Monday, December 30, 2013

What Catholic Bible Edition Would You Like to See in 2014?

In the area of Catholic bibles, 2013 was a relatively quiet year.  The only real new Catholic bible that we saw published was The Message: Catholic/Ecumenical Edition.  There were certainly other editions of existing translations that were published, the various offerings from OSV come to mind.  In many ways, however, we are sort of in a holding pattern, particularly when you consider the continued waiting for a complete  Ignatius Catholic Study Bible and the continued revision of the New American Bible.  Who knows, maybe we will see a premium leather edition of a Catholic bible produced in 2014 or perhaps even Oxford University Press will get around to updating the NABRE Catholic Study Bible reading guides.  In any case, it will certainly be interesting to see what is actually produced in 2014 for Catholic bible readers.

So, let's take a moment to look forward to 2014 and use a little bit of our own imagination.  Here is the proposal: If you could produce your own Catholic bible edition, using an already existing translation, what would it be?  Which translation would you use?  What would be the theme of this Bible?  What would be included in it?

Here is mine:

The Saint John's Bible: Visio Divina Edition (NRSV)

Product Information:
Format: Goatskin Leather (I'd be happy with a nice genuine leather too)
Dimensions:  9.75 X 6.75 X 1.5 (inches)
Vendor: HarperOne/Liturgical Press
Pages: 1800
ISBN#1234567890 (not really)
Price: $125.00

Product Description:
HarperOne and Liturgical Press have teamed up to produce the first ever personal Bible edition that combines the language of the New Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition and the majestic illuminations of the Saint John's Bible.  The Visio Divina edition combines Scripture passages and sacred artwork from The Saint John's Bible in order to facilitate the powerful prayer process of visio divina. This process encourages participants to "listen and meditate on Scripture, see with eyes of faith as they gaze on illuminations, pray to God, contemplate the Spirit's movements, and reflect how they might further become Christ-like."  To enhance this process, the NRSV text is laid out in a very readable single-column setting, enhanced by textual notes and cross-references in the margins.  All 160 illuminations from The Saint John's Bible are reproduced on thin glossy paper and placed at the appropriate places near the biblical text.  On the back of each illumination page is a brief reflection, including scriptural cross-references, authored by Fr. Michael Patella, OSB, SSD, chair of the Committee on Illumination and Text for The Saint John's Bible and author of Word and Image: the Hermeneutics of The Saint John's Bible.   Also includes: Vatican II document Dei Verbum3-Year Cycle of Sunday and Holy Day Readings, 16 pages of full-color maps, two ribbon markers, and a concise concordance.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sunday Knox for the Feast of the Holy Family: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14

Speak we now of a father’s rights; do you, sons, give good heed, and follow these counsels, if thrive you would.  God will have children honour their fathers; a mother’s rights are his own strict ordinance. A lover of God will fall to prayer over his sins and sin no more; so, all his life long, his prayer shall find audience. … riches he lays up for himself, that gives his mother her due.[1] As thou wouldst have joy of thy own children, as thou wouldst be heard when thou fallest to praying, honour thy father still. My son, when thy father grows old, take him to thyself; long as he lives, never be thou the cause of his repining.  Grow he feeble of wit, make allowance for him, nor in thy manhood’s vigour despise him. The kindness shewn to thy father will not go forgotten; favour it shall bring thee in acquittal of thy mother’s guilt.[2] 

Knox Notes:
[1] vv. 4, 5: The Latin version here inserts a sentence which seems out of place (perhaps belonging to the end of the foregoing chapter); it omits the words given in the Greek text: ‘He who honours his father will atone for his own sins’.
[2] In the Greek text, the giver of alms atones not for his mother’s sin, but for his own. Cf. however Ps. 50.7.


God sets a father in honor over his children;
a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons.
Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
and preserves himself from them.
When he prays, he is heard;
he stores up riches who reveres his mother.
Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children,
and, when he prays, is heard.
Whoever reveres his father will live a long life;
he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother.

