The following comes from a Jan. 14 story by William Oddie in the Catholic Herald (U.K.).
On Sunday, I understood for the first time one contributory factor (not the most important, but significant) to my growing preference on Sunday morning for the early celebration of Mass at the Oxford Oratory, which follows the Usus Antiquior — a preference even over the splendours of the Latin High Mass at 11am. It is that in the early mass the bible readings are read in Latin, then repeated in the acceptable translation to be found in the 1962 Missal; whereas at the High Mass, we follow perforce the new Novus Ordo missal, which though it now has a hugely improved English translation of the common of the Mass, also embodies our bishops’ depressing decision to stick with the Jerusalem Bible for the readings (in America I understand, the Bible translation used is the greatly more acceptable RSV).
So most of the text to be found in the new Missal is simply illiterate and banal if you are lucky, and from time to time offensive to the point of apoplexy (well, mine anyway). My unfortunate wife has to sit next to a husband gently spluttering away — and occasionally quietly exploding (she says it’s not so quiet, and would I kindly contain myself) — during the readings. This Sunday, I fear, my explosion was not properly contained: you will remember that this week we observed the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord, and the gospel reading was Matthew’s account of our Lord’s asking John to baptise him. John demurs, and says that it is he who ought to be baptised by the Lord, not the other way round. Then, this is what we heard (I could scarcely believe my ears, but there it undeniably was, in print): “But Jesus replied, ‘Leave it like this for the time being…’” The King James Bible translates this verse as follows: “And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.”
“Leave it like this for the time being”: is it believable that the ecclesiastical bureaucrats who engineered the “Spirit of Vatican II” actually conceived an image of Our Lord which was in their own image to THAT extent? That they were SUCH utter philistines that they could have portrayed him as uttering anything so utterly trite and commonplace, as though he were taking part in some administrative committee meeting? Well, so, I fear it is: yes, it IS believable.
This isn’t, to be fair, just a matter of the undeniable spiritual reductionism of “The Spirit of Vatican II”. The philistinism of many English bishops and their creatures is, at least since the re-establishment of the hierarchy, no new phenomenon. In his Life of the Right Reverend Ronald Knox, Evelyn Waugh quotes Mgr Knox writing to one English Bishop about his own revision of many of the prayers in the Manual of Prayers once to be found in every Presbytery, that “the prayers used by the Church of England are, by general admission, models of dignity and faultless prose rhythm. No convert, I think, has ever failed to experience a sense of loss over this difference”.
“The convert” Monsignor Knox continues, “may reasonably be expected to put up with such a minor deprivation, in return for all the treasures of grace which God’s mercy has opened to him”. Nevertheless, he says, it is a pity that many potential converts “go away with a sense that our prayer-idiom is something much inferior to their own, and that our priests rattle off the service as if conscious that it had no beauty of language of recommend it” (Does that sound familiar to anyone?). He recalled Catholics who had listened on the radio to the coronation of George VI, and who had asked him, “Why can’t we have prayers like that?”
To read the entire story, click here.
Douay Rheims …now you’re talkin’
Just who is this “William Oddie”? His misuse of “banal”, “trite”, “Novus Ordo missal”, “illiterate”, “apoplexy” and “philistinism” is flat-out embarrassing.
* Nothing wrong with the Jerusalem Bible. I think it’s excellent as a study Bible because the reader has a better chance of understanding it than some other versions.
* The RSV is not approved for liturgical use (for either the Ordinary or Extraordinary Forms of the Mass) in the USA. The NAB is the only approved version for liturgical use in the US although I’m sure some construct tortured (and false) arguments to retain their beloved (and clunky) DRV.
*Why the love of the RSV? Because it appears to be EWTN’s preferred version?
Oddie’s quote: “My unfortunate wife has to sit next to a husband gently spluttering away — and occasionally quietly exploding (she says it’s not so quiet, and would I kindly contain myself) — during the readings. ” strongly suggests he could use the help of a good spiritual director and plenty of prayer to grind away the arrogance that appears to be wrecking havoc on his spiritual and devotional life.
Bringing attention to himself during the Mass as he describes is wrong — very wrong. He needs to look within (at not at the translation in use) if he wants to find a real solution.
Mother Angelica used the JB……I love my JB!
When I was searching for a good Bible, I settled on the Jerusalem Bible. I could understand it, yet without the glosses of “Good News for Modern Man”. Remember that one??
I am certainly not the best scriptural authority on CCD, let alone in our Church. But to me it was a translation that made sense to me. There are others, more or less. but this one continues to stick with me.
From all I gather from my exposure to folks who actually understand the greek and aramaic of the original texts, it’s not a bad translation. And it certainly does not resemble the “high falutin” language of some other translations. If Jesus spoke hi falutin language, it’s not your cup of tea. If he didn’t, then Jerusalem might be a better choice. I suppose there is nor right or wrong answer to this question, because we simply do not know. And I point out, not knowing one way or the other does NOT make me a modernist!
The JB is an excellent Bible. I use it, the RSV and the NAB for Scripture study.
Rarely have I come across a passage in the JB and RSV that yields a different understanding in the NAB. The NAB is also a fine version. Sad some people have been programmed to hate it.
Catholics may read any “Catholic” Bible.
Each will have a “Nihil Obstat” and an “Imprimatur” on the copyright page. These are all acceptable.
The “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” used the RSV (CE) version of the Bible for its references and quotes.
If any Catholic goes to Confession, Communion, Prays for the intention of the Pope, has the intention of gaining an indulgence for himself or a deceased person, and reads an approved Bible for a minimum of 30 minutes they will receive a Plenary indulgence.” – see “Manual of Indulgences” by the Apostolic Penitentiary and published in the USA by the USCCB.
I personally like the RSV-CE in large print. I have given one of these to each of my children and grandchildren.
(If $ is an issue, these are reasonably priced in the EWTN catalogue which also carries other Catholic Bibles.)
If someone has never read a Bible, I also recommend that they start by reading the New Testament first – which starts with the birth of Jesus.
To know our Faith we should all read the Bible and the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”.
All the books in a Catholic Bible were fixed in 382 AD in a Council of Rome by Pope Damasus, who declared the canon formally as we Catholics now know it.
The King James Version is not a “Catholic” Bible.
Protestant Bibles were changed by Martin Luther in the 16th century and then by other Protestants as they saw fit. The most glaring is that Luther removed the last 6 Books in the Old Testament in part to support his belief that there should be no prayers for the dead as stated in 2nd Macabees.
Make certain that any Bible you read or purchase has a “Nihil Obstat” and and “Imprimatur” on the copyright page to insure its content is correct.
Sometimes changing a word can change the originally intended meaning and therefore make it incorrect.
There are 73 book versions of the KJV available, although they incorrectly label the 7 (not 6) deuterocanonicals as being apocryphal.
Oh yeah, and the books of the Bible were “fixed” well before 382AD when they were first publicly proclaimed.
Of course the photo is of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.
Whoops. Or maybe not! By George, George VI just looked so much like his daughter! Pardon my mistake!
When I was studying in Rome in the 70’s, the religious bookstores sold lectionaries published by Collegeville Press which had the RSV Catholic version. They were much richer than the ugly and banal NAB. Somehow, I believe the bishops wanted the royalty coming from the NAB, so they outlawed all other translations. So that is why the Novus Ordo Mass is stuck with this terrible translation. The Douey Rheims version is the complete Bible (not some verses taken out like the NAB), and it is prayerful, respectful as well as a literary treasure.
Father, the RSV-CE and all other versions of Catholic Bibles have never been “outlawed”.
(Besides, they can not outlaw a Bible that is referenced in the CCC by the Vatican .)
I like and will continue to use the RSV-CE (Catholic Edition).
But unfortunately the USCCB has the authority to determine which version of the Bible is used at Mass.
Different people will like different versions, and since the vast majority of us Americans do not read ancient Hebrew or ancient Greek, we will each have to pick a version that has an “imprimatur” and “nihil obstat” on the copyright page in English.
Father, I never thought about it, but you could be right that the USCCB pushes those books that they own the copyright on such as the NAB Bible.
For example while the USCCB publishes the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”, the Holy See holds the copyright. The USCCB through Diocese catechesis programs pushes their own catechism.
Very interesting, and not surprising, and always disappointing.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is indeed a product of the Holy See. It (the Holy See) also encourages the production of regional catechisms that are in accord with the CCC by groups like the USCCB.
Rodda, glad you brought this up.
Regional or Local catechisms are ONLY for those who are too illiterate to read and understand the CCC, or due to young age or other legitimate reasons can not understand.
Remember the CCC is for the entire world, and there are still places that have high rates of illiteracy, which does not include the USA.
CCC: ” 24 By design, this Catechism does not set out to provide the adaptation of doctrinal presentations and catechetical methods required by the differences of culture, age, spiritual maturity, and social and ecclesial condition among all those to whom it is addressed.
Such indispensable adaptations are the responsibility of particular catechisms and, even more, of those who instruct the faithful:
Whoever teaches must become “all things to all men” (1 Cor 9:22), to win everyone to Christ. . . . Above all, teachers must not imagine that a single kind of soul has been entrusted to them, and that consequently it is lawful to teach and form equally all the faithful in true piety with one and the same method! Let them realize that some are in Christ as newborn babes, others as adolescents, and still others as adults in full command of their powers. . . . Those who are called to the ministry of preaching must suit their words to the maturity and understanding of their hearers, as they hand on the teaching of the mysteries of faith and the rules of moral conduct.”
That is not correct.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church
III. The Aim and Intended Readership of the Catechism
11 This catechism aims at presenting an organic synthesis of the essential and fundamental contents of Catholic doctrine, as regards both faith and morals, in the light of the Second Vatican Council and the whole of the Church’s Tradition. Its principal sources are the Sacred Scriptures, the Fathers of the Church, the liturgy, and the Church’s Magisterium. It is intended to serve “as a point of reference for the catechisms or compendia that are composed in the various countries”.15
12 This work is intended primarily for those responsible for catechesis: first of all the bishops, as teachers of the faith and pastors of the Church. It is offered to them as an instrument in fulfilling their responsibility of teaching the People of God. Through the bishops, it is addressed to redactors of catechisms, to priests, and to catechists. It will also be useful reading for all other Christian faithful.
The words of Popes Francis, Benedict, and Blessed John Paul II make it very clear that they want us all to read the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” – even non-Catholics to know what the Church teaches.
Why would some Bishops want to give us other less complete or changed catechisms in the USA, where people are literate?
“….the CATECHISM has raised throughout the world, even among non-Christians, and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives, and prays in her daily life.” – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg xiv)
We can not Evangelize “TEACH” others without the complete TRUTH as approved by the Magisterium which is contained in the CCC.
I don’t want some catechist determining what I should and should not know about what the Church teaches.
I do not need them to put their interpretation on what they believe the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” teaches. (Many times these catechists make errors.)
I want the CCC for myself and for my adult children to pass on the Faith, not some watered down catechism PRODUCED WITHOUT NEED in the USA.
Parents are the first teachers of the Faith. And we are all called to teach – evangelize.
Mary writes, “Parents are the first teachers of the Faith. And we are all called to teach – evangelize.”
God bless you, Mary, for posting this. Too many folks believe that the married state only requires couples to be open to life while forgetting the duty to teach.
Rodda, unless someone in the USA is a child or mentally deficient, there is no need (and certainly no requirement) for any other catechisms.
(This may not be true of developing countries where literacy can be an issue.)
Our Popes have instructed us (through formal statements and Motu Proprios) to study the CCC, not other catechisms.
In fact during the Year of Faith, the Vatican granted a plenary indulgence to all those who studied the CCC as specified in Norms and Grants and in “Porta Fidei”.
“Catechetical methods required by the differences of culture, age, spiritual maturity, and social and ecclesial condition” are the only legitimate excuses to have other catechisms.
These difference do not exist in our Country for the vast majority.
The lousy catechesis in the USA over the past 40 years speak for itself.
Yes the CCC was written for Bishops as well because some of them did not appear to know what they were doing.
The Bishops and Priests (for the most part) have not encouraged people to study the CCC, as have our last 3 Popes. Thus Catholics do not fully know their faith and are ill equipped to evangelize.
Are other catechisms illegal – no.
Did anyone say they were illegal – no.
Are they needed for most adults in the USA – no.
For an inquirer, being handed the CCC would be a little daunting. Even the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults is a pretty big book. The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church has a question and answer format that may be easier for beginners to browse.
You are correct that catechesis has been poor in the US, although in recent years it has improved tremendously. Many parishes and diocese have invested in catechetical resources for the young and for adults.
Time and language can make a difference too.
The catechism talks about the sin of free unions. We use the term cohabitation.
The Catechism was written before gay marriage was an issue. Our local catechism states: “Attempts to justify same-sex unions or relationships or to give them matrimonial status also contradict God’s plan-as revealed from the beginning both in nature and in Revelation-for marriage to be a life-long union of a man and a woman.”
In a word, “hogwash.”
I use the CCC as a reference book. I have no read it cover to cover though (and I suspect no one else here has either.) On the other hand simply to study, other approved catechisms (such as the compendium of the CCC) are far superior.
Sad that you vilify the NAB. Sometimes I wonder if some people even know what “banal” means? Do they actually read the NAB with an open mind or do they just parrot what they see on EWTN and read on CA forums?
There are no “versus taken out” in the NAB. That’s simply not true.
Nothing at all special about the DRV except that it’s old for an English translation.
Proving that people on CCD will criticize everything including the Bible itself.
Canisius, my prayer today on behalf of you is that today you may encounter greater peace in Christ.
Your Fellow Catholic: You’re right, and it’s very sad. “Fr. Karl” suggests the NAB has passages missing from it (with respect to the DRV) which is utter nonsense. I have to wonder if he’s ignorant about the matter or willfully not telling the truth in order to vilify the NAB?
My apologies that “Canisius” was allowed to call you a “lying herertics.” That comment says a great deal negative about that person. They can use the prayers you so graciously offered.
You and your continually bitter posts actually came to mind while I read this short news item on the Catholic News Service today. It’s a two minute read with direct quotes from Pope Francis from a very reputable source. I think it would be of great benefit to you. Pax.
My apologies. This was directed to “Fr. Karl.” That’s not too clear given the format of this forum. Thanks for posting it. It’s a great read. It would make a great daily article.
There are some good modern Catholic translations of the Bible such as the Revised Standard Version/Catholic Edition 1st (published by Opus Dei’s Scepter Publishers) and 2nd (by Fr. Fessio’s Ignatius Press) as well as the Catholic Public Domain Version (a new but literal translation of the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate, using the Challoner Douay Rheims as a guide, by Ronald L. Conte, Jr., available online at https://www.sacredbible.org/cat… ).
As I understand it, only the Douey Rheims is Septuagint – official Catholic legacy. The RSV-CE is Masoretic Tyndale- King James Version Legacy. The NAD from the Confraternity Septuagint to Vatican II ecumenical. The Jerusalem is from the French neither Septuagint nor Masortic.
No. Jerusalem was first translated into modern French then into English using the ancient original texts. But even into the French it is a thoroughly modern translation, not a translation from centuries past like any translation from the Vulgate or King James.
YFC, as poetic as the Jerusalem Bible is (either the original English 1966 version, or the updated 1985 “New” version), it is not a translation that is accurate to the NT Greek original. As many may know, the JB grew out of a modern translation in French, “La Bible de Jerusalem (1956),” from the consolidated efforts of the French Dominicans at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem. If you like it as a version to pray with, fine. But if you are to use it in specific instances for guidance on moral and doctrinal teaching, it is important to check it against the Vulgate (OT)/Douay-Rheims (NT English) and compare it to the Greek text original.
Here is just one example, since it is a primary citation (Gal: 5:19-21) in the Catechism Cath Church (CCC 1852): CCC translation: “Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness….” In contrast, here is the Jerusalem Bible translation: “Where self-indulgence is at work, the results are obvious: fornication, gross indecency, sexual irresponsibility…” Wow: so it’s just a little “self-indulgence” that gets things going, is it? But the NT Greek word in Gal 5:19 is “erga tas sarkos” = literally, “the works of the flesh.” Not “self-indulgence”, by any stretch.
There are many good online “interlinear” Greek-English NT sites that will show you what I mean (I give an example in a post below), and how much the JB has become a paraphrase and no longer a translation. See the following example for info: http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/Greek_Index.htm
However, one thing I particularly like about the JB is its, in my opinion, beautiful type-setting. It particularly is an appealing setting in the Psalms and poetic passages of the Wisdom literature, in my opinion.
Give me a Bible where in Luke l:28 the angel Gabriel addresses Mary with “Hail, full of grace”, RSV-CE and Douay-Rheims, rather than “Rejoice, O highly favored daughter!”, NAB or “Hail, thou that art highly favoured”, King James Version.
I agree with you, Donald byrnes. These subsequent translations, NAB and King James (obviously), are the negation of grace put forth under the umbrella of being easier to understand. It’s more to the point that these watered down verses are easier to accept from the position of personal pride (Why should Mary be sinless and not me?) and/or spiritual immaturity (Mary couldn’t be sinless because it makes no sense.)
The results are Catholics questioning the Immaculate Conception.
, Donald byrnes, and an attempt to soften via ongoing translation that Our Lady was full of grace and all that that implies.
Good point Donald.
I need to continue to point out the Biblical -“Hail, full of Grace, the Lord is with you” etc., to non-Catholics showing them the biblical reasons we say the Hail Mary Prayer to the Mother of God.
RSV-CE: Luke 1:28 “Hail full of Grace the Lord is with you.”
Navarre Bible Luke 1:28 – the same
NAB: “highly favored”.
The Apostles were “highly favored” as well – chosen by Jesus.
Yet they were not full of grace as without sin.
The Protestant Tyndale Version, and the Protestant King James Version both clearly do not accept that Mary was full of grace – without sin.
Why are the US Bishops promoting this?
Rhoda read these Protestant Bibles. I have.
Donald Byrnes, you are right on target: the NAB was influenced heavily by the non-traditional, non-literal opinion of the late “Scripture scholar” Raymond A. Brown, SS, to change the translation from the Greek, as in the Latin Vulgate & Douay-Rheims (English version) (“Hail, full of grace…” Lk 1:28), from the traditional Catholic understanding that the Bl. Virgin Mary is the Immaculate Conception to a modern(-ist) understanding that she is “a saint among other saints.” Many solid Catholic scripture scholars opposed Raymond A Brown’s opinions, but somehow the US Bishops in particular were always under his spell. Even the Greek Orthodox Study Bible states that this passage “is also translated as ‘Hail, full of grace’. One would think we would get a clue.
The Jerusalem Bible (JB) has many other inaccurate issues. In the NT, it translates “life” instead of “soul”, even tho’ the Greek word is “psuche”, not “zoe” (=Gr., “life”). (Ex. “What gain, then, is it for anyone to win the whole world and forfeit his life?” Mk. 8:36 This significantly changes Jesus’ discourse in many places from what he actually said; it changes the transcendent meaning of an immortal soul to the immanent meaning of an earthly “life”. There are many other examples like this in the JB, even the “New” version (this example was from the New version), that really make it a paraphrase, not an accurate translation.
In 1973 I was a young soldier just out of the Army and back from Viet Nam. I joined an AA Group because I was drinking too much and had gotten fired from a job. Through my AA experience, I returned to the faith in which I was raised: Catholicism. One day I stopped by O’Connor’s Bookstore and Religious Supplies on El Cajon Blvd in San Diego; those of you who live in San Diego are probably familiar with it. I bought a Bible; the Jerusalem Bible (paperback edition) for $5.95. That was a lot of money back then. That Bible changed my life! Although it is tattered and well-worn and I still have it and read it (or one of my other Bibles) nearly everyday. That Bible has helped me as a college student, a husband, father and involved parishioner. I would never denigrate any version of the Word of God – one never knows what impact it is having on a person’s life.
What I liked to do with my middle school classes was to have them read passages from their Bibles, usually NAB, and then have them read the Douay version of the same verses. They were always quick to point out the beauty of the language in the Douay and would ask why we don’t use it anymore.
Thank you for having your students make the comparison, Bob. Religious issues aside, too much good literature and too many beautiful texts go by the wayside in the name of easy to read or fast paced. Thank you for not underestimating your student’s ability to appreciate, understand, and opt for beauty if they prefer it.
Religion textbooks always treat students like they are little kids, incapable of understanding our Faith. Sure, you have to take the time to bring them to a point where they “discover” a particular concept on their own, but the rewards are so great and are a pleasure when you can use language to drive the point home.
My kids always resented the saccharin/patronizing teaching approach for ANYTHING. Combining that with religion would have made them loathe it, as nobody likes to be talked down to. Many often respond to the thought that what they are learning is advanced and intended for ‘older’ audiences as it makes them strive to *want* to know.
I’ll say it again. I respect your approach. Without challenges, people get lazy and too often toss away what is good because it seems too babyish or just plain corny.
Had there been more teachers like you, I might not have opted to home school.
The DRV is hardly “beautiful language.” The KJV, yes. The DRV, not so much.
What do Protestants who use the KJV say? = The DRV is hardly “beautiful language.”
What do many who prefer to water down or obfuscate or change clear truths say? = ” The DRV is hardly “beautiful language.”
Stop lying. Stop the personal attacks.
I don’t think most Protestants have any idea that the DRV even exists. It’s not a remarkable version. The language used in the KJV is beautiful. I’m not saying that it’s an accurate version or one that I would use for scripture study, but the language is indeed beautiful.
The ‘changes’ to the Language of passages like 1st Corinthians:13 “If I speak in the tongues of Men and of Angels, but have not love…” have done harm to the Majestic Poetry of the passage…
Which when reduced to banal ‘neutral’ phrases – ceases to Inspire in the same way…
Paul was a Man, He spoke as a Man – and De-Manning Paul’s self referential phrasing only serves Political Correctness – not the Word.
As for me I am going to keep “my beloved although clunky” DRV with all of it’s thee, thous, and whence’s. It’s the only bible I’ve owned since I became Catholic and I trust the translation.
“It’s the only bible I’ve owned since I became Catholic and I trust the translation.” <– Oh really? You don't trust the NAB? You know better than the Catholic Church, aye? How terribly sad.
This has been a good discussion. I, like so many, do not like some of the new versions of the Bible. Some of the older versions were “better” written. I am often reminded however that we no longer speak in old-English. Remember high school English classes when we had to read Song of Roland, etc.? Even some of the translations from the 70’s are no longer in modern language. What is important is that the translations are accurate and that they convey the message correctly. I still like the New American Bible, but that is a personal preference. I can still remember, as a kid, that we were not “allowed” to read the Bible. The readings for the Mass were all that we deemed to need. Yet, somehow, every family seemed to have one on the shelf to record births and deaths. Funny how things worked back then and how it varied from different parts of the country.
I also find this thread interesting.
Today the Catholic Church encourages everyone to read a “Catholic” Bible.
It does not matter which one, only that it have a “Nihil Obstat” and “Imprimatur” on the copyright page to insure it is free of error.
(Protestant Bibles are not approved.)
Today a plenary indulgence can be obtained for reading an approved Bible for a minimum of 30 minutes provided all the other requirements are met –
Confession, Holy Communion, Prayers for the intention of the Pope, and the intent to obtain an indulgence.
This info can all be found the in the “Manual of Indulgences” from the Apostolic Penitentiary and published by the USCCB.
The Books of the Bible as we know it was put together by St. Jerome under Pope Damascus in 392 AD.
It was re-affirmed in the mid-1500s in total by the Council of Trent, due to the actions of Martin Luther who personally removed the last 6 books in the Old Testament, and changed some words.
It is important also to observe that Divino Afllante Spiritu (“DAS”, 1943, Pius XII) never called for the setting aside of the Latin Vulgate edition, but to compare critical translations of texts in the original language for a properly accurate translation in to common modern speech (“vulgar tongue” ). In fact the Latin Vulgate, according to DAS remains the normative source for Scripture and its “juridical”,meaning doctrinal meaning (see nn’s 20-22).