Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Physical Comparison of The Catholic Study Bible 1990 + 2016

Over the past few years, I have slowly been gifting away most of the bibles I have accumulated since this blog started in 2008.  Two bibles I have kept, however, are the 1990 and 2016 The Catholic Study Bible (CSB) published by Oxford University Press.  They represent the first and the most recent update in this venerable edition.  I am not going to spent that much time discussing the content in both of these bibles, but rather I am going to look at their physical and visual qualities.   However, as we get started, it is important to note that the 1990 edition contains the original 1970 NAB OT (including the original NAB Psalter) and the 1986 NAB revised NT.  The 2016 edition contains the now branded NABRE, with fully revised OT and 1986 revised NT.  (The 2016 edition is also important since it finally updated the extensive reading guides to reflect the NABRE OT, which was not reflected in the 2011 edition.)  The reading guides in both editions are a little under 600 pages in length, but the content is different reflecting updates to scholarship and translation.

The first thing you will notice is the size.  The 2016 is thicker than the original, even though its length is a tad bit shorter.  There are two reasons for this: The first is that the 2016 has considerably more study helps included compared to the original 1990.  When the original came out, it was praised for the extensive reading guides, essays, appendix materials, Sunday Lectionary Readings, and Oxford Maps that accompanied the NAB translation and notes.  Yet, times have changed and the demand for "more" in a study bible have continued to increase.  The newest edition contains all of what the previous edition had, but also more essays, full lectionary readings, updated Oxford Maps, concise concordance, and dozens of in-text mini-essays, charts, drawings, and maps.  The second reason for the size difference is that in the early 90's Oxford created their study bibles with generous margins.  I own the 1991 New Oxford Annotated Study Bible (NRSV) and it too has the same generous margins. 


The cover materials have also changed in the years since 1990, at least for these Catholic editions.  My 1990 CSB was bounded in genuine leather.  Being almost 27 years old, it still has a nice feel to it and continues to have no structural issues.  The sewn binding allows it to still lay open flat, just like it did when I first got it.  The 2016 is made of a fairly stiff bonded leather.  No genuine leather edition is available currently.  A genuine leather cover was not available for the previous edition as well.  Now, if you are suggesting that Oxford isn't doing quality genuine leather editions any more, I will point you to their most recent NOAB NRSV 4th Edition.  That is a beautifully crafted cover, which may be the nicest genuine leather cover I have ever held in my life.  So, it can be done.  The only reason I can think as to why Oxford hasn't done the CSB in genuine leather is the fact that Catholics simply don't buy premium bibles in the numbers that will allow most publishers to make a profit.  Over the many years of this blog, I hate to say it, but I think that remains true for the most part.  


Lastly, the differences in the page-layout are striking.  The 1990 has much more space to it and feels less confined and cramped.  The 2016, while still attractive to read from and enhanced by the many in-text maps, charts, and essays, just isn't as appealing compared to the original.  This, I know, is completely subjective, but I also feel the same way about how the page-layouts have progressed in the NOAB NRSV's as well, which in many ways parallel each other.  


Overall, these are two very different study bibles from Oxford.  Over the span of 26 years, the translations changed, twice, the reading guides were updated, more material was added, and the physical/visual quality morphed into something different.  If I were to sum it up in one sentence, it would be this: While the content improved in almost every way, the packaging of that content decreased in quality.  


As always, your thoughts?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Older NAB College Bible on Big Discount

My friend Paul, at the Pastoral Center, is offering a pretty massive discount on the Saint Mary's Press College Study Bible which utilizes the pre-2011 NAB.  Each of these editions are on sale for $5.00 in their softcover version.  I own one and appreciate that it does include a ton of extra information and articles.  Although it is intended for college students, I think it could also be used for high schoolers as well.

Some of the features of this edition:
  • Introductory articles on how to read and understand the Bible, along with the Vatican Council II document Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum)
  • Scholarly introductions to each section and book of the Bible, written and edited so that unfamiliar concepts and customs are easy to understand
  • Ninety short articles that address the social concerns, life issues, and spiritual needs of a student
  • Colorful in-text maps, illustrations, charts, biblical art, and photos throughout
  • Additional study aids, including a glossary of biblical terms, table of Sunday lectionary readings, and biblical history timeline.

