Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sunday Knox: Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24A

Knox Bible:
"What is the scene, now, of your approach to God? It is no longer a mountain that can be discerned by touch; no longer burning fire, and whirlwind, and darkness, and storm. No trumpet sounds; no utterance comes from that voice, which made those who listened to it pray that they might hear no more. The scene of your approach now is mount Sion, is the heavenly Jerusalem, city of the living God; here are gathered thousands upon thousands of angels, here is the assembly of those first-born sons whose names are written in heaven, here is God sitting in judgement on all men, here are the spirits of just men, now made perfect; here is Jesus, the spokesman of the new covenant, and the sprinkling of his blood, which has better things to say than Abel’s had."

NAB Lectionary:
"You have not approached that which could be touched
and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness
and storm and a trumpet blast
and a voice speaking words such that those who heard
begged that no message be further addressed to them.
No, you have approached Mount Zion
and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
and countless angels in festal gathering,
and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven,
and God the judge of all,
and the spirits of the just made perfect,
and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant,
and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel."

Friday, August 30, 2013

Go Away with My Wife........on Retreat

My wife, who authors The Pitter Patter Diaries blog, is giving away a free registration for a December retreat with the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  You can enter on her blog.  The sisters are truly a dynamic order!  You may have seen them on Oprah a few years ago. Perhaps you saw them on the CBS Morning Show recently as their CD has hit the top of the classical charts on iTunes and Amazon. Founded in 1997 with four women (Mother Assumpta Long, O.P., Sister Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, O.P., Sister Mary Samuel Handwerker, O.P. and Sister John Dominic Rasmussen, O.P.), the Sisters have quickly grown to over 110 women in just sixteen years

This contest is only open to women, since it is a women's retreat with its focus being on the married life and motherhood.  So head over to wife's blog to enter if you are interested and able to attend this overnight retreat. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Poverty and Justice Bible Catholic Edition (NRSV)

I received a copy of this new Bible a couple days back.  It was released in July.

The Bible where God’s voice for the poor and oppressed shouts loud and clear.
This new Catholic edition of the ground-breaking Poverty and Justice Bible – with Deuterocanonical books in Catholic book order – highlights over 3,500 verses revealing what God has to say about poverty and injustice.
This Bible also features an additional 32-page study section of practical ways to respond.
  • A Catholic edition of the ground-breaking Poverty & Justice Bible.
  • Key passages highlighted – over 3,500 verses which clearly show God’s heart for the poor and oppressed.
  • New ‘get involved’ information from CAFOD – the leading overseas development organisation.
  • Uses New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation – approved for use within the Catholic community.
  • Includes Deuterocanonical books in Catholic book order with highlighted passages.
  • Exclusive 32-page study guide section encouraging the reader to take action.
  • Easy to use – the reader sees at a glance God’s attitude to the poor and oppressed.
  • Credible – testimonials and study sections endorse the Bible’s relevance to today’s world.
  • Perfect for the socially aware to get more involved in today’s issues and take things further.

Also included is a section on Catholic Prayers, a concordance, a table of weights and measures, and the Sunday and Major Feast Lectionary.

This edition is available in a sturdy paperback at Amazon or the American Bible Society.  

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back-to-School Contest

To celebrate back to school, at least for me, I am going to offer a contest a new hardcover for the Navarre Bible: Minor Prophets volume.

This volume of the Navarre Bible commentaries sheds light on the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The Psalms aside, the books of the prophets are the Old Testament sources most often referred to in the New. Their message covers all aspects of Israelite and Christian faith - belief in One God, his chosen people, the Messiah and the path to salvation. Like all the books in the Navarre series, this edition will help to deepen your understanding of these sacred texts. This book completes the Navarre Bible Old Testament series.

This edition includes the RSV-CE and Nova Vulgata.

So here are the rules:

1) If you have a blog, please advertise this contest on your site. (If you don't, you can still enter the contest.)

2) This contest is only for people who are in the North America. (Overseas shipping costs remain too high for me right now. Sorry.)

