Thursday, January 2, 2014

Greg and Baz - a lesson in Friendship

Today's saints share a feast mainly because of  their great friendship. Both are doctors of the Church; we have several readings coming up from each of them in the next few months. But today we get a lesson from Sts. Gregory of Nanzianzen and Basil the Great that is not theology at all. When Gregory gave this eulogy  of his friend, he probably didn't even think of it as a teaching on Christian friendship. He was simply reminiscing about his dear friend Basil and the good old days at Athens U. But what a fantastic model for friendship it is! Look how Gregory built up Basil's reputation to others at school:

 I sought to persuade others, to whom he was less well known, to have the same regard for him. Many fell immediately under his spell, for they had already heard of him by reputation and hearsay.

What was the outcome? Almost alone of those who had come to Athens to study he was exempted from the customary ceremonies of initiation for he was held in higher honor than his status as a first-year student seemed to warrant.

And how they treated the inevitable competition among students to achieve top honors: 

The same hope inspired us: the pursuit of learning. This is an ambition especially subject to envy. Yet between us there was no envy. On the contrary, we made capital out of our rivalry. Our rivalry consisted, not in seeking the first place for oneself but in yielding it to the other, for we each looked on the other’s success as his own.

Scholar Milton Walsh, author of Witness of the Saints, says that on the topic of the Holy Spirit, Gregory was the deeper theologian of the two.  Yet Gregory always credited Basil as the source of his own teachings. Today's second reading helps us see that these two are not just considered saints for their theology, but because of their holiness; their heroic charity. 

We'll hear more from St. Gregory of Nanzianzen on the feast of the Baptism of Jesus (Jan.12), and two days after that, we'll read an excerpt from Basil's Rules for Monks.

Perhaps we could best honor these two saints today by making contact with an old friend whom we haven't spoken to in a long time. Right now I"m thinking about my best friend from high school. Unfortunately I don't know how to reach her, but I think I'll say a rosary for Maureen  today.


  1. I was struck by the deep love between two men, two brothers in which they each complete the other. What the world would do with this story today . . . well, we know all to well, making of it something that wasn't there and missing what was, namely they both sought purity and virtue and only the good of the other.

    Sent this along to our fellow Basilian Lay Associates today - some have only the Christian Prayer that does not include the Office of Readings.

  2. Owen, my thoughts were similar to yours: inspiring story but one I won't share at work because I don't care to here the inappropriate remarks. Unfortunately, modern English only has one word for the various types of love. The DR often uses charity instead of love and so does KJ. The translators for Loth could have also used brotherly affection, brotherly care, etc. But I better stop myself before I get going about the 1970s translation.

    1. :) love that LoTH geekness, Alan.

      The DR's use of charity is essentially the same as today's use of the word love in that charity was the common word use of its day; fairly synonymous. The NRSV uses tender-mercy especially in regard to Divine Love. Lovely phrase that is in the NSV/RSV/AV/KJV heritage.

    2. I'll chime in that the Revised Grail Psalms have replaced plan "love" with "merciful love" when speaking of God's love for us. I often wonder what the Hebrew word is. Are you much of a Hebrew scholar, Alan?

    3. I'll confirm that as I now have the 4vol Kenyan LoTH and my wife had the Christian Prayer and between us a copy of a single edition of the Revised Grail Psalms that we have purchased just ahead of discovering the existence of the Kenyan breviary.

      Oh and correctly my type-o in the comment above, the list of translation abbreviations should read "N*R*SV/RSV . . ."

