THE ST. PAULS’ NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: PRESS REPORTS AND READERS’ CRITICISMS



NEW WEBSITE: www.ephesians-511.net
MARCH 22, 2009. UPDATED DECEMBER 2009

 


THE ST. PAULS’ NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: PRESS REPORTS AND
READERS’ CRITICISMS

 

New Bible edition

http://www.thehindu.com/2008/06/27/stories/2008062758280200.htm
The Hindu June 27, 2008

KOCHI: The New Community Bible, being brought out by St. Paul’s Publications on Saturday, will typically be meant for India. The Bible, translated into simple English, is the culmination of nearly two decades of efforts by dozens of Biblical scholars in the country, said a spokesman for St. Paul’s Publications here.

The New Community Bible makes the text easily understandable to all readers while efforts have been made to keep the translation as close to the original language as possible.

The new version of the Bible will also have commentary on the Sacred Text.

Pastoral commentary runs parallel to the text prepared by the Biblical scholars.

Another feature of the Community Bible is that it contains comments and references to the rich religious heritage of India.

The Community Bible commentary makes references to the Biblical values found in other religions in India.

Each of the major divisions of both the Old and the New Testaments opens with a brief but comprehensive introduction.

An added attraction is the rich illustration used in the new edition.

The New Community Bible will have artistic merits too having used the talents of the later Father Christopher Coelho, OFM, for illustrations. There will also be easy cross references in each page. The cover symbolises the Holy Trinity.

The New Community Bible is set for all-India release on Saturday, the day on which begins the Pauline year being celebrated by the Catholic Church.

The Kochi release will be held at the Renewal Centre at 6 p. m. by Sebastian Edyanthrath, Auxiliary Bishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly.

 

Year of St Paul Inaugurated! The New Community Bible Launched!

http://stpaulsncb.com
St. Pauls

The Pauline Family in India organized the Inauguration of the Year of St Paul in various parts of the country. During the inaugural Eucharist, the New Community Bible (NCB) was released.

The NCB is a Catholic Bible for India published by ST PAULS. It is a gift of the Pauline Family to the Church in India presented on the opening day of the “Year of St Paul” and in the “Year of the Word of God” (celebrated in India from January to December 2008).

One of the strong points of The NCB is the contextualized commentary on the Sacred Text, made especially for India, taking into account the rich cultural and religious heritage of this land. Besides a brief but comprehensive introduction to each of the major divisions of both the Old and the New Testaments, each Book of the Bible has a brief introduction.

The Main Event of the launch of The NCB took place during the Inaugural Eucharist of the Year of St Paul, on 28 June 2008 at Holy Name Cathedral, Colaba, Mumbai, which was presided over by His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias of the archdiocese of Mumbai during the Holy Eucharist at 6.30 p.m.

The Event was simultaneously repeated in several parts of the country where Paulines are present. It was a Pauline Family Event in cities where more than one branch of the Pauline Family (SSP-DSP-PDDM-Pauline Cooperators) are present:

AHMEDABAD

In the diocese of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, the Year of St Paul was inaugurated and The NCB was released by Most Rev. Thomas Macwan, Bishop of Ahmedabad, on 29 June 2008 at 8.30 a.m.

ALLAHABAD

His Lordship Rt Rev. Dr Isidore Fernandes, Bishop of Allahabad celebrated the solemn Eucharist at 7.30 a.m. on 29 June, in the Cathedral Church, during which His Lordship declared the Year of St Paul open and after a prayer of blessing, released The NCB.

BANGALORE

On Saturday, 28 June, at the end of a solemn Eucharistic Celebration in St Patrick’s parish church, His Grace Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bangalore, inaugurated the Year of St Paul and released The NCB, handed the first copy to Hon. Mr K. J. George, former minister in the Karnataka Government and presently an MLA.

 

 

 

Copies of the newly released Bible and various books on St Paul, were made available in the church premises. After the Eucharist, a 22 minutes’ film on St Paul, edited by Deacon Arokiaswami was screened.

CHENNAI

The solemn inauguration of the Year of St Paul as well as the release of The NCB was a unique event in the archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore. On 28 June, the Bible was released and the Year of St Paul was inaugurated at the Shrine of Divine Mercy, Anna Nagar, by His Grace Rev. Dr A. M. Chinnappa SDB, Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore.

