Monday, March 19, 2018

More on the RNJB and Your Chance to Submit a Question to Fr. Henry

Thanks to some inquiries sent to the Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd from frequent commentator and guest blogger Chris Buckley, I am happy to publish the responses from the editorial director at DLT David Moloney concerning the RNJB.

Questions Submitted by Chris Buckley to DLT Editor David Moloney:
1) Is this a new translation, or an "in house" editorial revision of the NJB (similar to the RSV-2CE from Ignatius Press)?

2) If it's a new translation, who is the translation team?

3) Is the the École biblique involved in these revisions at all? If so, is it based on its "Bible in its Traditions" text?

4) Will it carry an imprimatur?

Responses from David Moloney:
1) The RNJB is essentially a new translation, in that Fr Henry has returned to the original scriptures throughout (rather than just updating the NJB). In many cases he has made the same translation choices as he did for the NJB, so sections of the text have remained the same, but overall the extent of the differences between RNJB and NJB is substantial enough to call it a new translation.

The Study Notes have been completely replaced (with notes written by Fr Henry but only previously seen in the CTS Catholic Bible), bringing the scholarly content up to date. The Psalms for the RNJB, as you will have seen, now comprise Fr Henry’s slight adaptation of the 2010 Revised Grail Psalter.

2) Fr Henry is the principal translator, as he was for the NJB. He has consulted widely throughout this process – notably with Professor Francis J Moloney SDB (no relation!) on the New Testament, and Andrew Carter of Ampleforth College on the Old Testament.

3) Fr Henry has liaised with L’École Biblique throughout the process but they have not been directly involved in the translation.

4) The Old Testament has not yet been completely finalised but we have arranged with the Bishop’s Conference and the Department for Life and Worship to submit the full Bible for review for the imprimatur as soon as it is ready.

Your Chance to Ask Fr. Henry Wansbrough a Question.
In the past, we were blessed that people like Mary Sperry of the USCCB graciously responded to questions from you regarding the NABRE.  Now, we have a chance to ask Fr. Henry Wansbrough OSB, editor of the RNJB (and NJB), some questions concerning the new translation.  David Moloney of DLT offered to share some questions with Fr. Henry.  He said, "I would encourage you and other members of the blog forum to put together some questions that you would like to ask Fr Henry. It could prove a further opportunity for him to explain the reasoning behind the new translation, and the approach he has taken. I can ask him if he would be willing to answer a selection of questions if you think that would be helpful and of interest."

So, here are the rules for submission:
1) Submit your questions in the comment section of this post.  
2) Please make the questions concise and succinct
3) Please put a name (at least a first name) at the end of your question
4) Make sure to review the other questions that have been submitted so that there are no duplicates

Chris and I will review all the questions and select the ones that will be submitted to Fr. Henry for consideration.  Again, I'd like to thank Chris for taking the initiative in contacting DLT and making this a possibility.  

Thursday, March 15, 2018

What I Am Living For

I am excited that this week marks the publication of a collection of essays on Thomas Merton, one of them coming from yours truly.  The book is titled What I Am Living For: Lessons from the Life and Writings of Thomas Merton.  Edited by Jon M. Sweeney, there are contributions from Bishop Robert Barron, Fr. James Martin, Fr. Dan Horan, Sue Monk Kid, Robert Ellsberg, as well as a number of others.  Here is a short description:
What I Am Living For offers readers new to Merton, as well as longtime enthusiasts, an opportunity to see how the influential twentieth-century monk and writer continues to encourage the awakening of faith in the twenty-first century.

The book is in two parts. Each contributor to part one focuses on an aspect of the spiritual life that is of vital importance today and on which Merton made a profound impact. These include:

  • Martin—Finding who God intends you to be
  • Ellsberg—The spiritual need for solitude and stability
  • Oakes—The importance of coming to terms with our sexuality, whether married, single, or celibate
  • Horan—The importance of dialogue with God, culture, society, and people of other faiths
Part two features shorter, often more personal reflections on the future of faith, the life and teachings of Merton, and what he still says to anyone who seeks a relationship with God.