    4. The Hebrew word is "chesed."

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Daria, I wouldn’t call myself a Hebrew scholar. I’m far from that. I can read biblical Hebrew slowly with partial comprehension. I can also use a Hebrew dictionary. I also have an uncanny ability to compare a Hebrew verse with an English translation and tell if it’s literal or more of a paraphrase and this is the thing that drives me crazy. This is why I love KJ and DR, not because they are old, poetic, or sacred. I love them because they are more accurate. The fact that modern translators had access to the Dead Sea Scrolls doesn’t impress me at all. What many Christians don’t realize is that a major shift in bible translation began with the RSV and continues to this day. It’s fair to call it a major paradigm shift in biblical studies and translation. Today, many scholars do not believe it is the word of God. Some even claim we do not have the words of Jesus in the Gospels. Many scholars, not all, but many do not have the same respect for the Scriptures as in days gone by. I’m not saying modern scholars are incompetent or unable to accurately translate. What I’m proposing is that they lack the reverence and the will to do so. Their works are more interpretations, adding and deleting words, and phrases, whole verses. They have no problem using a word that fits their personal belief or that reads better than using the most literal translation for the word. Here is an example of one verse of hundreds deleted from most modern bibles: “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost” (Matt 18:11 DR). Look it up in RVS, NRSV, NAB, NABRE. It’s deleted.

    The word commonly used for love is hava אַהֲבָה

    Below is an example of translation and comparison:

    Example: Psalm 118:1 - Hebrew is Chesed חֶסֶד mercy is the best translation

    The Latin Vulgate uses the word for mercy in same verse: misericordia

    DR translates as mercy

    KJ translates as mercy

    Jewish Publication Society translates as mercy

    RSV and NRSV translates as steadfast love

    NAB translates as love

    NABRE translates it back to mercy – hmmm

    Loth translates as love

    Revised Grail Psalms translates as mercy - hmmmm

    In Luke chapter 18 parable of the Pharisee and the publican: the Pharisee goes to the temple and tells God how righteous he is because of all the religious things he does (paraphrase). But the publican says, “O god, be merciful to me a sinner” (DR). Notice, he didn’t say, “God have steadfast love for me.”

    Think of the excellent bibles we have in KJ and DR translated in the 1600s with no computers, no electricity, and candlelight only. They produced translations the geniuses in our modern world will never be able to supersede even though they have the Dead Sea Scrolls and computer technology. In my opinion all these translations brings further confusion rather than enlightenment.

    It’s my understanding that Pope Benedict XVI rejected the modern translations based on the dynamic equivalent model and called for more literal translations of the Bible. I can’t give you a quote; it’s something I heard on Catholic radio. If all this modern translation work is so great, why did the church go back to a more literal translation of the English Mass in 2011? Well, I suppose I said more than enough. It’s hard to stop once I get going. Translation is a real sore spot with me.

  4. Please forgive my long and passionate response and my typos for RSV & NRSV.

  5. "It’s my understanding that Pope Benedict XVI rejected the modern translations base on the dynamic equivalent model and called for more literal translations of the Bible."

    This isn't so, as stated, Alan. The Vatican did and still publishes all passages of Sacred Scripture in the Revised Standard Version, a modern version that is in fact less literal in many instances than the New Revised Standard Version. The later is often mistaken as a dynamic equivalent but it uses both formal and dynamic. In the first of his three volume set on Christ the Pope Emeritus writes at length on the benefits of the historical critical method that birthed modern translations while noting the weaknesses of that method when misapplied or the meanings misappropriated by interest groups.

    One of the problems is that many people presume that the DR and the KJV are not without bias and that they are more accurate. This is not so. In fact in a number of Old Testament instances it is the very fact that the NRSV, for example, is more accurate to the Hebrew that it removes Christological "interpretations" that have been templated over those passages in the Vulgate. Christologically correct. Historically inaccurate. However, people, Christians, think something has been removed later rather than understanding it was earlier added to. So, it is not correct to make a generalized statement that the "older" translations are more accurate or faithful. All translations have their wins and losses.

    I can think of many sites from when I was Protestant that made much of listing all the apparently missing verses of newer translations. The was the so-called "King James Only" tribe. There is a Catholic equivalent, the Douay-Rheims Only tribe. It's simply not helpful to unity in the Church.