My son, take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him;
revile him not all the days of his life;
kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
firmly planted against the debt of your sins
—a house raised in justice to you.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

"Land of Zabulon and Nephthali, its burden at first how lightly borne! but after-wards affliction weighed on it, Galilee, by the sea road where the Gentiles dwell west of Jordan.  And now the people that went about in darkness has seen a great light; for men abiding in a land where death overshadowed them, light has dawned. Their number thou didst increase, but gavest them no joy of it; now, they shall rejoice in thy presence, as men rejoice when the harvest is in, as men triumph when victory is won, and booty taken, and they fall to dividing up the spoils. Yoke that fixed the burden, shaft that galled the shoulder, rod of the tyrant, all lie broken now, as they did long ago, when Madian fell. All the trophies of the old tumultuous forays, all the panoply stained with blood, will be burnt up now, will go to feed the flames. For our sakes a child is born, to our race a son is given, whose shoulder will bear the sceptre of princely power. What name shall be given him? Peerless among counsellors, the mighty God, Father of the world to come, the Prince of peace. Ever wider shall his dominion spread, endlessly at peace; he will sit on David’s kingly throne, to give it lasting foundations of justice and right; so tenderly he loves us, the Lord of hosts."
 -Isaiah 9 (Knox Bible)

Merry Christmas to you all!  As you can imagine, blogging will be sporadic during the Christmas season.  May God richly bless all of you during this holy season.

Monday, December 23, 2013

NRSV New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs Burgundy Imitation

This delightful slimline NRSV New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs was first published back in July of 2003 by Cambridge University Press.  It comes in a number of different covers, the one I have is the burgundy imitation leather. This is truly a slimline\thinline Bible, which easily fits into a bag, purse, or pocket.  Its dimensions are 6.9 x 3.5 x 0.6 inches with a weight of around 3 ounces.  What is most attractive about this Bible is the single-column format, which make reading this slimline Bible quite enjoyable for its size.  The imitation cover is very flexible, enhanced in durability by its sewn binding.  This is the kind of Bible you can take somewhere and not worry about it getting bent or ruined in any way.  It is so small and thin that it will fit into any situation.  

Other than the NRSV standard To the Reader essay by Metzger, this Bible does not contain additional features other than the Biblical text, but for its size, that is OK with me.  The Psalms and Proverbs are placed before the New Testament. 

From Cambridge:
The New Revised Standard Version takes full advantage of recent scholarship and is widely used in academic circles as well as in mainline churches. This attractive and affordable book contains the NRSV New Testament together with the Psalms. The black-letter text is set in a clear but compact font, in one column with section headings. Presented in a format like that of a slim pocket diary, the book will fit easily into a pocket or purse. It is beautifully produced, printed on Bible paper, and Smyth-sewn for utility and durability.   It has a burgundy imitation leather cover, giving a very flexible feel, and it includes a presentation page. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sunday Knox for 4th Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 7:10-14

The Lord sent, besides, this message to Achaz, Ask the Lord thy God to give thee a sign, in the depths beneath thee, or in the height above thee.  But Achaz said, Nay, I will not ask for a sign; I will not put the Lord to the test.  Why then, said Isaias, listen to me, you that are of David’s race. Cannot you be content with trying the patience of men? Must you try my God’s patience too? Sign you ask none, but sign the Lord will give you. Maid shall be with child, and shall bear a son,[3] that shall be called Emmanuel. 

Knox Notes:
[3] Literally, the verse begins ‘Therefore the Lord, he will give you a sign’. ‘Maid shall be with child’; cf. Mt. 1.23. The Hebrew text, but not the Greek, would admit ‘a maid’ instead of ‘the maid’. In the Hebrew text, the word used should perhaps be translated ‘maid’ rather than ‘virgin’, since it refers rather to a time than to a state of life; but in view of the event, we cannot doubt that this prophecy looks forward to the Virgin Birth. No very successful attempt has been made to explain its relevance to contemporary happenings.

The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying: 
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; 
let it be deep as the netherworld, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,
“I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”
Then Isaiah said:
Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary people, 
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: 
the virgin* shall conceive, and bear a son, 
and shall name him Emmanuel.

*The original NAB OT, which is the basis of the current lectionary, goes with “virgin,” while the NABRE follows the Hebrew and translates it “young woman.”

