Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What Catholic Bible Edition Would You Like to See in 2015?

I did this last year and received some interesting proposals/suggestions.  So this time, please feel free to comment on possible or scheduled for publication editions or just go ahead and dream big.  (Also, let's assume that the Didache Bible will actually be published in the first quarter of 2015.)  

If you choose to dream big, take a moment to look forward to 2015 and use a little bit of your own imagination.  Here is the proposal: If you could produce your own Catholic bible edition, using an already existing translation, what would it be?  Which translation would you use?  What would be the theme of this Bible?  What would be included in it?

Here is mine, which is the same as last year:

The Saint John's Bible: Visio Divina Edition (NRSV)

Product Information:
Format: Goatskin Leather (I'd be happy with a nice genuine leather too)
Dimensions:  9.75 X 6.75 X 1.5 (inches)
Vendor: HarperOne/Liturgical Press
Pages: 1800
ISBN#1234567890 (not really)
Price: $125.00

Product Description:
HarperOne and Liturgical Press have teamed up to produce the first ever personal Bible edition that combines the language of the New Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition and the majestic illuminations of the Saint John's Bible.  The Visio Divina edition combines Scripture passages and sacred artwork from The Saint John's Bible in order to facilitate the powerful prayer process of visio divina. This process encourages participants to "listen and meditate on Scripture, see with eyes of faith as they gaze on illuminations, pray to God, contemplate the Spirit's movements, and reflect how they might further become Christ-like."  To enhance this process, the NRSV text is laid out in a very readable single-column setting, enhanced by textual notes and cross-references in the margins.  All 160 illuminations fromThe Saint John's Bible are reproduced on thin glossy paper and placed at the appropriate places near the biblical text.  On the back of each illumination page is a brief reflection, including scriptural cross-references, authored by Fr. Michael Patella, OSB, SSD, chair of the Committee on Illumination and Text for The Saint John's Bible and author of Word and Image: the Hermeneutics of The Saint John's Bible.   Also includes: Vatican II document Dei Verbum3-Year Cycle of Sunday and Holy Day Readings, 16 pages of full-color maps, two ribbon markers, and a concise concordance.

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Bible for "One Bible, One Year"

Which Bible Should I Use Exclusively in 2015?
Cambridge NRSV Reference Bible w/ Apocrypha
New Oxford Annotated Bible NRSV (2nd Edition)
The Catholic Study Bible NABRE
Poll Maker
So, I have decided to give this a try for 2015: One Bible, One Year. I have selected the three Bible editions that would fulfill my needs for prayer, study, and teaching. However, before I make a decision, I would like to consult you, my loyal readers, to see which Bible you think I should use for this year. Part of my desire to do this is simply to be consistent with one single Bible for once in my life. To be honest, I am tired of using multiple Bibles all the time. I have mentioned on this blog before that one of the most beautiful things I have seen is a Catholic who has a well loved, read, and marked up Bible. I am ready to move in that direction.

In addition, being completely honest with you, I have way too many Bibles.   Which reminds me, if you are looking for a particular Bible feel free to email me since I feel called to reduce the number of Bibles I currently have on my bookshelves.  I would be happy to work something out for those who need a Bible to read.

A couple of additional thoughts that may answer any possible questions that you may have:
1)The one major exception to this would be that I am currently praying the Liturgy of the Hours, which has a combination of the Grail Psalms and original NAB.  I can't really get around that.

2) Some may ask why there isn't an edition of the RSV-2CE that I am considering.  Well, the answer is that I don't particularly care for many of the formats of those published currently.  The standard Ignatius version I simply do not like to read from.  I have honestly tried a number of times over the years, and I simply can't warm up to it.  Of course, there is the impending release of the Didache Bible......but that is still not published.  (There is, of course, the NOAB RSV out there, but I would prefer to use a Bible without archaic English.)

3) Don't worry, I will still be doing Bible reviews.  As a matter of fact, I have a couple for January already in the works.

4) Why did I choose the three that I did?  I am comfortable with these three Bibles and each in their own way meet my needs in a variety of settings.  

5) Why not the Knox Bible?  While I have a deep affection for the Knox Bible, I simply cannot use it for study and teaching.  It is simply too different from the other translations my students will be using.

6) I plan to blog about my experiences doing this.  I will start by announcing which Bible I have decided to go with during the first few days of January.

