Saturday, March 28, 2009
The Life with God Bible
So, what is up with this new The Life with God Bible? I haven't been able to find all that much info on it yet, but it appears that it will come in editions with and without the Deuterocanonical books. My first thought is whether this is simply a re-visioning of the Renovare Bible, but in a smaller, more compact edition. Below is a short description:
The Life with God Bible combines the depth of a study Bible with the warmth of a devotional Bible, offering a new way to discover the full riches of the Scriptures. According to Richard Foster, bestselling author and the project’s editor, the Bible is all about human life “with God.” As we read Scripture, we should consider how God is with us in each story and allow ourselves to be spiritually transformed.
Many people are looking for a new way to read the Bible, not as a text to be mastered. but as a story to enter into and a lifestyle to pursue. This unique Bible, previously published as The Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible, spearheaded by bestselling authors Foster (Celebration of Discipline) and Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy), introduces the concept of life with God - or the “with-God life” - a model for seeing the whole of Scripture as the unfolding story of God’s plan for our loving relationship with the Creator. This central theme weaves throughout the essays, introductions, notes, and exercises, powerfully revealing how God is present to his people today and throughout history.
Yet our relationship with God should not be passive. Concrete practices - Spiritual Disciplines - have been used throughout church history to guide disciples of Jesus. This Bible integrates the Spiritual Disciplines into the Christian life by showing how they are central to the Bible’s teachings and stories. Abraham and Ruth, Moses and Deborah, Jesus and the disciples all provide amazing examples of the life-changing power of prayer, worship, fasting, celebration, and many other Spiritual Disciplines. Scripture thus becomes a primary means for the discovery, instruction, and practice of these disciplines as well as a tool for spiritual formation.
Combining the highest possible biblical scholarship with the deepest possible heart devotion, this new Bible project seeks to nourish inner transformation by unlocking and revealing the profound resources within Scripture for changing our hearts and characters and bringing them in line with what God wants for our lives. The Life with God Bible will redefine what the Bible means for Christian discipleship.
This unique study Bible will include several distinctive features:
An introductory essay explaining the paradigm of “The With-God Life”
A series of fifteen “With God” essays sprinkled throughout the Bible laying out the progression of the biblical story
Introduction and notes for each book of the Bible
50+ character sketches giving a sense of the ways key Biblical figures lived with-God
Profiles of key biblical characters
A “Spiritual Disciplines Index” and glossary
Includes a concordance
Italian leather-like material with a sewn-binding, gilded edges and a ribbon marker
Compact size - portable for travel and Bible study groups.
At this point, I am more interested in seeing how the Bible looks, since it appears that it will closely resemble the Renovare edition. It would be nice to have a compact sized NRSV with all the extras that this edition appears to provide. We shall see.....
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Premium Leather Bible Round-Up
Oxford NAB Genuine Leather
Oxford NAB Catholic Study Bible
NAB Catholic Youth Bible
New Oxford Annotated Bible
RSV-CE Readers Edition
Cambridge NRSV Reference with Apocrypha Black French Morocco
Oxford NRSV Catholic Edition: Standard Edition
NRSV Text Edition Bible with Apocrypha
NRSV Catholic Youth Bible
HarperCollins Study Bible NRSV (1993)
New Oxford Annotated Bible 3rd Edition NRSV
New Oxford Annotated Bible 4th Edition NRSV
New Interpreters Study Bible NRSV
(Baronius Press used to make their Douay-Rheims in genuine Moroccan leather, but they no longer do. Many of the reseller websites have NOT updated their descriptions accordingly. Baronius is in the process of finding the resellers with incorrect descriptions and asking them to update accordingly. So make sure to find out before you purchase one. Thanks reader David for the info.)
REB Standard Text with Apocrypha Black French Morocco
Update (10/21/09): St. Benedict Press now publishes a line of genuine leather Douay-Rheims, RSV-CE, and NAB Bibles.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
NRSV New Testament Audio Bible
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
New NRSV Notes Wiki Site
"we need more cross-pollination between translations and probably fewer distinctive translations. The average reader wants to know his options working from a decent base text (none of which will be perfect), and additional notes meet the need. This project is not attempting to create an approved liturgical text, but rather a supplemented text for "lecto divina" ("divine" or holy/prayerful reading)."
