Friday, March 30, 2018

Consummatum Est

Crucifixion” by Andrea Mantegna, 1459
When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son.  After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.  Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst.  Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar about hyssop, put it to his mouth. Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.   
-John 19:26-30 (Douay-Rheims)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Passover of the Lamb

Josefa de Ayala (Portuguese, ca. 1630-1684) 
And this day shall be for a memorial to you: and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord in your generations with an everlasting observance. 
-Exodus 12:14 (Douay-Rheims)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Guest Post: From Eugene P to the CEB

 Pocket-Zippered Eco-Leather CEB with my rosary by
FloraYoonJewelry in Seoul, S.Korea via Etsy
Thank you to my friend Owen for providing this reflective post about his journey to the CEB.  The origins of this post go back to a recent post I did on the CEB Study Bible.  

Inserting myself into the conversation with David and Timothy, (and what I am going to say is all old news for Tim as we've chatted loads) I am also very much in the space you mention, David, regarding both the Common English Bible and your approach in purpose with the bible. 

Your list for going forward/looking back later in life is spot on. I'm a few years off 60, well away from the 80 years old you mention looking forward-to/back-from but, time is moving faster even at my age and I can say with certainty that the things you mention as important are those that matter most and yes, few of the other things we may have once imagined as so vital to the Christian are of little important.

Per translations, variations, paraphrases et cetera and each in their many editions and iterations; I've read all the major ones both sides of the Tiber. I've read and studied them as a lay person, as an ordained minister, as a clergy-convert to Catholicism, as a ''once-again-theology-student'' in a formal setting, and finally as returned to "just" a lay person.  

For all the study and comparisons both in hallowed-halls and as lived-experience I am in a place where I seek to expend precious energy actually living the Word, to the best of my ability, enabled by grace overendless mop-head (a term of semi-endearment) styled pouring over minutia, nit picking and parsing, proof-texting and proving who is right or most right. God bless them for whom that is a helpful thing. Really, God bless'em good. If any of that equates with being a better disciple of Christ, a better fellow human, please have at it. It is no longer me if it ever really was me. Not a few of my comments in the archive of this blog I would presently find embarrassing were I to look them up - nothing bad per se, just wow, did I once think that way? I did.

In the late 90s, then as a Protestant minister, I was introduced to Eugene Peterson [EP] (regrettably not in person) and to his then portions of the bible as they were rolled out. It was beyond refreshing. Then in 2002 I bought my first complete The Message Bible [MSG]. Bam. Wow. Alive. Real poetry. Talk about your read-think-pray-live!

However, I was in circles where for many the MSG was in disfavour and in as much taken up with "the fear of man"---that people pleasing monster borne of valuing myself via the eyes of others rather than investing in enough silence to hear my own voice, an inner wisdom as well as to truly trust God in that inner voice---because of nonsense like that, I put that wonderful MSG bible away.

Still later, having taken the deep-dive risk of losing my livelihood in order to enter the Roman Catholic Church, I strove and I do mean strove to be whatever I thought others said was the best way to be Catholic. It was a genuine conversion quickly coloured by the expectations and opinions of others. In some respects I had merely changed silos and in regard to bible translations specifically I found the "dialogue" over right and wrong, good and bad, worthy and dross to be far more vitriolic. And once again I found EP and his MSG held in question by those whom I sought to emulate in the name of being a good Catholic. Sad, I know.

Later on still, with much personal work done and say, with accepted vocational changes, I happened on news of the release of The Message Catholic/Ecumenical [MSGCE] (I blame ;-) Tim and his blog for that news) and I picked up a copy and wondered why-the-blank I had let go of the MSG in those intervening years. Well, I knew why, as I've just said, it as more that I in letting go the nonsense I was amazed to have re-discovered such a helpful bible.

Personal growth, becoming more genuinely open, seeking God again in my own terms and with false affections fading, the timing was right. The MSG was a bible-balm.

Last year during Lent I decided one of the things I would "give up" was the endless bible translation version and edition comparison. The beginning of the end of premium and of perfect bible was at hand. I immersed myself into just one bible, reading only that one the whole of Lent. I chose the MSGCE. It was transformative. So much so that Lent ended and I continued on in the Message-only or very nearly only. Was I worried that it was a paraphrase? No. I have decades of formal and informal training behind me and I got loads of approved-translation NRSV in our Canadian liturgy and not unimportantly I was coming to a more deeply holistic understanding of being Catholic. That change has been, I pray, irreversible; what’s been seen cannot be unseen and never more did that old hymn resonate, “no turning back”.