7) Some have expressed an interest in joining me on this crusade.  If you are interested in doing so, please comment below and let me know if you would be willing to occasionally contribute a post, perhaps a total of 4 times during 2015, about your experiences.  We can then chat via email about particulars.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Knox vs. The Message: Feast of the Holy Family (Luke 2:22-40)

Happy Christmas!  I am going to continue this series of comparing one of the Sunday readings from the lectionary, using the Knox Bible and The Message.  While done in different ways, I think both Knox and Peterson desired to make the Bible more accessible to the average reader.  Let's see if they were successful.  I have liked the discussion the past few weeks!

And when the time had come for purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him before the Lord there. It is written in God’s law, that whatever male offspring opens the womb is to be reckoned sacred to the Lord; and so they must offer in sacrifice for him, as God’s law commanded, a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons. At this time there was a man named Simeon living in Jerusalem, an upright man of careful observance, who waited patiently for comfort to be brought to Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him; and by the Holy Spirit it had been revealed to him that he was not to meet death, until he had seen that Christ whom the Lord had anointed. He now came, led by the Spirit, into the temple; and when the child Jesus was brought in by his parents, to perform the custom which the law enjoined concerning him, Simeon too was able to take him in his arms. And he said, blessing God: Ruler of all, now dost thou let thy servant go in peace, according to thy word; for my own eyes have seen that saving power of thine which thou hast prepared in the sight of all nations.  This is the light which shall give revelation to the Gentiles, this is the glory of thy people Israel. The father and mother of the child were still wondering over all that was said of him, when Simeon blessed them, and said to his mother Mary, Behold, this child is destined to bring about the fall of many and the rise of many in Israel; to be a sign which men will refuse to acknowledge; and so the thoughts of many hearts shall be made manifest; as for thy own soul, it shall have a sword to pierce it. There was besides a prophetess named Anna, daughter to one Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser (a woman greatly advanced in age, since she had lived with a husband for seven years after her maidenhood, and had now been eighty-four years a widow) who abode continually in the temple night and day, serving God with fasting and prayer. he too, at that very hour, came near to give God thanks, and spoke of the child to all that patiently waited for the deliverance of Israel. And now, when all had been done that the law of the Lord required, they returned to Galilee, and to their own town of Nazareth.  And so the child grew and came to his strength, full of wisdom; and the grace of God rested upon him.

The Message:
When when the days stipulated by Moses for purification were complete, they took him up to Jerusalem to offer him to God as commanded in God’s Law: “Every male who opens the womb shall be a holy offering to God,” and also to sacrifice the “pair of doves or two young pigeons” prescribed in God’s Law.
In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see the Messiah of God before he died. Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God:
God, you can now release your servant;
release me in peace as you promised.
With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation;
it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:
A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations,
and of glory for your people Israel.
Jesus’ father and mother were speechless with surprise at these words. Simeon went on to bless them, and said to Mary his mother,
This child marks both the failure and
the recovery of many in Israel,
A figure misunderstood and contradicted—
the pain of a sword-thrust through you—
But the rejection will force honesty,
as God reveals who they really are.
Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.
When they finished everything required by God in the Law, they returned to Galilee and their own town, Nazareth. There the child grew strong in body and wise in spirit. And the grace of God was on him.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

One Bible, One Year

Any one willing to do this with me?  This is inspired by a recent post at His Excellent Word blog.  I'd be interesting hearing from some of you if this is something you might want to do and be willing to share your experiences.  I am seriously considering it and have a bible in mind.  Your thoughts?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

For our sakes a child is born, to our race a son is given, whose shoulder will bear the sceptre of princely power. What name shall be given him? Peerless among counsellors, the mighty God, Father of the world to come, the Prince of peace.
 -Isaiah 9:6 (Knox)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Catholic Biblical Quarterly Vol. 76, No. 4 (October 2014)

Creating an Unrighteous Outsider: The Separation of Abram and Lot in Early Scriptural Retellings
Dan Rickett

The Narratives of Numbers 20-21
Joel S. Baden

"Who Are You, My Daughter?" A Reassessment of Ruth and Naomi in Ruth 3
Edward Allen Jones III

The Davidic Key for Counting Generations in Matthew 1:17
Stephen C. Carlson

The Justice of the Gentiles: Revisiting the Purpose of Romans
Robert L. Foster

"They Are Not Gods!" Jewish and Christian Idol Polemic and Greco-Roman Use of Cult Statues
Nijay K. Gupta

Monday, December 22, 2014

Guest Post: Divine Intimacy Rebound

Thanks to reader Andrew for sharing this with all of us.  Is there really any better combination, right now, than a Baronius Press book with a rebinding job done by Leonard's?   Enjoy!