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Next ICSB Volume:Job

Due in March:
The 17th volume in the popular Bible study series leads readers through a penetrating study of the Book of Job using the biblical text itself and the Church's own guidelines for understanding the Bible.

Ample notes accompany each page, providing fresh insights by renowned Bible teachers Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch, as well as time-tested interpretations from the Fathers of the Church. They provide rich historical, cultural, geographical or theological information pertinent to the Old Testament book - information that bridges the distance between the biblical world and our own.

It also includes Topical Essays, Word Studies and Charts. The Topical Essays explore the major themes of Job , often relating them to the teachings of the Church. The Word Studies explain the background to important Bible terms, while the Charts summarize crucial biblical information "at a glance".

O Oxford

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

1953 Douay-Confraternity, Gregorian Edition (John J. Crawley)

I was on e-bay the other day looking at Bibles (which I do a lot) and the cover photo of this Bible caught my eye. Most of the 1953 Crawley addition Confraternity Bibles have a brown hard cover with a gold cross on it, of which are offered on e-bay frequently. But this leather wrapped hard cover is really nice.

The Bible is illuminated (as you can see in the photo), there are 93 illuminated pictures scattered throughout the OT and the NT, all depicting Bible scenes (each book has at least one). The beginning word of each book is also illuminated and the beginning word of each chapter has a minor illumination of the first letter.

This is not one of those big family Bibles, it measures 8 3/4 x 5 7/8 x 2 1/2 inches. It has a sewn binding and lays flat for table top reading. It has three ribbon markers (gold, red and purple), gold gilded page edges, and has 10 pages of maps. The paper is nice and thick with almost no bleed through (typical of many older Bibles), but it does make for a fatter Bible, but that is ok. The font size is about 8, which is usually a little small for me, but with almost no bleed through and well spaced lettering I can read it just fine (see photo). 

The first eight books of the OT (Genesis - Ruth) and the Psalms are in the Confraternity translation, the rest of the OT is in the Douay translation. The NT is also the Confraternity translation. 

I paid $59.00 for this Bible which is more than I usually pay for a used Bible, but it is in very nice condition, and if I were to buy the cheaper version of this Bible and wanted to get it re-covered later that would cost at least $100.00, so it is my Christmas gift to myself! I have since seen two more of these Bibles on e-bay.

Thank you to Rolf, one of the most faithful readers of this blog, for submitting this review.  Looks like a real beauty!

Monday, December 16, 2013

New Berit Olam: 2 Samuel

Berit Olam: 2 Samuel from Liturgical Press:
In this commentary, Craig E. Morrison focuses on the aesthetics of the “art of the telling”: how does the narrator succeed in breathing life into his portrait of David? How does he draw the reader into his story? 

Accompanied by this commentary, come face-to-face with David—the king, father, warrior, diplomat, murderer, manipulator, tyrant, and beguiler who is often beguiled. With Morrison’s expert guidance, encounter this ancient masterpiece.

Order today and save 30% 
Hardcover Price: $39.95
Sale Price: $27.96*

eBook Price: $34.99
Sale Price: $24.49*

Enter Code: BERSAM for discount

Offer ends January 7, 2014

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sunday Knox for 3rd Sunday of Advent: Matthew 11:2-11

 Now John had heard in his prison of Christ’s doings, and he sent two of his disciples to him;  Is it thy coming that was foretold, he asked, or are we yet waiting for some other?  Jesus answered them, Go and tell John what your own ears and eyes have witnessed;  how the blind see, and the lame walk, how the lepers are made clean, and the deaf hear, how the dead are raised to life, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.[1]  Blessed is the man who does not lose confidence in me.  As they went out, Jesus took occasion to speak of John to the multitudes; What was it, he asked, that you expected to see when you went out into the wilderness? Was it a reed trembling in the wind?  No, not that; what was it you went out to see? Was it a man clad in silk? You must look in kings’ palaces for men that go clad in silk.  What was it, then, that you went out to see? A prophet? Yes, and something more, I tell you, than a prophet. This is the man of whom it was written, Behold, I am sending before thee that angel of mine, who is to prepare the way for thy coming.[2]  Believe me, God has raised up no greater son of woman than John the Baptist; and yet to be least in the kingdom of heaven is to be greater than he.[3]

Knox Notes:
[1] Is. 35.5.
[2] Mal. 3.1; where, however, our text reads, ‘I am sending my messenger (or angel), who is to prepare the way before me’.
[3] St John the Baptist, as the final product of the old Dispensation, is less than the least of those who enjoy the blessings of the new. Like the Patriarchs, he only looked forward to the world’s redemption as something that lay in the future (verse 13) by the light of hope (Heb. 11.13), and died before its accomplishment (Mt. 13.17), instead of being able to press into the Kingdom of heaven like the common sort of Christians (verse 12).


When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”  As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces. Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you. Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Catholic Bibles Blog Christmas Gift Recommendations

Yeah, I actually considered not doing this, since who really cares what I think.  But, since my little boy Judah was sick over the weekend, I had some extra time at night to compile this list.  So, take it for what it is, nothing more, nothing less.

Knox Bible- I love this Bible, not only because of the translation, but even more so due to the high quality craftsmanship that went into produce this volume.  Even though I had mine rebound in goatskin leather, there are days where I long for the leather hardcover.  Not many mind you, but enough that it reminds me how great a job Baronius did with this volume.  Baronius Press is a model for Catholic book and Bible publishers. The language is not everyone's cup of tea, but it is well worth having if you are into slowly reading through the scriptures.

HarperOne NABRE- I still consider this the best edition of the NABRE on the market. I would have given that ranking to the Oxford's Catholic Study Bible NABRE, but they still haven't updated the reading guides. HarperOne has produced a beautifully designed page, utilizing red coloring in a tasteful and contemporary way.  The only drawback is that the imitation leather cover is a huge disappointment, so stick with the hardcover.    

Prayer Books:
Roman Breviary- 1961 by Baronius Press- I actually don't own this, but since I regularly pray the Little Office I'd love to get one someday in the future. Unfortunately, with a price tag of $359, that will likely not happen anytime soon, although it may not be available for very long.  

Divine Intimacy- As a friend of mine comments, this book is truly spiritual weightlifting.  Baronius provided me a review copy back in the summer and I have been praying with this regularly ever since.  Formed in Carmelite spirituality, "every day it offers two meditations, in liturgical arrangement, that enable the soul to enter the conscious presence of God and to reflect on the theme of the day. These are followed by a ‘Colloquy’ that helps the person at prayer to start a friendly conversation with God where acts of praise and love, petition and thanksgiving are made, together with good resolutions for the future. Here we are at the very heart of prayer, which is a heart-to-heart encounter in faith with the living God." And, of course, since it is from Baronius, it is made of the highest quality materials.  

Catholic Books:
God's Bucket List-Teresa Tomeo: If I were to recommend a book to give to a family member or friend who you think is close to taking their faith seriously, but are just not quite there yet, I'd go with this one.  Why?  Well, it makes the case that when one decides to discover God's will in their life, they will actually experience such great happiness and fulfillment that they will wonder how they lived any other way.  I know of so many people who I think are so close to turning to the Lord, but are afraid of the cost of doing so.  This book is a big help, and is written in a popular and approachable style that anyone can read it.  Teresa mixes in both Catholic teaching and her own personal stories to weave a compelling case to put our trust in God's bucket list for our lives.  Image has provided me a review copy of this book.

Word and Image: The Hermeneutics of the Saint John's Bible by Fr. Michael Patella: As most of you know, I love the Saint John's Bible.  This is a beautifully illustrated volume by one who was intimately involved in its production.  It includes a lot scriptural insights and cross-references related to the various illuminations.

Coffee with Jesus by David Wilkie: This book is a lot fun, well worth the $12 I paid for it.  It has made me both pause to think a bit, as well as laugh out loud.  I even use a few of the strips in class.

The following are three albums that were released this past year by Catholic artists who deserve your attention.

Theandric- The Door of Faith: A beautiful collection of songs that reflect on many of the themes of our Pope Emeritus and our recently concluded "Year of Faith."

Matt Maher-All the People Said Amen: Probably the most well-known of all Catholics in the contemporary Christian music scene, Matt Maher's latest is a wonderful mix of new studio tracks and live recordings.  I have probably listened to this album more than any other over the past year.

