Friday, November 30, 2012

Some Initial Thoughts on Logos 5 (Verbum)

I have found it difficult in the past months to give a proper review of Logos 4.  Why? Well, the main reason is that it such a comprehensive and useful tool for Bible study, I really never knew where to begin.  However, just when I felt about ready to post some of my thoughts, Logos 5 (Verbum) was released this past month.  In short, Verbum, which is the Catholic version of Logos 5, is wonderful upgrade in almost every way and I look forward to using it extensively in the coming years.

Again, the question is, where to begin?  I equate the transition from relying on actual physical books, like commentaries, interlinears, and concordances, for most of my Bible study research up until recently to utilizing the tools in Verbum as something akin to learning how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours for the first time.  What do I mean by that?  The Liturgy of the Hours can be, for the newbie, a very confusing prayer book.  There is so much flipping around and at first one may not know which prayers to use at a particular time of the year.  And let's be honest, the introduction and rubric guide at the beginning of the Office is of no real help to someone who is just getting started.  So, I have found that if someone wants to pray the Liturgy of the Hours regularly the best thing for them is to have a priest, religious, or lay person, who is already experienced with praying it, show him how to use it.  Fortunately, someone taught me a number of years back, and I have taught a number of others over the year as well.  Verbum is like that in some ways.  Why?  Well, primarily because it is such a powerful software program that it can be difficult to know where to start.  The video tutorials on the Logos website are certainly helpful, but it really does take some time to get use to vast amount of resources that Verbum has to offer.  (An example of this would be the new Clause Search feature, which you can read about here.)  But what I have found is that just as one becomes more comfortable with praying the Liturgy of the Hours over time, the same things is the case for using Verbum.  If you have never used Bible software, like myself until fairly recently, don't be scared away by it.  Once you become more comfortable with using this software, which I am getting more and more of every day, you will actually have trouble remembering how you did Bible study research in the past.

Let me just say quickly a comment about the amount of Biblical resources you can access on Verbum.  Now that Logos has introduced Verbum, which is specifically for Catholics and contains material not only focusing on Scripture, but also doctrine, liturgy, history, and apologetics, this program is built to be an everyday tool for not only study, but also devotional use.  You not only have various translations, exegetical tools, dictionaries, commentaries, and writings from the Church Fathers, Popes, and Church Councils, but also a fully integrated Catechism of the Catholic Church that is a pleasure to search through.  In the package I received, I also found some additional surprises, like the writings of G.K. Chesterton, Raymond Brown, and the works of noted Catholic Apologist, Dave Armstrong.  And there is so much more!

Including the free Verbum-specific App.  I just downloaded this yesterday, and so far it has been a very nice addition to my I-Phone.  This App syncs with the main platform on my laptop, but it can be downloaded by anyone, even if you don't own any Logos software program.  It comes with a nice selection of free resources, including: The Catholic Lectionary, The Roman Catechism, Pictorial Lives of the Saints, Sources of Catholic Dogma (Denzinger), Thomas a Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ, Newman’s An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, the Douay-Rheims, King James Version, Clementine Vulgate, Novum Testamentum Graece (Tischendorf), The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition, Westcott-Hort Greek New Testament, Lexham English Bible.

In the end, the only real question I have is whether I re-purchase commentaries and other books that I already own in order to utilize them on Verbum?  I am sure that there will be a few that I do, but there is enough already loaded on to Verbum, along with the promise of future releases, that will keep me occupied.  But if you are one who is thinking about making the investment to purchase Verbum, I heartily recommend it.  It will take a little bit of time playing with the many features to feel comfortable with using it, but it is certainly worth the effort and cost.  In the new year, I plan to post occasionally about my experiences using Verbum, so stay tuned.

Thank you, again, to the fine people at Logos for providing me a review copy.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

7 Questions: Dr. John Newton of Baronius Press

A special thanks to Dr. John Newton, Editor-in-Chief of Baronius Press, for responding to my questions about their new edition of the Knox Bible.  You can also search the Knox Bible at Bible Gateway

1)  First off, thank you for taking the time to answer the following questions.  I wanted to start off with a question about your involvement with Sacred Scripture. How has Scripture played an important role in your spiritual life?  Has it always been that way?

I have grown in my appreciation of the divine text over the years, and two incidents stand out in particular. The first is the advice of my parish priest during my late teens. At the end of a chat with him he advised me to read the Bible, beginning with the Gospel of John, as that described Our Lord’s incarnation and then to go back to the Old Testament and discover not only the prophecies of Jesus, but also the inheritance we share with the Jewish faith.