Catholic Children's Bible App

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Message Canvas Bible

c/o The Message Canvas 

The Message Canvas Bible is a fantastic resource for those interested in purchasing a journaling/coloring bible.  At this time, it is only available in the original The Message translation, minus the deuterocanonicals. I decided to purchase a copy a few months ago.  It is wonderfully produced and the illustrations are so lovingly rendered that the text begs to be interacted with.  I have also come to use The Message translation daily in my prayers and duting times of practicing lectio divina.  I love the fact that it is rendered in such a different way from the majority of other translations.

I have owned a number of journaling bibles over the years, yet I can honestly say that it is this one that has quickly become my favorite.  The one I previously owned was the now out-of-print NRSV Notetakers Bible which included the deuteros.  The fine folks at NavPress have created a helpful website with additional prints and opportunities to show-off one's creativity.  I even printed off one of their prints for Ezekiel 34 and used it for an extended prayer experience for my high school students last week.  It was well received.

Hopefully there will be a full Catholic edition one day.  However, until then, this edition of The Message Canvas Bible will be used often.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Miscellaneous Stuff

Thanks to Emilia and Mike for these two bits of info that might interest some of you:

1) Bibliotheca set giveaway that ends on June 6th:



2) I thought I'd pass on that there's an ebook format of The Catholic Study Bible, 3rd edition on sale at Google Play for $9.80.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Sirach: Catholic Women's Bible Study & Journaling Bible

Description:
I believe any book that begins with the sentence, “Wisdom comes from the Lord,” needs to be read. And not only read, but studied and lingered over. How? Well, that is entirely up to you. You may feel called to journal through the Book of Sirach—old school, pen and paper style. You may feel called to get your art on with the creative process of Bible journaling using various mediums from colored pencils, acrylic paints, washi tape and stickers. Or you may you choose to dig deeper into the Book of Sirach by verse mapping your way through. Either way, this book will encourage you, help you and give you the room you need for whatever journaling style you choose. You can find more Bible journaling resources as well as Prayer journaling resources at TheLittlestWay.com.  You can find it at Amazon here.

Thanks again to Emilia for spotting this one!  She reports that the translation used is the RSV-CE.

Monday, May 8, 2017

So who is going to buy me this?

THE GUTENBERG BIBLE

A magnificent new edition of perhaps the most important book ever printed…

The complete original text and illuminations.

Johannes Gutenberg’s innovation of the printing press and movable type stands as one of the greatest technological breakthroughs of all time. His printed Bible is a legend in publishing history with original copies considered priceless. Now, this landmark work is available in a breathtaking leather-bound facsimile edition. The book features the complete text and all the interior illuminations from a unique original.

Limited to just 2,500 hand-numbered volumes.

12” x 16”, 1,288pp 

6 Monthly Installments of $149

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Catholic Journaling Bible: Old Testament

Thanks to Emilia for the link!
The team at Drawn to Faith is excited to introduce their first Catholic journaling bible. This new journaling bible is perfect for any Catholic who wants to build a stronger relationship with Christ through creative worship. This bible is printed with a single column and over three inches of margin space for journaling, drawing, hand lettering, and even watercolor! The paper in this bible is five times thicker than standard bible paper, and the large format allows for maximum journaling space.
Product Details:
  • All bible verses from the Catholic Bible
  • Each book contains a full page illustration perfect for coloring
  • Premium matte finish paperback cover design
  • Perfect for all coloring & watercolor mediums
  • High quality 60 pound paper stock
  • Large format 8.5" wide x 11.0" tall pages

Monday, May 1, 2017

Guest Post: The NAB vs. the Lectionary (Feast of St. Mark)

Thanks again to Robert for doing this new series!


Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist

Entrance Antiphon
Mark 16:15b

Lectionary:
Go into all the world, and proclaim the Gospel to every creature, alleluia.

NAB 1970/1986
Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.

Nothing to see here, really.  I suppose the lectionary text is marginally more poetic.  Alleluia, of course, isn't from the bible text.  I suppose this is one of those little things that causes changing a lectionary to take a decade.

