Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Knox New Testament: Chanticleer Edition (1946)

Back in August, we had a major rain event in southeast Michigan which caused severe flash flooding. Many of the sewers in my area backed-up, causing sewage to come out of the drains in many homes in my area, including mine.  We had a total of two feet of sewage in our basement, which took the better part of a week to clean up and have sanitized.  Many of my books were in the basement at the time, including a few of my favorite Knox editions.  One of them was the compact New Testament, which I often used.  (I am still not sure why I even had it in the basement back then?)  So, over the course of the past few months I have been trying to find at least a few of the books I lost.  The compact Knox has been difficult to find. However, I have been able to purchase, along with three-volume Knox which I posted about last week, this beautiful hardcover Sheed & Ward The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Chanticleer Edition) in the Knox translation.  There are a number of things which I think make this Bible simply amazing, including the fact that it was published in 1944, only a year after Knox completed his New Testament translation of the Vulgate.

As the preface states: "This edition of Monsignor Knox's translation of the New Testament has been designed to bring to the reader an especially fine volume."  This is done through a number of ways.  First off, there are 30 color illustrations, selected from art museums and galleries in the US and England, scattered throughout this volume.  They all depict, chronologically, the life of Christ.  They are printed on a thin glossy paper, which does not interfere with page turning.   The illustrations contain works of Giotto, Van Eyck, Fra Angelico, and others.

Secondly, this Chanticleer Edition also provides a very attractive page layout.  There are chapter headings, which are adapted from woodcuts from the Biblia Vulgar Historiata.  These are very beautifully done and really add to the overall look to each and every page.   

Thirdly, to enhance reading, the book is set in 10 point Linotype Janson in a single-column format.  I love single-column format Bibles, and it is great to see it done so well.  Yes, Catholics can have nice looking Bibles!  In addition, the marginal notes, which are usually found at the bottom of the page in most Knox editions, are on the side in 6 point Old Style Italics.  All of this makes this edition conducive reading this "new" translation in large chunks.

Last, but not least, this edition comes with some attractive end papers, which are also composed of past woodcuts.  They represent the genealogy of Jesus.  They are based of the ones done by Michael Pleydenwurff, from the "Nuremberg Chronicle," the first edition being printed in 1493.

So, this is an outstanding Bible in almost every way.  If you love the Knox translation then this should be a part of your library.  I can't say enough about how beautiful this edition is.  I also love the art work, both the prints and woodcuts, that give this volume a real sense of history to it.  The fact these wonderful works of art are combined with Knox's "new" translation of the New Testament provide the reader a wonderful mix of both the Church of the modern era and of history.   

Monday, March 30, 2015

Dei Verbum at 50 (Paragraph 7)

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, I will be posting twice a month, on Mondays, a paragraph from this important document.  There are a total of 26 paragraphs, so this will take us through to the Fall when we reach the anniversary of its promulgation by Pope Paul VI on November 18, 1965.  I look forward to our discussion.  May I suggest a helpful book by Fr. Ronald D. Witherup called The Word of God at Vatican II: Exploring Dei Verbum published by Liturgical Press.

7. In His gracious goodness, God has seen to it that what He had revealed for the salvation of all nations would abide perpetually in its full integrity and be handed on to all generations. Therefore Christ the Lord in whom the full revelation of the supreme God is brought to completion (see Cor. 1:20; 3:13; 4:6), commissioned the Apostles to preach to all men that Gospel which is the source of all saving truth and moral teaching, and to impart to them heavenly gifts. This Gospel had been promised in former times through the prophets, and Christ Himself had fulfilled it and promulgated it with His lips. This commission was faithfully fulfilled by the Apostles who, by their oral preaching, by example, and by observances handed on what they had received from the lips of Christ, from living with Him, and from what He did, or what they had learned through the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The commission was fulfilled, too, by those Apostles and apostolic men who under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit committed the message of salvation to writing.

But in order to keep the Gospel forever whole and alive within the Church, the Apostles left bishops as their successors, "handing over" to them "the authority to teach in their own place." This sacred tradition, therefore, and Sacred Scripture of both the Old and New Testaments are like a mirror in which the pilgrim Church on earth looks at God, from whom she has received everything, until she is brought finally to see Him as He is, face to face (see 1 John 3:2).

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Knox vs. The Message: Palm Sunday (Mark 11:1-10)

As we enter into Holy Week, I wish you all a blessed week.  

When they were approaching Jerusalem, and Bethany, which is close to mount Olivet, he sent two of his disciples on an errand:  Go into the village that faces you, he told them, and the first thing you will find there upon entering will be a colt tethered, one on which no man has ever ridden; untie it, and bring it to me.  And if anyone asks you, Why are you doing that? tell him, the Lord has need of it, and he will let you have it without more ado.  So they went, and found the colt tethered before a door at the entrance; and they untied it.  Some of the bystanders asked them, What are you doing, untying the colt?  And they answered them as Jesus had bidden, and were allowed to take it. So they brought the colt to Jesus, and saddled it with their garments, and he mounted it. Many of them spread their garments in the way, and others strewed the way with leaves they had cut down from the trees. And those who went before him and followed after him cried aloud, Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; blessed is the kingdom of our father David which is coming to us; Hosanna in heaven above.

The Message:
When they were nearing Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany on Mount Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never yet been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘The Master needs him, and will return him right away.’”
They went and found a colt tied to a door at the street corner and untied it. Some of those standing there said, “What are you doing untying that colt?” The disciples replied exactly as Jesus had instructed them, and the people let them alone. They brought the colt to Jesus, spread their coats on it, and he mounted.
The people gave him a wonderful welcome, some throwing their coats on the street, others spreading out rushes they had cut in the fields. Running ahead and following after, they were calling out,
Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!
Blessed the coming kingdom of our father David!
Hosanna in highest heaven!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Hear My Prayer: The Complete Audio Book of Psalms (NRSV)

Listen to the voices of poets, theologians, novelists, scholars, priests, pastors, and spiritual writers as they pointedly and poignantly read each of the 150 psalms in the Psalter. With James Martin, sj, Thomas Lynch, Luci Shaw, Phyllis Tickle, Kathleen Norris, Jon M. Sweeney, Chris Smith, Sybil MacBeth, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Scott Cairns, Cathleen Falsani, Albert Haase, ofm, Paul Mariani, Paula Huston, Greg Wolfe, Vassilios Papavassiliou, Carl McColman, Danielle Shroyer, Jack Levison, Priscilla Pope-Levison, William Woolfitt, AND many others.

