Bible quality , what do priests use?


I’m wondering what bible priests and deacons use for reading and personal study. I’m not talking about translation. But in the group of catholic bibles, which is the best made? Or are they content with a paperback version. I did find a catholic study bible by Oxford in bonded leather with sewn binding. But it’s big to carry. I also just ordered an Nab by world catholic press, sewn binding, bonded leather, made in China.
Just wondering if priests know of a high quality catholic bible manufacturer that is available for clergy. Maybe not available to public. I’d love to see an NAB in a premium cover like goatskin.


You can always send your favorite Bible to Leonard’s Book Restoration to get it bound in different types of leather.

They specialize in premium leather and do all the work by hand.


Well, translation is one thing, and binding and cover are quite another. Very difficult to find genuine leather anymore. Most of it is bonded (vinyl with leather bits mixed in). My two faves are a P. J. Kenedy reprint of the 1914 Douay-Rheims, and a 1949 Confraternity, both with black leather covers. Side note: the 1941 Confraternity New Testament is, IMO, the best translation ever made.

Some careful cleaning and application of Lexol to the covers brought them back to as-new condition and flexibility. The only nit I have to pick with both is that they have the mid-century style cover which extends about one inch beyond the pages, so it must lie flat instead of vertical on a shelf.

If I remember, I will ask Father about his personal bible at (Ahem!) reconciliation today.


We don’t have anything special available to us that isn’t available to anyone else. That is to say, I bought all my Bibles in Catholic bookstores, on Amazon, and from the World Bible Society, so there’s no secret source of high-quality clergy Bibles.

I personally use the RSV for reading and study, and I use the NAB for homily preparation, since it’s used in the lectionary in the US and I want to make sure my language matches up. I’ve also got versions in about a dozen languages, including Hebrew and Greek, to cross-reference, as well as modern languages for study purposes. Whenever I learn a new language, I buy a Bible in it first, since I already have a lot of Biblical texts committed to memory as a result of praying the Office every day. So it helps me then to pick up vocabulary and phonological patterns to read things I’m familiar with. Some of the Bibles I have in other languages are fairly high quality, made for academic usage, and some are less nicely bound. I don’t particularly care so much about the bindings as long as it’s going to last a good while and contain the text I need.


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