Your Study Bible preferences- Please answer!


#1

I have finally gotten the opportunity to get to be a part of a Study Bible project for Consolamini Publications, and we are brainstorming about the layout and what to develop. I really want your ideas, in detail if possible, about what you would want in a Study Bible.

What is for certain is that it is going to be focused around footnotes from the Church Fathers, but later medieval commentators when needed. What we really want to know is what would be preferred, such as layout.

  1. Do you prefer the layout such as found in the Ignatius Study Bible, Navarre, Haydock, NAB, or something else?

  2. Do you prefer extensive and robust amounts of footnotes, or concise limited amounts, or something in between?

  3. Do you prefer a more commentary look such the Ancient Christian Commentary from IVP, or Study Bible look such as the Ignatius Study Bible?

  4. Does the idea of multiple volumes turn you off or are you fine with that? What would be your limit to amount of volumes in a series preference, such as a volume for the OT and one for the NT, or volumes such as the Pentateuch in a volume, the Historical books in a volume, the Prophets in a volume and so on? Or would you only want a single volume and nothing else?

  5. Does cross-references matter to you?

  6. Do you prefer pericopes? Such as little headings for different sections in the Scriptures. Do they matter much to you or not necessary?

  7. Would you be fine with the Douay Rheims translation or do you want something different? Would the Douay Rheims be a turn off to you, or does it matter?

Please provide any other details you like!


#2
  1. I don’t mind long notes, as long as you aren’t “padding” the notes, repeating yourself multiple times

  2. Multiple volumes are okay with me. Just depends on how much material there is. Don’t like dealing with massive books

  3. YES, YES, YES. More cross references the better

  4. I think they are a nice touch.


#3

I like the Douay-Rheims. It is fine but if you use that one you’ll need to note the different chapter verse numbers than more modern translations and give folks the modern names of the places and people as well.

Also, a GREAT concordance is a must.


#4
  1. I like the layout of the Catena Aurea and also the Ignatius Study Bible.

  2. I prefer for the footnotes to be extensive but focused.

  3. As I said before, I like the look of the Catena Aurea and the Ignatius Study Bible. The Catena Aurea is good because it helps me to focus on parts of the verses I never would have focused on. The way the ECF’s commentary is laid out makes it seem as though they’re having a conversation with each other, which I really enjoy. My reason for liking the Ignatius Study Bible is because of how focused yet extensive the notes are. I never read them and think, “That was pointless.”

  4. While I would prefer to have one volume, I realize that isn’t always possible. I think volumes on the Pentateuch, historical books, prophets, etc. would be a good idea.

  5. Not having cross-reference is not a turn-off. However, having cross-reference is a huge plus in my book. I especially like having references back to the OT from the NT.

  6. They’re not needed, but they do help.

  7. Any approved Catholic translation is fine with me. :stuck_out_tongue:


#5

I think as the editors you need to decide what type of audience you are aiming this study bible to be directed towards because just that will dictate the amount of information you add.

In general I am a big fan of study bibles but layoutwise, I don’t like the Nab, the other bibles you mentioned, I haven’t seen them but I highly recommend that you look at the Protestant study bibles and take your cues from that. Because there is also such thing as too much of a good thing.

I have seen some good Catholic teen bibles where they have added teachings about the Catholic church and cross referenced it with the teachings in the bible for example when Elizabeth states: hail mary full of grace, you could cross reference that with the teachings of the rosary, the lord’s prayer, sacraments etc. A good study bible should reference that type of thing. I would also cross reference some of the everyday topics with scripture. I have one really great bible that lists many of the common issues people face and cross reference it with scripture. It is placed in the appendix which makes it very easy to use such as abortion, sex before marriage, depression, rape, marriage, etc.

Below are some of my comments regarding your other questions. My comments are in blue.

What is for certain is that it is going to be focused around footnotes from the Church Fathers- church fathers, it could work but keep it light and remember your audience. I would personally keep it simple since most Catholics don’t know their bible so you don’t want to make it too complicated.

but later medieval commentators when needed. Be careful with it since not all commentators are readable. You need to watch their language.