  
First Reading
1 Peter 5:5B-14

Lectionary:
Beloved:
Clothe yourselves with humility
in your dealings with one another, for:

God opposes the proud
but bestows favor on the humble.


So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time.
Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.

Be sober and vigilant.
Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour.
Resist him, steadfast in faith,
knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world
undergo the same sufferings.
The God of all grace
who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus
will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you
after you have suffered a little.
To him be dominion forever. Amen.

I write you this briefly through Silvanus,
whom I consider a faithful brother,
exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God.
Remain firm in it.
The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son.
Greet one another with a loving kiss.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.


New American Bible 1970/1986
And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for:

“God apposes the proud
but bestows favor on the humble”

So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.  Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.

Be sober and vigilant.  Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.  The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little.  To him be dominion forever.  Amen.

I write you this briefly through Silvanus, whom I consider a faithful brother, exhorting you and testifying that this is is the true grace of God.  Remain firm in it.  The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son.  Greet one another with a loving kiss.  Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Exactly the same except for the incipit, which provides an antecedent for the “you” in the reading as it appears in the NAB.


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17

Lectionary:
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, "My kindness is established forever";
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.


The heavens proclaim your wonders, O LORD,
and your faithfulness, in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies can rank with the LORD?
Who is like the LORD among the sons of God?



Blessed the people who know the joyful shout;
in the light of your countenance, O LORD, they walk.
At your name they rejoice all the day,
and through your justice they are exalted.


New American Bible 1970/1986:
The favors of the Lord I will sing
forever;
through all generations my mouth
shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is
established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed
your faithfulness”

The heavens proclaim your wonders,
O Lord,
and your faithfulness, in the
assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies can rank with
the Lord?
Who is like the Lord among the
sons of God?


Happy the people who know the
joyful shout;
in the light of your countenance,
O Lord, they walk.
At your name they rejoice
all the day,
and through your justice they are exalted.


For contrast, the NABRE:

I will sing of your mercy forever, LORD
proclaim your faithfulness through all ages.
For I said, “My mercy is established forever;
my faithfulness will stand as long as the heavens.”

The heavens praise your marvels, LORD,
your loyalty in the assembly of the holy ones.
Who in the skies ranks with the LORD?
Who is like the LORD among the sons of the gods?

Blessed the people who know the war cry,
who walk in the radiance of your face, LORD.
In your name they sing joyfully all the day;
they rejoice in your righteousness.

And the Revised Grail Psalms:

I will sing forever of your mercies, O LORD;
through all ages my mouth will proclaim your fidelity.
I have declared your mercy is established forever;
your fidelity stands firm as the heavens.

The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD,
your fidelity in the assembly of your holy ones.
For who in the skies can compare with the LORD,
or who is like the LORD among the heavenly powers?

How blessed the people who know your praise,
who walk, O LORD, in the light of your face,
who find their joy every day in your name,
who make your justice their joyful acclaim.


The response is an adaptation of the 2nd verse of the psalm, which matches neither the lectionary text as the reader or cantor presents, nor the NAB.  The lectionary shows its allergy to the use of the word “happy” when “blessed” is an option.  I tend to agree with that decision.  Many translations seemed to opt for “happy” in the heady days of the mid 20th century, but I suppose the word simply seems banal and overused now. 

Here, the NABRE shows how one must take the sour with the sweet when it comes to formal equivalence translations.  “I will sing of your mercy forever, Lord” is magnificent in its simplicity and its beauty.  Other parts (“skies”, “sons of the gods”, “war cry”) remind us that the original context of the psalms was one much different from ours.  The world of the psalter is an untamed one, and to ignore that is frankly to ignore the psalter.  Notice the difference in Verse 3 between the NABRE and the original 1970 translation. 

As you may know, the Revised Grail Psalms are another choice for the liturgy.  Rumor was that it would become the norm for the Liturgy of the Hours and the Mass, but that may not end up occurring.  I am unsure if that would be because the Bishops' Conference is nervous about the official Psalter of the American Church being so tightly controlled by GIA or their not wanting to see the NABRE psalms orphaned after years of effort.  Perhaps someone with much more knowledge can add something to the conversation.