    In the example you give of Matthew 18:11 the verse is indeed present in the NRSV in the notes. The translators make that the Translator's Notes are an integral part of the translation itself. Matt18:11 note "Other ancient authorities add verse 11, "For the Son of Man came to save the lost."" That this verse was included by the Vulgate is not found in the earliest extant original documents is telling of what scholars call "glosses" that were added later by translators & writers to help explain or defend or in their mind complete a teaching. If one is saying one wants what is most accurate to the original documents well, you see. That a translation does not have a verse or that it translates it in another way does not mean ipso facto that the there is a conspiracy afoot of whatever kind.

    The above applies to the other text cited.

    "If all this modern translation work is so great, why did the church go back to a more literal translation of the English Mass in 2011? "

    More literal to the Latin, the historic language of the universal Church but not more literal representing the original languages of sacred scripture. I for one love the new or re-newed English mass texts. I think they speak for faithfully the profound teachings of the Church. The is not the same as the DR though the DR was used in English translations accompanying Latin texts in its day because it was literally [no pun intended] the English text of the day.

    I love a passion for the DR. Read it and be blessed. I also love a passion for informed balance and I am every grateful as a convert for the commission of 1965 resulting in the Dogmatic [!] Constitution on Divine Revelation "Dei Verbum" which opened the windows for a fresh yet authoritative day in translation and in the living Magesterium of our Catholic Church.

    Space requires I continue this note in an additional shorter note.

    1. And . . .

      Jimmy Akin has an excellent post or two on the above, i.e. the DR over modern translations, which I have not looked at for year. I recommend it as it clarifies many misconceptions about the DR as the ultimate translation. Many others have also written scholarly posts and information is readily available offline that can help clear up these endlessly perpetuated misunderstandings that are just not helpful to our growing the bond of unity, in-Christ. The catholicbiblesblogDOTcom has an archive of excellent articles on all translations and a number of people who comment there are worthy scholars. If a person wanted to invest some time there they would be well rewarded.

      A final note: When people put so much emphasis on any particular translation I am saddened somewhat because we are not Protestants. Our understanding of faith and practice does not rest on the bible-only but on the sacred-scripture and sacred-tradition. This as a Catholic is my bible does or doesn't say this or that for sound translation reasons I am not bereft for while I ardently love and study divine revelation I am not dependant on my own lights or that of others but on the overall, historic teaching of the Church and its interpretation of sacred scripture.

      I will leave it there. I won't engage this further as I do not wish to detract from the good work Daria is doing.

      May we join together in finding all that is good in the good gift we have been given in the LoTH. Peace.

    2. I'm sure there's more than one type-o above but one terrible one that just make porridge of what I was trying to say is, "This as a Catholic is my bible does . . ." which should read "Thus as a Catholic if my bible does . . ." - Cheers.

  6. Alan, you are correct in saying there is new instruction for Biblical translation from the Vatican. This document is called liturgiam authenticam. You point out two Psalters: NABRE and Revised Grail: hmmmm, these were translated after said document was issued... strange coincidence? No way!

    I will briefly summarize this wonderful document: it calls for one translation to be made or adapted by the conference of Bishops to be used for all purposes: mass, loth, and private study. The guidelines for translation include the things that make the older translations wonderful: more literal renderings, especially for certain words (which are listed), no manipulating the text with inclusive language, and using the traditional renderings as per the vulgate when the original language permits.

    The uncomfortable truth (for some) is that no English translation really fits the bill for the vision of the Church. RSV-2CE is close, and the NABRE revamp in the works right now might be even closer. The next NABRE will include the Revised Grail Psalter and be word for word in the Mass and loth. Even when this is accomplished, I will still love reading my DRC and RSV! :-)

    1. Exellent addition to the conversation, Jonny. I mean to mention the document Liturgiam Authenticam. The RSV-CE 2nd Edition also claims to follow the documents requirements though the changes are minimal from the earlier versions of said translation. And the NRSVCE for use in Liturgy in my country, Canada also follows he new direction. The very existence of the document helps show that the matter was not a "rejection" of modern translation but the organic development of translation for study and liturgical use which some feel is the best of both worlds; the helpful aspect of the so-called modern scripture translation and study arising largely from the finding of further extant 'originals' and the knowledge gained in the Tradition of the Church's study and application of scripture.

