I’ve been wanting to get a good Catholic study Bible for a while but this is the only one I’ve seen that interests me. The only turn off for me is the “thee, thou, etc.” language that the RSV: CE uses. Are there any Catholic study Bibles that use the 2nd edition of the RSV: CE?
I don’t have the study Bible you mention but use the RSV-CE as my daily reader. I have read it cover-to-cover three and a half times.
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that most of the prose is in very readable, modern English, but not childish or insulting like the NIV. It only lapses into thee and thou language when someone is praying, and even then it is not archaic like the King James Version or the Douay-Rhiems.
*Rabbi, when camest thou hither? (John 6:25 Douay-Rheims)
**Rabbi, when did you come here? *(Johnb 6:25 RSV-CE)
My daughter and I were laughing about the language used in that passage in the Douay-Rheims yesterday. You don’t have to be afraid of this type of language in the RSV-CE however. The RSV-CE does not use words like overcometh, spaketh, and hither.
Have a look at the end of John 16 and the beginning of John 17 in the online RSV-CE at quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/ and you will see what I mean. Jesus speaks very naturally, until he starts to pray. Browse that Bible online, look at some of your favorite passages and see how it reads.
I know the language in the RSV: CE itself is not very intimidating but for some reason, I just can’t stand knowing that an English translation from the 1950’s is still using archaic-sounding English. I don’t know, where English-speakers still using “thee’s” and “thou’s” in everyday language in the middle of the last century? Considering my parents and grandparents date to and before that era, I can say no. Sorry, I’m rambling on about this pet peeve so I think I’ll stop now.
Also, what spurred the creation and use of the Second Edition of the RSV: CE? I’m assuming the Second Edition is something more recent, as I can’t really find any Catholic study Bibles that use the Second edition.
Are there any good Catholic study Bibles out there?
Why don’t you get the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament? It has the RSV-CE 2nd Edition which does not use “thee” and “thou” and the notes are very, very good. Ignatius is still working its way through the Old Testament and publishing the individual books as paperbacks as they go along. (Eventually, I’m sure they’ll come out in hardcover too.)
As I stated in my post, I like the thee and thou language because it is only when someone prays. It sets apart the prayer as special, using language that is a little different, reserved for God only. It is not archaic language like the KJV or the DR. It is only thee and thou, no mayest or spaketh or wheretofor. You can read it for yourself at the link I posted.
Above all the Bible has to be readable. A Bible unread is truly a waste. The Ignatius RSV-2CE is a good choice as hodgywyfe suggested. It does not use thee and thou. I own the great big hardcover and it is excellent. I has over 100 essays, word studies, etc. The notes are partly produced by Scott Hahn. Unfortunately it is New Testament only.
People spend so much time looking for a perfect translation. No perfect translation exists. Ideally it is best to have several translations if one can afford it. I know that isn’t possible for some people. Just get a reasonably good Bible and get into it. Make it a daily part of your life and let God speak to you through it.
I already have an Ignatius RSV: 2CE New Testament that I am currently reading, as well as the Catholic Living Bible. The RSV: 2CE one I have right now though is not the study Bible. In fact, while I have Catholic Bibles I do not have a single Catholic STUDY Bible. I’m not sure if the 1966 Jerusalem Bible is technically considered a Catholic Study Bible, at least not in the theme of Catholicism.
I’m eventually hoping to donate/sell most of the Bibles I own, but I figure I need at least one Catholic Bible that is “study” oriented. I want Catholic commentary or notes in a Catholic Bible, which is why the one I posted above was of interest.
One Catholic Study Bible I completely forgot about is the Haydock Bible. Is the Haydock commentary any good? Is it possible just to purchase the Haydock commentary separate from the Douay-Rheims Bible?
Remember that the extra stuff in a study Bible is not the inspired word of God. All the essays, notes, word studies, references and maps are something that humans wrote themselves about the inspired word of God, but they can never do what the word of God can do in-and-of itself.
Study Bibles are great, but the important part is to read God’s word daily, to make scripture a part of our daily lives.
There have been countless Christians throughout history who never had a study Bible but made God’s word part of their lives. God speaks to us through the Sacred Scriptures and untold numbers of Christians have met Christ on the pages of the Scriptures. That’s what Scripture is - an encounter with Christ. They are not just words about Christ but are a meeting with Christ who can work through the inspired word to help us lead holy lives.
What you are objecting to is known as “sacral” language. It is a form of literary construction which makes any given writing holy - set apart - from normal or average communication. As Tim noted, the NIV is so dumbed down that it becomes insulting. Our Lord’s words sound like a conversation with your neighbor over the back fence. Something is just wrong with that.
Archaic English is problematic for the modern brain to process. What I prefer is a balance of old and new, so that the sacred nature of our Lord’s words is kept - forcing us to focus on those words and process them more slowly and consciously.
I dont know how long you have been reading the RSV, but if it is relatively new, I would allow yourself a bit of time to become acclimated to its construction. The alternative is something like the NAB study bible, which is also dumbed down and has the double whammy of some horrible and potentially misleading commentary and notes.
