Thursday, December 31, 2009

St. Augustine and Psalm 51

Last night, as part of our nightly devotional, my wife and I read the selection on Psalm 51 found in the Praying the Psalms with the Early Christians book which I highlighted a few weeks ago. As I mentioned there, this fine devotional focuses on 34 particular Psalms, including various selections from the Early Church Fathers. Last night, we read the entry on the very famous Psalm 51. It is one of the main penitential Psalms of the Church, most notably read every Friday morning in the Liturgy of the Hours.

Here it is, in the RSV-CE:

Psalm 51
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to thy steadfast love;
according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned,
and done that which is evil in thy sight,
so that thou art justified in thy sentence
and blameless in thy judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Fill me with joy and gladness;
let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice.
Hide thy face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence,
and take not thy holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of thy salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors thy ways,
and sinners will return to thee.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
thou God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance.
O Lord, open thou my lips,
and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
For thou hast no delight in sacrifice;
were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on thy altar.

After reading through this Psalm, we were treated with three short reflections from the Church Fathers, including Clement of Rome, John Chrysostom, and Augustine. Although fairly short, Augustine's reflection on Psalm 51 is very poignant, since it helped me to look at Psalm 51 from a different vantage point. So, I want to share that reflection with you know, which comes from his Exposition of the Psalms, which I copied and pasted from, the helpful and inexpensive, The Faith Database. I hope you enjoy it!

"To thee Nathan the prophet hath not been sent, David himself hath been sent to thee Hear him crying, and with him cry: hear him groaning, and with him groan; hear him weeping, and mingle tears; hear him amended, and with him rejoice. If from thee sin could not be excluded, be not hope of pardon excluded. There was sent to that man Nathan the prophet, observe the king's humility. He rejected not the words of him giving admonition, he said not, Darest thou speak to me, a king? An exited king heard a prophet, let His humble people hear Christ."


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

"In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God....
And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth." --John 1

Merry Christmas to you all. Thanks for stopping by over the past year. I look forward to discussing, debating, and analyzing all things Catholic Bibles with you in 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Peter Kreeft on Christmas

Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft has a fine article on Christmas posted at the following site: Check it out!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Catholic Bible Hopes for 2010

Having already begun a new liturgical year with the first week of Advent, we will soon be entering into the calendar year 2010. I don't know about you, but boy does time fly! The upcoming new year got me thinking about what I would, realistically, like to see happen in the world of Catholic Bibles. So, I decided to list a few of them below. While there are a ton of things I could list, keep in mind that I tried to be as realistic as possible, recognizing the realities of the issues we have discussed on this blog concerning Catholic Bibles.

So here we go:

1) Continued Release of Quality Catholic Bible Study Tools
Over the past few years, the amount of quality Bible study material for Catholics has dramatically increased. Just looking back this past year, we have seen the release of Hahn's Catholic Bible Dictionary, Emmaus Road's The Catholic Bible Concordance, as well as additional Catholic Bible commentaries including the Navarre New Testament, The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture's "Ephesians" and "2 Corinthians", and the final volumes of the Ignatius Study Bible New Testament. There are others which I could mention, like the Faith Database, but I think you get the idea.

What can we look to in 2010? Well, Ignatius Press will be releasing the one-volume Ignatius Study Bible New Testament. It is scheduled to be released in early Spring, with the first editions of the Old Testament coming soon after. I would hope that the Old Testament volumes would come out at a much quicker pace than the New Testament ones. (It would be nice, if this blog still exists in 2019, that one of my hopes for 2020 would not be the "upcoming release" of the complete 1 volume Ignatius Study Bible.) There will also be additional volumes in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture released as well. I am also interested in checking out the 4th Edition of the New Oxford Annotated Bible, which will be released in February 2010.

2) The Publication of the Revised/Re-Revised NAB
This has only taken almost twenty years to complete. The Revised NAB NT was completed in 1986, with the dreadful revised Psalms in 1991. Since then, we have been stuck with a rather inconsistently translated American Catholic Bible for almost two full decades. Yet, there is some hope, with the NAB OT revised and approved and a re-revised Psalms in the works. If the revised OT and Psalms match the NT, I think it will be a decent translation overall. This would bring the entire NAB into the more formal category, slightly behind the RSV and NRSV. Also, it wouldn't be a bad thing either if they could incorporate some of the differences between the NAB we hear read at Mass into the one we read at home or in Bible study. Being able to read "Rejoice/Hail full of grace" in Luke 1:28 would be delightful!

A couple other thoughts that come to mind concerning the NAB. Whenever the revision is completed, it would be nice to see the USCCB/CBA shell out some minor funds to set up a respectable website that could promote the NAB. (Ignatius Press should do the same for their RSV-2CE as well!) The USCCB site just doesn't cut it for me, and there are plenty of other Bible translations that have fantastic sites in which to compare. (The NRSV site is not one of them!) Also, would it be too much for the NAB to come in different page layouts and formats? If you have seen one NAB, you have seen them all. Perhaps allowing a major publishing house to produce the NAB would be a good idea. Maybe the NAB could be made in a genuine leather cover too! Oooo......

3) Publication of Quality/Premium Editions of Catholic Bibles
This may well be a pipe dream, particularly with the state of the economy. However, the recent release of the Saint Benedict Press Douay-Rheims and RSV-CE does provide some hope. These new editions were not only published in multiple cover options, but also in attractive page layouts with accompanying study/prayer helps. In addition, the Little Rock Scripture Study's The Four Gospels, utilizing the NAB, also was encouraging in it's use of a single column format and informative in-text boxes which supplemented the NAB footnotes. And of course there is HarperCollins/Catholic/One who continues to publish the NRSV in different, often attractive editions. Although there always seems to be something lacking in their NRSV editions, like cross-references, I appreciate the effort. So there is some hope I think, although I am not going to wait around for the "perfect" edition to be made. (More on that in the coming weeks!)

