Thursday, July 16, 2015

NIV Zondervan Study Bible

A pleasant reminder that our Protestant brothers and sisters consistently make better and more innovative study Bibles in a more timely manner:
NIV Zondervan Study Bible

35 comments:

Gerald de Belen said...

And I remember the 10th commandment...

Timothy said...

And I remember the numerous glued binding, bonded leather bibles that I have owned that did not hold up to well. 😀

Anonymous said...

Rather surprised there is a new NIV study bible as Zondervan already have one published.
Too many study bibles easily distract from the Word itself.
EC.

rolf said...

Ah yes, but that NIV Bible may look good on the outside (and inside) but it is still missing 7 books and for me that is a deal breaker!

Timothy said...

Absolutely. My main point is that here you have a study bible coming out in multiple editions, with a completely new commentary, in color, in digital format, to complement the other NIV study Bible that came out upon the launch of the new translation in 2011. And there is nothing in looks or format that come anywhere near this in the Catholic world.

Anonymous said...

I just don't buy the argument that Catholics don't buy as many bibles or there's no market for a Catholic bible like this, i.e., with high production value, layout, color, commentary, inset maps, size, etc., etc. The problem is that Catholics haven't been given the option to buy bibles like this (because they don't exist).

With any luck, Ignatius Press will look to bibles like this for inspiration when producing their complete ICSB - but I'm not holding my breath.

Michael P.

Timothy said...

Michael,

Yes, you are 100% correct. Whenever the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible is complete, it will certainly have great notes and information, that is not the issue. It will look, however, like a prior generation's study Bible, compared to what Zondervan and Crossway put out. The closest we have to anything that looks like what they do is the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible, and that is still not close to the NIV or ESV study Bibles. Just look how many options this new NIV Zondervan Study Bible will come it.

David Garcia said...

Catholics don't read their bibles let alone study them.. That's just a fact. Name me one multi-million selling catholic bible aside from paperback NABs? The NIV sells millions of copies.

Anonymous said...

David,

I think the reason there aren't any multi-million selling Catholic bibles is because there aren't any like this one. I'd argue that if there were, there would be many more Catholics buying, reading and studying the bible.

Michael P.

rolf said...

I think the real test will come when Ignatius comes out with their complete study Bible. It has been talked about in Catholic circles for many years and it will be interesting to see how many copies it will sell. Of course the Catholic Study Bible (Oxford) has been out for over a couple of decades, but I don't have any info on its overall sales?

David Garcia said...

MichAel
I will respectfully disagree. Have you met your average parishioner? They are simply not bible buying/studying folks. Faithful, yes! But bible readers and studiers? For the most part, no. It's just a simple fact and one we need to accept. We are not evangelicals who worship our bibles and sleep with them under our pillows. The bible is one part of a huge whole for us. We will never have bibles and editions like evangelicals have. So if we want it, we need to find a bible we like and rebind it ourselves.

Anonymous said...

David,

I agree that, in general, Catholics are not the voracious bible buying/studying folks that evangelicals are. However, I'd argue that one of the reasons (and I think one of the big reasons) for this is because there are no Catholic bibles like this available.

I know Catholics that have purchased bibles like this (non-Catholic bibles) to give as gifts for graduation, etc. because there are just no Catholic bibles of similar quality, format, etc. available. I think the desire to buy is there, but the product is not.

Michael P.

David Garcia said...

This is interesting to me because there are leather Oxford RSVs with apocrypha, CEB with apocrypha (btw have you seen the CEB study bible??? Beautiful!), leather Oxford NABREs large prints, and so on. All find Bibles and definitely gift worthy. Yet Catholics don't buy 'em. So if they Dont buy the already existing fine editions, why would they buy others that might hit the market?

I love a beautiful bible as much as everyone else. But this "beautifully bound goatskin digitally produced" bible phenomenon is rather recent in the history of the church. And Catholics were late to the party on this. So we have generations of Catholics who were raised with one or two bibles to choose from in very few editions and that's the way it was. They read what they had if they had one at all. Now the evangelicals have perfected the bible marketing machine and we have been infected by it. Again, I LOVE nice Bibles!!! I am having my 1966jb rebound by Leonard's. :)

But to expect the rest of the catholic world to jump on board with this when it has never been part of our catholic collective psyche is asking alot methinks....

David Garcia said...

Rolf
I think the issue there is that you have the ignatius study bible in progress and the already existing nabre Oxford study bible. And with that there is already a huge divide... The ignatius will be conservative and the Oxford is very liberal (theologically). In addition to that the NIV already markets to a huge segment of evangelicals (millions of them) who will buy the study bible simply because it's an NIV beloved my millions. How many Catholics will run out for the rsv-2ce study bible when very few even know what an rsv-2ce is??? Follow? They don't know that it exists let alone thAt it's the base of a new study bible. The catholic marketing world has it all wrong. You need to create the buzz about he translation FIRST. Get people interested in it, reading it, loyal to it. tHEN put out a study bible in that edition and voila...better sales and hence better demand or better bindings, editions, etc. but that will never happen as long as we keep supporting cruddy translations and paperback NABs with very questionable notes. I think that's why the Oxford nabre study bible has t caught on like wild fire... The notes shake people's faith.