My first instinct while reading the responsorial psalms back to back to back is that the Revised Grail version is head and shoulders above the others, but I wonder what an expert in Hebrew poetry would think of this.  Like the Grail Psalms themselves, this revised version seems to be sandpapered of any rough edges and obscure bits.  In the NABRE, some of the psalms sound like dirges, some sound like war songs, and some sound like prayers.  In the Grail Psalms, by contrast, they all sound like prayers.  I'm not sure if that is a bad thing or a great thing.  The vocabulary of the Grail Psalms seems to have been preserved in this Revised Version—perhaps this joyous familiarity is simply that it sounds a lot like the Liturgy of the Hours. 

Alleluia Verse
1 Corinthians 1:23A, 24B

Lectionary:
We proclaim Christ crucified:
he is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

New American Bible 1970/1986:
But we proclaim Christ crucified, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Note that the NAB text would make more sense with I:23B included.  So far in this study, the lectionary seems to use the most freedom in the antiphons and alleliuia verse.  Here, the lectionary has mercifully added a verb to the final clause.  Perhaps some Greek expert will tell us if the NAB's odd syntax there is faithful to the Greek or simply a snatch of English which is odd to these ears.

Gospel
MK 16:15-20

Lectionary:

Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
"Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

New American Bible 1970/1986

He said to them:
"Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

These two texts are exactly the same except for the incipit and the deletion of the word “so” in the lectionary. 

Communion Antiphon
Matthew 28:20

Lectionary:
Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age, says the Lord, alleluia.

New American Bible 1970/1986:
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.

The “and” which make this last verse of Matthew so pleasing to the ear is unnecessary when shorn of its context as an antiphon. 

Final observation:
The NAB 1970/1986 proves to be all but identical to the lectionary.

The first comparison with the NABRE reveals the limits of a formal equivalence approach to the Old Testament, as well as some of that translation's underrated beauty.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Gentle Reminder

This blog is a place for constructive discussion on issues related to Catholic Bibles.  One does not have to agree with a post, nor does one have to like a particular translation, in order to be involved in the conversations here.  For some reason, perhaps due to the current political climate, there has been a dramatic increase in comments that I have deleted because of their tone and content.  Please make sure your comments are courteous and provide some sort of data to support them.  Also, if you desire to post anonymously, please add some name at the end of the post so that people know who to engage with by name.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Guest Post: The Bible, the NAB(RE), and the Lectionary at Mass

Thank you to Robert for the first in a series of two guest posts.


You have heard it or read it before.  “The New American Bible is the bible you hear at every Catholic mass.”  This was probably an introduction to a lengthy screed about the barbaric English style, tin ear, and modernist leanings of what for most U.S. Catholics is the bible.

My name is Bob Short.  I'm a 30 year old school teacher who reverted to the faith when he found the Eucharist on the ground in a Stop n Shop parking lot.

I have a great love for literature, and so for most of my time as a Catholic-by-choice, I bounced around between the translations everyone suggests as literary: JB, NEB, REB, NRSV, even the Knox.  Many times I return to these translations—wooed by their cachet among the internet commentariat and their page layouts and book designs which assume that the bible is to be read, not simply chucked into a desk drawer with the other cheap stuff your parish ordered in bulk to hand out to the CCD kids.

I'll go through a stage when I fall in love with one of these dynamic equivalence translations—devouring the Book of Job for a couple hours, reading Acts of the Apostles in two sittings, etc.  But I always put them down for various reasons.  I find the use of “Yahweh” distracting in the Jerusalem Bible, and find that I'm capable of reading a a couple pages in a row before realizing, “did any of that stick into my brain?”  The Knox bible is wonderful, but it seems an awful lot like a period piece to someone like me who cut his teeth on Hemingway and not the masters of 19th century English literature.  The New English Bible is wonderful, even with its odd habit of falling flat on its face about once every 20 verses.  The Revised English Bible, much like the New Jerusalem Bible, seems to have resulted from a sober minded decision to make an idiosyncratic translation slightly more acceptable to scholars and students who are just going to ignore it in favor of the RSV and NRSV anyway.

