Tuesday, December 5, 2017

RNJB Delayed

As expected, the listing on Amazon.com for the Revised New Jerusalem Bible (NT and Psalms) was false.  It had said it would be published at the end of November, but I received an email from Amazon letting me know that they had cancelled the order.  Of course, this is all likely due to Amazon getting incorrect info on the date of publication, which according to Darton, Longman, & Todd will be January 2018.  The full bible is expected to be published later in the year.  We shall see. 

If you missed it the first time, here is the description from the publisher:

Presenting the world’s first modern English Bible in a new light.
In 1966, Darton, Longman and Todd published the Jerusalem Bible, the first full translation of the Bible into modern English, with an acclaimed set of study notes. In 1985, it released the New Jerusalem Bible, an update of the Bible text for a fast-changing world. Now, after more than thirty years, DLT is preparing to publish the Revised New Jerusalem Bible – a substantial revision of the JB and NJB texts, and one which applies formal equivalence translation for a more accurate rendering of the original scriptures, sensitivity to readable speech patterns and more inclusive language. The RNJB is accompanied by a new, comprehensive set of study notes and book introductions enabling the Bible to be read with the insight, wisdom and understanding of the most up-to-date biblical scholarship.
The New Testament and Psalms will be published in January 2018, and the Full Bible will be published later in 2018. Both editions will contain the comprehensive study notes and book introductions.
The RNJB has been translated, and the notes and introductions written, by Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB, a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and one of the foremost biblical scholars of our day. Fr Henry was the translator and general editor of the NJB.
Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB is a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and one of the foremost biblical scholars of our day. Fr Henry was the translator and general editor of the NJB.


rolf said...

Amazon has had delays before without cancelling the order, January is next month?!? The RNJB is available for pre order on bookdepository.com for about $11 with free shipping!

Devin said...

I am curious about the economics of releasing the NT in January followed by the whole translation within the same calendar year. I would imagine a market for this niche translation would be relatively small. And a portion of that market would wait until the entire Bible is available.

Timothy said...

My guess would be to offer a cheaply priced NT and Psalms for publicity and allow the public to get a flavor of the work.

Jeff S. said...

Thanks to Rolf's mention of BookDepository, I just ordered five copies
of the NT&Psalms, for me and four friends off of the BookDepository
What's interesting is that on the DLT (Darton,Longman,and Todd - the
actual book publishing company) website, they still do NOT have a click button allowing you to pre-order or order this. But they at least have the nice cover shown!

And yet the BookDepository has the note:
"Book cover coming soon ..."
But more importantly, it has the volume available for pre-order.

Matthew Doe said...

I guess Timothy is right about that. Still, this publication is more annoying than useful for me - if I see NT+psalms, I expect a small pocket book for travels. That's not what this is, certainly in part because of the inclusion of the study notes. That makes sense for a preview, but to me it does not make sense for the typical use of this selection of material.

If they merely want to provide a preview, how about putting a PDF excerpt online?

Anonymous said...

I had an email exchange with the Editotial Director at DTL about this last week in which he stated, in part:
“In actual fact, our edition of the RNJB NT & Psalms will not be available to buy in North America as Random House have licensed the rights from us so this will be their territory. As far as I know they will not be producing the NT & Psalms edition straight away (certainly not as early as January). I don't know if they yet have a release date for the Full Bible but I imagine it will be later in 2018, as will our own Full Bible edition.”

Jeff S. said...

Thanks to Rolf for mentioning BookDepository yesterday.
I went on their website and pre-ordered 5 copies for me and
four friends. Interestingly enough, the website of the
actual publisher (Darton, Longman, and Todd) does NOT
have a "click" where one can buy/pre-order the NT&Psalms.
They have a full description ad for it and a price, but
nothing to click on. I'd noticed this every time I checked
about once a week since I first read of this new edition
on this website earlier this year.

So I was very happy to read Rolf's comment yesterday and
I believe the date they list on BookDepository is
Thursday, January 18, 2018, or as they print it,
18 Jan 2018. The price was $12.05 so I paid $60.25 for
the five copies. Looking forward to receiving it by
late January-early February.

Biblical Catholic said...

