Monday, May 18, 2015

OBOY: Reflecting on Bibles and Translations

I am going to do a little thinking/writing out loud here today.  Consider it a journal entry for the day.  The context of this reflection is my year doing the OBOY (One Bible, One Year) challenge and the results of my prayer life for the past year or so.  I will caution you that this might border on babbling with apparently little coherence.  Of course, if you have been reading this blog for a while, this will not be shocking in any way!  Still, I am going to do it anyways.

When I started this blog back in 2008, part of my motivation was just a desire to find "my Bible."  You know what I mean?  I was looking for the "perfect" translation in the best binding and cover materials (Allan's?), with the best cross-references, maps, annotations, all bound together in format that suited my needs.  I was seeking perfection.  (Or at least what I perceived as perfection.)  Often I would complain about this or that translation or publisher, lamenting the "woes" of being a Catholic who actually likes nice Bibles.  I am sure many of the posts during my first few years of doing this blog often reflected that mentality.

As I reflect on all of that now, much of my thought (and crusading) was focused on seeking something fairly unimportant, really, while missing the whole point altogether.  It has taken a number of years, multiple re-bindings, dozens (although my wife would say more) Bible purchases, and hundreds of posts on this blog to realize that all of that really didn't matter.  I have come to the conclusion that what matters most is represented in the picture above.  Yeah, its not a Catholic version, but that is not the point.  It represents the many, mostly older women, who I have seen and talked with at charismatic and other prayer groups who have been reading their one, single, solitary Bible for decades.  Specifically, there was a woman I talked with at a conference about five years ago or so who was reading out of her 1966 imitation leather Jerusalem Bible.  The full one too, with all those fantastic notes and the beautiful single-column format.  Her Bible was tattered, underlined and highlighted, bent, torn, and worn.  The Bible ribbon looked like it had fallen off sometime in the 1980's.  The spine was held together with duct tape and she used a thick rubber band to close the Bible with all her hand written notes and prayers.  What a beautiful sight!  Outside of my wife and children (and maybe Rome), I would say that tattered, decrepit  old Bible was the most gorgeous thing I had ever seen. It was loved, prayed with, studied, and had clearly been a constant companion to that woman for likely longer than I had been alive.

Over the past year, I have had a hard time getting that image out of my mind, particularly during morning prayer time.  I know, at least for me, seeking the Holy Grail of Catholic Bibles is not an option anymore.  Particularly since it doesn't actually exist!  It is time to settle down with one Bible.  (Now don't worry, I'll still be doing reviews and welcoming guest Bible reviews.)  I want my Bible to look like the one pictured above.  I will of course be using reference and study Bibles for teaching and study.  I think I will stick to hardcover editions of those, since they reflect a more reference Bible style.  It is time, however, to have one Bible.  While the "head" knowledge is important, the "heart" knowledge is what gives life.

So, I am starting a process of gifting out most of my Bibles.  I have been sort of doing that on this blog for the past year or so, sensing that this was the direction I was going to go.  Stay tuned for some more opportunities on getting some of the Bibles I have left.  For me, it is time to have a companion. It is time for a Bible that is more than a translation or a premium style of leather, but one that I will remain faithful to.  That is the thing really, if I actually want to be honest.  I have too often been flirting with other Bibles and translations, when the reality is that all I needed was just the one.  It was always just the one.  I am Gomer.

70 comments:

Russ said...

Hello Gomer:

My goal was to use the NRSV as my bible this year but I failed with flying colors. I kept going back to the NJB, while also reading my new King translation. I've made the decision to just stay with the NJB. I love it and use and that's the end of my story. I don't know that it will ever look like that beautiful looking bible posted above but I just grab the NJB now.

Good luck.

owen swain said...

Gomer.

My paternal Methodist grandmother had her zippered, purse sized, scuffed, dog-eared pages, gild worn, food stained, marked up, King James Bible was always close to her hand, sitting on the piano, the bedside table, in her purse, on the chair seat in front of which is knelt on large boned knees (likely praying for her "heathen" family members) and most importantly was in her heat and mind. She is one of the reasons I "came to Christ" several years after she died. I believe that.

Maybe that's part of the reason why, at this time in my life, Catholic or not, I am drawn to that thing.

