Monday, June 12, 2017

YouCat Bible Origins

Cologne ( When the YOUCAT Foundation and I first set out together to develop a Bible for young people, an experienced publisher said to me: Think it over seriously!  A Bible isn’t easy as it might seem.  To keep the entire body of the text in view, to make it all legible, not to leave anything out, and then the corrections – it can drive you crazy.  It can go wrong big-time.
Alright, I then thought with sincere respect and not a little sheepishness, it would be better not to get too over-confident if the project comes up.   And I thought about my own mini-bible, chock full of dense, small-print, precisely type-set text, and it dawned on me, that if it becomes a reality, that I am permitted to develop a Bible, then it has to be done right, really right.  I won’t do less.
For me the encounter with the emerging idea of a youth catechism almost seven years ago was the beginning of a completely new chapter in life and in my professional career path.  My work till then dealt with local or regional contract jobs, whereas the YOUCAT project introduced me to a new, unexpected global dimension and with it also a completely new expectation of serious, clear communication with particularly complex subject matter.  Yet, the biggest of those was that it fulfilled in the highest degree my yearning to visualize precisely the subject matter that I myself stand for.
Continue reading here.
You can purchase the YouCat Bible here.


Mark D. said...

I have to confess ambivalence about this project. An edited selection of texts from the Bible is better than nothing, but it isn't the entire Word of God written. All of the Bible is important, even the parts that don't appear to have great significance to us either from a literary or devotional perspective. But it is all the Word of God, all inspired by the Holy Spirit. I would prefer to see an edition of the Bible directed at young people that provides youth with the fullness of the written Word of God.

Timothy said...


I agree. I held one in person this afternoon. Nicely made, but the fact that it is abridged makes it hardly useful. I think it is a gimmick. I'd rather give them the Catholic youth Bible.

Erap10 said...

I agree! Kids even in 7th and 8th grade are interested in having a full Bible of their own.

Anonymous said...

I have to respectfully disagree. I haven't seen one in person yet, but if it was done well, I think there is a market, and need, for something like this. For some, it will be a "gateway" bible. Getting them familiar with all the stories and lessons, etc. of the bible, where they can then get an unabridged bible and have an easier time with it because of their familiarity.

For others, there are many people, especially the younger generation, that just don't have the patience to read something as "daunting" as the bible.

I guess I'd rather see people reading this than not reading the bible at all.

Michael P.

Mark D. said...

Well, like I said, excerpts from the Bible are better than nothing from the Bible, but it still isn't really the Bible. Part of the thing about the Bible is that it is God's active word -- and it surprises us, or at least, it is supposed to. There are parts of the Bible that I have found dry as dust at certain parts of my life, say Leviticus. And then, right there in the middle of that book I one day find the following verse:

"You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord." (Leviticus 19:18 ESV)

That was a surprise.

The Bible is full of stuff like that, a thousand other examples could be given. Our young people deserve the full word of God, the full message he sent to us in the pages of scripture.

Biblical Catholic said...

My view is that even though the whole Bible is the word of God, not all of the Bible is really useful reading for us today.

There are large portions of the Bible that most people never read, or can really understand without extensive commentary. For example, something like 1/3 of the book of I Chronicles is devoted to genealogy, the last 8 chapters of the book of Ezekiel (1/6 of the total text) are devoted to an elaborate description of a hypothetical temple. There are several chapters in 2 Samuel devoted to describing the temple built by Solomon, and most of the book of Leviticus are devoted to discussing ceremonies and laws that are no longer relevant to Christians.

I would estimate that about 1/4 of the text of the Old Testament could be omitted without seriously hampering anyone's understanding of the message of the text.

I'm not saying that no one should ever read these very difficult portions of the text, or that they don't have their place, but if someone is reading the Bible for the very first time, I don't think there's any harm in omitting some of the more boring passages. And what is worse, if someone is reading the Bible for the first time, encountering these passages can be a serious obstacle, a reader gets so far into the text and then he gets to something like the long, seemingly endless list of genealogies in the start of the book of I Chronicles, and then he gets discouraged and gives up, never to attempt to read it again.

There doesn't seem to me to be any problem with an abridged Bible that omits some of the less relevant and more 'boring' (for lack of a better word) parts that would be useful for younger or first time readers. After they have read the abridged Bible, they can then be encouraged to read an unabridged text.

You have to crawl before you learn to walk.

Devin said...

Just picked up a copy of the YouCat Bible. Format is great. I understand & support the idea of an abridged Bible, but the selection criteria is bit puzzling. Most of the gospel of Matthew is there but none of the other gospels contain a passion account. St. Paul's letter's are way too abbreviated. I don't think you could abridge the story of Tobit properly.

It would have better if the YouCat team would have just did the entire new testament in one volume. Then they could have done an abridged Old Testament with more selections available if they so desired.

Timothy said...


Thank you for the update. I like your idea about just a NT edition. May have been a better idea.