The Psalms were written by human beings, and here, they are read by human beings—a wide range of ordinary and extraordinary Christians representing every expression of Christianity. One psalm follows another, 1 through 150, creating a powerful listening experience that you will return toagain and again.

Listen on the subway, on a walk, on your lunch break, or while you are cooking dinner. Take a break from the busy noise of your day and let these words of prayer seep into your soul.

I believe this is an audio CD.  You can purchase it at Paraclete Press.  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review of King's LXX Translation

Russ continues his analysis of the King Bible with a look at his translation of the Septuagint.

“In the beginning God made heaven and earth. And the earth was invisible and unformed; and darkness was upon the abyss, and the Spirit of God was rushing upon the water.”

So begins Fr. King’s translation of the Septuagint (LXX), for which we should be thankful as there are very few English translations of the Greek Old Testament in our bibles today. One is found in the Orthodox Study Bible (OSB), which uses as its base text the Old Testament of the New King James Version, and the other is the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS), which uses the NRSV Old Testament as its base text. Now we have Fr. King’s and it’s my intention to quote freely from his introductions and footnotes to guide us through it. I don’t really consider this a review in the conventional sense but more of a casual glancing through his translation and the way it’s laid out. I simply haven’t had the time to read the entire translation. However, I wanted to share some initial observations and what I have found that I consider educational.

In his Preface he gives three reasons for using the LXX:
“In the first place, the LXX, and not the Hebrew text (what we shall call the MT or ‘Masoretic Text’) is the version most used by our New Testament authors, for whom the LXX, and not the MT, is ‘the bible’. Secondly, and perhaps rather oddly, the manuscripts for the LXX are older than those of the MT and in some cases preserve a superior reading; and they are good evidence for how Greek-speaking Jews of the three centuries before the birth of Christ read their sacred texts. Thirdly, it may be useful at this point to recall that most Jews of the time will have spoken Greek rather than than Hebrew, just as today more Jews speak English than Hebrew.”

And it’s in his presentation of the Old Testament (as opposed to his NT section/text that I reviewed two weeks ago) that you get back to more familiar ground as far as study bibles are concerned, and this is advertized as a study bible. Here the verses are included in the text (wild applause and cheering on my part), unlike the NT.  Most of the introductions are more in-depth than what is found in the NT but not overly so. In a lot of bibles you actually feel like you’re drowning when it comes to all the theories and speculations about this, that, and the other thing (and yes, there is a place for all the this, that, and the other thing) but if you’re not careful you (me) can lose sight that, when all is said and done, this is a book that is inspired by God and one of the most beautiful ways he uses to communicate to us.

His footnotes are copious in the places that are needed, and in many of them he demonstrates the differences between the Greek and Hebrew and what the translator may have been thinking.

For example, Genesis 2:2 (I did the underling below):
LXX (King): “And God completed on the sixth day the works which he made; and he rested on the seventh day…”

NABRE:  “On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day…”

The RSV/NRSV/NJB all translate the same way as the NABRE as they are all based on the MT as well.

Fr. King’s footnote for that verse: “here the translator seems to have edited what he found in the Hebrew text, which at first blush implies that God actually worked on the 7th day, and the translator is evidently determined to preserve the Sabbath from divine labour.” Twenty years into my reading and studying of the bible, and I’m just now discovering this interesting little tidbit. And there are many other such notes that are found scattered through each book.

And this is an example of why he states in his Introduction to Genesis: “As you read this translation of the Septuagint, I should like to encourage you to keep your Bibles open, and see some of the differences between the Greek and the Hebrew versions from which your bibles will normally have been translated.”

When you flip passed the books of Moses, Joshua and Judges you find “four books that belong very closely together. The LXX signals this by calling them 1-4 ‘Reigns’ or ‘Kingdom’. We shall call them by the conventional titles, of 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings (the latter originates with Jerome’s translation of the Hebrew text into Latin).”

Next are two books that “were just one volume in Hebrew; it was only when they were translated into Greek that they were divided…the Greek translator called it ‘Paralipomena’, or ‘things left out’.” Again, Fr. King uses the traditional titles of 1 and 2 Chronicles for these books. I’m glad because as hard as I try, I find it difficult to pronounce Paralipomena without my tongue and mind becoming momentarily paralyzed.

Going forward to the Wisdom books you first come to the Book of Job, personally one of my favorite books and one I admit I haven’t read in a long time, so it’s a joy to read it again, this time from the Septuagint. Fr. King: “the Greek text is notably shorter than the Hebrew, sometimes offering no more than a paraphrase (though there are also occasional additions). This is partly, one suspects, because in places the Hebrew is so very obscure, and partly because it tends to be repetitious. The Greek translation makes various theological emendations…This translation is particularly interesting as it is our first evidence of how some Jews, from a different culture, read this remarkable work.”
A sample introduction, this one from Psalms.

About the numbering of the Psalms, Fr. King notes, “This Psalm (9) was originally an alphabetic psalm (although bits are now missing), and Psalm 10 was its continuation, as LXX correctly observes. We shall continue to number in accordance with the Masoretic Text, but with LXX in brackets after the MT numeration.”

When you get to the prophets and specifically now to Isaiah he writes, “the Greek translation is odd in places, for occasionally the translator seems to have misunderstood the Hebrew (assuming that he had the same text before him as we have), and his Greek is simply unintelligible at times. At other times, however, he shows excellent translation skills, though he sometimes feels free to suggest a different translation, often entirely appropriate to the themes of the book as a whole.” Finally, “the reader is warned that at times it is very difficult indeed to follow the order of the Isaiah scroll; in particular how one passage leads into what follows. So do not worry if it seems impossible to grasp; simply sit patiently with it.”