Not only am I no longer looking for the perfect Catholic bible - or as you say, Gomer, Holy Grail of Catholic bibles, a good choice as such does not exist any more than the perfect Protestant bible -
I am simply looking for connection in the heart and mind (but not mind in that mere intellectual assent accumulation of knowledge thing) and in application to my life (as it once was but from which I have drifted overly much).

What can I say. I found it as odd as anyone when I picked up a KJV and found it resonated. A Norton KJB is on route and that's the end. I've actually made something nigh on a vow that that is the end. It is. Which is why I am outing myself here, as it were :-)

Russ,
The NJB is a gem. Enjoy it.

I am totally enjoying the King Bible. Odd hey, The King Bible and The King James Bible. #whoddathunk?

So,

It's not likely I will be a one-bible person ever. As Gomer says, "let's be honest" and even Gomer isn't fully a solo biblo man, not with study and teaching bibles :) However, I am in the space he is and narrowing the field, feeling the pull to have one goto in mind and heart latter this year. I think I will 'know' that choice later this year.

Last year I gave away and sold a number of bibles. I have others to looking for a home though I am not sure how to go about. Maybe Gomer could ask Timothy if he would allow a guest post of giveway/sell bibles?

Finally, sorry for the tease Gomer, but I cannot resist: http://www.bibledesignblog.com/2015/02/need-one-bible-guest-post.html

Anonymous said...

There is wisdom in this post. With all the translation "wars" and so for out there, we sometimes loose the point of it all. Jesum quaerens in libris says St. Augustine. Holy simplicity is a great grace from our Blessed Lord and should be sought and cherished by all.


Pax

Steve Molitor said...

Great post! It reminds me of a funny saxophone video about mouthpiece. Sax players like to try every model of mouthpiece out there, trying find the perfect one. They all have different qualities, different tradeoffs - loud, but hard to play soft or vice versa, bright or dark tone, etc. So this pro sax player posted the video where he hyped up the 'perfect' mouthpiece, that he as about to reveal -- and the answer was (drum roll)...

"The one you already have."

His point was there is no perfect mouthpiece, they all have tradeoffs, so you need to pick a decent one, and then learn to work with it - play to its strengths, learn to adjust and compensate for its weakness etc. You're better off doing that than switching every month and having to re-adjust.

The same might apply to bibles!

PS

So inquiring minds want to know: which bible are you picking! I know, I know, totally missing the point. ;)

Anonymous said...

Great blog today Timothy despite the fact it caused me a great many pangs of conscience I have to say.
Could I follow your example?
Honesty forbids me to say yes, even to say that I'm going to try ! I'm not even going to show my wife what you have written because I know what her reaction would be !

However, I totally take on board it's what the word says not the wrapping it comes in. Please Lord keep reminding me of this truth.
By the way, who was or is Gomer?
Thanks Timothy for yet another challange.

rolf said...

My goal is to wear out five Bibles in the next thirty years (if I make it that long). Sorry that is the best I can do in OBOY, just being honest.

Timothy said...

Anon,

See Hosea 1-3

Anonymous said...

Thanks Timothy.
Sorry for my ignorance and mental slowness !
Now I get the connection.

Timothy said...

Steve,

Ah, yes, good question. Stay tuned.

owen swain said...

Ah, gosh and here I thought it was a reference to Pile. Oddly there may be a fit there also ;-)

losabio said...

Hey Timothy,

If your temperament is anything like mine, you might find yourself worrying about "missing out on something", whether it be the soon-to-be discontinued product offering ("Act now!"), or a life-changing theological/philosophical gem tucked away inside of some dusty old tome. If you had to read and compare all those different Bible translations just to make sure that you weren't missing out on something, then that's what needed to be done, in order to satisfy your intellectual curiosity and/or spiritual yearnings. God made you the way that you are, and it must surely please Him to see his children use the gift of reason to answer any questions about their faith, so that, freed from nagging questions, they might be able to love Him with "all their mind" (Mk 12:29).

rolf said...

