29 November 2007

A brief comparison

Some time ago I posed the question asking if there was a difference between Our Sunday Visitor’s The Apostles: The Origins of the Church and Their Co-Workers and Ignatius Press’ Jesus, the Apostles, and the Early Church: General Audiences 15 March 2006 – 14 February 2007, both by Pope Benedict XVI. Each book is $14.95.

I now have both of the books in my possession, the one from Ignatius Press having arrived yesterday.

The first thing I noticed is that the IP edition seems larger than the OSV edition, though it seems to be simply a matter of page thickness. I prefer a thicker page, but that is just a matter of taste. Both books seem to be well made, which should come as no surprise.

Curiously enough, both editions have art work by Duccio di Buoninsegna (d. 1319) on the cover, and both are from the Maesta altarpiece in Sienna, Italy. The OSV edition has a detail from his Pentecost scene while the IP edition has a detail from his Christ appearing to the Apostles by the Lake of Tiberius.

Both of the books include the same Wednesday Audience addresses by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. The OSV edition combines the Pope’s three addresses on Saint Peter into one chapter (likewise with the addresses on Saints John and Paul) while the IP edition includes each address as a separate chapter, which I prefer.

The IP edition has a helpful Scriptural Index at the end of the book, while the OSV edition reminds readers about Amy Welborn’s excellent study guide.

For some of the lengthier chapters, the OSV edition offers subheadings within the text and it occasionally will pull out various quotations to put in text boxes, somewhat like a magazine article will do.

The OSV edition includes Scriptural references in footnotes whereas the IP edition includes them in parenthetical citations.

The OSV edition sometimes alters a few of the Holy Father’s words to make the addresses fit better in the context of a book. For example, the opening line of the chapter on Saint Andrew reads, “In the last chapter we looked at the figure of Saint Peter” whereas the same line in the IP edition reads, “In the last two Catecheses we spoke about the figure of Saint Peter.”

I hope this brief review will be helpful for those considering one of the two editions.

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