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Evansville, Indiana
January 2, 1998     The Message
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January 2, 1998

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern indiana The various bibles available for purchase By FATHER JOHN DIETZEN Catholic News Service It's been a long time since I was in a .. This Christmas I wanted to buy a friend and was amazed at the number Bibles in our home, including New English Bible and the Bible, Even my cursory examination but they're not that great. de.eper, more significant differences? eSSence seems to be the same. (Indiana) a work is translated from one multiple differences in wording all may be quite acceptable. true of ancient documents. dead that have no word separa- other punctuation marks, even annot be sure what an expression des ago. to find an array of Scrip- ktions result from many which ancient manuscript of a Used. Good scholars differ, in some instances, about the authenticity of one text over another. And more still are being discovered in our own lifetime. Another, which I mention above, is the precise meaning of a word with which we are not familiar and which perhaps is used only once or twice in the sacred text. There's simply nothing to hint at what it means. Newly discovered ancient Near East libraries help scholars greatly in this part of the task. They may, for example, discover in 3,000-year-old business records clues to the meaning of a word in the Scrip- tures that had previously been a total puzzle. Then there's the .question of style and readability of the translation. How does one keep it true to the original texts and still understandable to the average reader? Of course, modern languages themselves always are changing. What may have sounded right to Americans in 1850 could sound strange today. Some words in the King James version of the Bible mean nearly the opposite of what they meant when that translation was made 400 years ago. As you discovered, many modern translations are available, most of them excellent. The New Eng- lish Bible was produced mainly by Protestant schol- ars; the other two you mention appeared under Catholic auspices. As far as careful translation is concerned, howev- er, scholarship in these fields has so developed that one might say there is no such thing as a Protestant or Catholic translation of Scripture, any more than there can be a Catholic or Protestant appendectomy. There may be good ones or bad ones, but religious leanings are generally no longer significant. Denominational differences, when they do arise, are found more in accompanying notes and interpre- tations than in the texts themselves. As you know, I'm sure, some Old Testament books in the Catholic biblical canon have been, until recently, omitted in most "Protestant" Bibles. The rea- sons are much too involved to discuss here. Finally, in an effort to reach a more popular and young audience, some Bibles (the Good News Bible is one) tend to move away from a more literal reading of the sources. The Living Bible, which many find an enjoyable and meaningful path into the Scriptures, acknowl- edges in the introduction that it is a "paraphrase" of the authentic Scripture texts, thus not an actual trans- lation. A free brochure, in English or Spanish, outlining mar- riage regulations in the Catholic Church and explaining the promises in an interfaith marriage, is available by send- ing a stamped, self- addressed envelope to Father ]ohn Dietzen, Holy Trinity Church, 704 N. Main St., Bloom- ington, IL 61701. Questions for this column should be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address. credit for nonpublic school costs on governor's desk Ill. (CNS) approved allow thou- to defray the to it as one of agreement education of the Illi- }ly passed would $500 of lab fees at Was sent to ys to either it to signa- the Leg- islature for amendments. A spokesman for the gover- nor said Dec. 23 that the bill was "still under review," and no decision had been made. The proposed law was spon- sored by two Catholic legisla- tors, Democratic Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Tinley Park and Republican Sen. Dan Cronin of Elrnhurst. McCarthy stressed in an inter- view that the bill would help middle-and low-income parents the most, and is not a "back door" to a voucher system that would cost the state $150 mil- lion, as public education lobby- ists claimed. "We're not asking anyone to fund school choice. Our esti- mates show this would save parents $70 million in money that the state won't get their hands on," he said. "The notion that we are funding 'elitist' schools is absurd  many stu- dents in the Catholic schools, for instance, are way below the poverty level." Figures released by the Arch- diocese of Chicago show 16.5 per- cent of their students fall below the poverty level. McCarthy also noted that students outside the public school system save the state $1.9 billion annually in edu- cation costs. "If these (nonpublic) schools were to start closing, the burden to the state would be enormous," he said. "We would not Be better served financially or socially." The Illinois Catholic Confer- ence, the public policy arm for the state's Catholic bishops, was instrumental in drafting the bill and forging the bipartisan coali- tion needed for its passage in the Statehouse. Doug Delaney, executive director of the conference, said a campaign led by legislative director Joan McKinney inun- dated lawmakers with more than 20,000 letters from Catholic school parents in support of the proposal. Delaney also said that although the bill was not yet law, just getting it through the Legislature was a victory for school choice in Illinois. "There's no doubt Catholic school parents will benefit the most since we have the largest school system,.but the Lutheran schools, Christian Schools Inter- national and other nonsectarian schools have supported it as well," he said. Of the 310,000 students in Illinois who attend nonpublic schools, 217,063 attend Catholic schools. Only parents with stu- dents in schools that are in compliance with civil rights laws and meet other regulato- ry requirements would be eli- gible for the credit. As written, parents could not claim their first $250 in expens- es, but above that figure, 25 percent of costs could be cred- ited on state income tax filings up to $500. Senate sponsor Cronin told Catholic News Service that as a matter of public policy, the state should encourage competition in education. "One govern- ment-run school system that tries to be all things to all peo- ple has been a failure," he said. Cronin added that even though legislators passed the bill to aid nonpublic schools, they haven't turned their backs on the public school 'system. "We've made a huge commit- ment this session to public ed u- cation like never before  $4 billion over the next four years," he said. ntioning Jn schedule published every Friday; except for Christmas. l'n order to accomo- , Schedule, the current issue, dated Fri- ' prepared for mailin Tuesda ; Dec 30 g Y . of the Message will be mailed and dated for publication as Friday, drive starts Jan. 23. new subscriptions and renewals m the Jan. 23 issue, prior to the Sunday. Subscriptions for the 1998 through February 1999, gration Week scheduled igration Week is observed Jan. 5 by an office of the National shops. churches and schools are irarnigration issues and to find out how U.S. policy affects foreign countries and fami, lies. For engaged couples Catholic Charities is presenting a marriage prepa- ration program, Together for Life: A Weekend Retreat for Engaged Couples, at Sarto Retreat House, Friday, Feb. 13 through Sunday, Feb. 15. The program is designed to enable coupes to grow in their knowledge of one another and to develop ther relationship with Christ at the center. Topics include commtmications and problem-solving, sexuality and spirituality. For more information, call (812) 4/32456. Media Center hours revised The Media Center, located at the Catholic Center, Evansville, will be open from noon until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, effective Jan, 5. Father Denis Robinson named director Benedictine Father Denis Robinson, 35, has been named Director of Continuing Education at St. Mein- rad School of Theology, as of Dec. 151 The program offers classes, workshops, seminars, weekend cours- es, days of reflection and personalized sabbaticals. Father Robinson, who was ordained for the Dio- cese of Memphis in 1993, professed vows as a Bene- dictine monk Aug. 6, 1997. Bells to toll for abortion victims The National Committee for a Human Life Amend- ment is urging every church in the United States to toll their bells 37 minutes, starting at noon on Thurs- day, Jan. 22. An estimated 37 million babies have been aborted in the 25 years since the Supreme Court made abortion legal. ECIHS tuition help available Applications are available at Mater Dei and Memorial high ools, and at paris in the area served by theEvansvi!le Catholic Inte:parochial high schools, for tuition gra,*,;'inaid from the Catholic Education Foundatio, eadlinc for appli- cation is Jan. 27.