If your looking for a classic of Catholic spirituality in the Carmelite tradition look no further than Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D's "Divine Intimacy". 

This book has reflections for every day of the liturgical year. Each day's entry has two brief reflections and a prayer to lead one into deeper contemplation. The reflections are very readable and accessible whilst being profound and drenched in Carmelite wisdom. 

Baronius Press has re-released this volume and they have done an excellent job with it. The Baronius edition is very well produced with sewn binding (making it a good candidate for rebinding). The paper is also of a high quality and the fext is printed in a highly readable font.  

This book follows the 1962 calendar, but not to fear, it is very easy to use and is completely useable for those who follow the Novus Ordo calendar. 

I have used this book for a few years now. In fact, I loved it so much that I bought a new copy and sent it off to Leonard's Book Restoration in Indiana to get the deluxe treatment. I figured that since I will use this book for life it would be worth it. The whole project cost around $190. 

The good people at Leonard's were able to accommodate my request for burgundy end pages and they came up with the great idea of saving the marbled fly leaves that were originally part of the Baronius binding. They replaced the flimsy ribbons that came with the Baronius binding with two high quality silk ribbons (brown and gold).  The lettering on the spine was done in gold and stamped into the leather. The font is the standard font that comes with the soft-cover Parson's. 

I can't recommend this book and Leonard's enough. They are very professional and do top quality work at a reasonable price. Most importantly, the content of this book is truly a pearl of great price that will help any Catholic grow in prayer and deepen his relationship with Christ, His blessed Mother and the saints (especially those of Carmel)! Get it! You won't be sorry! ;) 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Knox vs. The Message: 4th Week of Advent (Luke 1:26-38)

I am going to continue this series of comparing one of the Sunday readings from the lectionary, using the Knox Bible and The Message.  While done in different ways, I think both Knox and Peterson desired to make the Bible more accessible to the average reader.  Let's see if they were successful.

When the sixth month came, God sent the angel Gabriel to a city of Galilee called Nazareth,  where a virgin dwelt, betrothed to a man of David’s lineage; his name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name was Mary.  Into her presence the angel came, and said, Hail, thou who art full of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women. She was much perplexed at hearing him speak so, and cast about in her mind, what she was to make of such a greeting.  Then the angel said to her, Mary, do not be afraid; thou hast found favour in the sight of God.  And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call him Jesus.  He shall be great, and men will know him for the Son of the most High; the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob eternally;  his kingdom shall never have an end.  But Mary said to the angel, How can that be, since I have no knowledge of man? And the angel answered her, The Holy Spirit will come upon thee, and the power of the most High will overshadow thee. Thus this holy offspring of thine shall be known for the Son of God.  See, moreover, how it fares with thy cousin Elizabeth; she is old, yet she too has conceived a son; she who was reproached with barrenness is now in her sixth month,  to prove that nothing can be impossible with God.  And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be unto me according to thy word. And with that the angel left her.

The Message:
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:
Good morning!
You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you.
She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.
He will be great,
be called ‘Son of the Highest.’
The Lord God will give him
the throne of his father David;
He will rule Jacob’s house forever—
no end, ever, to his kingdom.”
Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”
The angel answered,
The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
the power of the Highest hover over you;
Therefore, the child you bring to birth
will be called Holy, Son of God.
“And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.”
And Mary said,
Yes, I see it all now:
I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
just as you say.
Then the angel left her.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Great Bargain: The NRSV New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Loose-Leaf Edition

The NRSV NOAB w/ Apocrypha, Loose-Leaf Edition is massive, but if you are a teacher or Bible study leader it can be an amazing resource.  Right now, you can get it at for under $30.  I think the binder itself costs that much at most office supply stores.

Students, professors and general readers alike rely on the New Oxford Annotated Bible for its outstanding scholarship and trustworthy guidance to the world of the Bible. Now this excellent resource is available in study-friendly loose-leaf format. Featuring the full content of the standard study Bible with the added flexibility of loose-leaf, it also includes wide margins that offer ample room for making notes.