Reading-thinking-praying-living the MSG was the best bible-experience I'd had to date with most genuine impact in my life; that’s 37 years of bible, reading, praying, preaching, teaching, attempts at living fully.

Unsurprisingly, I had no desire to move away from EP's MSGCE. I was invited to twice give a continuous-live-no-breaks-reading of the Gospel of Mark from the MSGCE in our parish. It was very favourably received.

So, right, I had no interest in getting another bible, another translation. Then, serendipity happened and along came the Common English Bible. Like this: I was listening to a recent podcast of a sermon by a local former-denominational-peer-minister acquaintance of mine as I was interested in the inner-city work his folks are engaged in and, what was that? That was the sound of a familiar passage in a translation I could identify and, as noted, I know pretty much all of them, pretty well. I replayed the portion of the podcast and wrote the words down, then plugged them into Google Search and ta-da!, there those words were on as some bible version I did not know at all. I read on, then on and on and then went looking for a good used copy on-line.

I did not think anything would move me from the MSGCE as my primary bible. But the CEB has done so (sorrEy, Tim!). Granted, the MSG is the only bible that has made me laugh out loud or hoot with enjoyment/surprise and I do still love it so. Meanwhile, the CEB has become my bible of prayer, of daily reading and reflection and when I choose so, of study. It is quickly becoming the one that comes to mind during the day in relation to this or that happening or thought. So yes, my primary translation is the CEB with the MSG as a beloved companion. 

It's like the CEB found me rather than the other way round. (As an aside, EP himself discourages one from reading his MSG as ones primary bible.)

Per the CEB:
- I appreciate its scholarship which is up to date and while no translation is wholly unaffected this one resonates.
- I appreciate its broad ecumenical translator base (more Catholics than the now Catholic-lauded ESV except perhaps the originally all-Catholic JB-family (?) ) and the inclusion of a greater proportion of woman in that mix (indeed, one third among the Catholics ).
- I appreciate that it is a wholly new translation, not a redo or a redo of a redo despite the claims of late of publishers of many a translation I need not name for readers of this blog.
- I highly value a number of perhaps at first jarring translation choices it makes. One reflection and with the publishers intentions considered these choices ring true and are refreshing as Christianity grows. (Yes, I am purposefully choosing to not note those citations because, as noted above, I'm no longer interested in debate and any reader here can or has found plenteous opinion expounding posts elsewhere.)
- I appreciate the CEB's conversational tone without its becoming colloquial and without the loss including classic-Judeo-Christian-historic connections and terms (a thing the good EP often avoids in the MSG. I understand his reasoning and have missed those helpful connections so for me, here is another plus in the CEB). 
- I value the CEBs non-sectarian tone both in the translation itself and in the notes of the Study edition.

It's readiness to make certain bold yet informed choices while still incorporating classic Christian-theological terms all in a manner that is eminently readable and listen-able is, I think, remarkable.

It surprised me how quickly I made the choice to read the CEB as primary (now, CEB plural as I confess have the hardback study with full Catholic and Eastern church "apocryphal" books and the pocket-zipper, though Protestant canon only). Tim jokingly predicted that outcome. Haven't bothered myself with comparing the CEB 2011 with later iterations. Was tempted to pine as of old once I knew there were those changes and even wrote the publisher to inquire after a comparison list but then ended up just as happy to have received no reply because for me, why loose the gained-ground of embracing a read-to-live what is to hand approach (I mean, really, how far off can the changes and corrections be)?  As it now turns out (see comments in the originating post) both editions I have are the most recent iterations of the translation). Good enough, very-good enough.

Once upon a time, a long, long time, I wanted the right bible, the right perfect bible, the right perfect premium bible. To use words such as obsession and addiction in that context are not a stretch. And now?

Read-to-really-live. That's how I see it. If that's this or that translation for you (the 'royal you' here :) ) please, please read-think-pray and live fully. Please, just go live it. But wait, is this or that translation officially approved? Please do read Second Vatican Council, Dei Verbum

Well, didn't this comment become that post!

Thus endeth the Lesson. Or, perhaps, so Life begins.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

For Sale: Collection of Berit Olam SOLD


So, I am looking to thin my commentaries a bit.  Over the years, I have attained a number of different texts and commentaries, sometimes getting duplicate copies of ones I already have.  One example is shown below, which consists of 10 volumes of the excellent Berit Olam commentary series from Michael Glazier/Liturgical Press.

