Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fathers of the Church Bible (NABRE)

Bringing together Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition in one volume!
The Fathers of the Church Bible, NABRE will instruct in the faith and enliven your interest in Scripture through the insights from the Church fathers. You'll enjoy the latest NABRE translation of the Bible, along with 88 full color inserts covering a wide range of writings from the Church fathers, including:

What is the canon of Scripture?
What was God doing before creation?
One being with two natures
The Resurrection of the Body
The Heavenly Hierarchy
Baptism: Immersion or Sprinkling?
And so much more!

Each topic features the wisdom of one or more of the Church fathers including St. Augustine, St. Justin Martyr, St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyprian, Irenaeus, Tertullian, St. Gregory the Great, St. Ambrose, and more.

The Fathers of the Church Bible, NABRE is ideal for anyone wanting to combine Scripture with insights on the Church fathers, their lives, and their thoughts on topics crucial to the Church and our Faith.

The Fathers of the Church Bible is scheduled for publication on April 25.


Timothy said...

Wish they wouldn't have used inserts, instead they should have integrated it into the text

Anonymous said...


I think that's one of the drawbacks to using the NABRE translation for a bible like this: required inclusion of the NABRE notes makes it difficult to have a good layout that includes integrated "extra" text. The Little Rock Catholic Study Bible did a very good job, but had to use single column formatting and the result is a very thick edition.

Michael P.

Theophrastus said...

It is a big pity, since there are so many opportunities for annotating the text (or since the NABRE does not allow additional footnotes, adding in boxes and sidenotes along the lines of the Little Rock Study Bible). But Bibles including color inserts are, almost without exception, shallow and sporadic in commentary.

I've seen Bible study resources that include commentary from Church fathers, such as Eerdmans' Church's Bible series, or IVP's Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, or the Navarre Bible series, or Johanna Manley's (Orthodox) series, or even the (overrated) 1859 Haydock Bible; but arguably none of these are readily accessible editions.

Timothy said...

The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible also references the Fathers.

Theophrastus said...

It is true that the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible sometimes engages with the Fathers, but I think that it spends more time explicating the plain meaning of the text and dealing with critical approaches from a moderately conservative Catholic perspective.

As a result, references to the Fathers are not present in all passages; thus, if one wants to find traditional commentary on a particular passage, one may get a result more often from one of the resources I listed than from the ICSB.

I'm not saying that to diminish the ICSB -- no study Bible can "do it all." (And I also suspect that the ICSB will do a much better job than Fathers of the Church Bible.)

There is a need, though, for an accessible contemporary Catholic study Bible that collects traditional commentary.

Timothy said...


ThisVivian said...

The Haydock Bible is not over-rated!

(Well, maybe it is in comparison to the ideal study Bible, and packaging, but as far as content goes... why can't we argue about the season Adam was created in anymore? now we argue about creation!)

ThisVivian said...

And I've never heard of the "Church's Bible" series. Could you link to it? A quick Amazon search turns up nothing. I'm familiar with ACCS and the others you mention, and, of course, the Fathers themselves - if you want Patristic commentary, just buy ANF and the two NPNF series.

Theophrastus said...

Here is a link to the Church's Bible series.

While there is considerable merit in both the ANF and NPNF series, they are organized by author and work, not by verse; so unless one has committed all 38 volumes to memory, they are not the most effective way of finding commentary on a particular Biblical verse. In addition, the translations themselves are quite dated (19th century) and in many cases erroneous. Further, they are incomplete, as there have been additional texts discovered since their publication. Finally, as has been widely noted, the electronic versions (including re-typeset versions) of these 38 volumes introduced considerable additional errors, particular with chapter and verse numbers.

ThisVivian said...

Thanks for the link.

I don't have all 38 volumes committed to memory, but... isn't it pretty easy to figure out if you want commentary on Genesis, you go to, say, Basil's Hexahemeron, or Augustine's De Genesi ad Litteram, and if you want commentary on Genesis 1:1, you go to the beginning of it? (Of course, this does require that you have the titles of the major commentaries of the Fathers committed to memory, in a way.)

I've not found them, on average, any more erroneous than the average Biblical translation, unless you're speaking of text-critical forms of "erroneous" (e.g. possibly translating the "wrong text"), as I believe they're based on Migne, and not a new(er) critical edition like the Corpus Christianorum. The worst "error" in them is leaving the Stromata of Clement in Latin, and refusing to translate it in to English (I'm unsure of whether this has ever been rectified; I have access to the 1994 Hendrickson photoreproduction).

Still... I wonder if there would be a market for a "Commentary Concordance" to ANF/NPNF, which would list, in Biblical (and, for Fathers, chronological) order, the page to be found in the entire set for commentary on a certain verse or chapter, throughout all of the works, including ones that aren't specifically commentary (but contain a good deal of it in any case).

I picked up the ACCS again, the volume on Romans - the first time I had it, I used the two (four) volumes on Genesis and the Psalms, and didn't care for it a great deal - and it's growing on me. It seems to be a decent modern catena, although several Fathers are heavily over-represented, and the editor's (Thomas Oden) bias towards what he calls "the ancient ecumenical consensus" leavened with a bit of high-church Arminian Methodism, shows through in the selection of annotation for the volume on Romans - but it is still more helpful than I remember (however, the citations could be vastly improved), especially as a jumping-off-point or memory aid to the Fathers themselves.

Theophrastus said...

There is something of a index to the NT in the ANF here; it is worth reading the three paragraph introduction to see some of the problems the compilers had.

It seems that as course textbooks, for example, these older translations are out of favor. For example, I have never seen anyone assign a book from Augustine or Chrysostom from these volumes; there are just too many good contemporary translations.

The popularity of series such as Catholic University of America's "Fathers of the Church Series" (which now numbers 126 volumes!) or New City Press's Augustine series suggests to me that the ANF/NPNF are not seen as adequate.

The hypothetical study Bible I was imagining would be accessible to someone who didn't already have familiarity with the Church Fathers. I was also thinking it could include medieval exegetes after Gregory; which of course are outside the scope of the PNCF. I think there would be a real market for such a study Bible.

ThisVivian said...

Indeed... it would be many man-years of work to compile such a thing, for one edition alone.

No doubt "Fathers of the Church" or "Ancient Christian Writers" are superior translations, and that more texts are now known - the major advantage of ANF/NPNF is in price (the entire 38 can be had for the same price as four 250pp volumes of Origen in FotC or ACW).

I had no idea that NCP's translations of Augustine were even new translations, let alone esteemed ones - I bought a volume because it was the only place I could see that had all of Augustine's commentaries on Genesis collected in one volume, in any language.