The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland voted at its July meeting to move forward with creating a new lectionary based on the English Standard Version – Catholic Edition (ESV-CE). The complete announcement from the National Liturgy Commission was reported by Independent Catholic News at this link. The announcement lists three primary motivations for why a new lectionary was needed:
- The English-speaking bishops around the world have approved a new translation of the Psalms (the Abbey Psalms, which was discussed on this blog here). The Scottish bishops would like the lectionary text to incorporate the new translation of the Psalms, which will eventually be used in the Liturgy of the Hours.
- Biblical scholarship has continued to advance since the Jerusalem Bible was published in 1966. A new lectionary “provides an opportunity to benefit from this new scholarship.”
- Many new celebrations of saints have been added to the General Roman Calendar since the previous lectionary was published. Corresponding readings for the new celebrations can be specified in the new lectionary.
The announcement proceeds to recount the history of the ESV-CE, and it confirms that the Bishops Conference of England and Wales has also accepted the ESV-CE for its new lectionary. Most of the historical details are well-known to readers of this blog, but the following tidbit caught my eye:
The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India produced a Catholic version of the ESV, aided by a team of eight scholars over a period of three years under the chairmanship of Fr Lucien Legrand. This was an ecumenical collaboration and the project had the full support of Crossway.
As a result of the initial scholarship, only about 52 changes were made to the ESV text to produce the Catholic edition. The most extensive difference, of course, is the insertion of the deuterocanonical books.
This is the first time I’ve found a specific number of changes that were made to the original ESV text to produce the Catholic Edition. Ever since the ESV-CE was announced, I have been interested to know how much it differs from the original ESV. Eventually, I hope to see a comprehensive list of changes, similar to the list of changes between the RSV and the RSV-CE which is printed in many editions of the RSV-CE.
Fr. Neil Xavier O’Donoghue has a post at PrayTellBlog where he reflects on the implications of choosing the ESV-CE instead of the Revised New Jerusalem Bible (RNJB).