I would personally add some quotes or cross references with some of the saints since many of them were theologians and quite brilliant people. Use saints both new and old to attract people.

What we really want to know is what would be preferred, such as layout.

  1. Do you prefer the layout such as found in the Ignatius Study Bible, Navarre, Haydock, NAB, or something else? I prefer the layout in most of the protestant study bibles because the text is easy to read and it is easy to learn more about the faith. Aside for the Harper Collins study bible, I personally haven’t found a good Catholic study bible.

  2. Do you prefer extensive and robust amounts of footnotes, or concise limited amounts, or something in between? Keep it concise and if you wish, you could always add a web link which could contain more extensive information. The more information you add, the more you will have to print which will cause the cost of the book to increase and people will be less likely to purchase it.

  3. Do you prefer a more commentary look such the Ancient Christian Commentary from IVP, or Study Bible look such as the Ignatius Study Bible? Haven’t seen it so I can’t comment but again keep the language simple and direct.

  4. Does the idea of multiple volumes turn you off or are you fine with that? What would be your limit to amount of volumes in a series preference, such as a volume for the OT and one for the NT, or volumes such as the Pentateuch in a volume, the Historical books in a volume, the Prophets in a volume and so on? Or would you only want a single volume and nothing else?
    I would personally make it one volume and then you could always expand on it later. Multiple volumes tend to turn people off since it will cost more money. Or depending on how thick it is, divide it according to OT and NT with the Pentateuch.

  5. Does cross-references matter to you? Yes- see the Harper Collins study bible- NRSV it does a good job at this.

  6. Do you prefer pericopes? Such as little headings for different sections in the Scriptures. Do they matter much to you or not necessary? Depends on the layout and what areas you are trying to highlight.

  7. Would you be fine with the Douay Rheims translation or do you want something different? Would the Douay Rheims be a turn off to you, or does it matter? I’m a NRSV / New King James fan so chances are, no I wouldn’t touch it.

If you wish more information, please send me a line. I would love to help you in anyway I could.

Just remember keep it simple and make sure it isn’t too complicated othewise this project will fail.

Good Luck,

SG


#6

For Bible Study, I have found nothing that beats my 2000 volume Verbum Capstone library.


#7

Ah, but not everyone has $2500 bucks to invest… :frowning:


#8

COPLAND 3:

I tried to PM you, but you’re not taking PM’s?

Physical Construction

People who make study bibles should do so with the idea that it will last a lifetime. Therefore Study Bibles should be made, at the very least, with Bonded Leather. And there should be no shortage of available copies in Real Leather. Also, the binding should by Smyth Sewn, not glued. The paper should be substantial so there’s no bleed through of the text. Avoid text below 12 points and pay particular attention to the typography so that it’s easy to read. Avoid putting embossing on the front cover as it becomes problematic over a period of a few years, especially if the owner treats the leather. Two ribbon markers are very handy. A wide margin is also a good thing.

Content

There’s a million ways to go with this and it depends on your target audience. Here are just a FEW ideas:

A Bible that has study notes directly related to the doctrines of the Church. For example, you could have a CHAIN of references regarding the Eucharist that demonstrates the validity of Transubstantiation. Another CHAIN of references that demonstrates the authority of the Papacy, etc. For an over the top example of this idea, take a look at Thompson Chain Reference Bibles. And while you’re at it, check out how they make them. They’ll last a lifetime.

Another consideration is a Study Bible similar to the “Life Application” Bible… except it would tell us how to apply the Scripture to being better Catholics.

I think that a few extra articles like “Praying the Rosary”, “Stations of the Cross”, etc. would be an excellent idea. AND perhaps, some Catholic Prayers.

And now, a pet peeve of mine: DO NOT include a “Presentation Page” or a “Family History” section. They annoy those of us who purchase the Bible for ourselves and/or do not plan on making it the mythical “Family Bible”.


#9

If anyone wants to contact me you can email me jlitteral29@gmail.com

Thank you so much for suggestions, it has been helping!


#10

1) Do you prefer the layout such as found in the Ignatius Study Bible, Navarre, Haydock, NAB, or something else?

For layout, I’m a big fan of the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible. I’m not a fan of the NABRE or its notes, but something about the layout is just so inviting to read that I use it in spite of my dislike.

