Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Guest Review: Sinag-Tala Confraternity Bible

Thanks to reader Jonny for another fine guest review:

This is a uniquely interesting copy of the Confraternity version of the Holy Bible that is currently being published by Sinag-Tala Publishers in the Philippines. It is an attractive but boxy little hardcover book (6 ¼ x 4 ½ x 2 ½) with quality binding and two ribbon markers. It also includes the cut-out thumb tabs which is kind of cool. The dimensions of this Bible remind me of the squat pre-NAB hardbacks from CBPC and others. It includes an index, a glossary, and 8 maps in the back that feature the traditional Catholic form of the proper names (e.g. “Chanaan” and “Juda.”) This Bible, like the blue pocket Confraternity NT Tim mentioned in his recent post, is reprinted with the special permission of the Confraternity of the Precious Blood.

The Old Testament in this edition is for the most part what could be called the “Confraternity Old Testament.” This is basically the translation that became the 1970 version of the New American Bible OT, with a few exceptions. The OT books of this version included are: Genesis - Ruth, Job - Sirach, and Isaia – Malachia. The remaining books (1 Kings to Esther, and 1 & 2 Machabees) are in the Challoner version. There is no reason given as to why certain books were included in the Challoner version, although I wonder if the desire was to keep some of the unique book names and textual peculiarities of the Vulgate. The difference between the OT Confraternity books and the NAB 1970 is threefold. First, the Book of Genesis was completely redone for NAB 1970. The Confraternity Version was a bit more traditional… “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth; the earth was waste and void; darkness covered the abyss, and the spirit of God was stirring above the waters.” Also in Genesis, God creates the “firmament,” instead of the “dome” between the waters, and calls the serpent “cursed” instead of “banned,” just to name a couple more. But in general, it is unlike the Douay version in many places where the Douay is especially unique (such as God forming man from the “slime” of the earth.) The second major difference is the translation of proper names. The Confraternity OT is translated from the Hebrew but yet the proper names are not quite the same as the commonly accepted Protestant versions. Some examples are “Noe” instead of “Noah,” Aaron’s sister “Miriam” in the RSV is “Mariam” here (and Mary in the Douay), “Zion” is “Sion,” and also the prophets “Jeremia,” “Osee,” “Abdia,” “Jona,” “Michea,” “Habacuc,” “Sophonia,” “Aggai,” “Zacharia,” and “Malachia” are good examples of the uniqueness of this version. The third main difference in this version from the NAB 1970 is the format and notes. The NAB 1970 has more extensive notes and outlined column headings, including the stanza division in the Psalms. The Confraternity Psalms also have the dual numbering system like the RSV-CE.

All in all, I think this Holy Bible from Sinag-Tala makes a great addition to any Catholic Bible collectors bookshelf. It is kind of the “missing link” between the Douay Rheims and the NAB. By the way, the front cover art is taken from the Ramsay Psalter: Creation, Creation of Eve, Fall of Man, and Expulsion from Paradise. The back cover art is taken from Book of Hours: Betrayal and Arrest of Christ, Suicide of Judas, Pilate Washing His Hands.


Theophrastus said...

I bought one of these about a number of (5-10) years ago, and it had a completely different faux leather binding (which I would not describe as "quality.") I don't remember it being available then in a hardcover format, but maybe my memory is playing tricks with me.

It is interesting that they changed the format. My copy screams "cheap book" with poor quality paper and binding.

Anonymous said...
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Michael D. said...

It may be that this is the 1962 edition. The historical books were not completed until 1969 and I don't know if there was ever a complete CCD edition before the 1970 NAB.

Jonny said...

I got my copy last year. It has a sewn binding and a decent paper quality, although there is a slight bleed-through. The type is bigger than average for a Bible this size, hence the thinner pages. I think that the appeal of the Confraternity NT is that is has some of the traditional phrasing while being more readable than the Challoner. (Obvious examples: Matt. 16:18-19, Luke 1:28, 2 Cor. 2:10.) Also, the Confraternity NT is closer to the critical edition of the Greek than the DR according to the introduction: "The Clementine edition of the Vulgate is the main source of this revision. The readings of the Clementine, however, have been improved in not a few instances by recourse to the witnesses for a more ancient text of the Vulgate. This tends to bring the text basic to the present version very close to the modern critical editions of the Greek." I think that the idea that this is a "traditional" Catholic translation, incorporating some of the ancient interpretations of the Vulgate, is why this translation remains demand.

rolf said...

Yea, I decided to order this bible. I have a 1950 Catholic Family Bible in the Confraternity - Douay translation, but it is big and not very transportable. This bible looks like about the same size as the CTS Catholic Bible I had. I also like the recessed index tabbing. For the price ($24.00 plus 7.50 shipping) you can't go too wrong! Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

I tried to order this but was kindly informed by the publisher that shipping would be over $40 to US!! Did anyone who has this bible pay that much? Did they make a mistake?
I love this version of the bible but not that much? I am glad they let me know though and give them a big thumbs up for that....many companies would not be so honest.

Tony Bothel said...

I must get this! I've been searching like crazy to find a COMPLETE Confraternity version of the bible. I have one from 1963 so I'm missing 13 books from the Old Testament and i'd really like to read the book of Tobias in the Confraternity revision style. I tried searching for Sinag-Tala and the Precious Blood confraternity but to no avail. Is it availible for at least viewing online? Please comment, I'll bookmark this page and come back every now and then if I can.

Jeff S. said...

The 1970 NAB has the
completed Confraternity as its
text for all the books of the
Old Testament other than Genesis.

And so those 13 missing books
of the completed Confraternity
are in the 1970 NAB. The only
difference being the spelling of
the people and places conform to
the KJV , RSV etc. Protestant spellings that the Catholics began using with that 1970 NAB.

The only difference (other than
the name spellings) between the
1970 NAB and the "completed"
Confraternity are a newer GENESIS
and a newer NEW TESTAMENT.

I own the Confraternity individual volumes I, III, IV
and even the notes at the bottom
of each page are the same as the ones in the 1970 NAB. I've never been able to come across the final
"Volume II" which has the "missing 13 books" and came out in 1969.

There are zillions of copies of the 1970 NAB available for sale on
ebay, AbeBooks, Alibris, etc. so you shouldn't have any problem finding one. And they're often in
very good condition.

What's kind of funny to me is that
many posters deride the 1970 NAB
and the following versions of NAB
and NABRE while praising the Confraternity. And yet other than
the beginning and end - GENESIS and NEW TESTAMENT - the completed
Confraternity of 1969 is the same
as the 1970 NAB even down to the
notes for the books they have in common.

So go ahead and buy one or two nice copies of the 1970 NAB online
and you'll enjoy it.

KYConservDemocrat said...

Where can I purchase one or two of these small hardback bibles?

Anonymous said...

It's only available here in the Philippines.
It is published by Sinag-Tala publishers.
I'll update you on their website. I can't seem to find their website.

rolf said...

I was going to order it at one time, but it cost $44 to ship it to the USA.

KYConservDemocrat said...

Any luck finding where to order these small Confraternity Bibles?

KYConservDemocrat said...

Any luck finding where to order one or two of these Confraternity Pocket Bibles?

Jeff S. said...

Gerald, and KYConservDemocrat,
Here's the website: https://sinagtalapublishers.wordpress.com/
but all that's available is the Confraternity New Testament.
They don't seem to offer any complete Bible at all.
Perhaps you can find one somewhere on their website but I couldn't.
But at least the 1941 Confraternity New Testament is available.
But that's also available in America at several websites.
Here's the one I bought it from:
And there are several others as you'll see if you Google
"1941 Confraternity New Testament".