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!


rolf said...

Well I am always switching Bibles around, but as of this moment the two that I have been using the most are the two that I have had rebound in goatskin. They are my personal size large print MEV and the RSV-2CE large print! I use these two for the Liturgy of the Hours and for daily Mass readings.

Deacon Dave said...

"School of Prayer" An Introduction to the Divine Office for All Christians", by John Brook. Using it for its detailed verse-by-verse commentary on EVERY Psalm/Canticle prayed for Lauds, Vespers and Compline. Excellent for those who recite the breviary daily.

Ed Rio said...

My main daily reading is while praying the Liturgy of the Hours. Still trying to get back into regularly spending time with the NABRE.

And a blessed Lent to you!

Michael Demers said...

I started out with the New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha (NRSV) - 4th Edition but switched later to the Catholic Study Bible, 3rd Edition because it's more practical for me — in print or ebook or Kindle.

Timothy said...


Do tell more about this book. I'm very intrigued.

Russ said...

For scripture reflection I have dusted off N.T. Wright's NT translation The Kingdom New Testament:(

As for spiritual reading I'm using Father Richard Rohr's book The Naked Now: Learning To See As the Mystics See ( What a wonderful resource to look at scripture and our spiritual lives from a different vantage point. I am about two-thirds of the way through it and I am not exaggerating when I say my prayer life --coupled with 20 minutes of complete silence-- has changed in numerous ways. I recommend it highly.

Anonymous said...

Hello Everyone,

I'm currently reading: The Book of Mary: A Commentary on the Protevangelium of James by Michael P. Closs. Which I'm finding quite enjoyable.

My Bible reading is actually Bible listening, as I'm using two audio bible apps to continue through my reading plan. This gets me through the OT in a little under a year and a half and I end up reading the NT 1 1/4 times a years. In both cases I listening to the KJV.

Most of my daily Bible reading come through the Office so I spend a lot of time with the Grail Translation. Which I love!


Biblical Catholic said...

"For scripture reflection I have dusted off N.T. Wright's NT translation The Kingdom New Testament"

A terrible translation, I realized that very quickly in the early chapters of Matthew, Wright deliberately mistranslated to give the impression that Mary and Joseph had a normal sexual relationship, saying that 'Joseph had no relations with her until AFTER....'

The addition of the word 'after' is incredibly biased, way up there with the New World Translation's decision to translate John 1:1 as 'the word was a god'.

There is absolutely no basis for the addition of the word 'after' to that verse, and even though I own more than three dozen translations, going back to Tyndale's translation back in the 16th century, Wright's translation is the only one I have ever seen which adds the word 'after' to that verse, pretty much all commentators, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, secular, agree that there is no basis for adding the word 'after' to that verse. answer the question about what I am reading now.....I am working my way through the Little Rock Study Bible....which is one of 6 study Bibles I have bought in the last two years. I figure that the time has come to stop buying new Bible resources and start actually reading them.

Eric Barczak said...

For Bible, a mix of Douay, Knox, and Ignatius 2nd Ed.
For spiritual reading, The Dialogue by St Catherine of Siena.

Russ said...

Biblical Catholic, there are many ways I could respond to your comments concerning what I posted earlier this afternoon but I won't as it would go against Tim's simple curiosity of what others were reading during the Lenten season. However, I am extremely curious about something and --if Tim would permit it-- I do have one question, and that is this: How do you know that N.T. Wright -- and I am using your words-- "deliberately mistranslated" Matthew 1:25? Those are your words. N.T. Wright is one of the most respected bible scholars in his field and by writing what you did you are actually challenging the man's integrity and his life's work. How do you know he "deliberately mistranslated" that? Is it something he revealed to you personally? Did he explain it in one of his books? I look forward to your response. (Sorry, that was three questions.) And I also promise to Tim and his readers that I will not pursue this any further. I just felt that the question needed to be asked.

Mark D. said...

For spiritual reading, St. John Fisher's Commentary on the Penitential Psalms (Ignatius Press).

For Bible reading, the Message Catholic/Ecumenical Edition. I decided at Advent that this would be my primary Bible for this Church year. I've got the NABRE and the New English Bible with Apocrypha: Oxford Study Edition on standby though should I need to look at alternate translations for various passages.

Jerry Mc Kenna said...

I've been reading John Shelby Spong's 'Biblical literalism : a Gentile heresy'. So, I've been reading the selections in mostly Matthew and in the Old Testament that Spong relates to Matthew. Spong makes some good points in particular trying to relate the Passion of Jesus to Jewish practice but he is a careless scholar (I assume age has made him lazy) and loves to take cheap shots against those he hates (Pope Benedict is one person). Still, it is a starting point and anger is a good motivator to get me to read a book.

Timothy said...

How's it been going, reading the MSG?

Biblical Catholic said...

" and I am using your words-- "deliberately mistranslated" Matthew 1:25?"

Are you suggesting that he went against more than 700 years of tradition of English translation of the Bible (going back to the Wycliffe Bible, the first translation of the entire Bible into English) without knowing that he was doing so? I don't see how that is possible.