So what are you hoping for in 2010?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ROME REPORTS TV News Agency - General Audience: How faith and reason collaborates

As reported earlier this year, The Catholic Faith & Family Bible will be released in early January 2010. It utilizes the NRSV-CE translation and is now available for pre-order at the HarperCollins website. For those interested, you can stop by the Center for Ministry Development website for more info on this new Bible edition. The site includes sample pages and additional material to use with the Bible. As of now, The Catholic Faith & Family Bible comes in paperback and hardcover editions.
Here is a little more info on this Bible, from the HarperCollins website:
Newly available from Our Sunday Visitor and the Center for Ministry Development comes The Catholic Faith and Family Bible. Never before has a study Bible been designed specifically for Catholic families; this version includes introductions to each book of the Bible written specifically for Catholic families, including helpful tips for parents; over 1,000 notes and reflection lines to help families apply Scripture to daily living; an index to guide families to important parts of the Bible that offer especial connection to the Catholic faith; and the NRSV Catholic Edition text approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. A Bible unlike any other, The Catholic Faith and Family Bible offers encouragement and inspiration for Catholic families in every aspect of their lives.
There is a growing desire among Catholics to read the Bible and to find inspiration and wisdom for their daily lives. Yet there is no Bible that brings Catholic families and the Bible together. Developed in partnership with the Center for Ministry Development and Our Sunday Visitor, recognized leaders in Catholic youth and family ministry, The Catholic Faith and Family Bible is designed to make the Bible easier to read and understand for the everyday Catholic family, helping parents and children grow in faith together. This message is brought to life through more than a thousand notes and articles such as:
Act On It!—encourages families to engage in something active that the biblical passage may inspire, such as works of mercy and justice.
Make the Connection—offers important facts about the Bible and shows how the Bible is relevant to Catholic family life today.
Meet the People—introduces the main characters of the Bible.
Pray the Word—offers simple prayers for the family to pray together.
Take It to Heart—invites families to reflect on a biblical passage and discover God's message for their lives.
Additional features include book introductions, helpful articles and Bible reading plans for the family, parenting tips on how to share scripture with children, cultural and ethnic perspectives on the Catholic faith, inspiring articles written specifically for Catholic teens, and a topical index to help families connect their faith to everyday events.
The Catholic Faith and Family Bible is sure to become a welcome part of your family life and a cherished keepsake for years to come.
The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Catholic Edition is fully approved for study by Catholics by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and is recognized in scholarly circles as the most accurate translation to English from the original Hebrew and Greek texts. In the tradition of its predecessors, the King James Version and the Revised Standard Version, the NRSV was designed to be the standard version for English-speaking people across all denominations. The NRSV is the most trusted, most accepted, and most accurate English translation of the Bible available today.

Monday, December 14, 2009

RSV-CE vs. RSV-2CE Redux

Over the weekend I had a few spare minutes and decided to count the number of changes between the RSV-CE and the RSV-2CE. Using the Emmaus Road Publishing Catholic Bible Concordance: Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition, I came up with well over 2500 changes between the original and the updated. In all actuality, it may be closer to 2800, but I can't confirm that I always hit the right button on the computer when adding it all up. :) Safe to say, however, the number of changes are significant.
Keep in mind, this does not include the changes made to the archaic language in the original RSV-CE, like the "thees" and "thous". So, overall, that is a pretty hefty number in my book. Certainly worth giving the RSV-2CE a second look.
I wonder how this would compare to the ESV?
Update: A few years back a guy, mmortal03, on the Catholic Answers forums tabulated some of the changes in the new RSV-2CE. This was well before the Emmaus Road Catholic Bible Concordance was released and which documented all of the changes. However, his list remains helpful, in particular when comparing the RSV-2CE to the the original 1966 edition of the RSV-CE and the subsequent updates done by Oxford University Press. So check it out!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Saint Benedict Press RSV-CE

Over the past few weeks I have expressed some frustration with Saint Benedict Press with the delay in receiving their new RSV-CE. However, one of the managers read about my frustration, here and on another blog, and contacted me directly to resolve the problem. She was very nice and helpful, and assured me that this was an anomaly, which I certainly believe is the case. I look forward to ordering more books from Saint Benedict Press in the future.

The good news: I received the genuine leather RSV-CE yesterday in the mail.

The even better news: Outside of one major omission, this is a really fine edition of the RSV-CE.

So, where to begin?

Well, I would like to mention the most obvious upgrade is the page layout. It is by far the best page layout of any RSV-CE that I own. It is a very clear, clean text including bolded paragraph headings. It is very easy on the eyes to read. (Those who need a larger print can also purchase a large print edition in 12 point font.) The inside cover of this Bible mentions that it was published in association with HarperOne/HarperCollins, which brought to mind the page layouts of the recently released NRSV Catholic Gift Bible and Life With God Bible. All three of them are similar, which is a good thing. This is definitely superior to the older Ignatius/Scepter editions of the RSV-CE. Included, of course, are the original RSV-CE explanatory notes, which are placed as end notes at the back of each Testament.

Now onto the genuine leather cover. It is nice to finally be able to hold a Catholic edition of the RSV in a genuine leather cover. (Yes, I am aware of the RSV-CE from Oxford, but this Bible has so much more included in it, while not appearing like it was simply enlarged from a compact version of itself.) Now don't get me wrong, this is not a calfskin leather cover or anything, but it is a definite improvement upon the typical bonded leather editions of the RSV-CE or RSV-2CE. At first it is a little stiff, but I am certain this will improve after continued use. Those who are interested in a more softer cover, the synthetic leather/Italian duo-tone type covers can be purchased as well for this new RSV-CE. It also comes in paperback.

The fine people at Saint Benedict Press also included a number of extra features, which are typically lacking in most editions of the RSV-CE. These include: Presentation and Family Record pages, a section of New Testament maps, four full color pictures of artwork (I particularly like the El Greco Christ on the Cross), and a calendar of readings for the 3 Year Sunday Liturgical cycle as well as the weekday readings. Bravo! In addition, there is a ribbon marker included and the words of Christ are in red in the Gospels, which I don't care either way about, although I know some people who are passionately for or against this inclusion in Bibles.

