Monday, September 30, 2013

New Chinese-English Parallel Bible for Catholics

From the National Catholic Register, concerning a new Chinese-English Catholic Parallel Bible.  The New Testament was published previously. (Confirmed by Mary Sperry of USCCB.)  Below are some snippets, along with a link to the full article: 

A new edition of the Old Testament in both English and Traditional Chinese is a valuable tool for Chinese Catholics, and represents a new possibility for evangelization, say leaders in the community.

All editions of the parallel translation have used the New American Bible, Revised Edition, and the Chinese translations are those of Blessed Gabriele M. Allegra, a “determined” Italian priest who produced the first Chinese Bible translation in 1968 after a 40-year collaboration with scholars and translators.

Read more:

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sunday Knox: Luke 16:19-31

Knox Bible:
"There was a rich man once, that was clothed in purple and lawn, and feasted sumptuously every day. And there was a beggar, called Lazarus, who lay at his gate, covered with sores, wishing that he could be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table, but none was ready to give them to him; the very dogs came and licked his sores. Time went on; the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; the rich man died too, and found his grave in hell. And there, in his suffering, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he said, with a loud cry, Father Abraham, take pity on me; send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, My son, remember that thou didst receive thy good fortune in thy life-time, and Lazarus, no less, his ill fortune; now he is in comfort, thou in torment.  And, besides all this, there is a great gulf fixed between us and you, so that there is no passing from our side of it to you, no crossing over to us from yours. Whereupon he said, Then, father, I pray thee send him to my own father’s house; for I have five brethren;  let him give these a warning, so that they may not come, in their turn, into this place of suffering.  Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them listen to these. They will not do that, father Abraham, said he; but if a messenger comes to them from the dead, they will repent.  But he answered him, If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will be unbelieving still, though one should rise from the dead."

"There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.  The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me.  Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.' Abraham replied, 'My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’ He said, 'Then I beg you, father, send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.' But Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.' He said, 'Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'  Then Abraham said, 'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'"

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Semi-Regular Weekly Poll: NRSV Study Bibles

Which is the best NRSV Study Bible?

  • New Oxford Annotated (1991)
  • New Oxford Annotated (3rd + 4th)
  • HarperCollins Study Bible
  • New Interpreters Study Bible
  • The Discipleship Study Bible
  • Life with God Bible
  • Access Bible
  • Cambridge Annotated
  • Other


More polls: Free poll

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Vulgate Psalter

Here is a link to an interesting post on the blog Psallam Domino entitled In Praise of the Vulgate Psalter.

One of the most helpful parts of this article is where it notes the difference between the Vulgate (and LXX) numbering of the Psalms compared to the MT:

A key to the numbering differences
  • Psalms 1-8, and 148-150 are numbered the same in all versions;
  • Psalms 10-112 in the Vulgate = Psalms 11 - 113 in Neo-Vulgate, and Psalms116-145 in the Vulgate = Psalms 117-146 in Neo-Vulgate (ie add one number to Vulgate to get Neo-Vulgate number);
  • Psalm 9 in the Vulgate is split into two in the Neo-Vulgate, so becomes Psalms 9 &10;
  • Psalm 113 Vulgate = Psalms 114 & Ps 115 in Neo-Vulgate;
  • Psalm 114 & Ps 115 Vulgate = Psalm 116 in Neo-Vulgate;
  • Psalm 146 & Ps 147 Vulgate - Psalm 147 Neo-Vulgate.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Reflection on Scripture Memorization