So I keep coming back the the New American Bible.  Living in a city in a heavily Catholic part of the country, its quite easy for me to make daily mass part of my spiritual practice.  The NAB is the language that I'm used to, language I find pleasurable. 

“My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.”

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.”

“You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as people make merry when dividing spoils.”

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

And so on.  The New American Bible is the source of my “memory verses” and no amount of poorly formatting or St Joseph Edition art inserts will take that away from me.  Yes, of those four examples I just gave, at least two of them are snatches of scripture which, frankly, are unspeakably beautiful in any translation.  My point, however, is simply that the setting I find these scriptures in most often and with the most comfort is in the NAB.  Unlike Carl Hernz's appreciation of the NABRE a few years back, I am incapable of making any case based on knowledge of source languages.  What I have is my own emotions.  To many readers, I'm sure RSV 2nd edition is that pleasing to the heart, soul, and mind.

To the ashamed NAB readers, hiding in the shadows, I say: Come out!  It's okay!

I won't defend the NAB footnotes, though I am of the opinion that they aren't nearly as bad as their reputation suggests. 

When people speak badly about the notes, they are usually speaking about the ones from earlier editions.  Often, though, the criticism revolves around the text itself.  But which New American Bible are they talking about?  For the uninitiated, there are quite a few.

The 1970 edition?: Which featured a freshly translated New Testament and an Old Testament cobbled together from the never-quite-completed Confraternity Old Testament.  It is on the dynamic-equivalence side of things, and in many places reads like the Jerusalem Bible.  It's poetry is quite good—if you don't believe me recite the Canticle from the book of Daniel that pops up on Week One Sundays in the Liturgy of the Hours.  It has become almost a meme to make fun of its rendering of Isaiah 9:5, but to many of us, that is the most familiar version of this passage, one with a music all its own.  (The idea that many Catholics grew up hearing the NAB at the liturgy and that it is what we think of when we hear the phrase “bible English” probably causes a good deal of wailing and teeth gnashing, even here!)  Where might you know the 1970 NAB from?  Its Old Testament is still used in the lectionary, as well as its psalter, though some parishes use the Revised Grail Psalms, as is allowed.  It's New Testament was almost instantly found wanting when it came to oral proclamation and was heavily edited for the lectionary.  It appears unedited in the readings from the Liturgy of the Hours, for good (many canticles) and ill (oh dear, that halting and sloppy rendition of the Epistle to the Hebrews we read every Lent and Holy Week).

Or were they talking about the 1986 edition with the revised New Testament?: The Old Testament is unchanged, but the New Testament features the revisions made to make the NAB acceptable for oral proclamation at the mass.  This New Testament is quite good—clear and vivid at an appropriately elevated tone.  Things have gone in a formal equivalence direction, solving instances where the 1970 New Testament had slid into banality.  It's rendition of the Gospel According to John is a tour de force, revealing Christ's divinity in all its challenge and ruggedness.  If the worst thing you have to say about a bible are its footnotes and whether they chose “hades”, “hell,” or “netherworld,” you've got yourselves a pretty good bible.  It also has included some very light inclusive language.  When people speak about what a responsible and conservative use of inclusive language, the Revised English Bible and the New Jerusalem Bible are most often proposed, but I put it to you that the '86 New Testament (and later NABRE Old Testament) are particularly good examples of expressing the non gender specific nature of the original languages without rendering the text bland or butchering English.

Perhaps the 1991 edition with the revised psalter was the one they meant?:  With a dignified New Testament which very nearly matched what was heard at mass, the next step was obviously to update the Old Testament in order to make the NAB a consistent reading experience, fine for study, prayer, and following the liturgy.  Well, instead they just got together and ruined the psalter.  Trust me, this not a well liked translation.  Even people who liked the 1995 ICEL Psalter don't like this thing.  It removed the familiar and replaced it with the aimless.  What was left was a bible featuring an dynamic equivalent Old Testament with no gender inclusive language, a psalter that is a lesson on how not to do inclusive language which featured widely varied style from psalm to psalm, and a formal equivalence New Testament with  very well done inclusive language.  Of the 47 years the New American Bible has existed, this edition was in print for 20 of those years.