The Berit Olam series is "written for lay people, Bible scholars, students, and religious leaders, this multi-volume commentary reflects a relatively new development in biblical studies. The readings of the books of the Hebrew Bible offered here all focus on the final form of the texts, approaching them as literary works, recognizing that the craft of poetry and storytelling that the ancient Hebrew world provided can be found in them and that their truth can be better appreciated with a fuller understanding of that art. The authors reflect a variety of religious traditions, professional backgrounds, and theoretical approaches. Yet they share a common desire: to make available to all of God’s people the words of the everlasting covenant in all of their beauty.  

I am looking to sell these to someone (in the USA) who would make a good home for them and actually use them.  These 10 volumes are not easy to get on the cheap, however I am happy to accept any reasonable offer.  I am not looking to get rich in selling them, so feel free to make any offer you seem to think is fair.

If interested, send along an email to me at mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com. Please do not make any offers in the comments.  I would like to sell them all as a set.

Monday, March 19, 2018

More on the RNJB and Your Chance to Submit a Question to Fr. Henry

Thanks to some inquiries sent to the Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd from frequent commentator and guest blogger Chris Buckley, I am happy to publish the responses from the editorial director at DLT David Moloney concerning the RNJB.

Questions Submitted by Chris Buckley to DLT Editor David Moloney:
1) Is this a new translation, or an "in house" editorial revision of the NJB (similar to the RSV-2CE from Ignatius Press)?

2) If it's a new translation, who is the translation team?

3) Is the the École biblique involved in these revisions at all? If so, is it based on its "Bible in its Traditions" text?

4) Will it carry an imprimatur?

Responses from David Moloney:
1) The RNJB is essentially a new translation, in that Fr Henry has returned to the original scriptures throughout (rather than just updating the NJB). In many cases he has made the same translation choices as he did for the NJB, so sections of the text have remained the same, but overall the extent of the differences between RNJB and NJB is substantial enough to call it a new translation.

The Study Notes have been completely replaced (with notes written by Fr Henry but only previously seen in the CTS Catholic Bible), bringing the scholarly content up to date. The Psalms for the RNJB, as you will have seen, now comprise Fr Henry’s slight adaptation of the 2010 Revised Grail Psalter.

2) Fr Henry is the principal translator, as he was for the NJB. He has consulted widely throughout this process – notably with Professor Francis J Moloney SDB (no relation!) on the New Testament, and Andrew Carter of Ampleforth College on the Old Testament.

3) Fr Henry has liaised with L’École Biblique throughout the process but they have not been directly involved in the translation.

4) The Old Testament has not yet been completely finalised but we have arranged with the Bishop’s Conference and the Department for Life and Worship to submit the full Bible for review for the imprimatur as soon as it is ready.

Your Chance to Ask Fr. Henry Wansbrough a Question.
In the past, we were blessed that people like Mary Sperry of the USCCB graciously responded to questions from you regarding the NABRE.  Now, we have a chance to ask Fr. Henry Wansbrough OSB, editor of the RNJB (and NJB), some questions concerning the new translation.  David Moloney of DLT offered to share some questions with Fr. Henry.  He said, "I would encourage you and other members of the blog forum to put together some questions that you would like to ask Fr Henry. It could prove a further opportunity for him to explain the reasoning behind the new translation, and the approach he has taken. I can ask him if he would be willing to answer a selection of questions if you think that would be helpful and of interest."

So, here are the rules for submission:
1) Submit your questions in the comment section of this post.  
2) Please make the questions concise and succinct
3) Please put a name (at least a first name) at the end of your question
4) Make sure to review the other questions that have been submitted so that there are no duplicates

Chris and I will review all the questions and select the ones that will be submitted to Fr. Henry for consideration.  Again, I'd like to thank Chris for taking the initiative in contacting DLT and making this a possibility.  

Thursday, March 15, 2018

What I Am Living For

I am excited that this week marks the publication of a collection of essays on Thomas Merton, one of them coming from yours truly.  The book is titled What I Am Living For: Lessons from the Life and Writings of Thomas Merton.  Edited by Jon M. Sweeney, there are contributions from Bishop Robert Barron, Fr. James Martin, Fr. Dan Horan, Sue Monk Kid, Robert Ellsberg, as well as a number of others.  Here is a short description:
What I Am Living For offers readers new to Merton, as well as longtime enthusiasts, an opportunity to see how the influential twentieth-century monk and writer continues to encourage the awakening of faith in the twenty-first century.

