Monday, June 26, 2017

New Release: Genesis 1-11: A New Old Translation

Recently I became aware of a new text that has recently been released released by Samuel L. Bray and John Hobbins.  You may know John from his bible-blog site Ancient Hebrew Poetry.   (If you have not, I'd encourage you to head over there and read some of the fine articles on translation.)  I was recently contacted by Samuel Bray alerting me to a new book that the two of them had authored and released in May.  Genesis 1-11: A New Old Translation is a "translation of Genesis 1-11 that follows the Hebrew text closely and leaves in what many translations leave out: physicality, ambiguity, repetition, even puns. The authors draw deeply from the long history of Jewish and Christian interpretation. Their translation and notes offer the reader wisdom and delight."

In a recent email, I asked Samuel Bray about his new book and what they were trying to accomplish with its publication.  I think you will find his response very intriguing:

There are so many Bibles now, that it would seem like another one could not possibly be needed. But compared to the vast number of new Bibles, the older translations were often closer to the original, carrying over more of its physicality and imagery. And the older translations were better suited to reading aloud. I had been dissatisfied with the new ones, and in early 2015 started working on a translation that would be traditional (in the sense of the Tyndale-KJV tradition), close, and suited to reading aloud. I sent a rough initial draft to John, whom I knew from his blogging on Hebrew grammar and poetry. John and I started working together on the project, and in late 2015, with a draft of the translation and notes in hand, we signed a contract with our publisher, GlossaHouse. Since then we've been able to refine and polish the book.

We have a number of aims in this translation, and as we freely admit in the introductory essay, "To the Reader," there are other good aims that a translation could have. One translation can't do everything. What we offer is a very close translation--one that is sensitive not just to semantic content, but to what might be called the rhetoric or stylistics of the text. This includes its physicality, metaphors, the level of diction, the repetitions, and the puns.

We also are self-consciously in the Tyndale-KJV tradition (a tradition that includes Douai-Rheims). That means that where it's possible, while still sticking close to the original, we want to keep the diction and phrases that connect the English Bible with a vast network of hymns, proverbial expressions, and literary allusions.

And we have given close attention to how the translation sounds when read aloud. That means we care about pacing, rhythm, euphony, even onomatopoeia.

There are a lot of Bible translations, and there are many good ones. We recommend some in our notes (including NABRE). But there is still room for a closer translation in vigorous and rhythmic English. Tyndale did it in the sixteenth century, and there is no reason to think it's impossible in the twenty-first.

One last thing I should mention. We include 135 pages of notes explaining our translation decisions. These notes will help the reader go "behind the camera" and see the kinds of decisions translators have to make. A reader will understand and gain new appreciation for the translation he reads, no matter which one it is.

I will be receiving a review copy soon, which I will report back to you about once I get a chance to examine it.  However, I'd encourage you to check out the publisher's site and the Amazon listing, which has some sample pages.  While it seems crazy that we have to wait around for decades, it seems, for some of our favorite Catholic Bible-related projects to be completed, it is important to note that there are a number of other interesting projects that are going on.  This volume looks like it will be an incredible resource and something that should be supported.  

The Naked Bible podcast has a helpful interview with the authors posted.  It is worth a listen.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Which Will Come First?
Completed One-Volume Ignatius Catholic Study Bible
Fully Revised NABRE
The Parousia
survey maker

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Slow Trickle Continues........

Thanks to Emilia for spotting this!  Due to be published October 10th.

Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: 1&2 Kings
This volume in the popular Ignatius Catholic Study Bible series leads readers through a penetrating study of the First and Second Books of Kings using the biblical text itself and the Church's own guidelines for understanding the Bible.

Ample notes accompany each page, providing fresh insights by renowned Bible teachers Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch as well as time-tested interpretations from the Fathers of the Church. These helpful study notes provide rich historical, cultural, geographical, and theological information pertinent to the Old Testament book information that bridges the distance between the biblical world and our own.

The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible also includes Topical Essays, Word Studies, and Charts. The Topical Essays explore the major themes of 1 & 2 Kings, often relating them to the teachings of the Church. The Word Studies explain the background of important biblical terms, while the Charts summarize crucial biblical information "at a glance".

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Saint John's Bible on CBC Radio!

Jason Engel is a frequent author/commentator on this blog, former ambassador of the Saint John's Bible, as well as a good friend.  Recently, he did a fascinating interview on CBC Radio discussing my favorite 21st century illuminated bible and how it had the power to gather people from diverse situations around it.  You can check it out here.

Monday, June 12, 2017

YouCat Bible Origins

Cologne ( When the YOUCAT Foundation and I first set out together to develop a Bible for young people, an experienced publisher said to me: Think it over seriously!  A Bible isn’t easy as it might seem.  To keep the entire body of the text in view, to make it all legible, not to leave anything out, and then the corrections – it can drive you crazy.  It can go wrong big-time.
Alright, I then thought with sincere respect and not a little sheepishness, it would be better not to get too over-confident if the project comes up.   And I thought about my own mini-bible, chock full of dense, small-print, precisely type-set text, and it dawned on me, that if it becomes a reality, that I am permitted to develop a Bible, then it has to be done right, really right.  I won’t do less.
For me the encounter with the emerging idea of a youth catechism almost seven years ago was the beginning of a completely new chapter in life and in my professional career path.  My work till then dealt with local or regional contract jobs, whereas the YOUCAT project introduced me to a new, unexpected global dimension and with it also a completely new expectation of serious, clear communication with particularly complex subject matter.  Yet, the biggest of those was that it fulfilled in the highest degree my yearning to visualize precisely the subject matter that I myself stand for.
Continue reading here.
You can purchase the YouCat Bible here.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Good Pre-Sale Price for NLT-CE at is listing the NLT-CE for $9.99 for the Ebook and $18.99 for the hardcover.  Both will be released in October.

Tyndale is pleased to announce the NLT Catholic Readers Edition, approved by the Catholic Church for reading and study and including the official Imprimatur. The Bible includes the New Living Translation text with deuterocanonical books. It also features book introductions to aid your personal study. The Holy Bible, New Living Translation communicates God’s Word powerfully to all who read it.

The New Living Translation is an authoritative Bible translation rendered faithfully into today’s English from the ancient texts by 90 leading Bible scholars. The NLT’s scholarship and clarity breathe life into even the most difficult-to-understand Bible passages—but even more powerful are stories of how people’s lives are changing as the words speak directly to their hearts.