Above is an example of the page layout for the entire Old Testament section. And considering the season we’re in, I wanted to display that particular part of Isaiah.
Jeremiah is another book I haven’t read in a long time, so when I started to flip through it I was immediately reminded and educated to the difficulties scholars have when it comes to the proper order and structuring of the book. In his translation, Fr. King uses the following chapter order:

He writes in the Introduction, “the Greek is about 12 per cent shorter (than the MT). And the discoveries of fragments of Jeremiah in the Qumran caves (especially the one known as 4QJer(b) suggests that there were several editions of Jeremiah known to 1st century Jews; many scholars think that LXX may be closer to the original, in particular in the placing of the ‘oracles against the nations’, though in the circumstances that is a tricky claim to sustain.”

When I first started to look into this translation, I saw that it was roundly endorsed by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, Desmund Tutu and Henry Wansbrough, OSB, general editor of The New Jerusalem Bible and former member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. However, I didn’t buy it for that. I bought it because he translated from the Septuagint. Had it not been for that I most likely wouldn’t have purchased it.

In his mostly favorable review for the Methodist Recorder , The Rev Dr. Paul Ellingsworth wrote, “This is a version intended to be read rather than analyzed, so detailed criticism is best left to academic journals.” And while I hope that someday someone with the proper biblical and language skills will do such a review, I can definitely say that I am reading this translation. For me there’s nothing like a new translation of the bible to open our eyes and spirit, or, as their advertisement says, to “shake off the dust which often settles on passages which have become tired from over familiarity or frequent quotation.”

This translation is a challenge and one that I honestly look forward to reading every day. I believe it’s a wonderful resource and it’s my hope that this translation will someday be readily available to an American audience.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Poll Time!

Which Protestant Translation Would You Like to See Come in an Approved Catholic Edition?

Poll Maker

7 Questions: Fr. Milton Walsh

Milton Walsh holds a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome.  An expert on Knox's writing, he is the author of Second Friends: C.S. Lewis and Ronald Knox in Conversation and Ronald Knox as Apologist: Wit, Laughter, and the Popish Creed.  Both titles are available through Ignatius Press.

1) How did you come upon the writings of Msgr. Ronald Knox? What kind of role has he played in your life, both spiritually and theologically?

I first came across the writings of Ronald Knox in high school, in the late 1960s.  I was in the minor seminary at a very tumultuous time in the Church and society, and with like-minded friends began exploring the writings of men like Newman, Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Arnold Lunn, and Ronald Knox.  From that time on they have been constant sources of spiritual and intellectual refreshment.

A few years after I was ordained a priest, my bishop sent me to Rome for doctoral studies.  I had hoped to concentrate in spirituality, but he asked me to devote my energies to apologetics.  This was in 1982, and the word had all but dropped out of the Catholic lexicon.  He foresaw that in the future we would need people trained in presenting the Catholic faith in a clear, attractive way.  Knox was, of course, my model for this, and I did my doctorate on his approach to apologetics.  Many years later I re-worked the dissertation for the general reader, and it was published by Ignatius Press as Ronald Knox as Apologist.

I have also found Knox to be a sympathetic spiritual guide and a model for preaching.  His sermons were always biblical, imaginative, and intellectually stimulating … and delivered with a lightness of touch and occasional humor.  I think any preacher would do well to make Knox’s sermons regular reading.

2) As a high school theology teacher, one of the classes I teach is Catholic Apologetics.  In the class, we utilize Knox's In Soft Garments, which is a collection of lectures Knox gave to Catholics attending Oxford in the 20's and 30's.  For many, Knox is known primarily as the convert who became an eminent apologist for the Church.  Yet, as you have pointed out in your book Ronald Knox As Apologist, that towards the end of his life he saw a need for a new kind of apologetics.  His death in 1957 left that an open question.  So, what do you think he was aiming at in this new apologetics and how might that be applicable to the Catholic Church in 2015?

I’ll try to give a brief answer to a question which generated an entire dissertation!  Knox did “classical apologetics” very well, and his Belief of Catholics is still a good resource for those who want a popular intellectual defense for belief in the existence of God and the unique role of Christ in human history.  This apologetic approach was the heir to the Enlightenment, and tended to put great emphasis on rational argumentation.  Reason was seen to be the common ground between believer and unbeliever; Knox and the other writers I mentioned earlier often approached apologetics from this vantage point.

But we are more than “thinking machines”, and Knox recognized that many intellectual questions are rooted in more existential realities.  This comes across in his conferences to Catholic students at Oxford, in In Soft Garments and in The Hidden Stream.  By the 1950s, Knox realized that mere logical defenses were not sufficient for many people.  He was deeply affected by the invention and use of the Atomic Bomb, and his God and the Atom (regrettably, not in print) testifies to an important change in his priorities.  He wanted to write “a new apologetics”, but did not get very far with it.  His final illness from cancer took him very quickly.

If I had to summarize the direction he seemed to be heading in his new approach, it would be this: the classical Catholic apologetics relied perhaps too much on pure logic, and most people are not purely logical.  The dilemma was, then, what can be the common ground for a conversation between believer and unbeliever?  His answer was ordinary human experience, which takes in the intellect but so much more: desire, beauty, heroic ideals, etc.  In fact, Knox incorporated much of this “argumentation” in his sermons, which addressed not only the mind but the whole person.

3) Of all his works, many people believe to be his greatest achievement is his translation of the Vulgate.  What are your thoughts on the Knox Bible?

I think it was the work Knox himself was proudest of, and was a remarkable feat, especially given the fact that he did the translation singlehanded in wartime England, with all the limitations that entailed.  He admitted that although there were people who liked him but did not like his translation, he would much prefer to have people not to like him but like his translation.

The venture was star-crossed in several ways.  He had squabbles with some of the bishops over the translation.  He was not a biblical exegete himself, and had limited contact with Scripture scholars. When he took up the work, his friend C.C. Martindale was pleased because he thought that with his ability to write in a diversity of styles (witness Let Dons Delight, which captures the forms of English over several hundred years), Knox would be able to capture the different styles of diverse books of the Bible. But Knox himself was aiming at what he called “timeless English”: his idea was that his translation would be understandable by readers not only today but in the past.  He also wanted the Old Testament to have a slightly archaic flavor to it.  And of course he was translating the Latin Vulgate, and soon after his work was completed the Church permitted biblical translations from the original Greek and Hebrew.

The result, in my opinion (and I am certainly no biblical expert), is a translation that is very beautiful in places, but in others it strikes a contemporary ear as rather idiosyncratic.  His English is elegant, which is a welcome change from some of the more “breezy” translations that have been produced in recent years. 