The second was during a period I spent working with the Sion Community, which is the biggest provider of Home Missions in the UK. At the time they were running a course in praying the Scriptures, which involved reading and reflecting on the Gospel of Mark. When it came to choosing a version of the Bible I went into the library and saw a copy of Monsignor Knox’s translation. It was a version I had heard lots about, but never actually read, so I selected that one. Knox’s description of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel brought him alive to me in a way no other text has done before or since. Knox’s prose conjured up the events so vividly in my mind that it was like seeing the stories for the first time.

2) How long have you been involved with Baronius Press?  Could you talk a little bit about the history and mission of Baronius Press?

Baronius was set up in 2003 by a gentleman I was at university with – Ashley Paver. He had previously worked in Catholic publishing and had a personal vision of seeing the Douay-Rheims Bible available in a format that was worthy of its venerable text. For Ashley that meant digitally re-typesetting it – which was highly novel when all other versions of the Douay available were facsimiles – and using the highest quality materials: leather for the cover; gilt-edged pages; and so forth. It then expanded into publishing classics of spirituality and liturgical books for the extraordinary form of the Mass and Office – and it was as they were expanding in these areas that I first became involved.

I started working with Baronius Press back in early 2006 doing a bit of part-time writing and editing alongside another post and within a few months I had become Editor-in-Chief, Ashley having moved on from that position sometime before.

In all of its publications the goal was to ensure that books were made to the highest quality – and even Baronius’ paperbacks are smyth sewn.

3) This past month, Baronius Press published the Knox Holy Bible, which hasn’t been done in over fifty years.  Could you talk a little bit about the process by which the Knox Bible was produced?  How long of a project was it?  Who were your main collaborators in this project?

The project was quite a lengthy one. To start with we had to find the right edition - as Knox also published a couple of early drafts before it was approved by the hierarchy – and then we had to convert the text from hard copy into digital format. This was perhaps one of the longest tasks; it meant scanning the entire Knox Bible, and then painstakingly checking and correcting any errors. We had a number of people working on this to ensure the accuracy of the text.

 The project took over four years, but not all of this time was spent on the Knox by any means, our small team was working on several other projects at the same time, including our 1961 Breviary which consumed an awful lot of our time.

The Diocese of Westminster was extremely helpful in getting Mons. Knox’s translation back into print, and we were especially grateful that Archbishop Nichols granted a new imprimatur before we went to press.

4) One of the best features of the Knox Bible is its outstanding look and readability of the text, along with the quality production value.  Could you talk a little bit about how Baronius Press went about producing such a beautiful volume?  Also, are there any plans in the future to have the Knox Bible come in a flexible leather edition?  Compact edition?
We have always been keen with any title we do to ensure that it is beautiful and readable.  We still aim to produce books of the very highest quality that befit the texts inside.

I’m not too familiar with the actual binding process – as we contract skilled craftsmen to do that, it’s not something we do ourselves – so I’d hesitate to say too much about that.

At the moment there are no plans to produce the Knox in any other editions, but I’m sure we’ll be looking at how sales go and listening to feedback from our customers.

5) Dr. Scott Hahn wrote the foreword to this volume.  How did this come about? 

We wanted to get a foreword to this volume by a leading biblical scholar. As Dr. Hahn is a convert, as  Mons. Knox was, we thought he would be ideal for the job. He is rather tricky to get hold of, but we knew a close associate of his, who put us in contact with him. He was delighted to be able to contribute this foreword and somehow managed to fit it in with his large number of commitments.

6) In general, is there anything else that you would like to tell my readers about the Knox Bible or Baronius Press?

In my personal opinion the Knox is one of the best translations of the Scriptures. Bringing it back into print has been a bit of a personal quest. When I first floated the idea most people at Baronius thought it was a crazy idea – as we were publishing the Douay-Rheims and they couldn’t see the logic in publishing two translations from the Vulgate. But to give the others their due they did take soundings from other people who worked with us and Robert Asch was so overwhelmingly enthusiastic that they decided that the project might have possibilities after all. So they asked a number of priests around the world, and were surprised to find that everyone they spoke to in the UK and the USA was strongly in favour of bringing the Knox back into print.

We also decided to use the one column layout that was used in early versions of the Knox Bible. This is how the original Rheims New Testament was laid out back in the sixteenth century and so typesetting it this was reflects a very old Catholic practice – as well as making the text easier to read in many people’s opinion.

