Friday, August 31, 2012

Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28th Edition with NRSV/REB Greek-English New Testament

This fantastic resource will be released on April 18, 2013, according to  The standard Greek edition, without the NRSV or REB, will be released in mid December

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

B16 on the Beheading of John the Baptist

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
on the last Wednesday of August, we celebrate the liturgical memorial of the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus. In the Roman Calendar, he is the only saint whose birth, June 24, and death through martyrdom are celebrated on the same day. Today’s memorial dates back to the dedication of a crypt of Sebaste in Samaria, where, by the middle of the fourth century, his head was venerated. The cult spread to Jerusalem, in the Churches of the East and Rome, with the title of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist. In the Roman Martyrology, reference is made to a second finding of the precious relic, transported, for the occasion, to the church of St. Sylvester in Campo Marzio, Rome.

These small historical references help us to understand how ancient and profound devotion to the John the Baptist is. In the Gospels his role in relation to Jesus stands out very well. In particular, St Luke tells his birth, his life in the wilderness, his preaching, and St. Mark tells us about his tragic death in today’s Gospel. John the Baptist began his preaching under the emperor Tiberius, in AD 27-28, and his clear invitation addressed to the people who flocked to hear him, is to prepare the way to welcome the Lord, to straighten the crooked streets of life through a radical change of heart (cf. Lk 3, 4). But the Baptist did not limit himself to preaching repentance, conversion, he also recognized Jesus as the "Lamb of God" who comes to take away the sin of the world (Jn 1, 29), he has the deep humility to reveal in Jesus the true Messenger of God, stepping aside so that Christ can grow, be listened to and followed. As a final note, the Baptist bears witness to his fidelity to the commandments of God with his blood, without ever giving in or turning back, carrying out his mission to the very end. In his Homilies the IXth century monk, St. Bede writes: "For [Christ] he gave his life, although he was not ordered to deny Jesus Christ, he was ordered not to silence the truth. However, he died for Christ "(Hom. 23: CCL 122, 354). For the love of truth, he did not stoop to compromises with the powerful and was not afraid to use strong words with those who had lost the path of God.

Now we look at this great figure, this strength in passion, in resistance to the powerful. Where does this life of rectitude and coherency, this interior strength, completely spent for God and to prepare the way for Jesus, come from? The answer is simple: from his relationship with God, from prayer, which is the main theme of his whole existence. John is the Divine gift that had been long invoked by his parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth (cf. Lk 1:13), a great gift, humanly beyond hope, because both were advanced in years and Elizabeth was barren (cf. Lk 1:7), but nothing is impossible for God (cf. Luke 1:36). The announcement of the birth takes place in a place of prayer, the temple of Jerusalem, indeed it takes place when it is Zechariah’ turn to have the great privilege of entering the holiest place of the temple to burn incense to the Lord (cf. Lk 1: 8-20). The birth of John the Baptist was marked by prayer: the song of joy, praise and thanksgiving that Zechariah raises to the Lord and which we recite every morning at Lauds, the "Benedictus", enhances the action of God in history and prophetically indicates the mission of his son John, who precedes the Son of God made flesh in order to prepare the way for Him (cf. Lk 1.67 to 79). The whole existence of the Forerunner of Jesus is powered by his relationship with God, especially in the time he spent in the wilderness (cf. Lk 1.80), the desert is a place of temptation, but also the place where the man feels his poverty most because he is deprived of material support and safety, and he understands that the only solid reference point is God Himself. John the Baptist, however, is not only a man of prayer, of constant contact with God, but also a guide in our relationship with God. The Evangelist Luke notes that when introducing the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples the "Our Father", the request is formulated with these words: "Lord teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples "(cf. Lk 11:1).

Dear brothers and sisters, the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist reminds us, Christians of our time, that we can not stoop to compromises with the love of Christ, his Word, the Truth. The Truth is the Truth and there is no compromise. Christian life requires, so to speak, the daily "martyrdom" of fidelity to the Gospel, that is the courage to let Christ grow in us and direct our thinking and our actions. But this can only happen in our lives if there is a solid relationship with God. Prayer is not a waste of time, it does not rob much space from our activities, not even apostolic activities, it does the exact opposite: only if we are able to have a life of faithful, constant, confident prayer will God Himself give us the strength and capacity to live in a happy and peaceful way, to overcome difficulties and to bear witness with courage. St. John the Baptist intercede for us, so that we always maintain the primacy of God in our lives.