  • Complete NRSV text with the Apocrypha
  • Contributors from a wide range of traditions and backgrounds
  • Book introductions and annotations offer helpful explanations, background, and insights. 
  • Essays on the major divisions of the biblical text and the formation of the biblical canon
  • Explanations of the Bible’s historical background provide guidance through the ancient Near Eastern context
  • Clarifies the varieties of biblical criticism with guidance to developments in scholarly research
  • A timeline of major events in the ancient Near East
  • A history of biblical interpretation, from biblical times to the present
  • In-text maps and diagrams
  • Concordance
  • Full index of the study material
  • Wide margins offer lots of room for notes
  • Clear 10-point type for ease of reading
  • Sturdy 11 x 11.5 x 5 inch five-ring binder
  • Durable 8.5 x 11 inch pages (fit any standard 3- or 5-ring binder)

Another Year of "7 Questions"

Another year, another group of "7 Questions" for you to enjoy.  I have linked all of the "7 Questions" interviews below.  I hope you have enjoyed them.  I have a few still in the planning stages for 2015.

Audio "7 Questions" with popular priest, speaker, and author Fr. Larry Richards

Mary Stommes, editor of Give Us This Day by Liturgical Press

William Griffin, translator of the Deuterocanonical portions of The Message

Author and speaker Alice Camille

Fr. Michael Patella, biblical scholar and chair of the Committee on Illumination and Text for The Saint John's Bible

Fr. Richard Clifford, SJ, biblical scholar and translator

I hope you have enjoyed them.  I have a few in the planning stages for 2015.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Some Excellent (and beautifully made) Catholic Bibles and Prayer Books

A new edition of the Roman Breviary 1961 in English and Latin. An invaluable set of books for all those attached to the traditional Roman Breviary, in the form approved by Pope Benedict XVI in Summorum Pontificum. We hope and pray that this edition which has taken many years of work to complete, will help to bring about an increased use of the traditional liturgy in the praying of the Divine Office of the Church.
Flexible cover, 3-Volume Set, 4.5"x 7", 6064 pages, $359.95

Msgr. Knox's translation of the Latin Vulgate into elegant, timeless English is one of the greatest treasures of the 20th century Church. His translation is spiritual and literary, graceful and lyrical, making it one of the most beautiful vernacular versions of the Holy Bible.
Flexible cover, 6"x 8.25", 1472 pages, $54.95

Those familiar with the Douay-Rheims Bible will know that it is one of the most beautiful and accurate Bible translations available today Having both Bibles side by side allows us to see exactly where the vernacular translation came from. Even those with limited Latin skills will be able to follow along, using the Douay-Rheims translation as an aid.
Flexible cover, 8.5"x 11.5", 1488 pages, $89.95

One of the best and most loved resources for meditative prayer. This book is designed to assist the faithful in the quest for intimate union with God through the practice of meditating on holy truths. These Carmelite meditations are easy to fit into even the busiest schedule, giving you food for thought and inspiration every day of the liturgical year.
Flexible cover, 6"x 8.25", 1216 pages, $59.95

Imagine a round-table discussion of the Gospels among the supreme theologians of the Church. The Catena Aurea is very close! St. Thomas Aquinas compiled this opus from sermons and commentaries on the Gospels written by the early Church Fathers. For each of the four Gospel writers, the Catena Aurea starts by indicating the verses to be analyzed, then taking each verse phrase-by-phrase, provides the early Fathers' insights into the passage.
Leather Hardback, 4-Volume Set, 6"x 8.25", 2832 pages, $149.95

For all of these and more, you can go to our friends at Baronius Press and still get them in time for Christmas!  As I have mentioned before, Baronius makes the nicest books in the Catholic publishing world.  Their many books and Bibles will indeed last a lifetime.

Illuminating the Word The Making of The Saint John's Bible Second Edition (March 2015)

Many of us who are fans/supporters of the Saint John's Bible are looking forward to this second edition finally being published.  The first edition is quite fantastic. This second edition of Illuminating the Word will be published in March.  

The time has come to tell the entire story of the creation of The Saint John's Bible. This completely revised and updated edition of Illuminating the Word devotes a separate chapter to each of the Bible's seven volumes. Readers get a behind-the-scenes tour of the creation of each volume, with a fascinating window into the activities, challenges, and struggles at Donald Jackson's Scriptorium in Wales. We can practically watch, through the eyes of every artist and calligrapher who participated in the project, the Bible's stunning illuminations move from conception to completion.

