Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Semi-Regular Weekly Poll

Which is your favorite Dynamic-Equivalence Catholic Bible?

  • Knox Bible
  • Jerusalem Bible
  • New Jerusalem Bible
  • Christian Community Bible


More polls: Cougar dating


Biblical Catholic said...

I've never had a chance to read the Christian Community Bible, it is very difficult to find....

ThisVivian said...

Jerusalem Bible by a mile.

The CCB is available on Amazon.com, and is far more towards the CEB-TEV end of dynamic equivalence than the Jerusalem-NJB end.

Porn Militia said...

I really excited to compare the Knox with the '66 Jerusalem!

Francesco said...

The entire CCB is available online in word files or PDFs.

It seems like the CCB has been in a continuous state of revision--the introductory material calls the version they've got online as the 48th edition! I wonder how much has changed over the years.

Anonymous said...


Christopher W. Speaks said...

I voted for the Christian Community Bible. What I appreciate about this translation is its explicit goal of making the text of the Bible accessible to persons with limited English. I know so many different people who struggle to read and understand the Bible. Discussions and arguments about what constitutes the "best translation" is definitely a problem that only those of us in industrialized, first-world countries face as many Christians the world over don't have Bibles in their homes much less the ability to read one if they did. Despite all the efforts of the best academic, the average person isn't choosing their preferred Bible translation based on what manuscripts it uses. And while translation philosophy may come in to play, it only happens in a roundabout way. Ask most people what Textus Receptus is and they'd just as likely guess that it's the name of a dinosaur; Nestle-Aland, on the other hand, is obviously the person who started that food company.

I'm surprised to see the GNT not listed here.

Timothy said...


The GNT is not listed because it wasn't originally a Catholic translation.

ThisVivian said...

I suppose I'm not very average, then... Majority text and Vulgate FTW!

If the CCB was written specifically in "Basic English", as it is called, it was forced of necessity to be an extremely dynamic and non-traditional translation. Religious words - words used to convey the traditional and proper meaning of religious ideas, such as propitation, expiation, atonement, sanctification, justification, righteousness, etc. for just those dealing with the Cross itself - aren't generally very simple; they're generally some of the hardest in the language and very latinate.

Biblical Catholic said...

And you just mentioned one of my big complaints about the dynamic equivalent school of translation: the loss of the traditional religious vocabulary, dynamic equivalent translations deliberately avoid the use of words like atonement, expiation/propitiation, they translate Christ's 'amen, amen I say to you' as 'I am telling you the truth' (which is NOT what Jesus is getting at with the 'amen/amen'), they avoid the use of the word 'blessed'....not only do their 'dynamic' renderings which avoid these technical terms not really come up with working equivalents, but the result is a generation growing up that lacks the basic vocabulary to understand elementary theology...they avoid these technical terms, ostensibly, because 'no one understands them'....but by avoiding them altogether they only ensure that no one will EVER understand them but if they are worried about that all they really have to do is include a footnote explaining the word, or include a glossary of basic terms....don't avoid difficult works, include tools to help readers understand the difficult words.....

The Bible is an inherently difficult book, it cannot be 'made simple'

ThisVivian said...

Note to Colleague:

When all we had was the Douay-Rheims and King James Bibles, we didn't really have to argue about which one was best - the version debate was synonymous with the sectarian one.

Every one since then has been a distinct step downhill. The same can be said for Spanish with the Torres-Amat and the old Reina-Valera. Both ancient, and both never surpassed in the language.

We only had the "luxury" (for in reality it is a curse, as yet another source of division and dissension) of debating Bible versions and textual bases when inferior versions were published, partially on the basis of tampered texts that the Church threw out 1600 years ago for the (unlucky) Great Academic Textual Scholar of the 19th century to unearth and say, "Aha! It's older, therefore it's better." Which saint of the Church (or Doctor?) was it who said, "A falsehood hallowed by time is still a lie"?

So, in a sense, the "modern" Bible version debates, instead of being an extension of the sectarian debates, are instead an extension of the fundamentalist-traditionalist/liberal-modernist debate in several of its facets.

Biblical Catholic said...

I don't think you understand how textual criticism works, textual criticism is most certainly NOT based on the principle that 'if it is older then it is better' it is based on the principle that one should try to find the oldest, least corrupted text.....and there are MANY different rules that are applied to determine which text is the least corrupted, it is not even remotely true that the oldest is the best, in fact, many of the manuscripts judged to be 'most reliable' are younger than some of those judged to be inferior....it is often the case the oldest text is preserved in one of the younger manuscripts but lost in the earlier one....the assumption that 'older is automatically better' is not one that would ever be made by a trained textual critic.

Biblical Catholic said...

But ultimately it doesn't really matter because whether you use a modern critical edition, or go back to Erasmus.....more than 95% of the text is identical and it won't make a lick of difference as far as teaching or doctrine.....now if I was one of those 'Bible only' types I might be concerned but since I'm not it doesn't really matter.

ThisVivian said...

I know how it works (or at least enough to think I do - note my sarcasm both here and in my earlier post), but "older is better" is a far greater portion of it than you give credit for; if the four/five great uncials were from the late Byzantine era (say, after 10th c.; possibly with the exception of the non-Alexandrian Alexandrinus, and the non-classifiable Ephraemi), they would have almost certainly been dismissed as late corruptions - I don't think lectio brevior alone would have taken them (the early textual critics and revisers of the ERV) that far without the patina of age: age is heavily weighted in text-critical matters, unless this rule is reversed at higher levels of initiation than I have received (I'm only a 3ยบ text critic of the Ancient and Accepted Rite).