It makes no sense to me given that Amazon is the world's largest bookseller, but many publishers, even some major ones, still tend to keep Amazon out of the loop on information like this, Amazon often seems to have the wrong publication date even for major books.

I have decided to stop ever trying to 'pre-order' any books from Amazon, because my order is always delayed, sometimes multiple times. My pre-order of the fourth edition of Eamon Duffy's 'Saints and Sinners', the edition that was updated to include Pope Francis, was delayed at least 5 times before I finally gave up on the idea of pre-ordering and decided to wait until it was published to order it.

Anonymous said...

"More inclusive language" read, get rid of all masculine pronouns in favor of a more gender fluid lexicon. Give me a break. I have the 1966 version of the JB with Yahweh removed per B16 and that is the go to if I read it. Can we please leave the scriptures as they are and not bend them like we are bending everything else in the Church to agree with secular values? It's disheartening and disgusting.

Jerry Mc Kenna said...

I am still hoping the full Bible is published on time.

mediasniper said...

I’m still waiting for the full Ignatius Study Bible HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Matthew Doe said...

I do not trust the outright condemnation of all "inclusive language", just as I do not trust its most enthusiastic adoption. Extremes are rarely in the right. It is clear to me that everyday English has moved on quite a bit from "he" obviously including "she". Personally, I often use the plural to indicate gender neutrality ("We are seeking a programmer. They must have the following skills...") That may hurt some ears, but frankly that's fine. Language always moves on and leaves the purists behind.

What I'm missing is (1) a proper conservative / traditional discussion of where it is crucial to maintain gendered language from the point of view of appropriate translation and proper Catholic doctrine, and where not. I think there is too much of a proxy war going on here, and knee-jerk reactions to liberals messing with the bible are actually obscuring opportunities for a better faithful translation. And (2), I'm missing translations being more bold about handling this. For example, what about the word "siblings" or even say "kin(sfolk)"? Yeah, terms like these do not pop up much in everyday speech, but I don't think that the bible has to sound exactly like what you hear on the streets. A "poetic" translation could get away with some more radical solutions, and who knows, that might just shape the English of the future.

Biblical Catholic said...

But it doesn't really matter where 'everyday English' is, the real question is whether inclusive language faithfully represents the historical and theological truth about what the authors of the Bible were trying to say, and the kind of society they lived in, and the answer to that question is a clear 'no'.

Inclusive language is an attempt to whitewash history, to pretend that Ancient Israel was some kind of modern, progressive, egalitarian society, but it wasn't, Ancient Israel was a patriarchal society where, for example, women were not even allowed to give testimony in court.

There is just something inherently dishonest in trying to translate St. Paul is such a way that he ends up sounding like a third wave feminist circa 2017, he was nothing of the sort.

Jason MSpyridonP said...

Honestly, I feel the NJB already went overboard with the inclusive language - I also feel they are pandering somewhat to the LGBTQ, feminist, gender ideology, and far left progessive elements in our society.

If the RNJB is going even more extreme with the inclusive language than the NJB, you can count me out from ever using it. Bible translations that impose our 21st century Western political and cultural prejudices on an ancient text irk me big time, not to mention doing a huge disservice to the Sacred Scriptures.

Count me out. I wish it didn't have to be this way. I wish translators would have an attitude of "forget the world - this is not a worldly book. This is a Sacred book and we refuse to impose modern worldly limitations and expectations on it. It is what it is and we will not even attempt to 'clean' it up. Take it or leave it."

mediasniper said...

Attempts have to be made to "clean up" language because idioms of a bygone era do not always translate into modern day English. I think those of you that are up in arms about too much inclusive language are missing the point. Being up in arms about inclusive language drives people further away from the Church. Changing "brothers" to "brothers and sisters" doesn't change the message of the Gospels. I think we all need to take a breather and remember that the best translation is the translation one actually reads. No translation will change the greatest commandment that Jesus mentions in the gospels, the one that many of us seem to forget when we fall into the "culture wars" clap trap:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

No matter what translation you use that will never change.

