Friday, April 29, 2016

Coming Soon: David's Successors Kingship in the Old Testament by Garrett Galvin, OFM

Looks interesting!  Due out in the Fall from Liturgical Press.

David's Successors: Kingship in the Old Testament argues for a new reading of kingship in the Old Testament. Rather than presenting the kings as monsters-with the occasional angelic ruler-this study seeks a more nuanced version of kingship. This book considers the original concept and context of kingship before concentrating on five kings in particular: Jeroboam, Ahab, Hezekiah, Manasseh, and Josiah. Much contemporary scholarship is concerned with the reconceptualization and recontextualization of kingship that hearkens from a negative perspective on kingship, but this book will fully consider the positive and original vision of kingship. This book is ultimately rooted in a hopeful and joyful view of humanity as found in the Psalms, Sirach, and the Chronicles.

Garrett Galvin, OFM, graduated from the University of California, Irvine and joined the Franciscan Friars in 1992. He began teaching full time at the Franciscan School of Theology in 2009, which moved to Oceanside and affiliated with the University of San Diego in 2013. He published his first book, Egypt as a Place of Refuge (Mohr Siebeck), in 2011. He regularly helps at a prison and gives retreats and days of recollection.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Guest Post: Would an ESV-CE kill the RSV-CE?

Thanks to Gerald for this post.

It came rather as a surprise to Catholics that ESV was for consideration for the English language Lectionary when the NRSV-based lectionary was dropped from the table by the International Committee of the English Language (ICEL) in view of the changes brought by Liturgiam Authenticam. This project was deemed necessary to complement the more literal changes to the Roman Missal.

And from then on, some Catholics have been eager for a consequent ESV-Catholic Edition. Many spectators believed that it would be a challenge given the failure with the negotiations with NCC for the NRSV, the ESV would likely to pose more difficulties, knowing Crossway.  Now that the ESV lectionary project had been pronounced dead by the ICEL, it leaves the hypothetical question: "Should the ESV lectionary project and an ESV-CE became a success, would it kill the demand the demand for the RSV-CE?"

In this post, I will offer both sides of the coin of what could had happened to the Catholic world if ESV-CE penetrates the elusive arena of Catholic Bible market.

1. ESV corrected some of the "un-Christian" renderings in the Old Testament without looking at light from the New Testament, usually in the more scholarly critical path, bearing the RSV "liberal" in many Protestant circles. 
Knowing the RSV-CE's patronage by Catholic apologists, theologians and serious students of Scripture, an ESV-CE would certainly shift the market, provided that necessary Catholic emendations be made to rid of its apparent Evangelical slant.

2. ESV is an easier read due to modern formal English while being a bit literal from the RSV. Moreover, ESV used the 27th Nestle-Aland for the Greek, while RSV in its base used the 17th NA.

3. ESV is recently finding adoption by the Evangelicals, particularly brought by the mishaps by the NIV 2011. And this is phenomenon right now, the once unbeatable NIV is being replaced by ESVs. Most Protestants are already familiar with the ESV as a major translation, even competing to the good old NASB. Should an ESV-CE exist, it would further bring the ESV's popularity to great heights.

4. Since ESV is a light revision of the RSV, most study tools that are keyed to RSV would probably still be useful and would make the shift seamless to those who are already familiar with the RSV.

5. ESV is already widely distributed, not only by Crossway but also by Gideons and foreign Bible societies outside North America. And having an ESV Catholic Edition will surely fill the void of a formal translation for Catholics that can be widely available to most people.

1. ESV and its translation committee had never been ecumenical in the first place. Especially with the Crossway earning integrity as solidly conservative Protestant. Having an ESV-CE will put a doubt on its Protestant readers. 
This was not a problem to the RSV, since at the beginning, NCC did not paved way for evangelical revisions recommended to it in the early 60's. However, NCC gladly accommodated the Catholic and Orthodox reservations to make amendments to RSV and to provide the extended canon.

2. The Church authorities would probably not grant a recognitio to an ESV-CE.
The ESV is not an ecumenical committee and had not included Catholic members in the development of ESV. On the other hand, NRSV included Catholics from the beginning of their translation, and RSV only later after the Protestant release of the RSV upon the permission by Dei Verbum. 
Dei Verbum 22 specifies that other translations by "our separated brethren" may be considered, and that would also include our Orthodox brethren. ESV, still ia not finding any traction on Orthodox circles.

3. The ESV with Apocrypha by Oxford publishing likewise did not caught significant attention to Catholic specialists, nor the RSV-CE readers that could be the target market by the ESV w/ Apocrypha. NRSV with Apocrypha, immediately found support to some Catholic bishops. In fact, it first got the imprimatur before the NRSV-CE. It was the patronage of Catholics to the NRSVA that compelled NCC to release a specific NRSV-CE for Catholics. RSV with Apocrypha, likewise immediately found clamor from the Catholic authorities especially upon the immediate need for a version that would be compliant to Dei Verbum section 22.