4) Why should someone today, with all the translations available, consider reading regularly from the Knox Bible?

I am very pleased that the entire Knox Bible is back in print (Baronius Press), and it certainly should have a place on one’s bookshelf.  It recommends itself for several reasons:

1.      Knox was a master of English, and his rendering of familiar biblical texts in a new way can offer fresh insights. (One of his complaints was that some bishops did not like his translation because it did not sound like the Douay-Rheims; his reasonable response was that the whole point of a new translation is that it should be different.)
2.      Even those who did not fully embrace his translation when it came out acknowledged that his translation of the Epistles of St. Paul was masterly. 
3.      Knox had a facile mind, and one example of this in his translation was his ability to take passages in the Psalms and the end of the Book of Proverbs which in Hebrew were “abecedarian” (that is, each verse began with a different letter of the alphabet) and do the same in English.  A tour de force!
4.      Knox was not a biblical exegete, but he had a profound knowledge of the Scriptures especially because of his upbringing in an evangelical Anglican family.  One biblical scholar compared Knox to the amateur detective (and remember, he wrote detective stories and was a colleague of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers and others), who spots the clues that the Scotland Yard professionals (i.e., biblical scholars) overlook.  His translation and commentaries would not pass muster as “scientific” exegesis, but he does bring out many spiritual insights in the text.  And, after all, there should be a place for that kind of scholarship.  Knox produced a commentary on the New Testament, and it would be wonderful if some publisher would produce his New Testament translation with the commentary on the bottom of the page, which had been his original intent.

In sum, I would recommend reading Knox’s translation along with others because he opens a window that provides freshness to texts which can become stale when read frequently.  It is the work of a man who was deeply imbued with a love of the Bible, saw it as a whole, and sought to make its words resonate in the heart.

5) Unlike some of the great English writers of the twentieth century, like Chesterton, Tolkien, and Lewis among others, Knox has not seemed to have had the same size of following today like the others.  Why do you think that is the case?

Thanks in part to the remarkable work of Sheed & Ward, Ronald Knox’s writings were very popular both in England and here in America from the 1930s until the early 1960s.  A lot happened in the sixties (to put it mildly!) – many Catholic publishers disappeared and avowedly Catholic writers went into eclipse, in part I believe because “ecumenism” seemed to make it somehow poor taste to speak about Catholic particularity. (In fact, I think convert authors like Knox can be truly helpful to the ecumenical movement because they bridge the divide.)  There was also a general “dumbing down” in Catholic education, most dramatically seen in the collapse of the entire catechetical enterprise of the Church.  Doctrine was out, good vibes were in. That reaction was in part due to the overemphasis on purely logical presentations of doctrine, which was a concern of Knox himself in his later years.

Chesterton is always Chesterton, and is in a league of his own, so it is no surprise that his cork popped back up very soon. Lewis has enjoyed something of a Renaissance largely because of the interest shown him by American Evangelicals; and of course he is a remarkable writer, dealing with the basic tenets of “mere Christianity”.  Tolkien stands on his own as a novelist and, although there are many theological themes in his works, they are not explicitly religious.

In part Knox went into oblivion because his books were out of print, and that is thankfully changing.  He tended to be a bit colloquial in his writing, so at times his allusions seem foreign in a culture different from that in which we wrote.  Some of his writing is dated.  But I would argue that much of it is not, and in fact he has much to offer contemporary readers.  I associate him with C. S. Lewis in this way: Lewis is a more engaging writer, but Knox has more theological depth.  Knox’s writings can serve as a good follow-up to those of Lewis, because Lewis does a good job presenting a very broad vision of Christian belief, but Knox fills in the landscape.

6) If a person wanted to get started reading Msgr. Knox, where would you advise him or her to start?

I would offer a few suggestions, in part because it depends on who the reader is and what he or she is looking for.

If you want a good introduction to the Catholic faith: The Creed in Slow Motion.  These were originally talks he gave to schoolgirls during the Second World War.  They are easy reading and accessible to young people.  It is interesting to think of him spinning these out at the same time he was laboring on his translation of the Bible.

For someone looking for a logical defense of basic apologetical questions like the existence of God and uniqueness of Jesus Christ, I would suggest The Belief of Catholics.  The first half of the book presents a logical defense, the second half gives a sense of the mystery of Catholic life from the inside.

The next step up as far as apologetics are concerned would be his university sermons:  The Hidden Stream and In Soft Garments.

All of the foregoing fall into the genre of apologetics.  More importantly, I would urge everyone to read his sermons, which have been collected together into a large volume by Ignatius Press (Pastoral and Occasional Sermons).  They make great spiritual reading, throughout the liturgical year, on the Eucharist, about the saints, indeed the whole of Catholic life.  Knox was able to combine Scripture, theology, and personal experience in a gentle but compelling way.

His retreat conferences are very good, although many are still out of print.  Because Knox was so popular in the 1950s, many of his writings can be found second-hand.

7) Since this blog focuses on the importance of Scripture, I was wondering what your favorite verse of Scripture may be as translated by Msgr. Knox?

Here is one selection:

Why then, since we are watched from above by such a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of all that weighs us down, of the sinful habit that clings so closely, and run, with all endurance, the race for which we are entered.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the origin and crown of all faith, who, to win his prize of blessedness, endured the cross and made light of its shame, Jesus, who now sits on the right of God’s throne.  Take your standard from him, from his endurance, from the enmity the wicked bore him, and you will not grow faint, you will not find your souls unmanned.  (Heb 12:1-3)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Update on Leather Didache RSV (Updated)

From reader Dominic (and Eric), who received the following info via an email from Ignatius:

Please be advised that the leather Didache Bible should now be available in mid-May. Our co-publisher found a printer whose quality was satisfactory and they should be shipping from the printer at the end of April.
Update: Ignatius is taking pre-orders. 

Knox Bible Three Volume Hardcover (1950-1951)

Since the inauguration of this blog, I have had the privilege to get to know some of you through emails, some via Facebook, or others even in person.  Recently, one of my readers, who lives very close to me, dropped off a bag of extra Bibles and missals that he was no longer in need of anymore.  Thank you Larry! I hope to find a suitable home for them in the near future.  (One of them, the NOAB4 already does.)  