More info can be found here, including why the NRSV was chosen as the base text. I am happy to be helping out a bit with this project, particularly since I think the NRSV is, on the whole, a very good translation.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Hendrickson's NRSV Gift Bible Review
As if I needed to buy another Bible, yet I decided to do so anyway! Yesterday, I picked up a copy of the new Hendrickson's NRSV Gift Bible with Apocrypha at my local Cokesbury store. I tend to like Cokesbury much more than the Family Christian stores that seem to be more numerous and popular. In my experiences, Cokesbury typically has a better selection of scholarly biblical works, as well as having a small Catholic section. But I digress.
This new NRSV Bible is pretty straight forward. It is the basic text of the NRSV, with the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonicals placed in the middle as they should be. This Bible seems to have the same page layout as the other NRSV Gift Bibles that Hendrickson produces. It comes in two different cover styles: Mocha on Cocoa or Cream on Blue. (Those are the publishers words, not mine!)
Here are the specs:
• Gilded page edges (silver on blue binding, gold on brown binding)
• Ribbon marker
• 9-point type
• Color map section
• Great for confirmations, birthdays and other special occasions
• O-wrap features a die cut window that displays the beautiful binding
While this Bible is pretty basic, I do have a few comments about it:
1) The cover material is Flexisoft Leather, which is the imitation leather that was discussed in the previous post. I tend to like the feel and flexibility of these covers. My only concern would be durability, and since these are relatively new to the market we will just have to wait and see.
2) I currently own two other flexisoft/imitation leather NRSV Bibles, the Go-Anywhere NRSV and the NRSV Catholic Gift Bible, both of them published by HarperCollins. While the other two contained some helpful extras, like a concordance, intros, some maps, I find that I prefer actually reading from this new Hendrickson edition. The page layout is much easier on the eyes, and there is a nice contrast between the bold paragraph headings and the Sacred Text. I also like the map section in the back of the Hendrickson edition best.
3) Once again, no cross-references! I simply don't understand why so few NRSV's have cross-references. At the very least, why not follow the lead of the ESV which includes OT cross-references in the NT as part of the textual notes at the bottom of each page. That's not too much to ask is it?
4) Interestingly, I was looking at the copyright info at the front of the Bible and noticed that the edition used by Hendrickson is "New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993 NCCUSA". This is interesting since only in the Catholic edition of the NRSV are the Deuterocanonicals dispersed throughout the OT. Also, the Catholic edition does not include the other apocrypha/deuterocanonical books that are accepted by some of our Eastern brethren, like 1 Esdras.
5) Finally, there is some inconsistency in how the apocrypha/deuterocanonicals are labeled. On the cover of the Bible, it is simply labeled as "with the Apocrypha". In the table of contents it is labeled as "Deuterocanonical Books" and in the text, itself, it is labeled as "The Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books". Perhaps trying to appease everyone?
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
More on Imitation Leather
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Differences in Leather
Simulated or Imitation Leathers
"Simulated Leather", "Imitation Leather", "Leather-look", "LeatherLike" and "Leatherflex" Bibles all have a leather appearance but may be made from a variety of materials. These materials are then coated and embossed to give them a leather-like quality. These covers are slightly more durable than a paperback but not as durable as bonded leather.
In recent years, many publishers have come out with some very nice "imitation leathers" which should prove to be close in durability to bonded leather, but they haven't been on the market long enough to know for sure. Some of these better quality imitation leathers go by such names as "Tru-Tone," "TuTone," "Duo-Tone" and the like.
"Bonded Leather" is made from real leather. However, as the name suggests, the cover is made from leather pieces that are bonded together with latex. Once bonded, the leather is dyed, cut and embossed to look like genuine leather. The look and feel is as genuine leather (though not high-grade leather). Due to the fact that it is not made from a single sheet of leather, bonded leather is less expensive, and more often than not, less durable than genuine leather.
"Berkshire Leather", "Genuine Leather", "Top-Grain Leather", "Cowhide", and "Morocco Leather" differ from Bonded Leather in that they all consist of a single piece of leather, not many bonded pieces. With proper care, these covers could last indefinitely.
"Berkshire Leather" is high quality pigskin. It is tanned to enhance its appearance and durability.
"Genuine Leather" is made from first quality animal hides (usually pig or cowhide). It has a finely grained texture, which is thicker and coarser than Top-Grain Leather.