Enthusiasm for the Knox Bible has been widespread – and the enthusiasm has come from some unexpected quarters, such as Bible Gateway, who we worked with to provide an electronic, searchable form of the text on their website.

7) Finally, do you have a favorite passage or verse from the Knox version of the Bible?

Just one passage or verse? That’s a tricky question. If forced to choose just one I think I’d select Mark 1:19-39 which was the passage that really brought it all to life for me back when I was living with the Sion Community:

As soon as they had left the synagogue, they came into Simon and Andrew’s house; James and John were with them. The mother of Simon’s wife was lying sick there, with a fever, and they made haste to tell him of her; whereupon he went close and took her by the hand, and lifted her up. And all at once the fever left her, and she began ministering to them. And when it was evening and the sun went down, they brought to him all those who were afflicted, and those who were possessed by devils; so that the whole city stood crowding there at the door. And he healed many that were afflicted with diseases of every sort, and cast out many devils; to the devils he would give no leave to speak, because they recognized him. Then, at very early dawn, he left them, and went away to a lonely place, and began praying there. Simon and his companions went in search of him: and when they found him, they told him, All men are looking for thee. And he said to them, Let us go to the next country-towns, so that I can preach there too; it is for this I have come. So he continued to preach in their synagogues, all through Galilee, and cast the devils out.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ICSB: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon

Thanks to an anonymous comment yesterday, it appears that the next volume in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible that will be released is ICSB: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.  The release date is set for March 31, 2013.  If this is true, I wonder if this is an indication that Ignatius will just be releasing selected volumes from the OT over the next few years, leading up to the complete ICSB in 2014 or 2015?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Pope Hates Christmas

The Pope hates Christmas is a fine article from the GetReligion blog about some of the news going around about Pope Benedict's most recent book on the Infancy Narratives.  Equally as ridiculous to some of the news reports on this book is the following headline from a CNN article on this same book: "Pope's Book on Jesus Debunks Christmas Myths"  Right....

Pope Benedict's newest book Jesus of Nazareth: the Infancy Narrative is a wonderful, though short, treatment on Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2.  I picked up a copy this past Friday and read it over the weekend.  I hope to provide some of my thoughts in the coming days.  However, take the time to get this book yourself, either in hardcover or via E-book.  It really is a perfect book for Advent.

Monday, November 26, 2012

More Cyber Monday Deals: Saint John's Bible

Finish your set! Start a new set! Give one as a gift! Give both as a gift!

Use Promo Code: SJBOGO

Go to the Saint John's Bible website to purchase.

Cyber Monday Sale: Little Rock Catholic Study Bible

Little Rock is offering a 50% off sale on their hardcover and paperback editions of the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible today only!

Hardcover Price: $49.95, Sale Price: $24.98
Paperback Price, $39.95, Sale Price: $19.98
Enter promo code: LRSB50

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sunday Knox: Christ the King Edition (Daniel 7:13-14)

"Then I saw in my dream, how one came riding on the clouds of heaven, that was yet a son of man; came to where the Judge sat, crowned with age, and was ushered into his presence. With that, power was given him, and glory, and sovereignty; obey him all must, men of every race and tribe and tongue; such a reign as his lasts for ever, such power as his the ages cannot diminish." - Knox Bible

"As the visions during the night continued, I saw one like a Son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; when he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed." -NAB

"As the visions during the night continued, I saw coming with the clouds of heaven One like a son of man. When he reached the Ancient of Days and was presented before him, He received dominion, splendor, and kingship; all nations, peoples and tongues will serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, his kingship, one that shall not be destroyed." -NABRE

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review: Saints Devotional Bible NABRE

 Our Sunday Visitor recently published a new edition of the Saints Devotional Bible, this time with the NABRE text.  At this time, it is only available in a paperback edition, although like some of their Bibles in the past that came out in paperback first, like the Catholic Answer Bible, other editions soon followed.

The Saints Devotional Bible comes with the following features:

         Over 200 readings from the saints, including their own reflections, prayers, letters, and more
      The saints' reflections broaden appreciation and understanding of old testament and new testament texts
      A twenty-part lesson on studying, praying, and living the Scriptures, with longer selections from the writings of the saints
      An easy-to-search list of themes that allow you to study topics of interest to you
   A calendar of saints and a list of patron saints

   Mini-biographies of all the saints whose selections are quoted

This edition from OSV is a very nicely produced volume.  The text of the NABRE is very clear and readable, with a generous amount of space on the margins for notes.  In particular, I like how they kept the cross-references in a shaded box, distinct from the rest of the information on each page.  This may be one of the most pleasant NABRE’s to read, perhaps only edged out by the HarperOne NABRE.  The paper used is very thin, so one needs to be careful when flipping through.

