Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ciao for now!

As I have hinted at in some previous posts, I am getting married at the end of this week. In many ways, this has been a blessed year so far, and the real high point will be celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage on Friday. After the wedding, my wife and I will be spending the following 2 weeks in the Eternal City, minus a weekend in Fiorenza.

So, needless to say, I will not be blogging at all starting tomorrow until early October. However, I do want to take the time to thank all of you who have stopped by over the past year. I have certainly appreciated the many comments and suggestions which you have contributed to this blog since it's inception in September 2008. My hope has always been that this blog would provide Catholics, and other Christians, information about the various Catholic Bible editions and versions that are on the market today. Perhaps in a very small way, this blog can continue to provide Catholic and secular Bible publishers some ideas as to what Catholics would like to see in future Bible editions. Fortunately, there seems to be a steady flow of news concerning Catholic Bible translations and editions these days, most notably the upcoming NAB revision, continued publications of the NRSV by HarperCollins, the NJB/"Bible in Traditions" project, as well as others. So, I look forward to blogging again in early October and continuing our discussion of the future of Catholic Bibles.

May God Bless all of you and thanks again for stopping by!

Prayer to the Holy Trinity
Glory be to the Father, Who by His almighty power and love created me, making me in the image and likeness of God.
Glory be to the Son, Who by His Precious Blood delivered me from hell, and opened for me the gates of heaven.
Glory be to the Holy Spirit, Who has sanctified me in the sacrament of Baptism, and continues to sanctify me by the graces I receive daily from His bounty.
Glory be to the Three adorable Persons of the Holy Trinity, now and forever.

Monday, September 14, 2009

B16 Jesus of Nazareth Part II

According to RomeReports, Pope Benedict XVI will release the second part of his two volume study of Jesus of Nazareth early next year:

This is very exciting news, since I enjoyed the first part a lot. I may even bring it with me to re-read during my upcoming honeymoon in Italia. I am glad to see that he is close to finishing the book, since one of my initial worries was that he would not have enough time to finish the project. Very cool!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Best of Catholic Translation Tribalism

So far here is my compilation of the best of:

NAB: RCIA'rs & liberals

Douay-Rheims: For Catholics who want the "good ole days" of pre-Vatican 2 back when Catholics could tell Protestants they are going to fry in Hell unless they become Catholic

Jerusalem/New Jerusalem: For literary elites who despise the atrocious barbaric English of the NAB

Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition: Informed Conservatives who say- "Oh well, its the closest thing to the NASB/ESV we got... *sad face*"

NRSV: For those who win contests on Catholic Bible Blogs

Good News Bible: For those who like biblical drawings depicting people without faces or discernible appendages

Christian Community Bible: For Boff buffs

I love the responses so far, they all have been very fun to read. So, if you have any more, keep them coming!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Catholic Translation Tribalism

Scot McKnight, popular Evangelical writer and speaker, blogged last week on the issue of translation tribalism. In regards to this issue, he says "what depresses me about Bible translation debates today is tribalism. Some have raised the bar of this conversation to such heights that variation is tantamount to heresy. I want to do a few posts on translation next week, but today let's have a little fun with the tribalism that does exist, that seems almost inevitable, that does sometimes lead to uncharitable divisiveness, but that can lead us to see ourselves in humorous tones at times. Translations can also be a window to our heart and theology and preferences. So here goes with a sketch of tribalist translation tendencies. Each of these is partially true but not wholly true:

NRSV for liberals and Shane Claiborne lovers;
ESV for Reformed complementarian Baptists;
HCSB for LifeWay store buying Southern Baptists;
NIV for complementarian evangelicals; TNIV for egalitarians;
NASB for those who want straight Bible, forget the English;

NLT for generic brand evangelicals;
Amplified for folks who have no idea what translation is but know that if you try enough words one of them will hit pay dirt;
NKJV and KJV for Byzantine manuscript-tree huggers;
The Message for evangelicals looking for a breath of fresh air and seeker sensitive, never-read-a-commentary evangelists who find Peterson's prose so catchy."

