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Catholic Bible Helps

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Since the 1980’s I’ve seen how Catholic Bibles have been multiplying in our bookstores. There was a time when someone from Kamuning, Quezon City had to go to Catholic Trade, Manila to find the Catholic Edition of the RSV. When I was in Grade IV at St. Mary’s College, QC the school library held a Catholic Bible Book Fair — that was the first time I saw so many Bibles in one place. Today, one can find Catholic bibles in every National Book Store. Not only Bibles though, but also books that help one read the Bible intelligently.

Recently, my attention was called to two editions of the Bible that appeared new to me. The first is the Breakthrough: A Bible for Young Catholics. The text is based on the Good News Bible (Catholic edition) and is heavily illustrated. The other is the Catholic Prayer Bible — Lectio Divina Edition (CPB-LDE). For anyone wishing to get a lot of help in praying Scriptures, I think this Lectio Divina Edition would be of great help. Below are features of the CPB-LDE

prayer bible

1. The text is based on the New Revised Standard Version. If you have been using the New American Bible for prayer and for preparing your catechism or homilies, the NRSV is an excellent help for comparisons. No translation completely renders the Greek or Hebrew into English and so it is always a good idea to compare translations. The New American Bible is the translation currently approved for use in the liturgy for English masses in the Philippines. Comparing the NAB to the NRSV can be of help in understanding a text better.
2. The CPB-LE is formatted in one column and in a way that it gives the reader a large space for adding annotations. One can easily personalize one’s copy of the CPB-LE in a way that is not allowed in the two-column pages one normally finds in the major translations.

3. Guides for reflection are given for sections being read. The guides are divided into three parts: Reflect, Pray, Act. Each of these parts offer suggestions for making one’s readings an encounter with the Word of God. If you already have the Bible Diary 2012 (Claretian Publications) where the Sunday entries have the Reflect-Pray-Act guide, then you’d probably understand what I mean.

4. The CPB-LE also contains some other helps:

(a) an article on how to use the CPB-LE for lectio divina by Lawrence Boadt, CSP
(b) maps
(c) tables that give the readingsfor Sundays and selected celebrations
(d) calendar for the moveable feasts

Alas, the text of the NRSV offers a minimum of notes for the understanding of the Biblical text. And so, a Bible Dictionary would be useful for really getting into the meaning of particular words.

I am familiar with two old but excellent Catholic bible dictionaries. The one by Xavier Leon-Dufour and the other by McKenzie. The Catholic Bible Dictionary edited by Scott Hahn and published by Doubleday Religion, is an excellent reference for academic and pastoral purposes. “Unsettled Christianity” has this to say:

The articles on the Biblical books are expertly written and helpful. They include all the information that one expects in these kinds of articles – author, date, outline, etc. The articles focused on issues related specifically to Catholicism present the Biblical material without being apologetic in tone – the article on the Eucharist is an excellent example. The topical entries also present the Biblical material in its complexity. For instance, the articles on women and slavery in the Bible do not gloss over the fact that these texts come from a different time and culture and may present difficulties from a modern perspective.

The selection of articles seems fair. Of course, anyone who studies the Bible academically may think that articles related to their area of research may be lacking in a general resource like this. But, I think this would be nit-picking. Decisions must be made about what belongs in and what belongs out. The Catholic Bible Dictionary does a fair job with these decisions. Source

Apart from the usual entries one finds in Biblical Dictionaries (meaning of words, description of places), it also includes:

(a) Catholic biblical key-words (e.g. Confirmation, Sacrament of)
(b) introductions to single books of the Scriptures
(c) Appendices for the chronologies of the Old Testament and the Kings of Israel and Judah
(d) maps and the index for these

Originally posted 2012-01-04 23:02:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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