Of course, the most unique element of this Bible is the readings and information about the Saints.  All of the readings are placed at the beginning of text, before the Scriptures.  They do contain some very helpful, and sizable, readings from the Saints, ranging from saints from the 2nd to 20th centuries.  Each selection comes with a suggested passage from the Bible that compliments the writings of that particular saint.  (A verse or two of that Scriptural passage is quoted at the top as well.)  In the middle of this Bible is a twenty-part glossary paper insert concerning what the Saints said about reading the Scriptures.  (This being a glued paperback, I worry that this section may fall out at some point.)

In the appendix there is a brief biographical sketch of each saint who is quoted, a calendar of saints, a listing of patron saints, an index of themes presented in the selections from the saints, and a list of sources for the material.  This is all very good and helpful material.  I would have liked to have seen a modest selection of Bible maps, and perhaps a list of readings which are used on some of the saints feast days.  (Also, the Sunday Mass readings would have been helpful as well!)

Overall, my thoughts on this edition are mixed to be honest.  The Saint Devotional Bible may serve well for a new Catholic or one who has a particular devotion to the Saints.  The presentation is very clean and orderly, with an attractive cover and over two hundred selections from the saints.  I also like that it utilizes the NABRE.  I hope it comes out in a hardcover, or imitation leather, edition at some point in the future.

In comparing this edition with the NJB: Saints Devotional Bible, of which much of the material comes from, my major complaint is that I wish the writings of the saints were integrated into the Biblical text.  The NJB edition was a beauty to read from with little need to flip around from saint’s reading to scriptural text.  It was all on the same page.  I am also not a fan of glossy inserts placed in a Bible.  While the included material from the saints is quite good, similar to the quality that is found in the New Catholic Answer Bible or even the CSSI Bible from Saint Benedict Press, I just wish Catholic Bible publishers would integrate this material into the text.  In conclusion, I prefer the NABRE to the NJB, but the overall presentation of the NJB Saints Devotional Bible is superior to its NABRE counterpart.  

Guest Post: Vintage Missals

Thanks, as always. to Jonny for this guest post.
The first one was published by the “Confraternity of the Precious Blood” copyright 1942 and 1944.  It claims to have the “all new Pulpit Text of all Epistles and Gospels as read from the Pulpit.”  Also, it states in the introductory matter: “A new pulpit text from the new authorized translation of the New Testament is now read from the pulpit each Sunday. […] 

Occasionally, even the present new translation is altered where necessary to conform to the reading of the “Roman Missal” used at the altar.”  Indeed it has what is commonly referred to as the “Confraternity Version” of the New Testament, and the Douay Old Testament… but the Latin text is not even listed, except in the ordinary.  I get the impression that the prayers and readings were being recited in English in the Mass as early as 1942!  The other interesting thing about this missal is that it lists the option for a “Dialogue” or “Community” Mass in the ordinary.  It explains that this means the congregation may now, upon the approval of the Bishop, recite aloud the same responses as the server, and also in union with the priest during the Gloria, Creed, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, and the “Lord, I am not worthy….”  The missal claims that this was already being done in 100 dioceses in the USA.

The other missal I picked up was a “St. Joseph Continuous… Sunday Missal” copyright 1957 and 1958.  This one also claims it contains the “Confraternity Version Word-for-Word as Read from the Pulpit.”  This one does not include the Douay Old Testament, but rather a unique adaptation of the Confraternity Old Testament, and the 1955 CCD Psalter which appears to be taken word for word.  Again, the Confraternity New Testament translation is used.  The other interesting thing about this missal is that the ordinary is not listed in Latin at all!  I wonder if, as early as 1957, dioceses began allowing the Mass to be said totally in English!

