Friday, April 20, 2018

DLT's New RNJB Website

Darton, Longman, & Todd have created a lovely new website to showcase the upcoming release of the full Revised New Jerusalem Bible.  On the website, you can find info regarding the various editions (RNJB, NJB, JB) that are currently in print by DLT, but I would image that future editions of the RNJB will be posted as well.  You will also find a three part interview with Fr. Henry Wansbrough along with some other biographical and historical information.  Some really good stuff there, so make sure to check it out.

We will be hearing back from Fr. Henry at some point in the future after he is finished answering the questions we submitted to him.  So, stay tuned!


rolf said...

Cool, I am looking forward to future info!

Jim said...

Fascinating 3 part interview with Fr. Henry Wansbrough. Amongst other bits of information, he states that this (RNJB) is his translation (not a team effort). As Tim notes, this interview is a "must see"!

CarlHernz said...

What I found interesting was the FAQ and "About Us" page on the site. I had read from comments of readers here and from other Catholics that Darton, Longman and Todd was a Catholic Publisher. According to its own site I learned this was not the case. From its FAQ page:

"DLT is sometimes thought of as a Catholic publisher because we have, historically, published books by a number of high-profile Catholic writers, as well as the Jerusalem Bible and New Jerusalem Bible which are used widely in the Catholic Church....we are not exclusively ‘Catholic’, ‘Anglican’, ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’. We prefer not to work under any defining label, and that includes ‘religious’. For more information on DLT, go to the 'About Us' page."

This would explain books I found promoting Queer Christian theology and another exploring exhibitionism as a form of entertainment among its offerings.

I myself have owned the library of Jerusalem Bible translations for years, with the NJB as my favorite. I love their style and flow of the renderings. The RNJB seems to be a fine work too, though I have not had a chance to really look at it to be honest.

This is just a feeling from an outsider when I say that something is striking me odd that the release of a "Catholic" Bible as major as something in the Jerusalem Bible family would not have had formal approval before release and been a team effort with Ecole where the body of bishops and scholars are working together on another revision. To have one man say this is his translation, and see it here waiting in the aisles for approval, separate from where the true revision of the Jerusalem Bible is happening, and now seeing DLT in a new light--isn't this a little odd to anyone else?

Ronny Tadena said...


I agree. My personal favorite translation is the Knox (which I was glad to see Fr. Wansbrough have nice things to say about!) so initially, when I heard that Fr. Wansbrough claiming to have more or less done the translation himself, I was intrigued, single person translations seem often times to read more smoothly, or provide a very interesting and different perspective on certain passages. But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered why Fr. Wansbrough was going it alone this time. It just seems odd, he was working with a team, but then years later he comes back to the text and "updates it" all by himself? I know he played up the expanded use of inclusive language and a need to update the study notes to reflect more recent scholarship, but I couldn't help but wonder if this also doesn't allow him to force though changes that he had always wanted to do when he worked as a team and with the group in France. Perhaps that will be fine, a scholar of Fr. Wansbrough can likely be trusted to such a job competently, but then I have to wonder what kind of continuity this new RNJB can claim with any of the past Jerusalem bibles or with the ongoing French project.

From the publishing side of things, it starts to smell like a cash grab to me, like when so many action movies in the early 2000s used claim things like "from the makers of the Matrix," when you find out it was really just the a producer or two.

I don't know, I'm still interested in the project, but something does seem a bit fishy....

Timothy O'Keefe said...

I'm skeptical of a one-man translation. It allows for too much of an agenda-motivated result. And hearing that the RNJB has an expanded use of "inclusive" language and footnotes that are less Catholic in character has me less than excited about this translation. Stating the obvious, Father John Hardon once remarked that the faith or personal opinions of translators play a key role in their translating decisions. All the more when the translators amount to one single person.

It seems to me that the push for more "inclusive" language and more faithful/literal translations directly contradict each other.

Timothy O'Keefe said...

I also question whether one man can legitimately describe his own work as truly being a "Jerusalem" Bible. In my mind, that name carries a certain venerable status and association, and it doesn't seem right that one man should claim it for his own Bible version, even if he was an essential translator on the Jerusalem Bible of the past.

Again, I'm skeptical about this version, because it seems as if it moves the Jerusalem Bible tradition yet another notch in the direction of ecumenical politically correct religion. More gender neutrality in the name of the Word of God.

Timothy said...

Hey Tim,

Have you had a chance to read the RNJB besides the few snippets that have appeared on the blog?

owen swain said...

I have the soon to be not current version of the bible shown, ie the NJB in this Black leather over board in its original sleeve edition, near mint condition, would be more than pleased to sell it to one of Timothy's fine fellow readers. I may be reached via emailing Tim.

Timothy O'Keefe said...

Tim -

I've been trying to read what's available, and I've followed the discussions here from the start. But the descriptions I've found of this Bible version aren't encouraging, even though I know folks on your site are excited about it.

It's not as if I'm against modern translations. The New Jerusalem Bible was once my preferred version for about a year, but I grew annoyed with the inclusive language, which sounds too forced to my ear.

I also found this video by a Protestant, who at least makes a few good points:

I'm concerned with two main issues: the use of more extreme inclusive language in the text, and the movement in footnotes towards a more extreme inclusive theology. I think a literal translation - which is my preference for both prayer and study - should include all the difficulties in the biblical text and not strive to adapt them to the political/cultural/ideological pressures of the day. As for the footnotes, they should enlighten one with faith, rather than strive to avoid controversies. Based on the CTS New Catholic Bible with footnotes composed by Fr. Wansbrough, the direction is clearly away from Catholic truth and towards a more general sort of Christianity. I must admit, I really dislike Fr. Wanbrough's influence there. He may be a brilliant scholar, but I don't share his ideological opinions, which very much influence his work.

I'm not a great fan of the New American Bible tradition, but even that translation seems to be more responsible in the areas of text and footnotes. The NRJB is having the surprising effect of making me reconsider that version.

I had ordered a copy of the RNJB from Amazon, but then cancelled it after doing more research on it. I think I'll be able to wait until the complete Bible is available in hardcover, and then I'll dutifully buy one. But it's certainly not the Bible version I've been hoping for. Perhaps the forthcoming St. Joseph N. C. V. will offer a sounder presentation of text and faith.

Timothy said...


That is fair enough. I don’t have an issue with inclusive language for the most part, and have found that the RNJB generally does a fine job. I appreciate, in particular, how the concept of “adoption as sons” is retained in much of the Pauline literature.

Timothy O'Keefe said...

Tim -

Regardless of all, you do have an excellent and very unique blog. I enjoy your articles and will be reading along in the future.

Timothy said...

Thank you Tim. I appreciate your readership and comments. Blessings to you.

Timothy O'Keefe said...

And to you as well.