I'm pretty sure he knows how revolutionary, controversial and counter-traditional his decision is.

I also don't see how reputation is relevant here, indeed it is his reputation as a scholar that makes it pretty clear to me that he could not have done this by accident. It is also clear from reading his works that NT Wright is rather aggressive in his anti-Catholicism, so his motivation for this strange translation is clear.

One of the reasons why Bible translations tend to be done by committee is precisely BECAUSE when one scholar translates the Bible by himself, his personal biases are very likely to sneak into the text, even if he doesn't want them to. This is far less likely when a translation is done by a committee.

Another famous example of a strange, biased translation by a widely respected scholar is the translation of the New Testament by James Moffat in 1913 where he translated John 1:1 as 'the word was divine', a large part of the reason for that strange choice being that Moffat was a Unitarian who did not believe in the Trinity.

Russ said...

Lol. And now he's anti-Catholic. You know, I'm a Catholic and I have never felt him to be that, either by listening to him or reading what he has to say. And you never answered the question.

Anyway, a blessed Lent to all.

Erap10 said...

The HCSB is starting to grow on me. It is more dynamic than the NIV; I highly recommend it. That being said, I know about the CSB...they are so similar but I still prefer the HCSB since it capitalizes all the pronouns that refer to Jesus.

That being said, for some reason I am not currently into reading the NABRE even though it is timately my favorite translation because of the OT. At this point I am trying to study the ICSB NT.
As for spiritual reading, I dont really have any unless you can count Shorter Christian Prayer.

I did finish Rome Sweet Home though, truly edifying! On and off I read Hahn's "The Lamb's Supper," as well as a book explaong Mary's mediation.

I am waiting for God to supply me with The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Erap10 said...

" I figure that the time has come to stop buying new Bible resources and start actually reading them."

That's the spirit!!

Bob Short said...

I only started devoting serious time to prayer daily this January. (On Inauguration Day, funny enough)

I surprised myself by really gravitating toward dynamic equivalence: Jerusalem Bible in the chapel, New English Bible by the bedside. I have fallen deeply in love with both and am devouring scripture in a way I didn't think I ever would.

As for my spiritual reading, I read "Way of the Pilgrim" recently. It made me want to quit my job and pray all day. I am going on retreat this weekend--as is my custom I will probably bring along a book by Brennan Manning

Hoosier Hound said...

I've been intermittently reading the The Didache Bible Ignatius Edition, but I keep itching to get the NABRE version. I've realized more and more that despite the fact the NABRE has some very frustrating verses, I really prefer it on the whole.

Just about finished up with Love Unveiled by Edward Sri, which is the book form of Symbolon. Really impressed with the book's ability to be condensed without being simplistic.

Tate said...

I've set aside my NABRE this Lent (to read the scriptures in a new light like Timothy has) and taken up the NEB. It has really revitalized my time in the Word.
Some other books I've selected for Lenten reading are Jim Bishop's "The Day Christ Died", Scott Hahn's "Swear to God", and N.T. Wright's "The Day the Revolution Began"-hope that last one doesn't get me into trouble with anyone! ;) A blessed Lent to All!

JDH said...

Timothy, I thought your go-to daily reader of late had been the Knox!

I am reading through the NABRE (or occasionally the NRSV when I'm not at home; my travel Bible is NRSV) with my usual mix (for the past year) of Psalm, OT, non-Gospel NT, Gospel. But I'm trying to add regular (or at least semi-regular) journaling to it. I've never been good at journaling, but I often have thoughts I want to remember or questions I want to explore more later. So, I'm giving that a try.

Along similar lines, I've long wanted to explore the mystical tradition in greater depth, pondering more deeply the mysteries of God (always a struggle for me). So, I've set aside St Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle and have been nibbling at that. But now I'm very intrigued by the Fr. Richard Rohr book mentioned above by Russ. May have to look into that!

Timothy said...

I do love be Knox. Email me if you want he details. :)

Deacon Dave said...

Timothy....I am presuming I am the "DD" you referred to about wanting to learn more about the book I am reading...

It is published by Liturgical Press and has been out for quite some time. Available at Amazon for about $23 (used maybe for $8 or $9). Author is Protestant (Episcopalian I believe) but I have never encountered this yet as an issue. I know that the Sacred Heart Institute (a cooperative effort of the Archdiocese of New York and the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre for the ongoing formation of priests and deacons) uses this book in their program.

I takes you through all 4 weeks of the Psalter and explains the psalms/canticles almost verse-by-verse (perhaps a couple of verses at a time). It puts the psalm into context; informs as to who was most likely reciting this or that verse (e.g., priest, people) and the dynamics surrounding it (victory, captivity, sorrow, etc.).

It also included information on the Divine Office itself, its structure, history, ways to pray, etc. But I use it for its commentaries not for its treatment of the Breviary.

Russ said...

Tate: I would like to hear your thoughts on the NEB. I forgot to mention in my earlier post that I have also been using the REB, which I have really been enjoying. I think at one point Bishop Sheen was a regular reader of the NEB.