      You mention the DRC - for those not acquainted that's the combined and long out-of-print Douay-Rheims/Cofraternity translation, something of a forerunner to the original New American Standard with sections of the OT being both the DR and the Confraternity translators versions combined and the NT being entirely the Confraternity [and the referring to the group that worked under the direction of the American founded Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.] I know you know this Jonny :-) and expand on it for the sake of readers who may not.

      I am blessed to have a copy and when I go to the DR it is that one, the DRC. Alan may very much enjoy this edition. It retains "older" language styling, certain word choices and the verses within the text and not in footnotes as it follows the DRs lead and represents both the piety and scholarship to date up to the middle of the last century [i.e. pre so-called modern scholarship]

      The only other thing I wish to touch on is the so-called manipulation of the text with so-called inclusive language in modern translation. Going to the NRSV/NRSVCE as it is often held out as the black sheep the the Translator notes that preface the text is worth reading for a proper understanding of the intent and process. One sentence here will suffice: "making it clear where the original texts intend to include all humans, male and female, and where they intend to refer only to the male or female gender."

      Even in passages where one might prefer male orientation, such as "sonship" for clarity of soteriology sake [and I probably lean toward that preference] in relation to adoption for example in the NT none the less where the NRSV gives us "children" over "sons"/"sonship" the immediate context makes it clear the translation does no injustice to doctrine and from what I can ascertain the principle of gender is more literal not less, though again our Christology and Soteriology would prefer male for the the significance of firstborn male as heirs not firstborn child and the correlation of same to Christ, preeminent in all things as the begotten not made Son of God and our Saviour. The modern text does not damage any of that unless we behave as Protestants, isolating verses and even down to words in a manner very much akin to a sola-scriptura approach, Happily, we are Catholic and guided by sacred scripture and the wisdom and knowledge of sacred Tradition.

      Truly, truly, [or Amen, Amen, as you may prefer] here I do leave off :-)

  7. Owen, by DRC I meant "Douay Rheims, Challoner." This is the version that currently in print by Baronius Press, Tan/St. Benedict Press, and Loreto. I actually prefer this version over the Confraternity version, even though the language is more archaic.

    Regarding inclusive language in Biblical translations, most of the time it makes the translation much less accurate, especially in the extreme example of the NRSV. Singular forms are made plural, words are changed, example: "brethren" to "believers", and sentences are rearranged to remove the pronoun altogether. These types of changes not only obscure Christological references, but also ignore the fact that God named humanity, (both male and female) "Man" (or "Adam") in Genesis 5:2. I do not mean to be divisive by these comments, or that is any way wrong to read the NRSV, but the truth should be known.

  8. Jonny, thanks for the DRC clarification. By happy fault now readers have additional information.

    Regarding inclusive language making things less clear, I would, and many others far more scholarly than I -- I will readily admit, while a former ordained minister, I am clearly a lay Catholic :-) -- disagree with your premise and even specific examples. God did name humanity so clearly are named brothers (male) and sisters (female) in Christ where the original language is not exclusively male. God named humanity male and female and Christ died for all/both and in Christ there is neither male nor female thus brothers and sisters makes more clear not less the Christological import. Genesis 5:2 Adam as in Genesis 1:26 is the Hebrew "adam" (aw-dawm' is not genre specific, it is inclusive, thus "mankind" or "humankind" or even "human beings" is accurate. There are only two instances in Genesis were "adam" is Adam, a proper name, meaning "red man" or "of the earth" and does not detract from the Christological import of First and Second Adam.

    I agree, the truth should be known :)

    1. Again my pardon for my unhelpful type-os. "(aw-dawm' is not genre specific, it is inclusive" should of course read "(aw-dawm') is not gender specific, it is inclusive . . ."

      Peace - Out, as the kids say.