So, overall, this is a very fine edition of the RSV-CE. There is, however, one fairly huge omission in my mind, which all of you who read this blog will know instantly what it is. There are no cross-references! D'oh! So close! I am not sure why the RSV-CE cross-references aren't included, perhaps it has something to do with the arrangement with HarperOne. The RSV-CE editions published in the past by Ignatius and Scepter, which are identical by the way, both included cross-references.

Let me just conclude this review by saying that this edition is very good overall. I like everything about it, except it's one major omission. It will certainly meet your needs for an every day RSV-CE reading Bible. I am sure it will make a great gift as well, particularly due to the beautiful presentation box that it comes in.

Below is a photo I took with my IPhone of the page layout.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Favorite Biblical/Theological Books of 2009

Let me start off by saying that not all of these books were released in 2009. Three of them were indeed released this past year, the two others in 2008. In either case, I read all of these books in 2009 and recommend them to all.

Praying the Psalms with the Early Christians by Mike Aquilina and Christopher Bailey
This fine book has become the nightly devotional that my wife and I read before going to sleep. It includes the RSV translation of 34 Psalms, with short reflections from the early Church Fathers. The short reflections are freshly translated in more modernized language. Some of the Fathers that are included are Augustine, Ambrose, Cyril of Jerusalem, Athanasius, and Jerome. This is a great little devotional book.

Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture by Timothy M. Gallagher, OMV
This fairly thin book has been a real blessing to me. While I always enjoy reading the Holy Scriptures for Bible study and teaching class, I have often felt that my praying of Scripture has been rather poor. Sure, I pray every day with the Bible, but it hasn't always been as fruitful as it should. Fr. Gallagher's book focuses on Ignatius of Loyola's two basic methods of praying with the Bible: meditation and contemplation. The book does a great job at explaining the Ignatian method, along with dozens of real-life experiences by the typical lay reader. For those of you who haven't been introduced to the Ignatian way of praying Scripture, this book is a nice introduction.

The God of Jesus Christ: Meditations on the Triune God by Pope Benedict XVI. You didn't think I was going to have a list of my favorite books of the year without giving a nod to B16 did you? Well, this is one of the books that was released last year, but it was required for my Christology class last Spring. I am glad that it was. This book is a collection of edited papers by the then Cardinal Ratzinger focusing on each of the three persons of the Holy Trinity. It seeks to answer the question that Rahner asked years earlier about whether belief in the Trinity mattered to the average Christian. Cardinal Ratzinger believes that the proposition that "God is three and God is one" is essential and "if this proposition had nothing to say to us, it would not have been revealed (29)." Let me finish with one of his quotes concerning the Holy Spirit: "Unlike Father and Son, the name of the third Divine Person is not the expression of something specific. It designates that which is common in the Godhead. But this reveals the 'proper character' of the Third Person: he is that which is common, the unity of the Father and the Son, the unity in Person. The Father and the Son are one with each other by going out beyond themselves; it is in the third Person, in the fruitfulness of their act of giving, that they are One (109)."

Covenant and Communion: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI by Scott W. Hahn
As this book points out, while there has been many books written over the past few years about a variety of issues surrounding Pope Benedict XVI, very few, if any, have concentrated on his Biblical theology. Which is somewhat surprising, since the one major book he has released, as Pope, Jesus of Nazareth, is precisely a biblical examination of the life of Christ. (And of course, part II is set to be released next year.) This book proves to be is a fine overview, and it is written in a style that encourages the reader to read Benedict/Ratzinger for themselves. There are plenty of footnotes to entertain and delight those who want to do further reading.

Honorable Mentions (some of these I am still working on)
Kinship by Covenant by Scott W. Hahn
Inhabiting the Cruciform God by Michael J. Gorman
Justification by N.T. Wright
Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (a true classic that I read for the first time this year!)

So, what are yours?

Slow Down! It's Advent!

Spotted this film at the Intentional Disciples blog. For more info on those who made the film, you can go to their site Outside da Box.

Saint Benedict Press Douay-Rheims

Matt, at his blog Absolutely No Spin, has a fine review of the Saint Benedict Press Large Print Douay-Rheims, with lots of pictures.

Still awaiting the arrival of the Genuine Leather RSV from Saint Benedict Press. Any day now...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Advent Contest

Well, it has been a few months since I had a contest on this blog, so I think now is as good a time as ever to have another one. Consider it a "Catholic Bibles Advent Contest".

1) New paperback edition of the Saint Benedict Press Douay-Rheims Bible. Enjoy the Christmas season with this old classic!

2) A copy of NT Wright's book Contemporary Quest for Jesus by Fortress Press. You can take this handy little volume anywhere you go. Unfortunately, it is too small to beat over the heads of your Jesus Seminar friends. ;)

The winner must be the first one to answer the following questions correctly. You have one chance to answer, since I will not accept multiple entries by the same person. The entry deadline is Friday, December 11, at Noon EST. Make sure to have your name at the end of your entry. I will announce the winner in the comment box on Friday or Saturday. Sorry, but I will only ship to locations in North America.

Contest Questions:

1) Who is the person credited with dating the birth of Christ, thus establishing the use of B.C. and A.D. ? What year did he do this?

2) According to tradition (lower case "t"), what are the names of the Three Kings and what kingdoms did they rule?

3) Which of the four major basilicas did I not visit during my recent trip to Rome? (Take a guess)

Update: Winner announced in Comment Box!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Info on New Oxford Annotated Bible 4th Edition

Rick Mansfield over at his This Lamp blog recently posted some additional information about the soon to be released NOAB 4th Edition. You can read all about it here. The NOAB 4th edition will be released in February 2010.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

O Saint Benedict Press RSV-CE, Where Art Thou?

