Monday, January 11, 2016

Updates to Ignatius/Lighthouse App

Thanks to Chris for this fine article.

An interesting development: Ignatius and Lighthouse catholic Media updated their joint Catholic Study Bible App today. In addition to refreshing the UI, they've made an interesting change to the available texts.

Before, the default text was the RSV-2CE, which also allowed you to toggle to the original "1965/1966 RSV-CE" as an option. Now, the new menu differentiates between the two text options as follows:
  • "Ignatius Study Bible RSV-CE (English) - A completely new typeset and designed edition of the popular Ignatius Revised Standard Version Bible, with minor revisions to some of the archaic language used in the first edition."
    • It's still the RSV-2CE, but no longer called out as such
    • If you've purchased the Ignatius commentary as an expansion, this option contains the links to the ICSB commentaries
  • Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition RSV-CE (English) - The Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition is an English-language adaptation of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible for use by Catholics."
  • Interesting that the version nomenclature is now the same between the two - both just treatments of the RSV-CE
  • If you've purchased the Truth and Life audio NT expansion, the audio will play alongside both versions, however the ICSB commentary is ONLY available with the default "Ignatius Study Bible RSV-CE" (i.e. the -2CE text)

Not to make too much of this: substantively, it's the same arrangement as prior versions of the app. But there is a clear impact to branding: whether intentionally or not, the effect is to steer away from use of RSV-2CE and toward more consistent branding as an "Ignatius Bible." 

  • Notice, that aligns with the licensed use in the Didache Bible, which is primarily branded the "Ignatius Bible Edition" to differentiate it from the NABRE
  • This may be an additional branding firewall to stem discussion and misunderstanding around whether or not it is "published with ecclesiastical approval." Think of it this way: 
    • So long as it's called a "Second Catholic Edition" RSV, then it begs the question about its approval
    • Eliminate that nomenclature, however, and it's just the RSV-CE "with minor revisions" for use with the Ignatius Bible products. Then the spectre of additional approvals (arguably) goes away

I don't see that there are any changes to the copyright notices on the app, which reads in part:

The original Catholic edition of the RSV translation was prepared by the Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain in A.D. 1965

This edition was revised according to Liturgiam Authenticam 


Ignatius Press San Francisco

Published with ecclesiastical  approval.

Original RSV Bible text:
Nihil obstat: Thomas Hanlon, S.T.L., L.S.S., Ph.L.
Imprimatur: + Peter W. Bertholome, D.D.
Bishop of St. Cloud Minnesota
May 11, 1966

Second Catholic Edition approved under the same imprimatur by the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices, national Conference of Catholic Bishops
February 29, 2000

Introduction, commentariesm and notes:
Nihil obstat: Rev. Msgr. J. Warren Holleran, S.T.D.
Imprimatur: + Most Rev. George Niederauer
Archbishop of San Francisco
January 13, 2010

I haven't noticed before these statements (are they new to this update?):

Second Catholic Edition approved by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA


Bible text: Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition
©2000 and 2006 by the Division of Christian Education of the national Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America
All rights reserved

Anyone care to compare to other print editions?

So what do you think: just basic housekeeping and design refresh?

Or intentional rebranding back toward the original RSV-CE, away from the idea of a -2CE and all that entails?


rolf said...

On the Ignatius Press web site they are listing all the RSV-2CE Bibles as:
Ignatius Bible (RSV) second edition. This includes the newest large print Bibles for pre-order.

Christopher Buckley said...

You're right, Rolf-

Every edition is relabeled in the catalog as either the Ignatius Bible, or the Ignatius Bible, Second Edition.

I think we're observing a bit of rebranding here.

Eric Barczak said...

Advice from your friendly neighborhood cable tv and digital advertising planner: Don't read that much into this. Companies rebrand things, for various reasons. Having Ignatius in the title is probably more about brand differentiation. Calling it the RSV could cause confusion between the Tan Books edition, the Ignatius edition, the Oxford Edition, etc. Do a google search for "RSV bible" and they're down towards the bottom of page 2. Search "Ignatius Bible" and they own page one, either direct to their site, or to a retailer like Amazon. Also, a significant portion of web searchers don't go past page one of search results, so being on page one is important.

So, in reality, nothing to see here, except an improved marketing strategy.

citizen DAK said...

I'd like to hear the OLD TESTAMENT audio, too. (especially in this app, which shows the text synch'd to the playing audio)

Could anyone recommend a good audio version of the Catholic O.T., [preferably this ICSB, on Android or Windows]?


Emilia said...

Does anyone know what catholic company still sells the original RSV CE bible? I mean like the first edition before the second catholic edition published by Ignatius press

rolf said...

Emilia, there are a few but here is one: St Benedict Press (

Michael Demers said...

