Monday, December 11, 2017

Thomas Merton on the Psalms

Yesterday was the 49th anniversary of the death of Thomas Merton.  Anyone who has taken the time to read his works knows that the Psalms were vitally important to him.  Praying them in choir as a monk, as well as on his own, the Psalms helped to form him and his writings.  Liturgical Press publishes a short, but very insightful book by Merton on the Psalms called Praying the PsalmsIf you haven't read Merton before, it is a great entry point for his writings. 

"...the Psalms not only form our minds according to the mind of the Church, not only direct our thoughts and affections to God, but they establish us in God, they unite us to Christ. But they do this only if our hearts follow their thoughts and words back to the inspired source.... Therefore the sentiments of the Psalmist, which are the thoughts and sentiments of God Himself in His Church, must lead us into the hidden sanctuary of God. Where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also. The function of the Psalms is to reveal to us God as the 'treasure' whom we love because He has first loved us, to hide us, heart and soul, in the depths of His infinite Light. The Psalms, therefore, lead us to contemplation." -Praying the Psalms

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

RNJB Delayed

As expected, the listing on Amazon.com for the Revised New Jerusalem Bible (NT and Psalms) was false.  It had said it would be published at the end of November, but I received an email from Amazon letting me know that they had cancelled the order.  Of course, this is all likely due to Amazon getting incorrect info on the date of publication, which according to Darton, Longman, & Todd will be January 2018.  The full bible is expected to be published later in the year.  We shall see. 

If you missed it the first time, here is the description from the publisher:

Presenting the world’s first modern English Bible in a new light.
In 1966, Darton, Longman and Todd published the Jerusalem Bible, the first full translation of the Bible into modern English, with an acclaimed set of study notes. In 1985, it released the New Jerusalem Bible, an update of the Bible text for a fast-changing world. Now, after more than thirty years, DLT is preparing to publish the Revised New Jerusalem Bible – a substantial revision of the JB and NJB texts, and one which applies formal equivalence translation for a more accurate rendering of the original scriptures, sensitivity to readable speech patterns and more inclusive language. The RNJB is accompanied by a new, comprehensive set of study notes and book introductions enabling the Bible to be read with the insight, wisdom and understanding of the most up-to-date biblical scholarship.
The New Testament and Psalms will be published in January 2018, and the Full Bible will be published later in 2018. Both editions will contain the comprehensive study notes and book introductions.
The RNJB has been translated, and the notes and introductions written, by Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB, a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and one of the foremost biblical scholars of our day. Fr Henry was the translator and general editor of the NJB.
Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB is a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and one of the foremost biblical scholars of our day. Fr Henry was the translator and general editor of the NJB.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

So What Are You Reading This Advent?

Although my wife and I wrote ACTA's Advent devotional Expectantly Waiting in Wonder, it would be a little weird for me to use that as a daily devotional during this upcoming season.  (I don't know, maybe it wouldn't.)  I decided, however, to go with a recently released Advent devotional by NT Wright entitled Advent for Everyone.  It has been a few years since I read Wright, so I thought this might be a nice companion during this upcoming (and very short) Advent. 

What are you reading?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Our Advent/Lent Devotionals

A blessed and happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

One of the things I am most thankful for this past year was the opportunity to have an Advent (and Lenten) devotional published by the fine people at ACTA Publications.  The best part of the process was being able to compose these daily reflections along side my beloved wife, Rakhi.  Having been married a little over eight year now with three wonderful children, the entire process of selecting a portion of the daily lectionary reading, reflecting and praying about each passage, and composing daily insights together as a couple was something I will cherish.  To be honest, at first I was a bit worried that we might not be able to find the time to do this project.  Yet, God did provide the time and energy (and hopefully insight) to complete both devotionals.  (A special thanks to my mom for watching for the kids at various points for a few hours during the day which allowed us to go off somewhere quiet to write.)

Two things struck me as we working on both of these devotionals.  First, I was really amazed by my wife's insights and creativity.  Now, I have known this for the many years that we have been together, but most often she likes to work quietly on her own, like most artists do.  Yet, during this project, I was able to accompany her more directly as we reflected on the day's lectionary passage as well as watching her do the illustrations for the cover and text.  It was truly a blessing to see her work, one that I will treasure.  Secondly, I came to appreciate The Message: Catholic/Ecumenical Edition even more than I had originally.  Of all the translations out there, and yes it is a paraphrase, it remains the only one that consistently elicits emotions from me when I read.  Now this is not to say that I will be using The Message for serious bible study (whatever that may be) but I have now found a place for The Message in my daily prayer time.  This was not something that I would have expected almost ten years ago when I started this blog.  But to each their own.

