Monday, August 31, 2009
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Latin American bishops' council have completed another step in a project to develop a universal Spanish-language Bible translation designed to reach Spanish-speaking Catholics in the Americas. Father Sidney Fones, assistant secretary-general of the council, known as CELAM, and Msgr. David Malloy, general secretary of the USCCB, signed a publications agreement Aug. 25 in the Church in Latin America office at the bishops' conference headquarters in Washington. The USCCB's annual Collection for the Church in Latin America is funding the project and has pledged to contribute $1 million over 10 years, said Oblate Father Andrew Small, head of the Latin America office. He emphasized the Bible project is being "supported by the American people" through the collection. Father Fones said the new translation will serve the majority of Spanish-speaking Catholics who cannot understand current Spanish translations of the Bible because they are based on linguistic traditions in Spain.
Thanks to reader Chase for the link!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Bob Rice received his MA theology and christian ministry with a specialization in catechetics from Franciscan University in 1997. Before coming to teach at Franciscan, he was a youth minister for seven years at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Latham, NY. While there he lead a LIFE TEEN program (which was one of the nation's hub parishes), confirmation preparation, teen catechumenal preparation, and other ministries within the parish. Bob is a highly sought-after, internationally recognized speaker for youth and youth ministers, sharing the Good News to tens of thousands of people every year. He is also an accomplished musician who leads worship at the Steubenville Summer Conferences and has released many CDs (you can find out more at bob-rice.com).
I have heard Bob speak and perform on a few occasion both in Steubenville and here in Michigan. He is a very passionate and funny guy, who also has a deep love for the Lord. Bob also wrote a short, devotional commentary on the Gospel of Mark called “The Beginner’s Gospel”, Monster Ants Press, 2004.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
So, first comes first, here is the poll question:
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This cannot be said for the Catholic Youth Bible published by Saint Mary's Press. Available in both the NAB and NRSV translations, presumably for both an American and Canadian audience, the Catholic Youth Bible (CYB) is simply the best Catholic youth Bible on the market period. Both editions are available in multiple cover options, including paperback, hardcover, some form of leather (not sure if it's genuine or bonded), and nu-tone/imitation leatherette. The edition that I am currently using, the NAB nu-tone/leatherette, is very smooth and lays flat when opened.
Here is a list of all that is packed into this youth Bible:
*50-page concordance to help readers locate scripture
*An expanded reading plan with all the Sunday lectionary readings
*Over 700 lively articles help readers
*Introductions to the major sections of the Bible and all the books of the Bible
*Biblical connections to many different cultures, illustrating the universality of the Catholic Church
*Insights into how the Church has interpreted certain scripture passages throughout history
*4 special indexes, 9 color maps, a 4-page color timeline, and 4 pages of full-color biblical art and photos
Both the NAB and NRSV editions contain all of these youth study tools. The NAB edition has the advantage of coming with the NAB notes and cross-references, while the NRSV edition is simply the translation and textual notes. (Perhaps one day there will be an easily available NRSV edition, of any kind, that includes cross-references!)
The most impressive element of the CYB is the attractive page layout. While it is a dual column format, the font size is very readable and the various articles that appear on almost every page is quite inviting to the reader. If I were a teen, I would imagine that just the overall layout of this Bible would make it more appealing to pick and read. However, if I were to be picky about one thing, it would be that the paper is very thin thus making pen marks bleed over to the other side with relative ease.
As mentioned above, there are over 700 different articles scattered throughout the Bible. All of these, which are thankfully indexed, span issues from abandonment and abortion to war and worship. Since I have yet to read all of these articles, I hope to make note of them during the school year and perhaps report on them in a future post. In addition to these articles, there are also pages devoted to biblical references to the Sacraments, as well as life and faith issues faced by many teens.
Overall, the CYB is a unique and attractive youth Bible. It's design makes it clearly the best option for youth, while also being a good model for other Catholic Bible publishers.
