Scripture Sources and Inclusive Language

Why does The Printery House use the NRSV for its Scripture quotations?

Holy BiblePeople sometimes ask us why we use Scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (NRSV). This question often comes from Catholics, who are more familiar with the New American Bible. The New American Bible texts are more familiar to most U.S. Catholics because that is the version we hear proclaimed at Mass. However, the NRSV text is also approved by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for use by Catholics in private (non-liturgical) settings.  (See http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/index.cfm). The primary reason we choose to use the NRSV is because both Catholics and Protestants accept it.

Principles of Translation

Here is some information from the preface to the New Revised Standard Version:

Version History:

  • King James Version, 1611
  • American Standard Version, 1901, based on earlier revisions of KJV
  • Revised Standard Version, 1952
  • New Revised Standard Version, 1989

“…the Revised Standard Version gained the distinction of being officially authorized for use by all major Christian churches: Protestant, Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox.”

The translators of the NRSV include men and women,  Protestants and Catholics. The group also includes “an Eastern Orthodox member, and a Jewish member who serves in the Old Testament section.”*

Making Choices

Our goal is to reach as wide an audience as possible. Although we use the Catholic Edition of the NRSV, we generally avoid quoting from books which Protestants do not accept as canonical Scripture. This would include the books of 1 and 2 Maccabees, Baruch, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, and parts of the books of Esther and Daniel. For a good summary the differences between Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Bibles, see the Christian Bible Reference Site. (http://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_bibles.htm)

Inclusive Language?

In creating the NRSV translation, the principle followed was “As literal as possible, as free as necessary.”* The translators paraphrased only rarely. They did so mainly for the sake of inclusive language. That is, they often shifted passages using “he” or “him” in reference to human beings into the plural. A good example is Psalm 1:1: “Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked…” (NRSV). In other translations this verse is rendered in the original singular: “Blessed indeed is the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked…” (from The Revised Grail Psalms: A Liturgical Psalter © 2010, Conception Abbey/The Grail, GIA Publications, Inc., exclusive agent.  www.giamusic.com All rights reserved.). The translators of the NRSV used inclusive paraphrases wherever they felt it did not obscure “the historic structure and literary character of the original.”*

God and Pronouns

On the issue of using gender-neutral language when referring to God, we do acknowledge current Catholic Church teaching on the general principle that God has no gender:

“In no way is God in man’s image. He is neither man nor woman. God is pure spirit in which there is no place for the difference between the sexes. But the respective ‘perfections’ of man and woman reflect something of the infinite perfection of God: those of a mother and those of a father and husband” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 370; see Is 49:14-15; Is 66: 13; Ps 131:2-3; Hos 11:1-4; Jer 3:4- 19).

However, we also recognize the difficulty of creating an appropriate language for God. Our concern is to remain faithful to our mission and to our Church while reaching as many people as possible. Because of this, we prefer translations which have been approved for Catholic use. These tend to be translations which respect the grammar and style of the original languages. This includes the traditional use of masculine pronouns to refer to God. We choose to quote the Scriptures as given in the NRSV because it is commonly accepted among mainline Christian denominations. We do realize that this will not please everyone. The English language continues to evolve. If a newer, more inclusive translation becomes widely accepted, we may consider adopting it.

Options

For the present, we will continue to use the NRSV. If you would like us to produce a card for you with a Scripture quotation from a different translation of the Bible, we will be happy to do so. You would, however, need to pay our customization fee. We must also be able to obtain permission from the copyright owner to reproduce the copyrighted material for sale. If your request involves custom calligraphy, the fee will be greater.

 

* Unless otherwise indicated, quotations above are from the preface to the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville,  TN.

Br. David is a monk of Conception Abbey and webmaster for The Printery House.

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A Word From The “New Guy On The Block”

While I’ve never lived with the thought that I am defined by my career, I have always been blessed to be in a position I am proud to hold. I see work as a means to support my family, but I also see my work as an avenue to serve the Lord. If you’re able to do something you love that’s just icing on the cake.