My contribution comes in the form of a short essay in part two of the book, where I write about how I came to appreciate Thomas Merton after many years of actively avoiding him.  So, if you are a Thomas Merton fan or simply curious about him, this book promises to have plenty of insights about this man who helped to nurture and rediscover the importance of contemplation for both monks and lay people, while also being active in the non-violence movement and inter-religious dialogue.  This book, conveniently, comes out in this 50th anniversary year of Thomas Merton's death.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

First Look: CEB Study Bible w/Apocrypha

More and more I have felt the desire to explore translations that I had previously avoided.  One of those translations is the Common English Bible.  The CEB was produced under the sponsorship of a number of mainline Protestant denominations, most notably the Disciples of Christ, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church.  The scholars who worked on this translation included other Christian denominations, including a number of Roman Catholic biblical scholars.  

The CEB committee's stated goals were to "to make the Bible accessible to a broad range of people; it’s written at a comfortable level for over half of all English readers. As the translators did their work, reading specialists working with seventy-seven reading groups from more than a dozen denominations review the texts to ensure a smooth and natural reading experience. Easy readability can enhance church worship and participation, and personal Bible study. It also encourages children and youth to discover the Bible for themselves, perhaps for the very first time."  All of these are very important goals which I think are so very necessary in the times we live in.  

Recently, I received a hardbound copy of the CEB Study Bible w/ Apocrypha to review.  I am really enjoying exploring this translation, since it is meant to read very differently than the more formal translations.  And I am not just looking at the standard go-to verses that we all typically look up first thing, instead I am trying to read much larger chunks of text.  I hope to report back to you on what I have discovered at a future date.  

The CEB Study Bible w/ Apocrypha is beautifully made.  Its presented in a single column format, with loads of cross-references.  In addition, there are full-color illustrations, photos, and a page-layout that makes it far more attractive than pretty much every Catholic Study Bible on the market.  (Yeah, no surprise there!)  The spine is sewn and there are no glossy inserts anywhere to be found.  

Here are some photos, which will give you a little flavor of what this study bible has to offer.

I want to thank the CEB folks for providing me a copy to review

Monday, March 12, 2018

First Look: NOAB 5th Edition (NRSV w/Apocrypha)

Thanks to Marc for providing these pictures of the New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha.  He reports that he pre-ordered it during the holiday sale in December. The stated release date is April 1st for this edition, but apparently Oxford is shipping pre-orders early! Overall, the construction and type setting of this edition is nearly identical to the fourth edition. I've included a few side by side photos for reference (fourth edition on the left, fifth edition on the right). The text columns continue to be left-justified, and the font of the Bible text and notes remains the same. Physically, the fifth edition is no thicker than the fourth. In fact, it feels a little thinner. This is probably because the pages in my fourth edition have "expanded" with use.  It is printed in the Netherlands by Royal Jongbloed.

Marc is happy to answer any of your questions in the comments.  I really liked the feel and construction of the 4th edition, which was done by Royal Jongbloed as well.  

New to this Edition:
-Twenty new essays and introductions, including new essays on Time/Calendar and Languages of the Bible
-Fully revised and updated annotations to reflect the latest biblical scholarship
-Introductions and extensive annotations for each biblical book
-Informative essays on essential topics for biblical study
-Color maps, timelines, glossary, and an index to study materials
-Includes the Apocrypha


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

First Look: ESV-CE

Thanks to Jonny for sharing these photos of his new ESV:CE published by ATC, which arrived from India.  Jonny reports that it is a "nice, solid sewn hardcover."  He will post some thoughts on the text in the comments of this post.  Thanks again Jonny!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The RNJB NT is Here

I just received the RNJB NT (and RGP) in the mail today.  I will likely get to a review in a few weeks, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.