JDH: You might also want to check out this: The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality ( It's excellent.

Timothy said...

You sold me.

Bob Short said...

Hey Russ--I'm not Tate, but I'll give you my perspective on the NEB too.

I haven't seen a Revised English Bible in a while, though I plan to rectify that soon. My understanding is that their relationship is very much like that of JB-->NJB. The REB handles some verses that were seen as problem areas and generally makes things a bit more dignified and literal, though no one would ever confuse it with an NRSV or NABRE. The REB also added some gender neutral language, though significantly less than the NRSV. It handles it with even a lighter touch than the New Jerusalem Bible.

As for the NEB itself, it was a protestant translation with Catholic observers at the last few meetings (unlike the REB which had full Catholic involvement from soup to nuts). It was a clean break from the traditional bible language of the KJV, though much like the original RSV, it did retain some thee/thou constructions in prayer passages (you'll notice it in the psalms).

It is firmly in the dynamic equivalence camp, and for someone who likes that style of translation it is highly suggested.

While the Jerusalem Bible is literary, it has a desert-like minimalism that some find banal. No matter what TS Eliot said, there's nothing banal about the NEB. It's turns of phrases remind me of the Knox.

Much like the JB it contains some out-on-a-limb choices made from the eclectic text.

The translation of the book of Job is the only one I've encountered besides the Knox that had me addicted to reading it.

And that is perhaps the best thing I can say about it.

It is a Protestant Knox Bible written by committee.

A warning: They strip the Adulterous Woman episode from John and stick it at the end of that gospel as a sort of appendix.

For some of you that may be a deal breaker.

JDH said...

Thanks, Russ! I'll definitely check it out!

Chez84 said...

I'm currently living in my NRSV Catholic Compact Go-Anywhere Bible. I spend so much time in this small Bible! As for reading,I just finished The Blessed Eucharist by Father Michael Muller (I would strongly recommend it) and now I'm reading Frank Sheed's To Know Christ Jesus.

Kent G. Hare said...

One of my 2017 New Year's Resolutions was to read the Bible completely through in a year, following the "Chronological in 365 Days" playlist that is part of the Truth & Life Bible App. I'm using the RSV-CE and just started reading Judges today.

For Lent I'm also reading a 40-day set of selections from the Church Fathers at Today I started three days with Cyprian of Carthage's Treatise 1: On the Unity of the Church.

Tate said...

Bob knocked it out of the park! Right down to the book of Job, which I am currently reading and equally addicted to. The NEB is different enough that I'm seeing things that I have missed before, and quirky enough (to my ear anyway) that it truly is a refreshing read. And that's saying something for a translation that's 47 years old!

Tom S said...

I'm reading commentary on the book of Revelation from the excellent Brazos Theological Commentary series.

Steve Molitor said...

I keep coming back to my trusty old NOAB RSV with Apocrypha. Sometimes she seems a bit musty and crufty, but I keep coming back to her. Last year I switched to the NSRV for daily reading, because I wanted a smoother read. The inclusive language bothered me in spots though, and I gravitated back to my NOAB RSV. A few months ago I switched to the NABRE, and I really enjoyed the old testament. But a few weeks ago I switched back to my NOAB RSV.

The RSV has it defects, but I've learned to work around them. Yeah, it can be a bit wooden and overly literal at times, but I feel that I can get closer to the style of the original at times. For example, all the breathless sentences in Mark that begin with "And...". At its best, it is quite beautiful. Yes, the "thees" and "thous" when addressing God are annoying, but I can substitute "you" in my head.

I love the NOAB RSV edition. It's just the right size and font for me, and the notes are perfect: just enough to explain the tricky bits. For more extensive commentary I look elsewhere. (I need to pick up a Didache RSV though.)

I feel like the RSV is a translation without an agenda, unlike related translations. I can trust it. The NRSV, while excellent overall, is marred at times by an inclusive language agenda. The ESV was driven by an evangelical and anti-inclusive language agenda, the NASB by a similar agenda at times. The RSV-CE2 was driven by a Catholic agenda (which is fine since I'm catholic!), but it's hard to figure out the rhyme or reason for some of the changes, or even who made them. The RSV-CE2 is close enough to the RSV though that I don't mind reading it.

Most of all, my trusty NOAB RSV is peppered with my notes and underlinings, written in different colored ink at different times, that immediately brings me back to different times in my life, especially when I first started reading the bible intensely and started making notes.

I will continue to read other translations. In addition to the NSRV and NABRE, I enjoy reading the JB. I'll probably pick up The Message and maybe the REB at some point. But I know I'll keep coming back to my trusty NOAB RSV!

Timothy said...


That RSV NOAB is a favorite of mine. Such a wonderfully made and highly portable Bible. And if I were to embrace the RSV again, I would most certainly go with the original. No question.

Steve Molitor said...


I learned about the NOAB RSV from this blog! So, thanks!

Neil Short said...


rolf said...

I am also reading 'Faith Comes From What Is Heard, An Introduction to Fundamental Theology' by Lawrence Feingild.

Ed Rio said...

Recently started reading Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World. A very good read so far.