Monday, August 30, 2010

Upcoming Catholic Biblical Releases Carnival

Just wanted to alert all of you of some Catholic Biblical resources that are either recently released or will be coming soon:

Walking With God -Jeff Cavins and Tim Gray (Thanks to Keith for the link)
In Walking with God, Dr. Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins unpack the central story woven throughout Scripture and present it in an easy-to-read, concise manner. Gray and Cavins take you on a journey through the “narrative” books of the Bible—the ones that tell the story—and present a panoramic view of God’s glorious plan of salvation. Their expert commentary dives deep into the mysteries of Scripture, unlocking its riches and showing how these inspired words are meant for you today.

Live-Catholic Youth Bible NRSV- HarperOne and OSV
Most youth Bibles are just teen versions of adult Bibles. Live takes an all-new, teen-centered approach. It includes a wealth of experiences and activities that help teens discover surprising things about God, see God involved in their lives, and express their faith creatively - both in the pages of the Bible and on the tie-in Web site. This is the only youth Bible with content created by teenagers. Art, photos, and other creative forms of self-expression from youth are packed into this Bible as a launching point to drive teens into the Bible. Teens will see how God works in the lives of other teens and be encouraged to express their faith, too. This youth Bible takes 'interactive' to an entirely new level. Teenagers who use the LIVE Bible will find: - Student art, student poems, an interactive tie-in Web site, sidebars that spark teen creativity, 'Try This' features that encourage teens to live out their faith, and quotes and profiles of famous people of faith. - Creative space to express their thoughts, feelings, or questions by writing right on the pages, doodling, pasting pictures, and more - An invitation to join the community online. Teens are encouraged to visit the Web site revealed inside and post their art, writing, and insights into how God is working in their lives. - Two-color interior (blue/black) - New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Catholic Edition text - the most trusted, accepted, and accurate translation of the Bible on the market, approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

NRSV Go-Anywhere Personal Size Thinline Bible with Apocrypha- HarperOne
(Catholic edition due in February)
The NRSV Go-Anywhere Thinline Bible with the Apocrypha is the ideal on-the-go portable Bible. At less than an inch thick, this popular Bible setting delivers a readable typesetting with the desired portability requested by Bible readers today. Perfect for personal use - to take to church, small group, or travel - 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 - Burgundy bonded leather in a 6' x 9' size - Craft-sewn binding for added strength and long life - Fine Bible paper to maximize readability and portability - Easy-to-read typeface (8 pt type) in a double-column setting - Thinline - less than 1 inch thick - makes it easy to take with you wherever you go - Gilded edges and a ribbon marker - Presentation page for gift-giving - Maps to visualize the holy lands.

Catholic Scripture Study International Bible RSV- St. Benedict Press
Saint Benedict Press & Catholic Scripture Study International have partnered to create the ideal, single volume Catholic Scripture Study Bible! This high-quality RSV-CE Bible seamlessly integrates Sacred Scripture with extensive study materials and reference guides. Includes 76 full color pages, Holy Land maps marked with significant events and places, and extensive biblical apologetics and topical indexes, all beautifully bound in our Classic Black Bonded Leather with multiple ribbon markers, gold edges and beautiful foil stamped cover. Our Catholic Scripture Study Bible will provide new insight and a deeper understanding of the biblical foundations of the Catholic Faith. Perfect for individual or group settings.

A Year With The Church Fathers- Mike Aquilina (St. Benedict Press)
In A Year with the Church Fathers, popular Patristics expert Mike Aquilina gathers the wisest, most practical teachings and exhortations from the Fathers of the Church, and presents them in a format perfect for daily meditation and inspiration. The Fathers were the immediate inheritors of the riches of the Apostolic Age, and their intimacy with the revelation of Jesus Christ is beautifully evident throughout their theological and pastoral writings: a profound patrimony that is ours to read and cherish and profit from.

The Book of Genesis: Ignatius Catholic Study Bible- Hahn and Mitch (Ignatius Press)
Based on the Revised Standard Version – Second Catholic Edition, this 14th volume in the popular Bible study series leads readers through a penetrating study of the Book of Genesis using the biblical text itself and the Church's own guidelines for understanding the Bible. Ample notes accompany each page, providing fresh insights and commentary by renowned Bible scholars Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch, as well as time-tested interpretations from the Fathers of the Church. They provide rich historical, cultural, geographical or theological information pertinent to the Old Testament book—information that bridges the distance between the biblical world and our own. The Ignatius Study Bible also includes Topical Essays, Word Studies and Charts. The Topical Essays explore the major themes of Genesis, often relating them to the teachings of the Church. The Word Studies explain the background to important Bible terms, while the Charts summarize crucial biblical information "at a glance".