This edition includes a completely new chapter on the scripts used in The Saint John's Bible that will fascinate calligraphers and lovers of the art. Still another new chapter details the production of the Heritage Edition, a high-quality, fine-art facsimile of the original that makes The Saint John's Bible available to a wider audience than the singular manuscript.

Christopher Calderhead is a visual artist and graphic designer who has exhibited his letter-based works in the United States and Great Britain. He graduated from Princeton with a bachelor's degree in art history. In 1998 he obtained a master of divinity degree from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. Ordained the same year, he has served parishes in the Church of England and the Episcopal Church USA. He is editor of Alphabet, a journal of the lettering arts published by the Friends of Calligraphy, and author of One Hundred Miracles (2004), a collection of miracle paintings by the great masters.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Knox vs. The Message: Third Sunday of Advent (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24)

I am going to continue this series of comparing one of the Sunday readings from the lectionary, using the Knox Bible and The Message.  While done in different ways, I think both Knox and Peterson desired to make the Bible more accessible to the average reader.  Let's see if they were successful.

 Joy be with you always.  Never cease praying.  Give thanks upon all occasions; this is what God expects of you all in Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the utterances of the Spirit, do not hold prophecy in low esteem; and yet you must scrutinize it all carefully, retaining only what is good, and rejecting all that has a look of evil about it. So may the God of peace sanctify you wholly, keep spirit and soul and body unimpaired, to greet the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ without reproach.  The God who called you is true to his promise; he will not fail you.

The Message:
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil. May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Fruit of the Saint John's Bible Visit to My High School

Inspired by a visit of the Saint John's Bible Heritage Edition in October, as well as being an opportunity for extra-credit, one of my students has hand-written the entire First Letter of John.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

N.T. Wright: "Paul and the Powerful Word"

Below is the paper given by N.T. Wright on November 18th as part of America's The Living Word initiative in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Dei Verbum:

What is the word of God, and how do we hear it? That question comes round again and again in many Christian circles. Five years ago I was privileged to be the Anglican observer at the Synod of Bishops in Rome, where the subject was “The Word of God.” It quickly became clear that some people were using the phrase “the word of God” to refer to the Bible, while others used it to mean “the Bible and the tradition,” and still others wanted it to mean “the Bible, the tradition, and the magisterium.” Clearly we all have some work still to do in clarifying the question, never mind answering it. But my task tonight is to go back to our earliest Christian writer, St. Paul, who uses the idea of God’s powerful word in various ways in his writings. This investigation ought to help us both in understanding how this key element works within his theology, and also perhaps to give us a fresh angle on our contemporary questions..........continue here.

Monday, December 8, 2014

OUP's NRSV w/ Apocrypha (Genuine Leather)

Premium Bibles that a Catholic can utilize remain an endangered species, as you know.  So, from time to time, I like to point out an edition that some of you might enjoy purchasing.  Today, I want to show you an early (mid-90's) edition Oxford University Press NRSV w/ Apocrypha in black genuine leather.  Over at, it is currently available in both black and burgundy genuine leather for only $49.95.

This is a very nice reading Bible, which also has a lovely feel and look to it.  The text is the standard NRSV, not the anglicised edition.  The page-layout is very clean, without any paragraph headings.  For a reading Bible like this, I think that is a good thing.  There is, however, at the bottom of each page a short few words indicating the main event or message of that page.  While the genuine leather is not exceptional, it is truly genuine leather and actually feels like it.  The binding is sewn, which will provide a lifetime of reading, as well as making it a good candidate for having it rebound in a more premium leather if so desired.  Some other highlights of this Bible are the two ribbon markers and gold edges, along with full-color Oxford Maps and generous ninety-six page concise concordance.

As usual, my only complaint with most NRSV editions is the complete lack of cross-references.  This continues here and remains to be a major issue which plagues the NRSV.  Someone will surely correct this at some point right?  Maybe even in a Catholic edition?  (Yes, I am aware of the Cambridge NRSV Reference Bible w/Apocrypha.)