If you are wondering why I haven't blogged a review of the recently released Saint Benedict Press RSV-CE, in black genuine leather, well the reason is I have yet to receive it in the mail. I placed the order back on Friday November 13 with Saint Benedict Press, who said it would ship in 1-2 business days, but still nothing has arrived. As a matter of fact, I even paid extra for 2 day air shipping, in order to expedite the delivery. After multiple emails to customer service which were never answered, I was finally able to get someone from customer service on the phone on three separate occasions to find out the status of my order. And to be honest, I am still not sure what is going on. I have been told that the new RSV's are in stock, but are "in the process" of being shipped. How long does that take?
Oh well, I will try and let you all know what this new RSV-CE is like, once I actually can hold it in my increasingly frustrated hands.

Monday, November 30, 2009

RSV-CE vs. RSV-2CE Part 4 (final)

Well, this will be the final post focusing on the differences between the RSV-CE and the RSV-2CE. Consider this last post a sort of lightning round. I am just going to list a few more differences between the two which I find interesting or amusing.

Let the lightning round begin:

1) Exodus
The RSV-2CE, following the NAB revised NT, translates literally the Greek term exodos as "exodus" instead of original RSV's "departure" in Luke 9:31.

2) Covenant
The RSV-2CE translates "Ark of the Testimony", as found in Exodus 25:16, as "Ark of the Covenant". This change occurs 36 times in the Old Testament. (Not sure about that one.)

3) Donkeys
The RSV-2CE substitutes the term "donkey" for "ass" 151 times in the entire Bible. Is there a difference between the two? I think someone told me once that there was a difference, but I sure prefer saying "donkey", particularly when teaching Scripture to a bunch of high school kids.

4) Angels
The RSV-2CE goes with "angels" over "god/gods" in the Psalms 8, 82, 97, and 138.

5) Virgin
The RSV-2CE follows the LXX in Isaiah 7:14 with "virgin" instead of "young woman".

In the end, while there are a number of differences between the two editions, I think if you are comfortable with the original RSV-CE than there is really no need to get the update. The one exception would be whether or not you find the archaic language unbearable. Some of the changes in the RSV-2CE I prefer, like the use of "exodus" in Luke 9:31 and the change from "ass" to "donkey". However, I am still not sold on the use of "chalice" and "mercy" in the RSV-2CE, as oppose to what the original RSV-CE.

Finally, let me just point out that if you are interested in seeing all the differences, which are far more than I had initially thought, you really need to get the recently released The Catholic Bible Concordance: Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition by Emmaus Road Publishing. Along with the added RSV-2CE information, it has proven to be a very handy, yet compact exhaustive concordance. Those at Emmaus Road should be proud of this publication, which was so needed for serious Catholic Bible readers and students. It certainly reaffirms my belief that the RSV-CE will remain the most scholarly/literal translation of the Bible in the English-speaking Catholic world for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The First Sunday of Advent

The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. In those days, in that time, I will raise up for David a just shoot; he shall do what is right and just in the land. In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her: "The LORD our justice." -Jeremiah 33:14-16

May all of you have a blessed Advent Season!
(This icon of "Our Lady of the Sign" is the official icon for the Archdiocese of Denver)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Psalm of Thanks on Thanksgiving

Psalm 138 (RSV)
A Psalm of David.
I give thee thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing thy praise;
I bow down toward thy holy temple and give thanks to thy name for thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness; for thou hast exalted above everythingthy name and thy word.
On the day I called, thou didst answer me, my strength of soul thou didst increase.
All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, for they have heard the words of thy mouth; and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD.
For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he knows from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou dost preserve my life; thou dost stretch out thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, and thy right hand delivers me.
The LORD will fulfil his purpose for me; thy steadfast love, O LORD, endures for ever. Do not forsake the work of thy hands.
Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

RSV-CE vs. RSV-2CE part 3

The most numerous and consistent change from the RSV-CE to the RSV-2CE concerns the use of the Hebrew word ben in the Old Testament. Used most often in the Pentateuch, this change occurs some 526 times in the RSV-2CE Old Testament.
A well-known example comes from Exodus 1:9, which the original RSV-CE translates: ""And he said to his people, "Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us.""
In most Bibles, including the RSV-CE, KJV, Douay-Rheims, NAB and NRSV, the translators go with either "the people of the children of Israel" or "the children of Israel" or just simply "the Israelite people". The RSV-2CE revisers went with "the sons of Israel" consistently. The NASB comes closest to the RSV-2CE by translating this phrase "the people of the sons of Israel", which seems to be the most literal rendering of the Hebrew. I wonder why the RSV-2CE revisers didn't simply go with the NASB rendering?

The Bible according to the Sistine Chapel

Monday, November 23, 2009

RSV-CE vs. RSV-2CE Part 2

The next change that I am going to post on, between the RSV-CE and RSV-2CE, is the use of cup/chalice. The RSV-2CE changes on 17 occasions the standard translation of the Greek poterion from cup to chalice. The occurs in the New Testament on 16 occasions, most notably during the Last Supper. There is also one case in the Old Testament where the RSV-2CE, translating the Hebrew word kowc, goes with chalice. It is found at Psalm 116:13.

Here is an example, not from the Last Supper: "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the chalice that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able." He said to them you will drink my chalice, but to sit..." (Matthew 20:22-23)

So what do you think? I am not too sure that I like the change, since I don't really think it is necessary. In my honest opinion, I think the RSV-2CE revisers meant to heighten the Eucharistic tone of those passages by substituting "chalice" for the more simple "cup".

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

RSV-CE vs. RSV-2CE 1

Back in October, I posted a review of the recently released Catholic Bible Concordance: Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, published by Emmaus Road. One of the best features of this concordance was the inclusion of the changes made to the RSV-2CE published by Ignatius Press. Last year, I posted a blog entry which asked a few questions about the Ignatius RSV-2CE, particularly focused on whether there was an official list of all the changes. In reply, Fr. Fessio responded in the comment sections of that post with some additional information about the production of the RSV-2CE, but with little specifics about the number of changes between the RSV-CE and RSV-2CE. Well, thankfully, Emmaus Road has included those changes in their concordance. I would like to thank those who worked on this concordance, particularly CW Lyons and Thomas Deliduka, for taking the time to log all the differences.

