Saturday, October 24, 2015

Why are the best Catholic study Bibles by Protestants?

Michael Brendan Dougherty, "Why Can't Catholics Speak English?" (American Conservative, November 20, 2012):
It is an odd thing to go to the Bible section of the few remaining big box booksellers. You can get Bibles in metallic covers with notes directed at randy teenagers. You can get your dispensationalist “Left Behind” style Bibles, with equally appalling notes. You can find Bibles for law enforcement officers, or for nationalists seeking prophecies about America in the book of Daniel.

More seriously you can lose yourself in debates about translation style. “Formal equivalence” seeks to translate the Scriptures word for word and gives you phrases that can seem obscure. What is it to “cover his nakedness?” On the other side “dynamic equivalence” tries to go thought for thought but will usually desecrate Genesis with Clintonian phrasings like “have sexual relations with.”

But if you are an earnest Protestant you can junk all the cruft and debates, buy unbotched versions of the New American Standard or the English Standard Version and encounter the word of God. And there is always the King James.

What you can’t find is a good Catholic Bible in English. Well, let me explain.... Read more >>
Then there's the comment by Guy Noir in the message wrapped and tied to the carrier pigeon, which, when I unwrapped it, released a small bit of pigeon poop as it fell smack dab in the middle of my desk:
This remains painfully true, in terms of translations, in terms of design and binding, and in terms of editions aimed at specific audiences -- most especially youth audiences. By far and away the best among the few youth editions for Catholics published in the last 20 years, ironically, was The Student Bible issued by Zondervan and edited by evangelical Phillip Yancey! (Of course Protestants are Bible people, and Catholics, though they get indignant at the obvious verdict on the evidence presented, just simply...aren't, especially.)  
TSB was quite Catholic-conscious product-wise, in that it contained the Deuterocanonicals (!), and even used a rather tin-eared translation with the CET, trying to keep in tune with Mass, I guess. (LOL. If they'd used anything else, it would have been disparaged as talking above people. Even if they did forget those Good News for Modern Man-style line drawings YouCat refuses to realize are so very 'That 70s Catechesis.') 
But it didn't matter either way, since it quickly tanked. Maybe youth aren't going to be doing much Bible studying if priests and parents aren't. And if they are lured by more important churchy things like effusing over whoever happens to be Pope or whatever is the newest announced destination for WYD. At least liturgical dance is no longer the rage. 

1 comment:

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

ABS has never used a prot study bible so he can't comment on those but he can imagine they'd be better than this site

because it has so much of the Great Commentary of Cornelius a Lapide, in addition to the other sources

Knox Bible is online for free at New Advent