Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Working together, then,we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says: In an acceptable time I heard you,and on the day of salvation I helped you. Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation."
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
So, along with the usual class and ministry work, I am spending a lot of time reviewing for the comprehensive exam, which is now just over a month away. Therefore, don't be surprised if my posting continues to be down a bit during Lent. I do have some ideas for future posts and a new series of posts, but I also welcome any ideas from you. I will also gratefully accept any prayers! :)
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The review, by Telford Work, does a pretty good job analyzing the drawbacks to the Green Bible. One of his main objections of the Green Bible is that its very purpose, which is to help people "see God's vision for creation and help them engage in the work of healing and sustaining it", seems to simply make the Bible "a vehicle" for a political agenda. While it is important to promote stewardship for creation, which is certainly clear from reading the Bible, it just seems that the editors of the Green Bible came into the project trying to force an agenda into the message of the Bible. This seems to be the wrong way around.
To further his point, he quotes from the NRSV preface, written by the late, highly esteemed Bruce Metzger, where it says: "The Bible carries its full message, not to those who regard it simply as a noble literary heritage of the past or who wish to use it to enhance political purposes and advance otherwise desirable goals, but to all persons and communities who read it so that they may discern and understand what God is saying to them." Touche.
While I encourage you to read the rest of the article for your self, I would like to point out a couple of other places where I think Telford Work makes good sense:
1) "The two testaments' central concerns—covenanted Israel, anointed Jesus, and missional church—are pushed aside by the green passages that testify, or are made to testify, on environmentalism's behalf. Yet if the editors narrowed their criteria or applied them strictly, much less of The Green Bible would be in green, and that would give the false impression of biblical indifference. This double bind makes The Green Bible an awkward witness to the strong theological case that can actually be made for creation care. Despite the publisher's intent, spending time with The Green Bible makes me more aware than ever of the gulf separating ancient Israel from the Sierra Club, and warier of forcing environmentalism, anti-environmentalism, or any other contemporary agenda into passages of Scripture."
2) "The strongest part of The Green Bible is the introductory essays. While their quality is uneven, some stand out as insightful theological affirmations of creation care—particularly those of John Paul II and N. T. Wright. These do the book's heavy lifting. Indeed, they bear nearly its entire intellectual burden."
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition: 27%
New American Bible: 22%
New Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition: 19%
Douay Rheims: 13%
New Jerusalem Bible: 10%
Jerusalem Bible: 6%
Good News Bible: 2%
Christian Community Bible:1%
And now here are the results at 200:
Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition: 32% (64)
New American Bible: 21% (41)
New Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition: 20% (40)
Douay-Rheims: 10% (19)
Jerusalem Bible: 8% (16)
New Jerusalem Bible: 8% (15)
Good News Bible: 2% (3)
Christian Community Bible: 1% (2)
As you can see, the results remain largely the same from 100 to 200 responses. The only real difference is that the Jerusalem Bible has taken over the 5th spot. This is somewhat surprising, since the NJB is in many ways a much better translation than the original. But, like I have mentioned before, the original Jerusalem Bible has a strong following to this day.
There are three clearly definable groups. The first consists of the RSV, NAB, and NRSV, which tend to be formal equivalence translations. This has remained virtually the same since the poll began, and I don't see this changing in the future. The second group includes the DR, JB, and NJB. The JB and NJB are considered to be more dynamic equivalence, while the old DR is actually more formal than the RSV. The third and final group is consists of the GNB and CCB. In total, only 5 votes have been cast for these two translations. They are clearly the least known and available.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
In my opinion, the New Jerusalem Bible is the best beginner Bible for someone who is new to the Catholic faith or has had a re-conversion back to the faith. Now, when I say that it is a great beginner Bible, I do not mean to suggest that the NJB translation is itself simplistic or easy to read like the Good News Translation for example. My point is that this one Bible has the best collection of Bible study tools and page lay-out in any one volume Catholic Bible currently available. The fact that it was published over 20 years ago is a sad indictment of the poor quality of Catholic Bibles on the market. Before looking at some specifics, let me just say one thing: If you are going to get the NJB, make sure it is the large hardcover edition shown here. Do not waste your time with the other editions that are out there, since those do not include all the study helps that the regular edition does.
The NJB contains the complete text of the ancient canon of scripture, along with up-to-date (as of 1985) and extensive introductions and notes. Eight pages of color maps and indexes, including biblical themes, personal names, and major footnotes.
The NJB is a translation directly from the Hebrew and Greek, unlike, at times its predecessor which did consult the original French edition of the JB. The NJB made use of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece 25th edition and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia with close reference to the LXX. The NJB is a mediating translation, which leans towards functional equivalence. An informative essay by the NJB's chief editor, Dom Henry Wansbrough, can be found here. In it, he states that the five main principles to his work were:
1) To improve the accuracy of translation, introductions and notes. I was acutely aware that the rationale of the NJB was somewhat different from that of the JB. Alexander Jones had conceived the translation primarily as an underlay to the introduction and notes, that is, as a study Bible. But whereas in 1966 there was no modern translation of the whole Bible into English by 1985 several were available. The study aspect had therefore become all the more important.