  9. Wow, I didn’t realize my message from yesterday evening would set off such a response. I appreciate all the replies from both Owen and Jonny. I will try to keep this short, as I don’t want to turn Daria’s site on Loth into a bible translation debate.
    1) Regarding whether a word, phrase, or verse was deleted or added, it’s my understanding the issue is not settled. There are scholars on both sides of the fence with good arguments. Personally, I think it’s more likely that words, phrases, or whole verses were accidentally or purposely deleted from manuscripts rather than added. Remember, there were no printing presses and the job of a scribe was tedious with no computers or electricity. Work was done in daylight or candlelight. The chance of something being missed and not noticed was very possible and that deletion being passed down through later manuscripts. But I will reiterate, I don’t think there is total consensus on the issue among biblical scholars. Rather than delete, I would keep it in, but I’m no scholar.
    2) Above, someone mentioned the NABRE is going through another revision. Is this the 3rd revision for a bible that is only 50 years old? Why so many revisions? Is a translation of the bible not strong enough to last say 100 years?
    3) There must be around, I’m guessing, 30 English translations (Catholic and Protestant combined). It reminds me of the Tower of Babel. Personally, I believe it’s a ploy of the devil to bring confusion into the Church. Furthermore, it’s a big money maker for publishers (probably less money due to the internet). Come out with the new most accurate translation and sell millions of copies, especially to the Protestants. It is a good thing we Catholics have the Magisteriam to interpret Scripture and teach us the way of religious life.
    4) Personally, I don’t like inclusive language as it tends more towards interpretation rather than translation and also caters to the world’s view of feminism and woman’s liberation.
    5) When the serpent spoke with Eve he said, “Hath God said…” and then he changed the words God spoke to Adam about the tree.
    6) I like to see a more literal and standard translation of the bible used in all English speaking countries for Mass and Loth. Canada, USA, and Great Britain using different bibles in church and a different bible for Loth only add to the confusion.

    Finally, in days gone by as a Protestant, I used to think all these translations were good because they had the benefit of current scholarship and helped students of the bible who lacked knowledge of the biblical languages to increase their understanding of texts, by comparison. In recent years, I’ve come to the conclusion that it only brings greater confusion. I would like to see a standard translation for the English world used throughout the Catholic Church strong enough to last at least 100 years if not longer. The End.

  10. Owen, I am not sure if you understood my post. I was not expressing my opinions on inclusive language, but the Church's directive (again, I refer you to liturgiam authenticam.) I understand your argument, but should I prefer your reasoning above that of the Church? Are you suggesting that the Church is maligning Biblical translations to make them less accurate, or less Christological?

    I, personally, do agree with the direction the Church is taking towards more literal translations. That means understanding the text might require a bit more catechesis, but that is a good thing!

  11. Jonny,

    No, not suggesting anything like that. I'm not sure you understand my post and clearly we disagree in a healthy fraternal way because they very things you ask me here I might ask you especially following my posts above which I won't detail more now in regard to the nature of what is literal. Of course, like you, I work out my salvation in fear and trembling and having read liturgiam authenticam and others who have written about it. Yes, more catechesis would be a very good thing for one and all.

    Alan, cheers, I totally agree with completing the thread and getting back to the LoTH.

  12. Alan, the past 60+ years have been a loose and experimental period of Catholic translations of Bible and liturgy in the vernacular (besides Latin), and we have seen quite a variety. The point of liturgiam authenticam is to have one that is authentically Catholic in interpretation. I believe a translation made within these official guidelines from the Church will have a more enduring value than those we have seen previously.

    Perhaps part of the confusion here is that only the Psalter of the 2011 NABRE was translated under the guidelines of LA (it was intended for liturgical use, but the Revised Grail was approved instead as the English Psalter to be used in all subsequent liturgical books.)

    Along with the NABRE Psalter, there are two other Biblical texts that have been deemed liturgically appropriate since liturgiam authenticam: the RSV-2CE and the Revised Grail mentioned above. All three of these texts translate "aw-dawm" as "man." Examples: Psalm 32:2 "Blessed the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt..." and Psalm 56:12 "...God I trust; I shall not fear. What can man do to me?"