Just because one translation's notes may include more historical criticism than theology doesn't mean that they are saying that the writers of the Bible were not divinely inspired. As a history teacher, I tell my students when we read primary source documents, one of the most important things to first get a grasp of is the context of that document. When was it written? Who was the audience? Do we know the author? Does the author's background impact his message? What is going on at the time that this document was written and how may that impact the purpose and main idea? This is what I as a social studies teacher am expected to teach my students. To think critically. To analyze. People need to be aware of the context in which the Bible was written. It makes a smarter Christian.

I hope all is well.

Timothy said...

Well said. I see this as well teaching high school students in theology.

I will also add that teaching students, who come from middle and working class families, the reality that inclusive language is used in current language is not really up for debate. And if we want to present a text to them that is to be transformative, it needs to be suitable to them as well. Again, this has nothing to do with diluting theological content or whatever, but providing an encounter with the Triune God. If it reads like it is from 50-100 years ago, it won’t, for the vast majority of them, become a personal text.

While I am a supporter of The Message, I am not suggesting that it is the answer. Unfortunately, we don’t possess, IMHO, a Bible translation that is readable, contemporary, and “accurate”. I think if we had something like the NIV, it would likely be very well received. But, I don’t think we do.

I also don’t think this general trend into more “literal” translations is all that great an idea. Like I said before, the fact that this RNJB is supposedly more literal than its predecessors I think is a real shame. One of the best features of the JB/NJB lineage was that it was dynamic and literary.

Steve Molitor said...

We’ll have to wait and see what RNJB actually reads like Timothy. I have trouble believing it will slide too far towards the literal / formal end of the spectrum, especially since they are promising more inclusive language, pushing those bits more towards the dynamic side.

The proof will be in the pudding, not the marketing. Who knows, maybe we will get something like the NIV!

Javier said...

The discussion is very interesting. I think that making the Bible text accessible to the greater number of readers is a commendable goal. But I think there are layers of inaccessibility that lie beyond the text itself. The societies of the Bible (OT and NT) were completely different from our own societies, both in societal structure and in mental outlook. The Jewish society in which Jesus was born was a highly religious, highly observant society, that was expecting a Messianic event. And I'm afraid a translation that sounds very contemporary might create in the reader a false sense of familiarity with such society, when in fact it was completely alien to us and to our ideas and concepts.
(Excuse my english. My native and everyday language is spanish).


Devin said...


In your personal opinion, what Catholic Bible comes the closest to being "readable, contemporary, and 'accurate'"?

Anonymous said...

I am a woman. I need to know God loves me. Inclusive language in the Bible is for me a very great help in knowing that I am loved...not just men. I am a married woman, have 5 children, 15 grandchildren and 9 gr grandchildren and a convert, many years ago. I am just so annoyed at some of the comments on this topic. Have a great Christmas everyone.

Timothy said...

Probably the NAB

Timothy said...


Thank you for your comment. I agree with you. Merry Christmas!

Peter T. said...

I think too many people get worked up about the inclusiveness debate. I agree with the Church's position that horizontal inclusive language is fine but vertical inclusive language is bad.


Jeff S. said...

I went to the EWTN link given by Peter T.
and found the following shown below: So if Psalm 1 uses inclusive
language to replace "man", you'll note that the Holy See has rejected
such language.
"The problem with vertical inclusive language with respect to Christ is similar. Destined to be the New Adam Christ is prophetically anticipated in certain Hebrew texts which play on the word adam as both the name for the human race and the name of the first member of that race. A good example, which can be a test of a text to see if it has objectionable inclusive language, is Psalm 1. It should read "Happy the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked"(or similar). Inclusive language versions will replace "man" with "one" or "mortal" or some variation. The Holy See has rejected this as contradicting the messianic references to Christ implicit in the text, where man refers not only to David the author of the psalm, but back to Adam (the man) and forward to Christ (Son of David and Son of Man)."

Jeff S. said...

Interestingly enough, the original 1966 Jerusalem Bible
uses "man" in Psalm 1, while the 1985 New Jerusalem Bible
uses inclusive language.

Devin said...

As an FYI, Penguin Random House has a release date of Oct. 2, 2018 for a hardcover Revised New Jerusalem Bible at the price point of 50 dollars.


Timothy said...

There you go! Thank you.