Monday, March 28, 2016

Guest Post: Ignatius RSV-2CE (Large Print)

 Thank to long-time friend of this blog, Rolf, for this guest review of the new RSV-2CE Large-Print from Ignatius Press.

As some of you know, I have been commenting (and yes, a little ranting) on this blog since 2008 about the whereabouts of a large/giant print RSV-2CE Bible from Ignatius Press. I bought the first RSV-2CE Bible when it first came out in 2006, so when Tim's blog started up in 2008 I had already been waiting 2 years! Well it has finally arrived!

This Ignatius Bible Second Edition Large Print is in reality a 'giant print' Bible. It uses size 14 font.  When the Bible arrived, the first thing my wife said when she picked up the box on our porch was, "man that is heavy!" This is a large and heavy Bible (see photos). 

This giant print Bible measures 10 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 2 3/8 inches and has 2100+ pages. It is quite a bit larger and heavier than the RSV-CE large/giant print Bible from Oxford/Ignatius Press/Scepter (see comparison photos). The reason for this is the paper thickness. The newer RSV-2CE Bible uses a heavier paper unlike the RSV-CE Bible which has tissue paper feel.

Is it worth the extra weight and size? To me it is, the words pop off the page on this new Ignatius Bible. It is a combination of the thicker paper, the creamy page coloring, and the very bold size 14 font that makes it the best reading Bible that I have ever owned! But this readability comes at a cost! To me it is worth it but to others it may not be. Giant print Bibles are not for everybody, they are great for teaching from and of course are a must for people with poorer eye sight.

I purchased the bonded leather cover (blue) which is practically the same cover that is on the regular print Ignatius Bibles. For bonded leather it is flexible and comfortable, and has the now familiar icons on the cover ( which I like). Since Ignatius uses the heavier paper in this Bible, it works well with the thin bonded leather cover and is not 'too floppy' when you hand hold it.

The layout and contents are practically the same as the regular print RSV-2CE, including the 16 pages of color maps and no extras. My one complaint is they did not include any ribbon markers, even with the bonded leather edition? Hopefully Ignatius will include them in future editions! 

If you like the Ignatius Press RSV-2CE regular print Bible and you have a hard time with the size 9 print, this might be a good read at home Bible. If you teach from the Bible this giant print is wonderful, as long as you don't have to hand hold it for a long time!

I have since bought the hardcover version also which I have tabbed and added some ribbon markers. The hard cover stays in my brief case for my RCIA sessions and I will keep the bonded leather Bible for home reading and maybe one day, a journey to Leonard's? Hmmm... Burgundy hand dyed rustic goatskin!!!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Behold the Cross of Our Salvation

National Gallery, Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens Image caption: Andreas Pavias
"And when they reached the place which is named after a skull, they crucified him there; and also the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left.  Jesus meanwhile was saying, Father, forgive them; they do not know what it is they are doing." 
-Luke 23:33-34

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Transpositioning and Dislocating of Biblical Texts

Sinag-Tala Confraternity Bible

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been having a fascinating discussion regarding which OT would fit best with the Confraternity NT were it ever to be re-published in the future.  One of the more interesting comments I read concerns the issue of transpositioning/dislocating of verses, which was done in the Confraternity/NAB Old Testament (1969).  

Commenter Mark pointed out the places in Ezekiel and Job in the Confraternity/NAB OT (1969) where this took place and wrote: "For the many passages in the Confraternity version where transpositions and other dislocations of the text are incorporated in the translation, you aren't really reading God's word at that point, but rather what scholars from the 1940s and 50s thought a theoretical reconstruction of the "proper text" might have looked like. And some of those transpositions are in major portions of the text (Job 28's praise of wisdom, the vision chapters of Ezekiel). Not a stray verse here and there, not a disputed reading here and there, but major portions of major books."

Fortunately, the revised NABRE OT avoided transpositioning texts, which was a very good thing. Before 2011, I would occasionally have trouble teaching from the original NAB OT due to this issue. At the time, I had been involved in helping out with an ecumenical bible study, where the vast majority of students were Protestants who used the NIV, ESV, or KJV.  All three of these popular translations did not transposition verses.  This reality was made even more difficult, since the NAB used the Hebrew numbering of verses and chapters, while the vast majority of other English translations followed the Greek numbering.  This remains a minor issue today even in the improved NABRE, most notably in the Psalms and prophets.

While I wouldn't go as far as Mark who said that one who reads a bible that transpositions verses isn't "really reading God's word at that point," I would say that a translated text should be kept in the order it has been received.  I think this should be the case even if moving a verse or two around would aid to clarity of reading a given passage.  We are already reading a text that has been translated into another language, thus leading to a certain level of interpretation already.  I am not sure how fidelity to the original is served when verses are moved around.  As mentioned above, I am grateful that the NABRE OT moved away from this since it has been the text I have used most often this past year when teaching.

What say you?