This past Saturday was the feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist.  Paul, from Theandric, has graciously provided a short reflection concerning his attempt to memorize Scripture.  I think you will enjoy it.   
“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…”
Earlier this year the Lord issued me a challenge to start memorizing the Word of God, starting with the Gospel of Matthew.  I had discerned that He wanted me to be more mindful of the time I spend during the day, especially in terms of my use of the internet and social media.  Like many of us in this age of “smartphones”, I’ve developed what could be described as a compulsive routine in which I’m incessantly checking my phone for new updates, whether they be in the form of news, emails, “likes” or “tweets.”  Amidst this constant stream of information there remains a “still, small Voice” that is waiting to be heard. 
Before I share a bit about how the memorization of Scripture has affected my spiritual life, let me mention a bit of teaching from Pope Benedict XVI, taken from his Message for the 46th World Communications Day:
Attention should be paid to the various types of websites, applications and social networks which can help people today to find time for reflection and authentic questioning, as well as making space for silence and occasions for prayer, meditation or sharing of the word of God. In concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible, profound thoughts can be communicated, as long as those taking part in the conversation do not neglect to cultivate their own inner lives. It is hardly surprising that different religious traditions consider solitude and silence as privileged states which help people to rediscover themselves and that Truth which gives meaning to all things.
It is this “neglect of the inner life” that the Lord was warning me about, but thanks to His grace I took up the challenge to create some room in my mind and heart for the Word to dwell.  So far I have been able to memorize chapters 1 through 7 of Matthew’s Gospel (although I skipped Matthew’s lengthy genealogy, so as not to be overwhelmed at the outset!)  In doing so, I have experienced an increased sense of connectedness to Christ, even while I still struggle with keeping the right balance in terms of my use of new media.  There is a great feeling of peace and joy that I feel that comes from knowing that I value the Word of God enough to give it a primary place in my heart and mind.  For those of you who may feel God is calling you to something similar, I think you’ll find that it serves as a form of “active lectio divina” – a way to meditate on God’s Word even amidst all the daily tasks and roles we have to fulfill. 
Let me share just one recent instance of a powerful moment which resulted from committing scripture to heart.  This is a good example of the way that the Lord can break through to us through His Word even in the most mundane moments.
One evening I was emptying the dishwasher, which in our house is both an act of charity (since my wife hates doing it) and an act of penance (I hate it too, especially since it seems we have hundreds of sippy cups.)  In order to distract myself from this chore I decided to recite to myself the portions of Matthew’s Gospel that I had memorized thus far.  Before long I found myself recounting aloud the visit of the Magi:
“Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage…”
And then in that moment of saying those words out loud, “they prostrated themselves and did him homage,” I found myself unexpectedly in tears.  There was something beautiful that stirred in my soul without being aware of it.  In an instant the Lord shared with me something beautiful about the visit of the magi.  He showed me that before offering their gifts, the magi in fact offered a more precious gift – the gift of themselves, in the form of adoration.  Consider how far the magi traveled to participate in Eucharistic Adoration!  And furthermore, the Lord pointed out to me that He is pleased when we offer him our gifts and talents, but what He first wants us to give Him is our very selves.  As Blessed John Paul II so often reminded us: “Man cannot find himself except through a sincere gift of self.”  How blessed are we, that Our Lord Jesus Christ has given us the gift of Himself, in both Word and Sacrament!  
So for those of you, whose hearts may be stirred at the prospect of growing in your knowledge of the Gospel, consider if the Lord is inviting you to take up a similar challenge.  If we have the time each day to check social media, news, and yes, even blogs again and again and again -  we certainly have the time and space to devote ourselves to being truly and deeply familiar with the Word of God.  And then we will be able to experience more fully what St. Paul assures us: “the Word is near you, on your lips and in your heart.” 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sunday Knox: Amos 8:4-7

Knox Bible:
"Here is word for you, oppressors of the poor, that bring ruin on your fellow-citizens in their need;  you that long for new moon and sabbath to be at an end, for trading to begin and granary to be opened, so you may be at your shifts again, the scant measure, the high price, the false weights!  You that for a debt, though it were but the price of a pair of shoes, will make slaves of poor, honest folk; you that sell refuse for wheat!  By Jacob’s ancient renown the Lord swears it, crimes of yours shall remain for ever unforgotten."

"Hear this, you who trample upon the needy
and destroy the poor of the land!
“When will the new moon be over,” you ask,
“that we may sell our grain,
and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat?
We will diminish the ephah,
add to the shekel,
and fix our scales for cheating!
We will buy the lowly for silver,
and the poor for a pair of sandals;
even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!”
The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Never will I forget a thing they have done!"

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28th Edition with NRSV/REB Greek-English New Testament

This hardcover edition is due out October 15, 2013.

This is the twenty-eighth edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece (NA28). NA28 is the standard scholarly edition of the Greek New Testament used by scholars, Bible translators, professors, students, and pastors worldwide. Now NA28 has been revised and improved:
  • Critical apparatus revised and easier to use
  • Papyrii 117-127 included for the first time
  • In-depth revision of the Catholic Epistles, with more than 30 changes to the upper text
  • Scripture references systematically reviewed for accuracy
  • The NA28 with NRSV/REB Greek-English New Testament includes the 28th edition of the Nestle Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, the New Revised Standard Version, and the Revised English Bible.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Happy 4th Anniversary to My Beloved Bride

"Her children rise up and call her happy;
    her husband too, and he praises her." 
- Proverbs 31:28

Reminder: Walking with Mary Contest Winners

Congrats to the following three entires for winning a free copy of Walking with Mary:

Amanda P.
Jen C

If each of you could please email me your full name and address, Image Books will send out your free copies in short order.  My email: mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com

Thank you to Image Books and to all of you who entered.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

7 Questions: Paul Tiseo of Theandric

1) Could you talk a little bit about how Theandric got started? Where did you get the name?  What would you say are your main musical influences?

