A new app called the Texas Bible has been designed, replacing ‘you’ with ‘y’all’ wherever the original uses a second-person plural. Its creator explains:
Just about any time I teach from the Scriptures I have to point out a place where the English Bible says “you,” but the original Hebrew or Greek indicates you plural rather than you singular. This means the original author was addressing to a group of people, but a modern English reader can’t detect this because in common English we use “you” for both singular (“you are awesome”) and plural (“you are a team”). This often leads modern readers to think “you” refers to him or her as an individual, when in fact it refers to the community of faith. . . .
It turns out there are at least 4,720 verses (2,698 in the Hebrew Bible and 2,022 in the Greek) with you plural translated as English “you” which could lead a reader to think it is directed at him or her personally rather than the Church as a community.
So I initially set out to develop a plugin for a Bible software project that would convert all “You plurals” to “Y’all” for my Bible project. I liked it so much I decided to create a Google Chrome extension that does the same thing for some popular Bible websites (youversion.com/bible.com, biblegateway.com, biblehub.com).
Due out later this year, the CEB Study Bible will come in a number of different cover options including hardcover, deco-tone, and leather. It will be available with and without the Apocrypha (Deuterocanonicals).
Having looked at a few of the sample pages, the single-column page format looks great and should assist with the overall readability of the volume. You can view a sample of the CEB Study Bible here, which includes the entire Gospel of Mark.
The CEB Study Bible combines the reliability and readability one expects of the Common English Bible translation with notes and other resources to help readers grow in their understanding of and engagement with the Bible. Each biblical book has an introduction that provides an overview of the book and other details like authorship and theme. Extensive study notes throughout the Bible provide information for the reader to understand the text within the larger historical and literary framework of the Bible and give important parallel and background verses. Unique to The CEB Study Bible are 210 sidebar articles for topics that require more discussion than the format of a study note allows. Concordance; 21 full-color maps from National Geographic; five articles from contributing scholars; and other additional in-text maps, charts, and pictures are included. Full color throughout.
Let’s say you memorized long ago New International Version (NIV) verses like Psalm 1:1: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” But, 25 years later, your memory’s playing tricks on you: Is it “sit in the seat of jokers” or “sit in the seat of mockers”?
Better hold onto your battered, duct-taped NIV. Now that the re-translated NIV has been out for two-and-a-half years, the classic NIV has disappeared from stores, and now it has disappeared online. In late winter, readers who had relished electronic access at BibleGateway.com or YouVersion.com discovered—poof!—that what they had grown up with was gone.
Readers asked Bible Gateway what happened, and received this answer: “The NIV’s worldwide publisher, Biblica, has requested that we remove the older 1984 and TNIV editions from Bible Gateway, and we are complying with their wishes.”
The Bible Gateway site states, “Older editions of the NIV are no longer available on Bible Gateway or any website, but the Committee on Bible Translation (who is solely responsible for the translation of the NIV) and Biblica (the worldwide NIV publisher and copyright holder) have designated the Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections as the official repository of historical documents related to the NIV.”
WORLD has followed the NIV’s battle against words like “he” and “man” since 1997. Much has changed since then: The once-dominant-among-evangelicals NIV no longer is, as competing versions—such as the English Standard Version—have emerged. The new NIV translation is not as biased toward “gender-neutrality” as previous replacements for the classic NIV, so the removal of the 1984 version is not as big a deal, except for those who have lived with it for years and loved it and memorized Scripture from it. So why frustrate them?
One hopeful sign is that a Bible Gateway FAQ on the removal of the older version has changed over the past month so it now reads, “At present the historical text is not available online, however, discussions are underway to determine if it will be possible to access previous editions of the NIV online for research purposes. When available, access will be in accordance with the Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections access guidelines.”
I hope to find out from Biblica (formerly the International Bible Society) what this means for memorizers who go back to Psalm 1:1 and are dismayed to find the emphasis on a brave and blessed individual is gone. The verse now reads, “Blessed are those” instead of “Blessed is the man.” This change also allows the “he” of verse 3 to become “they.”
Excellent! People need Good News:
The hottest read in Norway this year is packed with polygamy, prostitutes – even corporal punishment. But this isn’t Fifty Shades of Grey; instead, Norwegians have been rushing to pick up copies of the Bible.