It just so happens that I was in a discussion recently with someone from my parish who remembers celebrating the Mass when she was a child in the early 60’s.  She remembers the responses being in English, and specifically remembers saying “and with your spirit.”  As I am a 33 year old convert, I am really in the dark about how the liturgy evolved in the 40’s through the 60’s.  Perhaps a reader may have a link, or maybe some older readers on your blog might have some insights to share?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Longenecker on Bible Translation

Fr. Dwight Longenecker, whose book Catholicism Pure and Simple I recommended recently, penned at short essay back in 2003 entitled "How to Choose a Bible" for the UK charismatic magazine Goodnews.  In it, he recommends the NJB:

Recently so many further updates and revisions have come out that it is difficult to keep track of them all. The New Jerusalem Bible is the most up to date, scholarly Catholic version. Other new versions or updates are The New Revised Standard, The New King James Version and the New American Standard Version. Many of the newest 'translations' attempt to 'correct' gender-biased mistakes in the Bible and are therefore biased in their own way as they attempt to be politically correct. Other new translations like the Ignatius Study Bible try to correct the 'liberal' slant with their own more conservative stance. This one as yet has only produced individual books of the bible and not the whole thing, although this will be the final goal.There are still more versions that offer varied presentations of the older translations. These are often abridged or adapted versions to make the Bible more attractive to a particular set of readers or have notes for young people or some particular category. One very accessible down to earth bible that has become popular in recent years, which a fellow parishoner drew my attention to, is the Community Bible which comes out of the lived experience of the basic Christian communities in Latin America. As might be expected while not of the highest scholarship it has very useful pastorally oriented footnotes.

I can hear you thinking, why doesn't he cut through all that and simply recommend a Bible version? Okay. Go for The New Jerusalem Bible. Get as good a one as you can, and by 'good' I don't mean fancy leather covers or giltedged pages. Invest in a solid, hardback edition with lots of study notes. It may cost thirty pounds or so, but it will be a treasure trove forever. It will be readable and clear, and the study notes will keep you awake looking up fascinating details and digging out interesting tidbits from the cross references.

Of course, this was written for a British audience almost ten years ago.  I wonder if he feels the same about the NJB today?  I also enjoy his advise about getting a solid hardback edition.  Something to consider!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lighthouse Bible App

Over the weekend I downloaded the Lighthouse Catholic Media Bible App.  It is fantastic and free!

It comes with:

  • Complete edition of the RSV-CE
  • Amazing audio New Testament from Truth and Life - plus the Gospel of John for FREE!
  • An extra 10 hours of Free audio commentary from Dr. Scott Hahn's St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.
  • Over 50 Lighthouse talks for purchase within the app. Download today and get "The Lamb's Supper" for FREE!

I know that EWTN has a similar app available as well.  (I believe that version comes with the audio to Mark downloaded for free.)  I prefer this edition simply due to the extra St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology audio commentaries.  One of them is a 6 part commentary on the Gospel of John by Dr. Scott Hahn.  Additional talks can be purchased for $1.99-$2.99 per talk, so very reasonable.  My only gripe is that once again this would have been a great opportunity for Ignatius to get involved and allow the RSV-2CE to be the Bible used.  I am happy to have the RSV-CE don't get me wrong, but I prefer the updated Second Edition.  

If you have a smart phone this is something every Catholic should get, along with the iBreviary, iRosary, and Logos Bible apps.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Release Date for Jesus of Nazareth III Update

FYI, Pope Benedict's Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives has a new, at least to me, release date of November 21, 2012.  Just in time for Advent.  I know what my Advent devotional reading will be this year!

Description from
The momentous third and final volume in the Pope’s international bestselling Jesus of Nazareth series, detailing how the stories of Jesus’ infancy and childhood are as relevant today as they were two thousand years ago.

In 2007, Joseph Ratzinger published his first book as Pope Benedict XVI in order “to make known the figure and message of Jesus.” Now, the Pope focuses exclusively on the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life as a child. The root of these stories is the experience of hope found in the birth of Jesus and the affirmations of surrender and service embodied in his parents, Joseph and Mary. This is a story of longing and seeking, as demonstrated by the Magi searching for the redemption offered by the birth of a new king. It is a story of sacrifice and trusting completely in the wisdom of God as seen in the faith of Simeon, the just and devout man of Jerusalem, when he is in the presence of the Christ child. Ultimately, Jesus’ life and message is a story for today, one that speaks to the restlessness of the human heart searching for the sole truth which alone leads to profound joy.