3) To enter, please put your name in the comment section of this post.  Winner will be drawn randomly.

4) The contest ends on Sunday, September 1st, at 11:59 PM. I'll announce the winner on Monday morning.  At that time, the winner must contact me, via email, with their address within one week to receive their prize.

5) One entry per person. If you post anonymously, you must leave a name at the end of your comment entry

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sunday Knox: Isaiah 66:18-23

Knox Bible:
"Trust me, I will hold assize upon all such deeds and devices of theirs; ay, upon all nations and races. All must come and see my glory revealed, and I will set a mark upon each of them. What of those that find deliverance? I have an errand for them, to be my messengers across the sea; to Africa, and to Lydia where men draw the bow, to Italy, and to Greece, and to the Islands far away.  They shall go out where men never heard of my name, never saw my glory yet, to reveal that glory among the nations. And out of all nations they shall bring your brethren back, an offering to the Lord, with horse and chariot, with litter and mule and waggon, to Jerusalem, the Lord says, to this mountain, my sanctuary. A bloodless offering this, for the sons of Israel to bring, in its sanctified vessel, to the Lord’s house! And some among these newcomers, the Lord says, I will choose out to be priests and Levites."

*Isaias 66:19 The geographical identifications found in the Latin text are by no means certain.

NAB Lectionary:
"I know their works and their thoughts,
and I come to gather nations of every language;
they shall come and see my glory. 
I will set a sign among them;
from them I will send fugitives to the nations:
to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Mosoch, Tubal and Javan,
to the distant coastlands
that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory;
and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations. 
They shall bring all your brothers and sisters from all the nations
as an offering to the LORD,
on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries,
to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, says the LORD,
just as the Israelites bring their offering
to the house of the LORD in clean vessels. 
Some of these I will take as priests and Levites, says the LORD."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The NAB: New African Bible

I received in the mail, from the Pauline Sisters in Africa, these two new editions of the New African Bible.  The New African Bible was published back in 2011 and includes the New American Bible Revised Edition translation with completely new intros and commentary.  I wanted to give you all a sneak peak of the standard hardbound edition, which is in a single-column setting, and the compact edition.  More to come in the coming weeks when I hopefully have a bit more time to write up a proper review.  However, if you have any questions, feel free to comment here.  Also, below is some additional information on the New African Bible from the Paulines site.  To order, you can contact them at

This second edition of "The African Bible", from now on, will be called "The New African Bible" and rightly so. The features are the same. However, this new edition contains the revised version of the Old Testament from the New American Bible. The New Testament was already revised in the first edition. The revision was done over 35 years in order to bring the biblical text closer to the original texts. Introductions, comments and notes have been revised and many added. The Glossary comes to you with many more entries, making it a precious tool for students and those who want to deepen relevant specific topics. New illustrations were also added. The African Bible now has 2240 pages and it costs only US$ 15.00. A golden-edge edition is also available and it costs only US$ 25.00.

In summary, The African Bible presents the following characteristics: 
•Introductions to each book giving updated information about the book and the theological and pastoral relevance for Africa today.
•Explanatory notes are provided in the various domains of exegesis, theol¬ogy and spirituality as well as in catechesis and pastoral ministry. 
•The comments, running alongside the biblical text, work as a key to un¬derstand a chapter or a section of the book and to see the relevance of the passage in Africa today. 
•The illustrations aim at making the historical background easier to understand and offer an artistic insight into some texts.
•The Bible is enriched by cross-references, the 3-year cycle of liturgical readings, the chronology,' and the glossary/thematic index.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Bad News/Good News Bible

Here is interesting article you might like from
The Bad News/Good News Bible

(By the way, blogging may be a bit lite over the next few days due to the start of the school year at the high school where I teach.)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Catholic Bible Poll at 500+

Last week, the Catholic Bible Translation Poll, which is located along the right sidebar, exceeded 500 votes.  If you remember, I initiated a new Poll a couple month back in order to address the new editions/revisions that had been published since this blog began.