Audrey Assad- Fortunate Fall: This has become a standard each and every night, since the pleasant melodies and enchanting voice of Audrey helps our children meditate upon the scene of the Apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane, also known as go to sleep!  Highly recommended!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Biblical Knox

Over the weekend I was thinking about the available resources one is able to attain surrounding Msgr. Knox and his translation. Not only do we have the newly re-published Knox Bible from Baronius, but also a number of other books which can all be used in tandem with it.  I am not sure there is any other Catholic, at least in the English speaking world, that can match Knox.  

Consider this, with On Englishing the Bible we have a small collection of essays from Msgr. Knox which reveals his translation philosophy as well as examines particular translation issues that Knox had to deal with during his years of translating.  This collection is both frank in its assessment of his translating the Bible, but also quite witty and humorous.  I am not sure anything like this exists with the other major translations.  Would it not be amazing to have something similar from some of the other Catholic translations and their translators?  (The closest we have would probably be from Dom Henry Wansbrough and his essays on the New Jerusalem Bible.) 

Next, although out of print, is Knox's three volume A New Testament Commentary series which was published by in the 1950's.  Though utilizing his own translation of the New Testament, Knox constantly brings forth textual alternatives referring not only to the Latin, but also the Greek.  In many cases, he explains why he rendered a particular passage in that way he did, which again adds another level of clarity and is just simply fascinating.  The textual commentary found in these volumes helps to supplement the notes that are found in the Knox Bible itself.  Also, he provides some very insightful commentary, both theological and exegetical, on the New Testament passages themselves.  It becomes quite clear that although Knox was not a professional Biblical scholar, he was well versed in all the scholarly issues of the day and was able to aptly make his own contributions to the field.  This would be a great set for Baronius to bring back in print.  It can be found at some of the online used bookstores with only a little bit of effort and trust me it is well worth it. 

Finally, Ignatius Press still has in print Pastoral and Occasional Sermons by Knox.  As our friends at the Ronald Knox Society of North America point out: "Pastoral and Occasional Sermons is the largest collection of Ronald Knox's sermons and was republished in 2002 by Ignatius Press in a beautiful hardcover edition. It covers a wide variety of sermons on Christian themes as well as the feasts of the Church year, sermons for special occasions and panegyrics. In his introduction to the original edition Father Caraman, S.J. comments, "Only after I had read the sermons in this volume a second time, with the purpose of giving the references to Scriptural and other quotations, did I realize that this collection formed perhaps the most impressive body of pastoral teaching of our time. In scope and brilliance it appeared an achievement comparable only with Newman's Oxford sermons; yet more valuable because the idiom and message belonged to our own generation."  The Ignatius edition comes with an extremely useful scriptural index, thus allowing the reader to glean more insights from Knox on particular passages.  These pastoral sermons, which are deeply scriptural, provide an amazing compliment to his commentary series.

So all together, Ronald Knox has provided us a solid Biblical translation, relying on the Latin but with constant reference to the Greek and Hebrew (as indicated in his notes), a collection of essays that reveal his way of translating, a three volume commentary which examines the textual and theological issues of the text, and a collection of pastoral sermons about the scriptures.  If you think about it, this is pretty remarkable.  I am not sure that there is anything (or anyone) who can match this, particular for those of us who are English-speaking Catholics.  Thank you Ronnie!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Advent Contest Winner

Chosen completely by random, the winner of the Advent contest is....Paul Haverstock

Congrats Paul!  Please send me an email with your address within one week to claim your prize.  My email is mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sunday Knox for 2nd Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 11:1-10

From the stock of Jesse a scion shall burgeon yet; out of his roots a flower shall spring.  One shall be born, on whom the spirit of the Lord will rest; a spirit wise and discerning, a spirit prudent and strong, a spirit of knowledge and of piety,[1] and ever fear of the Lord shall fill his heart. Not his to judge by appearances, listen to rumours when he makes award;  here is judgement will give the poor redress, here is award will right the wrongs of the defenceless. Word of him shall smite the earth like a rod, breath of him destroy the ill-doer;  love of right shall be the baldric he wears, faithfulness the strength that girds him.  Wolf shall live at peace with lamb, leopard take its ease with kid; calf and lion and sheep in one dwelling-place, with a little child to herd them! Cattle and bears all at pasture, their young ones lying down together, lion eating straw like ox; child new-weaned, fresh from its mother’s arms, playing by asp’s hole, putting hand in viper’s den! All over this mountain, my sanctuary, no hurt shall be done, no life taken. Deep as the waters that hide the sea-floor, knowledge of the Lord overspreading the world! There he stands, fresh root from Jesse’s stem, signal beckoning to the peoples all around; the Gentiles will come to pay their homage, where he rests in glory.[2]