The Advent and Lenten devotionals were designed to give you short reflections and action steps for each day of the season, accompanied by illustrations designed by my wife.   It was important to me that these devotionals would be small (in order to be easily carried around with or placed in a Bible case), contain room for personal notes, and inexpensive (the Advent one is .99 cents and the Lenten is $1.25).  In the end, I think we achieved these three goals.  So, if you are looking for a devotional during this upcoming Advent and Lenten seasons that is a little different than most, utilizing a translation of the bible that might cause you to reflect, rethink, laugh, or simply just pause for a few more moments than usual, ACTA might have the one you are looking for.

The Advent devotional: Expectantly Waiting in Wonder

The Lenten devotional: Walking Together in Freedom

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Guest Post: NABRE vs. NRSV vs Neither (Part II)

We now move on to part II of this series initated by guest blogger Dominic.  He wants to open it up to those of you who have a different favorite translation, while also referencing the NABRE and NRSV.  This is part II in a multe-part series.

Part 2 allows for dissent of one or both of the aforementioned transitions. Also, you now have an opportunity to speak more on your favorite translation if it’s neither. Please follow the guidelines.

Ground Rules:
1) State your favorite translation

2) Even if you do not like either, please give pros and cons to both in a charitable and respectful way. You can express dislike without being “ugly.”

3) Why is your choice of translation preferable? Please be detailed. 

4) If you chose “neither” then which translation do you still think is better between the two (NRSV vs. Nabre) even if you don’t like either and why. 

5) If you are critical, please do it in a respectful and understanding way. It’s easy to get “ugly” behind a keyboard but don’t lose track of the decor you would show if you were face to face with those you disagree.

Once again, your comments will only be posted if you fill out all five parts.  You are encouraged to cite any references if possible.  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Guest Post: NABRE vs. NRSV (Part I)

This is meant to be more of a participatory guest post by Dominic, who wants to know your thoughts comparing the NABRE and NRSV bibles.  He has listed some ground rules for this, which I encourage you to read before commenting.  Dominic has been going over both translations for years now, and is interested in hearing what you all think.  This is the first in a multi-part series.

Here are the ground rules:


1) Must have an appreciation for both translations and you must state that. 

2) State your favorite Bible Translation (doesn’t have to be the NRSV or NABRE)

3) Pros and cons of each translation

4) No other translation may be introduced other than only naming your favorite translation. 

5) Which Translation do you prefer between the two, and why?

At minimum, you must follow the five points or your comments will not be posted.  If at all possible,  post links to articles or essays about said translations and translation philosophies that may be read for further reflection for both series.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Review: The Spiritual Warfare Bible (RSV-CE)



It was about seven years ago that Saint Benedict Press/TAN released the Catholic Scripture Study International Bible (RSV-CE).  When I reviewed it, I remember appreciating a lot of what went into its production, even though I thought there were some key components, like cross-references, missing.  I still have that bible today, and when I need an RSV-CE I will often refer to it.  It has held up pretty well over the years, which is a good thing since I was concerned about the glued binding.  I wasn’t then, nor do I remain today, a fan of glossy inserts, but they were placed well and the paper was fairly thin, thus not causing any issues when flipping through the bible or when laying in flat on a table. 


Now back in 2014, SBP/TAN released Manual for Spiritual Warfare, which was a handbook of prayers and reflections on engaging in spiritual warfare.  The book, authored by Paul Thigpen, sold quite well.  Now enter the brand new Spiritual Warfare Bible (RSV-CE) from Saint Benedict Press, which utilizes much from the Manual for Spiritual Warfare, integrating into the RSV-CE text.  While the description of this bible says that it contains “nine special Spiritual Warfare inserts” written by Dr. Thigpen, in truth, that is a bit misleading, but in a good way.  Each of these nine topics take up, on average, at least ten pages of print.  The topics range from “Scripture for the Battle” to a “Spiritual Warfare Topic Index”.  In particular, the section titled “Prayers for the Battle” contain a number of very beautiful prayers, including one entitled ‘Prayer to Our Lady, vanquisher of the Enemy’.  Compared to the CSSI Bible, this bible contains considerably more content than the CSSI Bible.  The inserts in the CSSI Bible were typically one page in length, on a variety of apologetic topics.  The glossy inserts in the Spiritual Warfare Bible also contain some well-placed and beautifully rendered classical art, which is nicely placed at appropriate locations within Thigpen’s text.  Many of them, like the one of Our Lady (pictured below), are great to pray with.  While there are no maps or cross-references in this bible, it does contain an appendix which has all the Mass readings, both for weekdays and Sundays. Also, the words of Christ are in red.
 