On 29 June, Sunday, His Grace Rev. Dr A. M. Chinnappa SDB, released The NCB at the Egmore Parish Church. The release event simultaneously took place on 29 June in the following parishes of the archdiocese by the respective parish priests:

Santhome Cathedral, St Mary’s Co-Cathedral, Adyar, Anna Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Ayanavaram, Besant Nagar, Broadway, Chinmayanagar, Ennore, Guindy, Kilpauk, Kodambakkam, Lakshmipuram, Little Mount, Madavaram, Maduravoyal, Manali, Nungambakkam, Perambur, Peravallur, Poonamallee, Pudupet, Royapettah, Royapuram, St Thomas Mount, Thiruvottiyur, Velacherry, Vyasarpadi.

ELURU

In the diocese of Eluru, the Year of St Paul was declared open on 3 July 2008 at 5 p.m., by Most Rev. John Mulagada. After the Mass a ballet on the life of St Paul Kriste na Jeevam (for me to live is Christ) was presented. During the interval, Fr Jojaiah Podota SJ (who made the major contribution in the translation of the Telugu Bible published by ST PAULS) released The NCB and gave the first copy to Most Rev. John Mulagada. His Lordship then presented copies of The NCB to representatives of various communities, including non-Catholic Christian denominations. Fr George Chathanatt, Vicar Provincial, then released the Telugu Book Na Thandri (translation of I dare to call him Father) and gave the first copy to Sr Theresa Cherian, Principal of St Theresa’s College for Women, Eluru.

GOA

During the Holy Eucharist on 28 June at 5 p.m. at St. Sebastian Church, Panjim, Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrao Archbishop of Goa and Daman declared the Year of St Paul inaugurated and released The NCB.

A second event was on 29 June, at 8.15 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church Panjim. The ceremony was presided over by Most Rev. Bishop Emeritus Ferdinand Fonseca of Mumbai.

GUWAHATI

His Grace, Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil presided over the holy mass on 28 June 2008 at 6 p.m. at St Joseph’s Cathedral. During the Eucharistic Celebration, the archbishop inaugurated the Year of St Paul and launched The NCB

JALANDHAR

The inauguration of the Year of St Paul and the release of The NCB is scheduled to take place in the diocese of Jalandhar on 28 July 2008 along with the blessing of the New Community and Apostolic Centre of ST PAULS. The ceremony will be presided over by His Lordship Rt Rev. Anil Couto, Bishop of Jalandhar.

JORHAT

The diocese of Jorhat celebrated the inauguration of the Year of St Paul and release The NCB during the Holy Eucharist on 29 June 2008, at 8 a.m. Fr Joseph Joy Pallikunnel Vicar General, Diocese of Dibrugarh, presided over the ceremony.

KOCHI

In Kochi, the Year of St Paul was inaugurated and The NCB was released by Most Rev. Sebastian Adayanthrath, Auxiliary Bishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly and the first copy of The NCB was given to Fr Paul Thelakkatt, Editor of Satyadeepam and PRO of the archdiocese.

KOLKATA

Fr Elias D’Mello, Parish Priest, released The NCB and declared the Year of St Paul open during the Holy Eucharist at St Mary’s Church, Ripon Street, Kolkatta at 6.30 a.m. on 29 June 2008.

KOZHIKODE

Most Rev. Joseph Kalathiparampil, Bishop of Calicut, announced the Year of St Paul open and released The NCB on 29 June 2008 at 9.15 a.m., at St Joseph’s Church, Calicut.

MUMBAI

In Mumbai, the inauguration of the Year of St Paul and the release of The NCB were held in the following parishes during the evening Mass on Saturday, 28 June 2008:

Gloria Church, Bycula

Good Shepherd Church, Andheri

Holy Family Church, Chakkala

Holy Trinity Church, Powai

Immaculate Conception Church, Borivli

Our Lady of Egypt Church, Kalina

Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Kalyan

Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Orlem

Our Lady of Salvation Church, Dadar

Our Lady of Victory Church, Mahim

Sacred Heart Church, Andheri

Sacred Heart Church, Santa Cruz

Sacred Heart Church, Vashi

St Andrew’s Church, Bandra

 

 

St Ann’s Church, Pali Hill

St Anthony’s Church, Vakola

St John the Baptist Church, Thane

St Joseph the Worker Church, Bandra East

St Joseph’s Church, Vikroli

St Michael’s Church, Mahim

St Paul’s Church, Parel

St Peter’s Church, Bandra

St Pius X Church, Mulund

St Theresa’s Church, Bandra

St Vincent de Paul Church, Chuim

NAGPUR

His Grace archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara, archbishop of Nagpur inaugurated the Year of St Paul and released The NCB during the Holy Eucharist at St Francis de Sales Cathedral, Nagpur at 6 p.m., on 29 June 2008.