Knox Notes:
[1] The Hebrew text does not make any mention of the gift of piety; perhaps through a corruption, it seems to introduce ‘fear of the Lord’ twice over.
[2] ‘Where he rests in glory’; the Latin understands this of resting in the tomb, but this is not suggested by the Hebrew text.


On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
a spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
but he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
the calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.
On that day, the root of Jesse,
set up as a signal for the nations,
the Gentiles shall seek out,
for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Advent Contest 2013

Happy Advent everyone!  I am really excited to offer a contest for the this Advent season which is connected to the post from yesterday.  So here it is: The winner will receive a brand new copy of Mary Sperry's Scripture in the Parish: A Guide for Catholic Ministry and the compact edition of the New African Bible (NABRE).  I think these make a fine pair!

Rules for the contest:

1) If you have a website or blog or are active on Facebook, please announce this contest.   If you don't, that is OK.  You can still enter the contest. 

2) Please enter your name in the comment section of this blog post.  I will randomly draw one winner at the conclusion of the contest, which will be on Sunday December 8th at 11:59 PM.   

3) I will announce the winners on Monday December 9th.  The winners must contact me, via email, within a week with their full name and address.

4) One entry per person. 

5) Contest is only available to those who live in the United States

Monday, December 2, 2013

Oxford University Press Holiday Sale

Thank you to Theophrastus for passing this information on to me.  Follow this link for some of the sales going on this month at Oxford University Press.

Here is the note from Theophrastus, with some of the details and prices:

Of particular interest to your readers, the leather editions of both
the New Oxford Annotated Bible NRSV (4th edition) and RSV (expanded
edition) are being sold at 65% off.  I personally consider the NOAB
RSV to be a high point in annotated study Bibles, and the NOAB NRSV is
a leading academic study Bible.  I have never seen the leather
editions at such low prices.

Here is a list of a few titles that may be of interest to your readers
and the sale prices:

* NOAB NRSV (4th edition, leather) (9780195289572) $33.25
* NOAB RSV (expanded edition, leather) (9780195283358) $31.50
* NSRV w/Apocrypha pocket edition (leather) $22.50
* RSV Catholic Bible (large print hardcover) (9780195288704) $20
* RSV Catholic Bible (compact leather & zipper) (9780195288537) $16.50
* RSV Catholic Bible (compact leather) (9780195288551) $16.50
* REB Oxford Study Bible (paperback) (9780195290004) $17.50
* NETS New English Translation of the Septuagint (hardcover) (9780195289756) $20
* Oxford Bible Atlas (paperback) (9780199560462) $17.50
* Oxford Companion to the Bible (hardcover) (9780195046458) $28.00
* The Catholic Studies Reader (paperback) (9780823234110) $15.00
* The American Catholic Revolution (hardcover) (9780199734122) $14.00
* The Apocryphal Gospels (hardcover) (9780199732104) $17.50

7 More Questions for Mary Sperry

Mary Sperry is, of course, no stranger to this blog.  She has been invaluable in providing helpful information about various Catholic bible issues over the years, particularly in regards to the New American Bible.  She is Associate Director for Permissions and Bible Utilization for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. She holds a master's degree in liturgical studies from the Catholic University of America and a master's degree in political science from UCLA. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications and she is frequently interviewed on national television and radio programs.  I am happy to invite her back for another "7 Questions" in order to discuss a number of recent projects in which she has been involved. Her most recent book Scripture in the Parish: A Guide for Catholic Ministry is a serious call to all involved in parish life to integrate the Scriptures into the heart of all parish ministries.  