However, on other occasions, readers have helped me to get into contact with people who were looking to find homes for older, more collectible Bibles.  James, who comments from time to time on the blog, graciously introduced me to Fr. Peter.  Fortunate for me, Fr. Peter is a fellow admirer of Msgr. Ronald Knox.  Over the course of a number of correspondences, I was able to acquire this amazing treasure pictured here.  It is a 1950-1951 Sheed & Ward three volume Knox Bible in hardcover. For being well over 60 years old, each volume is in remarkable condition.  The pages are as crisp and bright as if they had come of from the printers only a year earlier.  Even the original box, though showing signs of wear, is still in good shape and does its job of protecting the three volumes. 

The font, though similar to the Baronius edition, reads a bit better because of the spacing between verses and paragraphs.  This certainly has the feel of a readers bible, one which is meant for lengthy reading.  There are no extras within each volume of this boxed set, other than a brief translator's note or preface and, of course, the annotations from Knox.  

One of the real surprises of this set, which I was strangely unaware, is the inclusion of a second translation of the Psalms.  Knox's original translation of the Psalms came from the Clementine Vulgate rendering.  However, in 1945 Pope Pius XII approved a new Latin edition from the Hebrew published by the Biblicum (Pontifical Biblical Institute).  Knox translated this new edition and it is found as an appendix to volume two of this set.  I hope to be able to analyze and compare for you the two Psalters in the future.  I can tell you that the Baronius Press Knox Bible utilizes the 1945 Biblicum translation of the Psalter.  

Yet, there was another surprise!  Slipped in between two pages of the New Testament volume I found a newspaper cut-out of the announcement of Knox's death.  Seeing that truly touched my heart.  What a treasure, within a treasure.  It reads: "Monsignor Ronald Knox, the historian and theologian, died on Saturday at Mells, Somerset, where he had been staying for some months.  He had an internal operation in January.  He was 69.  Six weeks ago Msgr. Knox finished his translation into English of the autobiography, in French, of St. Theresa of Lisieux.  There will be a Requiem Mass at Westminster Cathedral on Thursday."

Thank you to James and Fr. Peter. 

"What is faith?  It is that which gives substance to our hopes, which convinces us of things we cannot see.  It was this that brought credit to the men who went before us (Hebrews 11:1-3)."

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Saint Benedict Press Sale

Saint Benedict Press has numerous editions of the RSV, NABRE, and Douay-Rheims.  They even have a pocket Confraternity NT.  If you want one of these, today is the day.

Knox vs. The Message: 5th Sunday of Lent (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

I am going to continue this series of comparing one of the Sunday readings from the lectionary, using the Knox Bible and The Message.  While done in different ways, I think both Knox and Peterson desired to make the Bible more accessible to the average reader.  Let's see if they were successful.  Hope you are having a blessed Lent!

A time is coming, the Lord says, when I mean to ratify a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Juda. It will not be like the covenant which I made with their fathers, on the day when I took them by the hand, to rescue them from Egypt; that they should break my covenant, and I, all the while, their master, the Lord says.  No, this is the covenant I will grant the people of Israel, the Lord says, when that time comes. I will implant my law in their innermost thoughts, engrave it in their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  There will be no need for neighbour to teach neighbour, or brother to teach brother, the knowledge of the Lord; all will know me, from the highest to the lowest. I will pardon their wrong-doing; I will not remember their sins any more.

The Message:
“That’s right. The time is coming when I will make a brand-new covenant with Israel and Judah. It won’t be a repeat of the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant even though I did my part as their Master.” God’s Decree.  “This is the brand-new covenant that I will make with Israel when the time comes. I will put my law within them—write it on their hearts!—and be their God. And they will be my people. They will no longer go around setting up schools to teach each other about God. They’ll know me firsthand, the dull and the bright, the smart and the slow. I’ll wipe the slate clean for each of them. I’ll forget they ever sinned!” God’s Decree.

Friday, March 20, 2015

New Series: Friday Hard Knox

I would like to introduce you to Russ.  Some of you may know him for his recent series of posts concerning the King Bible.  He has graciously accepted an offer to begin a series of posts looking at Msgr. Ronald Knox's On Englishing the Bible. Russ is a 53 year old Catholic living in Yonkers, New York, and has been married for 22 years and has a 15 year old daughter in a local Catholic High School. Russ has been an avid reader of the Scriptures since 1993 and has purchased his fair share of translations since then. However, if he found himself stranded on that proverbial island and had to pick one translation from which to drink in spiritual wisdom, he would most definitely be found with New Jerusalem Bible, Study Edition, in his hands.  

On Englishing the Bible is available through Baronius Press when you purchase their beautiful Knox Bible.  Russ begins this new series with a look at the Preface:

More than a century ago, Cardinal Newman agreed to prepare a new English translation of the Bible, but never lived to begin the project. In 1936, the bishops of England and Wales asked Ronald Knox to translate the Latin Vulgate into modern English – which he did single handedly over the next nine years. It would be a monumental task, arduous and somewhat thankless.  On Englishing the Bible is his account of the ordeal, which manages to be both illuminating and full of Knox’s wit. Anyone wishing to know more about Knox’s translation – and the problems involved in rendering the sacred Scriptures into the vernacular – will be fascinated to hear from the translator himself how he tackled this mammoth project.

Wragg is in custody.’ So ended a newspaper paragraph, in the sixties of last century, about a case of child-murder at Nottingham; and it was not difficult for Matthew Arnold to arraign the industrialized society which turned the wretched heroine of such a tragedy into a bare surname. You may achieve this effect of mononymity without getting into trouble with the police; you can translate the Bible. The thing, I confess, took me by surprise. All my life I had been indifferent to the use of titles; complete strangers referred to me, sometimes in my hearing, as ‘Ronnie Knox’—if anything, it was the surname that was regarded as optional. Then I published a translation of the New Testament, and all at once I found I had gone back to my school-days; I was simply ‘Knox’. Moffatt said this, Knox said that; I had become one of these translator-fellows.