In regards to construction and overall look, the Spiritual Warfare Bible is very similar to its older brother, the CSSI Bible.  The RSV-CE is presented in a fairly large script, with the words of Christ in red.  I have always found this to be one of the best visual representations of the RSV-CE on the market today.  The text is quite easy to read from, even though it is not line matched.  It contains three handy black ribbons, which should certainly be mandatory for a bible like this.  The binding is glued but the cover is a smooth premium ultrasoft synthetic leather cover.  The cover has a much nicer than the CSSI Bible cover, which was a more stiff bonded leather.  The cover has a blind imprinting, which is also a step up from the early CSSI Bible.  The size of the The Spiritual Warfare Bible is 6.75 x 9.5 x 1.5, which is roughly the same size as the CSSI Bible.


I could see this new volume to be popular in certain prayer groups, as well as in charismatic Catholic circles.  The content would certainly fit into those who are associated with apostolates dedicated to doing spiritual warfare or intercession.  The Spiritual Warfare Bible has a very nice overall feel to it and is a true joy to read from.  The question will be whether or not the reader is willing to pay $69.95 for this bible.  While it does have some wonderfully composed and organized content on spiritual warfare, it suffers from having a glued binding.  In the end, I can see that some might purchase this, while others may take a pass on it. 


Thank you to Saint Benedict Press for providing me a review copy for this post.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Show Me the Money: NAB(RE)

If you have been a regular to Catholic online forums (or even this blog at times) and the topic comes up about the NAB, someone will eventually bring up the issue of the royalities that are collected for licensing the NAB.  Usually the person who brings up this issue does so with an axe to grind against the NAB, CCD, or USCCB. 

Well, I was happy that our friend, Mary Sperry, passed along a recent USCCB Press Release that shows were some of this money goes.  (There are others not listed here.)  I thought I would share it with you so you could see for yourself:


WASHINGTON—This Fall 2017, for the first time, the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) awarded grants in the amount of $85,900 for four projects that support the goals of the CCD to promote Catholic biblical literacy and Catholic biblical interpretation.
Funding for these grants comes from the royalties received from the publication of the New American Bible and its derivative works which the CCD develops, publishes, promotes, and distributes.
The four projects sponsored by the CCD are as follows:
  • $11,750 to Dr. Todd Hibbard (Associate Professor, University of Detroit Mercy) for field research in Jerusalem related to his project on the rhetoric of urban destruction in the prophetic books of the Old Testament. This research will inform the forthcoming monograph, Prophets and Prophecy in Ancient Israel and Judah: A Phenomenological Approach.
  • $11,800 to Father Robert Lapko (Moderator for the Centre for Biblical and Near Eastern Studies of the Archdiocese of KoŇ°ice, Slovakia) to provide partial financial support for continuing biblical education and formation of Slovak clergy through seminars, and intensive summer school for biblical languages, and a study trip to the Holy Land.
  • $17,350 to Dr. Patrick Russell (Chief Academic Officer and Professor of Scripture Studies, Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, Hales Corners, WI) for a project to ascertain the most effective preaching strategies employed by priests that lead parishioners to more profound encounters, focusing on the Gospel parables in the Sunday Lectionary for Mass.
  • $45,000 to Dr. Nathan Eubank and Dr. Markus Bockmuehl (Keble College, University of Oxford) for 12-month research project designed to contribute to renewed understanding of the relationship between Scripture and the early Christian creeds, particularly, the Apostles' Creed.
The CCD works with the Catholic Biblical Association (CBA) to offer these grants accepting applications only from the CBA, including the organization itself, its designees, and its active and associate members. In fidelity to Dei Verbum, the CBA's purpose is to promote scholarly study in Scripture and related fields by meetings of the association, publications, and support to those engaged in such studies.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

New Official NAB(RE) Site!

Press Release:

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Acquires Catholic.Bible
November 6, 2017
WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has acquired Catholic.Bible. 
The domain serves as the home base for resources for National Bible Week. This year’s National Bible Week celebration takes place November 12-18. In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the theme for this year is The Bible: A Book of Faith/ La Biblia: Un Libro de la Fe.
In addition, Catholic.Bible is the place to also find Lectio Divina resources (English and Spanish) for every Sunday of the year, an expansion of past years’ resources which were limited to Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter.
Other resources available on Catholic.Bible include:
  • A survey on Bible use among Catholics sponsored by American Bible Society
  • An RSS feed of the daily readings in English and Spanish
  • A link to the New American Bible, revised edition (NABRE)
More resources will be added in the months ahead. Catholic.Bible went live, October 31.
The .Bible top-level domain is a trusted online source for all things Bible. The mission of .Bible is to encourage Bible engagement, translation, innovation, and global partnerships so that all people may experience the life-changing message that the Bible gives us.
The American Bible Society, a Christian ministry that has equipped people to engage with the life-changing message of God's Word for over 200 years, operates the .BIBLE registry.
Please visit Catholic.Bible at https://catholic.bible/.