2) To remove elements which were narrowly Roman Catholic, such as references in the notes to passages used in the Roman Catholic liturgy.
3) Where possible to use the same English word throughout for the same Hebrew concepts. With some concepts I abandoned the attempt to find a modern English equivalent which would serve to translate all instances of a word, e.g. ‘flesh’.
4) In the synoptic gospels and other parallel sets of texts (e.g. the Books of Kings and of Chronicles) to show the differences between the text, in order to make possible a study of the redactional changes made by the authors.
5) Where possible to go some way towards using inclusive language. I did not estimate that this was necessary at all costs, as the NRSV subsequently did. However, Bruce Metzger was kind enough to write to me to say that NJB solutions had been most helpful to the Committee for the NRSV in the closing stages of their work.
The NJB, like its predecessor, is also the only Catholic translation that uses "Yahweh" instead of "LORD" consistently in the Old Testament. It will be interesting to see if it is used in future editions, particularly with Pope Benedict's recent comments about its use in liturgy.
1) The NJB is a solid translation. It fits nicely right in the middle of the translation philosophy spectrum. I would generally place it close to the NIV/NAB, though leaning more towards dynamic equivalence. Where I find the NJB to excel is in its use of inclusive language. In many ways, I think the NJB is the model. It is used consistently throughout the Old and New Testament, unlike the NAB, yet it does not go overboard like the NRSV. The NJB retains the use of "sons" in important passages in Galatians 4, does not obscure "Son of Man" references in the OT, and doesn't use the plural "you" to make a passage inclusive.
2) The standard hardback edition is a wonderful study Bible. It has copious notes and lots of cross-references. The intros are also helpful, without forcing you to accept various modern theories as fact.
3) The page layout is single-column, which means it is a pleasure to read and there is plenty of room to make notes. It is a real shame that the NJB is the only Catholic Bible, that I am aware of, that has a single-column layout.
1) There aren't many editions of the NJB available. I have seen some used leather editions of the standard NJB online, but it seems that they are not in print anymore. Therefore, if you like the NJB with all the study helps, you can only get it in hardcover.
2) With the rumors that a 3rd edition of the New Jerusalem Bible is in the works, I am not sure how much longer this edition will be needed.
3) There are no additional study/reference helps available in the NJB translation. One of the great reasons to use a translation like the NRSV is that you can get interlinears, concordances, dictionaries, and other tools that reference the NRSV. This is simply not the case with the NJB.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
The site has a brief description of the product:
The first and only concordance for the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSV-CE) of the Bible. This exhaustive reference tool contains over 15,000 words and 300,000 entries, and has listings for both the first and second editions of the RSV-CE. As easy to use as a dictionary, keywords and passages makes Scripture accessible to people of all walks of life.
All I can say is that this is a long time coming! Luckily, I was able to get a hold of a used Eerdmans Concordance to the RSV (including Deuterocanonical/Apocrypha) a number of years back.
There is, however, another fine Catholic Bible study tool coming soon that I am more interested in purchasing: Catholic Bible Dictionary by Scott Hahn. The publication date is set for June 16 and the publisher is Doubleday. I think the last specifically Catholic Bible dictionary that was published in English was that old 1965 Dictionary of the Bible by John L. Mckenzie. Update definitely needed!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Add to that the revelations this week of the hidden life of the now deceased Fr. Marcial Maciel founder of the Legionaries of Christ. It appears that much of what he professed was not lived out in a life of light and virtue, but rather darkness and deceit. Now, the religious order which he founded must decide how to proceed into an uncertain future.
Any yet with these troubling events, I am decidedly saddened by the death of Michael Dubruiel. Husband, father, writer, editor, and blogger, Michael died suddenly yesterday at the age of 50. My prayers go out to his wife Amy Welborn Dubruiel, acknowledged queen of the Catholic blogosophere, and his children. Although I never met Michael, I did benefit greatly by a number of his books. In particular, his Praying in the Presence of Our Lord with Fulton J. Sheen was a great help to me as I was returning to the faith a number of years ago after spending much of my late high school and college years being an unconscious agnostic.
Ultimately, unexpected deaths like Michael's always makes me ask the question "why now Lord?" Yet, while we don't always know the answers, we do find comfort and hope in Christ. For because of Him, we can look at death, the last enemy, and boldly say with St. Paul:
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Top: RSV-CE (oxford), Confraternity Version, St. Paul Catholic Edition New Testament, The Discipleship Study Bible, The Haydock Bible (Douay-Rheims), HarperCollins Study Bible, (deceased) Grandfather's NIV Schofield Study Bible, NRSV (Oxford)
Bottom: NJB Study Edition, The Catholic Answer Bible, NRSV Apocrypha, NJB Compact,
NAB (1986 edition with revised NT)