NELLORE

During the Holy Eucharist on 29 June 2008 at 6.15 a.m., at St Joseph Cathedral, Nellore, Fr R.B. Victor inaugurated the Year of St Paul and released The NCB.

NEW DELHI

The inauguration of the Year of St Paul and the release of The NCB were held during the Holy Eucharist at Sacred Heart Cathedral, presided over by His Grace Vincent Concessao, Archbishop of New Delhi on 28 June 2008 at 6.30 p.m.

RANCHI

The community of Ranchi organised a prayer service at our residence (Divyodaya), to mark the inauguration of the Year of St Paul on 28 June 2008, at 3 p.m. During the prayer service, Fr C. R. Prabhu, Rector of St Albert College, Ranchi released The NCB.

PUNE

His Lordship Valerian D’Souza, Bishop of Pune inaugurated the Year of St Paul and released The NCB at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Pune, during the Holy Eucharist at 6.30 p.m. on 28 June 2008. Simultaneous release of The NCB took place during the Holy Eucharist of the Year of St Paul in the following parishes of the diocese:

Immaculate Conception Church, Camp

St Francis de Sales Church, Shaanwadi

Sacred Heart Church, Yervada

St Ignatius Church, Kirkee

Church Of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Tadiwala

Carmel Church, Sainikwadi

SECUNDERABAD

According to the special request of His Grace archbishop Joji of Hyderabad, the Inauguration of the Year of St Paul and the Release of The NCB were anticipated on 26 June 2008 at 11.30 a.m., on the occasion of the recollection of the clergy of the archdiocese. The Eucharist was presided over by Msgr Solomon Thumma at St Mary’s Church, Secunderabad.

SHILLONG

To mark the inauguration of the Year of St Paul, the DSP of Shillong organized a session on St Paul by Sr Mary Sebastian. During the prayer service that followed, The NCB and an audio album on St Paul, “Vessels of Clay” by Sr Caroline DSP were released. The event was held at Pauline Book & Media Centre, Shillong.

On 29 June 2008, during the Holy Eucharist at Mary Immaculate Cathedral, Shillong, the Year of St Paul was declared open and The NCB was released.

The event was also held at:

Grotto Chapel, Shillong

Pynthorumkhrah (Sts Peter & Paul Church), Shillong.

TRIVANDRUM

Rev. Fr Eugene Pereira, Vicar General of the archdiocese of Trivandrum, released The NCB and inaugurated the Year of St Paul on 29 June 2008, 6.45 p.m., at St Theresa of Lisieux Church, Vellayambalam, Trivandrum.

VIJAYAWADA

Msgr Chinnappa, Vicar General of the Diocese of Vijayawada inaugurated the Year of St Paul and released The NCB at St Paul’s Cathedral, Vijayawada, during the Eucharist at 5.30 p.m. on 28 June 2008

 

New Community Bible Released The Examiner [The Archdiocesan weekly of Bombay] July 05, 2008

Cardinal Oswald Gracias released the New Community Bible on June 28, 2008 during a concelebrated Mass on the occasion of the commencement of the Pauline Year. Cardinal; Gracias in his homily urged the people to familiarize themselves with this Bible which is a revised edition of the popular Christian Community Bible during this year which has been declared as the year of the ‘Word of God’ in the Archdiocese of Bombay.

He congratulated the Paulist brothers and the daughters of St. Paul for their efforts in making this revised edition available to the people in India.

 

 

The Bible with a touch of India

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/net/mmpaper.aspx?page=article&sectid=2&contentid=2008070920080709023950233aa24a37&pageno=1
Mumbai Mirror July 09, 2008 Manoj R Nair

The Catholic Church has released a special Bible for India, one that has reference to Indian scriptures, uses Indian cultural and religious themes, and will appeal to the new generation.
The liberative knowledge of the spirit (atman) is to be attained through ‘seeing, listening, reflecting and meditating’