Monday, November 6, 2017

NOAB 5th Edition- Spring 2018

The listing is up for the 5th edition of the venerable New Oxford Annotated Bible.  As usual, it will come in editions with or without the apocrypha/deuterocanonical books.  I have only seen the hardcover and paperback listings so far.  If they do a genuine leather edition, I hope it maintains the high quality of the 4th edition.  The biblical text will, once again, be the NRSV. 

Description:
For over 50 years students, professors, clergy, and general readers have relied on The New Oxford Annotated Bible as an unparalleled authority in Study Bibles. This fifth edition of the Annotated remains the best way to study and understand the Bible at home or in the classroom. This thoroughly revised and substantially updated edition contains the best scholarship informed by recent discoveries and anchored in the solid Study Bible tradition.

· Introductions and extensive annotations for each book by acknowledged experts in the field provide context and guidance. 
· Introductory essays on major groups of biblical writings - Pentateuch, Prophets, Gospels, and other sections - give readers an overview that guides more intensive study.
· General essays on history, translation matters, different canons in use today, and issues of daily life in biblical times inform the reader of important aspects of biblical study.
· Maps and diagrams within the text contextualize where events took place and how to understand them.
· Color maps give readers the geographical orientation they need for understanding historical accounts throughout the Bible.
· Timelines, parallel texts, weights and measures, calendars, and other helpful tables help navigate the biblical world.
· An extensive glossary of technical terms demystifies the language of biblical scholarship.
An index to the study materials eases the way to the quick location of information.

The New Oxford Annotated Bible, with twenty new essays and introductions and others-as well as annotations-fully revised, offers the reader flexibility for any learning style. Beginning with a specific passage or a significant concept, finding information for meditation, sermon preparation, or academic study is straightforward and intuitive.

A volume that users will want to keep for continued reference, The New Oxford Annotated Bible continues the Oxford University Press tradition of providing excellence in scholarship for the general reader. Generations of users attest to its status as the best one-volume Bible reference tool for any home, library, or classroom.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Cool Site

Just came across this site MaybeToday.org where there is a short history of the Catholic Bible in English.  Most of this we have discussed here, but they have done a nice job bringing it all together in one article.

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Bible: From Late Antiquity to the Renaissance

I will probably have this on my Christmas list.  The Bible: From Late Antiquity to the Renaissance will be published by Liturgical Press in mid-November.  Sample page here.



The Bible: From Late Antiquity to the Renaissance

The Bible has inspired scholarly and artistic achievements all over the world since Late Antiquity. The largest and most diverse collection of Bibles, in both their calligraphic and illuminative expression, is archived at the Vatican Library. The scholars who contributed to this volume were given unprecedented access to the Vatican Library archive and, while focusing on the written and illustrative themes of the Bible, have created the most comprehensive chronology to date.

This volume is a journey led by major international scholars through the Bible's development from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance era, allowing all readers of the Bible to marvel at the wisdom of the writings and beauty of the illustrations, many available here for the first time.

Ambrogio M. Piazzoni (1951) is the vice prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library, first layman to hold this position. A graduate of Sapienza-University of Rome, educated in medieval history and specialized in palaeography, he spent a number of years as a cataloguer of manuscripts in the Vatican Library before taking charge for the introduction of the computerized cataloguing of manuscripts. As vice prefect (1999), he is also the scientific director of cataloguing of the Vatican Library manuscripts and director of the Library's publishing department. He teaches Latin palaeography, which pertains to both writing and illuminations, at the Augustinianum University in Rome. He has published a number of books and more than a hundred articles in scholarly journals and collective works on subjects related to medieval cultural history, biblical exegesis in the Middle Ages, Church history, and history of the Vatican Library.

Francesca Manzari (1967), PhD, is researcher in history of medieval art at Sapienza-University of Rome, where she teaches history of illumination. She has taken part, as author and part of the editorial staff, in the Enciclopedia dell'arte Medievale and in the journal Arte Medievale. In 2015 she won the Houghton Mifflin Fellowship for research at Harvard University. She has published several volumes and extensively in international journals, also in various languages. She was on the advisory board for the exhibition Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts from Boston Collections (Harvard University; Boston, September 2016-January 2017), ed. J. Hamburger, W. Stoneman, A. M. Eze, L. Fagin-Davis, N. Netzer. Her research has centered on liturgical and devotional books and manuscript illumination in Avignon and Italy. She is currently working on a book on illumination in Rome during the Great Western Schism.

Friday, October 27, 2017

RNJB NT and Psalms

Just a friendly reminder that the Revised New Jerusalem Bible (NT and Psalms) will be released in the US at the end of November.  The publisher is Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd and it will be 624 pages in length.  The price seems quite affordable.  Will be interesting to compare this with the NJB.  