I would like to thank Cris at Saint Mary's Press for sending me a review copy. If you would like to view some page samples, you can do so here.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
While this blog's main purpose is to highlight, analyze, and review resources related to Catholic Bibles, it is clear that there are more and more Bibles and study tools being published by ecumenical Christian groups which may be of some benefit to the average Catholic. This trend is nothing new really, if you consider such study Bibles as the New Oxford Annotated Bible, HarperCollins Study Bible, and New Interpreters Study Bible. These study Bibles, largely academic, included both Catholic and Protestant scholars. There has not been, however, many ecumenical study Bibles that would be more devotional in its emphasis.
However, this has changed with the newly published Life with God Bible. Please note that this edition is a reprint of the original Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible of a few years ago. The main difference being that the Life with God Bible comes in a more portable size and in different cover editions. (I know that in the past one of the main reasons I didn't buy the Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible was because it was so large.) The edition I will be reviewing here is the imitation leather version with the Deuterocanonical books. It also comes in paperback and hardcover versions, with or without the Deuterocanonical books.
The ecumenical group responsible for this Bible edition is the Renovare organization. While you can check out more about the group at their website, they describe themselves as "a nonprofit Christian organization headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, and active worldwide. We seek to resource, fuel, model, and advocate more intentional living and spiritual formation among Christians and those wanting a deeper connection with God. A foundational presence in the spiritual formation movement for over 20 years, Renovaré is Christian in commitment, ecumenical in breadth, and international in scope." Those involved in the Renovare ministry team include the full spectrum of Protestant churches, as well as one Roman Catholic. The editors are Richard J. Foster, Dallas Willard, Walter Brueggermann, and Eugene H. Peterson. The main goal of this study Bible is to make "the Bible more accessible for the process of intentional formation in Christlikeness".
On to the Bible itself, which comes in a very portable, though not compact size of 7.3 x 5.1 x 2 inches. Its hard to place it in a particular size category, but I would relate it to the recently published NRSV Catholic Gift Bible, except that it is considerably thicker. The page format/type is very similar as well, although the NRSV Catholic Gift Bible might be slightly larger. My guess is that this is largely due to the inclusion of the Renovare commentary on the bottom of each page.
There are other similarities to the NRSV Catholic Gift Bible. First, it uses the NRSV translation, including all of the Deuterocanonical Books of both the Catholic and Orthodox churches. It is also nice that they are referred to as the "Deuterocanonical" books, not the "Apocrypha". You also find frequent reference to the Deuterocanonical books themselves in the NT commentary, most notably the Gospel of Matthew. Secondly, both editions include a concise concordance, which does reference all of the canon, including the Deuterocanonical books. Thirdly, the same Bible maps that were included in the NRSV Catholic Gift Bible are included in the Life with God Bible. The only difference is that the Life with God Bible places them at the back, which is where they belong. Finally, and unfortunately, one thing that both editions lack are cross-references. To be fair, however, the Life with God Bible does make occasional note of OT and NT references within the commentary. But, this is not done consistently.
The main contribution that the Renovare group made to this Bible edition is the inclusion of study notes/commentary, spiritual exercises, topical essays on key biblical figures, and a topical index which lists important scriptural verses related to the spiritual exercises. All of this can be previewed here. While the commentary primarily focuses on devotional/discipleship themes, there are many places, particularly in the OT, where it relates the kind of important historical information you would find in a typical study Bible. The periodical essays on biblical figures also combines both devotional and historical information. When referring to the spiritual disciplines, they mean an "intentionally directed action by which we do what we can do in order to receive from God the ability (or power) to do what we cannot do by direct effort." These spiritual disciplines include things like prayer, chastity, confession, fasting, meditation, sacrifice, and service. For the most part, I think a typical Catholic reader can find much to consider and meditate upon.
At this point, I have not found anything that a Catholic would really find objectionable. As a matter of fact, there is an emphasis on such "catholic" themes as the sacraments, broadly understood in a ecumenical context, as well as fasting and meditation. I have also found direct quotes in the commentary from Augustine, Brother Lawrence, Catherine of Siena, Francis of Assisi, Gregory of Nyssa, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, amongst prominent Protestant writers like CS Lewis. If you happen to find the New Life with the Bible at a local bookstore, you might want to check it out. While it doesn't have the much demanded cross-references that I always champion, it is a very nice edition which I plan to try out over the next few months. It's size and the resources it includes makes it a very handy day to day Bible.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
According to Amazon.com, the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament is set to be released on May 10, 2010. Now let's hope that they get the entire Bible completed before 2020!
