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?