Description:
Presenting the world's first modern English Bible in a new light. In 1966, Darton, Longman and Todd published the Jerusalem Bible, the first full translation of the Bible into modern English, with an acclaimed set of study notes. In 1985, it released the New Jerusalem Bible, an update of the Bible text for a fast-changing world. Now, after more than thirty years, DLT is preparing to publish the Revised New Jerusalem Bible - a substantial revision of the JB and NJB texts, and one which applies formal equivalence translation for a more accurate rendering of the original scriptures, sensitivity to readable speech patterns and more inclusive language. The RNJB is accompanied by a new, comprehensive set of study notes and book introductions enabling the Bible to be read with the insight, wisdom and understanding of the most up-to-date biblical scholarship. The New Testament and Psalms will be published in November 2017, and the Full Bible will be published in the late spring of 2018. Both editions will contain the comprehensive study notes and book introductions. The RNJB has been translated, and the notes and introductions written, by Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB, a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and one of the foremost biblical scholars of our day. Fr Henry was the translator and general editor of the NJB.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

First Things Article on Sacral Language

Thanks to the Surly Hermit for passing this First Things article along to me.  It is in the November edition and available online.

Thus Saith the Lord
by Nathaniel Peters


One Sunday in high school, we went to the Anglo-Catholic parish where my headmaster served as an assistant priest. Catechized by evangelical Episcopalians and Presbyterians, I believed that the Bible was divinely inspired by God. But I had never seen it treated as such in a physical or ritual way. Down Mr. Jarvis came, robed in damask and the smoke of incense, into the congregation to sing and kiss the Word of God. He spoke the words of the King James Bible, a language steeped in the same reverence for Scripture that the liturgy made manifest.
My thoughts drifted to that day on seeing the news that Pope Francis has appointed a commission to review Liturgiam Authenticam, the Congregation for Divine Worship’s 2001 instruction governing translations of the Mass and sacramental rites into vernacular languages. More recently, he issued a decree giving local bishops’ conferences greater control over such translations. The conflict is partly over jurisdiction: Who should decide what is an acceptable Japanese translation of the liturgy, a committee in Japan or in Rome?
Continue on here.

Let me note here that the main point of this essay would be in conflict with Msgr. Ronald Knox.  When Peters quotes Nicholson, in his work God’s Secretaries, saying that the KJV translators considered it more important “to make English godly than to make the words of God unto the sort of prose that any Englishman would have written” he is in direct contrast to what Knox thought, in regards to translation.  Knox, in his book On Englishing the Bible, references the great Hilaire Belloc, saying, “The great principle he there lays down is that the business of a translator is not to ask, ‘How shall I make this foreigner talk English’ but ‘What would an Englishman have said to express this?‘“ 

 I am eager to read your thoughts on this, as always, let’s engage in this topic with great charity.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Knox on Translation: Hebraisms in English Translation

"We are sensible of these Hebraisms, and most of us would like to see the last of them. But there are hundred and hundreds of other Hebraisms which we do not notice, because we have allowed ourselves to grow accustomed to them.  We should have thought it odd if we had read in The Times, 'General Montgomery's right hand has smitten Rommel in the hinder parts'; but if we get that sort of thing in the Bible we take it, unlike Rommel, sitting down. 'Mr. Churchill then opened his mouth and spoke' is that English? No, it is Hebrew idiom clothed in English words." -On Englishing the Bible (p.4-5)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Catholic Journaling Bible (NABRE)

Through a joint venture of the Blessed Is She community and OSV, there will finally be a full Catholic Journaling Bible released later this year, with early shipping occuring in January.  The translation used is the NABRE.   

Description:
The Bible that we have all been waiting for! The first ever, full Catholic Journaling Bible (NAB-RE) includes wide margins with lines for note taking, endnotes and footnotes, an easy to read one column format and hand lettered verses for each book.
“The seed is the word of God.” Luke 8:11
The Bible is 6.25 x 9″. It has an Imprimatur from James A. Hickey, S.T.D., J.C.D., Archbishop of Washington. This Catholic Journaling Bible has no additional reflections. It has only the footnotes and endnotes from the NABRE text.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Bible in a Year: Your Daily Encounter with God

Description:
It’s a mountaintop experience if you can open up the Word of God. It’s majestic, it’s beautiful, it’s breathtaking. It gets us out of our day-to-day and into God.


The simple format of this premium, leather-bound version of Bible in a Year will keep you engaged as you make your way through all 73 books of the Bible.


Commentaries are written by renowned Catholic biblical scholars and theologians, including Dr. Tim Gray, Dr. Mark Giszczak, Dr. John Sehorn, Dr. Scott Powell, Dr. Michael Morris, Dr. Elizabeth Klein, and Deborah Holiday. 



• Each day features three readings, one each from the Old Testament, Wisdom Literature, and the New Testament 
• Insightful daily reflections are written by leading theologians to facilitate deeper meditation and encounter with God through his Word 
• Revised Standard Version of the Bible – Second Catholic Edition


This beautiful, leather-bound book is a perfect gift for any occasion!  (It is also available in a paperback edition.)  