Knox on Translation

"For every common word in every living language has, not one meaning, but a quantity of shades of meaning. If you set out to give salus the meaning of “salvation” all through the New Testament, you find yourself up against St. Paul inviting the ship’s company during the storm to take a little food for the sake of their salvation. It is a capital heresy among translators, the idea that you must always render so-and-so in Latin by such-and-such in English. We sometimes get the idea that this must be a holy principle; is it not, after all, we are asked, the way in which the Vulgate proceeds in translating the Greek of the New Testament? If anybody harbours that delusion, he is recommended to consult Plummer’s edition of II Corinthians; he will find there an appendix giving about 250 Greek words in the epistles, each of which the Vulgate renders in two or more ways. The word euclokein, he points out, is rendered in no less than ten different ways in the epistles alone. He appears to be scandalized by this procedure, which shows that he knew very little about translation. It is true, I think, that the Vulgate very often picks on the wrong rendering, the word with the wrong shade of meaning for that particular context. Over that, Plummer is welcome to have a grievance. But let him not demand that eudokein should be translated “be well pleased” wherever it occurs, simply for the sake of uniformity."
--Knox On Englishing the Bible

Monday, November 12, 2012

Armed Forces Prayer Book- Revised Catholic Edition

In honor of Veteran's Day, I wanted to showcase a new, revised Armed Forces Prayer Book from Aquinas Press.  You can view some sample pages here.

Prayer is an essential part of our everyday lives and helps keep us focused on our relationship with God. Jesus calls us to pray always and to abide in Him. This line of distinctly Catholic 96-page books from Aquinas Press offers timeless and contemporary prayers framed with sacred art to inspire and renew readers dedicated to living by the spirit of their faith.


Newly revised to include the New Mass, our Armed Forces Prayer Book features prayers and devotions to nourish and strengthen the faith of our military personnel at home or overseas.

Paperback -- 96 pages -- 4" W x 6" H 

St. Martin of Tours, pray for all our veterans!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sunday Knox: Hebrews 9:24-29

The second reading this week comes from the Letter to the Hebrews:

"The sanctuary into which Jesus has entered is not one made by human hands, is not some adumbration of the truth; he has entered heaven itself, where he now appears in God’s sight on our behalf.  Nor does he make a repeated offering of himself, as the high priest, when he enters the sanctuary, makes a yearly offering of the blood that is not his own. If that were so, he must have suffered again and again, ever since the world was created; as it is, he has been revealed once for all, at the moment when history reached its fulfillment, annulling our sin by his sacrifice. Man’s destiny is to die once for all; nothing remains after that but judgement; and Christ was offered once for all, to drain the cup of a world’s sins; when we see him again, sin will play its part no longer, he will be bringing salvation to those who await his coming." 


"Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands,
a copy of the true one, but heaven itself,
that he might now appear before God on our behalf.
Not that he might offer himself repeatedly,
as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary
with blood that is not his own;
if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly
from the foundation of the world.
But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages
to take away sin by his sacrifice.
Just as it is appointed that human beings die once,
and after this the judgment, so also Christ,
offered once to take away the sins of many,
will appear a second time, not to take away sin
but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him."

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fr. Walsh on the Knox Bible

Thanks to reader Corey who pointed me to this review of the Knox Bible by Fr. Milton Walsh, author of Ronald Knox as Apologist and Second Friends: C. S. Lewis and Ronald Knox in Conversation.  

          "It is a great joy to see the entire Knox Bible back in print.  After more than fifty years during which this treasure lay hidden in the field of second-hand bookstores, Baronius Press has made this, the only English translation of the Vulgate Bible apart from the Douay-Rheims, available once again.  The edition itself is of the highest quality, as befits the word of God, and Knox’s Bible is accompanied by a collection of essays in which he describes his approach to translation, and some of the difficulties he faced – both from the text itself, and from his intended public. 

            Today we are awash in translations of the Bible, good, bad, and indifferent, but to appreciate the boldness of Ronald Knox’s endeavor, we must recall that until the mid-twentieth century there were, for all intents and purposes, two principal English versions: the Protestant Authorized Version and the Catholic Douay-Rheims.  While it may seem tame today, Knox’s translation was a pioneering effort.  Even apart from its intrinsic worth, this translation deserves to see the light of day again because it represents a milestone in Catholic biblical scholarship.  But what of its intrinsic worth?"

To continue reading the review, follow this link.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Leonard's Rebound RSV-2CE NT and Psalms (full review)

Tim, thanks for asking me to do a write up on my recent Ignatius RSV-2CE compact, bonded leather, NT & Psalms.  After becoming a big fan of your blog, and Matt’s “Absolutely No Spin “ blog, I became familiar with what you and Matt have done with having Bibles, Breviaries, etc. rebound in high-end leather.  Your site put me on to Leonard’s Bible Restoration.  They are wonderful people.  It is truly a “mom and pop” shop that does top notch work.