Since we are thinking out loud today (as I do everyday), to show how we are all different; when I look at the picture of that well worn Bible I see a old worn out Bible that should have been replaced many years ago. I see so many possibilities in replacing it, just the way I am wired I guess. I don't write in my Bibles so there are no old notes for me to worry about, and even if there were they could be transfered to a new one.

David Garcia said...

I've heard you say this before Tim. You'll never make it ;) The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak!

Timothy said...

David,

O ye of little faith!

newepistles said...

Hi Tim, like you, I came to the same conclusion that there's no perfect bible.
In my years searching, I couldn't find one so I'm still reading all translations. I wish I could go back to the days of my youth and my tattered old Good News Translation.
Blessings brother.

owen swain said...

This is the time. Mr Pyle (a.k.a) Gomer also known as Timothy is going to do it. I believe, Lord help thou my unbelief.

Timothy said...

Thanks Kevin. Great to hear from you. God bless!

Ramil said...

Timothy,

I hope you'll allow me the opportunity to make a comment here - I'm not usually one to do so, I tend to just enjoy the posts, others's comments and the developing threads. But in this case, I really wanted to just jump in, and thank you for your thoughts. First off, I'm not a scholar of any sort, let alone in Sacred Scripture. I come here and follow so as to learn. That said, I totally understand what you're saying about collecting different translations. I do the same thing, and had an extensive assortment of Catholic versions. In addition to the aesthetics of the book itself, there were the needs of study, devotional reading, and homily prep.

But in the last year I came to your same conclusion and donated many of them to a local parish which runs a small gift shop and gladly accepts donations from my library for resale. I've chosen to stick with the Didache & Ignatius Bible RSV-CE, the Jerusalem Bible and the NAB (Rev. NT) of 1986. Additionally, I kept "A Harmony of the Gospels" (NIV), "Synopsis of the Four Gospels" (2nd Ed. - RSV) and "A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels" (3rd Ed., Confraternity Version). And for good measure, the Navarre Bible series (esp. the original 1980s individual NT books), the DR/Confraternity Bible (Cath. Book Pub, 1955), Douay-Rheims (1945) and Biblia Sacra Clementina (Colunga-Turrado, BAC 1977).

What really caused me to reflect on your post was that, ultimately, I use most often (exclusively, really) my 1986 NAB w/Rev.NT. It's the Personal Size in brown bonded leather which I bought sometime that year with my first real paycheck. Unlike your observations of the bible above, I'm absolutely finicky about underlining or writing in my Bible: ONLY EXCEPTIONALLY URGENT PASSAGES. Instead, I cut little slips out of mini Post It notes and use them as edge markers to reference a passage. While not tattered, my old 86 NAB has a well worn look and feel to it, stuffed with notes and cards too. I try not damage any book, but this one has been a warhorse in my library, my go-to Bible, and which helped during my vocation discernment.

My other observation is a tangent: my other 'obsessive' book is not so much a bible but my Daughters of St. Paul Vatican II Weekday Missal, bound in rexine. This book was such an important part of my spiritual life and discernment: the binding is loosening, the ribbons replaced, notes and writings on the inside, well-thumbed prayer book section in the back (Prayers before and after communion, Prayer before a crucifix, Prayer before and after confession, et. al.), and the Ordinary of the Mass starting to pull out from the middle of the book. And at the "Communion Rite" the page edges are wrinkled, yellowed and slowly dissolving from the oils and perspiration where my finger was resting, in preparation for communion. Plus, it too still has all the prayer cards, notes and papers cascading out every time I open it up!

Probably unlike the others who read your blog, I came to love the Sacred Scriptures by a different route: that is, by first using my missal at Mass. Just like the way my parents did with their old pocket/purse daily missals from the 1950s. Having the Old Testament, Psalm, and Gospel portion for the day really directed me towards the richness of the sacred liturgy and sacred scripture.

I entered the seminary in 1999 and both accompanied me through to ordination.

While I still use the NAB, the old missal - now superseded by the latest translation - sits on my shelf, just as I last used it in the seminary. Of course, seminary and priesthood changed my habits of Mass and homily preparation because now I have my own lectionaries and altar missal, becoming more 'professional' and thus not needing the hand missal of so many years ago. But I'm afraid, it's one book I can't yet part with.

Thanks for letting me share!

Gerald de Belen said...

