A Vast Library of Christian History That Fits in a Stocking

Click pic to purchase

In the nearly three years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve never recommended anything for purchase. But about three weeks ago I brought the New Advent CD-ROM, and it’s such an extraordinary resource that I wanted to be sure to bring it to your attention this Christmas season.

Contained on this one disc are: the 38-volume collection, The Church Fathers; St. Thomas Aquinas’s The Summa Theologica; Douay-Rheims (English) and Vulgate (Latin) versions of the Bible; and the entire Catholic Encyclopedia.

I don’t know if you’ve ever used the online Catholic Encyclopedia, but … well, here’s what you’ll find under just the letter “A.” It’s just an insanely deep reference work, first published in (I believe) 1913.

The New Advent CD-ROM is on sale, right now, for an amazing $29.99. Shipping’s free (!). So I had to say something. It’s just so great.

(P.S. I feel stupid even saying this, but I know how some of my fellow [Protestant] Christians get about All Things Catholic. So … but, you know what? Never mind. Anyone, Christian or not, who can’t see the value of a collection like this wouldn’t ever read it anyway.)


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  • Mark Lattimore

    I just want to jump on this bandwagon and endorse John's recommendation. I don't have the CD but have used newadvent.org. It is an amazing resource. The hyperlinked Summa is one of the most user-friendly electronic versions I've ever seen or used. Buy the CD for the church historian on your Christmas list. Trust me, he or she will love it.

  • Thanks, Mark. And you're right, of course; for the intellectually inclined (or even vaguely curious) Christian, it's an unbeatable resource.

  • Harvey

    Is this the original edition of the encyclopedia published in 1914, or the updated, second edition published a few years ago?

  • I'm quite sure it's the 1914 edition. (Was/is there an updated, second edition? I know this is the second edition of the CD-ROM, but …? I'll email them to ask. But this is the online version of the CD-ROM, which I'm pretty positive is of the 1914 edition, which I thought was the only one that existed, but ..?) I'll find out! Either way, this one's gold.

  • Christine

    why oh why do I have to be a student and poor???!!!! So unbelievably wanting this right now!!! Would be so useful for my theology study…….the WHOLE collection of the church fathers AND the Catholic Encyclo?? I am almost jumping up and down with excitement. The big question I am asking myself is have my family already done their Christmas shopping for me and will they buy me this?

  • cc


    The entire contents of the CD are available at this web site: http://www.newadvent.org/

    (Notice the tiny links in the top right … they lead to great riches!)

  • Mark Lattimore

    Imagine my surprise when I went to newadvent.org this morning and saw your smiling face on the home page. You're now a protestant and a catholic icon.

  • Ismael

    I already purchased it 😛

  • Greta Sheppard

    Sounds like a good resource….however, John, a lot of 'unbiblical traditions' as we know them today, stem back to earlier eras. Not meaning to be biased, but let's not be taken in…..Jesus emphasised His disapproval to the Pharisees in that they had mixed the truth with the false. ie: 'You have heard it said, …but, I say to you…." etc. Matthew 5.

  • Yeah, Ric.

  • Tim

    Those Renaissance paintings of the Holy Family always had those funny looking halos that made them look like they were wearing an inflatable travel pillow on their necks. A necessity for those long donkey rides to Jerusalem for the feasts…let alone those ridiculous road trips to Egypt. The Lord hates a stiff neck.

    Yes. I'm going to hell.

  • Tim: Yes, you are going Down Below. Bummer for you. Tell … well, you know what? I'll tell him myself when I see him.

    Marc: Yeah, I saw that on the NewAdvent.org page! They put up TWO of my posts there: first the Santa/Satan one, and then the one about their CD-ROM. That was really nice of them; it brought crazy hits to my blog. That's always fun. Until it's over. Then you hate your life for its banal mediocrity. But maybe that's just me. (And check out the "Possibly related post" that WordPress has automatically attached to this post. That's MY "Why the Pope Must Love Him Some Gene Robinson." So I don't know if the Catholics are going to want to run any more of my stuff on their site….)

    Ric: Yeah, because I'm sure you have nothing else to do in your life than read all my comments on my own blog.

  • Funny. You know how to make me laugh. Somehow, seeing your comment alone, without even reading the set-up, makes me laugh. Bizarre.

    Yes, I’ve been a bit blog-detached lately. I”ll have to keep a look out for future references in your comments section.

  • Harvey

    Yes, there was a second edition published.


  • Wow, researching the exact relationship between The Catholic Encyclopedia and The NEW Catholic E. has been a surprising amount of work.

    Turns out they're the same–except totally different.

    Finally, from Wikipedia:

    The New Catholic Encyclopedia is intended to be a standard reference work for students, teachers, librarians, journalists, and general readers interested in the history, doctrine, practices, and people of the Catholic faith. The original Catholic Encyclopedia was published between 1907 and 1914 by The Encyclopedic Press Inc. [this is the one available on the CD-ROM] (formerly the Robert Appleton Company); supplements followed in 1922 and 1958. In 1967, the Catholic University of America, in collaboration with the McGraw-Hill Book Company, produced an entirely new work, the 15-volume New Catholic Encyclopedia. Supplemental volumes appeared in 1974, 1979, 1989, and 1996. In 2001, the Gale Group, in collaboration with the Catholic University of America, published a Jubilee Volume of the New Catholic Encyclopedia as a transition to the 15-volume Second Edition of the New Catholic Encyclopedia that appeared in 2003.

  • Cody

    @Greta Sheppard: Could the bible have developed without "un-biblical [which necessarily includes pre-biblical] traditions"? It would be unreasonable to assume anyone before our necessarily post-seventeenth century religion had anything valuable to say. Logically, the further removed a tradition is from the time of Christ, the more correct it is, right?

    @Tim: I was in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence and had an Italian friend with me. We came across one such icon and got into a 10 minute discussion between clouds, white, nimbus, halo, and whit. It was all very strange… we should have just referred to them as the floaty things. It would make life so much easier. 🙂

  • Tom B

    Tim, you may go to Hell, but you aren't going to art school.

    I can't quite identify the painting, but it's definitely NOT Renaissance, more likely 19th C. France maybe William Bouguereau. 😉

  • Tim

    @Tom B

    Shouldn't the fact that I COULDN'T correctly identify the era of the painting make a compelling argument that I NEED to be "going to art school"? : ) Maybe you meant to write, "you may go to hell, but you DIDN'T go to art school". My art education aside… do they, or do they not look like inflatable travel pillows?