I offer a warm welcome to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors, especially those from England, Indonesia, Japan and Malta. Today, the Church celebrates the Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist. John, whose birth we celebrate on the twenty-fourth of June, gave himself totally to Christ, by preparing the way for him through the preaching of repentance, by leading others to him once he arrived, and by giving the ultimate sacrifice. Dear friends, may we follow John’s example by allowing Christ to penetrate every part of our lives so that we may boldly proclaim him to the world. May God bless all of you! 

(Wednesday Audience from Castel Gandolfo via article)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Saint John's Bible

One Bible that I have neglected all too often over the past few years is the magnificent Saint John's Bible.  I plan to rectify this oversight during the coming weeks and months.  Stay tuned!

Until then, does anyone happen to own any of the hardcover volumes or prints?  Perhaps have seen the original up close? What has been your experiences with the Saint John's Bible?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Looks Interesting

Envoy for Christ: 25 Years as a Catholic Apologist by Patrick Madrid


Over the past twenty-five years, Patrick Madrid has explained and defended the Catholic faith worldwide. Envoy for Christ is a fascinating look inside Catholic apologetics from Madrid’s vantage point on the frontlines. A collection of written material that spans the author’s career, Catholic thought is applied to a variety of apologetic issues, and in addition, Madrid will look at how he has applied Catholic truth to circumstances in his own life. With some of his earlier works, he will also explain how his thinking has changed and developed over the years. This is a summary of the legacy of Patrick Madrid’s far-reaching public ministry.

This book is due out in October from Servant Books.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Song Title for Our Translations

So, if you were to assign a song title for the various Catholic Bible translations what would they be? I started to think about this yesterday and came up with a few.

NABRE: "I Still Haven't Found What I Am Looking For" by U2
This translation has been so unsettled during its 40+ year history. There have been three major updates since its first publication in 1970 and now we have to look forward to a new revision in ten years. I have a burning desire to see the USCCB and CBA produce something that will serve the Church in America well.

RSV-2CE: "Who are You" by The Who
This translation just doesn't seem to get the support from its publisher that it deserves. It attempts to "correct" the original RSV-CE but with little documentation as to what has been changed and by whom. This translation is truly an enigma. I really want to know if you think this as well?

NRSV: "Mixed Emotions" by The Rolling Stones
For me, at least, the NRSV does a number of things very well, but makes some poor choices along the way, mostly in the way of excessive inclusive language. Am I not the only one who feels this way?

Jerusalem Bible: "If I Should Fall Behind" by Bruce Springsteen
Published in English in the 1960's, the Jerusalem Bible was a fresh rendering of the Holy Scriptures.  To this day, it remains beloved by many who experienced the changes after Vatican II, Mother Angelica, and many in the charismatic community.  And while the NJB improved on the original in some ways, it never quite caught on as well as its predecessor, at least here in the USA.  Now with a clear move within the Church for more formal equivalent renderings, for both liturgical and scriptural texts, one wonders if any one will wait for and embrace the Jerusalem Bible in future years.

Douay-Rheims: "Alive" by Pearl Jam
Over four hundred years since the publication of the New Testament (in its first edition), the Douay-Rheims is still alive. Although, like Pearl Jam, one of my favorite bands back in the '90s, its popularity continues to slowly fade away.  Now a days, it has a small, but fiercely loyal fan base.

So how about you? 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Semi-Regular Weekly Poll

Which of the following editions has the best page layout?

  • CSSI Large-Print RSV-CE
  • Oxford NOAB RSV
  • Ignatius RSV-2CE
  • HarperOne NABRE
  • Oxford Catholic Study Bible NABRE
  • Little Rock Catholic Study Bible NABRE
  • (New) Jerusalem Bible (w/ notes)
  • Other


More polls: Create

Friday, August 17, 2012

Scott Hahn on the Assumption of the BVM

Zondervan NABRE First Communion New Testament

Zondervan will begin publishing a First Communion NABRE NT beginning in early 2013. The binding is leather and will be available in both white and black.  The description at the Zondervan site mentions that this is a "Great gift for those celebrating First Communion New Testament text of the New American Bible translation, with imprimatur Presentation page and The Lord's Prayer Keepsake for this special occasion."  The list price is $14.99.

It will be interesting to see if Zondervan will publish any additional editions of the NABRE in 2013.  (Keep in mind that Zondervan is associated with HarperCollins Publishing.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

"Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death." The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:
In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.
--Cathechism of the Catholic Church 966

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Year of Faith Bible Study

Fr. Mitch Pacwa, from EWTN, has produced a Bible study to accompany the upcoming Year of Faith which begins in October.  Published by OSV, this study will be available later this month.  You can read a few pages from it here.  You can also read the Holy Father's Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei annoucing the Year of Faith here.