Tim,

I would like to make an ardent request to you. This has been my want since the time immemorial that I have been reading your blog.

I have been waiting for this Bible of yours to be given away in your international contests.

Please allot to me your CTS leather Catholic Bible (or the basic hardcover one if the expenses will be too heavy for you) if you would want to.

Seriously, I am longing so much for this one. I love the cadence of the Jerusalem Bible. But the JB hasn't appeared in any handy editions. And in addition, I would like to fall in love with the Grail Psalms. So for that, I really, really want to have that one since it is unavailable here in the Philippines.

I am hoping so much for your consideration for this. I would be very thankful to you for this one.

Gerald de Belen said...

I remember giving out some of my Bibles to my friends, including an ex-girlfriend.

Choosing and straddling between Catholic Bible versions makes us critical in reading the Bible. But sometimes, in being too strict about the granularity of things, we forget its essence.

It is perhaps novel to realize that a common layman reading The Message (Catholic Edition) all his life may have greater appreciation of the Bible than us being critical of the Scriptures, though it is not entirely bad to be like that. It is just that the Bible should effect in our lives more than it should improve our cognitive abilities.

Timothy said...

Sorry, haven't had that Bible for a couple years! :(

Timothy said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Ramil! That NAB you mention sounds exactly like what I was talking about in this post. Treasure it! (And continue reading it!)

Gerald de Belen said...

A bit saddened by that, Tim. But I appreciate your post. It's a first hand experience in reading Catholic Bibles experience.

Anonymous said...

Gerald de Belen--if you send me your address I will gladly send you the CTS New Catholic Bible with the JB translation. It is like new. I have had it only four months or so.
It would be my pleasure to pass it on to someone who will use it.

My email is lenvai at live dot com

Regards, Lenny

owen swain said...

Gerald, if you are willing to pay postage and *any small* offering you may take my copy. I'm in Canada. If you're interested Timothy may give you my email and you can send me you mailing info so I can work the postage.

Gerald de Belen said...

Miss Lenny, I already forwarded an email regarding my details. Looking forward for it.
Thank you very much!

Tim,
Your blog is indeed life-changing. :D
My deepest gratitude.

owen swain said...

Gerald, Lenny beat me to it and is able to offer the more affordable offer. Wonderful :) TBtG.

Anyone else reading this who'd like my CTS blue leatherette is welcome to mention it. I have a raft of other desireables, just contact me via Timothy who may give you my email.

Gerald de Belen said...

Thanks, Owen for the lending hand.
I might reconsider the postage.
Thanks for the lending hand.

For the readers,
I apologize for making the post a charitable institution.

David Garcia said...

OWen...I would love to purchase your blue CTS. How can we arrange it? Thank you!!!
Dave

David Garcia said...

Tim,
I actually own that 1966JB you referenced in your post. I have always LOVED the 1966JB (especially this edition), the translation, its single-column layout, cross-references on the side margin, the paper, etc.. The reason I never made it my primary Bible was because of that awful plastic cover. The Bible is SEWN and executed so beautifully, yet bound in basically plastic. I couldn't stand the feel of it so I shelved it.

Now reading your post, it makes me think, "Jeez, Dave. You love everything about this Bible except the cover. Are you going to forsake potential growth through this 'edition' of the Bible because of the cover?!?!" And after reading how this older woman has my exact Bible held together with duct tape, I feel like an idiot now when I think about it.

Perhaps it's time for me to revisit this old friend?

CarlHernz said...

Tim,

Don’t feel too bad if after learning this lesson you also later come to learn that you can’t make the “single-Bible-read-it-till-it-falls-apart” thing happen. What you saw in the hands of that lady came naturally, I am sure. Her Bible represented how and what the Bible meant to her, reflected who she was as a person. If you try to get your Bible to be the same you might lose because you are not her. Your Bible will reflect what comes naturally to you.

You may be the man who loves the Bible in all its forms. Or your search through various Bibles may be a sign of something even more significant, a search for its Author on some more transcendent level through an odyssey of contemplation you have only yet begun.

Then again this can all be a sign of ambiguity intolerance mixed with obsessive-compulsive disorder with a need for more fiber in your diet.