Thanks to John and Chris for alerting me to this new edition, which will be released at the beginning of Advent.  More info can be found here.  The also have a sample which you can see here.  This is a product of the Augustine Institute.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The New Testament: A Translation by David Bentley Hart

For a First Things article on this new translation, go here.   To purchase the translation, go here.

David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox scholar of religion, and a philosopher, writer, and cultural commentator. He is a fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Studies and has held positions at the University of Virginia, Duke University, and Providence College. He lives in South Bend, IN.

Description:
David Bentley Hart undertook this new translation of the New Testament in the spirit of “etsi doctrina non daretur,” “as if doctrine is not given.” Reproducing the texts’ often fragmentary formulations without augmentation or correction, he has produced a pitilessly literal translation, one that captures the texts’ impenetrability and unfinished quality while awakening readers to an uncanniness that often lies hidden beneath doctrinal layers.
 
The early Christians’ sometimes raw, astonished, and halting prose challenges the idea that the New Testament affirms the kind of people we are. Hart reminds us that they were a company of extremists, radical in their rejection of the values and priorities of society not only at its most degenerate, but often at its most reasonable and decent. “To live as the New Testament language requires,” he writes, “Christians would have to become strangers and sojourners on the earth, to have here no enduring city, to belong to a Kingdom truly not of this world. And we surely cannot do that, can we?”


 Eager to hear your thoughts.

Thanks to Cathryn for the link.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Bible Sale

Over the years I have accumulated a lot of bibles and have tried to get them into the hands of people who might actually read them. So, thanks to the approval of the admin, I am offering this first batch of bibles to anyone who is interested. I’m not really looking to make a fortune, but if you see one you like, just message me an offer (including shipping) and I am sure we will work things out. I can take checks or via PayPal. I can only ship to the USA, unless the person who wants a particular bible is willing to pay $$$ in shipping costs.   If interested, or if you have a question, just email me at mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com.  I'll update this as we go.  I have a few more that I will be offering in the coming weeks as well.

Here are the bibles listed from top to bottom:

Cambridge Imitation Leather pocket NRSV NT, Psalms, and Proverbs

Asia Trading Company Hardcover Compact NLT-CE

Oxford Italian Duo-Tone Compact NRSV w/apocrypha

Nova Vulgate NT

Message Remix Hardcover

Vintage 1966 Liturgical Press Hardcover RSV-CE

Crossway ESV gift bible

NavPress The Message Saddle Tan

HarperOne NABRE in imitation leather

Abingdon NRSV New Interpreters Bible Hardcover


Vintage Douay-Westminster Family-sized Bible


Monday, October 9, 2017

Local Kid Beat Up On Church Playground For Carrying NIV

Thanks to Chris for passing along this article from the satirical site The Babylon Bee:

DALLAS, TX—Local youngster Caleb Beckett brought his trusty NIV Bible For Boys to church Sunday, as he does every week. But this Sunday was different, as a classmate reportedly noticed for the first time that Beckett was using the NIV translation.
According to sources, the classmate began to loudly ridicule him for his choice of translation, resulting in a group of young hooligans assaulting the youth and mocking him.
Witnesses confirmed that Beckett effectively shielded himself with his Bible—aided by the fact that it was housed in a very large and elaborate Bible cover—until one of the bullies got a hold of him while the others pummeled him, shouting insults like, “Dynamically equivalent little dork!” and “You wouldn’t know a good translation if it bit you in the butt!”
Finally, Beckett was thrown to the ground while the gang of ESV-wielding youths threw his NIV translation up onto a tree branch, far out of his reach.
“You’ll have better luck jumping up to grab your so-called ‘Bible’ than the NIV translators did imposing their gender neutrality on the text, you chump!” one of the bullies called out as they high-fived each other and left Beckett moaning in the playground sand, sources confirmed.
This made me think, if there was an equivalent in the Catholic bible translation world.  Hmmm.....I would think in some circles the NAB takes a lot of grief/crap from people who generally aren't aware of how that text has changed over the years.  Your thoughts?  (Let's not take this too serious, just have some fun.)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Bible Poll: Which Bible translation would you like to see most in a Catholic Edition?

Which Bible translation would you like to see most in a Catholic Edition?
King James Version 1769
Revised Version 1895
New International Version (Specify Edition in Comments)
New King James Version
New American Standard Version 1995
English Standard Version
Other
quotes 2 know

Friday, September 29, 2017

My Classroom Desk Today


Doing some class prep. using my ACTA The Message: Catholic/Ecumenical Edition and the Saint Benedict Press/Tan Catholic Scripture Study Bible RSV-CE.   Why these two translations?  Well, there are two primary reasons: 1) They represent, for Catholic readers, the two opposite ends of the translation spectrum; 2) The physical books themselves are joy to read from, particularly the size of the print and the overall page layout.  So, while the translation is important, I have more and more come to the conclusion that the look and feel of a bible is of equal importance.