2) Do you prefer extensive and robust amounts of footnotes, or concise limited amounts, or something in between?

Something in-between. As much as can fit in a single volume and keep it portable.

3) Do you prefer a more commentary look such the Ancient Christian Commentary from IVP, or Study Bible look such as the Ignatius Study Bible?

Prefer more of a study bible.

4) Does the idea of multiple volumes turn you off or are you fine with that? What would be your limit to amount of volumes in a series preference, such as a volume for the OT and one for the NT, or volumes such as the Pentateuch in a volume, the Historical books in a volume, the Prophets in a volume and so on? Or would you only want a single volume and nothing else?

Single volume please. Definitely no bigger than the Little Rock Study Bible. An idea might be to have a full Navarre-esque commentary for home/office/school, and then edit it down for a more portable Bible (although not to the level of the Jerusalem Bible reader’s edition, a bit more gravitas would be nice).

5) Does cross-references matter to you?

Yes, but they don’t need to be all-exhaustive, like in the Jerusalem Bible. Where there are clear references to the Old Testament, please make sure they are included.

6) Do you prefer pericopes? Such as little headings for different sections in the Scriptures. Do they matter much to you or not necessary?

Please include them. Helps finding something in scripture if you don’t have chapter/verse memorized.

7) Would you be fine with the Douay Rheims translation or do you want something different? Would the Douay Rheims be a turn off to you, or does it matter?

I enjoy the Douay-Rheims, but I think what would be really awesome if you could get the Confraternity NT and the New Latin Psalms included with an otherwise Douay OT, a la what Catholic Book Publishing Co did in the late 40’s/early 50’s. There is already a study bible in print based on the Douay (Haydock Bible). Right now, the only major Catholic translation out there without a comprehensive study Bible is the Confraternity. It’s traditional enough to please that crowd, yet reads modern enough to be understandable to many. I know if I could have a ‘dream Bible’, it would be RSV OT, New Latin Psalms from CBPC, and Confraternity NT.


#11
  1. Do you prefer the layout such as found in the Ignatius Study Bible, Navarre, Haydock, NAB, or something else?

The layout of the Navarre/NJB would be great for study

  1. Do you prefer extensive and robust amounts of footnotes, or concise limited amounts, or something in between?

In the interest of size, probably somewhere in the middle.

  1. Do you prefer a more commentary look such the Ancient Christian Commentary from IVP, or Study Bible look such as the Ignatius Study Bible?

**I would think one using the Fathers of the Church would be a great study bible, particularly because there is no one-volume edition out there. **

  1. Does the idea of multiple volumes turn you off or are you fine with that? What would be your limit to amount of volumes in a series preference, such as a volume for the OT and one for the NT, or volumes such as the Pentateuch in a volume, the Historical books in a volume, the Prophets in a volume and so on? Or would you only want a single volume and nothing else?

  2. Does cross-references matter to you?

Yes, very important. They serve as a sort of commentary all by themselves.

  1. Do you prefer pericopes? Such as little headings for different sections in the Scriptures. Do they matter much to you or not necessary?

Not necessary, but that is just me.

  1. Would you be fine with the Douay Rheims translation or do you want something different? Would the Douay Rheims be a turn off to you, or does it matter?

**I would imagine that getting licensed to use any other translation would be difficult, so the Douay-Rheims would be fine. What would be of good help, if you use the DR, is to provide some textual notes that show major differences between the Latin and Hebrew/Greek. That would be a great resource. One of the things I really appreciate about Ronald Knox’s translation is that he provides, in his notes, various textual translations compared to the Latin. **


#12

I like the Douay-Rheims bible, and the Jerusalem footnotes.

I might suggest adding a footnote to a passage when it applies to appologetics. The number of the footnote then applies to a cross explaination in a separate appologetic list in back …1 applies to infallibility, 2 applies to necessity of baptism, 3 applies to priesthood, 4 applies to Mary … and so on. Especially the more important passages. Leave space for a person to add their own thoughts.

If the Old Testament is being done as well, then leave out all the repeditive and dry passages with little meaning. This has already been done in some versions of the Old Testament.

