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!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

ICSB Joshua (May 2017)

The trickle continues..........

This volume in the popular Ignatius Catholic Study Bible series leads readers through a penetrating study of the book of Joshua using the biblical text itself and the Church's own guidelines for understanding the Bible.

Ample notes accompany each page, providing fresh insights by renowned Bible teachers Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch as well as time-tested interpretations from the Fathers of the Church. These helpful study notes provide rich historical, cultural, geographical, and theological information pertinent to the Old Testament book—information that bridges the distance between the biblical world and our own.

The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible also includes Topical Essays, Word Studies, and Charts. The Topical Essays explore the major themes of the book of Joshua, often relating them to the teachings of the Church. The Word Studies explain the background of important biblical terms, while the Charts summarize crucial biblical information "at a glance".

The ICSB edition of Joshua is scheduled for publication in May.

Monday, March 13, 2017

All Didache Bibles on Sale at MTF

Thanks to Eric for pointing out that all Didache Bibles (both the RSV-2CE and NABRE) are on sale at Midwest Theological Forum.  Follow this link for more information.  You can preview the content of the Didache Bible here.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Guest Review: Catholic Children's Bible by SMP

Catholic Children’s Bible by St. Mary’s Press
Reviewed by Chris Buckley

Glorious. It’s simply glorious. If you have a child, and you want them to know Scripture and not just Bible stories, the Catholic Children’s Bible from St. Mary’s Press is the only Bible to consider. Literally. It may well be the only full-text Bible formatted specifically to build Biblical literacy and Catholic faith in children.

It’s clearly designed by people who not only value the Bible as scripture, but are also skilled curriculum designers for the learning styles of children.


For one thing, it’s huge. At 7 x 10 inches and 2000 pages, it has the heft of those old Golden Books Children’s Bibles you may remember from the 1960s and 1970s. Not an asset for most readers of this blog, but trust me: it makes for a lasting place on a child’s bedroom bookshelf.

For another, it uses layout, font size, illustration, and color prompts to make it as easy as possible for new Bible readers to navigate. In my last post, I called for solid navigation aids. This Bible has them in spades, better than any I’ve ever encountered. It’s practically an orienteering course in Bible reference. It introduces the layout of the individual books in their various textual groupings with a color-coded bookshelf graphic. That color-coding carries through into the borders of the pages, and the section headings of the individual books. A child can easily find - and internalize the internal order of - the books of the Bible this way until it becomes automatic. Lavish edge illustrations surround the text on nearly every page, making it a colorful “page-turner” that even young kids will flip through like a big lap-sized picture book, whether they are readers or not.





The publishers didn’t ignore children who read, though. They have wisely selected the approved Catholic edition of the Good News Translation (formerly, Today’s English Version, second edition). If you remember the Good News Bible of the 1970s, you know what to expect, but you may not be familiar with the improved, revised edition of 1992, formally  approved for Catholic use in 1993. Though still a “thought-for-thought” translation using syntax and vocabulary for about a fourth-grade reading level, the new GNT is to the old Good News Bible what the NLT is to the old Living Bible. Today, it’s a proper translation from the original texts, no longer a paraphrase of a standard English text, hence the imprimatur. I have far more confidence in it as a proper book of scripture for beginning reader. (By comparison, the publisher’s Catholic Youth Bible comes in both NRSV-CE and NABRE varieties.) If you’re going to create a Bible for kids out of an approved Catholic translation in English, this is the text to use.

But it’s what they do with the text that makes this Bible so wonderful. Instead of the traditional Annie Vallotton line drawing that typically accompany the Good News Translation, the publisher has introduced its own full-color illustrations that tie into the learning aids. In mid-flow of the scriptural text itself, the publisher introduces 125 Bible stories told in two-page illustrated spreads. Each spread follows the same format: the scripture text from the page before continues directly onto the left hand page so that the Bible passage itself becomes the “story,” surrounded by illustrations and definitions of any challenging vocabulary. The right-hand side of the spread employs a standard format for every story (also adopted for older readers in the Catholic Youth Bible):
     Understand it - a brief exegesis of the passage for children
     Live it - A devotional tip for how to put the teaching of that passage into practice
     Tell it - A simple storyboard an adult can use as a prompt for the child to retell (and thus internalize) the story in their own words 


Then the Bible text continues uninterrupted on the next page. By making the scripture itself into the stories, and by including so many passages, this book is now the best of both worlds: a full Bible that can also function as a “big book of Bible stories” most Catholics are used to. With 125 selections interspersed throughout scripture, using it as a bedtime storybook and reading one story a night, a parent and child could literally work through the entire canon of scripture together in about 17 weeks. Simply amazing.

It concludes with colorful, yet simplified Biblical aids using photographs and illustrations in place of the typical essays and maps an adult study Bible might have. It has a brief section full of catholic Prayers, instruction on the rosary, and a final page of “Bible Passages for Special Times” to help children find consoling passages for specific life events or challenges. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but this is a functioning “Study Bible” for children, covering the same spread of textual and dogmatic instruction as something like the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. Along with the companion Catholic Children’s Prayer Book, it’s a terrific resource. This isn’t the Bible to give at first communion. Rather, it’s the Bible to give in kindergarten and read together on their journey toward the sacraments.