So we can see there are many factors contributing to this issue all coming together to create the perfect storm of lousy catholic bibles :(

Timothy said...

Seems clear to me we need a Knox study bible! 😀

Timothy said...

But we have beautiful Missals!

David Garcia said...

Tim
Knox study bible?!?!? Lol!!!

And agreed we do get missals right at least!! I love my missal (although I WIlL be sending it Leonard's as well pending the results of my 1966JB ;)

Dave

Timothy said...

Dave,

I joke about a Knox study bible, since it is. It likely to happen. However, it would be interesting if one of the older translations, like the Knox or Douay, could be picked up by those publishers who continue to make excellent study bibles out of the KJV. The DR could be done without copyright; I'd guess.

David Garcia said...

Tim
I would LOVE to see a Knox study bible. I have been reading Sheen and other stuff that use the Knox and every time the translation moves me. It's a wonderful translation from what I have read thus far and baronius published a great edition. It would be nice to see the Knox and 1966JB have a renaissance!!!
Dave

Timothy said...

Dave,

Agreed! I am coming to believe that those translations of the middle part of the past century were a real high point. Not only the Knox and JB, also the NEB and RSV-CE. I know the good folks at Baronius would like to do more with the Knox, but of course they are dependent on sales of their product. Hopefully we can get more people to buy their books. I am not on their payroll, but even in their limited scope they remain the rare Catholic publisher who makes beautiful books.

Anonymous said...

David,

A couple of observations, first, I think, in general, most Catholics would prefer not to have a bible with apocrypha - they want all the books in Catholic order. Second, I don't think the issue is so much a lack of leather bound Catholic bibles - I think the issue is lack of Catholic bibles with in-text maps, notes, commentary, helps, color, etc. and overall production value like this new NIV. Yes, it may be "flashy" but it's also inviting to the lay reader. Having multiple cover options is also appealing for gift giving purposes (black leather is not always the preferred cover choice for a gift).

If you were to show the average lay Catholic this new NIV and a Catholic bible side-by-side (like one of the Oxford RSV or NABRE you mention), and show them all the different cover options available for each, and told them they were both the same Catholic translation, I'd bet that most would pick this new NIV (one cover or another).

Michael P.

rolf said...

I am at the point in my Bible collecting that I prefer the non-flashy study Bibles to the ones with color pictures and graphs, etc. I find that all those information boxes and pictures (especially color) distracting! This is a change in my preferences. I have the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible which pushes the in text info about as far as I would want, and I have found that I prefer less which the Catholic Study Bible and the Didache Bible provide.

Anonymous said...

rolf,

I think most readers of this blog will agree with your preference, but I think most lay Catholics would prefer a bible like this. If you're trying to introduce someone to the bible, encourage them to read it (perhaps for the first time), then a study bible like this one, in my opinion, is clearly preferable. Having photographs of what a tabernacle looks like, for instance, and other physical items and locations referenced in the bible, is a tremendous help for newbies. In time, they too may end up preferring a non-flashy study bible, but you got to get them to that point first.

Michael P.

Jeff S. said...

Possible candidates for the Didache treatment and/or simply a
"study bible": I fully agree with David regarding the 1966 JB
and Timothy regarding the Knox.

How about these two: Douay-Rheims and Confraternity.
With the Confraternity, the question would arise as to which version
in terms of how much of the Old Testament would be Douay and how much
would be the Confraternity.

My sense is that there might be a hunger in a large segment of Catholics to go back to something traditional so perhaps the combination of Douay-Rheims and Confraternity as of say 1952.

Or for that matter, the ORIGINAL Douay-Rheims of 1582-1609.
It would of course have to be retyped which would be a massive undertaking. There's a guy in Tennessee who actually did the retyping named Von Peters at http://www.drbible.org/
It's also sold at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/rheims
And just surf around to make sure you find all three(3) volumes
of the Old Testament and the one(1) of the New Testament.

About five years ago I actually bought it and compared it to actual
scans of the real original that various libraries have put online and
I must say Von Peters did a darn good job. When I bought it from
the drbible website, it included a set of DVDs which had it all.

I also bought from someone in Canada a photocopy of the entire original Douay-Rheims and then had it professionally bound at a local
bookbindery (I'm in a university town and the place did lots of doctoral theses etc.) The only problem is that it's really difficult
to read the old-style printing and the notes are really even more difficult.

Here's a place that sells a literal reprint of the 1635 edition:
http://www.churchlatin.com/douayrheims.aspx
And on that website, some very complimentary remarks are made
about Von Peters' work.

But of course to make it "official" a group like Midwest Theological Forum(the Didache people) or St. Ignatius Press, etc. would have to do it to get an official imprimatur.

Just thought I'd through these thoughts out to see what others think.

Daniel said...

I would love to see a Douay-Rheims (original or Challoner revision) with updated language. I know it would never get an imprimatur but I love the Douay in spite of not because of its archaic language.