    This is simply the Biblical usage, as in Genesis 1:27, "God created man (aw-dawm) in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Part of the authenticity that is called for by the Church, is using the gender language as God does: he named us "Adam" after the first man, so the English translation must also have the masculine implication of the original language.

    I hope this info is helpful in inderstanding LA... I think it is the biggest news for Liturgy of the Hours since Vatican II!

    1. Jonny, Alan,

      I resisted further comment to Jonny's addition but -- if Liturgiam Authenticam does demand "male" of (aw-dawm) in Genesis 1:27 it must be more or literal accuracy to the will of the Church for presentation in liturgy, which is fine by me, over literal accuracy and plain meaning of the original text as, again, the original word is neuter, not gender specific thus man-kind, human-kind, humanity, which is evident from the internal witness of the whole verse itself where, even if (aw-dawm) is translated in English as "man", and even if the DR adds the grammar of a colon which does effect certain meaning by sentence structure [that is not given in the original language] God created "man" as male and female. Even where "man" is used,, in the examples above, the original is not gender specific.

      This removes nothing from the Christological narrative unless one wants to misapply and force another meaning as some who propose there is a feminist agendas [and there's some truth to that one can argue but misappropriation of a verse does not change the literal accuracy]. So, if for accuracy literal to the need deemed necessary for liturgy hey, I am happy yield to Authority but it doesn't follow one that basis [or, again, the original non gender specific (aw dawm) that that makes the DR, in the example cited, more literal and accurate. But I'm not against the DR as some are against "modern" translation. You read the DR and are blessed? Be blessed. Meanwhile, outside liturgy the RSV and NRSV and NABRE and Jerusalem Bible and New JB etc are all still deemed appropriate for personal devotion and study and this is a happy thing. My edition of the NRSVCE comes with the CCCB Imprimatur [yes, I've heard the arguments per the possible limitations on the Imprimatur]

      Of course the English punctuation of Gen1:27 not found in the original gives, in the DR the desired emphasis of separating the idea that God created a man, Adam as distinct from God created all of man-kind, humanity, which he made male and female and of which Adam (personal name found in Genesis 1 through 5 only at 4:25 and 5:1-5 but not in Gen1:27) was the first male.

      The simple biblical usage then in each of the examples above is man as in mankind/humanity not as stated. Far apart from some feminist agenda it is wonderful that all people who hear those words understand even more clearly they are blessed for whom God imputes no guilt and put their trust in God along, knowing no person can do anything to them [that would effect their ultimate end in God].

      One thing I do very much agree with is that Liturgiam Authenticam is good news in the hermeneutic of continuity and I rejoice to hold in my hand the "Kenyan" LoTH which has the Revised Grail Psalms and eagerly anticipate the arrival of the new American edition of the LoTH for the inclusion of our North American saints - I wish my own nation was big enough or that we had the will to publish a Canadian edition but the American seems to stand for most English speaking languages.

  13. Thanks Owen & Jonny for all the input. I will have to make it my goal to read Liturgiam Authenticam this year. I took a quick glance and though it looks like a heavy read, I'm sure it will help me have a better understanding of our Church's teaching regarding translation. My only question is this: why was the new Mass introduced in 2011 without an improved translation of the Scriptures that meets the current guidelines? It seems to me the 2011 Mass revision was premature. As much as I love the 2011 revision of the Mass prayers and creeds, it’s missing the revision of the Scriptures. Here in Canada, we are still using the NRSV for the Scripture readings and I cringe every time Psalm 118 or 136 is sung during Mass. “His steadfast love endures forever” when it should be “His mercy endures forever”. Actually, “endures” is not in the Hebrew and is correctly italicized in KJ. The Hebrew reads, כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ “His mercy forever.” The Latin also uses the word for mercy. I also cringe when during Mass the lector is reading from St. Paul, “Dear brothers and sisters”. Millions of dollars have been spent providing new lectionaries for the 2011 revision. So even if a better bible translation is approved, it could be decades before it is included in the Mass, since the cost must be astronomical to print and provide every church with the new lectionaries. I will close with this; I do own a copy of RSV-second catholic edition and it is a big improvement. Although I prefer KJ (KJ accurately italicizes words not in the Hebrew and Greek and is clear regarding it’s substitution for the different words for God in the OT) and DR, if RSV-second catholic edition was used during Mass and in Loth I would stop complaining and it’s something I could live with.