Let not this depersonalization be confused with fame. Not fame overtakes a Bradshaw, a Whittaker, a Baedeker; the man has turned into a book, has lost (like Wragg) the semblance of humanity; all may speak their minds freely of him, without fear of libel, thenceforwards. The thing is, a corresponding fixation takes place in the author himself. You may say what you like about him; you may not criticize the book with which his name is identified, on pain of an angry rejoinder. I have long since given up protesting when controversialists misquote me, or newspaper columnists credit me with the authorship of Limericks that are none of mine. But if you question a rendering of mine in the New Testament, you come up against a parental instinct hardly less ferocious than that of the mother-bear. I shall smile it off, no doubt, in conversation, but you have lost marks.

And yet, heaven knows, I ought by now to be accustomed to it. All the time I was translating the New Testament, my work was being revised by a committee of experts, briefed by myself to pick holes in it. Then I brought out a trial edition, imploring the general public to contribute its remarks, which meant new corrections here, there and everywhere. For some reason, when the authorized edition was at last produced, I fell to imagining that the voice of criticism would be silent; as if you could ever achieve the perfect compromise, or satisfy the beast of Ephesus by throwing sops to them! Of course some people will hate what I have written; why shouldn’t they? All the same, I get much more angry with the people who like me and don’t like my Bible, than with the people who like my Bible and don’t like me.

It is a humiliating reflection, that a careful perusal of the holy Scriptures should engender (or perhaps reveal) in one’s character this unreasonable streak of touchiness. I can only comfort myself with the thought that, among all the canonized Saints, none has been more frequently accused of touchiness than St. Jerome. Be the reason what it may, I have not always maintained that silence which becomes an author in face of his critics. I would turn round and hit back, generally in the pages of the Clergy Review, that admirable safety-valve by which a sorely harassed profession throws off its ill humours. At least I would make it clear to the public what I was trying to do; at least they should know what it was all about. Let them tell me that I had succeeded in ruining the Bible, not that I had failed in the attempt to make a pretty-pretty job of it.

But a further explanation is needed. I may be told that it was all very well to throw off an article, now and again, about Bible translation; by-products of the process, sparks from my anvil; but why republish them? It is an obvious criticism, but one which finds me still impenitent. I am inclined to think that a book of this sort has more permanent value than any translation I have done, or could do. The work of translating the Bible, really translating it, is being taken in hand in our day for the first time since Coverdale. Moffatt and Goodspeed began it, with their fearless challenge of the Authorized Version; their work has been followed up by a text issued with official sanction in the United States. Quite recently, the proposal for a new rendering has been gaining ground among non-Catholics in our own country. Meanwhile, the Catholic hierarchy in the States has entrusted a large body of Biblical scholars with a similar commission. They began with caution; their New Testament was merely a revision, with certain verbal alterations, of the Douay. The Old Testament, to judge by the single volume of it which has so far appeared, is on a far more ambitious scale. They seem resolved, if I may put it in that way, to out-Knox Knox in baldness of narrative and modernity of diction. The germ is spreading, and there will be more translations yet. Indeed, it is doubtful whether we shall ever again allow ourselves to fall under the spell of a single, uniform text, consecrated by its antiquity. And as each new adventurer sets out on his quest for that North-West Passage, the perfect rendering of Holy Writ, he will do well to take note of buoys that mark the channel. Let him ask, not how I did the thing, but how I thought the thing ought to be done. Often he will disagree, but his own ideas will be clarified, none the less, by the effort of disagreement. 

In one respect, however – the complaint is general – I have taken my stand upon tradition. The text which my version follows, and, wherever a clear lead is given, the interpretation which it follows, must be sought in the Vulgate; that is, in the primitive Latin rendering of the Scriptures, as revised in the fourth century by St. Jerome. This is the text officially used by the Church; and although Rome has recently given us a quite new Psalter, it’s not likely that the Vulgate as a whole will be dethroned from its position of privilege within my lifetime. I should be very far indeed from claiming that the Vulgate gives you, everywhere, an accurate interpretation of its original. But you must have a standard text; and the Vulgate Latin is so imbedded in our liturgy and in all our ecclesiastical language that a serious departure from it causes infinite confusion. Meanwhile, the discrepancies between the Vulgate and the (long since abandoned) textus receptus are not really as disconcerting as my critics pretend. Where they are slight, they mostly get ironed out in the process of translation; where they are grave, the passage is usually of such difficulty that a footnote would have been demanded in any case. More than once, I have taken refuge in an ambiguous phrase, to by-pass the difficulty.

Here, then, are eight interludes in the business of translation, eight attempts to think aloud while I was doing it. The first has never been published in full; it was a paper read to the Conference of Higher Studies (which met that year at Upholland). The article on Bishop Challoner was contributed to a memorial volume brought out by the Westminster Cathedral Chronicle. The short talk which I have labeled Nine Years’ Hard was given recently on Radio Eireann. The remaining contents of the book are reprinted from the Clergy Review. To the editor of that periodical, whose friendship I have now enjoyed for half a life-time, and to those who sponsored the first appearance of the other essays, I take this opportunity of expressing my gratitude.

And not only to them, but to many others in many lands who have written to express appreciation of what I had done, and encouraged me to hope that, so far as human praise was worth having, I had not run in vain. May they be rewarded for all the pleasure, and pardoned for all the feelings of self-importance, which their delicate kindness has provoked.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

CBA Extended Bible Rankings for March 2015

Thanks to KT for the link from the CBA Retailers site, which shows that the NABRE and NRSV are in the top 15 unit sales.  The CBA Best-Seller and category top-seller lists are compiled from actual sales in Christian stores.  This list does not include Amazon-type retailers or Catholic book stores. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Question from a Reader

From reader Dominic:

Concerning approved Catholic Bible translations, which would be considered to show the most fidelity to the ancient manuscripts while also falling in line with the teachings and traditions of Holy Mother Church?  I don't want a debate or even rebuts to others posts. Just interested in each persons personal preference using facts concerning the above mentioned guidelines.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Check-in Time

So, every once in a while I like to ask you, my loyal readers, a few questions concerning this blog.  This blog began in 2008 because I felt that there were very few places online for Catholics to go to discuss issues concerning the quality of the various Catholic bible editions, the different study tools available, and, of course, the translations.  Oh the translations!  I hope this blog has been a help to you over these past seven years.  It has become a labor of love.  I wish I could do more, to be honest, but with a family and two jobs, I can't see where I could find the time to do more at this point.  I am always looking for guest contributions, either as a one time thing or as a regular.  I am happy to report that there will be some new guest contributions in the coming weeks.  More on that later.

