Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Blowout Contest

I am finally about to settle into my summer vacation.  The school year has been over for a couple of weeks now, but I have had the privilege to attend a fantastic conference as well as teach a Vacation Bible School for Adults.  So, to celebrate some free time finally, I want to offer this contest to you.

The winner of this contest will receive the following items:

1) Compact New African Bible (NABRE)
2) Compact RSV-2CE Ignatius NT and Psalms
3) Compact Confraternity New Testament
4) Catholic Courses CD Set of The Christ: A Faithful Picture of Jesus from the Gospels by FR. Alfred McBride
5) A lot of CD's from Lighthouse Catholic Media, including talks by Scott Hahn, Peter Kreeft, Steve Ray, Patrick Madrid, Fr. Robert Barron, and others.

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 (or my wife) will randomly draw one winner at the conclusion of the contest, which will be on Sunday July 6th at 11:59 PM.

 3) I will announce the winners on Monday July 7th. 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. (Fear Not! There will be an international-only contest in the coming weeks.)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sunday Knox: Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18

As for me, my blood already flows in sacrifice; the time has nearly come when I can go free. I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have redeemed my pledge;*  I look forward to the prize that is waiting for me, the prize I have earned. The Lord, the judge whose award never goes amiss, will grant it to me when that day comes; to me, yes, and all those who have learned to welcome his appearing.  But the Lord was at my side; he endowed me with strength, so that through me the preaching of the gospel might attain its full scope, and all the Gentiles might hear it; thus I was brought safely out of the jaws of the lion. Yes, the Lord has preserved me from every assault of evil; he will bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom; glory be to him through endless ages, Amen.

Knox Note:
*‘I have redeemed my pledge’, or perhaps ‘I have kept the faith’, but the context here seems to demand a fresh metaphor; cf. I Tim. 6.20, II Tim. 1.12.

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance. The Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sunday Knox for Corpus Christi (1 COR 10:16-17)

We have a cup that we bless; is not this cup we bless a participation in Christ’s blood? Is not the bread we break a participation in Christ’s body? The one bread makes us one body, though we are many in number; the same bread is shared by all*.

Knox notes:
[9] The beginning of this verse may also be translated, ‘For we are one bread, one body, though many in number’.

The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?  The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

NABRE NT Revision Thought

I have made it pretty clear on this blog that I am a fan of the NABRE.  For the most part, minus a couple renderings in Genesis, I think the revision is much better than the original and comparable to the other two of the big three, them being the RSV and NRSV.  Yet, we also know that the CBA and USCCB are in the beginning stages of the NT being revised as well.  This is going to take a number of years, likely around 8-10, because the desired result is that we will have a bible that matches the scripture heard during Mass.  (The reason it will take that long is not only due to the process of translation, but also the typically slow process of having it approved by the Vatican for the lectionary.).  I hope to have some information on the translating process in the coming months.

So, this leads to my question today: What elements of he current NABRE NT would you like to see retained?  We have talked about what we would like see changed, Luke 1:28 being one that has come up often.  But let's keep this discussion focused on what should remain.  Perhaps this could be a particular rendering or maybe the overall translation philosophy.  One thing, let's keep this focused on the text.  Too often we get bogged down in the notes and commentary.  

I'll start us off with this one: The way the NAB translates the "I AM" sayings in John.  The NAB makes it crystal clear that Jesus is taking upon himself the divine name.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Another NABRE Improvement: Genesis 20:7

I do enjoy pointing out the various improvements from the original 1970 NAB OT to the newly revised NABRE OT.  Here is another example, from Genesis 20:7:

NAB '70:
"Therefore, return the man's wife - as a spokesman he will intercede for you - that your life may be saved. If you do not return her, you can be sure that you and all who are yours will certainly die."

"So now, return the man’s wife so that he may intercede for you, since he is a prophet, that you may live. If you do not return her, you can be sure that you and all who are yours will die."

The NABRE explains why the newer translation is superior:
Prophet: only here is Abraham explicitly called “prophet,” Hebrew nabi (cf.Ps 105:15).

This is also the first time in the OT that a person is called a nabi which makes the NABRE revision all the more important.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hearing Francis: Pocket Gospels

Pope Francis has repeated his desire to see Catholics read the Bible daily, particularly the Gospels.  (He did it over a week ago, again, at the conference with the Charismatic Renewal.  As mentioned a few posts back, he even gave away free Gospels at a recent Regina Caeli).  The USCCB has heard the call as well and are making a pocket edition of the NAB Gospels and Acts available in the coming weeks.