However, further, one can not discount the entire discipline of textual criticism for contributing in some way (no matter how minor) to the proliferation of versions, which has had, IMO, far more deleterious effects on the Body of Christ than textual criticism itself (which, as far as I can tell, is little); I believe we also agree on this.

In any case, for Catholics and Orthodox, Bible is part of tradition; every copy could be lost, and the faith would remain orthodox, but at what expense (I believe we agree on that, from your name, "Biblical")?

I agree, by-and-large, that the textual differences make no doctrinal difference; but this is not so in three cases of doubtful authenticity, and these are, "father forgive them", "pray for them that persecute you" (long version), and the Pericope Adulterae; these are three Scriptural pillars of the Christian doctrine of charity.

(What's ironic for the KJV-only Sola Scripturists is that the TR was prepared by a Roman Catholic - Erasmus - and it is a critical text in every sense, and an excellent one considering what he had to work with.)

Read my above post both as a panegyric to the "old days", and as a commentary on "better is the enemy of good" in terms of translation, as the Blog Readership has discussed in several other recent threads.

ThisVivian said...

Oh, sorry, I had to re-read my post to understand it; from your reply, I had the impression I had launched in to a tirade against textual criticism, but, indeed, one could remove every single word of the post except for the below:

"So, in a sense, the "modern" Bible version debates, instead of being an extension of the sectarian debates, are instead an extension of the fundamentalist-traditionalist/liberal-modernist debate in several of its facets."

And still understand - and possibly better understand - the observation I wished to make, whether it is correct or not - that the debate is not so much over the versions qua versions, but is just another battlefield for the far, vastly, far larger fundamentalist-traditionalist/liberal-modernist debate.

Tim Mc: Are we scaring off other commentators, since virtually every recent discussion has been dominated by Biblical Catholic and myself? If so, please let me know so that I might put a sock in it. Whatever happened to Theophrastus?

Timothy said...

Nope, you are fine. People comment at various times, depending on the topic. So, keep up your dialogue. People are reading it.

Biblical Catholic said...

CJA Mayo,

I don't want to get into an extensive debate about this, but your assertions are about 100 years out of date.

Westcott and Hort made the conclusion that the Byzantine text was pretty close to useless....and made almost no use of it in compiling their NT text.

However, it is important to understand that modern scholars have rejected almost every conclusion Westcott and Hort made.

There are possible positions one could take on the Byzantine text...there are two extreme positions and one moderate position....the extreme positions are

The Byzantine text is useless.....this is the conclusion of Westcott and Hort'

The Byzantine text is the only authentic text, everything is corrupt....this is the position of the KJV Onlyists

The moderate position is the one take today by 90% or more of NT scholars and this position is

The Byzantine text preserves many authentic readings which were lost in other textual traditions and therefore it has to be considered when compiling a NT text

The Nestle-Aland NT, which is the source of almost all NT translations today....is an eclectic text...it does not follow any specific family or tradition of texts, but rather draws upon something from all of them....there are, according to one count, approximately 150 places in the Nestle-Aland NT where they follow the Byzantine text rather than rival families of texts....

It is generally agreed that even though the Byzantine tradition is later that it does preserve many authentic readings which are lost in the earlier texts. Which is why Westcott and Hort were wrong to simply completely dismiss it.

And I might add also, that as NT textual criticism has developed over the last century, it has gradually become more and more conservative, the original Westcott and Hort text was fairly radical, discarding a lot of very well known readings based on fairly flimsy evidence, and as the science of textual criticism has developed, the majority of what Westcott and Hort threw out has since been restored. Compare, for example, the 1952 RSV NT to the 1971 RSV NT second edition....

Every year, more NT manuscripts are discovered that were previously unknown to western scholars. Most years it is pretty small, only or two manuscripts. One recent big find is the discovery of 47 NT manuscripts in a library in Albania in 2008. At least 17, and maybe more, of these 47 manuscripts had never been examined by western scholars. This is a pretty big discover, it probably won't make a huge difference but in the long run, more data is always better.

I suspect that as the manuscript evidence grows (and currently there are about 5,800 NT manuscripts in Greek that are known, about 10,000 Latin manuscripts and about 9,300 in other languages) and our knowledge of the history of the NT text becomes wider, I suspect that critical editions of the NT will continue in the same, generally conservative, direction.

ThisVivian said...

It's very likely that I am a century out of date - we were also taught (in the 2010s) source and redaction criticism using Friedman's "The Bible with Sources Revealed" for the Pentateuch, which holds fast (very fast) to the old-fashioned JEDP theory (although he puts them in the order JEPD).

I know/knew in the back of my mind, and partially in the front of it, that many of W&H's theories were not accepted, such as the extremes they took with lectio brevior and the corollary, western non-interpolations.

I got in to a few (a lot of) arguments over that until someone pointed me to the essay "Farewell to the Yahwist" and other writings which disclosed that JEDP was mostly discarded by the 1980s.

But, in any case, I believe my assertion stands, even if in a reduced form: age is one of the primary factors weighting the value of a manuscript, along with several (or many) other factors; this weighting may have deceased since W&H's NTitOG was published, and may steadily be decreasing with each new edition of N&A; but it is still a primary factor; this, I believe, can be evinced solely by the treatment given to the long ending of Mark, which is excluded in very few manuscripts (Sinaiticus and Vaticanus being the main ones), but which is thrown in to italics or brackets with a footnote about authenticity due to the age of said lack of manuscript evidence.