So here are the results, completely unscientific of course:

Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (1st or 2nd): 24.01% (127 Votes)

New American Bible Revised Edition: 23.25% (123 Votes)

Douay-Rheims (Original or Challoner): 17.39% (92 Votes)

Jerusalem/New Jerusalem Bible/New Catholic Bible: 10.78% (57 Votes)

New Revised Standard Version: 9.83% (52 Votes)

Other: 6.81% (36 Votes)

Knox Bible: 6:24% (33 Votes)

Christian Community Bible/New Community Bible: 1.7% (9 Votes)

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

    Sunday Knox: Hebrews 12:1-4

    Knox Bible:
    "Why then, since we are watched from above by such a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of all that weighs us down, of the sinful habit that clings so closely, and run, with all endurance, the race for which we are entered. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the origin and the crown of all faith, who, to win his prize of blessedness, endured the cross and made light of its shame, Jesus, who now sits on the right of God’s throne. Take your standard from him, from his endurance, from the enmity the wicked bore him, and you will not grow faint, you will not find your souls unmanned. Your protest, your battle against sin, has not yet called for bloodshed."

    NAB Lectionary:
    "Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
    let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us
    and persevere in running the race that lies before us
    while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,
    the leader and perfecter of faith.
    For the sake of the joy that lay before him
    he endured the cross, despising its shame,
    and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. 
    Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners,
    in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. 
    In your struggle against sin
    you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood."

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    When God Spoke Greek

    Thanks to reader Larry for pointing out this interview article from First Things concerning the book When God Spoke Greek written by Timothy Michael Law.

    How did the New Testament writers and the earliest Christians come to adopt the Jewish scriptures as their first Old Testament? And why are our modern Bibles related more to the rabbinic Hebrew Bible than to the Greek Bible of the early Church?

    The Septuagint, the name given to the translation of the Hebrew scriptures between the third century BC and the second century AD, played a central role in the Bible's history. Many of the Hebrew scriptures were still evolving when they were translated into Greek, and these Greek translations, along with several new Greek writings, became Holy Scripture in the early Church.

    Yet, gradually the Septuagint lost its place at the heart of Western Christianity. At the end of the fourth century, one of antiquity's brightest minds rejected the Septuagint in favor of the Bible of the rabbis. After Jerome, the Septuagint never regained the position it once had. Timothy Michael Law recounts the story of the Septuagint's origins, its relationship to the Hebrew Bible, and the adoption and abandonment of the first Christian Old Testament.

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    Another Knox Bible Review

    Matt of the Absolutely No Spin blog recently received his edition of the Knox Bible published by Baronius Press.  He posted some pictures and gave some initial thoughts of the production quality of the Knox Bible. After looking over his post, two things came immediately to my mind: 1) Matt takes far better pictures than I do; and 2) Matt needs to post more often!  So head on over there and give it a look.  He also has a number of other reviews on his site, including traditional missals, breviaries, and bibles.  (Make sure to check out his post on the Baronius Press Latin-English Breviary.)

    Monday, August 12, 2013

    Fr. Raymond E. Brown Page

    Likely the most influential American Catholic Biblical Scholar of the twentieth century, Fr. Raymond Brown, who passed in August of 1998, now has a nifty website dedicated to him.  It includes articles, recollections, and opportunities to purchase some of his audio and video recordings.  This site looks pretty new, so I can imagine that we will see more added to it in the coming months.  

    Among Fr. Raymond Brown's most prominent works, in English, would certainly be his Anchor Bible Commentary on the Gospel of St. John,  The Birth of the Messiah, The Death of the Messiah, and one of his last books An Introduction to the New Testament.  (I should also mention his work on the New Jerome Biblical Commentary.)

    Here is a helpful bio of Fr. Raymond Brown from

    When he died in August 1998 at the age of 70, Father Raymond Brown was the "acknowledged dean of New Testament scholarship and a master of his discipline at the pinnacle of his career." (New York Times Book Review)

    Born in New York City, Brown moved with his family to Florida in 1943. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Catholic University in Washington, a doctorate in sacred theology from St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, and a doctorate in Semitic languages from Johns Hopkins University in 1958. He was a member of the Society of St. Sulpice, an order of priests dedicated to teaching in seminaries. Though ordained to the diocesan priesthood in 1953, his teaching and writing commitments left him little time for pastoral work. In his 45-year career, he baptized only four babies.