According to the OSV site:

Our society is struggling with what Pope Benedict has called "profound crisis of faith that has affected many people."
In response, the Holy Father has called us all to a Year of Faith from October 2012 to November 2013.

We see the signs all around us: the demand for science to prove everything before we can believe it, the role of media and celebrities who deny the existence of God and denounce the role of the Church, and the ease in which we can all isolate God and faith into only one part of our life.
In a follow-up to his best selling St. Paul Bible Study for Catholics during the year of St. Paul, Fr. Mitch Pacwa once again leads Catholics to a deeper understanding of Pope Benedict's call to action for the year.

Perfect for individual or group study, this book is a wonderful guide to experiencing a conversion, growing in faith, and following Jesus Christ more closely. It shows us how to integrate every component of our life – relationships, morality, work, recreation, and all – into a meaningful whole.
Make the most of Pope Benedict's Year of Faith, walking hand in hand with Fr. Pacwa as he guides you through the beauty and insights of Scripture in relationship to your everyday life.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Taking a Tour of Biblical Top 10's

Mary Sperry is no stranger to this blog.  Her work with the NABRE is well-documented here.  As many of you know, she recently published a book called Bible Top Tens which I reviewed earlier this year.  OSV recently published a feature in their newsweekly examining some of Mary's selections in her book, which you can now read about here.  It is a fun little book which makes a great gift for Christmas or First Communions!

Also, be sure to check out Mary's latest book Ten: How the Commandments Can Change Your Life which is due out in September from Franciscan Media.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Red Letter Bible?

Michael P. commented during a recent post that I should do a poll about red letter Bibles. I liked his suggestion. But instead of just putting up a poll, I want to hear from you, my beloved readers, why you like or dislike red letter Bibles. Perhaps surprisingly, I don't really have an opinion. So what are your thoughts?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Some Additional Thoughts on the CSSI Bible

Back in March of 2011, I reviewed the Catholic Scripture Study International Bible (RSV-CE) published by Saint Benedict Press.  I noted that it wasn't a proper "study Bible" due to the absence of cross-references, more detailed maps, and notes/commentary.  However, I found it to be a very good apologetics study Bible, with a very nice overall feel and look to it. 

As I mentioned during that earlier review: "The real jewel of this study Bible is the apologetics content found in the 76 full color pages. Most notably, the eight pages of “Catholic Apologetics Bible Verses” I have found to be quite helpful. This section not only covers issues ranging from “Anointing of the Sick” to “Works” but does so with both biblical citations as well as direct quotations from the Fathers of the Church."

I stick by those initial comments, but I would like to add some practical insight into this edition which I gained during the past academic year.  As some of you know, this past Spring semester I taught a high school theology elective course on Catholic apologetics to our graduating seniors.  (I am excited to say that I have two full classes of this elective set for this coming academic year as well!)  One of the texts I used consistently was the CSSI Bible.  This was due to two main reasons:

1) The inclusion of the large-print edition of the SBP RSV-CE made it very useful for reading and proclamation during class.  It also provided plenty of room for personal notes and highlighting.  Even today, when I feel like reading from the RSV, I typically read from the CSSI Bible.  (Also, I do like the very flexible bonded leather cover.  It is far better than most other bonded leather covers that I have complained about in the past.)

2) The eight pages of "Catholic Apologetics Bible Verses" mentioned above were a handy and well-organized component of this Bible.  Not only did they point out verses that have been used to counter various Catholic teachings, but included ample counter verses as well as full quotes from the Fathers.  These "helps" were exceedingly useful when I was preparing for a lesson or when I was responding to a student question but couldn't remember the verse I wanted to cite. 

All in all, this is a fine Catholic Bible.  With that being said, I would love to see a future edition that incorporated some of those elements that I feel were missing.  By simply adding cross-references and some more maps, like the "Route of the Exodus" and "Paul's Journeys" for instance, I think the CSSI Bible would become a premier reference Bible for Catholics.

But until then, if you are interested in purchasing this already very useful CSSI Bible follow the below link:
Catholic Scripture Study Bible: RSV-CE Large Print Edition

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Influence of the English Translation of the Missal of Paul VI on the NRSV

One of my favorite books that I enjoying pulling off my bookshelf from time to time is The Making of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible by Metzger, Dentan, and Harrelson.  It may be the only available "making-of" book relating to a Bible translation that comes in a Catholic edition.  Reading through the four chapters in this book, one can gain a real appreciation of the many difficult decisions that the NRSV translation team had to work through.  One does not have to agree with every decision they made, but at least their rationale for such decisions are in print for all to see and read about.