So, I have decided to take a look at some of the more important changes between the RSV-CE and the RSV-2CE. I was amazed at how many changes there were, far more than I expected. Ignatius Press indicated that the RSV-2CE eliminated any archaic language, which they have done. I will not be discussing the pros and cons of archaic language, other than to say that its removal is a good thing.

The first change that I wanted to bring to your attention is how the RSV-2CE translated the Hebrew term hesed. The original RSV-CE, as well as the current NRSV and the ESV, translate it as "steadfast love". While the RSV-2CE goes with "mercy" which is also used by the KJV, Douay-Rheims, and NAB. The RSV-2CE changes "steadfast love" to "mercy" 121 times and "steadfast love" to "merciful love" 40 additional times.

It is true that hesed is not the easiest Hebrew word to translate into English. The newly released Catholic Bible Dictionary states: "In the Old Testament, God's "mercy" and "love" are closely related. Two Hebrew terms, hesed and rahamim, are both translated either "mercy" or "love." In reference to mercy, God's hesed is a gift and not a right, but it entails a relationship between God and the one who receives it, who is expected to reciprocate by loving God (p.601-602)."

So what do you think? Mercy or Steadfast Love?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Today's reading from 2 Maccabees

Today's first reading at Mass comes from 2 Maccabees. It happens to be one of my most favorite Old Testament stories. Two things stand out in my mind: 1) It is nice hear an OT selection of this length. Oftentimes, the first reading is condensed down to a small selection, but today you get to hear the entire story; 2) I would imagine that those earlier Christians who heard this story of Eleazar were fortified in their faith, certainly during times of persecution. While there are some Christians who don't accept the canonicity of 2 Maccabees, we can all agree that Eleazar's steadfast faith is to be greatly commended.

Here is the entire reading, from the NAB:

2 Mc 6:18-31
Eleazar, one of the foremost scribes,a man of advanced age and noble appearance,was being forced to open his mouth to eat pork. But preferring a glorious death to a life of defilement,he spat out the meat,and went forward of his own accord to the instrument of torture,as people ought to do who have the courage to reject the food which it is unlawful to taste even for love of life. Those in charge of that unlawful ritual meal took the man aside privately,because of their long acquaintance with him,and urged him to bring meat of his own providing,such as he could legitimately eat,and to pretend to be eating some of the meat of the sacrifice prescribed by the king;in this way he would escape the death penalty,and be treated kindly because of their old friendship with him.But Eleazar made up his mind in a noble manner,worthy of his years, the dignity of his advanced age,the merited distinction of his gray hair,and of the admirable life he had lived from childhood;and so he declared that above allhe would be loyal to the holy laws given by God.

He told them to send him at once to the abode of the dead, explaining:“At our age it would be unbecoming to make such a pretense;many young people would think the ninety-year-old Eleazarhad gone over to an alien religion.Should I thus pretend for the sake of a brief moment of life,they would be led astray by me,while I would bring shame and dishonor on my old age.Even if, for the time being, I avoid the punishment of men,I shall never, whether alive or dead,escape the hands of the Almighty.Therefore, by manfully giving up my life now, I will prove myself worthy of my old age,and I will leave to the young a noble example of how to die willingly and generously for the revered and holy laws.”

Eleazar spoke thus,and went immediately to the instrument of torture.Those who shortly before had been kindly disposed,now became hostile toward him because what he had said seemed to them utter madness.When he was about to die under the blows,he groaned and said:“The Lord in his holy knowledge knows full well that,although I could have escaped death,I am not only enduring terrible pain in my body from this scourging,but also suffering it with joy in my soul because of my devotion to him.”This is how he died,leaving in his death a model of courage and an unforgettable example of virtue not only for the young but for the whole nation.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Catholic Men's Audio Site

I just wanted to briefly direct you to a new Catholic Men's Fellowship site that includes some really good talks from Men's Conferences in the Detroit area and elsewhere. In addition, the site also contains a multi-part series by Dr. Peter Williamson, of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, on the Book of Revelation. When I was doing graduate work at SHMS in Detroit, Dr. Williamson was one of my favorite professors. He has the great gift of being able to combine the important theological/scriptural information with its various pastoral applications. Currently, he is the head of the Scripture department at SHMS and is the editor of the new Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture series. So, check it out! All of the talks are free.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Edition of the RSV-CE

St. Benedict Press, recent publishers of the venerable Douay-Rheims Bible, have now published their own edition of the RSV-CE. While I have yet to see any specifics about the edition, it does, however, come in many different cover options, including genuine leather, paperback, and Premium UltraSoft (imitation/pacific duvelle/Italian Duo-tone). It is also available in standard and large-print options.

I will try to post more info on these editions as soon as I can find it.

Well, after a little bit of searching around, I went to the Catholic Company website and found some additional information about the St. Benedict's Press RSV-CE:

The Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition Bible (RSV-CE), translated from the original Greek and Hebrew, is known for its clear, contemporary language which makes it accessible to the modern reader and yet preserves the meaning of the original text. This Saint Benedict Press edition has been tailor-made for prayer and study. Its beautiful, easy-to-read design is preferred by 9 out of 10 readers! The unique features below, and many more, will help you use The Holy Bible to deepen your life with Jesus Christ.

Presentation Page (Click to see a sample)
Words of Christ in Red
Full-color New Testament Maps of the Holy Land (Click to see a sample)
Beautiful Color Paintings Depicting the Life of Christ (Click to see a sample)
Family Records Pages
3-Year Cycle of readings for Sundays and Weekday Masses
Measures 8" x 5.5

Update 2:
I ordered the black, genuine leather edition of the RSV-CE last week, but have yet to receive it. I also emailed St. Benedict's Press customer service at least three times and haven't received a response either. I will let you know more about this edition once I either receive a response from St. Benedict's Press or when I am holding the Bible in my hands.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NAB Revision Update

According to the Catholic Biblical Association, the NAB re-revised Psalms will be presented for approval at the upcoming United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Baltimore on November 16-19. The CBA site states: "Early 2009: The CCD office has contacted individual scholars to contract for revision of blocks of psalms to be presented to the USCCB for approval at their November meeting." I have received some conflicting reports about this however, but I guess we will have to wait and see. Let's hope, and pray, that this actually occurs and a revised NAB will be released in 2010. The Church in American needs a more uniform Catholic Bible.