Published last October, a new Norwegian translation of the Bible has been one of the top 15 bestsellers in the country for 54 out of the last 56 weeks, jostling for position with more populist titles from the likes of EL James, James Nesbø, Ken Follett and Per Petterson. It is now one of the bestselling books of the year, according to Dag Smemo, project manager for publisher the Norwegian Bible Society, with 157,000 copies sold in the last 14 months, and more time in the charts than both Fifty Shades of Grey and Justin Bieber’s autobiography.
Smemo puts the popularity of the book – among Christians and non-believers alike – down to the strength of its translation. The Bible Society worked with Hebrew and Greek experts on the original text, and then involved literary writers including A Death in the Family author Karl Ove Knausgaard to perfect it.
“It’s always a very touchy issue, doing a new translation of the Bible,” said Smemo. “People say they like it the way it is. But we had a very thorough procedure, involving authors and poets, secular people and believers, and discussing the whole translation word by word, so there is not only a good translation of the Greek and Hebrew but also a very good flow of the Norwegian language. People are saying that it’s very good, and we are seeing this from both conservative groups and more secular groups. It’s definitely not only Christians buying it. It’s atheists too – people are saying the Bible is important for us, for our culture, and for the nation.”
Anne Veiteberg, director of the publishing department at the Norwegian Bible Society, agreed. “It has been said that the new translation is closer to modern Norwegian language and therefore easier to read, and at the same time it is closer to the original texts in Greek and Hebrew than older translations when it comes to style and poetry, images and metaphors. The Bible 2011 is therefore perceived as more poetic as well as a great piece of literature,” she said. “People seem to value the Bible’s literary qualities and cultural importance more than before. It is still perceived as the holy scripture and word of God by many Norwegians, but a greater number of people value the Bible as classic literature and cultural heritage too. Congregations and individual Christians are still the largest group of people who buy the Bible, but they are not the only ones.”
Smemo admitted the sales had taken the Bible Society by surprise – 157,000 copies is a huge number in a country the size of Norway. “We had a discussion in advance, and the editors thought we’d sell at least 25,000. I said 75,000,” he said. “We’ve sold 157,000 … The surprising thing is that it’s the Bible. We’ve been compared to Fifty Shades. We’ve said at the Bible Society that it’s good we don’t only have erotic bestsellers in the charts, but moral books too.”
Good… The more the merrier. It’s a very poor translation of the Scriptures.
The updated NIV Bible has gained another critic: the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. In a recent report, a panel of Lutherans cautioned against use of the new NIV over gender-related issues.
“The use of inclusive language in NIV 2011 creates the potential for minimizing the particularity of biblical revelation and, more seriously, at times undermines the saving revelation of Christ as the promised Savior of humankind,” the Commission on Theology and Church Relations Executive Staff stated in an August report.
“Pastors and congregations of the LCMS should be aware of this serious weakness. In our judgment this makes it inappropriate for NIV 2011 to be used as a lectionary Bible or as a Bible to be generally recommended to the laity of our church.”
The New International Version is reported to be the world’s leading contemporary English Bible translation as it is known for being easy to understand. It was announced in 2009 by global ministry Biblica that the popular translation would be revised for the first time in 25 years.
The updated NIV (completed by members of the Committee on Bible Translation, an independent body of global biblical scholars that has the sole authority to update the text of the NIV) was released in 2011 and has drawn criticism largely over its revised gender language.
Critics include the Committee on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and the Southern Baptist Convention, which officially rejected the revised NIV last year, saying it “alters the meaning of hundreds of verses, most significantly by erasing gender-specific details which appear in the original language.”
Conservative Lutherans are the latest to express caution against use of the 2011 NIV.
The Commission on Theology and Church Relations of the LCMS has long recognized that language evolves. It also acknowledged the intent of the Committee on Bible Translation to try to communicate the meaning of the Bible’s texts in English as it is used today.
But the commission took issue with some of the substitutions for masculine singular pronouns.
“While there may be many examples in which such substitution does not change the sense or inherent intent of the passage,” the commission reported, the approach is advised against because “of its potential to alter significantly the meaning of passages.”
Among the changes made in the updated NIV is the substitution of “he,” “him,” and “his” for “they,” “their,” and “them.”
The commission provided two significant examples where such a revision proved to affect the meaning of Scripture “adversely”…
There is more with examples here.