A few weeks back a friend gifted me this same Bible, but in an early edition.  That early edition, which dated to the time of the NRSV's first publication, is almost identical, minus the inclusion of the concise concordance.  So, if this is a Bible you might like, I'd recommend you pick one up soon.  It makes not only a fine reading Bible, but also a gift for Christmas.  It also comes in a really nice box!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Knox vs. The Message: Second Sunday of Advent (Mark 1:1-8)

I am going to continue this series of comparing one of the Sunday readings from the lectionary, using the Knox Bible and The Message.  While done in different ways, I think both Knox and Peterson desired to make the Bible more accessible to the average reader.  Let's see if they were successful. 

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  It is written in the prophecy of Isaias, Behold, I am sending before thee that angel of mine who is to prepare thy way for thy coming;  there is a voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord, straighten out his paths. And so it was that John appeared in the wilderness baptizing, announcing a baptism whereby men repented, to have their sins forgiven.  And all the country of Judaea and all those who dwelt in Jerusalem went out to see him, and he baptized them in the river Jordan, while they confessed their sins.  John was clothed with a garment of camel’s hair, and had a leather girdle about his loins, and he ate locusts and wild honey.  And thus he preached, One is to come after me who is mightier than I, so that I am not worthy to bend down and untie the strap of his shoes.  I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

The Message:
The good news of Jesus Christ—the Message!—begins here, following to the letter the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
Watch closely: I’m sending my preacher ahead of you;
He’ll make the road smooth for you.
Thunder in the desert!
Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!
John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey.
As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.”

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Didache Bible January 2015?

Thanks to Brian for pointing this out, but it appears that the hardback edition of the Didache Bible will be published in January now.  This is according to the the Ignatius site. There is still no listing on the Amazon site, nor is there any indication when the bonded leather edition will be published.  

Your Thoughts?

Monday, December 1, 2014

An Appeal: In Soft Garments (Final Update)

Hello friends.  I don't typically make an appeal on this blog, since I like to keep it focused on all things Catholic Bibles.  As some of you know, I teach theology at Catholic high school, Bishop Foley Catholic in Madison Heights, MI.  One of the classes I teach is called Catholic Apologetics.  I have offered this course for the past two years and a number of graduates have emailed me letting me know how much they appreciated taking the class now that they are in college.  For the past two years, I have relied on various articles that I have made copies of, along with our short, yet helpful, textbook Beginning Apologetics.  I have always desired an additional book to help supplement the resources that I have always used, particularly in the area of apologetics with atheists.  After spending a number of months investigating which book might work best, I have settled on Msgr. Ronald Knox's In Soft Garments.  Recently republished by Ignatius Press, this volume contains a number of Knox's conferences to Oxford University students during the 20's and 30's.  Ignatius Press describes this book in this way:

When the Holy See gave general permission for Catholics to study again at Oxford and Cambridge, the stipulation was made that lectures be offered to provide support for their faith, as Catholics would be a minority in a rather hostile atmosphere. In the days when C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien trod the greens of Oxford, those lectures were provided by the wise and witty Msgr. Ronald Knox, himself a convert to the Catholic Church.

Erudite and profound, Monsignor Knox not only helped keep the Catholic students aflame with faith, but also led many lapsed Catholics and non-Catholics into the Church. His writings continue to provide inspiration and instruction to all those confronting questions of life and faith.

Some of the best talks by Knox are gathered in this volume. "If God Exists", "The Unholiness of the Church" and "Unselfishness in Marriage" are but a few of the topics he deftly discussed in a manner as entertaining and pertinent now as when they were first given at Oxford in the 1920s and 30s.

It is a fine book, I believe, which is both readable and will prove helpful to my students in this subject.  However, the school where I work at is not large, which means our budget is quite small as well.  I have a copy or two of this book, but would like to provide a classroom set for my students.

That is where you come in, if you choose to help out.  I have set up an (baby) registry which contains one item: In Soft Garments.  I am looking to obtain around 30 copies of this book.  If you are willing to help me out in this, I would be most appreciative.  While I cannot offer any amazing gifts, I do promise that anyone who donates will be included in my family's Sunday rosary for 2015.

I thank you for your consideration.  If you are willing to help, you can follow the following link: Registry.  (Make sure to choose my address for shipping!)

We are already close to half way there, so thank you to all who have contributed.  I honestly didn't expect to be at this point in less than a day.  Also, it appears that we have purchased all of the initial stock of In Soft Garments, but you should be able to continue ordering.  The site notes: "In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process".