At long last, was it the 2011 NABRE?: This latest edition features an improved, more literal Old Testament, including a wonderful new psalter that was translated the the liturgy in mind.  Finally, we have a consistent New American Bible!  Will we hear it at mass?  Err, no.  Rather, it seems to be the first step of a master plan to have a single translation which will be featured in the mass and the liturgy of the hours.  For the foreseeable future the lectionary will still feature the 1970 Old Testament and the 1986 New Testament.

So, if you are interested in a bible which will match up with the liturgy, you will need to find one printed between 1986 and 1990.  Good luck. 


And so I leave you with the following unsupported conclusions:
1.                  The 1986 edition of the NAB is quite good.

2.                  The NABRE is even better, though it does not match the mass as well.  It seems reminiscent to me to what an in-house Catholic NRSV would read like: rich in insight to the literal Hebrew and Greek, yet flowing with some amount of beauty as well.

3.                  I hope no copyright holding bishops read this, but the format of many New American Bible editions are so resistant to actual long periods of reading that I think I'm going to copy/paste the text of the NAB gospels into a PDF and have some copy shop print them out in book form for my own personal use.  The longer I reflect on it, what draws me toward deep dives in dynamic-equivalence translations like the NEB aren't the translations themselves, it is their single-column layouts, readable fonts, and lack of asterices, brackets, and assorted gobbledegook interrupting the text.

I will be submitting for consideration to this blog occasional comparisons of the lectionary text we receive at mass with the different printed editions of the New American Bible.

We deserve, I think, a bible that matches the liturgy.


I even put it to you that this will be a good first step toward many of us (first and foremost, me) abandoning debates about the different translations of the bible in favor of actually reading the thing!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Catholic Journaling Bible: New Testament with Psalms & Proverbs (CPDV)

The team at Drawn to Faith is excited to introduce their first Catholic journaling bible. This new journaling bible is perfect for any Catholic who wants to build a stronger relationship with Christ through creative worship. This bible is printed with a single column and over three inches of margin space for journaling, drawing, hand lettering, and even watercolor! The paper in this bible is five times thicker than standard bible paper, and the large format allows for maximum journaling space.
Product Details:
  • -All bible verses from the Catholic Bible
  • -Each book contains a full page illustration perfect for coloring
  • -Premium matte finish paperback cover design
  • -Perfect for all coloring & watercolor mediums
  • -High quality 60 pound paper stock
  • -Large format 8.5" wide x 11.0" tall pages
I would love to see more of these type of bibles.  I own The Message Canvas Bible which is fantastic!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Listen to him!

"During this week of Easter it would do us good every day to read a passage from the Gospel which speaks of the Resurrection of Christ." -Pope Francis via @Pontifex 4/18/17

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!


After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God’s angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn’t move. The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed. “Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ That’s the message.”
-Matthew 28:1-7 (MSGCE)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017

New Pocket NABRE NT & Psalms

Thanks to Lenny for letting me know that this edition will be coming out in May from Pauline Books.  The listing on the Pauline website also includes a preview of the page-layout.  It is sewn!

New Testament and Psalms Pauline Edition

About this Book:
This lightweight, versatile, and easy-to-read volume combining the NABRE translation of the New Testament and the Psalms is also elegant and ideal as a gift. Starting with the gold-embossed icon of Jesus the Teacher on the cover, it offers extra durability with its quality sewn leatherette binding, while the ivory paper, colored ribbon markers, and gold edges make it a treasury of craftsmanship. The 10-point type and full-page text will make it easy to use as an aid for prayer and devotion.
Features & Benefits: 
  • New American Bible Revised Edition translation (NABRE) is approved for Catholics 
  • Quality sewn binding makes for greater durability 
  • Includes guide on how to use scriptures to pray 
  • Beautiful look and feel make it appealing for prayer and devotional reading 
Product Details:
Binding: Leatherette 
Trim size: 6 X 4 inches 
Pages: 1312

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bible Rebind: Oxford Large Print NABRE

Thank you to Jason for this article detailing his rebound NABRE.  If there was ever a translation that deserved a premium edition, it would be the NABRE.