That leads me to a very interesting quote I re-read this past week, which 20 plus years later remains fascinating.  It is found in the first chapter of this book entitled "The Story of the NRSV" by Robert C. Densen.  In his discussion of whether or not the NRSV committee was going to use less formal/archaic language in the NRSV, in favor of a more contemporary English style, he writes: "What finally made this movement irresistible was the decision of the Roman Catholic Church to translate its Latin liturgy into English, and into current English rather than into an artificial liturgical style (5)."  Now remember, this book was published in 1991.

Nowadays, we Catholics in the English speaking world are no strangers to the most recent changes in the English translation of the Mass, the Third Roman Missal being implemented in the U.S. this past Advent.  There were some who objected to this new translation arguing that is went back to a more artificial liturgical style.  I certainly do not agree with that belief, since I find that the current Missal strikes a nice balance between being contemporary as well as possessing a distinctive liturgical style. 

One wonders what sort of influence the first Vatican II Missal in English would have had on the NRSV if it were more close in style to the Third Roman Missal.  It is clear that the re-revised Psalms of the NABRE, certainly influenced by Liturgiam Authenticam, were translated in a distinct way in comparison to the rest of the NABRE.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Which is More Important:Translation or Edition?

I have been reflecting on the subject of this post for the past couple of days.  I find that while I certainly have a preference for one translation over the others, see the various "Top Five Bibles" I have done during the past few years here, I find myself more attracted to using a Bible that is more functional, even if it isn't my preferred translation.  Case in point, it is well known that my favorite Bible edition is the Cambridge NRSV Reference Bible with Apocrypha.  I love the size, binding, premium leather cover, maps, cross-references, glossary, and overall feel and look of this Bible far more than any other Bible I own.  It meets more of my daily needs than any other edition, no matter the translation.  Yet, I tend to prefer the NABRE or RSV-2CE over the NRSV for various reasons.  Although I think all three translations are quite good and very comparable, the NRSV just happens to be #3 for me these days.   (I am quite comfortable using all three in almost any setting.)  So, I find myself more and more being willing to use my third ranked translation as my everyday Bible precisely because it is packaged in an edition that contains those particular elements which I find attractive in a Bible edition.

I am curious to hear from you, my faithful readers, as to your thoughts on this subject? 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Psalm 127

Psalm 127
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

1 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.

3 Lo, sons are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one’s youth.

5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them!
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Another Question on Latin Bible

Timothy: One of my blog readers is looking for a Latin interlinear Bible.  He wants "word-for-word."  I've seen many Hebrew/Greek interlinears in this format, but not Latin.  He is looking for something printed.  Do you have any suggestions?

Winner of End of Summer Contest

Congrats to Kai Welday Engel whose entry was randomly selected. Kai, please send me an email with your address so that I may mail your prize sometime this week.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Question from a Reader

From reader Mike: I was recently trying to find a pocket edition of the Psalms in Latin (Clementine or Nova, doesn't matter much to me). It occurred to me: does the Nova Vulgata have absurd publishing rights or something? I've never seen an edition of it other than the actual Vatican edition (which is ridiculously expensive here in the US), not counting it being published with the RSV in the Navarre series. It seems to me that printing a nice edition of the Nova Vulgata (or even an edition of the Clementine Vulgate that's not a facsimile) would be right up the alley of St. Benedict Press. Any thoughts on this (and know of any pocket-sized Latin Psalms)?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

End of the Summer Contest

Well, it is coming up on the end of the summer for me, as I will be starting back up at the high school in little over a week.  So, I am going to offer this contest to mark the end of my summer vacation.

The winner of this contest will receive the following three items:

1) An audio CD series by Tim Staples of Catholic Answers on the Epistle to the Philippians

2) George Knight's The Holy Land: An Illustrated Guide to Its History, Geography, Culture, and Holy Sites  

3) Rudolf Schnackenburg's Belief in the New Testament

So here are the rules:1) If you have a blog, please advertise this contest on your site. (If you don't, you can still enter the contest.)

2) This contest is only for people who are in the North America. (Overseas shipping costs are a bit too high for me right now. Sorry. But again stay tuned, however, since I am planning on doing an outside North America giveway at some point in the near future.)

3) To enter, please put your name in the comment section of this post.

4) The contest ends on Saturday, August 4th @ 11:59PM EST. I'll announce the winner on Sunday or Monday. At that time, the winner must contact me, via email, with their address within one week to receive their prize.

5) One entry per person. If you post anonymously, you must leave a name at the end of your comment entry.