The Ordinariate (the body existing within the Catholic Church which retains elements of Anglican liturgical uses and generally serves as an attempt to bring Anglican traditions into full Communion with the Church) is introducing its Customary (a sort of truncated Book of Common Prayer) shortly (see news item 1 June here).
Excellent -and mine’s already on order! But I do worry about the apparent use of the Revised Standard Version translation of the Bible in the Customary rather than the King James Version. At least, I take it from the following (link as above) that the daily readings of scripture will be from the RSV rather than the KJV:
Thus, whenever the Customary quotes extensively from the Bible, it is the RSV that it uses.
Certainly, it is the RSV rather than the KJV that is authorized for use by the Vatican:
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has published a Decree permitting the use of the Revised Standard Version(Second Catholic Edition) for liturgical use in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.
This edition of the Holy Bible allows those Catholics originally from the Anglican tradition, to worship using a version of scripture which is familiar to them. It also promotes the English Bible tradition and recent efforts to renew Catholic liturgy with more accurate translations.
Now, in many ways, I can quite understand this decision. Anyone attending Anglican services such as Evensong will recognize that whilst the liturgy may be in the Tudor English of the Book of Common Prayer, the Bible readings are usually from the RSV. So inasmuch as the Ordinariate exists to Catholicize present day Anglicanism, it makes sense to reproduce this pattern. Moreover, there is no doubt that the RSV is a more accurate translation than the KJV. So, on grounds of accuracy and current use, going for the RSV seems to make sense. But…
One of the things that fascinates me about the Ordinariate is its historical and cultural importance. There is something quite striking about the fact that there now exists within the Roman Catholic Church a body that has emerged from the Reformation and now returned. And given the way that the English Reformation created that cultural juggernaut that is the English language and English literature, the embracing of the sources of that juggernaut in the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible would be of huge symbolic importance.
Quite apart from the symbolism involved, there is something utterly seductive in the language of the KJV. I feel it which is why, normally, I use the Daily Office from the Book of Hours website which uses the Office from the Book of Divine Worship (an existing Catholic version of the Book of Common Prayer) with readings from the KJV. Others feel it including Richard Dawkins. This sense of the beauty of language and of the importance of that beauty in liturgy is surely very much in line with Benedict’s understanding of the Church. I certainly wouldn’t argue that the KJV should be the only version available for use in the Ordinariate, but to miss the chance to bring it into the Catholic fold and, in essence, to rebaptize it as fully part of our Catholic heritage strikes me as a lost opportunity.
I’m not involved in any way with the thinking behind the scenes in the Ordinariate, so I don’t know to what extent any thought has been given to the place of the KJV in its life. Reading the article by Monsignor Burnham in June’s Portal (the magazine of the Ordinariate), I suspect that there has been some discussion which explains the (to my mind, rather defensive) following:
Why the RSV and not the King James Bible? The answer lies in the subtle development of the English Bible tradition. For accuracy’s sake, twentieth century students began to rely on the Revised Version of 1881-1894. Meanwhile the Revised Standard Version of 1946-1957 was becoming established and, in 1966, was accepted by Catholics and Protestants as a ‘Common Bible’. It was the first truly ecumenical Bible and brought together the two traditions – the Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible and the Protestant Authorised Version. Thus, whenever the Customary quotes extensively from the Bible, it is the RSV that it uses. The Catholic Church in the 1970s in Britain opted (mistakenly as it now seems) for the ‘dynamic equivalent’ Jerusalem Bible translation. That version greatly helped public understanding of the Scriptures, but, like the Mass translation of the same period, was based on a theory of translation that is of great value in paraphrasing and communicating the meaning of, for example, modern literature written in other languages, but no longer thought appropriate for representing sacred texts written in ancient languages.
Although this does explain why not the Jerusalem Bible (and I quite agree with this decision), it doesn’t really explain why not the KJV. Reading the Anglo-Catholic website on this issue of language, there’s clearly a desire among other former Anglicans for a Catholic reception of the KJV.
So, come on! Let’s grab back the King James Bible and get King Jamie burling in his grave…
The U.S. bishops have announced a plan to revise the New Testament of the New American Bible so a single version can be used for individual prayer, catechesis and liturgy.
“The goal is to produce a single translation,” said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, D.C. on June 14.