Biblical Catholic said...

I strongly disagree with the claim that there aren't any good Catholic Study Bibles out there. In fact, there are plenty, and I own most of them.

There is the Harper Collins Study Bible(2001)

There are the Jerome Bible(1968) and the New Jerome Bible(1985).

There is the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (1953) Sacred Scripture (1968).

There is the Little Rock, which is available as an e-book by the way.

There is the Oxford Bible Commentary (2001).

I own most of these, and they are all excellent. Yet, nobody buys them except people taking theology courses in college.


Biblical Catholic said...

I strongly disagree with the claim that there aren't any good Catholic Study Bibles out there. In fact, there are plenty, and I own most of them.

There is the Harper Collins Study Bible(2001)

There are the Jerome Bible(1968) and the New Jerome Bible(1985).

There is the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (1953) Sacred Scripture (1968).

There is the Little Rock, which is available as an e-book by the way.

There is the Oxford Bible Commentary (2001).

I own most of these, and they are all excellent. Yet, nobody buys them except people taking theology courses in college.


Gerald de Belen said...

Nice discussion here!

As to Catholic Study bibles, I might commend the spiritual notes of the Christian Community Bible, the catechitical notes of the Didache Bible.

And David, whether you like it or not, the closest to 1966 JB study bible you could get is probably would come from CTS. (But that's hypothetical but can be very probably.) With the Commonwealth nations holding on to JB+Grail Psalms liturgically, and their CTS Bible was a big hit (I am a witness), a study bible may come from their quarters.

And I would love a revision of Douay-Rheims with a guide from Nova Vulgata. Confraternity (with modern names) might be a good start.

But for the layout of study Bibles, I am with Rolf for a more simplistic layout of Catholic Study Bibles, being too decorative may prove distracting to someone doing Lectio Divina. However, one must consider the typeface. At times, no matter how good the version is, the typeface bugs down the potential of the Bible for maximum usage.

TS said...

I checked out that new NIV and it's pretty sharp, if you like color illustrations. Practically a work of art.

I think part of the reason Catholics don't get better Bibles is simply that Cathollics make up only, what, 20% of all U.S. Christians? If you had a "Lutheran Bible" it would sell far less than the NAB. But it's also true that without an emphasis on sacraments, evangelicals tend to focus on the Word more since nature abhors a vacuum. I recall one Baptist pastor who treats the Bible as a Catholic might the Blessed Sacrament, to the point where he never allows any book to be stacked on top of a Bible in his den or bedside.

Jeff S. said...

Regarding the Confraternity, the final version of it was completed in 1969 and I've often read very favorable comments about the Confraternity on this blog. I concur. My question is that since the
original 1970 NAB is the final Confraternity of 1969 with TWO exceptions, a new Genesis and a new New Testament (and also the
"modernization" of the names of people and places), why is that
1970 NAB criticized so much for being not very good and yet the
Confraternity is given huge praise? I own several editions of
both the Confraternity and the 1970 NAB so I'm not choosing sides.
I'm asking the question as to why are there sides in the first place
since they're very similar. And for non-Genesis and non-New Testament portion of the 1970 NAB, its (foot)notes are the same as those of the final 1969 version of the Confraternity.

I'm kind of hoping that there might end up being some praise for that original 1970 NAB. And if not, then what earlier version of
the Confraternity would be considered its high point?

rolf said...

I think that the NT portion of the Confraternity Bible is much more of a formal translation than that of the 1970 NAB. One of the criticism of the 1970 NAB is that the NT was too dynamic of a translation as compared to the OT. That is why in 1986 they published a new ( more formal) NT translation and added it to the 1970 OT.

Francesco said...

@Mark DeForrest

I'm interested in the CBPC NCV as well. When I looked at the promotional materials for the NCV Psalms a while back I found that they followed the NIV-CE Psalms (formerly published by the CBPC) closely. Would they do something similar for the NT? Issues related to which version of the NIV they're using (the latest one or the one from the 1980s?) would probably also need to be taken into account.

Anonymous said...

So would any Catholic recommend this Bible despite it being the NIV translation and of Protestant theology?

Theophrastus said...

As far as I am aware, this book has not yet appeared. The previous editions of the NIV Study Bibles were quite disappointing in terms of the quality of their editorial material.

For example, I cannot recall anyone - even my Evangelical Protestant friends - telling me that the NIV Study Bible was their primary single volume study resource - although I have met advocates of many other study Bibles.

Perhaps this all new edition will be better, but I think I will wait to see it before declaring the grass greener on the other side of the fence.

Raymond Geschke said...

When I look at the sample pages of this new NIV study bible I am most impressed with the ANONYMITY of the notes. They are just thrown in there like it is ASSUMED whoever wrote them is a big know it all. Now when I compare this to the OLD Haydock Douay Rheims with a comparable quantity of notes, I see attributions of who made these commentaries with every single note, and so therefore where I can follow up to learn more. This TO ME is a more authentic and scholarly study bible.