Theandric began as a solo project when I was in my twenties, but I’ve been making music ever since I was in grade school.  After several years of imposed and torturous piano lessons, I convinced my parents to buy me a bass guitar.  I was about 12 years old when I began taking regular bass guitar lessons at the local music store, and later I picked up acoustic and electric guitar as well.  As a teenager, I was a big fan of hard rock and heavy metal, but later my interests broadened to include a wide range of music, including jazz, classical, and world music.  With regards to the name “Theandric”, it was a theological word that I heard used in a homily once.  At the time I didn’t know what the word meant but I thought it sounded cool!  I thought it would make a great band name.  After I learned the meaning, I found that it was the perfect word to express my musical philosophy, which is essentially to allow my human nature to cooperate with the divine nature in the creative act.  Even though Theandric started as a solo project, I’ve always had the vision of including more musicians under the Theandric banner, and we’re starting to get there with the addition of the talented Elizabeth Esqueda to our group. 

As for influences, there are a few artists and composers that I would consider my favorites, and you’ll see that they are quite diverse: in terms of rock music I really like Genesis, King’s X, Iron Maiden, and Juliana Hatfield.  In terms of classical and sacred music:  Messiaen, Arvo Part, and Sir John Tavener.  In the Christian music realm I really like Fr. Stan Fortuna, Tori Harris and the acclaimed guitarist Phil Keaggy.  In particular, the guitar playing of Phil Keaggy has had a tremendous impact on the development of my acoustic guitar playing.   

2) You have a new album out entitled "The Door of Faith".  It has a very different sound than your previous metal album "Up the Irons".  Was this intentional from the beginning and can we expect more of the same in the future?

The EP “Up the Irons” was really my first experience in making a professional sounding recording and releasing it worldwide.  The music style was in tribute to one of the my favorite bands, Iron Maiden, whose music I’ve enjoyed since I started playing guitar almost 25 years ago.  But it really wasn’t meant to define all my musical intentions - it was just a fun musical idea that I had and needed to put to rest.  There is one song on that EP called “Adoro Te Devote” which was part of my original vision for Theandric, which was to utilize elements of Gregorian chant within a heavy metal framework.  But over time I felt my musical interests shifting, and I believe that the shift in sound and approach of the songs on “The Door of Faith” was really a response to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  I had been working on the song “The Dream of Joseph” about St. Joseph’s experience of the announcement of the birth of Christ (Matthew 1:18-25) and I found I really enjoyed writing in a stripped down, acoustic style, where the melodies and intimacy take precedence over guitar riffs.  Once I embraced this style of writing the ideas really started flowing and I knew I was on to something.  For now, I intend to continue writing in this style because I feel it is the best use of my gifts to serve the Word.     

3) The lyrics for this new album are saturated with references and quotes from Sacred Scripture.  How has the Bible shaped your songwriting?

The Word of God has been indispensable for the development of my songwriting. Having a scripture passage in mind most often serves as a springboard for song ideas.  As a songwriter and composer, I cannot think of a higher calling than to cooperate with the Lord in spreading His Word.  I think every artist wants his work to be memorable and lasting, and the Lord reminds us that “heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”  So for me this form of creativity is a way to connect with something eternal, which ultimately is the everlasting love of God.  Also, writing the songs for this album has been a form of Lectio Divina for me, as it has allowed me time to contemplate more deeply into some of the personal experiences in scripture, such as those experienced by St. Joseph, St. Thomas, and the Blessed Mother. 

4) My wife and I were just listening to the song 'Ave Maria' on our way back from Church recently.  Could you talk a little bit about that song and the beautiful voice of Elizabeth Mihalo Esqueda who accompanied you on this track?

Elizabeth’s participation in this project was truly a gift of God’s Providence.  She is a very talented singer, not to mention a humble and enthusiastic person.  I had placed an ad in the archdiocese music newsletter and she responded to my search for a female singer to participate in the recordings.  From the beginning I had envisioned a female voice being an important part of the songs, as I wanted the music to reflect more of the diversity of the Body of Christ, and the complementarity of the sexes.  And of course, the Marian songs “Ave Maria” and “Annunciation” required that feminine sound and spirit to make them truly come alive.  Elizabeth contributed an incredibly beautiful performance.  She also really helped me in improving my Latin pronunciation! : )

5) Our Pope Emeritus Benedict called for this year to be the Year of Faith.  What kind of influence has his example and writings had on you, both personally and musically?