Friday, March 18, 2016

How to Pick a Catholic Bible by Philip Kosloski

Saw this article today at Aleteia about choosing a Bible.  I have some thoughts, but perhaps I will leave them to the comments section.  How about you?

Let’s envision a common scene: shortly after the Easter Vigil a new convert walks into a Catholic bookstore and asks to see their bibles. A friendly sales associate points this person to the back wall. The new convert makes her way to the back of the store and is surprised by what she sees. There is not just one Catholic bible; there are at least a dozen Catholic bibles, all with different abbreviations on the spine!
Which bible should this new convert choose?
To be honest, there is no one-size-fits-all version of the bible. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and all are flawed by the fact that they are not in the original language in which the Bible was written. Nevertheless, very few of us have the luxury of studying ancient Greek or Hebrew, so we must make the decision as to which Bible we will use. It is a critical decision, as God desires to speak to us through the words of scripture, and the rest of our lives could be changed by what we read.
Here are some basic tips to consider the next time you find yourself looking at a dozen different Catholic bibles and don’t know which one to buy:

read the rest here

Weekly Knox: The Old Testament

"We mustn't think of the Old Testament as an awkward fact which we've got to get over somehow, hush it up if possible because it is so difficult to make propaganda out of it. It's the lock into which the key of the Incarnation fits, and if you begin the Bible with St Matthew, it makes a mutilated story." 
-The Messianic Hope (Sermon)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A question concerning the Vulgate

This questions is directed at all of my Vulgate-loving readers out there: Do you know of a good book or online resource that goes over the history and development of the Vulgate?  I would really like to do a little more research on it.  I am not interested in a work of apologetics for the Vulgate in comparison to the modern translations, however, since I am in no need of being convinced of this.  I have been desiring to do some reading on the issue for a while now, more so since a friend of this blog gave me a fine book on the importance of the Septuagint, Timothy Law's When God Spoke Greek.    

Monday, March 14, 2016

Oxford Catholic Study Bible Comparison

Thanks to a reader Daniel for providing this photo.  It is a comparison of the text of the Catholic Study Bible second versus third edition.  The second edition is on the right.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Weekly Knox: New Testament Issues

The New Testament writings come down to us from a time when the vocabulary of the Christian faith was in the making. Words like grace, faith, salvation and so on, have, for us, exact theological meaning. Then they were used with less precision; they were not yet technical terms. Consequently, the translator is always having to ask himself, "Should this word in this particular passage be interpreted strictly, in its defined theological sense? Or is it still being used in a loose, popular way?" 

We translate "Hail, thou that are full of grace," and in the next chapter "Jesus grew in favor with God and man"; but the word grace is the same as the word favor in the original. We translate "My faithful witness, Antipas," but ought we, perhaps, to translate "My faithful martyr"? By the time the Apocalypse was written, it may be that the term had already an official connotation. 

Sin was the word used by the Jews to mean any breach of the law, culpable or not; and they were apt to describe their Gentile neighbors as "sinners," meaning no more than that they were Gentiles. "The Son of Man shall be handed over to sinners" means, almost certainly, "The Son of Man shall be handed over to Gentile folk, the Romans." When our Lord ate "with publicans and sinners," were they people of notoriously evil life? Or were they merely Gentiles? "Tend the church of God, in which the holy Spirit has made you bishops" - should it be "bishops"? Or should it be just "overseers"? Constantly this comes up: Am I making the language of the New Testament too vague? Or am I making it too stereotyped? Am I reading too much into it, or too little? 

All this the translator must take into account if he is going to do justice to an individual phrase or sentence. But his duty does not end there; he must follow the thought of his original, and make it intelligible to the reader, bringing out the emphatic word or words in each sentence, indicating its logical connection with what goes before and after. He must make the whole paragraph hang together and convey a message. That duty was apt to be overlooked by the older translators, if only for this reason - that the Bible was printed in verses; and, by a trick of our natures, if a page of print is broken up for the eye, we do not expect it to convey any coherent impression to the mind. Any verse in the Bible was a "text," you preached from it, you quoted it in theological arguments; you did not look to see what the setting of it was, or how it fitted in. We are so used to this piece--meal way of approaching the Bible that hundreds of priests, well enough grounded in Latin, read the epistle for Christmas Eve without noticing that there is no main verb in it. -Trials of a Translator

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Confraternity Poll #2

If a full Confraternity Bible was produced, which edition of the OT would you prefer?
Douay (Challoner)
Confraternity/NAB (1969)
personality test

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Guest Post: The Knox Bible and Contemplation

Courtesy of Baronius Press

Thank you to my good friend John for offering this reflection on contemplative prayer and the Knox Bible.

Greetings. I was offered an opportunity to comment on The Knox Version by my good friend and fellow Catholic Timothy.