4. Should an ESV-CE be anyways approved by Crossway, it would be likely that minimal changes will be allowed by Crossway to be done to ESV. I suppose much less than changes approved to both RSV-CE and NRSV-CE.

5. ESV textual decisions that are usually in preference to the Hebrew Massoretic Text and deferring most of the emendations offered by the Septuagint except for some theologically important verses will be a challenge if it aims to be compliant with Liturgiam Authenticam.  LA prescribes that while reference to the Hebrew texts should be the basis, emendations from either the Septuagint and the Vulgate should also be given weight, especially in view of Patristic understanding of biblical text for the Septuagint and preserving the latin liturgical tradition from the Vulgate.

Your opinions?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Guest Review: The Catholic Study Bible NABRE (3rd Edition)

I would like to thank Steven for giving me permission to post his review of the Catholic Study Bible. Steven is Mormon, which makes this review very unique.  

Title: The Catholic Study Bible, Third Edition
Editors: Donald Senior, John Collins, and Mary Ann Getty
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Genre: Bible/Study Bible/New American Bible Revised Edition
Year Published: 2016
Number of Pages:  2560
Binding: Hardcover
Size: 6 1/4 X 9
ISBN10: 0199362777
ISBN13: 978-0199362776
Price: $49.99

Reviewed by Steven Ray Montgomery for the Association for Mormon Letters

I try to meet people on common ground, and search for ways that we can agree on, rather than differ. 

So, while I, as an active Latter-day Saint, have obvious and glaring disagreements with Paganism and the Pagan origins of Easter for example, at least I agree with them on the aspects of rebirth, new life, preservation of life, that accompany the Spring of the year. And I can celebrate those aspects in spite of other doctrinal differences.

I'm trying to treat the recently published Catholic Study Bible, Third Edition, in the same manner. First, the translation itself. The NAB (New American Bible) was a decades long work of 100 "scholars, including translators, editors, and a subcommittee of Catholic bishops who provided extensive review of the biblical text over" that period. A revision of the NAB then took place. The NABRE (New American Bible Revised Edition) is the first major amendment to the New American Bible translation since 1991. It takes into account recent archaeological and textual discoveries. 

As to the common ground, mere belief in the Bible is an area of agreement between Catholics and Mormons. And the Catholic Church has been actively promoting Bible readership among its members, admitting that "biblical focus was lost" when "philosophical analysis" overwhelmed "biblical foundations."

But the Catholic Church is seeking to remedy that, this Catholic Study Bible being one of the tools to restore the balance. And as contained in the Reading Guide, "the purpose of this newly revised and updated Catholic Study Bible is to enable the reader to read the scriptures with new understanding and depth." The world sorely needs that understanding: Catholics, Mormons, the entire Protestant world, etc.

The Bible itself is a very handsome one. It comes with an almost six hundred page reading guide, which I found to be an excellent guide and introduction to the Bible as a whole, as well as each book contained within the Bible. The Reading Guide "leads the reader through the scriptures" and gives an extensive "treatment of the biblical background, . . . history and archaeology."  One thing I especially liked was the interconnection between the text of the Bible and the relevant pages of the Reading Guide. I also found myself mostly agreeing with the length, width, and breadth of the Biblical scholarship therein. Some differences over doctrine? Yes, but many areas of agreement.

The Bible is published by Oxford University Press and I found it to be a great resource, with study notes, essays on various topics, informative sidebars, etc. There is also a 15 page glossary of special terms, thirty-two full-color Oxford Bible maps with an extensive place-name index and a 100 page concise concordance. The maps, glossary, and place-name index are fabulous--I love to know where events take place in the Bible, their meaning, and their relationship to other places. These features alone make the Bible well worth the price. But there is also a table of weights and measures, an index to the reading guides, and, important to Catholics but I found it meaningful as well, a full listing of lectionary readings for Sundays, Holy days, and weekdays.

Incorporated into the text are 52 in-text maps and 18 side-bar essays and charts. I found these to be quite helpful.

One great feature of Catholic Study Bibles in general, and this one in particular, is the inclusion of apocryphal works missing in the Protestant canon such as the books of Baruch, Ben Sira, Tobit, and so forth, as well as extensive notes and commentary for these books.