Without a doubt I have Pope Benedict XVI to thank for the inspiration and initiation of this project.  The announcement of the Year of Faith and the accompanying document “Porta Fidei” provided me with not only the album title but also the inspiration to do a full album’s worth of songs.  I ended up consulting many of his writings while songwriting, such as Deus Caritas Est, The Spirit of the Liturgy, and Behold the Pierced One.  I think I’ve also felt a particular affection for Pope Benedict as my own father’s name is Benedict.  I’ve made a point of releasing both of my albums on July 11th, which is the feast of St. Benedict according to the ordinary liturgical year.  Another bit of trivia: I had my wedding ring inscribed with the words ‘Deus Caritas Est’ as a reminder of my vocation.  Truly I was really blessed by the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, and I’m grateful there is still so much more of his work to study and reflect upon to grow in my faith. 

6) I know that Eucharistic Adoration is a big part of your spiritual life.  How has it impacted your songwriting?

The most fulfilling aspect of the preparations for this album was the simple act of taking my guitar with me to the chapel to work in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.  Not only was it very fruitful creatively, but spiritually as well.  I enjoyed being with the Lord to offer Him my creative gifts, but also I relished being with Him in the silence of His Presence.  This has now become my preferred mode of composing, if the chapel is available and I can be alone with the Lord.  And now that I think about it, this whole project has helped me appreciate more fully how the Lord is present to us in both Word and Sacrament.  The Eucharist and the Word both nourish us and strengthen us, and they are inextricably linked.  Also, another unexpected grace from Eucharistic Adoration has been an increasing desire to spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament.  This has helped me feel grounded and humble.  Like many artists, I dream of playing before large crowds and having my music be known far and wide, but over these past few months I find myself longing more to be in the presence of just that One. 

7) As customary for the last question, do you have a favorite scripture passage?

It’s so tough to choose just one!  I’ve already mentioned 1 John 4:16, which pretty much sums it all up, but currently the scripture that has been hanging on my heart has been Matthew 5:3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  It was the first scripture that I taught my three-year-old daughter and we pray it together at bedtime.  There is a haunting mystery in that beatitude that keeps calling me in a powerful way.  I feel like I could spend the rest of my life just contemplating that one line.   

Bonus Question:  You are, of course, the genius behind the Catholic Bibles Blog Theme Song.   Can we expect a follow up any time soon?

Yes, yes, I definitely want to do an updated theme song for the Catholic Bibles Blog!  I know that the current theme has a “selective appeal”, if you will.  I already have an idea for the next theme song which will utilize lots of Latin chant, scripture, and more cowbell…gotta have more cowbell!

Official Theandric website:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Walking with Mary Contest Winners

Congrats to the following three entires for winning a free copy of Walking with Mary:

Amanda P.
Jen C

If each of you could please email me your full name and address, Image Books will send out your free copies in short order.  My email: mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com

Thank you to Image Books and to all of you who entered.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sunday Knox: 1 Timothy 1:12-17

Knox Bible:
"How I thank our Lord Christ Jesus, the source of all my strength, for shewing confidence in me by appointing me his minister, me, a blasphemer till then, a persecutor, a man of violence, author of outrage, and yet he had mercy on me, because I was acting in the ignorance of unbelief. The grace of the Lord came upon me in a full tide of faith and love, the love that is in Christ Jesus.  How true is that saying, and what a welcome it deserves, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I was the worst of all,  and yet I was pardoned, so that in me first of all Christ Jesus might give the extreme example of his patience; I was to be the pattern of all those who will ever believe in him, to win eternal life. Honour and glory through endless ages to the king of all the ages, the immortal, the invisible, who alone is God, Amen."

"I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthyin appointing me to the ministry. I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant,but I have been mercifully treatedbecause I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief. Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance:Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost. But for that reason I was mercifully treated,so that in me, as the foremost,Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an examplefor those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life. To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God,honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Walking with Mary Contest

I am very excited to be the second stop on the Walking with Mary Virtual Blog Tour in celebration of the release of Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross by Edward Sri.  I am also thrilled that the fine folks at Image are offering, via the Catholic Bibles Blog, three copies of Sri's new book.  Walking with Mary is a wonderfully helpful work that looks at all the essential moments in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary as found in the New Testament.  As Sri explains: "This book is the fruit of my personal journey of studying Mary, from her initial calling in Nazareth to her painful experience at the cross.  It is intended to be a highly readable, accessible work, that draws on the wisdom from the Catholic tradition, recent Popes, and biblical scholars from a variety of perspectives and traditions." You can read more about Walking with Mary, including an excerpt, at the Image website.  If you have any friends or family members who are Protestant and wary of anything concerning Mary, I think this book would be a great introduction since it is so grounded in Scripture.  Walking with Mary is available in hardbound and eBook editions.

Dr. Edward Sri is a nationally known Catholic speaker who appears regularly on EWTN and is the author of several well-loved Catholic books. He is a founding leader, with Curtis Martin, of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), and he currently serves as vice president of mission and outreach and professor of theology and scripture at the Augustine Institute master's program in Denver, Colorado. Sri holds a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He resides with his wife, Elizabeth, and their six children in Littleton, Colorado. 