Last year I was taking a class in Sacramental Theology and it was mentioned in the lesson that the Church of the future would return to the wisdom traditions and the mystical. At the same time I had started reading, with Timothy's advice, Thomas Merton's "The Seven Storey Mountain." I read the whole book in one night. As a liturgical person and wanting "something more" of closeness with the living God, I became interested in Christian silent contemplation. It was then that extended conversations with Timothy led to wondering which Bible to use, besides my reading Bible, the NABRE which I used all the time. I wanted to be in line with the Church and read a Catholic Bible. 

I had been a praying man all my life using the formal prayers of the Church, the Daily Office, and other books on prayer. Thomas Merton had mentioned that he used the Latin Psalter. He refers to it often in his journals. I decided to read the Douay-Rheims Bible. It wasn't hard to grasp because I'd already become familiar with the King James Version in my earlier years. However, brother Timothy asked if I had ever read "Knox." Knox who? Hmm... Before long I decided to send for a copy from Baronius Press Ltd. When it finally arrived, I turned to the Psalms, remembering Merton had used the Latin Psalter, and that I was holding a translation of the Latin Vulgate in hand. Something happened, deep down, I felt so refreshed reading the Psalter in Knox's pregnant phrasing, his colorful verbiage, his direct address. I had found the perfect "contemplative" Bible! I have never been the same.

Having read all the modern translations and versions I could get my hands on, there was nobody with the poetic translation of Knox. Reading the Knox Version has refreshed my prayer life and now when I am in the silence in, when God comes close, it is Knox's translation that comes to mind, a word, a phrase, a verse, in Knox's inimitable fashion. Silent prayer and Knox.. I recommend this wonderful translation. I hope anyone reading this will give it a try.

This is a recent Psalm I prayed silently to the Lord while contemplating:

Psalm 26:8-14:
"Listen to my voice, Lord, when I cry to thee; hear and spare. True to my heart's promise, I have eyes only for thee; I long, Lord, for thy presence. Do not hide thy face, do not turn away from thy servant in anger, but give me still thy aid; do not forsake me, do not neglect me, O God, my defender. Father and mother may neglect me, but the Lord takes me into his care. Lord, shew me the way thou hast chosen for me, guide me along the sure path, beset as I am with enemies; do not give me over to the will of my oppressors, when false witnesses stand up to accuse me, breathe out threats against me. My faith I, I will yet live to see the Lord's mercies. Wait patiently for the Lord to help thee; be brave, and let thy heart take comfort; wait patiently for the Lord."

"shew me the way thou hast chosen for me" was my main emphasis there.

Another silent prayer when I was feeling down came from Psalm 41:6:
"Soul, art thou still downcast? Wilt thou never be at peace? Wait for God's help; I will not cease to cry out in thankfulness, My champion and my God."

Sometimes I preach to myself; and Knox says it best.

May God bless you all. God waits to draw near and speak in the silence. Sometimes he sounds like Knox.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Leap Day Contest Winner

Thank you to all who entered.  After using a random number generator, the winner of the Leap Day Contest is Adam Solomon.

Adam, please contact me via email at, mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com, with your address and I will get the prize shipped off to you.  If he does not contact me in a week, I will randomly select another winner.

Friday, March 4, 2016

A Great Bible Resource by Michael Potemra

From National Review:

I got an e-mail today informing me of a delightful new resource available free of charge at the website of the Catholic publisher Baronius Press.  It’s a complete side-by-side text of the Latin Vulgate, the Douay-Rheims Catholic translation, and the mid-20th-century translation by Monsignor Ronald Knox. 

I have always had a soft spot for the Douay-Rheims translation, because it has the venerable old style of the King James Version (“thee” and “thou,” of course, plus a generally high diction), but – because the Douay-Rheims version currently most commonly printed is the 18th-century Challoner revision – it lacks some of the KJV phrasings that have come to sound clunky if not barbaric in the intervening centuries. (Among these latter, the one that grates on me most is when the KJV has St. Paul, St. Peter, and the Psalmist all use the phrase “to us-ward.” Ugh.)

Read the rest here 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Confraternity Bible Poll

If a quality/premium edition of the Confraternity Bible could be produced, I would choose it in the following format:
New Testament (1941) Only
Full Old Testament (1969) and New Testament (1941)
I don't really care to have one in any format
personality test

Wisdom Commentary Series from Liturgical Press

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

New Online Vulgate-Douay-Knox Resource

This link will take you to a new site which has the Clementine Vulgate, Douay-Rheims, and Knox in parallel columns with possible search functions.  Looks like a great resource, which includes both the Douay and Knox notes.  I wonder if Baronius is involved in this?

Yes, it appears that this page, which has the look of something Baronius would do, is indeed from them.  Copyright listed as: 2015 ©, Baronius Press

Catholic Bible Online

Thanks to Charles for sharing this info with me!

Update on Oxford Sale

From reader vladimir998

Well, I don't see the post about the OxUnivPress Leapday sale so I'm going to post this here. Their server was acting up and many people could not place orders. They decided to continue the sale until March 7th. The sale does not cover items that are under the "Higher Education" listing. I have no idea what general listing Bibles like the Catholic Study Bible fall under.