The only Catholic Study Bible based on the Revised Standard Version 2nd Catholic Edition, the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament brings together all of the books of the New Testament and the penetrating study tools developed by renowned Bible teachers Dr. Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch.
This volume presents the written Word of God in a highly readable, accurate translation, excellent for personal and group study. Extensive study notes, topical essays and word studies provide fresh and faithful insights informed by time-tested, authentically Catholic interpretations from the Fathers of the Church and other scholars. Commentaries include the best insights of ancient, medieval and modern scholarship, and follow the Church s guidelines for biblical interpretation. Plus, each New Testament book is outlined and introduced with an essay covering questions of authorship, date of composition, intended audience and general themes. The Ignatius Study Bible also includes handy reference materials such as a doctrinal index, a concise concordance, a helpful cross-reference system, and various maps and charts.
''With copious historical and theological notes, incisive commentary and tools for study, the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament is outstanding.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
So, what is the prize? Well, for this first contest the winner will receive a copy of the newly released The Life with God Bible published by HarperBibles. It's compact, uses the NRSV, comes without the Deuterocanonicals (oops on my part), and is in paperback! Sweet huh? Well, to compensate for the lack of Deuterocanonical books, I will also include in this contest a copy of Fr. Benedict Groeschel's God and Us: Reflections on the Apostles Creed. The shipping and handling cost will be $30.00, payable to me by way of a money order. Actually no, just kidding, the shipping is free!
1) Announce this contest on your blog, with a link to this site.
2) Answer the following questions in the comment section of this post:
***Who was the Pope on the day that I was born? (When I mean Pope, I am talking about the guy at the Vatican, not some fellow who was elected by his friends and lives with his mom somewhere in Iowa.)
***According to Catholic theology is Jesus a fully human person? Yes or No (no explanation needed)
***Pick a number between 1-100 (tie-breaker)
3) The contest goes until 11:59PM on Sunday. Whoever gets the answers correct and fulfills all of the contest requirements will be the winner. Friends and family are not eligible. I will only ship items to North American locations. Winner will be announced on Monday.
Update: Winner announced in comments!
Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition 31% (154)
New American Bible 19% (95)
New Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition 19% (93)
Douay-Rheims 13% (64)
New Jerusalem Bible 8% (42)
Jerusalem Bible 7% (34)
Good News Bible 3% (14)
Christian Community Bible 1% (4)
***The battle for #2 continues between the NAB and NRSV. It always seems to go back and forth. In any event, the numbers are close and reflect the growing interest in the NRSV.
***The RSV-CE remains the clear #1 choice. It has received the same exact number of votes as the Douay-Rheims, New Jerusalem Bible, Jerusalem Bible, and Good News Bible combined!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
So, what am I going to be doing in the future? Well, in many ways this has been a year of milestones for me. First off, I completed the S.T.B. degree at Sacred Heart Major Seminary back in May. Secondly, I will be getting married in September. And finally I will be starting a new position as campus minister/freshman scripture teacher at a local Catholic high school. So, as you can see, there is plenty to keep me occupied.
However, I do plan to continue blogging as well! Although I am still working out how to be a "professional" biblioblogger, I have come to enjoy reporting on Catholic Bible releases and all things related to it. There are not many of us on the web who are concerned with quality Catholic bibles, so I hope at the very least, this site continues to provide a place for people to express their likes and dislikes in the Catholic Biblical world. Heck, every once in a while you might get someone like Fr. Fessio to stop by and comment.
So, I thank all of you who have stopped by over the past year. I look forward to discussing with you all the latest news, like the revised NAB, future NRSV releases (perhaps even with cross-references), and the eventual publication of the complete Ignatius Catholic Study Bible.
Praise be Jesus Christ!