The book is in two parts. Each contributor to part one focuses on an aspect of the spiritual life that is of vital importance today and on which Merton made a profound impact. These include:

  • Martin—Finding who God intends you to be
  • Ellsberg—The spiritual need for solitude and stability
  • Oakes—The importance of coming to terms with our sexuality, whether married, single, or celibate
  • Horan—The importance of dialogue with God, culture, society, and people of other faiths
Part two features shorter, often more personal reflections on the future of faith, the life and teachings of Merton, and what he still says to anyone who seeks a relationship with God.

My contribution comes in the form of a short essay in part two of the book, where I write about how I came to appreciate Thomas Merton after many years of actively avoiding him.  So, if you are a Thomas Merton fan or simply curious about him, this book promises to have plenty of insights about this man who helped to nurture and rediscover the importance of contemplation for both monks and lay people, while also being active in the non-violence movement and inter-religious dialogue.  This book, conveniently, comes out in this 50th anniversary year of Thomas Merton's death.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

First Look: CEB Study Bible w/Apocrypha

More and more I have felt the desire to explore translations that I had previously avoided.  One of those translations is the Common English Bible.  The CEB was produced under the sponsorship of a number of mainline Protestant denominations, most notably the Disciples of Christ, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church.  The scholars who worked on this translation included other Christian denominations, including a number of Roman Catholic biblical scholars.  

The CEB committee's stated goals were to "to make the Bible accessible to a broad range of people; it’s written at a comfortable level for over half of all English readers. As the translators did their work, reading specialists working with seventy-seven reading groups from more than a dozen denominations review the texts to ensure a smooth and natural reading experience. Easy readability can enhance church worship and participation, and personal Bible study. It also encourages children and youth to discover the Bible for themselves, perhaps for the very first time."  All of these are very important goals which I think are so very necessary in the times we live in.  

Recently, I received a hardbound copy of the CEB Study Bible w/ Apocrypha to review.  I am really enjoying exploring this translation, since it is meant to read very differently than the more formal translations.  And I am not just looking at the standard go-to verses that we all typically look up first thing, instead I am trying to read much larger chunks of text.  I hope to report back to you on what I have discovered at a future date.  

The CEB Study Bible w/ Apocrypha is beautifully made.  Its presented in a single column format, with loads of cross-references.  In addition, there are full-color illustrations, photos, and a page-layout that makes it far more attractive than pretty much every Catholic Study Bible on the market.  (Yeah, no surprise there!)  The spine is sewn and there are no glossy inserts anywhere to be found.  

Here are some photos, which will give you a little flavor of what this study bible has to offer.

I want to thank the CEB folks for providing me a copy to review

Monday, March 12, 2018

First Look: NOAB 5th Edition (NRSV w/Apocrypha)

Thanks to Marc for providing these pictures of the New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha.  He reports that he pre-ordered it during the holiday sale in December. The stated release date is April 1st for this edition, but apparently Oxford is shipping pre-orders early! Overall, the construction and type setting of this edition is nearly identical to the fourth edition. I've included a few side by side photos for reference (fourth edition on the left, fifth edition on the right). The text columns continue to be left-justified, and the font of the Bible text and notes remains the same. Physically, the fifth edition is no thicker than the fourth. In fact, it feels a little thinner. This is probably because the pages in my fourth edition have "expanded" with use.  It is printed in the Netherlands by Royal Jongbloed.

Marc is happy to answer any of your questions in the comments.  I really liked the feel and construction of the 4th edition, which was done by Royal Jongbloed as well.  

New to this Edition:
-Twenty new essays and introductions, including new essays on Time/Calendar and Languages of the Bible
-Fully revised and updated annotations to reflect the latest biblical scholarship
-Introductions and extensive annotations for each biblical book
-Informative essays on essential topics for biblical study
-Color maps, timelines, glossary, and an index to study materials
-Includes the Apocrypha


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

First Look: ESV-CE

Thanks to Jonny for sharing these photos of his new ESV:CE published by ATC, which arrived from India.  Jonny reports that it is a "nice, solid sewn hardcover."  He will post some thoughts on the text in the comments of this post.  Thanks again Jonny!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The RNJB NT is Here

I just received the RNJB NT (and RGP) in the mail today.  I will likely get to a review in a few weeks, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

Friday, March 2, 2018

RNJB Sample: Passion and Resurrection Account of Matthew

Thanks again to reader Jim for finding this link to a sample from the RNJB.  As some have said in previous comments, the notes are not nearly as copious as previous editions.  They look more like the ones found in the CTS Bibles