Regardless of what it may be that gives you this itch, let your Bible be YOUR Bible. It doesn’t have to have copious notes or be falling apart to be a Bible loved, cherished, used, and most of all effective. Not one of my Bible’s has a single notation in it, and my oldest, my childhood Bible I was given in 1972, is in extremely good condition. The volumes don’t give anything away about my connection to them, some look barely used, but I bet I could run circles around anybody with a tattered Bible who challenged me on what I knew about Scripture (just ask a few Mormon missionaries and Jehovah’s Witnesses who have had the unfortunate experience of knocking on my door with a triumphant attitude).

Of course, having that one Bible end up in that tattered condition may be just what you need. So more power to you. In the end, however, it is not the condition of the Bible in the hand of the man that counts; it is the condition of the man who holds it.

Anonymous said...

CarlHernz,
Great comments.
Thank you.
EC

rolf said...

I like the idea of having a main Bible (one the I use everyday twice a day for prayer), but for study or daily Mass readings I like a study type Bible. During study or general Mass readings I like to use different translations! I am not looking for the perfect Bible or translation because imho there isn't one. I just get enjoyment out of using various Bibles, and I use most of mine. Spur of the moment decisions cause me to switch translations ( as when one of the readers on this blog mentions a certain translation or Bible) , I'll switch for a day or two.

Daniel said...

I have an idea for you, maybe you even thought of this before. If I were you, I would definitely pick one bible BUT do not pick it yourself. I would ask the people you love most, your wife and kids and other close family members, to get together and, as a "committee" of the people who love you most in the world, vote on the ONE Bible you should have. Ideally this would be a brand new Bible that they gift to you on your birthday or Christmas or Pentecost or Easter or some special day. You can give them some guidelines or just rely on the fact that they "know what you like." Or you might have them just pick among your top ten Bibles or whatever.

Now, why should you do this?

1. Every time you open this Bible you will think of the family who loves you. And the main lesson/idea of the bible is love.

2. You will know that they put a lot of thought into it and picked the one they think best "represents" you.

3. It will be irreplaceable (for you). If tomorrow, the Holy Grail of Bibles is released, and we both know the odds of that ever happening, you can be justified in preferring the one your family bought/picked for you because of the special meaning behind its selection.

4. Each family member adds value to your Bible by actively thinking and voting on the best Bible for you. This value is invisible but it is present nonetheless. (Or maybe let each person choose one aspect of the bible: translation, color, leather type, number of ribbons, or whatever. And maybe they can tell you why they chose what they did.)

5. It takes the burden off of you. If you pick one, it will be easy to change your mind later because you may doubt yourself and your selection. But your family's selection makes it "official" and "written in stone."

Other ideas:

1. Have this bible blessed by your favorite priest. If you don't have a favorite, any priest will do.

2. Have each family member pick their favorite bible verse, highlight it in your new bible with a bible appropriate highligher, and sign their name on the page in ink.

3. Have them write an inscription on the first page. To, from, date, special message, etc.

4. Have them gift wrap the bible and take plenty of pictures when you open it.

5. Have your family work with a custom bible person like Leonard. This way they can customize it as much as possible.

6. Each family member should pick a saint. Then get a holy card of that saint and intersperse them throughout your bible. And before placing the card, they should say a special prayer to that saint asking that saint to pray for you as you study your bible. BTW, one has to be St. Jerome! And some kind of card of the Blessed Mother would be necessary too.

7. That's it I'm all out of ideas. But add anything to the bible that can make it more meaningful. The point is to make this bible a "perfect storm" of factors that cannot be easily duplicated or replaced.

Then, enjoy "your" bible forever. And hopefully it will eventually look like the beat up one in your May 18th blog post.

Daniel said...

Timothy,

I have an idea for you, maybe you even thought of this before.
If I were you, I would definitely pick one bible BUT do not pick
it yourself. I would ask the people you love most, your wife and
kids and other close family members, to get together and, as a
"committee" of the people who love you most in the world,
vote on the ONE Bible you should have. Ideally this would
be a brand new Bible that they gift to you on your birthday
or Christmas or Pentecost or Easter or some special day.
You can give them some guidelines or just rely on the fact
that they "know what you like." Or you might have them
just pick among your top ten Bibles or whatever.