In conclusion, this is an excellent study Bible. Any serious student of the Bible would be pleased to own one, whether Catholic, Protestant, or Mormon. This Mormon is pleased to own one.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Favorite RSV

What is your favorite version of the RSV?
RSV w/apocrypha (Common Bible)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Knox on Translation: Sinners and Overseers

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?
-Trials of a Translator

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Question from a Reader

I found your blog by accident while searching for something on Google. Well, maybe it wasn't an accident. I read that you were a theology teacher and I was hoping you could help me figure something out. I'm Catholic and I wanted to draw something for my dear friend and her family. I became a little obsessed with Psalm 127:4: "Like arrows in the hand of the warrior are the children born in one's youth." I like to be accurate in everything I do. When I started researching what authentic arrows looked like, many different types came up on google. So I started thinking, well, what warriors was Psalm 127:4 referring to?? I want to draw the correct arrows! Lol. Would you happen to know the answer? What time and place in history are these warriors from? I hope to hear back! Thank you and God bless!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Coming Soon: ICSB 1&2 Samuel

This volume in the popular Bible study series leads readers through a penetrating study of the Books of 1 & 2 Samuel using the biblical text itself and the Church's own guidelines for understanding the Bible.

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

It also includes Topical Essays, Word Studies and Charts. The Topical Essays explore the major themes of 1 & 2 Samuel, often relating them to the teachings of the Church. The Word Studies explain the background to important Bible terms, while the Charts summarize crucial biblical information "at a glance".

Publication date is May 2nd.  Ordering information here and here.  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Update: NAB Illustrated and Annotated New Testament for Catholics

This came a couple days back from reader Deacon Dave:
FYI...just discovered that the Illustrated NT from LTP (that carries a HUGE shipping fee from LTP) is now available through Catholic Communication Center without that huge shipping cost. $12.95 for the NT. I got mine a couple months ago and really like the annotations and illustrations.  In case you want to post and pass the info on here is the link.

Here, again, are the details of this bible:
"From the publisher: ""Here is a special opportunity for the Renewal in the U.S., especially in 2016, CCR's Year of Mission in Mercy in our journey to the Jubilee, and to respond to the Holy Father's words to us: And with the Bible, the Word of God, go, preach the novelty that Jesus has given us. Preach to the poor, to the marginalized, to the blind, to the sick to the imprisoned, to all men and women. Includes hundreds of color illustrations including historic artwork and photographs of places mentioned in the Bible. The goal is to make these beautifully illustrated and annotated New Testaments available at a low cost with the idea that our brothers and sisters in the Renewal--besides buying one for themselves to read and study--would buy additional copies to give away in the work of the New Evangelization."" Paperback, 610 pages. "

You can view a few of the pages here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bible Poll: Favorite Psalter

Favorite English Translation of the Psalms?
New Jerusalem
Revised Grail

Monday, April 4, 2016

Offer: Rebound Didache NABRE

This offer is now closed.

Over the past couple of weeks I have received requests from a number of long-time readers of this blog who would like to offer their Bibles for sale/donation.  While this is not a marketplace for Bibles, those who have approached me are really only concerned with getting these bibles into the hands of those who will read them.  So, over the course of the next few weeks, I will be posting about various bibles that are being offered to you in various ways. 

Today, reader Max is offering his beautifully rebound Didache Bible NABRE.  It is majestic and probably the most premium NABRE ever made!  He is not looking to make any money off this, except that a donation be made to Catholic Student Organization at Texas A&M-Commerce.  If you are interested, particularly after reading and seeing the images below, please contact: SOLD

Here is Max:

I would like to give my rebound Didache Bible away to anyone who wants it on two conditions: 1) that they will read from it frequently, and not treat it as a decorational item. I think it's beautiful, but I made it to be used for years...I just can't bring myself to do it. 2) that they will make a donation to the Catholic Student Organization at Texas A&M University-Commerce. It can be any amount that they can afford, I would value the Bible at $350 but if they can only give a tenth of that then it's still okay. Really, I just want someone to both treasure and use it, and at the same time help the Catholic students in Commerce. I don't need to know how much they donate; I will send them the contact information of the CSO treasurer and let him know to expect someone to get in touch with him.  

For more on this bible, go here for a full review of what Max had done.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Weekly Knox: Unity in the Risen Christ

"Destiny is always jumbling up the pattern of our lives like the patterns in a kaleidoscope. You can't avoid it, even by entering holy religion; you take a vow of stability, only to find that life is one long round of packing. The charmed circle is always being broken up; we are separated from the people we have grown accustomed to. But do let's get it clearly in our heads that there can be no real separation, in life or in death, as long as we stick to the Holy Mass. In Christ we are all one; the sacred Host is the focus in which all our rays meet, regardless of time and space. Only we must keep true to him; only we must all go on saying that prayer the priest says before his Communion, asking that though he is separated from everything else he may never be separated from our Blessed Lord; A te numquam, a te numquam, a te numquam separari permittas." 
-Msgr. Ronald Knox (The Mass in Slow Motion)