As he addressed his brother bishops at the spring meeting of the U.S. bishops’ conference, Cardinal Wuerl pointed to the central role of Sacred Scripture in the life of the Church.
He explained that the bishops’ committees on Divine Worship and Doctrine have both expressed a desire for a single translation, suitable for all pastoral applications, including individual prayer, study and devotional use, along with liturgical proclamation.
The new translation would “provide us one source of language when we speak the Word of God,” he said.
The process of creating the new translation will take “a long time” and will consist of numerous lengthy steps, Cardinal Wuerl acknowledged.
The New Testament translation was last revised in 1986. By way of comparison, the translation portion of revising the New American Bible’s Old Testament began in 1994 and was finished in 2001.
The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine will work with the Subcommittee on the Translation of Scripture Texts, to undertake the revision, he said. The group will “look at those texts to see that they are going to be able to be used for proclamation as well as for ordinary use.”
This work will utilize the same principles that guided the recent revision of the Old Testament in the New American Bible, as well as translation norms for Sacred Scripture, he added. “The Biblical scholars responsible for the revision will be sensitive then to the pastoral, the doctrinal, the liturgical considerations” as they work to produce a draft, which will then be presented “for review and preliminary approval” by the the Scripture translation subcommittee, the cardinal said.
The committees on worship and doctrine will then have an opportunity to review the texts.
Ultimately, the body of bishops “will be asked to approve the completed Biblical text for liturgical use,” so that it can then be submitted to Rome for the Vatican’s “recognitio,” after which the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference can grant it the “imprimatur.”
At that point, Cardinal Wuerl said, the revised translation of the New American Bible “will be able to be used in the lectionary at Mass.”
“So the end product will be one translation that we will all be using,” he explained, and all of the faithful will be “hearing the same words when we refer to specific texts.”
“That translation will be used in the liturgy, it will be used in study, it will be used in personal devotion, it will be used when we’re simply reading the text,” the cardinal said.
He emphasized that although the process will take a long time, it is currently an ideal time to begin, now that “we have all the pieces in place.”
I still think the RSV-CE is a far better version. But I believe it’s only approved for official use liturgically in the Ordinariates. As Timothy (HT) puts it:
Of course, this is the death nail to any possibility of the RSV-2CE being used in the American Liturgy.
Vatican City - A new interfaith exhibition that opens this week at the Vatican reveals how the roots of the 1611 King James Bible are almost entirely Catholic – despite the fact that the translation was often viewed as a highpoint of Protestant European culture.
“If it had not been for the Catholics of the 1500s there would be no King James Bible,” exhibition organizer Cary Summers told CNA.
“Many of the original bibles that formed the basis of the King James Bible came from Catholic priests. Very few changes were made. The ancient writings that the King James writers actually mimicked and copied were by Catholic priests,” he explained.
The “Verbum Domini” (Word of the Lord) exhibition runs from March 1 to April 15, coinciding with the seasons of Lent and Easter. The organizers describe it as a “highly contextual, interactive format” exhibit that aims to celebrate “the dramatic story of the Catholic contribution of the most-banned, most-debated, best-selling book of all time.”
They have also collected rare Jewish, Protestant and Orthodox artifacts to manifest a “shared love of God’s word” that exists among those religions. For that reason, the first room visitors enter is a scaled reproduction of the mid-third-century Synagogue of Dura Europos in Syria. Another exhibition highlight is the earliest known fragment of the book of Genesis, which comes from the Dead Sea Scrolls…
“Most people don’t understand the history of the King James Bible. There is a rich history, a very positive history of Catholic contribution to the creation of it,” Summers said. The King James Bible was commissioned by King James VI & I in 1604, only a year after the Scottish monarch ascended to the throne of England. A copy of the book was gifted to Pope Benedict XVI earlier this month by the current U.K. prime minister, David Cameron.
“The King James Bible has bequeathed a body of language that permeates every aspect of our culture and heritage, from everyday phrases to our greatest works of literature, music and art,” Cameron said in a speech to mark the 400th anniversary of the work in December 2011.
A recent study suggested that there are over 250 phrases and idioms in common English usage that have their origins in the language of the King James Bible. These include “how the mighty are fallen,” “the skin of my teeth,” “nothing new under the sun,” and “the salt of the earth.”
The Vatican exhibition hopes to show that all Christians can share the King James Bible in common…
Read on here.