Now, why should you do this?

1. Every time you open this Bible you will think of the family
who loves you. And the main lesson/idea of the bible is love.

2. You will know that they put a lot of thought into it and
picked the one they think best "represents" you.

3. It will be irreplaceable (for you). If tomorrow, the Holy Grail
of Bibles is released, and we both know the odds of that ever
happening, you can be justified in preferring the one your family
bought/picked for you because of the special meaning behind
its selection.

4. Each family member adds value to your Bible by actively
thinking and voting on the best Bible for you. This value
is invisible but it is present in a sense. (Or maybe let
each person choose one aspect of the bible: translation,
color, leather type, number of ribbons, or whatever.
And maybe they can tell you why they chose what they did.)

5. It takes the burden off of you. If you pick one, it
will be easy to change your mind later because you may
doubt yourself and your selection. But your family's selection
makes it "official."

Other ideas:

1. Have this bible blessed by your favorite priest.
If you don't have a favorite, any priest will do.

2. Have each family member pick their favorite bible verse,
highlight (bible friendly highlighter) it in your new bible,
and sign their name on the page in ink.

3. Have them write an inscription on the first page.
To, from, date, special message, etc.

4. Have them gift wrap the bible and take plenty of
pictures when you open it.

5. Have your family work with a custom bible person
like Leonard. This way they can customize it as much
as possible.

6. Each family member should pick a saint. Then get a holy
card of that saint and intersperse them throughout your bible.
And before placing the card, they should say a special
prayer to that saint asking that saint to pray for you as
you study your bible. BTW, one of the saints needs to be
St. Jerome! And a card of the Blessed Mother would be
essential too.

7. That's it, I'm all out of ideas! But add anything to
the bible that can make it more meaningful. The point
is to make this bible a "perfect storm" of factors that
cannot be easily duplicated or replaced.

Then, enjoy YOUR bible forever. And hopefully it will
eventually look like the beat up one on your
May 18th blog post.

Theophrastus said...

"Woe be to him that reads but one book."

Sure, the author of that famous quote (George Herbert) was an Anglican priest, but I think the sentiment applies even to a Catholic Bibles blog. Sorry to be the discordant voice.

If we could rely on a Bible just written in Greek and Hebrew, then reading just one Bible might make sense (well except for textual variations, evidence from the Qumran scrolls, etc.), but since most of us read Greek and Hebrew that falls a bit short of perfection, then I think there is value in consulting more than one translation. (There is plenty of Catholic precedence for this: consider Origen's Hexapala.)

And in practice, we need to deal with multiple translations in our religious lives. We encounter one translation in the lectionary, another in our academic studies, and perhaps a third in our teaching.

Speaking for myself, I often get outstanding insights from less common translations. (You have seen this yourself, it seems to me, with your quotations from The Message and Knox Bible, neither of which are mainstream Catholic choices.) For example, I am a big fan of the hyper-literal translations of Bibles that attempt to preserve wordplay, such as Robert Alter's and Everett Fox's translations of the Hebrew Bible. The New English Translation of the Septuagint opened up new insights for me. I could go on at length, but I think you see my point.

So, to me, the pledge to only read one Bible seems unnecessarily narrow - unless it be a Hebrew/Greek edition. (However, giving up leather bindings for well-made hardcover bindings seems like a sound decision indeed!)

Timothy said...

Perhaps I am being a bit misunderstood, which I of course put at the feet of my poorly worded post. Let me just be clear in saying that I am convinced that I need to move to one solitary bible edition that will accompany me on my daily journey of faith, which includes prayer, study, and teaching. I am not saying I will forsake all other translations. Certainly not. My comment above about having hardcover editions useful for reference and study and comparisons means that I will consult them when needed. So, in the future, I will cease to buy leather editions, which I tend to associate with daily Bibles used for multiple purposes. Great insights can and are found in having multiple translations, that is certainly not being denied by me in any way. However, I am going to stick with one. Along with my comment about being convicted of this in prayer, I think it is important for me as a father and instructor/teacher to show this consistency as well. In many ways, seething this in others, many years ago, led me to where I am today.

Timothy said...

Wow. I like what you are thinking here!

