Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Catholic Comparative New Testament by Oxford University Press

The Catholic Comparative New Testament features eight Catholic translations of the New Testaments in one convenient volume. Comparing translations is a simple task with this edition, due to its side-by-side layout. This edition contains four formal equivalent translations - the Douay-Rheims, the Revised Standard Version Catholic Bible, the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Bible, and the New American Bible. These translations are referred to as "word-for-word" translations due to the fact that great care was taken during translation, to render the original wording of the New Testament into English.  This edition also contains four functional equivalent translations - The Jerusalem Bible, the Good News Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible, and the Christian Community Bible. These translations are referred to as "thought-for-thought" translations. The purpose of these translations is to emphasize on the intended meaning of the original text, and adapt its meaning in English syntax and grammar, making it easier to understand. 

"A wide spectrum of people - including new and experienced Bible readers, homilists, and teachers - will gain from having this resource on their bookshelves." - Catechetical Leadership

The Binding and Cover:
The cover of this edition is a traditional hard backed cover, which offers durability at an economical price. This edition’s binding is sewn and glued adding stability, and durably.  
Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.8 inches

What’s inside?
The layout of this edition helps readers to compare verses at a glance, making verse comparison a simple task.  Four translations are laid out on each page allowing for quick cross-referencing as well.  This edition features an easy-to-read typeface, paragraph/subject headings, and helpful information about each of the translations. The paper used in this edition is thin, yet very high quality. There is a fair amount of ghosting (seeing the text that is printed on other side of the page), but this does not interfere with readability.  

In the Front
  • Acknowledgments 
  • Books of the New Testament in Alphabetical Order
  • Introduction to the Catholic Comparative New Testament
  • Preface to the New American Bible
  • Preface to the Revised Standard Version
  • Preface to the New Revised Standard Version
  • Preface to the Jerusalem Bible
  • Preface to the New Jerusalem Bible
  • Preface to the Good News Translation
  • Preface to the Christian Community Bible
In the Back
  • Appendix 1: Explanatory Notes to the Revised Standard Version
  • Appendix 2: List of Changes in the Revised Standard Version 
The Translations:
All of the translations in the Catholic Comparative New Testament have the Imprimatur showing the Church's approval of these translations. Below is a brief description of each translation.

New American Bible:
  • The New American Bible (NAB) is the official Catholic translation approved for both Lectionary, and private use in the Untied States for Public.  Most recent editions of the NAB contain the 1970 Old Testament, 1991 Psalter, and 1986 New Testament. While this translation is the translation we hear every week during Mass, you will notice small differences.  Inclusive language that appears in controversial places has been replaced in the Lectionary, so that no inclusive language is used during Mass. At this time the inclusive language still remains in all other editions of this translation. For more information check out
Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition
  • The Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSV-CE) is an adaptation of the Protestant Revised Standard Version (RSV) for use by Catholics. This translation is widely used by conservative Catholic scholars and theologians, and is accepted as one of the most accurate and literary Bible translations. 
  • The Douay-Rheims (D-R) is an English translation of the Bible translated from the Latin Vulgate by members of the English College, in Douai. The New Testament was published in Reims, France in 1582. This translation was updated by a revision undertaken by Bishop Richard Challoner in 1752. Bishop Challoner's revision of the Douay-Rheims Bible, added readably and poetic rhythm to the translation. The King James Version was used as its base text, which Bishop Challoner rigorously checked with the Clementine edition of the Latin Vulgate.  "Although the Jerusalem Bible, New American Bible (in the United States), the Revised Standard Version, the New Revised Standard Version and the New Jerusalem Bible are the most commonly used in English-speaking Catholic churches, the Challoner revision of the Douay-Rheims is still often the Bible of choice of English-speaking Traditionalist Catholics.
New Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition
  • The New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition (NRSV-CE) is an edition of the NRSV adapted for the use of Catholics with the approval of the Catholic Church In accordance with the Code of Canon Law  825.1, the New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, has the imprimatur  of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (USA) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops granted on 12 September 1991 and 15 October 1991 respectively. The NRSV-CE is one of the versions of the Bible used in English editions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Jerusalem Bible
  • The Jerusalem Bible (JB or TJB) is a Roman Catholic translation of the Bible which first was introduced to the English-speaking public in 1966 and published by Darton, Longman & Todd. As a Roman Catholic Bible, it includes the deuterocanonical books along with the sixty-six others included in Protestant Bibles, as well as copious footnotes and introductions. In 1943 Pope Pius XII issued an encyclical letter, Divino Afflante Spiritu, which encouraged Roman Catholics to translate the Scriptures from the original Hebrew and Greek, rather than from Jerome's Latin Vulgate. 
New Jerusalem Bible
  • The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985 and edited by The Reverend Henry Wansbrough, O.S.B., monk of Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire and former Master of St Benet's Hall, Oxford. Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, this version is translated directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic.
Good News Translation- Catholic Edition
  • The Good News Translation (GNT), is an English translation by the American Bible Society. This translation has been endorsed by many Christians Churches such as the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Lutheran Church, Episcopal Church, and the Presbyterian Church. Excerpts from the New Testament were used extensively in evangelistic campaigns, such as the Billy Graham crusades and others, from the late 1960s through to the early 1980s. In the Philippines, the GNT is the most popular version of the Bible for both Catholics and Protestants. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines used this translation for the English version of their Basic Ecclesial Community Bible.
Christian Community Bible
  • The Christian Community Bible was published in1986 as an answer to Rev. Alberto Rossa (a Claretian missionary in the Philippines) need for an English version of the Bible that reaches out to ordinary readers, particularly those in Third World countries. The primary feature of this translations is its use of common English. Editors of the Christian Community Bible consider it to be a very accurate translation from the Hebrew and Greek biblical texts.

My Personal Opinion:
The Catholic Comparative New Testament is one of my favorite tools for studying God's Word.  Eight Catholic translations placed side by side, makes comparing translations quick and easy. As someone who enjoys comparing translations, I have to say that this edition is the most helpful Catholic tool I have had the pleasure to review. I highly recommend this edition. 

 The edition featured in this review can be found on the following website.

28299X: The Catholic Comparative New The Catholic Comparative New Testament
Gathered together are the Douay-Rheims Bible, RSV, NRSV, and New American Bible, which are formal equivalent ("word for word") translations; along with the Jerusalem Bible, Good News, NJB, and Christian Community Bible, which are dynamic equivalent ("thought for thought") translations. 1800 pages, hardcover. Oxford University Press.