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.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Your Favorite Bible Edition

While it seems that I am always looking for the "next best thing" in regards to Catholic Bibles, there is one thing that has remained constant over the past few years: My favorite Bible edition is still the Cambridge NRSV Reference Bible with the Apocrypha--French morocco leather. While there have been times when I have been "tempted" to switch Bible translations, I always seem to fall back to this edition. Although it is true that I am sympathetic to the NRSV translation, the overall quality of this Cambridge edition, including not only the Moroccan leather, but the plentiful cross-references, thick paper, 18 maps, and truly helpful glossary, make this edition a true gem for Catholic Bible readers. There is no other Bible that meets my needs like this edition of the NRSV.

But how about you? What Bible edition do just absolutely love and use? This question has less to do with a particular Bible's translation, but rather the whole package. Feel free to give a glowing report of your favorite Bible, including any links to websites that provide further details about it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Catholic Bible Concordance RSV-CE

Just wanted to give you all a heads up that The Catholic Bible Concordance RSV-CE, with foreword by Scott Hahn, has been released and is available for purchase. This edition is published by Emmaus Road Publishing.

Below is a brief description:

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. Durable bound hardcover.

The Emmaus Road site also has a nice interview posted with the concordance compiler Christopher Lyons, which you can read here.

The Catholic Faith and Family Bible and Online Resources

As mentioned back in August, The Center for Ministry Development, with Our Sunday Visitor and HarperCollins, will be releasing a new Bible using the NRSV-CE. It is called The Catholic Faith and Family Bible. Thankfully, they have set-up a website for this project, which includes not only sample pages, but also resources for Catholic educators. Also, at some point soon, they will be providing resources which can be utilized by parents and families.
I bring all this up in order to commend The Center for Ministry Development for providing a website that includes resources that serve as a companion piece to their upcoming Bible release. Other translations, like the NLT or ESV, have been released with even more resources for Bible readers to utilize. I would certainly like to see this continued in future Catholic Bible releases, particularly with the upcoming revision of the NAB.
The Catholic Faith and Family Bible is due to be published in January 2010.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

10 Random Beliefs Meme

I was tagged by Kevin, so here are my 10 Random Beliefs:

1) I believe in all that is contained in the Apostles and Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creeds.

2) I believe that predicting when the Second Advent will occur is futile and against the teachings of Scripture.

3) I believe that we will have an African Pope in my lifetime.

4) I believe that Pope Benedict XVI is a more intelligible and engaging writer than John Paul II, even though I credit John Paul II with my whole returning to Christ and current ministry work.

5) I believe that U2 is the greatest Rock n' Roll band ever.

6) I believe that the Detroit Lions will never win the SuperBowl.

7) I believe that within the next five years I will be driving a fuel-efficient/hybrid automobile. (That all depends on the price of the car!)

8) I believe that the History Channel doesn't actually show history programs anymore, unless you really are in to the occult lifestyle of Hitler, Nostradamus, Aliens, Logging, and Bigfoot.

9) I believe that my recent purchase of an I-Phone will be a great help to me, however I need to make sure it doesn't turn into an idol.

10) I believe that married life is a wonderful thing!

I tag: Jeff, Missy Francis, Rakhi, Erin

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The CTS Bible: A Second Look

In a previous post back in November of 2008, I gave some of the details of the CTS New Catholic Bible. At the time, I had received the small travel edition which was even smaller than I had anticipated. For me, it was a little tough to read, and last time I checked I had 20/20 vision. Therefore, I sort of pushed it aside and never gave it a proper review. Well, during my honeymoon in Roma, I stopped in a Catholic bookstore and spotted the larger, presentation edition of the CTS Bible on the shelf. I figured that it would be a shame if I didn't buy at least one Catholic Bible while in Rome, so I made the purchase. I am very glad I did!

The standard size is very similar to the size of a typical Liturgy of the Hours or Christian Prayer volume. This means it isn't too small to be considered compact, yet is not as large as a standard medium sized Bible either. Overall, the size is very portable, yet big enough to be used as an everyday/every occasion Bible. The page format is also well designed, much like most editions of the Jerusalem or New Jerusalem Bibles. It is single column, with cross-references on the sides, paragraph headings, and commentary at the bottom. In many ways, I think this is the best page layout that I have seen in any recently published Catholic Bible. The page layout truly invites the person to read and stay with the text.

The main text of the CTS Bible is the Jerusalem Bible, with two exceptions. First off, the Psalms are not from the Jerusalem Bible, but are rather the Grail Psalms. Most of you in the United States who pray the Liturgy of the Hours will be familiar with them. Secondly, by request of the Pope, all references to "YHWH", which was one of the unique features of the Jerusalem Bible, have been changed back to "the LORD". What does all this mean? Well, basically this Bible is exactly the what one would hear at Mass in the English speaking world outside of North America, where the NAB and NRSV are used. Nice concept huh?

The CTS Bible also comes with multiple study helps, including four Bible maps, full book introductions, including when a book is read during the liturgical year and why it is important in Christian liturgy, and verse commentary/notes. The book introductions and commentary were newly produced by NJB editor Henry Wansbrough OSB, member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. The commentary notes often highlight historical-critical issues and they are not as plentiful as in the standard edition of the NJB. There is also a very helpful appendix with information on historical framework of the Bible, weights and measures, Sunday and Weekday Mass readings, and Psalms/Canticles for 4 week Breviary cycle with Office of Readings. Also, they added the nice touch of including not one, but three ribbon markers. Thank you very much! Overall, the CTS Bible has within it plenty of information, both scholarly and liturgically, to keep you satisfied.

The CTS Bible is a fine Catholic Bible. Although the translations used are over forty years old, the presentation and tools included within its covers are very up-to-date and most welcome. If you are looking for an all-purpose Bible, this is definitely a top contender. If you live in the UK, then it is a necessity, since you can feel comfortable bringing this Bible to both Mass and Bible study. If you are living in the USA or Canada and want a new edition of the Jerusalem Bible or if you really like the Grail Psalms, then this Bible is for you. In my opinion, I think it would be a very good thing to see publishers of the NRSV, RSV, or NAB learn from what the CTS has done for future publications.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I have returned!

Well, I am back from my wedding and honeymoon, both of which were truly wonderful. Many thanks to everyone who helped to make these past two weeks most memorable and Christ-centered. Our time in Italy was filled with good food, including lots of pizza and gelato, as well as a Papal audience, sight-seeing, lots of walking, Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, and side trips to Florence, Orvieto, and Assisi.
With that being said, I wonder if I had time to check out any bookstores in Rome? Hmm..... Well of course I did! How could I not? While I didn't spend all of the wedding money on Catholic Bible related material, I did purchase some really nice pamphlets from the CTS, as well as picking up a standard size copy of the CTS New Catholic Bible. While I have blogged on this Bible before, it was the miniature travel edition which I reviewed. At the time, I found the very small size of the CTS Bible to be tough on the eyes, but I have spent some time with the larger presentation edition over the past two weeks, so don't be surprised if I blog about it again in the very near future. Perhaps give it the proper review that it deserves.
I hope all of you are doing well. If there has been any news in the Catholic Bible world which I have missed, please let me know.
"Veni, Vidi, Vici"