Review of the Ignatius RSV-2CE compact
My “trial run” was going to be an extra copy I have of the Ignatius RSV-2CE compact, bonded leather, NT & Psalms.  Why?  I had an extra, “new” copy and my other “well-loved” copy is my working/apologetics-pocket-Bible (well - NT/Psalms) copy.  That copy well-loved copy was just too marked up to justify an expensive leather rebind (IMO – some would disagree I’m sure).  Another reason I chose this Bible is the cost/quality ratio.  I think this Bible is one of the best deals.  You can pick it up, usually, for under $20.  For being a “compact” Bible, the type is a typical size bible type size (10 pt?).  It is very easy on the eyes.  The paper is very good as well.  No “ghosting” at all.  Most ball-point ink note taking doesn’t show through too much.  And I think the gilt edges are well done considering the price.

The drawback is that the cover is bonded leather.  With that said, I do think the Ignatius bonded leather is very nice bonded leather.  But it can only be so good and will always be a far cry from genuine.  And it will simply not hold up long term to high usage.   So that made the decision easy for choosing this particular Bible version to have rebound.

But mostly, I wanted a Bible with nothing extra on each page to distract me from Christ’s WORD.  I LOVE Bibles.  I love study Bibles, but they are definitely too distracting for me for devotional reading.  Even traditional (non-study) Bibles have minor notes and cross references that send me into “research mode” while I am trying to just do devotional reading.  THIS NT/Psalms has all the RSV notes as end-notes at the end of the Bible (which I dislike when I’m studying).  So they are not there for distraction.  Only the very very rare, critical, note has made it onto the page.  There aren’t even any introductory notes to each Gospel/Epistle.  Thank you, Ignatius Press.  This Bible is refreshing for those of us that need to GET AWAY from a scholarly approach to the WORD.

My experience rebinding with Leonard’s
I can’t say enough for how nice and responsive Margie and the gang are at Leonard’s.   They do it all by email.   Margie helped me choose the Chocolate "Soft-tanned Goatskin" with spine ribbing added.  I had seen a photo on the Leonard’s site I thought was perfect.  And, for my first experience with Leonard’s, I wanted to go with something I could see. 

I really like the “blind stamping” of HOLY BIBLE on the spine and my name on the front cover.  Leaving the gold out give it a more natural look to me.  And there is no gold to flake off over time.   I also went with the same 3 color ribbons.  One for the Gospel I’m in, one for Epistles, and one for the Psalms.  Seemed like a lot of ribbons for only NT/Psalms, but aren’t we in three sections every day in Mass?  One of the best spiritual direction advices I’ve received is “Stay close to the Gospel.”  To me, that means (1) read the Gospel every day and (2) if you can, actually keep the Gospel close to your body…hence, the RSV compact which can easily fit in my back pocket!

I have sent Tim some pictures I took with my other copy of the RSV Compact for comparison (hope they help).

Cost:  Getting anything rebound in really nice leather is expensive.  As I commented on a post earlier, the cost for this rebind was $89.50 before the extras. Blind stamping ($10), 3 ribbons ($20 and shipping ($10), came to $111.50.  Not inexpensive, but if these Bibles are the most precious “items” in our lives (as they are, whether we realize it or not), we should not flinch at spending the price of a somewhat-expensive sporting event ticket on them.  If we compare the rebinding price to the price of a nice pair of work shoes, or sports-jacket, or a really nice dinner, or our overly addicting “smartphones”, we should have no problem spending the money.  It’s God’s WORD, the one thing that binds us all.  Not the shoes, the iphone, nor the sports ticket.  (Sorry, I wasn’t asked to sermonize)

Some friends and I are having a full size Bible rebound by Leonard’s in black soft-tanned goatskin for our Pastor.  And my family just sent off our grandmother’s Bible to Leonard’s.  So I’m THAT impressed.  I will share pictures.

Pax Christi,

Thank you to Corey for this wonderful review!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Semi-Regular Weekly Poll

  • I really like ornamental Bible covers
  • I like plain, non-ornamental covers
  • It doesn't matter what the cover is like
  • Other

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Prayer for Election Day

O Lord Jesus Christ,
You alone are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
In Your Church You show us the Way,
You teach us the Truth, and You give us Your Life.
Grant, we humbly beg You,
that, always and in all things, we may
be faithful to You in Your Holy Church,
and to Your Vicar on Earth, the Supreme Pontiff,
Pope Benedict XVI.
Grant also, we beg You,
that, in these times of decision,
all who profess to be Catholic
and who are entrusted with the sacred duty
to participate in public life,
may, by the strength of Your grace,
unwaveringly follow Your Way and
faithfully adhere to Your Truth,
living in You with all their mind and heart,
for Your greater glory, the salvation of souls,
and the good of our nation.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America,
Pray for us.
Saint Thomas More, Patron of Religious Freedom,
Pray for us.
By His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke,
Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura

Monday, November 5, 2012

Logos 5 is Available

Logos 5 is now available! 