So, have you answered the Holy Father's call?  If so, which edition do you use?  I really like the Ignatius Press RSV-2CE Gospels and Psalms.  It is beautifully made, contains two ribbons, and the print is very dark.  That is really all you can ask for in a pocket Gospels including the Psalms.  I had the first edition which came out in 2006, but recently purchased a new one.  This one has darker print, the paper is not glossy, and it was made in the United States.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sunday Knox: Trinity Sunday

2 Corinthians 13:11-13

We wish you all joy. Perfect your lives, listen to the appeal we make, think the same thoughts, keep peace among yourselves; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with the kiss of saints. All the saints send you their greeting. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the imparting of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

Rejoice! Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the holy ones greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Review: Catena Aurea by Baronius Press

The Catena Aurea by St. Thomas Aquinas, and published by Baronius Press, is a true treasure.  A catena, which derives from the Latin word meaning "a chain," is a continuous collection of commentary on the Bible from the early church Fathers organized into one continuous "chain."  Aquinas' Catena includes the work of over eighty Church Fathers.  This masterful work was commissioned by Pope Urban IV and the English translation found in these four volumes was done under the instigation of Blessed John Henry Newman.  So, then, what you have is a set of books that truly spans from the Apostolic era to the modern world.

A little about the Catena, from Baronius:
The Catena is so contrived that it reads as a running commentary, the several extracts being dovetailed together by the compiler. And it consists wholly of extracts, the compiler introducing nothing of his own but the few connecting particles which link one extract to the next. There are also a few quotations headed ‘Glossa,’ which none of the editors have been able to find in any author, and which from their character, being briefly introductory of a new chapter or a new subject, may be probably assigned to the compiler; though even this is dispensed with whenever it is possible: when a Father will furnish the words for such transition or connection, they are dexterously introduced. In the Gospel of S. Matthew there are only a few other passages which seem to belong to S. Thomas. These are mostly short explanations or notes upon something that seemed to need explanation in some passage quoted, and which in a modern book would have been thrown into the form of a foot note. An instance of this may be seen in p. 405. The only important passages of this kind are some Glosses on chap. xxvi. 26. which will be noticed in their place.

However, instead of analyzing the Catena itself, I would like to point out some of the fantastic features of the book itself.  First off, The text of this edition has been digitally reset to faithfully reproduce that of the 1841 edition of Catena Aurea as published by John Henry Parker, Oxford; and J. G. F. and J. Rivington, London 1841.  As with everything Baronius does, the results are top of the line.  Each page is clear to read and the print is dark.  There are also generous margins if you wish to add your own annotations.  (You can see a clearer page sample here.)  If you own Baronius' edition of Divine Intimacy, a similar clear and crisp page presentation is found in the Catena

These bound volumes are a pleasure to hold and read from.  The easily lay open flat on a table, not matter which page one is on.  Each hardback volume, which measures out at 6"x 8.25", is bound in leather, including fine marbled endpapers.  As many of you know, I had my Knox edition rebound last year.  It took me a few months to finally pull the trigger on it since I really liked the leather hardback.  However, one of the things I liked most were the marble endpapers in the Knox.  Even to this day, I sneak a peak at my goatskin Knox almost wishing to see those lovely endpapers.  Oh well!  I won't be having this set rebound!

Each volume has a sturdy sewn binding and the pages are gold gilded.  Again, and like almost everything Baronius does, when you read from these volumes, you know that you are reading from a book that has been lovingly produced.  Baronius does not do things on the cheap.  Yes, you will have to pay a bit more for their products, but they are absolutely worth the price.  We need more Catholic publishers who are committed to producing high-quality Bibles, missals, and other books.  Finally, a nice addition to each volume is the inclusion of two ribbons.  

The Catena is, of course, available in various digital sources, including some of the Bible software products that are out there.  However, if you like to have a beautifully made hardbound edition, Baronius Press has the set for you.  The set is available on the Baronius website for $149.00.  Get it!

Thank you to Baronius Press for providing me this review copy

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Aleteia Article on Dom Henry Wansbrough, OSB

Fr. Wansbrough is the main editor of the New Jerusalem Bible and member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.  The article discusses a bit about his life as well as his work on the NJB.

What does a world-famous scripture scholar do after returning from a biblical conference in South Africa? Are there texts to revisit, linguistic dictionaries to consult, or rare books to return to their home in the monastery library? Not exactly.

Last week, Dom Henry Wansbrough, OSB, was pushing a lawn mower on the grounds of Ampleforth Abbey in England after a long plane trip.  He regularly runs four or five miles. Decades ago, as captain of the rugby team at Ampleforth College, Fr. Henry commanded players on the nearby field. The football coach was Basil Hume, later Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. Now nearly 80, he continues to be intellectually, physically, and spiritually sound, writing copiously and teaching both university and high school.

Continue here...

Monday, June 9, 2014

Little Rock Study on Dei Verbum

The Word of God at Vatican II by Fr. Ronald Witherup SS will be available later this month.  I hope to be receiving a review copy at some point to look at.  

