Friday, January 30, 2015

The African American Catholic Youth Bible (NABRE)

Saint Mary’s Press, in collaboration with The National Black Catholic Congress, Inc., is proud to present The African American Catholic Youth Bible®, the first Catholic Bible for youth designed especially from the African American perspective. This Bible speaks directly to African American youth through inspirational black art and commentaries on biblical events and personalities from an African American perspective. It chronicles major events in African American Catholic history and includes moving stories of African American holy men and women.
The African American Catholic Youth Bible® uses the text of the New American Bible, revised edition, and is modeled after the bestselling Catholic Youth Bible®, beloved by nearly two million Catholic young people.  
This Bible offers many special features:
  • Know Your Faith articles that explain the biblical, liturgical, and doctrinal basis for many Christian beliefs and practices
  • Black, Catholic, and Faithful articles that present African American culture and introduce some Africans and African Americans who have lived out aspects of God’s Revelation in the Bible
  • Check This Out articles that provide background for understanding the culture and traditions of biblical times and the Church’s interpretation of certain passages
  • Be About It! articles that apply the Bible’s message to situations African American youth may be facing now or will face in the future
  • Take It to God articles that suggest ways to use the Bible for personal prayer
  • Our Friends in Faith articles that give a quick introduction to the lives of important biblical people
  • Helpful indexes to passages about events, people, teachings of Jesus, and life and faith issues, as well as an index that leads to articles on specific topics
  • A calendar of the Church year and Sunday readings
  • Color inserts that provide a brief history of African American Catholics, beautifully illustrated maps, photos by theme, Catholic prayers and teachings, and a timeline of biblical history
  • A glossary of Scripture-related terms
You can read an excerpt here.  This new Bible is available in paperback, hardcover, and e-book formats.  


Javier said...

Tim, I'm not american (well, ok, I'm south american), and I know cultures are different from country to country. But, to me, to do an edition of the bible targeted to a particular ethnic group, seems a bit strange (and divisive). Right now, the catholic church in the Americas is involved in a new translation of the bible into spanish, "La Biblia de la Iglesia en América", whose intended target audience are all the spanish speaking people of the Americas. And we have the most diverse ethnic backgrounds (and even different accents, and some different words). But again, I'm not american. And maybe, in an american context, this comment is controversial, or even offensive. If so, feel free to delete it.


Anonymous said...

Acuerdo contigo, amigo Javier. The Catholic Church is indeed universal, but She doesn't fail to hear the cultural demands of its people.

Javier said...

Nice to hear spanish spoken here Gerald. Gracias!.

David Garcia said...

Javier... I had the same exact thought and shared it with Tim.

I find this Bible unnecessary and potentially divisive. Yes, the Catholic Church in America is culturally diverse, but her teachings/theology is not. Therefore, it's up to the laity to learn the Church's teachings and be a part of the church universal. Are the Church's teachings different for Whites vs. Latinos vs. African Americans vs. Asians, etc...? I myself am Latino. I certainly don't need a 'Latino Youth/Adult Bible'!

The Bible is filled with all sorts of different races. Why is there a need to have a special Bible that highlights certain Characters in the Bible? I think the average person can read the Bible and figure out which character is from which race without needing a special Bible to point it out.

I see absolutely no reason for yet more division in our culture or churches.

There is one Bible. One Story. One Church.

"You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:26-28 CEB)

Javier said...

Exactly David.
Furthermore -it could be argued- most of the time, when white europeans appear in the Bible, they do so in the role of pagan conquerors and oppressors. Notably the Greeks in Maccabees, and the Romans in the Gospels. It was a white european official -Pontius Pilate-, who ordered the execution of the Son of God. But these negative 'role models', have never prevented white europeans from converting to christianity.

CarlHernz said...

I strongly disagree that a Bible like this is unnecessary.

God is saving all peoples and all cultures through Jesus Christ. While the Church does share a unity in the Holy Spirit, Catholicism is not a cult or ideological group that confuses unity with uniformity. These other types of religious groups demand that adherents throw away their individuality and diversity in order to fit into their group, but the Catholic faith celebrates and actively employs the unique voice that each culture brings into the Church.

In some cases one culture may require different approaches than others, especially when history may reveal that they have been overlooked. In the United States, African-American Catholic youth have often been left to translate for themselves with little to no assistance how the Gospel applies to them and their unique circumstances. This edition of the NABRE is an effort to aid in filling a much needed gap, a gap which has had little advantages of this type offered to it.

Many African-Americans have been calling out for just this type of help with no one to answer them for many years, generations even. Before we criticize others, we should ask ourselves how well we have listened to this cry and how we have personally responded to their unique cry for assistance to understand how Scripture applies to them. The Catholic Bishops have, as have many catechists and other religious teachers. This edition of the NABRE is answering a cry many have played deaf to. “Look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.”—John 4:35.

Do not forget that the Holy Spirit originally moved only Jews to accept Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah. These same Jews spread the Gospel and made the Scriptures available to all other peoples and cultures in order that all men might be saved. Have you never read the Scripture: "What advantage is there then in being a Jew?...Much, in every respect. For in the first place, they were entrusted with the utterances of God." —Romans 3:1-2.

If Jews because of their faith in Christ found no objection to sharing their Scriptures with all people, who are Gentiles to object to whom and how they get preached?

It is written in Romans: “Consider that you (a Gentile Christian) do not support the root (Christ with the Patriarchs of Israel and their children to whom belong the promises); the root supports you....You were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated one.”

If your wild branch deserves nutrients made to keep it alive, why is another wild branch undeserving of the same attention? Does food to one automatically count as food for another? Does not each tree get treated specifically according to its type?

Do you not know that God has not spared even some of Abraham's children to whom belong the promises made present by Christ? "If God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you either"!--Romans 11:13-29.

Beware. It is not out of faith that one objects to the spreading of the Gospel with particular cultures. If the Holy Spirit moved Jews who by the Law and culture were not accustomed to offer their Scriptures to other cultures, it is not by the same spirit that we feel that certain cultures should not be specially aided when needed.

Javier said...

as I said, I'm from Latin America, and in my country the notion of a Bible customized to the youth of an specific ethnicity would make no sense. It would seem divisive. It would not be perceived as a helping tool. It would only make sense if the target audience spoke a different language (as with some precolumbian nations).
But of course, this Bible might make perfect sense for the youth of an specific ethnical background, in a society -such as the US- completely different from mine.


citizen DAK said...

At Pentecost, they each heard the Good News proclaimed in their own language :)