If you are interested in seeing the history of this long process of revision, you can go here. It is amazing that it has taken this long! Remember, the revised NAB New Testament, which I like quite a bit, was released in 1986. I was 8 years old at the time!
I blogged my thoughts about this whole process a few months back, which can be read here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Apostolic Constitution on Anglican Ordinariates Released

The Vatican has released the Apostolic Constitution on the Anglican Ordinariates. Included with the Consititution is a press release, as well as canonical commentary. The title of the Apostolic Constitution is ANGLICANORUM COETIBUS, which means "On Groups of Anglicans".

More info at the following sites:

Whispers in the Loggia
John Allen NCROnline
Fr. Z

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Oxford NAB Readers Edition

As we await the coming revision of the NAB Old Testament and Psalms, of which I have heard from a source may take a little bit longer than expected, I decided to look at a very fine edition of the NAB which I recently discovered at a local Catholic bookstore. For those of you who regularly use the Oxford RSV-CE Readers Edition, there is an instant feeling of familiarity to the design, smith-sewn cover binding, and page layout between the RSV and NAB versions. Outside of the fact that the NAB has bolded paragraph headings, the overall look of the two are exactly the same. Yet, with these similarities, the NAB is clearly the better edition of the two. The version I purchased is the tan Pacific Duvelle edition, although you can get it in genuine leather as well. Both are thumb-indexed.

But first, here are the specs:

Readers Edition, New American Bible, Oxford University Press
*6 X 9 inches,Thumb Indexed, 1514 Gilded Page Edges.
*Presentation pages at the beginning for personalizing the book as a gift.
*The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum), the Vatican II document explaining how God reveals Himself in the Scriptures and detailing their role in the life of the Church today.
*A unique, eight-page section on Prayers and Devotions of the Catholic Faith.
*Select NAB concordance.
*Essay on using the Lectionary, including Sunday and Daily Mass readings.
*One ribbon marker.
*Table of weights and measures in the Bible

As I mentioned above, this edition of the NAB is superior to their RSV offering. Why? Well, it includes considerably more features than the rather bare-bones RSV. While they both contain the same table of weights and measures, Dei Verbum, and the section on prayer and devotions, the NAB edition has the section on prayers and devotions placed at the beginning of the Bible on glossy paper. I personally like the placement of the prayers at the front, as well as the overall upgrade in presentation.

Two other additions help the NAB edition stand out against the RSV version. The first being the inclusion of a 100 page concise concordance. It is always handy to have one of those included, particularly if you plan to use this as your daily Bible. The second addition is the inclusion of the essay by Eileen Schuller "The Bible in the Lectionary" and both the weekday and Sunday Mass readings. If I am not mistaken the essay by Schuller is the one that is included in Oxford's The Catholic Study Bible edited by Fr. Donald Senior. It's a really nice overview of the history of the Church' lectionary, including the foundational principles for the revised Roman Lectionary after the Second Vatican Council. And of course, the inclusion of the daily and Sunday readings, which should be obligatory in all Catholic Bibles, is indeed very convenient.

Oxford's NAB Readers Edition also includes something that I have yet to see in any version of the NAB. Anyone who is familiar with the NAB will notice that the page layout and placement of commentary/cross-references are pretty universal with any edition of the NAB. Of course, they are mandatory with the printing of any edition of the NAB, much like the textual notes of the NRSV are. Well, this is not the case with the Oxford edition. While the NAB introductions are placed at the beginning of each book of the Bible as usual, the commentary notes and cross-references are placed as end notes to each Biblical book. To be honest with you, I actually like this set-up in this edition. It is really the first time I have seen just the NAB text, without all the notes and cross-references at the bottom. It is kind of refreshing. At first I thought that it might be a bit distracting to look up a particular cross-reference or commentary in the end notes, but so far it hasn't been much of an issue. The apparatus makes it pretty easy to find out the information you need pretty quickly. And for those out there, and I know there are a few, who really dislike the NAB commentary notes, this might be the perfect edition for you.

Ultimately, the only complaint I have against the NAB, as well as the RSV Oxford Readers Editions is that they don't include a map section. Why not throw a few of the Oxford maps on the back? They did it for the recently released ESV w/ Apocrypha as well as the NRSV Catholic Edition of a few years ago. But overall, I really like this edition of the NAB. In fact, it may be the best one out on the market. I certainly hope that Oxford University Press will publish a similar edition when the revised NAB Old Testament and Psalms are completed....of course with maps included!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Catholic Prayer Bible: Lectio Divina Edition

Paulist Press will be publishing in January an edition of the NRSV called The Catholic Prayer Bible: Lectio Divina Edition. At this point, I have not been able to find out too much about it, other than it comes in hardcover and paperback editions, with a size of 6 1/8 x 8 3/8". I also found a description of the title, which talks more about Lectio Divina instead of what is in the Bible itself:

Like no other Bible. As Pope Benedict XVI reminds us: "I would like in particular to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of Lectio divina: the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart (cf. Dei Verbun, n. 25). If it is effectively promoted, this practice will bring to the Church - I am convinced of it - a new spiritual springtime."
An ideal Bible for anyone who desires to reflect on the individual stories and chapters of just one, or even all, of the biblical books, while being led to prayer through meditation on that biblical passage. Lectio divina, the reflective reading of scripture, has long been a popular devotional practice in the Church from the earliest of centuries. It consists of four steps: 1) Read: A slow and thoughtful reading of a passage from the Bible. 2) Reflect: A time of reflection and thinking about the meaning of that text to me as the reader. 3) Pray: A period of prayer to God to bring the message or wisdom of the text to fruit in myself. 4) Act: A decision on what I should do as a result; that is, an action plan to change or improve my life
Lectio divina is simple enough to be done any place where there is some quiet or peace, and at any time of day when you can find a few minutes. It can last for as long or sort as you wish to make it; you can spend three minutes or fifteen. And it is intended for everyone, for you -not just for those people you may think of as elite in some way: priests and religious, the very educated, or the very pious. Everyone - including you as you are right now - can find pleasure and spiritual enrichment in Lectio divina.
This Bible, which is like no other, invites readers, whether individually or in groups, to read the Bible more completely and prayerfully. It is the perfect way to give the gift of prayer to yourself and to those you love. 2,500 pages.
Well, thanks for the short lesson on Lectio Divina, but what about the Bible itself? In addition, I have always thought that the classic 4 steps of Lectio Divina were: 1) Lectio, 2) Meditatio, 3) Oratio, 4) Contemplatio. Sometimes I see another step added at the end, known as actio, which encourages the person to make some sort of commitment or to follow through on a decided path. But actio is not a part of the classic formulation. Or is it? Hmm....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Common English Bible

The Common English Bible is a new translation in the works that seeks to provide a new rendition of the Bible in English at a 7th grade reading level. It is meant to provide an option for those churches currently using the NRSV (11th grade reading level), but would rather have something more "plain spoken". The committee who is currently working on this project have four stated goals:
1 )Clarity of language, as in "plain speaking", 2)A reliable, genuine, and credible power to transform lives, 3) An emotional expectation to find the love of God, 4) A rational expectation to find the knowledge of God.
While being sponsored by mostly mainline Protestant churches, it does have a fair amount of Catholic participation as well. When completed, this new translation will also include the Deuterocanonical books.
The CEB translation team has just released its version of the Gospel according to Matthew. It is available here as a .pdf file.

One thing that immediately grabs your attention is the use of "the Human One" instead of "the Son of Man". While I laud their apparent desire for consistency, assuming that they will translate the same phrase in Daniel and Ezekiel as "the Human One", I don't think this is a good move overall. The term "Son of Man" has been a major part of theological and scriptural discourse for the past 2000 years. This is one area where my moderate position on the use of inclusive language begins to make me fell a bit uncomfortable.
Of course, I am somewhat uncomfortable with labeling any translation "good" or "bad", and certainly not one that hasn't even been fully published. I think it is great that the CEB team has released a portion of their new Bible, so that we can look over it and point out things we like and dislike about it. I look forward to any future releases they decide to provide, particularly in regards to Paul's letters.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NOAB 4th Edition Update

I emailed Oxford University Press over the weekend asking if there would be multiple binding options for the NOAB 4th Edition. A customer service representative responded saying that "There will be alternate bindings available for this title when it is published." Good to hear!

I hope this means that there will be genuine leather bindings. I mentioned in the previous post's comment box that I was very close this past weekend to ordering a genuine leather study Bible. I had been debating it for the past few months, but was still undecided between the NOAB 3rd edition and the New Interpreters Study Bible. Now that the 4th edition will be coming in February, it may be wise to wait until then. Hmmm.....

Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Oxford Annotated Bible 4th Edition Due in February

Sorry for the low amount of content over the past week, but I have been leading a school retreat as well as recovering from a nagging head cold. However, while I was sitting on the couch today, I did some searching on my I-Phone at the Oxford University Press website. What did I find you ask? Well it appears that OUP will be releasing the 4th edition of the New Oxford Annotated Bible this coming February. So far, it is only listed to be released in hardcover editions. It will be 2480 pages with a size of 6 9/16 x 9", which would make it identical to the augmented 3rd edition.

It seems strange, at least to me, that they would be releasing this edition so soon after the 3rd augmented edition, which came out only in January 2007. However, in many ways, the bar has been raised in the study Bible world with the recent releases of the NLT and ESV study Bibles. I hope they offer this edition with a genuine leather cover.

Here are the features of the upcoming NOAB 4th Edition:

The premier study Bible used by scholars, pastors, undergraduate and graduate students, The New Oxford Annotated Bible offers a vast range of information, including extensive notes by experts in their fields; in-text maps, charts, and diagrams; supplementary essays on translation, biblical interpretation, cultural and historical background, and other general topics.Extensively revised--half of the material is brand new--featuring a new design to enhance readability, and brand-new color maps, the Annotated Fourth Edition adds to the established reputation of this essential biblical studies resource. Many new and revised maps, charts, and diagrams further clarify information found in the Scripture text. In addition, section introductions have been expanded and the book introductions present their information in a standard format so that students can find what they need to know. Of course, the Fourth Edition retains the features prized by students, including single column annotations at the foot of the pages, in-text charts, and maps, a page number-keyed index of all the study materials in the volume, and Oxford's renowned Bible maps. This timely edition maintains and extends the excellence the Annotated 's users have come to expect, bringing still more insights, information, and perspectives to bear upon the understanding of the biblical text.

· The renowned New Revised Standard Version Bible translation, the scholarly standard for study of the Bible

· Wholly revised, and greatly expanded book introductions and annotations.

· Annotations in a single column across the page bottom, paragraphed according to their boldface topical headings.

· In-text background essays on the major divisions of the biblical text.

· Essays on the history of the formation of the biblical canon for Jews and various Christian churches.

· More detailed explanations of the historical background of the text.

· More in-depth treatment of the history and varieties of biblical criticism.

· A timeline of major events in the ancient Near East.

· A full index to all of the study materials, keyed to the page numbers on which they occur.

· A full glossary of scholarly and critical terms.

· 36-page section of full color New Oxford Bible Maps, approximately 40 in-text line drawing maps and diagrams.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

So, What Are You Reading These Days?

