Newest Bible Translation Makes Debut
The American Bible Society has published a new translation of the New Testament, The Bible for Today’s Family: The Contemporary English Version. Based on the original Greek text, the translation is an attempt to present a more understandable version of the New Testament, aimed at young people, by using contemporary language, word order and sentence structure. The project, six years in the making, combined the efforts of over 100 translators, English language specialists and biblical authorities, as well as Protestant and Catholic clergy. An illustrated children’s version is now available, and a complete Bible, with both the Old and New Testaments, is scheduled for publication in 1996. Inquiries should be addressed to the American Bible Society, 1865 Broadway, New York, NY. 10023.
James VanderKam, formerly professor of religion at North Carolina State University, has left to become professor of Old Testament at Notre Dame University. One of the world’s leading experts on the Book of Jubilees, a second-century B.C. pseudepigraphic work purporting to be the secret revelation of the angel of the Divine Presence to Moses, the 45-year-old VanderKam assumed the seat that was vacated by John Collins in August. He had taught at North Carolina State for 15 years.
VanderKam will continue his work on unpublished Dead Sea Scroll texts and will chair the Ancient Manuscript Committee of the American Schools of Oriental Research at the Annual Meeting this November in Kansas City. His two-part article on the Dead Sea Scrolls and early Christianity begins in this issue (see “The Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Christianity: Part One”).
John Collins and his wife Adela, past contributors to BR, have accepted positions at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago: he as professor of Hebrew scripture/Old Testament, and she as professor of New Testament and early Christian texts. They left Notre Dame in July after six years and began their tenure at Chicago this fall.
Four Art Exhibits
Readers now have a chance to see an exhibition of works by two artists frequently featured in BR, the French artists Marc Chagall (1889–1985) and James Tissot (1836–1902), whose religious backgrounds (Jewish and Catholic respectively) provide an intriguing contrast in their interpretations of biblical scenes. “Biblical Images: Chagall and Tissot” features 45 hand painted etchings by Chagall and 55 gouaches by Tissot. The exhibit is on display through February 9, 1992, at the Spertus Museum, 618 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago (phone 312-922-9012).
Another exhibit at the Spertus, “In the Tradition of the Sephardim,” celebrates the heritage of the Sephardic tradition following the Jewish expulsion from Spain in 1492, an event that dispersed Spanish Jewry to new homelands in the Ottoman empire, North Africa and European cities such as Amsterdam, London and Florence. Among the items on display are embroidered textiles, Torah cases, Hannukah lamps and jewelry. The exhibit will continue through the summer of 1992.
“Clothed in Majesty: European Ecclesiastical Textiles from the Detroit Institute of Arts” is on exhibit at the institute (5200 Woodward Ave., phone 313-833-7900) through February 9, 1992. The 40 textiles in the exhibit—many richly embroidered with Christian images in gold, silver and silk thread—date from the 12th to the 19th centuries; they include liturgical vestments and other textiles used in religious services, such as altar frontals and a chalice cover. Because of their rarity and fragility, these textiles are seldom displayed.
The art of Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859–1937), the foremost African-American artist at the turn of the century, is the subject of a major retrospective, featuring more than 100 paintings and drawings, at the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum from December 14 through March 1, 1992. Long renowned for his moving depictions of life after the Civil War, Tanner turned later in life to portrayals of biblical subjects. This is the first major traveling exhibition in twenty years devoted to Tanner. The M. H. de Young Memorial Museum is located in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco (phone 415-750-3614).
The “Family Circus” cartoon in the October 1991 BR (see “The Bible in the Funny Papers,” BR 07:05) should have included the following: “© 1986 Cowles Syndicate, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with Special permission of King Features Syndicate, Inc.”
Newest Bible Translation Makes Debut