Enter Code VATICAN today 
and save 25% on The Word
of God at Vatican II 
Study Set!
Did you ever wonder how the Bible became such an essential part of being a Catholic in our Day? Dei Verbum—The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation—remains one of the foundational teachings of the Second Vatican Council. Discover how this teaching helped to move the Bible into the heart of parish faith formation, and continues to direct our efforts in liturgy, education, and spirituality. Appropriate for all parish adult faith formation efforts, Bible study groups, and diocesan education programs.
Ronald D. Witherup, SS, is Superior General of the Sulpicians, an order of diocesan priests dedicated to initial and ongoing formation of priests. He holds a doctorate in biblical studies and is the author of numerous books and articles on scripture, including, Gold Tested in Fire A New Pentecost for the Catholic Priesthood, and Biblical Fundamentalism, What Every Catholic Should Know, both published by Liturgical Press. He is also the New Testament editor of the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible.
This simplified 4 week study requires no video or audio lectures. There is no introductory session, either, so participants should be encouraged to obtain their study sets ahead of time and come prepared to discuss Lesson One at their first gathering. The Study Set, however, is similar to study sets found in almost any other Little Rock Scripture Study. It consists of a commentary, The Word of God at Vatican II: Exploring Dei Verbum, written by Ronald D. Witherup, SS (Liturgical Press, 2014) and a Study Guide. The commentary includes a translation of the document Dei Verbum, also known as The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, along with background information and insightful commentary. The Study Guide is written by Catherine Upchurch, with 18 questions for each of the 4 lessons.
Weekly Lessons
Lesson 1—A brief history of Dei Verbum
Lesson 2—Dei Verbum, paragraphs 1–13
Lesson 3—Dei Verbum, paragraphs 14–26
Lesson 4—Ongoing interpretation and the fruits of Dei Verbum

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Sunday Knox: Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4)

When the day of Pentecost came round, while they were all gathered together in unity of purpose, all at once a sound came from heaven like that of a strong wind blowing, and filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then appeared to them what seemed to be tongues of fire, which parted and came to rest on each of them; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in strange languages, as the Spirit gave utterance to each.

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Francis T. Gignac, S.J. (1933 – 2014)

Fr. Gignac was a Professor in the Biblical Studies Department at Catholic University of America. He retired in May 2013 to the Jesuit provincial house in Detroit. He was a reviser on the 1986 NAB revised New Testament and on the board of editors for the NABRE OT.  He was known as one of the Church's best textual scholars, most notably being ranked among the most knowledgeable scholars of Hellenistic Greek.  You can read more about him and his work by heading over to his faculty staff page.  

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Pocket Gospels and Acts from USCCB

In light of our Holy Father's often repeated call to read the Gospels daily, including gifting thousands of people at a recent Sunday Regina Caeli prayer in St. Peter's Square with copies of the Gospels, the USCCB will be publishing a similar product for those of us in the USA.

Carry the Pocket Gospels and Acts of the Apostles with you, and keep the Word of God as your constant guide and inspiration!

In April, Pope Francis handed out thousands of pocket-sized copies of the Gospels and Acts. He asked the faithful to read a passage every day, saying, "This is the word of Jesus!"

This small pocket-sized book has the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles with a beautiful Italian fresco on the cover just like the Pope's! Take it with you and read it anytime you have a few minutes during the day. On the bus!   Waiting for an appointment! Anytime!

This paperback edition will contain the NAB(RE) Gospels and Acts (including notes).  Its size is 6" X 4" X 1/4" and, as the info above mentions, will have the same cover as the one given to the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square.  That is pretty cool!  Individually, the price for each is $7.95.  I know that they are encouraging bulk orders, which you can access here.  (In bulk, the price is closer to $5.37 per book.)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Benedict on Wednesday: Christmas Homily 2012

"Again and again it astonishes us that God makes himself a child so that we may love him, so that we may dare to love him, and as a child trustingly lets himself be taken into our arms. It is as if God were saying: I know that my glory frightens you, and that you are trying to assert yourself in the face of my grandeur. So now I am coming to you as a child, so that you can accept me and love me."

Monday, June 2, 2014

Angels and Saint Contest Winner

Congrats to Barbara Stonecipher for being the winner of the contest.  Please send along your name and email to mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com by the end of the week to claim your prize.  Thanks to all who entered!

Guest Post: My Little Scripture Library

Thanks to reader Thomas for this post on the My Little Scripture Library from Confraternity of the Precious Blood.
This is a three book collection called My Little Scripture Library. It was published by the Confraternity of the Precious Blood. I think it was sold around the 1950's. The latest publishing date in the book Christ in the gospel is 1949.

There are three titles: The New Testament which contains the Confraternity version,  Christ in the Gospel which is a harmony of the gospels, and My Daily Psalm Book, which contains the Bea Psalter arranged according to the pre-Vatican II breviary.

Both the psalter and the harmony have numerous illustrations by the Armenian artist Ariel Agemian.
Each book is bound in what appears to be a synthetic leather. They each come with two ribbon markers. The pages have the red and gold gilt edges. Each book is about 5 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches. And they came packed in a small protective box.

I got these off of eBay for about thirty dollars. They seemed to have been unused. The ribbons were still folded up in each volume and look as though they have never been read.
I have enjoyed reading them and especially like following the Psalter throughout the day for prayer, and ready the gospel harmony.

It is also interesting to note that TAN Books is now going to be the publisher for the pocket books of the Confraternity of Precious Blood.