This verse from the hoary Brihadaranyaka Upanishad explains chapter 51 of the Book of Isaiah, in The New Community Bible (Catholic Edition) for India.
Church leaders called the book, that was released in Mumbai last month by the Archbishop of Bombay, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, “a work of lasting importance”.
Christened the ‘Indian Bible’, the book is the culmination of a significant 18-year long experiment by the local Catholic Church to adapt the Bible for the Indian community.
Thus, apart from using Indian cultural and religious themes in the narrative, the book also uses English that is familiar to Indians, unlike the older editions of the holy book.
The scholars, most of them Indian, who put together the book felt that any serious commentary on the writings of the Bible, especially an edition for India, could not ignore the rich cultural and religious heritage of the country. “You cannot communicate if you do not communicate in the culture of the people,” said Father Tony Charanghat, spokesperson for Cardinal Gracias.
Rev (Dr) Augustine Kanachikuzhy, of the Society of St Paul who was the general editor of the book, said that the decision to include Indian scriptures in the book was taken by the scholars. “They felt that a Bible for India should also make reference to Indian scriptures,” he said.
“India has so many religions and languages. This translation takes into account the aspirations, culture, ethos — the identifying marks of the Indian. It helps the people to relate the sacred text to local context,” said Bishop of Vasai, Fr Thomas Dabre, who was involved in the project. “It was a complex enterprise, but the resulting work is of lasting importance.” The book is different from other Bibles because it has a commentary accompanying the passages from the holy book. “It is a contextualised Bible and that is where the references to Indian scriptures come in,” explained Kanachikuzhy.
Priests feel that the book will appeal to the new generation of church-goers who stress less on the ritual part of religion and more on the spiritual aspects. “They are asking more questions, some of which priests who were trained long ago are not equipped to answer. The book hence serves as a handy guide for both the priests and the worshippers,” said Charanghat.
Also, the church is forming groups called Christian Communities, that worship as small congregations. At present, the church does not have enough priests to administer to these small groups, and this precisely where the community Bible comes handy for such groups.
References to Indian scriptures
While authors of the book admit that references to Indian scriptures may make some Christians uncomfortable, they have clarified that the scriptures have been included only for a better understanding of Biblical terms and concepts, and that there is no implication that the texts from which the scriptures are derived, are parallel to the Bible.
The book has calligraphy and illustrations by a late priest, Christopher Coelho. The Holy Family here is dressed in Indian clothes and not in middle-eastern vestments. “Today, the image is very important and complements the abstract. Even religious discourses have recourse to metaphor,” said Dabre.
Indianisation of the Catholic Church
The Indianisation process began in the sixties when a revolutionary council in Rome introduced local traditions and practices, like use of local languages for mass and incorporation of Indian worship in church rituals.
Though the process has been criticised by both Hindu radicals and the orthodox among Catholics, the idea has taken root and is now generally accepted.
Some churches in south India, for instance, depict Christ as an Indian holy man, and even in Mumbai, some churches use aarties to welcome priests. Diwali is an important event in church calendars.
The priests say
• You cannot communicate if you do not communicate in the culture of the people
– Fr Tony Charanghat, spokesperson for Cardinal Gracias
• It is a contextualised Bible, and that is where the references to Indian scriptures come in
– Rev (Dr) Augustine Kanachikuzhy, of Society of St Paul and general editor of the book
• This translation takes into account the aspirations, culture, ethos — the identifying marks of the Indian. It helps people relate the sacred text to local context
– Bishop of Vasai Fr Thomas Dabre, who was involved in the project

 

http://www.angelqueen.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=258399&sid=d8170415fa2706ce580e7160aae85cee

Angelqueen.org For Purity and Tradition in Catholicism

1. The Bible with a touch of India: Religious syncretism by
Manoj R. Nair [above article reproduced]

READERS’ CRITICISMS OF THE NCB:

 

 

 

1. From the expression on his face and the apparently raised hair on his head, Fr. Tony must find reading The New Community Bible a horrifying experience.

References made to the Indian Scriptures in the Commentary could perhaps make some Christians uncomfortable. The question may be raised why as to Indian Scriptures are referred to in a Biblical Commentary.