From Logos:
Bible study is about connection. The Bible connects us to the very words of God, and to study it is to make connections: between facts and feelings, texts and commentators, hearts and minds, ourselves and God and one another.

Logos Bible Software 5 is a significant update that is all about connection. Logos 5 connects the people, places, things, events, topics, and themes of the Bible with new and expanded databases. It is completely integrated with Faithlife, an online network for connecting your faith community, where you can share biblical insights, maintain a group prayer list, or read the Bible (or any book in your Logos library) in community with others. Logos 5 features new guides and tools for connecting the dots in your Bible study.

Experts have spent more than three years writing, editing, and tagging our unique databases of Bible knowledge. Dozens of books have been thoroughly tagged with special metadata about Bible outlines, preaching themes, historical events and Bible facts. Every original language word in the Bible has been reanalyzed and connected to new databases, while staying connected to modern translations. We have created nearly a million connections between our data elements and Bible verses.

All this connection is toward one end: helping you do more and better Bible study.
And, conveniently, all this connection makes that easier than ever before. In addition to powerful new tools for sermon preparation and topical study, Logos 5 contains many small updates and improvements that streamline your study. Logos 5 quickly becomes a transparent tool that gets all the overhead out of the way, so you can get connected to the Word.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sunday Knox: Deuteronomy 6:4-6

Below is a portion from this coming Sunday's first reading:

 "Listen then, Israel; there is no Lord but the Lord our God, and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with the love of thy whole heart, and thy whole soul, and thy whole strength. The commands I give thee this day must be written on thy heart." --Knox Bible

"Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today." --NAB (lectionary)

Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.e Take to heart these words which I command you today." --NABRE

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Catholicism Pure and Simple

I first came across the writings of popular Catholic blogger Fr. Dwight Longenecker a few years back when I was in Rome.  I had stopped in a fairly large bookstore just outside the Vatican and picked up a small booklet entitled The God Man: Finding the Real Jesus written by Fr. Longenecker.  It was a short book, but one that was both very clear and elegant in its style and convincing in its argumentation.  I am very happy to report that you can now acquire this small booklet, which is now part of a much larger collection that has just recently been published entitled Catholicism Pure and Simple.

This volume is a simple explanation of the faith, but full of fantastic insights.  For example, in the section discussing the rise of the prophetic movement in ancient Israel, Fr. Longenecker writes:

"In the second part of the Old Testament the Jewish
writers begin to speak the language of love. The
prophets were holy men who taught the Jewish people
about God in a vivid and powerful way. In many different
ways the Jewish prophets tell us that God loves
his people.  They say God is like a passionate lover who seeks
and pursues the beloved everywhere. He is a faithful
husband who loves his wife no matter what she does.
The ancient Jewish writers tell us that God is a good
and gentle shepherd. He is a wise and gracious king,
a patient Father, and a long-suffering servant. The
prophets say that he is a faithful God: although we
might turn away from him, he will never turn away
from us."

Beautiful huh?  A number of people who have already reviewed this book point out that it would be a helpful companion for those in R.C.I.A. classes.  While I wholeheartedly agree with that statement, I am planning on giving it to family members for Christmas as way of (re-)evangelizing family members.  We are in the "Year of Faith", a time to rekindle not only our own faith life, but also those around us who may have left the Church.  I think Catholicism Pure and Simple is an excellent tool in doing this!

Leonard's Rebound RSV-2CE NT and Psalms

Reader Corey recently had his Ignatius RSV-2CE Compact New Testament and Psalms rebound by Leonard's Book Restoration Station.  He has provided some of the specs regarding the restoration and will provide some additional commentary in the future.


  • recover of the Ignatius RSV-CE "NT/Psalms".  Originally blue bonded leather (which, of bonded leather bibles, I think Ignatius' is the best.)
  • recovered by Leonard's Book Restoration
  • Chocolate "Soft-tanned Goatskin"
  • Blind stamping of name and "Holy Bible" on spin.
  • They added the spin ribbing and replaced the original 2 red ribbons with the 3 different colors.