    Father Brown served as a fellow at the American School of Oriental Research in 1958-59, working on the Dead Sea Scrolls and collaborating in the preparation of a concordance of the unpublished texts. He returned to the United States in 1959 to teach at St. Mary’s Seminary. And in 1971, he became Auburn Professor of Biblical Studies at the interdenominational Protestant Union Theological Seminary in New York City, its first tenured Catholic professor. He remained there until his retirement in 1990, when he moved to the Sulpician seminary in Menlo Park, California, continuing to write and lecture around the world.

    The author of over 40 books, Brown was considered to be a moderate in the field of biblical studies. He was best known for his works The Gospel According to John, part of the Anchor Bible Commentary series; the recently published Introduction to the New Testament; and volumes on The Birth of the Messiah and The Death of the Messiah. When asked if he was planning a trilogy, to conclude with a book on the resurrection, his response was, "I would rather explore that area face to face." (The Independent, London 1998) Though many of his books are long, they are well-outlined in their tables of content and introductions, and relieved by charts, maps, and tables. They are easy to use and follow because they are written clearly in a straightforward manner. His commentaries are goldmines for footnote readers. The scholar will not be disappointed; the layperson will not be put off.

    Despite his well-received books, lecturing was perhaps his even greater gift. His classes at Union Seminary several times had to be moved to larger rooms to accommodate all who signed up. His teaching was marked by clarity and simplicity. When asked by a friend why he carried an attaché case since he never used texts or notes during lectures, he replied, "Because if you don’t carry one of these cases, people don’t think you know anything." (The Independent)

    Raymond Brown was not without his critics, particularly among those in the Catholic church who believed his rigorous biblical scholarship put him at odds with the faith. He always asserted that the two were not incompatible—that studying and teaching were priestly, even pastoral, activities that aptly represented commitment to both scholarship and faith.

    Saturday, August 10, 2013

    Sunday Knox: Wisdom 18:6-9

    Knox Bible:
    "Of what should befall that night, our fathers had good warning; confidence in thy sworn protection should keep them unafraid. A welcome gift it was to thy people, rescue for the just, and doom for their persecutors; at one stroke thou didst punish our enemies, and make us proud men by singling us out for thyself.  In secret they offered their sacrifice, children of a nobler race, all set apart; with one accord they ratified the divine covenant, which bound them to share the same blessings and the same perils; singing for prelude their ancestral hymns of praise."

    NAB Lectionary:
    "The night of the passover was known beforehand to our fathers,
    that, with sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith,
    they might have courage.
    Your people awaited the salvation of the just
    and the destruction of their foes.
    For when you punished our adversaries,
    in this you glorified us whom you had summoned.
    For in secret the holy children of the good were offering sacrifice
    and putting into effect with one accord the divine institution."

    Thursday, August 8, 2013

    Consuming the Word 8: The Canon of the New Testament

    Hahn begins this chapter on Canon with an exposition of the thought of Marcion, who attempted to "separate the law from the gospel; the God of Justice and creation from the God of grace and redemption; the God of the Old Testament from the Father of Jesus Christ (67)."  While he was eventually excommunicated, the whole affair began a slow process by which the New Testament books were officially canonized.

    Hahn points out Eusebius does not initially call this list of books as kanon, but diatheke.  In this way, for the Church in the fourth century these sacred books were known as  "the covenant documents, the testamental documents (70)."  And again, as pointed out in earlier chapters, these books were the ones that were read in the liturgical assembly.

    After giving a brief historical sketch of how the Church discerned finally which books belongs in the Canon, Hahn concludes the chapter by pointing out how even today the Marcion heresy persists.  Veiled in forms of "unconscious anti-Semitism" some still try to avoid the teachings of the Old Testament law and culture in order to create an even a "New Testament more to this or that individual's liking (74)."

