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Bible Reading and Liberalism

October 16, 2011

Perhaps some of you may enjoy reading this article:  “Survey:  Frequent Bible Reading Can Turn You Liberal,” Aaron B. Franzen, Christianity Today.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    October 19, 2011 12:59 pm

    This link needs to be reworked. It’s broken. Thank you!

  2. October 19, 2011 1:04 pm

    Michelle, thanks so much for the comment. It looks like the link was broken from when I made the post, and no one pointed it out until you! I appreciate your taking the time to make a comment.

    The link should be correct now. If you have any reaction to the article or any of the posts here, I’d be interested in your thoughts.

  3. Russ permalink
    November 21, 2011 7:59 pm

    Speaking of reading the bible….(I hope it’s ok to post this here.)

    Hello. I’m a 50 year old Catholic. I know nothing of the biblical languages but love studying the bible. I have a number of translations: the NJB, NAB and NABRE, the Jewish Study Bible, the NLT, the RSV and RSV-CE 2nd edition, and the NISB NRSV. (That was the last birthday gift my mom bought for me before I had to put her in the nursing home due to advancing Alzheimer’s.)

    Earlier this year I discovered the blogs and started reading your posts and I learn something from you each and every time. My hangup is the NRSV and all the inclusive language. You always seem to have positive things to relate about it. I scan the internet and the NRSV seems to be the translation of choice for scholars. I pick up bible-related books, commentaries, dictionaries, and the NRSV seems to be the default translation, and all I can think of is all the negative things that came out about it during the early 1990s when the Catechism was just out, the fight over liturgical language/texts here in the U.S., and the constant cry that it was all instigated by feminists.

    The thing I have always wondered about it is whether or not there is anything in that translation that is contrary to Catholic teaching or doctrine. Listening to some you would think there is, that it is the translation from Hell but then you have a lot of Catholic scholars who always seem to use it over the NJB or the NAB. Then there are those who think that the RSV-CE 2nd edition was handed down from the sky by God himself, it’s so perfect.

    So the other day I purchased the Catechism on Kindle and I am going to refer to no other translation than the NRSV my mom purchased for me.

    My question to you is how does the NRSV stack up against the NAB and NJB? Or other translations for that matter? Maybe I already know the answer to that and am afraid I’ll discover the NRSV is the best translation, even with all the inclusive language.

    Personally, there is something about the NJB that I truly love. The footnotes and the cross references are so wonderful and helpful, that I find myself lost in them a times. I just swim from book to book.

    Anyway, thank you for reading my somewhat rambling email/post.

    Russ from Yonkers, NY

  4. November 22, 2011 12:00 am

    Hi Russ — Thanks for writing. I only have a few moments now, so I will write you more in detail when I get a chance.

    But let me say this now: I think you should use the translation you love.

    I think the NRSV is great, but other people have strong opinions about it. I I also hesitate to give you advice about Catholic doctrine — maybe you want to check with your spiritual counselor.

    One of my favorite Bibles is a (now unfortunately out-of-print) Bible called Complete Parallel Bible. It has four Bibles in parallel (including the Deuterocanon): NAB, NRSV, NJB, REB. It seems to me that with your great collection of Bibles, you have essentially the same thing — although with a slightly different set of translations and in different volumes. I think that by comparing those translations, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to really “dig in” and learn.

    I’m in awe of your love of learning and I hope you blog a lot!

  5. Russ permalink
    November 22, 2011 7:04 pm

    Hello Theophrastus:
    Thanks for the reply. I guess I should trust the American bishops a bit more as they did sign off on it back in the early 1990s. I’ve decided to stay with the NRSV and become more familiar with it. Who knows, maybe by reading it I will become more “liberal” as that article described.

    Part of the “problem” is I grew up with the old Confraternity version that my dad had. There seemed be a Douay Rheims version in the house as well. Seeing things translated differently after being used to one translation still feels a bit weird. Going from “Hail, full of grace” to “Greetings, favored one” still has a hallow ring to me.

    I purchased the Complete Parallel Bible back in the mid 1990s before my daughter was born and I had a lot of reading time. Then we moved, I put it in storage, and haven’t found it yet…but I’m still on the hunt.

    I also recently purchased The Catholic Comparative New Testament. That is quite the product.

    Thanks for your time.

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