What are you reading from these days?

Friday, September 22, 2017

NLT-CE from Tyndale

I was really excited to receive from Tyndale a review copy of their brand new Catholic Holy Bible Reader's Edition NLT-CE for two main reasons.  First, I know there are a number of you who have desired an approved edition of the NLT.  You now have an edition available for purchase here in the United States.  (For more about the editions that came out last year in India, go here.)  Secondly, it is great to see a Protestant publisher try their hand, once again, at a Catholic edition.  I hope this continues, since it might mean that nicer, more well-made bible editions could be in our future.  So, I encourage all of you to consider getting this edition, so that Tyndale can see that there is an audience for further Catholic editions.  (Plus, it is a really nice edition too!)


The NLT text used is the 2015 revision.  The text for the Deuterocanonical books appear to be the same ones that were originally done for the ill-fated and unapproved NLT Catholic Reference Edition.  I will have to do some more reading to see, but I haven't notced too many differences. The page that lists the translation teams states that Philip Comfort, J. Julius Scott, David Barrett, and James Swanson translated the Deuterocanonicals, which, if I am not mistaken, are the same folks who did the earlier version. My understanding, and I could be wrong, is that the biblical scholars who approved the India edition that was first released last year simply reviewed the text with suggesting a few minor changes. I will be happy to be corrected if I am wrong about this.  Here is a photo of the copyright page:



For a fairly straight-forward readers Bible it is fantastic.  This edition has a very clear double-column page-layout.  (It reminds me a bit of HarperOne's NRSVs to be honest.) Since this is meant to be primarily a readers bible, I believe most of you will find that it succeeds in accomplishing that goal.  Bolded paragraph headings and line-matching makes it a easy to read from in most any setting and light.  The paper is a bright white, not cream colored.   The NLT-CE is sewn and includes a ribbon marker.  The hardcover is sturdy, and combined with the sewn binding, should last a long time.  It might also make a good candidate for a rebinding project.  Overall, a very nice product that is simply, yet beautifully made.


At the bottom of each page you will find textual notes, most often indicating a more literal rendering of the Hebrew or Greek.  In addition, you will find in the New Testament direct cross-references when the Old Testament is cited.  There are a few references found in the Old Testament as well.  All notes are indicated in the text by an asterisk.


Each book comes with an introduction, outline, and a short blurb about themes, purpose, authorship, and date of composition.  These are short, but helpful.  This is not intended to be a study bible, yet the introductions are very good and informative for the relative small size of them.


Finally, and to my surprise, there is found at the back of the Bible a generous set of maps.  And yes, there is a map of the Greek Empire included.  In total, there are 9 maps which cover the entire biblical period.  These are newly produced maps, with a copyright of 2016.


So, once again, I encourage you to got pick this edition up.  My edition is nicely made and a joy to read from.  

*Thank you to Tyndale for providing this review copy for an honest review by this reviewer*

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Great Facebook Page

I just wanted to let you know of a really fantastic Facebook group that you all can join, which has regular content (far more than this place these days) and lively discussion.  It is simply called the Catholic Bible Fans group and I highly recommend you checking out.  It has been in operation for a few months now and was set up by many of the regulars who comment and read this blog.  So, go check it out!

Monday, September 18, 2017

New Release: The House of the Lord by Dr. Steven Smith

Catholic biblical scholar Steven Smith has just published, through Franciscan University Press, an important new book looking at the role of Temple in both the Old and New Testaments.  The House of the Lord: A Catholic Biblical Theology of God's Temple Presence in the Old and New Testaments is currently only available in hardcover and is listed at 392 pages.  It looks like it would make for a fascinating read.

You can find out more about Dr. Smith by heading over to his website, which includes information about both his printed and audio works.  Dr. Smith also did an interview with me a few years back focusing on an earlier book, which you can read here.  

Description:
The House of the Lord invites readers to participate in a unique journey: a deep exploration of the Old and New Testaments that searches out and contemplates the reality of God's presence with his people, with a particular focus on investigating God's self-revelation in and through the biblical temple. The journey represents a tour de force of biblical theology, guided by author Steven Smith, a Catholic biblical scholar, seminary professor, and expert on the temple and the Holy Land. In addition to the temple, Smith observes the centrality of priesthood in both the Old and New Testaments, exploring all four Gospels like never before, through a temple lens.
From Genesis onward, Smith carefully traces the biblical mystery of the temple, including the Sanctuary of Mount Eden, the tabernacle of the wilderness, the rise and fall of Solomon's Temple, Herod's Temple in Jesus's day, and the heavenly sanctuary of Revelation. Supported by a massive array of evidence and details, from sources across two millennia of biblical theology, this book will be read and read again for its value as a reference work. The House of the Lord is for anyone who seeks to understand more deeply the message of the biblical story.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

So Which Is It? (2 Maccabees 15:39/40)

Water and Wine, oil on canvas—Richard Baker, 1959
I was reading the last verse of 2 Maccabees 15 yesterday (verse 39 in the Greek-based texts, 40 in the Latin ones) and noticed that there is an interesting difference between the translations, depending on whether they use the Greek or Latin.  It may only be a slight difference, but one which changes the meaning of this last verse of the book.