Leave enough space on each page for notes.

Make it easy to read. Spacing between lines and letter font is important…not too much and not to little. I go to sleep with any book that doesn’t do this and usually give up on reading it. The print should be dark enough not to cause strain.

If I had to choose one thing, it would be easy on the eyes, very clear. Because the study is all about wanting to read it. And if I have to fight it to read it, then I won’t for very long. And that is really what it is about…for us to read and think about…our own spiritual thoughts.
It is nice to have other things, but I like to think about it in reference to its speaking to me today. And when the printing is nice and good looking, then this is an encouragement to read. A scholarly person may have other thoughts on this. But the page should look and read nice.


#13

that’s a lot to think about.

The initial words that come to my mind are: free, online, integral ordinary dictionary and embedded links to cross references, cross references to CCC and relevant church documents, exhaustive Catholic concordance, Just off the top of my head.


#14

I like a study Bible like my NIV Study Bible from my Protestant days. Where the amount of text is equal to the amount of footnotes on a page.

I would prefer footnotes that have quotes from Catechisms and Church Fathers and apologetics resources. Not the vague kind of footnotes about the setting or ones that iterate what the text itself is saying. I want a study Bible I can actually use to comprehend scripture better.

I really would like one volume for all of Scripture that can be leather bound and something I can carry around and study for years to come. I don’t like personally the multiple tomes of a Bible that I have to switch between. Even if this meant having thin Bible paper and smaller text font size, I would be happy with it.

Don’t give too many cross references. I like Bibles that have the little column in between the two columns of text on a page just for cross references.

I like having titles at the top of sections since I can split up events or topics when studying.

I will only use the Douay-Rheims version so…yes the DR would be the best for this!

God bless!


#15

Update! The project is going great! We have pretty well decided to update the spelling of names and places. The layout is excellent thanks to Michael Lofton, and the footnotes are plentiful and top notch Patristic quality! It looks like we may release a volume of the Pentateuch first, though we may do individual books as well.


#16
  1. Layout should probably be similar to the 1966 Jerusalem Bible or the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible.

  2. I say footnotes should never take up half of every single page. For example, while I like the footnotes in Ignatius Study New Testament, I think they just squished too much information onto every single page. The Jerusalem Bible has some good footnotes as well but I found the font size very tiny, which can be problematic for people who may have vision problems. I think if you’re going to go the route of footnotes they should probably be paragraph-sized (instead of just 1 line of footnotes), have a font size that is legible to everyone, and shouldn’t take up more than 25% of every page. Get to the heart of the matter so to speak when using footnotes.

  3. Possibly a combination: with quotations from the Church Fathers (a short selection) and study materials.

  4. Multiple volumes would be a major turnoff for me. I think it’s possible to make a study Bible with both the OT, Deuterocanon, and NT if you don’t have copious footnotes that take 50% or more of the space on each page. I say include footnotes for major themes; you don’t need commentary on every single verse as the Ignatius New Testament Study Bible seems to do.

  5. I think a cross-reference would be useful if it sits in the middle of each page as they do so in some Protestant Bibles. (generally a center column that lists all the cross reference verses); however they must be legible and large enough to read without squinting your eyes

  6. Topic headings are appropriate, especially so you may understand what you are reading.

  7. I would say the most preferable would be the Douay-Rheims, whether it’s the original early 17th century printings or the later Challoner Revision. It would definitely be nice if we could finally have a study Bible (other than suppose, the Haydock Bible) that utilizes the English translation from the Latin Vulgate.

BTW is this project you’re referring to the Desert Fathers Study Bible that is listed as “work-in-progress” on the link you provided in your signature? Or is this entirely separate?


#17

No this is not the Desert Fathers Study Bible. This is called the Patristic Study Bible.


#18

Will there be a print edition? If so, will it be one or multiple volumes?


#19

Definitely! we will be releasing volumes as we go, but it will be one volume when its completely finished. The owner is working on finding a deal for single volume with light weight offset Bible paper. He is in talks with a printer company.


#20

See if you can offer it in a high-end premium edition with sewn binding and premium leather. :thumbsup:


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