More on the “New Revised” Jerusalem Bible

Posted: 22nd February 2008 by ElShaddai Edwards in Uncategorized

Wayne Leman at Better Bibles has posted a link to a transcript of a presentation on the Jerusalem Bible update, called The Bible in its Traditions. Originally presented at the annual meeting of the Catholic Biblical Association of America in August 2006, the transcript outlines the goals of the current revision and invites experts in various fields to consider contributing to the project:

Our leading idea is to enable the reader to read the Biblical text along with the history of its reception. Behind this is our awareness of the importance of the role of the reader in determining the meaning of textsa role that has been much emphasized in recent hermeneutical reflection and literary criticism.

The page itself is meant to show three things that are new to the Jerusalem Bible: First, the irreducibility of several versions of the same book (or of the same passage of a book); second, a greater awareness of the literary meaning of Biblical texts, besides their plain historical or doctrinal meaning; third, the new importance given to reception history in literary studiesthis matches up with the rediscovery of patristic commentaries in exegesis. As in earlier forms of the Jerusalem Bible, the new edition will also situate the Biblical text in its ancient context or contexts.

In brief, we aim at producing a study edition of the Catholic Bible targeting a scripturally educated public.

That last comment is particularly welcome. The first point mentioned above, “the irreducibility of several versions of the same book“, is being pursued such that all major textual sources are presented. So for the Old Testament,

In the printed edition, for the proto-canonical books, we will still translate the Massoretic Text, but we will systematically show in the text significant variants of the Septuagint, the Vulgate, the Peshitta and also, where appropriate, the Samaritan Pentateuch.

Drool! One hopes that there will be an aesthetic solution more appealing than what the Amplified Bible tried in showing various meanings of the text. Be sure to click the link above to read the full presentation.

For a more recent update, here is a January 2008 news release:

Since the beginning of the academic year in October 2007, the Steering Committee at the Ecole Biblique has been meeting every week. Our main task has been to work on the sample texts sent in by contributors. Each text – a pericope with annotations – receives two reviews: in the first, which we call ‘prima facie’, we check to make sure that it meets our general criteria. Then follows a detailed examination, which usually results in our proposing modifications. These are sent back to the contributor in a spirit of dialogue, with a view to ending up with a text that is acceptable to both parties.

From this work, we are now able to announce that the ‘demonstration volume’ showing concretely what the project is about, will consist of the following twelve sample texts, which span the whole Bible: Genesis 22; Leviticus 12; Joshua 1; Psalm 1; Song of Songs 1; Ben Sira 51; Matthew 13; Philippians 1; Philemon; James 5; 1 Peter 1; Revelation 12 – plus one or two others whose final versions we are awaiting.

See also my original comments on the New Jerusalem Bible updates.

  1. Peter Kirk says:

    Is this your translation of the French? Thank you for it. I suppose that the demonstration volume will be in French.

  2. I can only wish that my high school/college French were up to translation… if the links in my post take you to a French page, then look at the top of the screen where there’s a drop-down control with “English” and “Français” options.