The Catholic Bible Concordance for the Revised Standard Version Hardcover – 1 Jun 2009
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Concordances of this kind are what the Bible reader needs most often, i.e. finding aids to words and (hopefully) to names in the Bible, including, for Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican (and even some Lutheran) readers, their occurrences in the Old Testament's Deuterocanonical writings ("Apocrypha") as well as in the rest of the canon of the Holy Scriptures. This concordance provides all of this, for the Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition (R.S.V.-C.E.), of 1966, and, in an appendix, for the Second Catholic Edition (R.S.V.-C.E.2), of 2006, as well, for divergences between its text and that of the original Catholic Edition. It would have been desirable to have the differences between the two Catholic Editions indexed in one sequence, with perhaps some typographical device (e.g., italic letters) to identify the divergent C.E.2 wordings, but this is a small quibble. Perhaps the time lapse between the publication of the Second Catholic Edition (copyrighted and published in 2006) and this concordance (copyrighted in 2008, even if it was published in 2009) simply did not leave time to revise the work already far advanced on the concordance, without unduly delaying the completion of the publication project. (However, doing that would have accounted more conveniently, in a single indexing sequence, the content of the R.S.V.-C.E.2.) Since the R.S.V.-C.E.2 is so superior to the R.S.V.-C.E. first edition, stylistically and textually (to rather more theologically and exetically orthodox effect), one hopes that a later edition of this work will display the words and names indexed for the R.S.V.-C.E.2 more conveniently in the main body of the concordance.
This concordance is NOT an "analytic concordance", i.e. the kind of concordance that not only indexes the occurrences of words (and sometimes phrases) and names in the Bible's text, but also gives philogological and linguistic explanations of their usage and other related detail within the Bible's text and as applied to particular passages thereof. Such analytical detail is useful for "word studies" and analyses of how the Bible uses Hebrew, Aramatic, and Greek (as well, at times, as the languages of the "ancient versions", i.e. highly important very early translations) in the manuscripts in those languages, but that usually entails breaking up the indexing for a word under several subheadings, which can impede the use of the concordance as simply a finding aid by the words of the version indexed (in this case, the English of the R.S.V. Catholic Editions). It is gratifying to have proper names (persons, places) included within the same alphabetical sequence as other words, rather than relegated to a separate section or even omitted, which is aggravatingly too often the case in so many other Bible concordances. The level of indexing is quite deep (although it sensibly stops short of including occurreces of the likes of definite and indefinite articles!).
I would urge a Catholic or other Christian to obtain this concordance as a finding aid by words and names, and, if he desires also to have an analytical concordance, he is willing to make do with concordance(s) of a Bible translation which falls within the Revised Standard Version's line of variant sub-versions, namely the R.S.V. with Apocrypha in its Protestant/Anglican and oecumenical editions, the two R.S.V. Catholic Editions, the New Revised Standard Version (N.R.S.V.), and the English Standard Version (E.S.V.) with Apocrypha, he can at present have resort to concordances of the R.S.V. and of the N.R.S.V., which, after all, are quite close in wording (despite all the times that they wisely deviate) to the R.S.V.-C.E. and the R.S.V.-C.E.2. Most often such concordances can do double service by aiding in the effective use a combination of the texts for which they were designed and as aids, by extension, to use of the R.S.V.-C.E. and R.S.V.-C.E.2.
The following are two excellent concordance tools to the R.S.V. which have appeared over the years, from which a serious student of the Holy Scriptures can derive much profit in using together, in the case of the first concordance cited, for the Bible with its stripped-down Protestant O.T. canon, and in the case of the the second concordance mentioned, for only the O.T. Deuterocanonical writings (including even a few Apocryphal writings that do not even occur normally in Roman Catholic Bibles) that tend to be omitted in such Protestant Bibles and concordances to them:
The Eerdmans Analytical Concordance to the Revised Standard Version of the Bible / compiled by Richard E. Whitaker with James F Goehring. -- Grand Rapids, Mich. : W. B. Eerdmans Publising Co., cop. 1988. -- xiv, 1548 p. -- ISBN 0-8028-2403-X.
A Concordance to the Apocrypha-Deuterocanonical Books [expanded text] of the Revised Standard Version / derived from the Bible Data Bank of the Centre Informatique et Bible, Abbey of Maredsous ; foreword by Bruce M. Metzger. -- Grand Rapids, Mich. : W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. ; London : Collins Liturgical Publications, 1983. -- 479 p. -- ISBN 0-8028-2312-2.
There are some truly all-inclusive "analytical" concordances for the New Revised Standard Version (N.R.S.V.) which embrace the full canon, Deuterocanonical writings and "extended Apocrypha" writings included, happily, together in a single sequence, which lends these two large concordances some extra convenience of use:
The first of these is a very hefty such one with some participation in it by Bruce Metzger, a very distinguished scholar who has been involved with the R.S.V. and the N.R.S.V. Bibles right from their inception and which, handily, among its various supplements, includes a handy topical-concordance (by subjects) as well as the word-concordance of the main part of the volume:
N.R.S.V. Exhaustive Concordance, Complete and Unabridged / editorial consulting and introduction by Bruce M. Metzger. -- Nashville, Tenn. : T. Nelson Publishers, 1991. xii, 1434, 90, 59, 219,  p. -- ISBN 0-8407-6800-1. N.B.: Although the title page does not mention the presence of their indexation, the recto of the dust jacket to the book does so: "Includes the Apocryphal and Deuterocanonical Books".
There is another quite large N.R.S.V. such one of similar scope by that zealous editor of Bible reference materials, John R. Kohlenberger III:
The N.R.S.V. Concordance, Unabridged, including the Apocryphal-Deuterocanonical Books : an Exhaustive Index of All Occurrences of All Words in the New Revised Standard Version [of the Bible] / by John R. Kohlenberger III. -- Grandville, Mich. : Zondervan Publishing Co., 1991. -- 1650 p. -- ISBN 0-3105-3910-2.
Kohlenberger also has produced a less comprehensive, but compact and very handy (non-analytical) concordance to the N.R.S.V. Bible (and its Apocrypha) that may be sufficient to meet the needs of those whose seek a concordance for quick searches that fall short of the scholarly level:
The Concise Concordance to the New Revised Standard Version / John R. Kohlenberger. -- New York : Oxford, Eng. : Oxford University Press, 1993. -- vii, 300 p. -- ISBN 0-19-528410-0.
Now, getting back to "The Catholic Bible Concordance, R.S.V.-C.E." itself, its physical features are convenient and attractive. Although the print is in rather small characters, the typeface is bold enough and the page space sufficiently uncongested to make the book nevertheless easy to read and to consult. The binding is tastefully designed, and pages are thread-sewn together, being thus adequately sturdy to hold together such a bulky volume for a reasonably long time under normal use.
The R.S.V.-C.E. and the R.S.V.-C.E.-2, for better or worse, are here to stay, so it seems, and together they have become the standard English-language version in use internationally (and at the Vatican itself) for Catholics. Even if one wisely adheres to older and sounder Catholic English Bibles, notably the venerable Douay-Rheims-Challoner Version and the old Confraternity Version (in its pre-1970 form, with the O.T. text of no later than 1969 and the 1941 N.T.), a Bible concordance such as this still provides an useful tool for study and consultation of the Sacred Scriptures, making it a wise acquisition to a Catholic's or other Christian's personal collection and to institutional collections in libraries and study centres.
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