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    Is the ESV Lectionary Dead in the Water?

    Thanks to reader Charles for this link which seems to suggest that it is.

    If this is true, what is next for those in the English speaking Church outside of North America?  Here are the options that I came up with:

    * Go with the newly revised New Community Bible.  (Remember this?)

    * See if something can be worked out with the NCCUSA and start again with the NRSV

    * Wait for the revised NABRE to be published in ten years which will supposedly provide a text that is both approved for Mass as well as available in print.

    * RSV-2CE

    * Re-work the Jerusalem Bible

    * Do nothing and stay with the original Jerusalem Bible

    A Catholic Parallel Bible

    One of the interesting Bible resources that I always seem to spend time looking at when I go to a Christian bookstore are the various parallel Bibles available. These typically have two different translations placed side-by-side on a page, with limited notes or cross-references. They seem to be quite popular since you can get them in any combination including the KJV, NJKV, NIV, ESV, NLT, and even the Message.  There have not been many specifically Catholic editions out there, the notable exception being the out-of-print Oxford Catholic Comparative New Testament.  It contained the Douay-Rheims, Jerusalem, New Jerusalem, RSV, NRSV, NAB, Catholic Community Bible, and Good News Bible.  It is quite a nice resource really, unfortunately for me the copy I had had some structural issues.

    So, I am interested to hear from you two things: 1) Does a complete (OT + NT) Catholic parallel Bible interest you?  2) If so, which two translations would you choose?

    My thought: I would like one that contained the Knox Bible and the NRSV (with its textual notes).  This would provide me a text that references the Clementine Vulgate (Knox) and an eclectic translation that uses the MT, LXX, and DSS (NRSV).  In addition, the Knox is properly a dynamic-equivalence translation compared to the more formal NRSV.

    Monday, August 5, 2013

    7 Questions: David Calvillo

    David Calvillo, and his wife Valerie, founded the apostolate Real Men Pray the Rosary (RMPTR) on the Feast of the Annunciation in March 2009 as an attempt to “promote [the Rosary] with conviction” to all Christians but especially Catholic men and their families.  Most recently, David published Real Men Pray the Rosary: A Practical Guide to a Powerful Prayer which calls all men to deepen their devotion to Christ through Our Lady.  It is a fantastic book which should be read in every men's fellowship group throughout the country.  It has helped to re-ignite my devotion to the Rosary.  Thank you to David for taking the time to answer the following "7 Questions":

    1)    Could you talk a little bit about your own faith journey, in particular the role the Rosary has played in it?
    It took me almost 50 years of life to finally realize that Mom knows best. I was blessed with a Mom who always emphasized praying the Rosary and to have a special devotion to our Blessed Mother. But I was way too cool for that. It took me until I attended a retreat, an ACTS retreat, for me to finally receive the Holy Spirit’s message. That retreat and the ecstatic experience granted me during that retreat started me on a journey that brings me to today with my life’s mission to promote the Rosary with conviction. Praying the Rosary and promoting it is now a central theme in my life. I find that I need prayer in order to have a fighting chance to combat the things that we all face in life and the Rosary provides that excellent structured nourishment of faith that feeds my soul. I am especially grateful to God that I was able to finally pray the Rosary with and express my love to Our Blessed Mother with my beautiful saintly mom before she passed in 2010.

    2)      How did RMPTR get started and what is its mission?
    RMPTR was ignited when I was serving on a retreat team and I was working with some men are faithful in praying the Rosary. Those “real men” provided the backdrop for the Holy Spirit to spark a message within me to visualize the our logo and to promote the Rosary to all, but especially the knuckleheads like me, to know that the Rosary nourishes our faith in a way that few other things can do.

    We take our mission directly from Blessed Pope John Paul II’s 2002 Apostolic Letter on the Rosary. Our mission is to “promote the Rosary with conviction… in the light of Scripture, in harmony with the liturgy, and in the context of our daily lives.”