Such references serve only to get a more inter-cultural and contextualized understanding of certain Biblical terms and concepts. Highlighting some meeting points would also serve as an invitation for people of other faiths to approach and draw from the treasures of the Bible. For example, speaking about light and darkness in Gen 1:14, the Commentary says that ‘Light is considered good and desirable also in the Vedas.’ The expression Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya is a well known expression from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. This, however, does not imply in any way that Indian Scriptural terms are parallel to Biblical terms or that the parallel references are saying the same thing as the Biblical text.
Let us examine a couple of examples of references to the Indian Scriptures in the Commentary. Commenting on the creation account in Gen 1:1–2:4a the commentator says that even in the Upanishads some creation accounts open with the word agre, i.e., at the beginning. But it is then clarified: ‘In the Bible creation is never understood as an emanation from the Divine Reality as in the Indian Scriptures.’ Again, on man and woman being created in God’s image (pratirupa), the commentary says that these two words taken together – image and likeness – depict the exalted and the divine-like nature of human beings. Once again this statement is followed by the explanation that ‘the Bible does not hold with the Hindu thinking that the creature is identical with or an emanation from the creator (bimbapratibimba) or that Atman is Brahman.’
The Vatican II Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate) says ‘The Catholic Church rejects nothing of true and holy in these religions… yet she proclaims and is duty bound to proclaim without fail, Christ who is the way, the truth and the life (Jn 14:6). Besides, the declaration ‘Dominus Jesus’ adds, “the various religious traditions contain and offer religious element which come from God, and which are part of what ‘the Spirit brings about in human hearts and in the history of peoples, in cultures, and religions’ ” (Art No. 21).TOM

2. Will Ganesh, Shiva, and Vishnu be replacing the Magi????
HalinOates

3.
Didn’t JPII himself get annointed with “sacred” cow dung of Shiva or something like that when he was in India? So this is no surprise. Though while Benedict isn’t perfect I can’t beleieve he would let this go through. Novus Ordo exile

4. To my humble little mind, one must either be a Catholic or a Hindu but not both. They are mutually exclusive.

SLC Franciscan

5. Sadly, it’s not just the Bible that has a touch of India. This SSPX seminarian from Bombay, India, states the Novus Ordo Indian rite Mass has adapted the Hindu syllable “OM”. He then explains that he has witnessed the exorcism of a woman possessed with the spirit of “OM”: http://www.sspxasia.com/Newsletters/2003/Jul-Dec/Hinduism_at_a_Glance.htm

“The Hindu syllable ‘OM’ (which today is adapted and used in the Inculturated Novus Ordo Indian Rite Mass) is the abode of the 33 crores (330 million) of deities that are contained in the infinite cosmic sound ‘OM’. The Hindu Puranas (Epics) demonstrate that ‘OM’ is the sexual sigh of Shiva while engrossed in mystical union of generation with his consort Parvati (Shaiva Purana). One of us, Anthony Rodrigues, has witnessed Fr. Rufus Pereira exorcising a woman possessed with the spirit of ‘OM’. Hence, we see magical practices as well as witchcrafts performed with the help of Tantra. There is a vast array of practices to suit every temperament. Hence, the chosen deity may be with form or formless. At the time of initiation, the Guru gives his disciple a ‘mantra’ and this determines the path he will follow and the practices he will take up. The disciple then, according to the instruction of the Guru whom he regards as ‘Shiva’ or ‘Krishna’ incarnated (Guru: Sakshat Parabrahman), performs Japa, ie. chanting of the magic mantra.”

This seminarian also discusses Buddhist meditation such as centering prayer and Hindu practice such as Yoga. Both of these practices are spreading like wild fire in the Novus Ordo Church. Miles Christi Sum

6. Photograph from The Indian Express, Bangalore, October 6, 1997 with the caption: “Archbishop of Mumbai Mons Ivan Diaz lighting the lamp in front of Lord Ganesha at the inauguration of an international seminar on Hindu-Christian cosmology and anthropology in Mumbai on Sunday.

“Early this year, in India, he let some Hindu “priestess” mark him on the forehead with the sign of her sect! Incredible! “All gods of the pagans are devils,” says Scripture (Ps.95, 5). How can the Pope receive the sign of the devil? Whatever god is not Jesus Christ is not the one and only true God”.— Archbishop Lefebvre (Letter to Seminarians – March 1986)

Miles Christi Sum

7. This very same cardinal is now prefect for the former Propaganda Fide, for the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples.
Amemus Athanasium

8. What a truly frightening thought. No wonder the NO folks are in such a huge mess. They don’t know if they are Catholic or Hindu or just what…..
SLC Franciscan

http://www.angelqueen.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21022&highlight=&sid=60860e80adead0f737891fdb9f382926

Angelqueen.org For Purity and Tradition in Catholicism

2. Conservatives protest desi version of Bible [Times of India
article (see August 9th) reproduced]

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Conservatives_protest_desi_version_of_Bible_/articleshow/3344526.cms

