Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book Review: The C. S. Lewis Bible

C. S. Lewis Bible: New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) (Bible Nrsv)C. S. Lewis Bible: New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've never understood the enthusiasm for study Bibles on a single theme or with a single person's commentary. Obviously, they are popular because you can see them everywhere. When this Bible came to my attention, I blanched.

However, it seems as if 2014 is fast becoming my "year of C.S. Lewis" as I work my way through his books in audio format. So I took a closer look on Amazon where I found Brandon Vogt's review, which I encourage you to read. I trust Brandon's judgment a lot from having read his blog. His thoughtful comments also showed that he, too, was leery of this sort of study bible. He pointed out that, with care, one can view such a work as having midrash available on scripture and that opened up another way to consider it.

I'm not crazy about the NRSV translation but that is a matter of personal taste admittedly. Catholics will note that this is a Protestant Bible and so has fewer books than a Catholic Bible would. The committee who put this together does seem to have done an impressive job of carefully matching Lewis's comments in the appropriate spot without overdoing it. It is definitely a Bible first and foremost, with occasional C.S. Lewis comments from a wide variety of sources. It quickly became a favorite morning read.

I do want to mention that except for the cover, this book is a work of beauty. The typesetting, format, and overall look are gorgeous. The cover ... well, you can see that for yourself. Nothing can make it anything except ugly. But once the cover is opened, the interior is beautiful. This is the book that proves the old adage. Don't judge this book by its cover.


  1. The reviews are interesting, the book is indeed beautifully printed (I saw it in Barnes and Noble), and C. S. Lewis is my favorite, but in the end, no, I'm not going to buy this book. If the publishers had used the version CSL did, with the complete canon of scripture, I'd buy it, but this pat-the-bunny version, simplified and with canonical books censored out of it, is a form of cultural looting.

    Ouch. That sounds old-guy-cranky.

    1. Well, let's face it. Protestants put it together so what do you expect them to do? They probably weren't going to use the two translations that Lewis himself liked either.

      I can always read my Bible and look at the C.S. Lewis comments in the appropriate places if it bugs me that much. That was how I justified it to myself. Because, let's face it ... I can use my own brain and apply C.S. Lewis to Maccabbees myself if I need to. :-)

      Hey! You kids! Get off Mack's lawn! :-D

  2. Hey, I like kids; they go so well with a salad and a nice merlot!