    3)      Your book "Real Men Pray the Rosary: A Practical Guide to a Powerful Prayer" is a fantastic reintroduction and encouragement to men to pray this devotion daily.  How has the response been from those who have read it?
    I believe the book has been well received. I pray that all men, but especially those of us who find it hard to pray the Rosary or who don’t have that special love for the Mother of God, can see that if knuckleheads like me can eventually be enlightened to the power and beauty of the Rosary and how indispensable our Blessed Mother is in our lives, then hope exists for all. In other words, if I can do it, anyone can.

    4)      What do you see as the biggest obstacle to getting men to pray the Rosary regularly?
    Part of it may be that we are conditioned by society that somehow or other praying and relying on others is a sign of weakness. We fall prey to the notion “Real Men” are strong and stoic and don’t need anything from anyone. The real man, however, is Jesus and his life is how the ultimate real man conducts himself. We also need to set forth St. Joseph as the example of a real man. A working man, he listened with an open and loving heart and helped raise the Savior of man.

    5) I really appreciated your "Tool Box" question for chapter 3 concerning having a well-made, high quality Rosary for praying.  On my blog, I often discuss this same issue in regards to owning a well-made Bible, not simply the cheapest paperback available.  Why, then, is it important for men to have a high-quality Rosary instead of one of the many plastic ones you see in churches or those we seemed to get  mailed to us from various Catholic agencies each month?
     There is a physicality that is part of praying the Rosary that appeals to men. If we have a good quality Rosary in our hands as we pray, then it “feels good”. Not only does it feel good in our hands when we have something sturdy and weighty in our hands but it also feels good to know we’re doing something manly and natural for our families and ourselves when we take that weapon and pray it. We’re taking care of business: taking care of our ladies and our families! The Rosary. Don’t leave home without it. 

    6) Speaking of the Bible, what role does it play in praying the Rosary?
    The first component of our mission statement and of the 2002 Apostolic letter is “in the light of Scripture.” As I began my rebirth journey, I was somewhat surprised at the Rosary’s biblical basis. I did not know that the traditional rosary prayers and the mysteries are directly connected with and derived from Scripture. As I say in my book, the Rosary is an “executive summary” of the Gospel.  That message should appeal to all Christians.

    7) As is my custom for the last question, what is your favorite scripture verse or verses?  Why?
    I am learning every day so I don’t know that I should have a favorite or favorites but I do feel a special connection with several, including:

    “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all things for this is Christ’s will for you in all things.” 1 Thess. 5:16-18.

    “Live justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with God.” Micah 6:8.

    “God is love.” 1 John 4: 8. 

    Saturday, August 3, 2013

    Sunday Knox: Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23

    Knox Bible:

    "A shadow’s shadow, he tells us, a shadow’s shadow; a world of shadows! 

    What, should one man go on toiling, his the craft, his the skill, his the anxious care, leaving all to another, and an idler? That were frustration surely, and great mischief done.  Tell me, how is a man the richer for all that toil of his, all that lost labour of his, here under the sun? His days all painfulness and care, his very nights restless; what is here but frustration?"

    NAB Lectionary:

    "Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
    vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!

    Here is one who has labored with wisdom and knowledge and skill,
    and yet to another who has not labored over it,
    he must leave property. 
    This also is vanity and a great misfortune. 
    For what profit comes to man from all the toil and anxiety of heart
    with which he has labored under the sun? 
    All his days sorrow and grief are his occupation;
    even at night his mind is not at rest. 
    This also is vanity."

    Thursday, August 1, 2013

    Your Bible: Jonny's RSV-CE

    I wrote a post for this blog a while back about the Douay-Rheims Bible, and how it was instrumental to my conversion to the Catholic Church.  I will always have a deep affection and appreciation for the Douay-Rheims Bible, and it continues to be one of the few translations I read on a regular basis.  However, after I became Catholic, I began to be active in various ministries throughout my parish, and found I needed a more modern translation to communicate the Scriptures more effectively.  This post is not only features the Bible I use for ministry, but is also the story of how I came to use that particular edition.