Rules for the contest:

1) If you have a website or blog, please announce this contest on your blog.  If you don't, that is OK.  You can still enter the contest. 

2) Please enter your name in the comment section of this blog post.  I will randomly draw three winners at the conclusion of the contest, which will be on Sunday September 15th at 11:59 PM.   

3) I will announce the winners on Monday September 16th.  The winners must contact me, via email, within a week with their full name and address and I will submit it to Image who will send you a brand new copy of the book.

4) One entry per person. 

5) Contest is only available to those who live in the United States.

Thank you to Image for providing three copies of Walking with Mary for the contest.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oxford NRSV-CE Readers Edition

One of my earliest reviews on this blog was for the delightful NRSV-CE Readers Edition from Oxford, which is now sadly out-of-print.  I thought I would re-publish it here with a few additions, which you will see in bold.

Here is the info given for this edition by the publisher, Oxford University Press:

In addition to U.S. and Canadian imprimaturs, the Reader's Text contains "The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation", 64 in-text maps, 12 in-text charts and line drawings, a unique NRSV Catholic concordance, a Presentation and Family Record Section, eight pages of full color New Oxford Bible Maps, Prayers and Devotions of the Catholic Faith, and a Table of Sunday and Weekday Lectionary Readings for the Canadian NRSV Lectionary.

I must say that I find this edition of the NRSV a true joy to read and use daily. I own the burgundy berkshire leather edition, although I am still unsure as to what berkshire leather actually is.  (Berkshire Leather is high quality pigskin. It is tanned to enhance its appearance and durability.)  It doesn't feel like the rather cheap bonded leather that you sometimes see used in Bibles, but it certainly is not lamb-skin either. The fact that I paid a decent amount for it suggests to me that it is a better quality leather binding. The Bible fits nicely in the hand and will open up flat when placed on a table.

It's size is 9.9 x 7.5 x 1.8 inches and it weights only 3 pounds, making it very easy to take with you to Bible studies, Holy Mass, or Panera. In addition, the text size is very readable, the print is clear, it contains paragraph headings, and there is a fair amount of space to write notes if desired. The binding is sewn.

Probably the main reason I like this Bible is that it contains a lot of Bible extras, something that most Bibles of this size do not. As many of you know, I love a Bible with a lot of maps. With this edition, not only do you get the standard "Oxford Maps" in the back, but there are 64 in-text maps placed throughout the Bible at appropriate places. For example, if you are reading through 1 Samuel about David fleeing from King Saul, you will find in 1 Samuel 22 a nice in-text map of David's escape route to En Gedi.   In the New Testament,  there are some wonderful maps of "Jerusalem during Jesus Time" as well maps of the individual cities that Paul visited. In addition to the maps, there are some very helpful charts placed within the text, like a "Harmony of the Gospels" and "Chronology of the Postexilic Era" in the Book of Ezra. The appendix includes the full table of Mass readings for Sundays and Weekdays, which is really nice to have when taking this Bible to Mass. There is also a nice 6 page section on Catholic prayers and devotions. Finally, there is a concise NRSV concordance in the back. This 100 page concordance, which helps you to find familiar phrases and words in the Bible, is the most thorough concise concordance that I have seen for a Bible this size. It is particularly helpful when looking up a Biblical name or place.  It has more entries than what you would find in the HarperOne editions of the NRSV.

The one drawback to this Bible is that it doesn't contain any cross-references. Certainly having the concordance helps that a bit, but overall it would have been nice to have cross-references for those passages that are explicitly quoted elsewhere in the Bible.  You will notice my final picture shows how I copied and glued the "Old Testament References in the New Testament" chart found in the appendix of the HarperCollins Study Bible into the back of this Bible.  Problem solved.

Overall, this is a great Bible! I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an NRSV Catholic edition.  If you can find one!

Monday, September 9, 2013

"Your Bible" Blog Post: A Reminder

Over the past five years this blog has been dedicated to reviewing new Bible editions, study tools, and translations.  Most often, these reviews come from yours truly, with the occasional guest blog by one you, my beloved readers.  I really do enjoy providing the "guest posts" on this blog and hope to continue to do so in the future. 

However, I would really like to expand this a bit, perhaps moving in a slightly different direction.  Once a month, I would like to publish a guest post from one of you giving a description of your personal Bible.  This would be the Bible you use most often, hopefully daily! I'll call this the "Your Bible" series.  What I am asking is that those who are interested to send me an email letting me know you are interested in doing this. Once you do that, I envision that each "Your Bible" post to contain 1-2 photos of your Bible, along with a short write up focusing on that Bible and how you use it. So what do you say?  I know that there are many of you out there who are daily devoted to reading the Scriptures.  I am sure that your witness will be appreciated by many who read this blog.