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Brief Note

With orientation at the high school this week and classes next, I have been a bit absent from this blog for the past few days. However, I plan to be back to normal some time around Labor Day weekend so stay tuned!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Faithful Friends: Sirach 6:14-16

"Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter:
whoever finds one has found a treasure.
Faithful friends are beyond price;
no amount can balance their worth.
Faithful friends are life-saving medicine;
and those who fear the Lord will find them.”

-Sirach 6:14-16 NRSV

As Sirach points out, it is very important to have good friends. There are many obvious reasons for this, but today this was made very clear to me when a good friend of mine presented me with three boxes of Bible commentaries that he had picked off the 25 cent rack at the local seminary. (The fact that these were only 25 cents is nuts, but I am not complaining one bit.)

I had been hoping for the last few months to fill in my Old Testament library of commentaries, which wasn't very comprehensive. Of course, commentaries are not cheap, so I have been slowly building over the past few months, mostly with used editions that I had come across. However, I never thought I would be so blessed to get this lot of commentaries all at once.

The three boxes of commentaries, many of which are lightly used, include amongst others:

JPS Torah Commentary (5 volumes)
Old Testament Library Series from Westminster (7 volumes)
Interpretation Commentary Series by John Knox Press (18 volumes)
Berit Olam (12 volumes)

Many thanks to my friend Matthew, whom I will be indebted to for a very long time.....but happily so!


Many thanks to reader Sharon for alerting me to this article from the National Catholic Reporter. As some of you may know, there is a dispute between the USCCB and the CBA over the royalties from the NAB. The article goes into some detail over the history and depth of the dispute. It is worth taking a read of the article, although I find the viewer comments less than helpful.
Perhaps this is an indication that the NABRE will be delayed even longer?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


The ICSBNT website that I referred to in previous post now has it's own particular web address, according to the Ignatius Press blog Ignatius Insight Scoop. This site can be found at While the information on the site is the same as the promo site, this is hopefully a step in the right direction and perhaps a hint that Ignatius is going to devote some additional resources in promoting it's study Bible.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ICSBNT Website

For those interested, Ignatius Press does have a specific site devoted to the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament. I think it has been up for a few months, but today was the first time I visited it. It includes links to a .pdf sample as well as the ability to download those study questions, which were not included in the one volume New Testament edition. Besides that, it is pretty much a promotional site, with only a slight bit more information about the ICSBNT as oppose to what is on their main website. While there is not much to the site, perhaps it is a step in the right direction. The ICSBNT is such a good product that it deserves, IMHO, a site all on it's own, with interactive options, some limited search abilites, interviews with the editors, and updates on the progress of the OT volumes. Promote this great study Bible! Here is an example of what I am talking about.

(I should point out that my review of the ICSBNT is mentioned on this promo site, which is pretty cool!)

Summer Contest 3 Winner

Again, just like last time, the entries were all a lot of fun to read. But there had to be a winner and for this contest that person is JBlake. My wife and I both liked two of the following entries by jblake:

Ignatius Study Bible: Ten years from Alpha to Omega


Ignatius Study Bible: Spiritual Health, now with added B16

So congrats JBlake! Just send an email with your name and address to mccorm45 (at) yahoo (dot) com and I will get your prize sent out to you!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer Contest 3 (The Finale)

Now that I am one week away from reporting to school for the new school year, it is now time for the last summer contest for 2010. I thank all of you who have submitted entries for the prior two contests. On my part, they have been a lot fun to read, and hopefully you have enjoyed them as well! Boy, summer sure went fast!

So what are the prizes for this final contest:

Saint Benedict Press RSV:CE in black genuine leather
The How-To Book of the Bible by Karl A. Schultz

The contest question: If you were able to give the new Ignatius Press Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament a tagline or slogan, what would it be? (For hints on how to answer this question, please refer to the answers from Summer Contest 2.)