Christopher Buckley holds an M.A. in Religion from the Claremont School of Theology. He began as a United Methodist and passed through the Episcopal Church before being confirmed into the Catholic Church as an adult. He lives and works in Seattle with his wife and two children, and blogs occasionally at StoryWiseGuy.com. Connect with him on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Flickr, LinkedIn, and on YouVersion Bible.

Monday, March 6, 2017

A Reader is Selling an NLT-CE

Keith has been a reader of the Catholic Bibles Blog for a while and he contacted me to see if I would post his EBAY sale of the recently published NLT-CE.  I am happy to do so, since there are a number of folks who are looking to get a copy before the official USA publication occurs later this year.  

Here is the link to the sale.  

The specs:
Hardback, with a white ribbon marker
Anglicised text
Size: 22 x 14cm
Colour: Blue & Tan
ISBN: 9788170867180
Illustrations by Nicole Kaufman

Pope Francis and Regular Bible Reading

“What would happen if we turned back when we forget it, if we opened it more times a day, if we read the message of God contained in the Bible the way we read messages on our cellphones?  What would happen if we always brought it with us, or at least a small pocket-sized Gospel?” -Pope Francis (Angelus 3/5/17)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Guest Post: Catholic Sunday School Bibles?

Thanks to Chris for this guest post.  This is an issue I have thought about often, particularly now with three children.  The one I purchased for my daugher is the one on the left, the NRSV Kids Study Bible (w/ Apocrypha) by Hendrickson Publishers.

I need a full Bible for children (especially using the text of the RSV-2CE). It's a gap that exists everywhere in Catholic publishing, and which is really frustrating to a former Protestant like me.
What typically gets labeled a Catholic “children's Bible” is usually a collection of illustrated Bible stories, not a book of scripture. Even the coming YouCat Bible, which does use the RSV-2CE, isn't properly speaking Scripture, but an abridgement somewhere between a commentary and an inspirational guide.

What I need is something ubiquitous in the evangelical world: a "Sunday School Bible." That is a full Bible in full translation, formatted for easy reference by young readers, and possibly illustrated. It's something they can read together in a group, looking up references in class, or individually. It is in tasteful, neutral non-childish binding so that it grows with them and they can continue to use it as they age, because it's a full Bible.

The closest thing we have to it currently is the Catholic Edition of the Good News Translation (complete with the Annie Vallotton illustrations), and possibly the soon-to-be-released Catholic Edition of the New Living Translation from Tyndale. But, especially as a former Protestant, I really want to have something usable in the RSV-2CE.

Consider this. I grew up (and went to seminary) as a Methodist and was confirmed Catholic as an adult. No one else in my family is Catholic. I am the baptismal sponsor of my Methodist nephew who is going to Catholic school and about to enter first grade. If I were Protestant, I'd give him his Sunday School Bible to use in class and as he grew up. There are dozens of editions of full Bibles that are available for Protestant and Evangelical children. None of them contain the complete canon of Catholic Scripture. None of them use an approved Catholic Translation or reference and study aids consistent with Church doctrine.

Among the approved Catholic translations, the RSV-2CE is positioned for interconfessional appeal because the RSV still carries a lot of credibility in Protestant churches. But there are no editions of this otherwise excellent translation in a full Bible formatted for easy access to first-time Scripture readers.

For lack of credible options, I gave my first son the Catholic GNT for his first Communion. I'm considering the NLT-CE for my second son.

The only "age appropriate" FULL Bibles for young Catholic readers, in fact, seem to be from St. Mary's Press. They have a "Catholic Children's Bible" using the full GNT-CE, and a "Catholic Youth Bible" available in both NABRE and NRSV-CE editions.

On the plus side, they both use a consistent "Pray it, Study it, Live it" paradigm for the annotations. On the minus, they are both bound in trade dress that clearly brands each Bible for its niche audience, so it kind of builds in an expiration date for the owner. No teenager will want to read the cartoonish "Children's" Bible once gifted by their loving relative. Most college students will think they've outgrown their "youth" Bible.

Hence the need for a neutral non-childish binding that contains a full Catholic Bible with some navigation aids and perhaps illustrations to make it available to readers at a young age, while keeping it relevant as "their" Bible as they get older.

Christopher Buckley holds an M.A. in Religion from the Claremont School of Theology. He began as a United Methodist and passed through the Episcopal Church before being confirmed into the Catholic Church as an adult. He lives and works in Seattle with his wife and two children, and blogs occasionally at StoryWiseGuy.com. Connect with him on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Flickr, LinkedIn, and on YouVersion Bible.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Lent 2017

But there’s also this, it’s not too late—
    God’s personal Message!—
Come back to me and really mean it!
    Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!
Change your life, not just your clothes.
    Come back to God, your God.
And here’s why: God is kind and merciful.

-Joel 2:12-13 (MSGCE)