As I have mentioned in the past, one of the most beautiful sights, besides my beautiful family, is someone who is reading a well worn Bible.  So, if you are interested, please send me an email letting me know: mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com.   If you are new to this blog or have been around from the beginning, I would love to hear from you.  Like I said earlier, I'd really like to make this a regular, perhaps monthly, post here at the Catholic Bibles Blog.  So, don't be shy!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sunday Knox: Wisdom 9:13-18

Knox Bible:
"What God’s purpose is, how should man discover, how should his mind master the secret of the divine will?  So hesitating our human thoughts, so hazardous our conjectures!  Ever the soul is weighed down by a mortal body, earth-bound cell that clogs the manifold activity of its thought.  Hard enough to read the riddle of our life here, with laborious search ascertaining what lies so close to hand; and would we trace out heaven’s mysteries too? Thy purposes none may know, unless thou dost grant thy gift of wisdom, sending out from high heaven thy own holy spirit.  Thus ever were men guided by the right way."

"Who can know God’s counsel,
or who can conceive what the LORD intends?
For the deliberations of mortals are timid,
and unsure are our plans.
For the corruptible body burdens the soul
and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns.
And scarce do we guess the things on earth,
and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty;
but when things are in heaven, who can search them out?
Or who ever knew your counsel, except you had given wisdom
and sent your holy spirit from on high?
And thus were the paths of those on earth made straight."

“For who knows God’s counsel,
or who can conceive what the Lord intends? 
For the deliberations of mortals are timid, and uncertain our plans. 
For the corruptible body burdens the soul 
and the earthly tent weighs down the mind with its many concerns.  
Scarcely can we guess the things on earth, 
and only with difficulty grasp what is at hand; 
but things in heaven, who can search them out? 
Or who can know your counsel, unless you give Wisdom 
and send your holy spirit from on high?  
Thus were the paths of those on earth made straight.”

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Art of The Saint John's Bible: The Complete Reader's Guide

From the time that pages of The Saint John's Bible began touring in major exhibitions nearly a decade ago, people have been moved, captivated, and inspired by this stunning work of modern sacred art. But they often have questions about the illuminations that are scattered throughout the Bible, especially as they first become familiar with it. Why was a certain Scripture passage chosen for illumination rather than another? What materials and source imagery are behind the illuminations? The Art of The Saint John's Bible provides answers to these important questions and many others.
Initially published in a series of three volumes, each book has now been revised by the author and included together in this single helpful volume. Since The Saint John's Bible is now complete, Susan Sink makes connections between recurring images and motifs throughout the work and reflects on the images with a view to the whole. Her book promises to intensify and expand the experience of all who come in contact with The Saint John's Bible.
Susan Sink is a poet and writer living on eighty acres in St. Joseph, Minnesota. She is the author of a book of poems, The Way of All the Earth, and Habits, a collection of one-hundred-word stories. Her work has been published in national literary magazines, including Poetry, Chicago Review, Santa Monica Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. She is an oblate of Saint John's Abbey.

You can take a look inside here.  This is due out later this month and is currently available for pre-order at

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

NT Wright: The Case for the Psalms

Below is an excerpt of N.T. Wright's The Case for the Psalms which is set for release this week.  In many ways, this book is intended for those non-liturgical protestant communities that don't utilize a lectionary or breviary for daily prayer, like the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion do.  This excerpt comes from HarperOne's News and Pews:

"This book is a personal plea. The Psalms, which make up the great hymnbook at the heart of the Bible, have been the daily lifeblood of Christians, and of course the Jewish people, from the earliest times. Yet in many Christian circles today, the Psalms are simply not used. And in many places where they are still used, whether said or sung, they are often reduced to a few verses to be recited as “filler” between other parts of the liturgy or worship services. In the latter case, people often don’t seem to realize what they’re singing. In the former case, they don’t seem to realize what they’re missing. This book is an attempt to reverse those trends. I see this as an urgent task.
Suppose the Psalms had been lost and had never been printed in any Bibles or prayer books. Suppose they then turned up in a faded but still legible scroll, discovered by archaeologists in the sands of Jordan or Egypt. What would happen? When deciphered and translated, they would be on the front page of every newspaper in the world. Many scholars from many disciplines would marvel at the beauty and content of these ancient worship songs and poems.
The Psalms are among the oldest poems in the world, and they still rank with any poetry in any culture, ancient or modern, from anywhere in the world. They are full of power and passion, horrendous misery and unrestrained jubilation, tender sensitivity and powerful hope. Anyone at all whose heart is open to new dimensions of human experience, anyone who loves good writing, anyone who wants a window into the bright lights and dark corners of the human soul—anyone open to the beautiful expression of a larger vision of reality should react to these poems like someone who hasn’t had a good meal for a week or two. It’s all here.
And astonishingly, it doesn’t get lost in translation. Most poetry suffers when translated into other languages because it relies for its effect on the sound and rhythm of the original words. It’s true that the Hebrew of these poems is beautiful in itself for those who can experience it. But the Psalms rely for their effect on the way they set out the main themes. They say something from one angle and then repeat it from a slightly different one:
By the word of YHWH the heavens were
               and all their host by the breath of his
                     mouth. (33.6)
I will open my mouth in a parable;
       I will utter dark sayings from of old.
You search out my path and my lying down,
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even when this doesn’t happen line by line, it often happens between different sections of a psalm or in the balance of the collection, or a part of it, as a whole.
The important point here is that some of the most important things we want to say remain just a little beyond even our best words. The first sentence is a signpost to the deep reality; the second, a signpost from a slightly different place. The reader is invited to follow both and to see the larger, unspoken truth looming up behind. This means that not only can the effect be maintained in translation, but the effect is itself one of the deepest things the Psalms are doing, making it clear that the best human words point beyond themselves to realities that transcend even high poetic description. (Something similar is achieved elsewhere in the Bible—for instance, in the provision in Genesis of two creation stories, offering two picture-language images for a reality that lies beyond either.)
All this, as I said, should capture the attention and generate the excitement of anyone sensitive to powerful writing on the great themes of human life. But for those who, in whatever way, stand in the spiritual traditions of Judaism and Christianity, there is all that and much, much more. That makes it all the more frustrating that the Psalms are so often neglected today or used at best in a perfunctory and shallow way.
In some parts of contemporary Christianity, the Psalms are no longer used in daily and weekly worship. This is so especially at points where there has been remarkable growth in numbers and energy, not least through the charismatic movements in various denominations. The enormously popular “worship songs,” some of which use phrases from the Psalms here and there but most of which do not, have largely displaced, for thousands of regular and enthusiastic worshipers, the steady rhythm and deep soul-searching of the Psalms themselves. This, I believe is a great impoverishment.
By all means write new songs. Each generation must do that. But to neglect the church’s original hymnbook is, to put it bluntly, crazy. There are many ways of singing and praying the Psalms; there are styles to suit all tastes. That, indeed, is part of their enduring charm. I hope that one of the effects of this little book will be to stimulate and encourage those who lead worship in many different settings to think and pray about how to reintegrate the church’s ancient prayer book into the regular and ordinary life of their fellowships. The Psalms represent the Bible’s own spiritual root system for the great tree we call Christianity. You don’t have to be a horticultural genius to know what will happen to the fruit on the tree if the roots are not in good condition.
But I’m not writing simply to say, “These are important songs that we should use and try to understand.” That is true, but it puts the emphasis the wrong way around—as though the Psalms are the problem, and we should try to fit them into our world. Actually, again and again it is we, muddled and puzzled and half-believing, who are the problem; and the question is more how we can find our way into their world, into the faith and hope that shine out in one psalm after another.
As with all thoughtful Christian worship, there is a humility about this approach. Good liturgy, whether formal or informal, ought never to be simply a corporate emoting session, however “Christian,” but a fresh and awed attempt to inhabit the great unceasing liturgy that is going on all the time in the heavenly realms. (That’s what those great chapters, Revelation 4 and 5, are all about.) The Psalms offer us a way of joining in a chorus of praise and prayer that has been going on for millennia and across all cultures. Not to try to inhabit them, while continuing to invent nonpsalmic “worship” based on our own feelings of the moment, risks being like a spoiled child who, taken to the summit of Table Mountain with the city and the ocean spread out before him, refuses to gaze at the view because he is playing with his Game Boy.
In particular, I propose in this book that the regular praying and singing of the Psalms is transformative. It changes the way we understand some of the deepest elements of who we are, or rather, who, where, when, and what we are: we are creatures of space, time, and matter, and though we take our normal understandings of these for granted, it is my suggestion that the Psalms will gently but firmly transform our understandings of all of them. They do this in order that we may be changed, transformed, so that we look at the world, one another, and ourselves in a radically different way, which we believe to be God’s way. I hope my exposition of these themes will help to explain and communicate my own enthusiasm for the Psalms, but I hope even more that they will encourage those churches that have lost touch with the Psalms to go back to them as soon as possible, and those that use them but with little grasp of what they’re about to get inside them in a new way."

Monday, September 2, 2013

Minor Prophets Contest Winner

Congrats to Holly Murphy who was chosen randomly by my wife.  Holly, please email me at mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com with your address. I'll have the book shipped out to you sometime in the coming week.  

Stay tuned, I have a special contest coming up in little over a week!