1) Deadline is Tuesday, August 10, @ 11:59 PM EST.
2) I will announce the winner on Wednesday, August 11. The winner has 24 hours to email me their home address, so that I can ship out the prize
3) The prior two summer contest winners, Shazamaholic and Diakonos, can enter, but unless their entry is far and above better, IMHO, than the rest, I am going to give the prize to someone new.
4) You may enter more than once, but don't over do it!
5) All entries must be done in the comment box and must include at least a name. All anonymous entries will not be considered.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

NRSV with Grail Psalms?

Perhaps one of my favorite things about running this blog are the occasional emails I get from readers who alert me to upcoming Bible releases. It is a real help to me, and so I thank all of you who have contacted me in the past with information on Catholic Bibles. I truly appreciate it! I have learned over the past year, particularly now as I am both married and expecting my first child in October, in addition to my ministry work at the high school, that I don't always have the time to spend hours searching different sites seeking the latest Catholic Bible releases. Yet, the Lord is good and always provides. So, again, I think you for your contributions, not only by emailing me, but also through our conversations on this blog.

Now on to the news at hand. Reader Kenneth emailed me this morning alerting me to a listing at which suggests that Harper will be releasing an edition of the NRSV with the Grail Psalms. Interesting huh? Here is the description found on the site:

A new edition of the Bible aimed especially at Roman Catholics, including both the anglicized Catholic text of the NRSV translation, and the much loved Grail Psalms. For years, Catholics have been waiting for a Bible including both the NRSV Bible and the Grail Psalms. Now, it is here at last. The NRSV is increasingly becoming the most popular translation among Catholics, and it will be used in the new edition of the Lectionary which is coming soon. The much loved Grail Psalms are already in wide liturgical use, and will continue to be. This Bible also includes additional features such as Mass Readings and maps.

With a release date of February 3, 2011, this truly is a fascinating edition isn't it? Of course, we are all familiar with the CTS Bible, which contained the Jerusalem Bible, sans YHWH, with the Grail Psalms. The Amazon listing is for a hardcover volume with 1664 pages, but the Harper website mentions both leather and imitation leather editions. Very cool!

Some things to consider:

1) The Catholic Bishops of the UK are adapting the NRSV, much like Canada did, for liturgical use. Could there be a connection between that work and the Harper volume?

2) I wonder which version of the Grail Psalms will be included? Will it be the original, which is still in use in the Liturgy of the Hours and in the UK liturgy? Here in the USA, the Catholic Bishops, last year, approved the use of a new revised Grail Psalter to be used at Mass in the near future.

3) As I have mentioned before, I am really impressed with what Harper/HarperCollins/HarperOne has been producing, concerning it's line of NRSV Bibles. One doesn't have to be a fan of the NRSV to acknowledge this. Notice that this UK NRSV with Grail Psalms is published in the same month as the HarperOne edition of the NRSV Go-Anywhere Thinline Catholic Bible. The first true Catholic thinline Bible!

4) It is nice that publishers, and even Church leaders, in the UK, albeit Harper or CTS, are willing to develop a Bible for Catholics which generally match what they hear at Mass. Wouldn't that be nice?

I hope to have more information on this as the months go by. I would certainly be interested in hearing from some readers in the UK.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Catholic View on Biblical Inerrancy

What is the Catholic Church's view of Biblical inerrancy? She certainly holds to the view that the Bible is inerrant, but to what degree? Recently, I have been in email correspondence with a reader over this issue. He has pointed out that there is a great deal of Catholic Bible scholarship that holds to a more limited view on inerrancy, which, to him, seems to contradict the pronouncements by some Popes like Leo XII, but most notably Pius XII in Divino Afflante Spiritu. I produce that quote from the first paragraph of that document:

"Inspired by the Divine Spirit, the Sacred Writers composed those books, which God, in His paternal charity towards the human race, deigned to bestow on them in order "to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice: that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work." This heaven-sent treasure Holy Church considers as the most precious source of doctrine on faith and morals. No wonder herefore that, as she received it intact from the hands of the Apostles, so she kept it with all care, defended it from every false and perverse interpretation and used it diligently as an instrument for securing the eternal salvation of souls, as almost countless documents in every age strikingly bear witness. In more recent Times New Roman, however, since the divine origin and the correct interpretation of the Sacred Writings have been very specially called in question, the Church has with even greater zeal and care undertaken their defense and protection. The sacred Council of Trent ordained by solemn decree that "the entire books with all their parts, as they have been wont to be read in the Catholic Church and are contained in the old vulgate Latin edition, are to be held sacred and canonical." In our own time the Vatican Council, with the object of condemning false doctrines regarding inspiration, declared that these same books were to be regarded by the Church as sacred and canonical "not because, having been composed by human industry, they were afterwards approved by her authority, nor merely because they contain revelation without error, but because, having been written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God for their author, and as such were handed down to the Church herself." When, subsequently, some Catholic writers, in spite of this solemn definition of Catholic doctrine, by which such divine authority is claimed for the "entire books with all their parts" as to secure freedom from any error whatsoever, ventured to restrict the truth of Sacred Scripture solely to matters of faith and morals, and to regard other matters, whether in the domain of physical science or history, as "obiter dicta" and - as they contended - in no wise connected with faith, Our Predecessor of immortal memory, Leo XIII in the Encyclical Letter Providentissimus Deus, published on November 18 in the year 1893, justly and rightly condemned these errors and safe-guarded the studies of the Divine Books by most wise precepts and rules."

Since then, however, the most notable contribution to this issue comes from the Second Vatican Council's Constitution Dei Verbum. Perhaps I am wrong, and please correct me if I am, but I believe this was the first statement on Biblical inerrancy found in a document of an Ecumenical Council. Concerning Dei Verbum and inerrancy, the main issues comes down on how one interprets Dei Verbum 11:

"Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation."

There are some, like Fr. Raymond Brown and most notably some of the editors of the NAB commentary, which hold to a more limited view of inerrancy, which simply covers Biblical truth which God intended for our salvation. For them, this does not included apparent discrepancies, particularly in regards to historical or scientific information. They point out that the pre-vote debate on on Dei Verbum at Vatican II showed an "awareness of errors in the Bible (NJBC 1169)." Thus, for those who agree with the more limited form of Biblical inerrancy: "Scriptural teaching is truth without error to the extent that it conforms to the salvific purpose of God (Ibid)." For this view, you read more about it in the New Jerome Biblical Commentary pages 1168-1170, in the section on Church Pronouncements.

Then there are others that would hold to a more broad view of inerrancy, closer to the unlimited inerrancy as found in Leo XIII's encyclical. Those in this group contend that the Dei Verbum quote "for the sake of salvation" tells us not what is deemed inerrant, but rather why God wished the truth to be recorded in the Bible. They will point to the footnote to this statement in Dei Verbum, which references various Church Fathers, Popes, and Councils, which upholds the fuller form of inerrancy. Thus, unlimited inerrancy "is the belief that the Scripture is completely and comprehensively true in all that it intentionally affirms (Catholic Bible Dictionary 389)."

In some ways, there is still debate in the Church on this issue. Perhaps there is a desire, by the Church at this time, to be ambiguous on this issue. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in the section that deals with the inspiration of Scripture, paragraph 107, simply quotes from Dei Verbum 11 without any qualification.

It should be pointed out that the limited and unlimited view groups both recognize that there are difficulties in inerrancy. In addition, they both reject, in any case, that the Catholic Church's position is similar to fundamentalism. The key being that Catholic's are called to use modern Biblical scholarly methods in order to find out what is the literal not literalistic meaning of any given text. Certainly, this calls for the use of literary criticism, which seeks to find out what type of literary genre the author is using in his work. Thus, understanding the intent of the author and the literary form used in his writing can help to alleviate some of the difficulties in this area.

These are some of my opening thoughts on this issue. There is certainly more that can be said and added to this discussion, so I open this question up to you, my readers. What are your thoughts?

Work Cited:
Divino Afflante Spiritu
Dei Verbum
Catechism of the Catholic Church
New Jerome Biblical Commentary, edited by Brown, Fitzmyer, and Murphy
The Catholic Bible Dictionary, edited by Hahn

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Contest 2 Winner

Well, this one was actually really tough to decide, since all of the entries were good. I actually conferred with my wife on this and we both agreed that this entry by Diakonos was the best:

NABRE: Can You Read Me Now?

So, Diakonos, please email me, at mccorm45 (at) yahoo (dot) com, with your name and address and I will get the prize out to you.

Again, great job by all who participated! I really enjoyed reading your submissions. Stay tuned, since I may do one more contest soon!