I’ve spent the last 10 years of my professional career writing for local newspapers in my hometown community. It’s been a wonderful experience getting to share stories of great moments that impact people’s lives. I decided to make a professional shift in order to get hours that are closer matched to my family’s in hopes to spending more time as a husband and father.

Living in rural Missouri I never imagined that I’d be fortunate enough to step out of the newspaper gig and land in a similar position.  Finding myself at the Conception Abbey and The Printery House doing something just as fun – assisting in card development and marketing through graphic design – I have found that God truly does works in mysterious ways.

As a Christian I’ve always enjoyed touting that I am “spreading the good news” through my job as a reporter. While not every story was Christian-based, they were always positive in spirit and brought joy to the reader.  This stands in contrast to the news we have become accustomed to from things like TV and social media. I told my editors that I refused to be an “ambulance chaser” that reported on things like wrecks. While reporting in this way may increase readership, I never wanted to portray the worst experiences in someone’s life. I did unfortunately have to cover some big events in the community that had a negative impact, but with the caveat of how someone is making the best of the situation or used my platform to assist that individual through their hardship.

As I begin this new chapter in my career working at The Printery House, I can continue to boast that I help spread the good news, but this time it can be the Good News of our salvation through Christ. There is a joy and peace knowing that I am part of something that can have such a great impact in someone’s life.  My hope is that you will also feel that joy when you purchase something from us.

I look forward to working with you, our friends, and hope to hear from you all as I continue to work on stationery customization through graphic design here at The Printery House.

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

What better way to see the goodness of the Lord than through the beauty of nature. Whether you have a vegetable garden, flower garden, or just a serene spot near a field or meadow, consider adding a bit of spiritual decoration to your space with our new garden gift items, including two new wind chimes, a planter pick, garden stone, and Irish solar angel. Don’t forget to share the blessings with friends and family, as these items make perfect birthday or special occasion gifts! Click here to shop our Home and Garden gift selections: www.printeryhouse.org

 

“For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those whose sake it is tilled, receives a blessing from God.” Hebrews 6:7

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Bringing the Gospel to Every Person and to Every Situation

“Evangelization is the mission of the Church to tell the world the truth of God revealed in Jesus Christ.” St. John Paul II said these words in November 2001, and in 2008, Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, N.J. echoed these words and defined evangelization as “bringing the Gospel to every person and to every situation.”

We as baptized Christians are to bring all people to Christ, to proclaim the good new of salvation to the whole world. This is easier said than done… we are taught at a young age to avoid talking about religion and politics in polite company. However, the mission of the monks at Conception Abbey and the work done here at The Printery House, is to bring that message to every person and to every situation. This does not mean that we are going to rub your nose in the Gospel, but rather bring you the good news of salvation through the beauty of art and the word of God.

The Printery House has a story to tell, and we are wanting to share our story with all of you. It is our hope that each week we will write on our blog things that are going on here at the Printery House. I have asked different members of our staff to take part in writing each week, so that you may get to hear different perspectives of what is going on and how we are proclaiming that good news.

This coming Sunday we celebrate the tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, and we hear Jesus say: “For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (MK3:35) In newspapers and on television across the country we hear of school shootings and shootings at different establishments, and the question that is on my mind is; “WHY?” Just after I joined the monastery someone asked me if I ever run out of things to pray for? I have been in the monastery for sixteen years, and I have not run out of things to pray for. The monks of Conception gather six times a day to pray, and before we begin, we are to cast our eyes across the world and pray for those most in need. This past year I have been doing a lot of praying over the question of: “WHY?” This has not diminished my hope, nor has it lead to depression. Rather it has strengthened my resolve as a monk. It has given me knowledge of a greater propose in the world and has shown me that God is truly at work in our lives. I don’t have an answer to “why” but I have discovered that I don’t need an answer to that question. If I truly see the person next to me as my brother, and sister, and mother, then I have no need for violence. We are all on a journey as we walk with our brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and we are to help each other grow in our relationship with one anther and with God.

Peace,

 

 

 

Fr. Guerric Letter O.S.B.

 

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