focus on semantics and grammar takes more effort. The extra effort seems more like a workout and less like relaxing with a good book or speaking with someone I love.

When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ (John 2:3 NRSV)

That seems more natural, but the Baronius is a gorgeous package. I wish someone would make a Knox - RSV - Douay parallel Bible.



Who is Baronius Press anyway? They aren’t some sedevanticist group or SSPX, are they?



No, no there in line with the Church, all the books I’ve bought from them comes with Imprimaturs from recently . I don’t have the NRSV however I own the Knox from Baronius. Its based on the Vulgate so the spelling of names will be like the Douay-Rheims.

They were on EWTN bookmark around 6:00 this video talks about the Knox.



I prefer RSV-CE2. The NRSV has change the language rendering it in gender-neutral form thus losing much of the nuance and beauty of the English. I would avoid any of the gender-neutral translations as there seems to be subtle, agenda driven choice of words trying to nudge the meaning in awkward ways in a certain direction.

I also very much like the Knox bible and find it beautiful for devotional reading and study.


For what it’s worth, I have fallen in love with the Knox translation. A few months ago I finally purchased the Baronius Press edition and haven’t stopped reading since. The physical book is very well done. Hard bound, leather cover, sewn binding etc…

The translation is what is renewing my want to read the Bible however. The paragraph format, language, wording etc. is truly giving me a new look at scripture. Previously my go to Bibles were the DR and the RSV. I like the way the Knox still maintains the old English, but not in a bad way. It is very readable.

As far as the NRSV? My only input is that I just can’t read it. I just can’t deal with the inclusive language.


I understand the inclusive language and it isn’t that big of a concern for me. I understand that it is a concern for some but I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable about scripture and doctrine and am able to read around that and find the beauty in the text for the most part.

My focus is more on lectio than doctrinal or pastoral study and even the RSV isn’t without its problems. The Psalms are frustrating but the RSV has served me well for many years and its time to try something new.

I’m hoping to avoid some of the emotion which can arise around gender inclusive language and other similar issues and appreciate very much your keeping the discussion somewhat clinical.

I’m tending toward the Knox right now and your post is very valuable to me given your familiarity with the RSV. Thanks for the input.

Do you know if the binding of your book creases as it bends inward toward the pages when open? Or is it a nice smooth curve? Or does it lay flat?



The binding, or spine, itself, when the book is open, actually stays “flat” rather than curving in or out. As far as the book “laying flat”, it does, for the most part, other than when opened to the very early pages of say Genesis, or the last of Revelation. Even then though, as it is a hard cover rather than soft, when you open even at the front cover, it stays open, and does not attempt to close itself. (If that makes any sense).


Absolute sense. Thanks for the feedback!

And I found out that Baronius is affiliated with the FSSP.



I can only speak for the Knox version, but I would definitely recommend it. The words themselves are completely understandable. However, as you noticed, sometimes the structure of the sentences is a bit odd. In all truth, though, it’s not that jarring once you get into it. I know that this isn’t that big of a deal, but one of my favorite parts about the Knox translation is that it tends to keep the literary style of the Hebrew from the OT. For example, certain Psalms are acrostic {e.g., 34}, as are the first 4 books of Lamentations – just like in the Hebrew version. These sections are, perhaps, where a lot of “odd” sentence structure comes in – some of them being reminiscent of Yoda.


May I ask how long you have been reading it? Do you read daily or regularly?

Your insight is really appreciated. This is exactly the kind of quality feedback I was hoping for.



I’ve had it ever since Baronius Press released the newest edition back in 2012 {I think it was}. With this {as well as my St. Joseph’s Confraternity Bible}, I tend to read larger sections at a time. I find the layout really helps with this. I’m also fascinated by language and translation, and many {if not the majority} of the footnotes deal with translation nuances. There are also many cross-reference footnotes in the NT. {I, personally, like it whenever it references back to one of the deutero-canonical books.}

I would say I read it regularly but not daily. I like using it as my travel Bible and whenever I just want to read or pray with Scripture. In some cases, the occasional odd sentence structure actually helps because it forces me to slow down and really focus on what I’m reading.


Great feedback. Thanks.

Cross references are under-appreciated and under-used. It’s one thing I appreciate about the NAB - they typically have good cross references.

Your comment about the footnotes dealing with translation nuances is interesting. Footnotes sometimes have little to do with commentary and more to do with translation and semantics. This is the case with the NAB. I hate to keep singling out the NAB but part of its bad reputation isn’t deserved.

I’ve already ordered an inexpensive compact NRSV, more out of curiosity than anything else but I think I’m going to invest in the Baronius Knox, based in part, on your feedback. Thanks again.

I’d appreciate if anyone could recommend a nice case to keep it in. I tend to be rough on equipment.



No problem. I’m happy to help. Good luck on finding a case; I’m sorry to say I can’t help you there!


You’re probably thinking just because they print the 62 Missal, there must be something questionable? :slight_smile:

Or you’re thinking the Angelus Press, but SJC sells their missals FWIW.

That said, the Knox is a very dynamic translation and for all we know, the Church can change it to a more literal translation just like they did on the 1973 ICEL dynamic translations, especially if it’s used as a stand alone. I don’t see that happening though, not in the near future anyway.

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