Your Bible: Ronald's RSV

Gone Wrong?
I once had a Murphy’s Law calendar which offered a daily page with a humorous variation on the famous maxim, whatever can go wrong will go wrong.  It may seem this piece is a perfect example of the truth of Murphy’s Law; I’m not following my gracious host’s plan that a few guest writers talk about the Bible they use daily for study and prayer.  Even so, I do propose to share a little about a Bible I use every day, just in another way.  It’s sitting on the desk next to me now, in fact, not being read, but still in an important way, in use nonetheless.  The story of this little Bible parallels my own faith journey; it’s been with me through it all and is with me still, every day.  I’ll begin by telling you about the Bible itself, and then how it fits into my story.
It’s easy to provide you a description of the volume – it's an RSV edition published by Thomas Nelson & Sons in the early 1950s.  It’s quite small, only 5 ½ by 7 ½ .  As you might expect with such a small book, the print is small although still legible; it has few study aids, no maps, concordance or the like.  It’s a no nonsense little volume, typical of Bibles its age.  Because of its age, the wear and tear it’s seen is clearly visible and so I no longer risk putting it through daily use.
As for my faith journey, when I was seven years old I was baptized in a Lutheran church in St Clair Shores, Michigan.  My parents wanted to let me choose when I was ready to take such a step, so I wasn’t baptized as an infant.  When they decided it was time to ask me, I agreed, obviously being led by the Spirit because I don’t think I clearly understood what I was doing.  After my baptism, on beautiful April morning, much to my surprise, my aunt and uncle gave me this Bible to commemorate the event.  It was enclosed in a maroon box wrapped in white wrapping paper and I loved it.  All through my elementary and high school years, by which time we were Presbyterians, I used my Bible for reading and taking to church each week for Sunday school and to refer to during the pastor’s sermons. 
Back then, I was pretty ardent in my faith and my Scot’s Calvinist aunt was absolutely certain I would grow up to become a famous Presbyterian pastor, along the lines of Peter Marshall.  It wasn’t to be; about the time I graduated from high school I decided that I was through with “organized religion.”  When I joined the Air Force soon after, I knew I was no longer a believer.  Yet, this Bible, now a little worn but still in good shape, went with me to Lackland AFB for basic training and, later, to Sheppard AFB where I spent two years of my enlistment.  I don’t know why I other than to say it was God acting in my life, maybe trying to keep me from straying too far.  It could only have been the Spirit which made me pick up my Bible now and then and read a familiar passage, Psalm 23 perhaps, or the first chapter of Genesis.  Perhaps God was reminding me that He was near and wanted me to come back to Him.
When I went to Viet Nam, however, the Bible stayed with my parents and I forgot about it, sort of like my faith, until my mother passed away roughly 15 years later.  One day I was sorting out her things and found it carefully stored in her dresser drawer.  She had kept it safe for me and must have used it herself, judging by the signs of wear it now showed. 
I was shocked and, surprisingly, elated at the same time; it was like finding an old, long lost but still much loved friend.  Even though I still claimed I didn’t believe in God, I think it was at His instigation that I again opened up my Bible on occasion and reread those familiar passages from my youth.   It must have been so, because it was only a couple of years later I began my journey back to faith by becoming a member of a Presbyterian church in El Paso, Texas.  Once more I was using my Bible regularly, but by now it was obvious it wouldn’t hold up to that, it was tattered and becoming fragile and so I purchased a nice new NIV version for daily use.
Within five years I found myself receiving the sacraments of the Church at the Easter Vigil in 1995.  Just a few days later I happened to spot my first Bible on the bookshelf. I picked it up and opened it to my aunt's inscription, written nearly 41 years to the day of our reception into the Church. 
It’s because of that inscription, and the occasion it marks, that my Bible is never far from me; I look at it often because it reminds me of the incredible journey I’ve been on, a long and hard one, beginning with my baptism so long ago.  While it started with an ill-informed decision, I see it could only have been through the working of the Spirit that I made it at all.  Also, I can’t help but see that, when I chose to run away from God, I left my Bible behind too.  And when I woke up to the truth, my old friend was there again to help me return to the God I thought I’d left behind so long ago. 

Finally, my Bible shows me that God can work in mysterious ways indeed.  I know my Scots Calvinist aunt had a plan that, in giving me that Bible, she thought she was guiding me to become a Presbyterian minister.  She could never have imagined it would lead me to Rome instead.  It calls to mind a saying from that old Murphy’s Law calendar: “The best laid plans of mice and men are usually about equal.”  My Bible offers daily proof of that, my own and my aunts.  Come to think of it, maybe things haven’t gone too wrong after all.
Thank you to Ronald for sharing with us.  If you would be interested in participating in the "Your Bible" series, just send an email to me at: mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com.