Thursday, January 12, 2012

EWTN Bookmark: Hahn and ICSB

Thanks to an anonymous reader for alerting me to this. It seems that Dr. Hahn thinks the entire ICSB will be completed by 2014 or 2015. Let's hope so.

The beginning of this interview I found most helpful, where Hahn essentially compares the ICSB to the NIV Study Bible. He notes, rightly so, that there are no Catholic study Bibles that have that mix of being both academic and theological, like the NIV Study Bible. I think we would all agree that the Catholic Study Bible from Oxford is clearly more academic.


Anonymous said...

I understand Crossway has bought the rights to the RSV. I'm guessing this will affect Ignatius's plans for it in the future.

Russ said...

I'm still sticking with the year 2034.

Timothy said...


Is this in regards to the ESV? Or has something happened recently that you are referring to? The NCCUSA has given rights, both to Crossway and Ignatius, for both projects.

Timothy said...


Too funny! ;) While I am hopeful, I fear that I am a little like St Thomas, I'll believe it when I see it.

Theophrastus said...

Mike: Crossway bought non-exclusive rights to the RSV, so their actions have no effect on Ignatius.

Tim: Comparing Oxford's CSB and the ICSB is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison. The former merely inherits the annotations of the NAB(RE), while the editors of the latter had to write notes. To make a fair comparison from the point of view of the amount of work that the editors did, one would need to compare the Reading Guide of the Oxford CSB to the just the book prefaces in the ICSB.

Also, the Oxford CSB had many more contributors, and thus is much more uneven than the ICSB. (That's OK, because the NAB(RE) itself is a little uneven!)

Clearly Hahn and Mitch's work represents a much larger effort, and that probably explains why it is taking so long.

My greater complaint is Ignatius seems to be unable to handle a blockbuster like the ICSB. They are not able to promote it the way that other study Bibles are promoted. Even Oxford does a better job at promotion (especially when it comes to classroom adoption) than Ignatius. Certainly, Ignatius falls far short of the big Protestant players: Zondervan, Nelson, Tyndale, Crossway, etc.

The ICSB is doing OK -- Amazon currently says the paperback it is number #7107 among all books and #75 among Bibles. But if it is successful, it seems to be in spite of Ignatius's marketing efforts, not because of Ignatius's marketing efforts.

(I am still surprised that Ignatius has remaindered all copies of its lectionary to an Anglican Ordinariate church and does not seem to be in the running for the ICPEL translation -- losing out to the ESV of all things! I don't know the whole story, but it seems that this may have been one of Ignatius's greatest marketing failures.)

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected by you and Theophrastus.

Anonymous said...

Earlier this week on Catholic Answers Live Fr Fessio of Ignatius Press said that the rsv2Ce lectionary is " in use in all Africa" as of the first of this year. If true, pretty important news.

Also, please note the Anglican ordinariate uses the"old" rsvce lectionary not the "new"rsv2ce lectionary.


Timothy said...


I was unaware that Ignatius published an RSV-CE lectionary. My understanding was they only published an RSV-2CE.

Russ said...

I was (half) kidding of course. It would be great if it happens that quickly. I know it must entail much time and energy. In the meantime, we're blessed to have so many biblical and theological resources available to us.

Theophrastus said...

BC: Like Timothy, I understand that the only lectionary published by Ignatius was the RSV-2CE. It appears that the RSV-2CE lectionary is no longer listed on the web site.

I also have heard statements from Father Fessio claiming that some African bishops conferences are adopting the Ignatius lectionary. However, I have not been able to find any confirmation of this (and I do not understand why Ignatius would take the book out of print if it were to be widely used.) To the contrary, the South African Bishops' Conference has an official web page (which is marked as being last updated on November 30, 2011) announcing that as of Lent 2012, it is adopting the NRSV as a lectionary:

Phase 3 of the new translation process will see the introduction of the new Lectionary with its different translation of the Holy Scriptures.