    1. Alan,
      Hi. "As much as I love the 2011 revision of the Mass prayers and creeds, it’s missing the revision of the Scriptures."

      Not so.

      The NRSV translation was futher adapted and formally approved by the Vatican for Liturgy in Canada as it meets the requirements dictated to the CCCB by Rome. You will find a full document explaining this on the CCCB website. This clarify, updates and corrects errant information about the CCCB/Rome/NRSV that still appears on the Internet, providing out of date information that some people do no futher research on and are understandably mislead.

      And God bless for not only are you my Catholic brother in-Christ but a Canadian too. :)

      P.S. I prefer "mercy" too but "steadfast love" does not grate for me as, when I hear it or read it as Lector, I understand that God's mercy is undeserved-kindness that is rock, without change. In fact, "steadfast love" is a beautiful thing to contemplate. So unlike the often capricious human love. Per "endure", I wonder; many English words may not be in the original but where they are used to make the original more sensible to the transmitted language and does not detract of change meaning I can only see that as helpful; "endures" in the context you give is a good example.

      I have no problem hearing or as Lector reading "Dear brothers and sisters", as we did today at Mass in the Second Reading, where the original word is in fact not gender specific which is often the case in the New Testament. I rejoice that all who hear those words are more clearly included in the witness of the Gospel.

    2. Okay guys, it's all been very interesting, and I appreciate that the tone was charitable throughout. But I think it's time to end, or maybe the discussion can continue offline. Each of you is coming from a different point of emphasis, and each has good things to say. With Alan, I long for a lectonary and psalter that is more faithful to the meaning and sense of the original texts. With Owen, I think the imperfections in what we have (or will have) should not let us lose our peace of soul. Thanks to Jonny, I'll be putting Liturgiam Authenticam on my lenten reading list.

    3. “I think the imperfections in what we have (or will have) should not let us lose our peace of soul.” Amen. I'm all over that page, Daria, in any translation ;-)

      While we were have this extended sidebar discussion I was reminded after prayer of beautiful, perhaps initially odd sounding and definitely challenging words of Christ, in the fifth chapter of the Gospel of John, "‘You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life."

  14. Daria, thanks for giving us a charitable ending. I feel you really do understand where we are coming from with our different views on the topic. I appreciate your patience as we shifted into overdrive on your site. What you said above is good advice, “I think the imperfections in what we have (or will have) should not let us lose our peace of soul.”

  15. There is, actually, an approved NRSV lectionary. At least, some of the inappropriate inclusive language has been removed. This newest version is copyright 2008. I got a few details from Fr. Z's blog:
    He actually gives the example I was referring to: Genesis 1:27 has "man" instead of the NRSV's "humankind."

    The only online versions of the Canadian lectionary I could find are the 1992 edition before the recognitio was granted for the modified edition by Rome in 2007. The hard copy missals are available from Novalis, and I did see those on Amazon.

    The new, approved NRSV lectionary, is much better, but it is also a compromise, at the same time. The copyright holder will not let an actual Bible published with the liturgical modifications. Part of the thrust of the Church's instructions in Liturgiam Authenticam is that the Bible proclaimed at Mass, prayed in the Liturgy of the Hours, and approved by the Bishops for study is (or rather should be) the same Bible!

    I apologize if I have thrown this thread too far off course, but I did learn more about the Canadian lectionary through this, and I am grateful for that. I hope other readers learned something new as well, too. Thank you for your input!