Ed Rio said...

I have to admit to not sticking with the OBOY challenge. This post has inspired me to look at all the translations I have and pick one. For me, it will most likely be the NAB. It's the Catholic Bible that's been with me the longest, with quotes used for praying the Rosary, it's part of the Divine Office, the US Catechism, and the daily Mass readings that I read to Mom. It's the one with dog eared pages, highlighted passages, and writing in the back for where to go for longer passages for the mysteries of the Rosary. I'll probably continue to mark it up, but now with colored pencil after learning first hand that highlighters and Bible paper aren't a good match.
There's been a desire to have less clutter and live more simply....so it may be time to give away/donate some Bibles that are collecting dust.

Jason Engel said...

As I sit here and look at my stack of 30-odd leather-bound Bibles in various translations, many of them NRSV, all of them obtained in the last 3 years, I gotta say I completely understand that this is probably an addiction driven by a desire for the perfect Bible, which quite simply does not exist for me. When I started, I only had a copy of the SJB, a NOAB NRSV 4th ed., and a Harper compact NRSV+A. And that was plenty good, I needed no more, all needs were met with that trio. And, like you, I know that part of what I want is to find that ONE Bible that will be with me for the next 40 years or more, at some point completely worn out. Perhaps one day my sons will look on it and remember it as my constant companion, possibly even argue over who gets it when I pass (to be honest, it will likely end up with my youngest).

But that's not possible with this stack of 30-odd Bibles, and I just don't know how to give up most of them, go back down to just three again, or even to just one.

Yeah, pretty sure I'm OCD or addicted or something.

rolf said...

Jason, I feel your pain! I have given away 4 Bibles since January, but I have seemed to have acquired two (or is it three?) more. It is an endless cycle; I hate/love you ebay!!!

owen swain said...

David, blogger may have dumped my response to you as it included my e address [though modified]. The CTS is yours. My e address is my name as you see it, but no spaces, at, g_____com

Michael Demers said...

Great post and comments! I keep coming back to my hardcover copy of the NABRE by HarperCollins. I've also whittled down the rest of my bible collection to just two now; the RSV and the Douay-Rheims.

David Garcia said...

I love the Harper nabre. I have the imitation leather one and think it is by far the best layout of the nabre. My struggle with making it my lifelong bible is that it keeps getting revised. And now they are revising it again to match the mass readings. Whereas something like the nrsv or jb1966 or d-r or kjv stand on their own. Even the rsvce which I also love has been revised as the rsv2ce and now we can't get the original one anymore let alone in a decent binding. So if you stick with your Harper nabre what will you do when the revised one comes out and you are jazzed because it matches the mass? :)

Michael Demers said...

I would just keep the bible. The lectionary is more or less based on the NABRE anyway (except for the psalms).

Timothy said...

By the way, check out her Bible!

https://vimeo.com/127277696

owen swain said...

Super long for me today and had to stop watching but I'm gonna guess, just on a whim of course, that she used the NRSV. :)

Timothy said...

I think that might be older than the NRSV.

owen swain said...

LOL ok, I'll risk the KJV since D-R is indeed old but would seem less odd in RC circles. So yeah, KJV. Would be extra cool if is the Norton update (New Cambridge KJB)

Daniel said...

Just wanted to share a section from an episode of "The Journey Home" that is kind of on this topic.
Start from the 24:00 minute mark and watch to the 30:00 mark , but I think this whole episode is great.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5hx9WLvXuE

Timothy said...

Daniel,

That is awesome! Thank you! That is my whole point.

owen swain said...

Great advice on the video. It's not hard to tell Marcus was a Protestant and there developed a deep love and respect for the revealed word of God.

Probably mentioned this but, I had an NIV thinline in a teal colour (got it on a scratch and dent bible sale in 1980) about a year after I "came to Christ". It went everywhere with me. It got underlined, highlighted and I can, to this day, close my eyes and see exactly how Colossians 1 looks and where on the page and which facing page John 10:10 is and countless other passages.

David Garcia said...

Tim,
I tried to see what the binding on her bible said and I believe it was The Jerusalem Bible?
Dave

Jeff said...