It has been a few weeks now since returning from the honeymoon to Italia, and only now do I feel like I am finally settling into a daily routine. The new job at the high school, while great, has also taken some time getting use to as well. But at some point during the past few days I began to feel comfortable, somewhat normal again.

One of the reasons for this is that I have once again started making time each day to sit back and just read. It has been a few months since I finished a book, but I am very excited to be working on a number of them currently. Of course, it's not like I haven't done any reading over the past few months. But with marriage preparation, lesson plans, a honeymoon, and pair of senior retreats, there just seemed not to be much free time. However, that has now changed...I think.

And I am very glad it has, because I have been able to start reading through two newly ordered books, which I have greatly enjoyed reading so far. The first book, which I am almost finished with, is Michael J. Gorman's Inhabiting the Cruciform God: Kenosis, Justification, and Theosis in Paul's Narrative Soteriology. Anyone who has read some of Gorman's other works will be familiar with the themes in this book. In particular, his analysis of kenosis in the Christ-hymn of Philippians 2, and its broader connections to the identity of the Triune God has made for some very interesting reading.

Along with Gorman's book, I have also been skimming through Scott Hahn's Covenant and Communion: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI. Hahn points out that many of the books written about Pope Benedict fail to capture his deep reliance on Scripture which is at the heart of his writings and teachings before and after his election to the See of Rome. The first part of Hahn's book spends considerable time discussing Pope Benedict's view of the historical-critical method. As Hahn points out, Pope Benedict sees the historical-critical method as being "an indispensable" tool for Biblical scholars. It is indispensable precisely because the Christian faith is based in history. Yet, while we must continue to use the historical-critical method in our exegesis of Biblical passages, we cannot separate it from the faith of the Church. Without faith, the text remains only a historical relic, which cannot be brought to the present. Ultimately, the Church is the guardian of the written Word. There is, of course, a lot more to this, but I have found this book to be a wonderful summary of Pope Benedict's Biblical theology.

One last book that I have picked up, but have yet to start, is Scott Hahn's reworked doctoral thesis Kinship by Covenant: A Canonical Approach to the Fulfillment of God's Saving Promises. This is one of those books that is over 600 pages long, with half of it being end notes. Fun stuff! No....I really mean it! I hope to start this in the next week or so.

So what are you reading these days? Any new releases that I should check out?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This Sunday's Gospel

This coming Sunday in the Roman Lectionary, we will hear the story of blind Bartimaeus. This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible, and it even includes the name Timaeus! In many ways, it is the hinge on which the Gospel of Mark turns, as the focus now turns to Jerusalem. I thought I would provide multiple translations of this passage, just to spur some discussion on how each handles it. (Mark 10:46-52) Although very similar, there are some subtle differences between the translations. For example, is there a major difference in translating the Greek word hodos as "way" or "road"?

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,sat by the roadside begging.On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,he began to cry out and say,"Jesus, son of David, have pity on me."And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more,"Son of David, have pity on me."Jesus stopped and said, "Call him."So they called the blind man, saying to him,"Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you."He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; get up, he is calling you.’ So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘My teacher, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus -- that is, the son of Timaeus -- a blind beggar, was sitting at the side of the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and cry out, 'Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me.' And many of them scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, 'Son of David, have pity on me.' Jesus stopped and said, 'Call him here.' So they called the blind man over. 'Courage,' they said, 'get up; he is calling you.' So throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus. Then Jesus spoke, 'What do you want me to do for you?' The blind man said to him, 'Rabbuni, let me see again.' Jesus said to him, 'Go; your faith has saved you.' And at once his sight returned and he followed him along the road.

NET Bible:
They came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus the son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercyon me!” Many scolded him to get him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man and said to him, “Have courage! Get up! He is calling you.” He threw off his cloak, jumped up, and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied, “Rabbi, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has healed you.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the road.
Update: Michael Barber, from his blog The Sacred Page, has some nice info on this reading as well.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pope Creates Ordinariates for Anglican Dioceses

It will be interesting to read the Apostolic Constitution once it is signed and released by the Pope. If you would like to read the Joint Statement made by the Catholic Bishop of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury, go here.

For some commentary on this historic announcement, check out these sites:

John Allen

Canon Lawyer Ed Peters


Review of NRSV Notetakers Bible

J. Mark Bertrand has a very fine post up about the recently released Oxford NRSV Notetaker's Bible. Mr. Bertrand is the Internet expert on all things concerning quality Bible covers and bindings. It is worth the time and effort to read through some of his past posts, which always come with fine descriptive pictures and commentary.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Douay-Rheims Edition

Published in cooperation with Tan Books, St. Benedict's Press has released a new edition of the venerable Douay-Rheims Bible. I was able to examine a copy at a local Catholic book store a few days back and was impressed with the overall presentation of the Bible. While I don't use the Douay-Rheims regularly, I have always hoped that there would be more stylish/modern editions of the Douay-Rheims available. This Bible is a definite step in the right direction. While some of the more recent Douay-Rheims releases have been fairly thick, this edition comes in the standard, medium size Bible range. The paper is the classic Bible paper you would find in most Bibles. The page layout is similar to that found in previous Tan Book Douay-Rheims releases, including cross-references and the classic verse notes. The edition I reviewed was the very flexible imitation leather/Durahyde cover.
Here is a bit more about it, from the Tan website:
Our Douay Rheims Bible is the only edition available with the words of Christ in red! Includes updated full color New Testament maps, beautiful pictures depicting the life of Christ. Complete with Family record and Presentation pages. This beautiful Bible is available in a durable black leather-soft cover, with gold edges and a ribbon marker and is packaged in an eye catching presentation box.
All in all, this is a very fine edition, particularly those who are interested in getting a stylistically newer edition of the Douay-Rheims. I only wonder why they didn't include any Old Testament maps, but overall it is an attractive edition which comes in multiple cover options.
It also seems that St. Benedict Press will be producing similar Bible editions with the NAB and RSV. More to come as details are revealed!
Update: Theophrastus the Great alerted me to an even better review of this new edition on another blog site. He even has pictures of the paperback edition.