Thursday, May 25, 2017

Indian Bible Contains Verses from the Vedas

Thank you to my friend Louis for sharing this link with me.  This is an earlier article, 2008, about the New Community Bible.  Might be an interesting discussion starter, particularly with some comments from my readers who live in India.

From the Times of India:

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Pictures of a turbaned Joseph and sari-clad Mary with baby Jesus in an "Indianised" version of the Bible is set to create waves across the country. In a unique experiment, the Catholic Church is coming out with a version of the Bible with verses from ancient Indian texts like the Upanishads and Vedas to explain the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.


This is an unprecedented attempt to encourage a contextual reading and understanding of the Bible, says the church spokesman, Paul Thelakat.


"The Biblical text remains the same but verses from Vedas and Upanishads have been used to interpret Christian teachings," says Thelakat. As far as Catholics are concerned, they have to live and interpret their Christian faith and scriptures within the given culture, he adds.

Continue reading this article here.


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.