Emilia, check this one out from Scepter:

Christopher Buckley said...


Ironically, even Ignatius still offers it, in two formats:
-Ignatius Bible Compact edition (w/ zipper)
-Ignatius Bible Large print

You can see it's clearly distinguished from any of their "2CE" volumes, which though likewise branded "Ignatius Bible" are also marked "2nd Edition."

That's what I'm saying about this new nomenclature: they're folding all treatments of the Catholic RSV (original and "second edition") into one "Ignatius Bible" brand.

As Eric pointed out, and as I said in my original post: don't read too much into it.

BUT, I do find it interesting in light of my correspondence with the USCCB Secretariat, who wrote me:

"the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has never reviewed or ever granted its approval to the Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition. We have notified the publisher that its designation is erroneous, and the publisher kindly assured us that it will not appear in future printings of the Bible."

Reading too much into it, perhaps, but I sense a practical work-around here:
-If it's the "RSV-CE" that's getting a second edition, then arguably it's a "new translation" subject to Secretariat approval
-If it's just a second edition of the "Ignatius Bible" which happens to use the RSV-CE, then arguably it's not a "new translation"

In which case, I find the timing interesting, since the large print and the app editions are the first two printed since this communication took place.

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Emilia said...

Wow! Thanks you guys. But now I have a new question: was the 1971 RSV (the kind used in the oxford rsv bibles) approved by an ordinary within a diocese or an episcopal conference? In other words is the Oxford one an approved translation?

Again thanks

Michael Demers said...

For the New Oxford Annotated Study Bible with the Apocrypha, expanded version 1977 [] it seems that "His Eminence, Cardinal Koenig, Archbishop of Vienna, as President of the World Catholic Federation for the Biblical Apostolate, has given it endorsement for general use."

Michael Demers said...

Emilia, see also [1977 edition].

Steve Molitor said...

"His Eminence, Cardinal Koenig, Archbishop of Vienna, as President of the World Catholic Federation for the Biblical Apostolate, has given it endorsement for general use."

Ah, good to know, thanks! That's the bible I use. Do you have an online citation of that?



Michael Demers said...

Steve Molitor, see last paragraph:

Christopher Buckley said...


Which raises an important distinction: the RSV-2CE uses the original 1966 -CE text for its base. So the changes made in the 1973 Common Edition are absent.


Michael Demers said...

According to Lance Goldsberry, Crossway Books bought the rights to adapt the 1971 RSV text.

Emilia said...

Wow this link made it more clear on the approvals of the RSVCE. Again thanks!

Javier said...

the article by Lance Goldsberry is very informative.



Christopher Buckley said...

I'm interested in the statement that Cardinal Koenig endorsed the RSV Common Bible "for general use." Does that actually satisfy the requirements of Canon 825 that a "Books of the sacred Scriptures may not be published unless they are approved by the Apostolic See or the Episcopal Conference"? If so, then why no imprimatur?

Interesting also to notice this statement prohibiting the use of the NRSV in liturgies or Bible study in the Orthodox Church in America.

The Bishop deems it too divergent from the Septuagint which the Orthodox deem inspired.

Notice that he avoids disavowing the RSV Common Bible, saying only that Orthodox priests are trained how to approach the divergences of the RSV from Orthdox belief. However, he does come down primarily in favor of either the KJV or NKJV for Orthodox reading and study.

Emilia said...


I don't understand why the Orthodox community is okay with the KJV since that translation does use the Septuagint either. Why don't I hear about the NETS bible sales shooting through the roof? Or are they?

Btw NETS stands for New English Translation of the Septaugint.

Javier said...

I guess the Orthodox community might favor the KJV (and NKJV) because it uses the Byzantine text-type for its NT, as opposed to the Critical text (Nestle-Aland) which is used in almost all of the modern translations.
For the Orthodox Study Bible, I think they took the NKJV, and altered the AT so that it followed the Septuagint.

Jason P said...

One of the main issues I have with the RSV-2CE or the “Ignatius Bible (IB)” is that they claim to have updated it in accord with Liturgiam Authenticum (LA), yet if you read and understand LA; you will see that some of the most noticeable and easily applied translation directives outlined in LA are not followed in the IB.

For example, LA says that when the Greek or Latin which underlines our Missal/Lectionary uses words like “Amen”, “Raqa”, “Alleluia”, the translators ought to transcribe and not translate.
So for example, Matthew 5:22 in the NABRE reads “…whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa’, will be…”
Whereas in the IB Mat 5:22 reads “….whoever insults his brother shall be…”
This is not a particularly good translation IMO, and it blatantly disregards or at least doesn't follow directives given in LA. The NABRE is more literal, more accurate, and follows LA more closely in many places, although LA was not released until almost two decades after the NABRE New Testament came out in A.D. 1986. So for the IB to claim to have updated things in accord with LA, and not follow it’s directives on simple issues like this, bothers me a bit.

