Monday, October 3, 2016

Guest Post: Catching Up and my CTS Bible Journey

Thank you to Gerald for this first guest post.

Well, how was it going?
I know many of us readers, missed this blog.
Perhaps still checking the blog for new entries...

And now, the blog's back! As support for Tim and for all the readers to likewise be inspired to contribute guests post on the blog, I'll do the ribbon cutting. But first of all, let me share who I was in this blog.

I am Gerald, from the Philippines, being one of the very least among the readers here in the Philippines. The time difference is a common obstacle for me. When everybody else is in heated argument on the other side of the globe, here I am, sleeping on my couch. When it is my time to open up, everybody else is on Dream Land.
I already did 3 guest posts before, so you might want to check them out.

In the past number of months, I have been struggling on one real dilemma
"What version of the Bible will I use?" This is a real struggle and this dilemma does not only confuse the newbie, but even the experienced readers, after many years of looking through many versions are still in this "petty" question. Maybe this question led me to start my enthusiasm on Bible, in search for The One.

However, after years of being in the journey, it came down to just two:
1) Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition
2) CTS Catholic Bible (Jerusalem Bible + Grail Psalms)
Interestingly enough, these two versions were born in 1966. A golden year for me perhaps. I have been juggling between the two. Both are very good versions of the Scriptures and each has their benefits, namely:

1) Heavily reliable as an all-around text. Scholars and apologetics alike use them. Great version to stick with if you are in journey of knowing the Faith more.
2) The text is a pretty stable one and is helpful for conversing with Protestants which are currently enamoured with ESV.
3) Reads beautifully and a nice-flowing version

1) Being based from the Jerusalem Bible, the version is an easy read.
2) Though worded at a lower level, it still expresses gracefully wuthout having to be gender-inclusive.
3) It is best for devotional uses, especially for daily Lectio Divina.
Tim knew back then how I struggled with the two. When I moved to a new room in Manila, I brought with me both versions. I knew that the two will be helpful in my Bible time there: RSVCE for my scholarly study, and CTS for my devotional time.

Initially, I chosen the RSVCE and left the CTS back on the shelves in my hometown since I saw the value of ingesting many Catholic materials to my Faith. I even brought with me Pope Emeritus' "Jesus of Nazareth" and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which by the way used the RSV as their base text for verse citations.

But after some time, when I started to become much occupied from work and my masteral studies, I found myself dwindling on reading the Scriptures. I felt that "scholarly dealing" with the Scripture became a "duty" for me to do. And I found myself struggling with even picking up the Bible and just read it.

By that time, I already longed for my CTS Bible back home, only that I cannot visit my homeland immediately because of financial constraints. I said to myself: "I'll give the RSVCE a chance, maybe I am just lacking time for God in general." And so I did. But still, I am struggling. I know how much the RSVCE can help in my Faith. But I suddenly lost my taste in pursuing, just because I saw that the Bible starting to become an obligation to fulfill.

Just this Saturday, I already visited my hometown. First thing I did upon reaching home is to get my CTS on the shelves and put the RSV back there. And in an instant, I just felt excited to open up the Bible. Too much excitement that I even forgot to start a prayer in reading the set of Mass readings for Sunday, which I always do even in my RSVCE. I must say that the vigor is different compared to if I read my RSVCE for reading Sunday Mass readings.

Many of you might say that: "Am I to stop being informed of my Faith by leaving the RSV behind?" The reality is, while many of us can be really conversant and knowledgeable with the Scriptures. I already experienced it, without really digging into what Bible should do to us Christians, we are ending up treating the Bible as an academic document that is scholarly exciting due to extant studies done to it for the last decades. And we will just find ourselves still hungry for the Word that touches our lives in a supernatural, not a superficial way.

"The Bible should not only INFORM us, but most importantly, to TRANSFORM us."


Cody Cotton said...

I feel your pain! I'm trying right now to decide whether or not I should get a CTS, or stick with the NABRE, or the Knox, or the RSV-2CE.

I suppose I could just refer to all of them, but then I'm treating the Bible in too a scholarly manner, as you said, and it doesn't sink into me! I'm too busy analyzing footnotes and texts to really get the message it's trying to give me! Ugh...

Anonymous said...

I love the CTS and it would be my everyday, go to bible if they had a more standard 6 x 9 version at minimum. I love the translation minus the yahweh. Still hoping they put some effort in a larger version of the CTS.

Erap10 said...

Yeah I had this "scholarly phase" once myself. For me, the cure was just communion. This is because I was being "scholarly" during a time when I was not taking care of myself spiritually.
Then I took care of myslef and I used the RSVCE for the mass readings. I really loved it! But now I realized that I actually prefer the flow of the NABRE for my ordinary Bible reading.

Jerry Mc Kenna said...

At my age, with many Bibles, I can't read the letters, so I just ignore notes. I can be hard to get out of the habit.