As mentioned earlier, the first English translation of the Roman Missal and of the Lectionary used the Jerusalem Bible as the source for the Old and New Testament readings. The Jerusalem Bible has served the Church wonderfully well and has brought many Catholics into contact with the Bible for the first time.

However, different times have led to a decision to change to a more widely-used translation of the scriptures.

The Catholic version of the New Revised Standard Version (called the Catholic version because it includes the few books of the Bible used since apostolic times by the Catholic Church but excluded by some of the Protestant churches), commonly referred to as the “NRSV”, has been approved by the Catholic Church for some years. The quality of the language and the scholarly accuracy of the translation have contributed to this. In addition, the NRSV has also been gradually adopted by the Anglican, Methodist and Lutheran churches and by a number of other larger Protestant churches. It was decided that the quality of the translation, its wide acceptance by Christians of all denominations (with its consequent contribution to Christian unity) and its scholarly accuracy make it the appropriate translation to use in future.

The English translations of the psalms used during Mass and also during the “Prayer of the Hours” (also known as the Divine Office) have been drawn from a newly revised Grail Edition that has been carefully developed to provide both accuracy and also a rhythmic word pattern that will lend itself to singing, chanting and reciting.

The new Lectionary and the new versions of the Psalms will be introduced in Lent 2012. The Sunday and Daily missals for use by worshippers assisting in the congregation at Mass will also be available in time for Lent 2012.

I must admit that this does not make complete sense to me, since I had understood the CDW to have not approved the NRSV for the ICPEL. But here is this announcement, on the official South African Catholic Bishops' Conference page -- dated less than a month and a half ago.

Timothy said...

The more articles I read about who's doing what with English language lectionaries the more confused I get.

Anonymous said...

Changing the thread of discussion a little, I've wondered why Ignatius Press doesn't publish other, nicer editions of the RSV2CE, such as a genuine leather and family edition. I suppose it's possible that Ignatius continues to make minor changes to the text as they continue to put out the study bible edition.

Perhaps once the ICSB is completed, we'll start to see more varied editions of the RSV2CE.

Timothy said...


One of my biggest frustrations with Ignatius Press is indeed what you just wrote. I cannot, for the life of me, understan why they do not: 1) Promote the RSV-2CE more than they do; 2) Have a more variety of editions that it comes in. I wonder if there is limitations to the rights they purchased from the NCCUSA. Would not a Reference edition of the RSV-2CE, in premium leather, including a Concordance, lectionary readings, maps, an additional material be a wonderful thing?

Anonymous said...


I agree. Since it makes no sense, I thought the reason might be it's because the RSV2CE is not "finished" - that they're still "tweaking" it as they finish the ICSB.

I can't imagine that there would be such limitations on the rights they purchased from the NCCUSA. Both the RSV2CE and ICSB have maps, the ICSB has a concordance - it just doesn't make sense. An edition as you described would indeed be nice, as would other types of offerings.

rolf said...

In regards to the RSV-2CE, I just wish Ignatius would publish a large (or giant) print edition as they did with the RSV-CE. It is coming up on 6 years since they first published the RSV-2CE, that how long I have been waiting.

Theophrastus said...

It appears that the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference page I cited above had an error in it. I received the following comment on my blog purportedly from Fr. Chris Townsend Office for Communcation and Media – Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference:

The Comment about the Lectionary for Southern Africa referred to above are a mistake that was only picked up after publication. It is the RSV-2nd Catholic edition and has been approved for English Speaking Africa. It will be published by Paulines Africa. The Lectionaries are being printed and delivery is expected end Jan. Fr Chris Townsend. Office for Communcation and Media – southern African Catholic Bishops Conference

Timothy said...


Yes I saw that. You would think Ignatius Press might publicize this, oh yeah that is right, Ignatius does very litle to promote their Bible.

rolf said...

Well that makes a lot more sense that the South African Catholic Bishops Conference would be using the RSV-2CE than the ESV for its lectionary.