David and Timothy,
At what time segment in the video does it show Lavinia Spirito's Bible? It must have gotten by me as I watched.
I'd love to see it.
Jeff

David Garcia said...

Jeff
I looked it up on YouTube so I could scan it until I saw here hold her bible up... It's a short section maybe 7-8 minutes in?

Jeff said...

David,
I found the segment and even paused it but couldn't make out the name
on the spine. On the vimeo, it occurs at 8:00-8:05. I never would have found it without your clue!
Thanks very much.
Could you or Timothy make out the words on the spine?

David Garcia said...

Jeff,
No problem! When I paused it at first it looked like "Jerusalem bible" to me but I don't know of any jb's that look like that. Then I saw tims video for the little rock bible and that spine looks very similar But her bible looks OLD. So I am really unsure!

David Garcia said...

Her bible spine also looks like the old living bible and also the life application bibles so who knows!! Lol!

Timothy said...

May not be Catholic.

Daniel said...

In the vein of beat up old Bibles, I remember this from a few years ago. This is a story about Elvis Presley's Bible being sold at auction. Here is the link if anybody wants to read it:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2188891/Elvis-bible-containing-handwritten-notes-star-expected-fetch-thousands-auction.html

Gerald de Belen said...

David,

How's your assessment with the CTS Bible?

David Garcia said...

Gerald
I love the size, I like that in the cts that "Yahweh" is updated to "lord" (although in many places Yahweh works really well), I like the single column format and side column references....

but i really dislike that they chose to use the Grail psalms instead of the original Jerusalem bible psalms. That's a big drawback for me as the JB psalms are so poetic and beautiful as opposed to the bland Grail psalms. Having said that I understand that most lectionaries use the Grail psalms so I understand why they chose to do that for the cts. So I'm still using my original 1966 Jerusalem bible (which I happen to think is vastly superior to the nabre, rsv, or nrsv). This bible (and it's fantastic notes) belongs back in print in a quality binding and Catholics need to reconsider this beautiful translation!

rolf said...

David I agree, I like the Jerusalem Bible Psalms better, they are a little more refreshing. I had the CTS Bible for a while but I like the semi-compact reader's edition of the Jerusalem Bible(in sheepskin) that I reviewed on this blog, better. I know you have a copy of it, the only problem is that it is hard to find and tends to be way overpriced. I found the reader's edition to be much more readable even with its size 7 font. The CTS Bible had some abbreviated notes, but in a smaller size Bible I personally don't need study notes.

David Garcia said...

Rolf
Yes thanks to your post i DO now own a copy of that leather readers edition and i too love it! It does have a few notes in it including ot references in the nt which is perfect for my needs! I do struggle with the font size sometimes (usually when reading later at night) which is why I tend to still use the full size one. I actually also love the paper they used in both editions... Feels great to the touch and its unique (like the font and layout are unique). But ugh that plastic cover on the full size drives me batty! Lol! Someday I will be able to afford to rebind my full size 1966jb and will have my perfect bible... Someday ....

Daniel said...

Hi David, which exact edition of the full size Jerusalem Bible do you have that has a plastic cover? Do you have an ISBN# or an Internet link? I am just curious to know the exact one you are talking about. Much appreciated if you can help!

David Garcia said...

Hi Daniel

Try this!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B002ZAZ8FU/ref=mp_s_a_1_34?qid=1433287367&sr=8-34&pi=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=jerusalem+bible&dpPl=1&dpID=51LaZb3r-TL&ref=plSrch

It's listed as imitation leather but it's like a plasticy-gift bible quality cover. It is what it is and it doesn't stop me from using it because I love the translation so much but if I could rebind I would in a heartbeat! Might not bother you though!

Daniel said...

Thank you very much David! I know which one you are talking about now. The Jerusalem Bible is a great translation. I was first drawn to it when I heard that J.R.R. Tolkien translated the book of Jonah in this Bible. That alone is worth the price of admission! Wish the Jerusalem Bible was more widely available in multiple editions.

Gerald de Belen said...

Even Protestants praise the literary quality of the Jerusalem Bible.

David Garcia said...

SO Tim... I haven't seen a follow up post announcing what Bible you have finally landed on as your lifelong companion. :)

Timothy said...

Patience my friend. 😉