"Top-Grain Leather" is cut from the top or outside of the hide and consists of Pigskin or cowhide. Its grain is thicker and coarser than Cowhide.
"Cowhide" is cut from either cattle or water buffalo. It has a finer and suppler grain, which is slightly more durable than Top-Grain leather. As a result, it is more expensive.
"Morocco" is high quality leather made of imported goatskin, usually worked by hand. It is considered to be one of the finest binding leathers. As such it is very durable and expensive.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Leather Catholic Bibles
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Theologian Calls New U2 Album 'Most Thoroughly Christian' Project to Date
No Line On The Horizon, the latest album from Irish rock band U2, has finally hit music stores in North America after its worldwide debut Friday in Ireland.And according to a theologian in Alabama, it's "the most thoroughly Christian thing they've done yet." "Like the last two albums, No Line is much more overt in its Christian rendering of the world, what with lyrics like 'Justified until we die/You and I will magnify/Oh, the Magnificent' from the album's second track," commented Steven R. Harmon, an associate professor of divinity at Samford University's Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala. "Yet what qualifies this album as thoroughly Christian is not so much its pervasive biblical/theological images as its overarching eschatological vision," he wrote Friday in a music review featured by the Associated Baptist Press.
The Christian themes in U2's music have been widely recognized since their 1981 album, October, which was ranked as No. 41 on CCM Magazine's 2001 list of the greatest Christian music albums of all time. Also included in the list was the group's 1987 album, The Joshua Tree." The youthful October (1981) set the scene for what was to follow," writes the Rt. Rev. Nick Baines, bishop of Croydon in South London, in his recent book Finding Faith: Stories of Music and Life."Songs of spiritual recognition and searching ('Gloria,' or 'Tomorrow,' for example) mingle with the exploration of love and lust," he adds.
Of course, not all the songs included in U2's albums have a Christian worldview, and some are arguably far from Christian, leading many conservatives to question the group's beliefs. Those that are, however, have gone as far as to make their way into churches across the country and around the world, where they used as hymns, particularly in Episcopal churches."
U2 is good at the art, using language like a poet would, like the classic hymn language," the Rev. Christian Scharen, director of the Faith as a Way of Life Project at Yale Divinity School, told USA Today in 2006, two years after the release of U2's last album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb."Listen to their lesser-known song 'Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car,' which is about grace," the Lutheran minister added. "We mess up, but God is merciful. That's playful."
Regarding their latest album, Professor Harmon in Alabama says seven of the album's 11 songs invoke its central eschatological metaphor, which he says is the "sound of the divine song, heard only by those who have the ears to hear it, yet unconsciously sought by everyone, for all people were created to hear and sing this song. "Within this framework, No Line calls people's attention to the discordant dimensions of our world, Harmon adds, noting that the album's basic message is that earth is not yet heaven. "[T]he album summons us to 'Get On Your Boots' and work toward the day when things will fully be on earth as they are in heaven – when heaven and earth will be indistinguishable, and there will at last be no line on the horizon," he wrote in his review.
Written and recorded in various locations, No Line On The Horizon is U2's 12th studio album and is their first release since the nine million selling album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb released in late 2004. Rolling Stone magazine has already awarded No Line on The Horizon five stars, calling the album U2's "best, in its textural exploration and tenacious melodic grip, since 1991's Achtung Baby."Christianity Today, meanwhile, said the album offers some of the most thoughtful and introspective lyrics put out by U2 frontman Bono, who the magazine noted as being "in love with Jesus and himself in equal measure." "There are the usual 'is it Jesus or a girlfriend?' teases, but those looking for more depth will find much to savor," the evangelical publication added.
I have liked U2 since I can remember, certainly by the time I first started to listen to music back in the late 80's with Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum. While they are certainly not a "Christian band", they do consistently rely on Christian themes and ask important questions. Actually, I think one of their most Christian albums is the much maligned Pop. While what gets most of the attention on that album are the sonic sounds of songs like Discotheque and MOFO, some of the other tunes are quite profound in the Christian questions they ask. In particular, I am thinking of If God Will Send His Angels, Playboy Mansion, and Wake Up Deadman. I think those songs have held up quite well ten years later and remain relevant in the post-Christian world we currently live in.
But the new album, so far, seems to be more subtle in its Christian themes. Although I am highly amused by the line in Stand Up Comedy where Bono sings: "Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady".