Monday, October 31, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

Knox on Translation

“Much more serious was the problem, what to do about ‘thou’ and ‘you’. I confess I would have liked to go the whole hog and dispense with the use of ‘thou’ and ‘thee’ even where the Almighty is being addressed. They do these things in France, but I felt sure you could not get it past the British public.” -On Englishing the Bible

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Review: Scepter's Pocket RSV-CE NT

This, my friends, is truly a pocket bible!  You can easily put it into your back or side pocket without barely noticing.  I realized fairly quickly, when testing this out, that my cell phone is actually bigger than this pocket bible.  The Scepter Pocket RSV-CE NT, along with the USCCB's Pocket Gospel and Acts, represent the best answer to the call of Pope Francis to read the Gospels daily.  Yet, unlike that aforementioned pocket bible by the USCCB, this one is actually a tad smaller and comes in various cover options.  The price is $14.95, which also makes it highly affordable for not being a paperback edition.

As someone who prefers the original RSV-CE over the second edition done by Ignatius, I was really happy to see that this was going to be published.  The RSV-CE certainly deserves to remain in print, even as we are fifty years after its initial publication.  Upon receiving both a bonded leather and red synthetic leather edition, I can commend Scepter for creating a pocket bible that is portable and nice to hold and feel, while also being easy to read from.  The bonded leather has the nicer feel compared to the synthetic, but to be honest there isn't a huge difference.  The size is 3" X 5", making it slightly smaller than the USCCB pocket NAB.  Each edition comes with a nicely made and attached ribbon marker, which certainly should be mandatory for a bible like this which is meant to be read on the run or away from home.  There are also head and tail bands, along with four page endpapers.  I should mention that the black bonded leather edition has pages that are gold-gilded.  Overall, a well-constructed pocket bible that will last daily use wherever you take it.

One of the highlights for me is how readable the text is.  The biblical text is spaced well and printed dark enough so that one does not have to strain their eyes to read.  If you were to compare the page layout of this to any of the more recent Oxford compact NRSV's or NABRE's, the differences would be dramatic.  Perhaps this may serve as a reminder that it is better to have a pocket New Testament, or Gospel/Acts, that is can actually be read with ease instead of a complete Bible that gives you a headache when you are finished.  In this pocket RSV NT, the verses are places on the margins, which I think is an aid to reading this pocket bible.  There are paragraph headings which are bolded and help to break up the text, again, making it much easier to read.  If you have poor vision, I would guess that most pocket bibles would not be your cup of tea, but this one should appeal to most bible readers.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a truly pocket Catholic New Testament, this is the one for you.  If your favorite translation is the RSV-CE, again, this is the one for you.  At under $15, this is truly worth every penny.  As I had been trying to mention more and more before the summer sabbatical, when Catholic publishers produce quality Catholic bibles like this, it is important that we show them support by purchasing their products.  I know that many of you have wished to see more premium Catholic bible editions available.  This can become a reality only if we make it clear that there is a market for them.  Publishers like Scepter, as well as others like Baronius Press, have been producing quality Bibles for a number of years now.  Let's make sure to support them by not only purchasing their products, but also by promoting them when we can, particularly on social media.

I would like to thank Scepter for providing two copies of this edition for an honest review.

Monday, October 24, 2016

NABRE Facebook Live Session w/ Mary Sperry

Our friend Mary Sperry from the USCCB will be holding a live Facebook chat Tuesday, October 25th at 9:00 p.m. EDT on the Fans of the NABRE Group Page.  She will be able to answer questions you may have about the upcoming NABRE NT revision.  Make sure to join the group if you are interested in participating.  

Friday, October 21, 2016

Knox on Translation

“For centuries people have laughed at the old Douay version, because in Galatians v.4 it gave the rendering, ‘You are evacuated from Christ’. In 1940, what metaphor could be more familiar, or more significant?”
 -On Englishing the Bible (28)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Guest Post: Creation, Science, and Wisdom in The Saint John’s Bible

A hearty thank you to this guest post from Jonathan.  As you know, I am a huge supporter of the Saint John's Bible, so this post was especially interesting for me to read.

Over the past two years, I have shown the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’sBible to over 500 people in my student job in Archives & Special Collections at Santa Clara University. Whether my audience is church groups, undergraduates, or (more recently) the Catholic Biblical Association, people are invariably amazed by the beauty of this work.

The more I show The Saint John’s Bible, the more I notice two features of this landmark manuscript. First, I notice the way it creates conversations between different parts of Scripture. It creates these conversations by repeating symbols in different illuminations. Second, I notice how these conversations between images and text reflect contemporary themes in Catholic biblical interpretation.

Take, for example, the theme of creation. Ever since John Paul II kicked off the creation care movement, environmental stewardship has become a part of Catholic social teaching. Pope Francis especially emphasizes the presence of God in creation in Laudato Si’, in which he writes: “Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God” (84). How might we read Scripture in the light of this call to creation care?

One of the most famous illuminations in The Saint John’s Bible is the Creation frontispiece to Genesis. This illumination follows Genesis 1’s account of the seven days of creation. Each vertical column is one of the seven days.

God’s repeated refrain that His creation is good makes Genesis 1 a crucial text for contemporary Catholic creation care (e.g. in Laudato Si’ 65–67). Unlike Genesis 2, Genesis 1 situates the creation of humankind in the creation of the cosmos and all other living things. Although humans are special, we are a part of creation, and we are dependent on this planet Earth for our survival. Modern evolutionary theory similarly shows the continuity between humanity and all other living things.

Donald Jackson alludes to scientific research on humankind’s origins by including scientific imagery in this illumination. The chaos and formlessness, the tohu wabohu in Hebrew, are illuminated as disjointed fractal patterns. The fish in the sea are images of fossils. Most importantly, the creation of humankind is depicted using prehistoric cave art from Australia and Africa. This cave art reminds us of the scientific account of humanity’s origins as primates. Rather than any kind of “war” between science and religion, this illumination reflects the Catholic idea that scientific truth leads to God, and that the Book of Nature is just a crucial as the Book of Scripture (e.g. Laudato Si’ 6). The Saint John’s Bible brings the scientific account of creation into the theological account, not just as a theory that can be reconciled with Scripture but as another window into the glory of God’s creation.

When I show this illumination, one aspect that often puzzles viewers is the raven in the center. After all, would it not make more sense to include the dove from the flood? However, Noah did send a raven to find land before he sent the dove. Also, one legend about St. Benedict recalls him feeding ravens in the wilderness. (This Bible was sponsored by the Benedictines!) Other viewers have pointed out to me that the raven represents wisdom in many cultures, such as in indigenous American myths.

The raven appears in Wisdom quite literally in the frontispiece to Ecclesiastes in the Wisdom Books volume. Ecclesiastes chronicles the search of one man for order in the chaos of life. The raven at the center immediately connects this illumination to Creation. But rather than the order of the cosmos in Genesis 1, this image depicts a tension between order and chaos, just as the sage of Ecclesiastes seeks order in the chaos of life.

The most obvious chaos in this image is in the way the text relates to the art: the illumination is not neatly confined to a page, but is spread over two pages in an asymmetrical, borderless chaos. The word for “vanity” in Ecclesiastes’ famous line “all is vanity!” can also be translated as “breath” or “wind,” and here the wind has become a whirlwind reaching beyond the borders of the physical page. The butterfly wings, another motif in The Saint John’s Bible, are blown about seemingly unattached to any butterflies. And if we see the raven as an allusion to the flood, then perhaps we can see this illumination as reflecting the chaos of the flood, the heavy winds that Noah would have sheltered from in his ship.

Yet even here there are indications of order. We see small columns of rainbow patterns, another frequent motif in The Saint John’s Bible, a reference to God’s promise to Noah after the flood. In the upper right, Jackson included an astronomical diagram. This is reminiscent of the cycle of the moon in the Genesis 1 illumination, the structure of the cosmos as created by God.

Scholars who study the way the Bible depicts creation note that in the prophets, when humankind turns wicked, the earth groans under their sin. In this illumination of Ecclesiastes, the reverse happens: the torment and chaos faced by the sage are writ large in the cosmos. As Old Testament scholar Choon-Leong Seow writes of the sage: “the real world is full of inconsistencies and even flagrant contradictions that cannot be explained away. The world is not an orderly place, and meaning is not always discernable, despite the best human efforts” (Ecclesiastes, Anchor Bible Commentary, p. 41).

Although the sage does not always see the divine wisdom behind the chaos of life, he still upholds its value (7:11). The Saint John’s Bible responds to Ecclesiastes’ lament with an illumination depicting the House of Wisdom in Proverbs 8:22-9:6.

This illumination replicates the whirlwind background of the Ecclesiastes illumination. But beneath the whirlwind we see a place where the winds have calmed into flat horizontal lines: an order, a structure, rather than chaos. In the House of Wisdom, we see the plan God has placed in creation. The seven pillars of this house become here seven candles, with one burning brightly with the interconnected circles motif found throughout the Wisdom Books volume. In the text, Wisdom invites the reader to “eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed” (9:5), depicted here in clearly Eucharistic terms. The House of Wisdom is the Temple with its lampstands, but also the Church with its Eucharist.

If Ecclesiastes struggles to see the order in creation, Proverbs 8:22-9:6 and Genesis 1 help us see that order. By repeating symbols such as the whirlwind, the raven, and the rainbow, The Saint John’s Bible brings together these different passages into a conversation on creation. This conversation asks: how do we relate scientific and theological accounts of creation? How do we see order in creation when all seems to have fallen into chaos? How does the beauty of God in nature call us to care for creation?

Too often, when we look at The Saint John’s Bible we look only at individual illuminations. I have only started to see these conversations between art and text, between texts, and between this Bible and contemporary Catholic biblical interpretation because I have worked with this Bible closely for two years. Now, Michael Patella’s Word and Image and Susan Sink’s The Art of The Saint John’s Bible are superb works. But neither of them systematically survey this Bible’s symbolism and how it creates conversations between different texts. In understanding this Bible and its unique message, we have a long way to go.

Author Biography:
Jonathan Homrighausen is a graduate student in Biblical Studies at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, and a Student Assistant in Archives & Special Collections at Santa Clara University. Previously, he spent two years in the Catholic Biblical School in the Diocese of Stockton. His article on The Saint John’s Bible and Donald Jackson’s earlier work appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of The Scribe, the newsletter of the Heritage Edition. He is currently writing a book on The Saint John’s Bible, and blogs at

Monday, October 17, 2016

Guest Review: Jerusalem Bible (Salvador Dali Illustrated Edition)

A special thank you to long time reader of this blog Rolf for this review of the Dali Jerusalem Bible.

The Jerusalem Bible (Salvador Dali illustrated) edition is a Bible that I had been 'watching' on ebay for a very long time. It was published in 1970, but it makes frequent appearances on ebay usually for $150.+ I was able to obtain this copy at auction in new like condition  for about $65. shipped.

This is a huge Bible:  12 x 8 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches and it weighs a little less than a smart car! The Bible is bound in red (bonded, genuine or faux?) padded leather over boards. I am not sure, I have read that it is leather and faux leather but the slightly padded hardcover looks nice and works well with this big Bible!

The Salvador Dali illustrations are all full page and there are 32 of them. Dali's illustrations can be strange, but they always make you think when you see them.

The real reason I wanted this Bible was for a chance to read a large print Jerusalem Bible! I have three other Jerusalem Bibles, two with size 9 print and a compact with size 7 print. When I found out that this Bible had size 11 (well spaced) single column print, I had to get one!  The paper is thick and bleed through is very well controlled! The illustrations are on much heavier paper and are quality prints. It comes with two very nice and wide red ribbon markers.

This is a table top/ lap type Bible, but it is a great reading/ devotional Bible (with minimal notes/reference numbers at bottom of the page)! Is it worth $150.? In excellent condition I think it is! With high end Bibles now selling for $250-$300.+ and bonded leather study bibles nearing the $100. mark, I would say yes! But maybe with a little looking around it could be found cheaper!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday Knox: Psalm 120 (121)

(A song of ascents.)
I lift up my eyes to the hills, to find deliverance;
from the Lord deliverance comes to me, the Lord who made heaven and earth.

Never will he who guards thee allow thy foot to stumble; never fall asleep at his post!

Such a guardian has Israel, one who is never weary, never sleeps;
it is the Lord that guards thee, the Lord that stands at thy right hand to give thee shelter.

The sun’s rays by day, the moon’s by night, shall have no power to hurt thee.

The Lord will guard thee from all evil; the Lord will protect thee in danger;
the Lord will protect thy journeying and thy home-coming, henceforth and for ever.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Bible in the Digitial World, Betsy Shirley (America)

The Bible was the first book ever printed, but ink and paper are no longer required to share its message with a mass audience. At last count, the world’s most popular Bible app, the YouVersion Bible, had been downloaded more than 228 million times. Its distinctive icon, designed to look like a stubby, square Bible, is found on smartphones in every country in the world, giving users access to 1,305 versions of Holy Writ in 954 languages—and counting.
Conversations about the Bible in the digital age usually turn to questions of access: how technology has changed the number of people who can get their hands on a copy of the Bible and how easily. But in the story of ever-changing technology and the timeless word of God, increased access is not the only development. The Bible is a transcendent text with a very stubborn material presence, but when new technology prompts us to change the material context of Scripture—whether from papyrus scrolls to enormous illuminated manuscripts or from mass-produced soft cover books to a string of computer code—how we interact with it changes as a result. 
For more, follow this link.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Guest Post: My Journey to the King James Version

I would like to thank my friend Kevin for writing this post from his perspective as a Mennonite.  I hope you all find it as fascinating as I did.

Based upon the title of this post alone, it is safe to assume that I am not a Catholic. I am a Mennonite, but I have been a reader (but not really a commenter) of the Catholic Bibles Blog for quite some time. I appreciate the Bible in all its forms, and I am always intrigued by how manuscripts, denominational differences, and language have created so much diversity in the art of translating the Bible into English.
I received my first Bible ten years ago this year. It was a NLT Student’s Life Application Bible in paperback. Now, I primarily use a rather elegant KJV Westminster Reference Bible in black calfskin. As you can probably tell, from my first experiences of church ten years ago until now, my Bible preferences have shifted drastically. My first Bible and my current go-to are on completely different ends of the spectrum on textual sources, translation style, and physical quality. The main point of this post is to discuss textual sources and translation style.
So far, I have used for at least several months, or read several books of, the following translations (in no particular order): NLT, NIV (1984 and 2011), NAB, NABRE, RSV, RSV-2CE, NRSV, ESV, NASB, NKJV, NAV/TMB, and KJV. I have never limited myself by any one translations philosophy or denominational perspective. I am a Protestant, but I like the Bible in all its myriad forms. However, if you look at the aforementioned list of translations, there is a preference for versions in the Tyndale-King James tradition (e.g. KJV, RSV).
My time with so many versions has taught me one major truth: they are all good. None are perfect, but every single major, committee-produced translation is good. You can read the NLT, RSV, and KJV side-by-side, and get the same basic message. They will read differently, sound differently, and have different variations based upon textual sources, but the same message is there. Once this truth really started to settle in, my pickiness with different Bibles started to go away. However, if you are Catholic or Orthodox, the Protestant options are often going to be missing some important books.
My journey to the King James Version involves three key points:

As a Mennonite, to talk about church tradition seems a bit strange, but I have to admit that I value it. I especially value the English Protestant tradition that has given us so many masterpieces of English literature and liturgy (e.g. the King James Bible, Book of Common Prayer, the works of Shakespeare). The King James Version of the Bible permeates English. There are many times when we speak, and we unintentionally quote from the KJV. The KJV is all over English language liturgies/worship services, and the KJV is found in other Bibles that are its descendants (ASV, RSV, NRSV, NASB, NKJV, etc.).

However, there is a far greater aspect of tradition that just makes the KJV “click” for me. The KJV is the Bible of my family. Both of my parents grew up in KJV using churches. My father will still say that the KJV is the “most accurate” translation (which I know is debatable). All of the Bibles that mean something to me since they were passed down by loved ones are King James Bibles. When I read my KJV, it reminds me of the coverless KJV my great-grandmother used until her death, or the large Holman KJV my grandfather has studied from for 50 years. That level of sentimentality cannot be found in any other version.

Translation Style
 This is not unrelated to my previous point. The KJV endures because of how beautiful it is. The KJV was translated in such a way that it was both faithful to the original languages and faithful to English. It is both literal and literary. Because of how common illiteracy was 400 years ago, it had to be. Any Bible translation was going to be primarily heard from lectors during the liturgy, not in private homes.

Consider, for instance, one of the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9 KJV). In the Tyndale-King James tradition, this passage is rendered in such a way that it is both faithful to Greek and beautiful in English. It is somewhat gender inclusive with “sons of God” becoming “children of God”, but it retains Greek idiom quite well while bring it alive in English. Compare this to the Good News Bible, which says, “Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children!” It says the same basic message in today’s English, but you lose the balance between the original languages and good English literature.

Even today, many of the most popular versions are intentionally based in the KJV style. They take from the KJV (or other KJV-based versions) because of the translational majesty of this particular version. Peter Hitchens wrote, “The new versions tend only to be tolerable at all when they stick closely to the Authorised Version's poetic text.” (His brother, Christopher Hitchens, also praised the KJV.) Peter is right. Just look at the towering popularity of the RSV and now ESV, or the NKJV. The only English version that comes close the KJV family in terms of popularity is the NIV, but even it falls very short. In terms of style, the KJV continues to reign as king.

Textual Sources
The source texts behind the KJV are where the real debate tends to lie. If you look at the KJV tradition, it has branched in two directions: 1. towards the critical text with the Revised Version and its revisions; 2. continued reliance upon the Textus Receptus (e.g. NKJV, KJ21). (I only mention the New Testament Greek sources, because most English versions almost only use the Masoretic Text for the Hebrew Old Testament. Not all Masoretic Texts were created equal, but there is very little difference.) The textual debate is not a major concern for me, since it seems so little of the New Testament is actually affected. Sure, you have a handful of important places (e.g. Mark 16:9-20, 1 John 5:7), but most differences would not be noticed by the average reader.     
However, I do appreciate the King James Version’s use of the Textus Receptus. It comes closest to what the majority of Greek manuscripts reflect, and I have my reservations about current trends in textual criticism. I am personally a bit troubled by the reliance upon two primary sources (Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus) even when other sources that could be contemporary or older disagree. Mark 16:9-20, for example, can be found in some early witnesses such as the church fathers, Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, and Vulgate. Scholars seem to be biased in favor of only a couple sources to the exclusion of others. The KJV’s use of the Textus Receptus, however, gives one a good alternative to current textual standards.
In conclusion, I have found the KJV to be a wonderful Bible. It has enriched my devotional reading and study for the reasons I only briefly covered here. I would never recommend using the KJV only, but I also would not recommend using any one translation only. We are blessed today with so many websites and programs that allow us to explore the Scriptures even without having a physical copy in front of us. We should always utilize those resources.

If you are Catholic, I strongly suggest exploring the King James Version (even though you do have the wonderful Douay-Rheims Version). The King James Version originally included all of the books as found in the Vulgate, and even many Orthodox Christians utilize the KJV. I personally recommend the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible with Apocrypha or Cambridge Cameo Reference Bible with Apocrypha. They both come the closest to providing an unabridged edition of the King James Bible. There is also the little-known Third Millennium Bible (New Authorized Version) which is a slightly updated KJV with Apocrypha. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Guest Post: Why I Use Multiple Translations

Thanks to Jason P for this guest post!
Some people wonder why it may be better to use multiple versions of Scripture rather than just a single one.  Different Bibles use different textual sources, different translation methodology, and are created by different groups of editors.  All of these things mean that some Bibles will more clearly illustrate certain aspects of Scirpture.  I will give a series of examples to illustrate why I believe it is important to read from several different Bible versions.

First, let's take Messianic Prophecy for example.   Certain Bibles highlight this much better in the Old Testament than other Bibles.  For one of my favorite examples, let's compare the Jerusalem Bible (JB) which was influenced heavily by the Greek Septuagint versus some other Catholic Bibles that lack the LXX (Septuagint Greek influence).

Numbers 24:7-8a,
 Jerusalem Bible:  "A hero arises from their stock, he reigns over countless peoples.  His king is greater than Agag, his majesty is exalted.  God brings him out of Egypt, he is like the wild ox's horns to him."

A hero arises from the stock of Israel, and he reigns over countless peoples!  This is powerful Messianic prophecy!  But how does the New American Bible: Revised Edition (NABRE), Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition (RSV-CE) and Douay-Rheims-Challoner (DR) word this same passage?  
Let's see...

NABRE - Water will drip from their buckets,
their seed will have plentiful water;
Their king will rise higher than Agag
and their dominion will be exalted.
They have the like of a wild ox’s horns:
God who brought them out of Egypt.

RSV-CE Water shall flow from his buckets,
and his seed shall be in many waters,
his king shall be higher than Agag,
and his kingdom shall be exalted.
God brings him out of Egypt;
he has as it were the horns of the wild ox.

DR Water shall flow out of his bucket, and his seed shall be in many waters. For Agag his king shall be removed, and his kingdom shall be taken awry. God hath brought him out of Egypt, whose strength is like to the rhinoceros

Water flowing or dripping from the buckets of Jacob, and the seed of it being in many waters... this could be interpreted in a Messianic way, but not nearly explicitly as the JB.  The reason why?  The text underlying the JB is based, here in this spot, on the Greek Septuagint.  The other three translations are translating directly from the Hebrew Masoretic Text, although the DR does it by proxy through the Latin Vulgate.  The Douay-Rheims is kind of in between the LXX and MT, but it's still not nearly as strong as the JB.  The JB clearly wins here in the Messianic sense of this passage.

This is an example of textual tradition influencing the translation.  Another great example of teachingxtual tradition influencing the translation is in the Douay-Rheims explicitly mentioning Jesus and Christ in the Old Testament.  I will here show the Douay-Rheims translation compared with the RSV-CE and NABRE.

Psalm 2:2, 
NABRE Kings on earth rise up
and princes plot together
against the Lord and against his anointed one

RSV-CE The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and his anointed, saying

DR The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord and against his Christ.

Lamentations 4:20
NABRE The Lord’s anointed—our very lifebreath!—
was caught in their snares,
He in whose shade we thought
to live among the nations.

RSV-CE The breath of our nostrils, the Lord’s anointed,
was taken in their pits,
he of whom we said, “Under his shadow
we shall live among the nations.”

DR Res. The breath of our mouth, Christ the Lord, is taken in our sins: to whom we said: Under thy shadow we shall live among the Gentiles.

Habakkuk 3:13,18 
NABRE You came forth to save your people,
to save your anointed one.You crushed the back of the wicked,
you laid him bare, bottom to neck.
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord
and exult in my saving God.

RSV-CE Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people,
for the salvation of thy anointed.
Thou didst crush the head of the wicked,
laying him bare from thigh to neck.
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.

DR Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people: for salvation with thy Christ. Thou struckest the head of the house of the wicked: thou hast laid bare his foundation even to the neck.But I will rejoice in the Lord: and I will joy in God my Jesus.

This is one of my favorite verses in the DR OT.  God went forth for salvation with his Christ, and the Prophet rejoices in God, our beloved Jesus.

This sense is completely gone in the NABRE and RSV-CE.  Not that those translations are wrong, but the translation methodology and underlying text is different.  Instead of translating the Old Testament in a Christological and Typological manner, the Old Testament is translated using a historical-critical methodology.  It's not wrong; just different.  

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sunday Knox: 2 Timothy 2:8-13

"Fix thy mind on Jesus Christ, sprung from the race of David, who has risen from the dead; that is the gospel I preach, 
and in its service I suffer hardship like a criminal, yes, even imprisonment; but there is no imprisoning the word of God. For its sake I am ready to undergo anything; for love of the elect, that they, like us, may win salvation in Christ Jesus, and eternal glory with it. It is well said, We are to share his life, because we have shared his death; if we endure, we shall reign with him, if we disown him, he in his turn will disown us. If we play him false, he remains true to his word; he cannot disown himself." -2 Timothy 2:8-13 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Welcome Back Bible Poll

Which English Language Catholic Bible Do You Use Daily?
Jerusalem Bible
New Jerusalem Bible
New American Bible (any edition)
New Revised Standard Version
Christian Community Bible/New Community Bible
The Message: Catholic Ecumenical Edition
Survey Maker

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Scepter's Pocket RSV-CE NT

A number of people have emailed me during the past month or so who are very excited about this new Pocket RSV-CE NT from Scepter.  I have yet to see one in person, so would be interested in hearing from those of you who have.  With a price of $15.00, it clearly is a must for all those who love the RSV-CE.  I hope to have a review copy in the coming weeks to review for you.

Pocket New Testament -Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition
Following years of popularity with a pocket New Testament in the Confraternity translation, Scepter now releases an easily readable, yet pocket size (3 x 5 inches) RSV CE version in bonded and synthetic leather covers.
The print size is bold and provides an easy read with a single column format. Each New Testament is well bound with reinforcement strips on the outside signatures to provide years of service without the binding splitting or weakening. Other features include: Gold foil stamping on cover and spine, Four-page end papers, Round spine with round cover corners, Head and tail bands, One ribbon marker, 672 pages
This pocket NT is about a half inch wide. Thus it can be carried easily anywhere, at work, during travel, or at home. Useful for everyone, whether just for one’s own reading, for preparation of talks or homilies or commentaries, or as a gift to a friend or family member.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Guest Post: Catching Up and my CTS Bible Journey

Thank you to Gerald for this first guest post.