I was received into the Catholic Church in 2006. Prior to that, I was very active in a conservative Baptist denomination. As readers of this blog are all well aware, the pride that conservative Evangelicals take in their Bibles and the hearty response the resulting demand elicits from publishers lead to easy availability of all kinds of high quality Bibles.

After I entered the Church, I quickly realized things were much different on this side of the Tiber. I looked for some time for a quality Catholic Bible, ultimately settling on the (now out of print) Oxford/Ignatius RSV-CE Reader’s Edition. I used that Bible for years, but as happened with many of them, the binding began to pull apart at the pastoral epistles. Also, although that Bible was pretty good, it had no content at all other than the Ignatius Bible notes, a few prayers, Dei Verbum, and the Biblical text. It had no cross-references or other study helps, and the print was quite tiny.

A couple of years ago, I discovered this blog, and what a wonderful find it was! I actually went back to the very first post and, over several weeks, read through every post until I caught up. In the process I discovered that my frustration with the lack of quality Catholic editions of the Bible was shared by many, but I also came across reviews of some Bibles I did not know existed. And I learned of the possibility of taking a decent book block and having it rebound to produce a premium Bible. This was not an option I had really heard about before.

Through a review on this blog and through discussions with Timothy and Rolf through Facebook, I became intrigued by the Oxford NABRE Large Print. It has a genuine leather cover, which is good, but it is the same hard, durable but not very pleasant, leather found on the RSV-CE Reader’s Edition. The layout, however, is quite good. The print is 12-point, and the NABRE notes and cross-references are in the back of each book, as opposed to on the page with the biblical text. I ordered it and, after reading from it for a month or so, decided this would be my main daily reading Bible and the object of my first rebinding adventure.

From this blog and from the Facebook groups many of us frequent, I was of course familiar with Leonard’s. I considered sending this Bible to them, but I also loved the fact that a number of young men were taking on Bible rebinding as a trade and a ministry. Diego Caloca and Jeremiah Frost are two examples, and I really wanted to support them in their efforts. I corresponded with both and ultimately settled on Jeremiah (Diego was simply very busy and it was going to take longer; there were no other concerns at all with him).

A few weeks later, I had my Large Print NABRE returned to me bound in a wonderful black goatskin with four black ribbons (I wanted to be able to mark Psalms and Wisdom lit, other OT, NT Epistles, and Gospels; that tends to be how I manage my devotional reading and prayer).

I loved almost everything about it. The goatskin is some of the softest and most pleasantly aromatic leather I’ve ever encountered (with the caveat that my experience with leathers is somewhat limited). It is simply a pleasure to hold and to read from. And having a Bible that has some personally chosen features, such as the four ribbons, really enhances my feeling of attachment to it and my desire to read from it.

I did immediately have one concern. I’m not sure if this is minor or major, since I have no other experience with having a Bible rebound. As you can see, I hope, from the photos, the edges of the cover are a bit too short. This causes the edge of the endpapers to get caught in the folds of the leather. I’m not sure how serious this issue would become be over time, but it has already caused some wear on the edges of the endpaper. Beyond that, however, I was extremely pleased with Jeremiah’s work, and would recommend him to anyone else wanting to support this new generation of rebinders.

Now for the rather sad ending to my story (or latest chapter, anyway). For the past few months, I have been enjoying this Bible immensely. I love the size of the print and having the notes and cross references in the back of each book, easily available but not a distraction while reading. This was a Bible I could read from for years, at least until the NABRE NT revision is published. And then, a few days ago, I noticed the last signature in the NT was separating from the book block. I don’t think the fault for this lies with Jeremiah; this seems to be a common problem with Oxford. It is the exact same problem that plagued the RSV-CE Reader’s Editions I mentioned above. I have owned two similar, but not identical, Bibles published by Oxford, and this has happened to both of them. It’s hard to believe that’s a coincidence, even if one of them was rebound.

At this point, I am simply not sure what I’m going to do. Given what has happened, I have my doubts about the quality of the book block, but I may send it to Leonard’s to have it repaired. It certainly is one of my favorite Bibles to read from. Any advice would be appreciated!



The quest for a quality, long-lasting Catholic Bible continues!



Monday, April 3, 2017

Which Translation of the Bible is the Best?