With all of that being said (or written), here are some questions I have for you:

1) What do you like most about this blog?

2) What would you like to see more of?

3) What could I do to make this blog better?

Please feel free to answer one, two, or all three questions in the comments.  I would like to conclude with thanking all of you who have been loyal readers during these past seven years.  Your readership, comments, kind emails, and guest posts have been a great encouragement to me.  Some of you I have been blessed to meet in person or remain in contact through regular emails and Facebook.  For those of you who are new to the blog, I welcome you and hope to see your comments at some point in the future.  God bless!  

Monday, March 16, 2015

On Englishing the Bible Winners

Congrats to Alejandro "Alex" Sanchez & Patrick who are the winners of the Knox book.  Please  email me. mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com, with your full name and address.

Dei Verbum at 50 (Paragraph 6)

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, I will be posting twice a month, on Mondays, a paragraph from this important document.  There are a total of 26 paragraphs, so this will take us through to the Fall when we reach the anniversary of its promulgation by Pope Paul VI on November 18, 1965.  I look forward to our discussion.  May I suggest a helpful book by Fr. Ronald D. Witherup called The Word of God at Vatican II: Exploring Dei Verbum published by Liturgical Press.

6. Through divine revelation, God chose to show forth and communicate Himself and the eternal decisions of His will regarding the salvation of men. That is to say, He chose to share with them those divine treasures which totally transcend the understanding of the human mind.

As a sacred synod has affirmed, God, the beginning and end of all things, can be known with certainty from created reality by the light of human reason (see Rom. 1:20); but teaches that it is through His revelation that those religious truths which are by their nature accessible to human reason can be known by all men with ease, with solid certitude and with no trace of error, even in this present state of the human race. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Knox vs. The Message: 4th Sunday of Lent (Ephesians 2:4-10)

I am going to continue this series of comparing one of the Sunday readings from the lectionary, using the Knox Bible and The Message.  While done in different ways, I think both Knox and Peterson desired to make the Bible more accessible to the average reader.  Let's see if they were successful.

How rich God is in mercy, with what an excess of love he loved us!  Our sins had made dead men of us, and he, in giving life to Christ, gave life to us too; it is his grace that has saved you;  raised us up too, enthroned us too above the heavens, in Christ Jesus.  He would have all future ages see, in that clemency which he shewed us in Christ Jesus, the surpassing richness of his grace.  Yes, it was grace that saved you, with faith for its instrument; it did not come from yourselves, it was God’s gift,  not from any action of yours, or there would be room for pride.  No, we are his design; God has created us in Christ Jesus, pledged to such good actions as he has prepared beforehand, to be the employment of our lives.

The Message:
Immense in mercy and with an incredible love, God embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.  Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Knox on Translation

Haven't done one of these in a while, but I was re-reading On Englishing the Bible and came across this interesting quote.  It caused me to reflect on whether or not things are better or worse, in regards to Catholics reading the Bible, than in Knox's day.  All of this is of great importance, particularly as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dei Verbum this year.

"And yet, is the Douay, as it has come down to us through Challoner, really so familiar to us, so universally beloved?  I understand that for several years, during and after the war, it was impossible, in England or Scotland, for a Catholic to buy a copy of the New Testament.  Would any other Christian denomination in the world have sat down under that?  In my experience, the laity's attitude towards the Bible is one of blank indifference, varied now and again by one of puzzled hostility.  The clergy, no doubt, search the Scriptures more eagerly.  And yet, when I used to go round preaching a good deal, and would ask the P.P. for a Bible to verify my text from, there was generally an ominous pause of twenty minutes or so before he returned, banging the leaves of the sacred volume and visibly blowing on the top.  The new wine of the gospel, you felt, was kept in strangely cobwebby bottles (On Englishing the Bible 11)."

This short quote is another reason why Msgr. Knox is the (un)official patron saint of this blog.  His insights into the Church, and ability to point out the obvious, is only matched by his wit.  We could use a few more Knox-like people in the Church today.  On Englishing the Bible is available through Baronius Press, but only if you purchase the Knox Bible.  It is not sold separately.  However, I have two brand new copies to give away.  So, if interested, just put your name in the comment section of this post by the end of the day on Sunday and you will be entered to win a copy of it.  This is open to everyone, no matter where you live.  And if you don't have the Knox Bible, go get one!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

Guest Review: Holy Bible King Translation

Russ, who interviewed Fr. King, now presents us a review of the King Bible.  Thanks to Russ for taking the time to do this!

After becoming aware of (and then purchasing) Fr. Nicholas King’s translation of the scriptures at the beginning of the year, Tim asked if I would do a review of said translation, and foolishly I agreed. Tim does such a nice job reviewing bibles and books that I felt somewhat intimidated so I hope you find this helpful and informative. And just for the record, I have absolutely no specialty or knowledge of Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic or Latin other than what I read in study bibles or commentaries themselves. I am a Catholic who has a deep and abiding interest in the Word of God and the translations that are available to us. The following impressions are the result of my spending the past few weeks with it.

Fr. King’s career as a translator began after he came back from South Africa, where he had been teaching New Testament in seminaries and universities, along with some academic administration. Upon his return to England and finding himself with a bit of an academic break, he decided to translate Mark and John for a summer school class he was preparing for. As it turns out, one of his students was married to a publisher, and as he said in an interview, “Eventually the request came: How would you feel about translating the whole Bible? Initially I was reluctant, but after reflecting on it for a while, and a certain amount of arm-twisting, I thought: ‘Why not?’”

He finished translating the NT in 2004 and then began work on the Old Testament Septuagint. So my review will start with the NT as well. Eventually I will write a review of my impressions of the Old Testament.

It comes in a hard case and the first thing I noticed (as did my daughter) when I slid it out was that it had a purple ribbon. It’s her favorite color. It’s just one ribbon but that’s more than most bibles these days. It opened out nice and flat on the table. You have a choice of either hard cover or fake leather and I went with the fake and I’m pretty sure Tim would turn right around and Fed Ex it to have it rebound in real alligator leather or something similar. It tops off at 2400 pages so it seems like it should weigh more than it does. No font size is stated in the book or on the web site but I’m guessing about 9 for the text and a bit smaller for the footnotes in the OT, so if you’re getting old like me (53) you probably already own a pair of reading glasses anyway so it’s no big deal. I emailed the publisher to find out but they never replied. And it smells really nice. You just don’t get that from Kindle books.

