Buying a Bible can be confusing as I was reminded when someone in my Monday morning Bible study class brought up that they may be purchasing one. So, we had a discussion today about which one I would recommend. That’s a little simpler for me because as a Catholic I generally (at least for classes in my parish) recommend a translation with Deuterocanonicals (e.g. New American Bible or the New Revised Standard Version), which narrows it down quite a bit. But, as an academic, I think I can become a bit numb to just how confusing it is walking into a bookstore and buying a Bible even with the number of translations narrowed down. I guess it would be somewhat analogous to me walking into a auto parts store and looking to buy a carburetor (yes, I had to Google that to get the correct spelling).
One of the aspects that I didn’t realize was confusing for my participants when buying a Bible was the different “editions” that are put out. For instance, many in my parish use the St. Joseph edition of the NAB. What was throwing them I think was whether the “St. Joseph Edition” or the “New American Bible” was the more important aspect of that equation. I explained to them the difference between the translation and editions/study notes/etc. that are developed as additional elements included with the translation.
I don’t think that this discussion was necessary because it was a Catholic Bible study and we all know Catholics don’t read the Bible ;-). I have had similar discussions to this one in Protestant communities of which I was a part. And, I’m not sure what exactly the point is that I’m trying to make. I guess it would just be to give another example of the “curse of knowledge.” When you’ve studied something for quite a while, you sometimes have no idea what other people may or may not know.
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