Reader Emilia passed this 2016 article from Catholic Answers by apologist Trent Horn.  Although the article is fairly short, I'd be interested in hearing from you what you think about it. Consider it your homework assignment!

We have discussed issues like this on this site for almost ten years.  I would like to think that we have dispelled any pseudo-knowledge regarding translations over these years.  We have given most translations a good look over and have had very good discussion/debate about each of the major Catholic translations.  So, what is your say?

This thread is now closed.

Friday, March 31, 2017

More Premium NRSV News

From an email I received from the evangelicalbible.com website:
Schuyler is considering an NRSV Bible in 2018 - but needs to know what the interest level would be.  This Bible would have the Apocrypha included as well as cross references.  Let us know what you think - Please CLICK HERE to complete the survey.  

If this is an edition you might be interested in, please make sure to answer the survey.  They make some of the finest bibles on the market today.  


Thursday, March 30, 2017

New NRSV's Coming from Cambridge Bibles

This is very exciting news!  If you are looking for a premium NRSV (w/apocrypha) including references, this will be the bible to get.  You can view their offerings, which will be available in summer here.  The 2017 Cambridge Bibles catalogue (UK edition) shows their reference NRSV will be available with or without Apocrypha, in hardcover or french morocco leather.  A premium edition with the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonicals will be in edge-lined goatskin and art-gilt page edges.  This will be quality and likely the finest Bible in print that contains all the Catholic books.  

There will also be large print editions available with Apocrypha that will come in hardcover and leather, with gilt edges and ribbon markers.

The catalogue is for the UK, but we can expect these to be available in the US as well.  Once I find out what the prices will be, I'll let you know.  

Monday, March 27, 2017

NLT-CE Poll

Will you purchase the new NLT-CE when it is released in the Fall?
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No
Thinking About It
poll generator

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Coming Soon: NLT-CE from Tyndale

Description:
Tyndale is pleased to announce the NLT Catholic Readers Edition, approved by the Catholic Church for reading and study and including the official Imprimatur. The Bible includes the New Living Translation text with deuterocanonical books. It also features book introductions to aid your personal study. The Holy Bible, New Living Translation communicates God’s Word powerfully to all who read it.

The New Living Translation is an authoritative Bible translation rendered faithfully into today’s English from the ancient texts by 90 leading Bible scholars. The NLT’s scholarship and clarity breathe life into even the most difficult-to-understand Bible passages―but even more powerful are stories of how people’s lives are changing as the words speak directly to their hearts.

This edition is due out in October.  The dimensions are 6 X 9 inches.  The list price is $24.99.  If you love the NLT this will be a no brainer.  I think it is also important to support this so that Protestant publishers, who frankly make superior bible editions, will consider publishing more and different Catholic Bible editions.  

Monday, March 20, 2017

What are you reading?

Good morning!  Once or twice a year I like to see what you, my readers, are using for your daily bible reading.  This seems like the perfect time, since we are in the middle of Lent and Spring has come upon us.  I always feel much more refreshed when this time of year, both liturgically and seasonally, comes around.

As for me, I am in the fourth week of the Spiritual Exercises (19th Annotation) of St. Ignatius of Loyola.  Each day has a particular passage of scripture that I am to spend 30-45 minutes in prayer and reflection, including journaling.  While my main, everyday bible translation continues to be the NRSV (I explained why here), I wanted to go with something more dynamic.  Perhaps you are like me, in that I have a tendency to read through passages way too fast, particularly the ones I know well.  As if I really knew these passages well......  So, to avoid that bit of spiritual arrogance and spurred on by an article by Msgr. M. Francis Mannion,  I have been using The Message: Catholic/Ecumenical Edition each day as I pray and meditate on the selected passages.  I have also decided to write, underline, and annotate in my paperback edition of The Message: Catholic/Ecumecinal Edition.  I have found that the renderings of Peterson (and Griffin for the Deuterocanonicals) has allowed me to see these passages anew.  I have not been so concerned about the exact word-for-word translation choices, but rather the message (no pun intended....or maybe it is intended) which is trying to be shared.

So, what are you up to?  What bible are you using?  What books are you reading?  Feel free to share in the comment section of this post.

I wish you all a happy and blessed Lent!