Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review of New Community Bible

Our friend Geoffrey Miller has a review up for the recently released New Community Bible.  Head on over to Austin New Media to check it out!

For additional information about the New Community Bible you can go here.


Pomeranian Catholic said...

Don't forget, U.S. folks can buy it too now.

The translation itself reads wonderfully. Very simple, great for non-English majors. I highly recommend it. The notes are occasionally odd, but still much, much better than the NABRE.

Biblical Catholic said...

I tried to read that review but it was filled with so many 'take that' moments that the tone turned me off.

Pomeranian Catholic said...

It's a review, Biblical Catholic. It's supposed to be critical and snippy at times. But I went in and toned it down a bit. Better?

Biblical Catholic said...

I wasn't aware that you were the author, what I meant when I said the 'take that' moments is that it really seemed to have a rather polemical tone, very unusual for a Bible review. I'm not sure who you were replying to with some of those comments.

Theophrastus said...

Geoffrey -- this is the second review I've seen from you of a Bible edition. Since you seem to be getting more active in writing reviews of Bibles, would you allow me to make some suggestions?

(1) I think the review would be easier to understand if you explained the history of the New Community Bible (for example, that it is a revision of the Christian Community Bible; that the CCB is a Philippine effort but that NCB is an Indian effort; the role of Bernardo Hurault, etc.) You could also discuss the populist translation philosophy of the Hurault-school of translations; how the Hurault-school uses a non-standard ordering of OT books, etc. Your review seems to addressed to those who already are actively follow English translations of Bibles; but I think the audience you want to reach will be people who may not know very much about different Bible translations. (This is particularly true since the review seems to imply that the reader already knows about criticism of the NCB from certain quarters.)

(2) Thanks for giving some examples of commentary from this edition. I think that Bible reviews greatly benefit when the review quotes some example verses that illustrate the translation's philosophy. If you find a verse that has a different rendering than existing translations, that would be a great way to explain how this translation is unique, and illustrate some of its strengths and/or weaknesses.

I am happy to see this second review from you, and I sincerely wish you continued success in your efforts!

Pomeranian Catholic said...

Thanks, Theophrastus! Excellent advice. I will follow it.

I'm still new to this, so you all take it easy on me, okay? ;-)

Servus Dei said...

I hope NCB will soon reach the Philippines, as it already came to the US.

But I think Philippine publishers of CCB (i.e. Claretian) will first empty up their stock before they could market the NCB.

I hope NCB will propagate the Philippine Catholic Bible market.

For Filipinos like me, the most common English Bible that we encounter, if not the Good News Bible, is the NAB (NABRE is also published by Claretian and most recently by Philippine Bible Society).

RSV and NRSV are just hard finds here, especially the RSV-2CE which I bought at a specialty store which almost costs me $28.

Timothy said...

Thank you for the link. It seems that it is available on as well.

Michael Borges said...

I really like the translation but don't care for the quality of the print and binding. I hope they will release the NCB in multiple editions like they did with the CCB. One more fun fact the OT has returned to the traditional ordering of the book.

Diakonos said...

I ordered mine direct from Alba House in NY. the link to the Amazon pone says its the 2008 edition not the newest one.

Pomeranian Catholic said...

Hold on you all, because guess what?

Fr. Alberto Rossa, the head of the Christian Community Bible (CCB) project, is sending me a copy of the latest edition of his team's work from Macau, China. Apparently, the New Community Bible (NCB) is done by a different group of people, and many are determined not to allow it to replace the CCB from which it took inspiration.

Folks, it's a veritable Battle of the Bibles, and in an upcoming ACNM post, I will give the history of the struggle and my opinion of who's winning.

It looks like the NCB won't be the next step for the CCB, but instead a splinter translation.

Timothy said...


Follow this link for more on Fr Alberto;

Francesco said...

They re-ordered the books?!? Why would they do such a thing?

Having their own order to the books was one of the things I liked about the CCB. The new order may not have been the "Catholic" one but it certainly reflected the reformed lectionary, with the Psalms placed between the rest of the OT and the NT, just like a Sunday mass.

Theophrastus said...

Geoffrey, that is completely right -- I thought you knew they were competing efforts.

It may interest you to know that a related publication by the CCB group targeted at American audiences is the The Catholic Prayer Bible (which uses the NRSV translation.)

Tim already noted the similarities here, and it is no secret: the Catholic Prayer Bible was produced by the "Pastoral Bible Foundation." Google the latter group, and guess where you end up.

In fact, the CCB's Facebook page also makes things pretty clear.

Javier said...


the information in the article you link is not completely accurate. It states that Fr. Rossa is the creator of the Christian Community Bible. My understanding is that the "creator" of the CCB was Fr. Bernardo Hurault. Fr. Hurault was a french priest who, while in Chile, saw the need for a popular catholic bible in spanish and, with great effort, put together the "Biblia Latinoamericana". After finishing his work in Chile, he moved to the Philippines. There, he decided to do for the Philippine catholics what he had done in Chile. That is how the CCB was born. Fr. Alberto Rossa (incidentally an argentinian), was already in Asia. I think he was based in Macau. He and Fr. Bernardo became good friends, and Fr. Alberto helped him in publishing the CCB. Curiously enough, Fr. Rossa and his Claretians have not chosen Fr. Hurault "Biblia Latinoamericana" in their effort to reach Latin America. Instead, they put together the "Biblia de Nuestro Pueblo", which is an spanish translation by the late spanish Fr. Alonso Schokel (professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome), with the language slightly changed to suit the latin american language usage, and with new notes.
(Fr. Bernardo Hurault "Biblia Latinoamericana" was pretty controversial, at least at the beginning. In the first edition for example, it apparently had a picture of New York with a verse from Revelation about Babylon the Great).


Javier said...


here is a link to a recent biography of Fr. Bernardo Hurault. There you will find the story of the creation of the "Biblia Latinoamericana" and of the CCB. There are interviews to people who worked closely with him, among others Fr. Alberto Rossa.
Unfortunately for the readers of this blog, the book is in spanish.

La Palabra de Dios no está encadenada


Servus Dei said...

Looks like a battle similar to NRSV and ESV here...

RSV71 -> ESV

The two versions must enjoy peaceful co-existence.. Just like how Ignatius maintains both RSV-CE and RSV-2CE. (But as we may notice, the 2CE gets a little marketing, if not for the ICSB, the demand for RSV-2CE may have died for some time in the future.)

If that's the situation, it may be bad that the NCB couldn't reach the Philippines.

In event that it does happen, well CCB may be likewise consider following the guidelines set by Liturgiam Authenticam.

Not for a strict formal equivalence though, I am aware that the motu propio are instructions for all the Roman Liturgical books, but LA has set up nice principles for Catholic Bible translators to be followed.

We Catholics should take advantage of having the Magisterium to guide us, as the Protestants lack it. LA give us the safeguard so that Catholics may not be able to produce Bibles that are lacking good exegesis and commitment to Latin liturgical tradition.

If the CCB would follow the principles set forth by LA, they can somehow use it as a marketing advantage over the NCB.