1)I was fortunate enough to write an endorsement for your helpful little book Scripture in the Parish: A Guide for Catholic Ministry published by Liturgical Press.  I am curious as to what your reasons were for writing this book?
The people the the Church calls into ministry – as catechists, liturgical ministers, youth group volunteers, pro-life committee, etc. --  are people who are very motivated about growing in their faith. In many cases, they may not know as much about the Bible as they want to know or as they should know to assist in their ministry. My little book gives them a quick review of what the Church believes about the Bible, how the Church uses the Bible, and some steps for beginning to interpret the Bible with the mind of the Church. Hopefully, reading it will help these ministers feel more confident in their faith and share their knowledge of God’s Word.

2)  I mentioned in my endorsement that your book emphasizes that "scripture should never be an 'add on' or 'extra element' to anything that the Church does, particularly at the parish level, but rather, the Bible must be an integral part of parish life".  So, here we are, more than fifty years since the Second Vatican Council, and I am curious as to what you see as the main problems that hinder the use of Scripture at the parish level by Catholics?
I think most Catholics feel that they don’t know enough about the Bible. To make it worse, they often feel intimidated about learning more. So many of the available resources are either too simple or too technical. People are afraid that their non-Catholic friends know much more about the Bible or Catholics fear that they will misrepresent what the Church believes.

Another issue is that we are a big Church. People get divided by function. That leads some people to think that the Bible concerns primarily priests and catechists and lectors. In fact, every minister who serves God’s people – no matter how – should be well-grounded in the Word of God. The purpose f all ministry is to lead people to Christ. You can’t lead people to Jesus if you don’t know him and you can’t know him if you don’t know Scripture.

3) On the other hand, where do you see areas of growth in Catholic scripture reading since the Council? 
I think Catholics are reading the Bible more (though we don’t have good statistics that allow us to judge these things over time). We know that Catholics are seeking Bible resources in many places. THe Bible and daily readings pages on the USCCB website are always the most popular pages.

The increased use of Scripture in the liturgy has been a big step forward. People are becoming familiar with more and more of the biblical text.

Lectio divina is beginning to take off as a prayer form, leading people to make the Bible a bigger part of their prayer lives.

And catechetical textbooks include much more Scripture than those of the first half of the 20th century. Young people in faith formation are encouraged to read Scripture from their books and from Bibles in the classroom.

4)  Could you talk a little bit about your participation in the recently released Catholic Women's Bible published by OSV?   How did this project come about?
I got an email one day from Jackie Lindsay, a lovely editor with Our Sunday Visitor, asking if I’d be interested in being part of the team. At the time, I only knew who the editor would be. Well, Bible and women – how could I say no?  I got my writing assignments and started to work. Over the months, I got to know the editor, Woodee Koenig-Bricker, quite well. She’s become a good friend. Then I found out that other contributors were women I’d worked with on other projects. My only regret is that we were never all in one room to chat with each other about what we were working on. I’m not sure any of us would have changed a word, but it would have been a great conversation!

5) Do you have any new projects that you working on currently?
I contributed two reflections to Naked and You Clothed Me, a project of Homilists for the Homeless. It’s an ecumenical effort of preachers and writers, tied to the liturgical readings. All of the contributors give their work and 100% of the book proceeds go to charity.

I have a book with Liguori Publications, scheduled to come out just before Lent in 2014. It’s called Real Life Faith: Bible Companions for Catholic Teens.

Then I’ll be working on Liturgy Training Publication’s Sourcebook for Sundays and Seasons for 2016.

Then, I think I need to rest a bit!

6)  Is there anything new to report concerning the revision work on the NAB that was announced last year?
The Board of Editors has been appointed and they are working on principles of translation that will go to the USCCB Administrative Committee for approval. Once those principles are approved, we start bringing revisers on board and start moving forward.

7) Has there been any passages of Scripture that you have found meaningful during this past year?

It’s been a very rough year for me. I lost my father and my uncle.  A dear friend lost her 48 year-old husband. Another friend lost her mom (both had been my guests for Thanksgiving for a few years). A former colleague died at 52. A high school classmate’s daughter is struggling with leukemia. I find that Revelation 21:3-4 has helped a lot.