    The first modern English Catholic Bible I bought was a 1991 NAB.  I was excited about this because as a Protestant I had general distrust in modern translations, but I felt like I could trust the NAB because it had official Catholic approval.  I turned out that I really didn’t care for the translation after being spoiled on the D-R and more literal non-Catholic translations.  Then one day, in a parish gift shop, I spotted the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition.  It was the blue-covered, Ignatius Press reprint of the original 1966 edition.  As I thumbed through and read here and there, I saw that this Bible had more formal language, and the font and page layout were more traditional looking as well.  When I saw the self-pronouncing text I was sold for sure, despite the Bible’s overall humble appearance.

    I have really enjoyed reading out of this edition, and definitely got my money’s worth, but I was a little disappointed as the glossy blue cover began flaking away.  I then began looking for another edition that was a little nicer.  I think I got one of every edition of the RSV-CE available, but there seemed to be some serious defect with each of them: cheap leather, no cross-references, glued binding, manifold typos (that edition is no longer available), or any combination of the above.  I also searched web and bookstore for any and all Catholic translations and available editions, and collected what I considered the best specimen of each.  In the end of this search, I was left even more frustrated than what I was in the beginning!
    For it was during this time of intense Bible collecting I increased in responsibility with the various ministries in my parish.  As I interacted with an increasing number of Priests, Deacons, and lay people of all ages, I came to realize there are four points that need to be true of a Bible I use for ministry:

    a)      Must be translated from the original languages
    b)      Must have an imprimatur
    c)       Must not use excessive inclusive language
    d)      Must say “Hail, full of grace” in Luke 1:28

    I know that list might seem like a bit superficial, but my experience has been that those are the four points that are recurring obstacles to using a Bible to interact amongst Catholics.  Long story short, the RSV-CE has proven, in my experience, to be the most universally accepted translation for use in ministry.

    So now back to the story of “My Bible.”  Given the information above, I found it meet to give Ignatius RSV-CEs as gifts to some of my Catholic friends.  This was a couple of years after I had purchased mine with the flakey cover, and I noticed on the new ones I bought that the deep blue color was replaced by a brighter blue cover of the same design.  I wondered if the new one was better, so I ordered one for myself.  I found that my old one was published by Thomas Nelson for Ignatius Press in the U.S., while the new one was printed in Colombia, apparently with Ignatius applying the covers themselves.  The new cover was of better quality, and didn’t peel, but the book was not bound together well.  I decided to grin and bear the imperfection.  A year of so later, I gave the newer copy away to a friend and ordered another new copy for myself.  This one was slightly better, but still not acceptable for a plain hardcover reprint of a book published in 1966 that costs over 30 dollars!  I finally called Ignatius Press and told them of the trouble I had with that particular book, and they sent me a very nice copy with an even, tight binding. This is the Bible I have used as my basic, primary Bible for all things officially connected to my parish ministries ever since.

    A few more details about the Ignatius RSV-CE are in order.  As I mentioned before, this is a self-pronouncing edition, meaning that most of the proper names have the phonetic markings printed on the first occurrence of each name per paragraph.  This is also the only edition of the RSV-CE that has the original RSV-CE cross references.  There are a lot in the NT, less in the OT, and none in Deuterocanonical books.  Yet it has more than any other edition of the RSV-CE, which have none at all.  It is actually an exact reprint, page for page, of the original 1966 edition.  I know that because I know someone who owns the 1966 Thomas Nelson edition.  It has the burgundy hardcover with gold lettering just like the original Thomas Nelson Protestant RSVs did.  Like the original, it is also sadly lacking a map section.  I carry my copy in a Bible cover loaded with glossy inserts available from Rose Publishing.  One of the inserts is a booklet entitled “Then and Now Bible Maps Insert,” which has proven to be more useful than the map sections in other Bibles I own.  So that’s it.  No fancy leather or ribbons, just the basic stuff I need to get the job done.  I hope you are as surprised as I was!

    Thank you Jonny!  The plan is to make this a monthly series.  So, if you are interested in participating, just send me an email, mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com, and we'll talk.