Well, how was it going?
I know many of us readers, missed this blog.
Perhaps still checking the blog for new entries...

And now, the blog's back! As support for Tim and for all the readers to likewise be inspired to contribute guests post on the blog, I'll do the ribbon cutting. But first of all, let me share who I was in this blog.

I am Gerald, from the Philippines, being one of the very least among the readers here in the Philippines. The time difference is a common obstacle for me. When everybody else is in heated argument on the other side of the globe, here I am, sleeping on my couch. When it is my time to open up, everybody else is on Dream Land.
I already did 3 guest posts before, so you might want to check them out.

In the past number of months, I have been struggling on one real dilemma
"What version of the Bible will I use?" This is a real struggle and this dilemma does not only confuse the newbie, but even the experienced readers, after many years of looking through many versions are still in this "petty" question. Maybe this question led me to start my enthusiasm on Bible, in search for The One.

However, after years of being in the journey, it came down to just two:
1) Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition
2) CTS Catholic Bible (Jerusalem Bible + Grail Psalms)
Interestingly enough, these two versions were born in 1966. A golden year for me perhaps. I have been juggling between the two. Both are very good versions of the Scriptures and each has their benefits, namely:

1) Heavily reliable as an all-around text. Scholars and apologetics alike use them. Great version to stick with if you are in journey of knowing the Faith more.
2) The text is a pretty stable one and is helpful for conversing with Protestants which are currently enamoured with ESV.
3) Reads beautifully and a nice-flowing version

1) Being based from the Jerusalem Bible, the version is an easy read.
2) Though worded at a lower level, it still expresses gracefully wuthout having to be gender-inclusive.
3) It is best for devotional uses, especially for daily Lectio Divina.
Tim knew back then how I struggled with the two. When I moved to a new room in Manila, I brought with me both versions. I knew that the two will be helpful in my Bible time there: RSVCE for my scholarly study, and CTS for my devotional time.

Initially, I chosen the RSVCE and left the CTS back on the shelves in my hometown since I saw the value of ingesting many Catholic materials to my Faith. I even brought with me Pope Emeritus' "Jesus of Nazareth" and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which by the way used the RSV as their base text for verse citations.

But after some time, when I started to become much occupied from work and my masteral studies, I found myself dwindling on reading the Scriptures. I felt that "scholarly dealing" with the Scripture became a "duty" for me to do. And I found myself struggling with even picking up the Bible and just read it.

By that time, I already longed for my CTS Bible back home, only that I cannot visit my homeland immediately because of financial constraints. I said to myself: "I'll give the RSVCE a chance, maybe I am just lacking time for God in general." And so I did. But still, I am struggling. I know how much the RSVCE can help in my Faith. But I suddenly lost my taste in pursuing, just because I saw that the Bible starting to become an obligation to fulfill.

Just this Saturday, I already visited my hometown. First thing I did upon reaching home is to get my CTS on the shelves and put the RSV back there. And in an instant, I just felt excited to open up the Bible. Too much excitement that I even forgot to start a prayer in reading the set of Mass readings for Sunday, which I always do even in my RSVCE. I must say that the vigor is different compared to if I read my RSVCE for reading Sunday Mass readings.

Many of you might say that: "Am I to stop being informed of my Faith by leaving the RSV behind?" The reality is, while many of us can be really conversant and knowledgeable with the Scriptures. I already experienced it, without really digging into what Bible should do to us Christians, we are ending up treating the Bible as an academic document that is scholarly exciting due to extant studies done to it for the last decades. And we will just find ourselves still hungry for the Word that touches our lives in a supernatural, not a superficial way.

"The Bible should not only INFORM us, but most importantly, to TRANSFORM us."

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sunday Knox: 2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14

"That is why I would remind thee to fan the flame of that special grace which God kindled in thee, when my hands were laid upon thee.  
The spirit he has bestowed on us is not one that shrinks from danger; it is a spirit of action, of love, and of discipline. Do not blush, then, for the witness thou bearest to our Lord, or for me, who am his prisoner; share all the tribulations of the gospel message as God gives thee strength. With all the faith and love thou hast in Christ Jesus, keep to the pattern of sound doctrine thou hast learned from my lips.  By the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, be true to thy high trust."
-2 Timothy 1:6-8,13-14 (Knox)