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October 01, 1982 - Image 27

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-10-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


New Reader's Digest Bible

Reader's Digest Associa,
tion gains the limelight
with the publication of "The
Reader's Digest Bible," an
800-page condensation of
the Holy Scriptures and the
New Testament.
Interesting data accom-
panies the attainment of
this project in which leading
Christian theologians par-
ticipated as an advisory
group of editors. Unlike
similar Christian undertak-
ings in Bible translations,
there is no Jewish repre-
sentation on this committee
of editors.
The editors place em-
phasis on a definitive note
indicating that the Bible,
the world's best seller,
nevertheless is not read as
widely as the text is distrib-
uted. It is pointed out:
"It is a generally ac-
cepted fact that the Bible,
perhaps the most influen-
tial book in world his-
tory, and the leading best
seller of all time,
paradoxically is one of
the least read of all im-
portant books. Of course,
multitudes of people
have read parts of the Bi-
ble. But comparatively
few consult it on a reg-
ular basis. And fewer still
have read it from cover to
"The reasons for this neg-
lect, authorities agree, are
the sheer length and com-
plexity of the Bible's
800,000 words, and its often
repetitious, unfamiliar
style. In setting out six
years ago to apply the tech-
nique • of condensation to
Holy Scripture, Reader's
Digest hoped to reduce
those obstacles signific-
antly, bringing new readers
to this greatest of all books.
" 'The Reader's Digest Bi-
ble' represents the first time
ever that the complete Bible
has undergone true conden-
sation — reduction in
length without the sacrifice
of entire books or large por-
tions of essential text. And,
of course, 'The Reader's Di-
gest Bible' is offered only as
a supplement to the full
text. The complete original
version will always be
available as the ultimate
"The Reader's Digest Bi-
ble" was a seven-year proj-
ect under the chief editor-
ship of John E. Walsh. The
general editor was Bruce M.
The text of this volume
is based on the Revised
Standard Version and is
approximately 40 per-
cent shorter.
The new project is intro-
duced with the hope that
readership of the Holy Bible
will be increased.
John Beaudouin, editor of
the Reader's Digest con-
densed book division, points
out that some sections have
not been condensed, such as
the multi-favored passages
like the 23rd Psalm and I
Corinthians 13.
"The Reader's Digest Bi-
ble" contains all 66 books of
the Old and New Testa-

ments, arranged in tradi-
tional sequence, with 39
books of the Old Testament

reduced by about 50 per-
cent, and the New Testa-
ment's shorter 27 books
condensed by some 25 per-
An example of condensa-
tion is in Daniel, Chapter 5,
Verses 2 and 3, in which 75
words in the Revised
Standard Version are re-
duced to 35 words in "The
Reader's Digest Bible":

Friday, October 1, 1982 21


Best Kept Secret In Town!


fear no harm, for You are
with me;
Your rod and Y our staff—

they comfort me.

You spread a table for me in
full view of my enemies;
You anoint my head with
my drink is abundant.
Only goodness and steadfast
love shall pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the
house of the Lord
for many long years.

RSV Original
. . . commanded that the ves-

sels of gold and of silver
which Nebuchadnezzar his
father had taken out of the
temple in Jerusalem be
brought, that the king and
his lords, his wives, and his
concubines might drink
from them. Then they
brought in the golden and
silver vessels which had
been taken out of the temple,
the house of God in
Jerusalem; and the king
and his lords, his wives, and
his concubines drank from
them . . .

The general editor of "The
Reader's Digest Bible" is
the Rev. Bruce M. Metzger,
professor of New Testament
language and literature at
Princeton Theological Sem-
inary. He is also the author
of many books about the
New Testament: "The Ox-
ford Concise Concordance to
the Revised Standard Ver-
sion of the Holy Bible," "The
New Testament: Its Back-
ground, Growth, and Con-
tent" and "The Early Ver,
sions of the New Testament:
Their Origin, Transmis
sion, and Limitations"
among them.

. . . commanded that the
vessels of gold and of
silver which had been
taken out of the temple in
Jerusalem be brought.
Then the king and his
lords, his wives, and his
concubines drank from
the . . .

Dr. Metzger was deeply
involved in every step of the
editorial process, giving his
approval to the condensed
text only when satisfied
that nothing had been
In view of the retention of changed that in any way al-
Psalm 23 in its complete- tered the spirit, teaching or
ness in the newly condensed character of the original
Bible, a comparison of the version. In addition to
texts will be of interest to supervising the editorial
the readers. "The Reader's work, Dr. Metzger has writ-
Digest Bible" text of it, ten introductions to both
numbered in the condensed the Old and New Testa-
volume as Psalm 13, reads: ments, as well as introduc-
The Lord is my shepherd, tions to each of the Bible's
66 books.
I shall not want;
he makes me lie down in
green pastures.
He leads me beside still
he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of
I fear no evil;



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for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff,
they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table be-
in the presence of my
thou anointest my head with
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the
house of the Lord
for ever.
The Jewish Publication
Society's Ketubim text, in a
recently revised translation
by JPS, reads:

Susan Howatch's blockbuster
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Tonight watch Penmarric — the novel that
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through three generations. Along with.their
wealth comes a bankruptcy of morals.
Then stay tuned. Because right after
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23 A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in
green pastures;
He leads me to water in
places of repose;
He renews my life;
He guides me in right paths
as befits His name.
Though I walk through a

valley of deepest darkness,





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