So, it seems that Amazon has completely sold out of its stock of In Soft Garments.  So, if you are still willing to help out, I would advise two options:

1) Purchase one of the used or new copies from the Amazon marketplace.  If you could let me know that you did this, that would be helpful, since I am not sure it will take that book off the registry count.

2) You can go to Ignatius Press and purchase directly from the publisher.  Here is the link.  The price is almost identical.  If you do it this way, please email me, mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com, to let me know how many copies and in order to get my address.

Again, thank you for your consideration!  


We are over the half way point, with 17 editions of In Soft Garments being purchased. Thank you to all who contributed.  At this point, it appears that all of the stock at has been purchased.  You can still get it through the Marketplace if you choose.  I also recommend ordering it directly from Ignatius Press.  As I mentioned above, the price is almost identical.  If you do it this way, please email me, mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com, to let me know how many copies and in order to get my address for shipping.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Through your generosity, I have reached the goal of 30 copies of In Soft Garments for use in my high school apologetics class.  I cannot begin to express how appreciative I am to all of you who have contributed to this appeal.  So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!  I hope to post in future weeks some images as the books come in.  By the way, In Soft Garments is a fantastic book, one which I highly recommend.  

If you were planning to contribute but haven't yet, I will certainly accept additional copies.  As a teacher, I appreciate having extra copies on hand if necessary.

Thank you!

Knox Contest Winner

Congrats to the winner Tommy O, who was randomly chosen out of all the entries.  Tommy O, you have one week to contact me via email, mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com, to let me know your name and address.

Thanks to all who entered!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Knox vs. The Message: First Sunday of Advent (Mark 13:33-37)

I am going to do a comparison of one of the Sunday readings from the lectionary, using the Knox Bible and The Message.  If you think this might be of some interest (or at least amusing) let me know.  While done in different ways, I think both Knox and Peterson desired to make the Bible more accessible to the average reader.  Let's see if they were successful.  

Look well to it; watch and pray; you do not know when the time is to come.  It is as if a man going on his travels had left his house, entrusting authority to his servants, each of them to do his own work, and enjoining the door-keeper to watch. Be on the watch, then, since you do not know when the master of the house is coming, at twilight, or midnight, or cock-crow, or dawn; if not, he may come suddenly, and find you asleep.  And what I say to you, I say to all, Watch.

The Message
Jesus said to his disciples: “Keep a sharp lookout, for you don’t know the timetable. It’s like a man who takes a trip, leaving home and putting his servants in charge, each assigned a task, and commanding the gatekeeper to stand watch. So, stay at your post, watching. You have no idea when the homeowner is returning, whether evening, midnight, cockcrow, or morning. You don’t want him showing up unannounced, with you asleep on the job. I say it to you, and I’m saying it to all: Stay at your post. Keep watch.”

Monday, November 24, 2014

Knox Contest

As we are about to enter the season of Advent, now is a good time as any to have a contest.  This one, which will likely be the last one for 2014, is focused around the great Cathoic convert, translator, detective novelist, and apologist Msgr. Ronald A. Knox.  I have made no secret on this blog my admiration for this man.  I find his writings to be both enriching and entertaining, which I think is a truly rare thing.  Although he may not receive the same attention as some of his other more famous contemporaries, I actually prefer his writings to those of Chesterton, Belloc, and Lewis.  (Please don't throw any stones!)

So, what will the winning entry receive in this Knox Contest?  The following brand new books and CD will prove a wonderful introduction to this great man:

1) The Wine of Certitude: A Literary Biography of Ronald Knox by David Rooney (Ignatius Press)

2) On Englishing the Bible by Ronald Knox (Baronius Press).  The winner will receive two brand new copies, one for themselves and another to give to a friend.  Thank you to the fine people at Baronius Press for providing this amazing book for this contest.  I "literally" read this all the time.

3) Ronald Knox Collection CD from Old Time Radio Catalogue.  This contains four presentations by Knox, himself, with a run time of one hour and eleven minutes.  Included in this collection are reflections by Knox on Christmas, Chesterton, Newman, and translating the Bible.  Hear the man in his own voice.

Rules for the contest:
 1) If you have a website or blog or are active on Facebook, please announce this contest. 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 (or my wife) will randomly draw one winner at the conclusion of the contest, which will be on Sunday November 30th at 11:59 PM.

3) I will announce the winner on Monday December 1st. The winners must contact me, via email, within a week with their full name and address.

 4) One entry per person.

 5) Contest is only available to those who live in North America.