Another example, and again very easy to improvise yet not improvised, is the usage of Amen by Our Lord in the synoptics and Amen, Amen in John.
Luke 21:32, NABRE “Amen, I say to you…”
Luke 21:32, IB “Truly, I say to you…”
John 3:3, NABRE “Jesus answered…. Amen, Amen I say to you….”
John 3:3, IB “Jesus answered…. Truly, truly, I say to you…”

I’m not trying to say the IB is bad or the people who translated it are bad people or anything. It’s a wonderful translation and I love Ignatius press. What I’m trying to say is I’ve seen some Catholics, usually ones with more conservative/traditional leanings (myself included) and we sometimes put the IB on a pedestal and degrade the NABRE, but in truth they are both translations of the original autographs, and both are approved for use by Holy Mother Church – but the NAB is used Liturgically and is, for the most part, in full compliance with LA, so IMO it should hold a special place of honor for us English speaking Catholics in America.

I guess my point is we as English speaking Catholic Christians have an abundance of solid translations of Sacred Scripture. The Douay Rheims, the Jerusalem Bible, the RSV-CE, the NAB, the old Confraternity versions, the Knox, etc. etc. etc. Thank God we have such variety so we can truly dig deep into the Living Word of God.

Jason P said...

Javier you are correct.

The Orthodox Study Bible (OSB), used the NKJV as a base text.
The New Testament is the non-modified NKJV. The Old Testament is the NKJV with modifications from the Greek Septuagint, and the Psalms are a fresh translation of the Greek Septuagint Psalter.

And the Byzantine text-type issue is the #1 reason why Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Catholic Christians prefer the KJV and NKJV New Testament to newer translations that use the Critical Text.

Christopher Buckley said...

Jason P -

Thanks for the analysis. I agree with you about the quality (and precedence) of the NABRE, and I've especially come to appreciate the revised 2010 OT which in places, I prefer to the RSV.

As for the publisher's claims of revising it "according to Liturgiam authenticam," it's important to remember what they say they did, and how they did it. This description from Fr. Fessio a few years ago makes it clear:

-they didn't set out to create a book of scripture, just revise their RSV lectionary around the new Ordo Lectionum
-when they submitted the lectionary to the Congregation for Divine Worship, they removed archaisms with the CDW's permission, to make the lectionary readings more accessible in proclamation at Mass
-Meanwhile, the CDW was preparing Liturgiam Authenticam
-Ignatius noted a pattern to the changes suggested by LA and basically did a global search and replace... not just to its lectionary, but to all the rest of the Biblical texts outside the lectionary selections as well

Voila. A new revision of the RSV.

Emilia said...

Ok I see now. But then this begs the question: What's so special about the Byzantine-text type over the Alexandrian one? Doesn't advances in textual criticism matter? Hope this didn't come out mean.

Javier said...

I think the Orthodox and the KJV-only crowd, both favor the Byzantine text-type for historical reasons. But not for the same historical reasons. I'm guessing here, but I think the Orthodox Church favors the Byzantine text-type because those were the manuscripts they had access to during the time of the Byzantine Empire, which were the formative centuries for the Orthodox Church.
The KJV-only crowd favors the Byzantine text-type because it underlies the Textus Receptus, which is the textual basis of the protestant bibles of the Reformation Era.
This article by Daniel Wallace might be helpful:
Majority Text

Emilia said...

Has anyone e-mailed Ignatius Press and asked them to conform their RSV translation more closely to Liturgiam Authenticum?

Christopher Buckley said...

I'm interested to read that the original Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha (featuring the RSV) apparently received an imprimatur from Cardinal Cushing as a Catholic Study Bible.

Does anyone know what edition stopped carrying the actual imprimatur? Did it carry over into the first "New Oxford Annotated" in 1973? Is it still on the 1977 "New Oxford" that Oxford still carries?

I assume it's gone from any of the NRSV New Oxford editions, but what was the last edition that carried it?

Michael Demers said...

The 1965 edition of the Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha is the only one that received an imprimatur.

Emilia said...

So if the 1977 Oxford annotated edition recieved approval by a bishop then, does that mean that the 1971 RSV (2nd edition) is approved as well?

Michael Demers said...

Emilia, the 1977 edition contains the 3rd and 4th Books of Maccabees and Psalm 151 which aren't accepted as canonical by the Catholic Church, therefore a bishop can't grant an imprimatur. Also, after 1983 (due to revisions made to canon law) a bishop may not grant an imprimatur to a bible. Only the Vatican or a national conference of bishops may do do. Any bible given an imprimatur before 1983 is fine.