The second thing I noticed after I opened it up was that that it had some nice marginal space. The paper is kind of thin like most bibles, but if you like writing in your bible, you can certainly use a pencil and not worry about it bleeding through to the other side. The bleed through of the text isn’t as bad as some of the pictures I provided seem to indicate.

This translation is advertised as a study bible so after I started flipping through the NT I was worried that they had shipped me the wrong edition as I did not see any footnotes, cross references,  or commentary,  while I found plenty of notes at the bottom of the pages of the Old Testament. I finally found the commentary, and when I did I discovered something else in the process: there is no verse numbering in the NT. Anyway, not the kind we’re used to seeing. Take a look.

Here is an example:

You see Chapter 1 indicated, and just to the right of that in small print 1-17, indicating the verses for that section that he has titled “Jesus’ family tree”.  Notice that there are no verses in the text. Then, after the text, heavily indented, comes his commentary for that particular section. It goes like this throughout the whole NT. The commentary is informal but…informative. After spending time with this bible I found I liked the commentary. It doesn’t overwhelm you like a lot of study bibles. They’re not overly academic but things to be aware of when reading the text. One reviewer found the notes “lively” and “neatly set into the text itself instead of being buried in the footnotes at the bottom of the page. They really do make it much easier to read and follow the story.”

I admit it, I really disliked that it didn’t have verse numbering. I’ve had a lot of bibles in my time but never one without the verse numbering included. It makes it a chore if you want to use this for study purposes.

In an online interview Fr. King explained why he did this when he first translated Mark and John: “I ignored chapter and verse, since they are both medieval impositions on the text, and wanted to get the ‘feel’ of what it was like for the early readers (or, we should say, hearers, since most of them would not have had the skills of writing or reading) of those gospels, and of their freshness.”
However, on the proverbial flip side of things, after using it for a while (I’ve started out by reading John’s Gospel) I realized I was concentrating more on the text itself and not on what a certain scholar had to say in the footnotes, or this doctor or saint of the church. Like the reviewer previously mentioned, I wasn’t getting bogged down by notes/commentary.  I found myself meditating on the story in front of me, becoming a “participant” in the story I was reading, which was a pleasant (and fruitful) surprise.  (Full disclosure: after finishing a chapter of John I went back and put the verses in with a pencil using the NRSV as a guide to where the verses began. If the verse began in the middle of a line I indicated that by making a small dot above the word.) And I forgot to mention, it is single columned, which I truly enjoy.

Book Introductions are brief, concise, sometimes only a sentence or two long, nothing like what you find in your traditional study bible.

Below is one to the Letter to the Romans:

When a word could be translated in a different way Fr. King puts the alternative choice in a bracket after the word he settled on. For instance, in Matthew 23 where we find Jesus tearing into the Pharisees (the “Woe to you!” section) and most translations have “hypocrites,”  Fr. King translates  “frauds” and then: [hypocrites]. Most study bibles would have something like this notated at the bottom of the page, stating “or…” and then give the alternate translation. But if you’re not familiar with the bible, if you’re new to reading the scriptures, this might be a problem because it could be interpreted as being part of the text itself instead of what it actually is, an alternative way to translate a certain word or phrase.  And there’s nothing in the Introduction that alerts the reader to this, which I think should be looked at in future editions.

Cross references from the Old Testament can also be found in the text and bracketed off instead of being found at the bottom of the page or on the margin like they’re found in the NJB.

The picture on the side here is from Matthew 5:21-48, the “you have heard” section of the Sermon on the Mount. On the left margin you see the verses indicated, and then he has this section of verses broken down even further into individual parts, which he numbers 1, 2, etc. As stated above, if you’re new to the bible this could very well be problematic as the reader might think this breakdown is part of the text. Also, notice the bracketing of the Old Testament verse that Jesus is quoting. Personally I don’t mind it, but again, the beginner might think that Jesus actually says, “Exodus…”

I found in John’s gospel a new translation philosophy, at least to me anyway. Unlike the other gospels, in John you find the recurring refrain of “the Jews,” and most times Fr. King translates “the Judeans.” He explains: “You may also notice the reference to the ‘Judeans’ at the start of the passage. This is by way of alternative to translating the word as ‘Jews” (the same word is used for both in Greek), and may serve to mitigate the anti-Semitism that, too often, this Gospel has been used to justify.’” I liked it. I think it works well.

As he answered earlier in the week in 7 Questions, inclusive language was required by the publisher of his work. As can be seen in the picture above, he used “brother or sister” for that passage. In other places he translates “my fellow Christians,” “brothers and sisters,” or “him or her.” For me, this really isn’t an issue any longer. In the past I admit to being completely turned off with the use of inclusive language, thinking that all such translations came straight from the bowels of Hell, but not anymore. As long as it’s done in an accurate, professional way that doesn’t detract or become overbearing I hardly notice it any longer.

In conclusion, I thank Tim for alerting me to this translation and for giving me the opportunity to review it for his blog. And thanks to his readers for taking time out to read it. If there is anything else you would like to know about his translation of the NT (how a particular verse is translated perhaps or if there is something I should have covered but didn’t) please feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer you. In the next couple of weeks I will send Tim my review on Fr. King’s translation of the Septuagint.

Before wrapping up, I would like to give Fr. King the final word. In the online interview I referenced above the following Q&A is covers something that we sometimes forget and what some Christians don’t realize.

You have said that “the Greek text of the New Testament is only a scholars’ guess, and what we have in our modern editions is not a manuscript that ever existed; all the manuscripts that we possess have mistakes in them, so we do not even know what the original text was.”
Does this conflict in any way with your belief that God’s voice is just below the surface? Do you believe that this voice will get harder to hear/find?

Fr. King: This is where the Church comes in; we get the Bible from the Christian community and not the other way around. However (and this is really important) it is also true that the Church is subservient to the text, as well as being its source, and we all have to listen to that voice of God which is there “below the surface of the text,” whatever the quality of the translation, and whatever the state of the manuscripts.