There are a number of good catholic study bibles out there.
Try the JB. It is understandable and has honest and accurate (and interesting) footnotes. (plenty of them)
Use the variations of several (free) NAB(&RE)'s to understand the variations. (plenty of them)
For English (in addition to the JB) try the NEB. It changes the order of words and gives a different perspective. But pretty Catholic. (forces one to re=read)
The RSV (Oxford edition) and the RSVce and the RSV2ce are ok also.
I personally don’t understand why the CCB is not more accepted in the Western Hemisphere (including the North). It is praiseworthy. The notes are true and worthy of study.
It is shameful how the “The NET Bible” has been treated. It was excellent. There are links to it available. (including the pieces of the Deuterocanonical books that they had a chance to translate.) If you wish to find it.
For I have come from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of the One who sent me. (John 6:38 CCB) For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; (John 6:38 RSV-CE)
The CCB does not have the word down. In Greek it is katabebEka which literally translates to “I have down stepped”. It seems like a small thing but it is not. I am not adverse to variations in translation to accommodate the language and phraseology of the day but I don’t like omissions for the sake of easy-reading.
*I am the living bread which came down from heaven (RSV-CE) I am the living bread from heaven (CCB)
This is the bread which came down from heaven (RSV-CE) This is the bread from heaven (CCB)*
It does this at least seven times and renders the Bible unacceptable to me. God put those words there for a reason.
***Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee, **(RSV-CE)
**Father, the hour has come! Give glory to your son, that the Son may give glory to you. *(CCB)
The term “give glory” does not do justice to the idea of glorification - a physical manifestation of the divine presence. It reads like a kids Bible to me. That is just my opinion. Some might like it but it is not for me.
37 All that the Father gives me will come to me,
and whoever comes to me
I shall not turn him away;
38 because I have come from heaven,
not to do my own will,
but to do the will of the one who sent me.
The JB doesn’t read like a kid’s bible to me; and neither does the CCB.
This is from the Christian Community Bible notes on that section.
"The key word of the discourse is bread (or loaves). That is why John repeats it seven times in each section of this chapter. The expression who has come down from heaven appears seven times in the chapter.
• 28. Here begins the first part of the discourse: Jesus becomes our bread when we believe in him.
In the past, when the Israelites wandered in the desert and lacked everything, God gave them a provisional meal, the manna. They had to give thanks to him for his gifts. But if God is only our benefactor and we go to him seeking favors, we end up concerned only for what God gives us; we will hardly thank him, and later will continue to ask and complain.
This was what happened with the Israelites who, after receiving the manna, rebelled against God and died in the desert. Material things, although they may come from heaven, do not make us better nor do they give us true life.
For this reason, God now proposes something new. The bread that comes down from heaven is not something, but someone, and that is Christ. That true bread communicates eternal life to us, but to receive it, it is necessary to take a step, that is, to believe in Christ and to make a personal commitment to him.
All that the Father gives me will come to me (v. 37). Not all those who take pride in belonging to the true religion come to Christ, but only those whom the Father knows. Though the church embraces many people of all descriptions, only those to whom the Father has given this grace will find their way to the controversial and humble Christ. While acknowledging the value of the sacraments and good works, we should not forget what Jesus taught: none of our own efforts can substitute for the grace of being chosen by the Father who calls us to know his Son in truth."
Its commendable that your studying the bible with the kiddo (Deo gratias!) , but two quick points that you should know…
No Catholic should be reading the King James bible. This is what was called “biblical theft”, although in the age of false ecumenism, you likely wont hear it much. Protestant stole the bible from the Catholic church oftentimes just to use it against us. Lastly, in this version, they modified several words in the new testament to suit the protestant heresy. Not to mention, like all protestant “bibles”, several old testament books were removed to suit the same aforementioned heresies.
The Douay -Rheims is not “archaic” and it’s somewhat disrespectful to thousands of yesrs of Catholic tradition to be “laughing” at it. “…what previous generations found as sacred cannot be considered no longer sacred” (Pope Emeritus Benedict). While this quote is from Summorum Pontificum and applied to the traditional Latin mass, the aforementioned bible had always been used in the mass of all ages. The DR bible was translated from the Latin Vulgate, which was translated from the Greek.
The translated forms used in the novus ordo mass have been watered down, not to mention we now have modernist “disclaimers” about truth (ie, see the Good Friday “we’re sorry for what the bible says here” from the modern ecuminism).
Please dont insult the DR, by calling it archaic. It may be more prudent to look and wonder why the church felt the need to radically change the faith, by changing the way of worship (lex orandi, lex credendi).
Good luck, and fantastic to read sacred scripture with the daughter.
Another item recommended would be the Baltimore Catechism. If her Catholic formation is anything like my CCD as a kid, she (and maybe you) will surely benefit by it’s straight forward and clear teaching.
There isnt much of the latter coming from Rome lately…