Here are a few different translations that utilize the Greek:

"For as it is hurtful to drink wine or water alone; and as wine mingled with water is pleasant, and delighteth the taste: even so speech finely framed delighteth the ears of them that read the story. And here shall be an end." -Brenton LXX

"For as it is hurtful to drink wine or water alone; and as wine mingled with water is pleasant, and delighteth the taste: even so speech finely framed delighteth the ears of them that read the story. And here shall be an end." -KJV

"Just as it is unpleasant to drink wine by itself or just water, whereas wine mixed with water makes a delightful and pleasing drink, so a skillfully composed story delights the ears of those who read the work. Let this, then, be the end." -NABRE

"For just as it is harmful to drink wine alone, or, again, to drink water alone, while wine mixed with water is sweet and delicious and enhances one’s enjoyment, so also the style of the story delights the ears of those who read the work. And here will be the end." -NRSV


Here are two that utilize the Latin:

"For as it is hurtful to drink always wine, or always water, but pleasant to use sometimes the one, and sometimes the other: so if the speech be always nicely framed, it will not be grateful to the readers. But here it shall be ended." -Douay-Rheims (Challoner)

"Nothing but wine to take, nothing but water, thy health forbids; vary thy drinking, and thou shalt find content. So it is with reading; if the book be too nicely polished at every point, it grows wearisome. So here we will have done with it." -Knox


Did you notice the difference?  As you can see, the Greek-based texts conclude by praising a story that is skillfully written, while the Latin-based ones ends exalting books that aren't "too nicely polished."  (The NRSV is a bit more ambigious compared to the KJV and NABRE.)  In this instance, it seems to me that the Latin-based texts make more sense, particularly since earlier in the verse the author remarks that it is better to drink wine and water that are mixed together, hence not purely wine or water only.

The 1859 Haydock commentary of the Douay noted the difference as well:

Ver. 40. Always. Greek, "only." (Haydock) --- Readers delight in variety. A middle style is adopted. (Calmet) --- But.Greek, "But as wine mixed with water is pleasant, and affords delight, so the preparation (or style) of a discourse pleases the ears of those who read what is collected. But here shall be an end." (Haydock)

Fascinating.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Millennial’s Thoughts on Bible Translation

By  Alex Blechle Pray Tell blog

This post is especially for millennials, from a millennial.
Biblical translations are a fickle subject. Many people have opinions on which translations are the most “correct” or “orthodox”, which is great – but a little scholarship might change your opinion. Let me take a crack at it.
So, I’m going to walk through some common mistakes or misunderstandings that tend to sneak up on people concerning translations. These bolded statements are from conversations that I have had with students my age. A majority of this conversation will be focused upon the New Testament side of things, because, well… I don’t know Hebrew very well!
“I read the King James Version because it’s the most reliable translation.”
Sorry. The KJV is poor in quality compared to biblical texts in the 20th/21st century. I promise I do not have a prejudice against “thy” and “thou”. The KJV is a “literal” translation from Hebrew and Greek into English, which is a great thing. The only problem is that the KJV only used a few older Greek manuscripts in the creation of the New Testament. To be a bit more technical, the KJV uses almost solely the Textus Receptus, while we now use a dynamic, critical text, which means we have an overwhelming amount of researched Greek texts that have helped us create a more reliable New Testament. It’s not the KJV’s fault, but we just have a better Greek text to translate from.
“The Douay-Rheims is the most ‘Catholic’ Bible.”
Sigh. I’m sorry, Grandpa. This is not true either! The Douay-Rheims is a literal translation from the Latin Vulgate into English. Why is that an issue? Let’s be very clear here – the New Testament was written in GREEK. The Latin Vulgate, although beautiful, is also not the best translation in the world. The Douay-Rheims is a translation of a translation. You do not need to be a critical scholar who compares the critical Greek text and the Latin to understand that translating a translation cannot be as literal as starting with the first translation. Also, reiterating my point in the KJV post, our Greek texts are better now than in the time of Jerome. I am very aware that Jerome was closer to the time of Jesus than we are, but he also had limited resources. We translate from Greek instead of Latin for a reason.
So, which translation is best?
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