Ignatius Bible Footnotes

What sort of form do the footnotes in the Ignatius Bible (RSV-2CE, not the study version) have? Do they take a heavily historical-critical approach that even questions if there are contradictions or errors in Scripture or are they more theological?

I ask this question because I am seriously considering purchasing a copy of the Ignatius Bible after bad experiences with, mostly, the footnotes in the CTS New Catholic Bible (Jerusalem translation with Grail Psalms) for they often use the historical-critical method to an extreme even to a point when it makes no sense and helps nobody to know that perspective. I also dislike some of the translation in the Jerusalem version with is non-traditional (i.e. “Happy” instead of “Blessed” and “Rejoice, highly favoured one!” instead of “Hail, full of grace!” and portions of sentences missing in the OT which are present in other translations).

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“It helps nobody,” you say? Well, for many years now I have found it certainly helps me. I have both the original 1966 JB and the 1985 NJB, and the two of them together are my go-to Bibles for the footnotes. Not so much for the translation, though. Like you, I have my reservations about that.

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The historical critical method has its uses, but I do think they are more scholarly and less for devotional reading.

Anyway, the Ignatius Bible NT presents traditional commentary. When it comes to the dating and authorship of some books, they usually present the different viewpoints but lean towards the more traditional view. Though by traditional, I should clarify that its approach is not one that insists on something like a Young Earth.

It does use the RSV-2CE, and some of the word choices reflect that. The traditional Catholic translation is usually included/commented on in a foot note.

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In regards to RSV-2CE bibles, I prefer the Didache Bible published by the Midwest Theological Forum. That version of the RSV-2CE has have very orthodox footnotes, introductions, commentaries and apologetical explanations.

Highly recommended.

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I use the Didache Bible (with NAB-RE translation). It’s my go-to. I do so intentionally: it has both the notes of the NAB-RE (which weigh heavily towards historical-critical method), but balanced out with the Didache commentary.

The best method (if you can afford it): have multiple study bibles, with differing translations. My opinion only.

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Are the NJB ones that different from the JB? I have the latter but don’t want to spend more money of it’s just more of the same.

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I have no experience with the '66 JB, but I do with the '85 JB. The footnotes are a goldmine of information. They are not some slap-dash notes, but rather an English translation of the annotations from the scholars at the École Biblique. Completely agree in regards to the translation. I go to it for the notes only. However, the font choice is horrible! My middle-aged eyes now have problems reading it.

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Yes, about half and half. Just my impression – I haven’t attempted to compile statistics – but about half the 1966 footnotes were retained unchanged and half of them dropped, with a whole lot of entirely new footnotes instead.

I’m resisting the temptation to buy Henry Wansbrough’s RNJB, published just last year:

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I was looking at that earlier today. If I get the NJB it will be the unrevised version. Some of the reviews on the new one weren’t too positive.

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What were their complaints? Inclusive language?

As am I.

Supposedly the translation is more “literal” (formal-equivalence and all that), but they also tout that it’s more gender-inclusive and yada-yada-yada. They also claim to have dumped the solid annotations from previous versions. My source? The publisher’s website: https://www.dltbibles.com/the-rnjb.

Think I’ll pass and stick with my “archaic” '85 NJB.

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Yes, I’m inclined to agree wth you. I’ll go on resisting the temptation.

The footnotes. The reviewer on Amazon stated he’d stick with the NJB. He wasn’t totally negative but he did have complaints. I’ll have to read it again.

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Okay, thanks. I just had a quick look at a few pages, using the “Look inside” feature at Amazon. com. They seem to have reduced the footnotes to a bare minimum. Very disappointing!

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What I did was get an affordable, hardcover edition of the NABRE and the Catholic Prayer Bible, which uses NRSV-CE. That way, I get two recent translations and both historical/critical and reflection/prayer notes.

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Perhaps I was a bit too exaggerative when talking about the CTS footnotes, but certainly for my purposes (which is more devotional reading and understanding a little bit of the meaning of the Bible) the footnotes haven’t helped and have - as regards questioning if there are contradictions etc. - been counter productive. However, that the footnotes help you is good and I see no problem with that.
Thank you for your response.

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From what I’ve seen, the RSV-CE (so probably the 2CE too) is generally traditional in its translation and if in some places, as you say, it departs from the traditional translation but still retains it in the footnotes, I would be quite content with that. Thank you for your response.

For anyone who prefers a Bible with traditional verse renderings and very orthodox footnotes and book introductions, Catholic Book Publishing publishes in large print a new English translation of the Bible called the New Catholic Bible (NCB). It’s a translation that’s not meant for scholarly academic study, but it’s well suited for private study and devotion with helpful footnotes for understanding particular Bible versus.

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Here’s a link to a good in-depth review of the New Catholic Bible (NCB) translation:

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