So, how would we do this with Catholic Bible translations. Let's limit ourselves to the following translations categories:

Jerusalem/New Jerusalem Bible
Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition
New Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition
Good News Bible
Christian Community Bible

While I certainly encourage some serious discussion, let's not turn this into a "translation bashing session". I will post my list soon as well.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

NRSV Compact Thinline Bible Review

The Go-Anywhere Compact Thinline Bible NRSV w/Apocrypha is the latest release from HarperCollins/One/Bibles. Since its acquisition of the NRSV license, HarperCollins has regularly published different editions of the NRSV, usually in a non-apocrypha, apocrypha/deuterocanonical, and Catholic editions. This has certainly helped grow the polularity of the NRSV which, for many years, seemed to be in a steep decline. In this instance, there are only versions available with or without the full apocrypha/deuterocanonicals, with no specifically Catholic edition.
Because they are referring to this edition as the Go-Anywhere Bible, I wonder if they will be fazing out the original NRSV Go-Anywhere Bible which was released back in 2007. Known for its rather odd shape and very thin paper, this version did have the advantage of coming in a Catholic edition.
Here are the official specs/description for the NRSV Go-Anywhere Compact Thinline Bible with the Apocrypha:
The NRSV Go-Anywhere Compact Bible is the most portable edition of the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) with the Apocrypha available today. At less than an inch thick, this compact Bible combines excellent portability with the readability of a larger Bible and is perfect for personal use or for gift giving.

The Ideal On-the-Go Portable Bible The Go-Anywhere™ Compact Thinline Bible offers a thinline, compact size that combines the portability you'd expect in a compact Bible with the readability of a larger Bible. One touch will tell you why this distinctive Bible will be your constant companion. Perfect for personal use or for gift giving.
Features Include:
*The New Revised Standard Version—the most trusted, most accepted, and most accurate English translation of the Bible available today
*The Apocryphal and Deuterocanonical books of Scripture
*Bonded leather with craft-sewn binding for added strength and long life
*Fine Bible paper to maximize readability and portability
*Easy-to-read typeface in a double-column setting
*Thinline size—less than one inch thick—making it easy to take with you wherever you go
*Gilded edges and a ribbon marker
*Presentation page and maps
Overall, it is a very nice, protable version of the NRSV. I use to own the compact edition of the NRSV that was published by Oxford, but I found the print to be too small for daily use. One thing to keep in mind before you buy the HarperCollins edition is that it is more compact than thinline. I was hoping that this would be closer in size to a standard thinline like the TNIV Thinline Bible (a little love for the soon to be deceased), but in reality it is slightly larger than the average compact bible. So, the search for a true thinline Bible continues.
Good points:
* This print is larger and more readable than the compact NRSV published by Oxford.
* There is far less bleed-through in this edition, as oppose to the original NRSV Go-Anywhere Bible.
* There are four black and white Bible maps included, covering the route of the Exodus, the division of Canaan, Palestine in the time of Jesus, and the three missionary journeys of St. Paul.
* In the apocrypha/deuterocanonical section, there is a four page section devoted to explaining the different OT canons.
* Overall, this Bible has a very nice feel to it, even though it is made of bonded leather. The craft-sewn binding certainly helps.
Negative points:
* As mentioned earlier, there is no Catholic edition. (However, I don't see this as that big a deal.)
* Once again, no cross-references. (I will keep championing this cause until it is resolved!)
* No concordance. This was something that was included in the original Go-Anywhere Bible.
* The cover is bonded leather. I will have to see how it holds up after use, but I would have prefered imitation or tru-tone leather.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Death of a Bible Translation

The TNIV, which was suppose to be the successor to the very popular Protestant NIV translation, has been given its last rites. According to the Christianity Today Blog, another revision of the NIV will be published sometime in 2011. One must remember that the TNIV was only published in 2002! (Wow! Not even the NAB translation committee has done that quick of a revision, and that is saying something!) It also appears that the TNIV and NIV will not be published after 2011. Having the TNIV compete with the original NIV since 2002 was already a mistake, perhaps they have learned their lesson.

Claiming that there are "mistakes" in the TNIV, primarily it seems around its use of inclusive language, many in the bible-blog world are not too pleased.

For more info, these are some fine blogs to look at:

New Epistles
Better Bibles Blog
New Leaven
Scripture Zealot