 

A NEW AGE BIBLE? THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE by Michael Prabhu

http://fratres.wordpress.com/2008/08/07/defending-the-full-truth-of-the-gospel-in-india-michael-prabhu-examines-the-new-age-community-bible/ [Orate Fratres posting, see further below, August 7th, reproduced]

 

 

 

 

The Bible with a touch of India: Inculturation works! by Manoj R Nair

India Interacts
http://mnachiappan.indiainteracts.com/2008/07/15/the-bible-with-a-touch-of-india-inculturation-works/

READERS’ CRITICISMS OF THE NCB:

1. Ezhavendan Says: Posted on July 15th, 2008 The Christian hypocrites could not face one Arumuga Navalar.

His “Esumatha kandanam” book is still reigning supreme and they could not do it anything.

Beschi with fear burned the works of Sivaprakasar.

And now these Bishops and others try to fool the present Indians.

I understand from my Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam friends, there are such types of books Esumadha kandanam (condemning the religion of Jesus), Esumatha Niragaranam (refutation of the religion of Jesus) etc.

So what they are going to achieve by Indianization of Bible or “Sanskritization” of Bible?

Perhaps, they are rehearing indirectly for their bogus-films “mythical Thomas”, “Jesus in India” etc.

It is not all good for Christianity itself, as it looses its whatever originality in it. Western scholars have already pointed out that Christianity has been only copy of Indian religion – may be Jainism, Buddhism or Hindu religion or combination of all.

J. M. Robertson, Richard Garbe, CFC Volney and others have clearly pointed out that the concept of “Christ” / “christos” was derived from “Christna / Krishna”. In fact, the New Testament Apocrypha is nothing but Bhagawatha Purana, in which Christ is portrayed as playing with children, killing demons (Christopher = Christ-carrier) etc.

Therefore, the learned Christians – Bishops, Pastors and others of seminaries need not indulge in this type of cheap activities to become another Bede Griffiths, Hans Staffner or Arulappa etc.

2. Vedaprakash Says: Posted on July 16th, 2008
We have discussed enough with Bede etc. The papers have been published and available in the net also.
But the hypocrite-Christians are afraid of facing the reality. Unfortunately, we do not have institution, money etc., to counter them properly.

 

Crusade Watch
www.crusadewatch.org

http://www.crusadewatch.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=957&Itemid=
The Bible with a touch of India Tuesday, 15 July 2008 source: Mumbai Mirror, July 9, 2008 by Manoj Nair

The Catholic Church has released a special Bible for India, one that has reference to Indian scriptures, uses Indian cultural and religious themes, and will appeal to the new generation etc.  

 

New ‘Indian Bible’ strikes positive chord among Catholics

http://in.news.yahoo.com/43/20080710/812/tnl-new-indian-bible-strikes-positive-ch.html
Mumbai, July 10, 2008 (IANS) Mother Mary in a sari, Joseph clad in a dhoti and they nurse the Holy Infant Jesus attired in typical Indian baby clothes, in a small hut, surrounded by modern skyscrapers, with words of Sanskrit origin like “bhakti,” “janam” and “gyaanmarg” used liberally. All this and more can be found in the Indianised version of the Holy Bible, introduced last fortnight all over the country, taking the Christian community by a pleasant surprise.
“It has proved to be extremely popular among the Catholic community with over 15,000 copies sold out within barely 10 days. Now it has gone for a reprint,” said Rev. Augustine Kanachikuzhy of the Society of St. Paul, Mumbai who is also the general editor of the new Bible.
Kanachikuzhy told IANS that the next batch of the new Bible would be received from the Kolkata-based printers by October for distribution. The new Bible has 2,200 pages in full colour printing, illustrations with an Indian touch spread across the text and each copy weighs around one kg.
The outcome of nearly two decades’ research by the local Church authorities, the ‘Indian Bible,’ as it is called, is a user-friendly holy scripture, practically devoid of heavy religious language that was considered difficult for the lay persons to understand.
It is even easy on the pockets of the faithful – costs around Rs.250 against the original versions which cost upwards of Rs. 1,000 a copy, said the spokesman for the Archbishop of Mumbai, Fr. Tony Charanghat.
Bishop of Vasai (neighbouring Thane district) Thomas Dabre, a religious authority, oversaw and approved the Indian text with his knowledge of Indian and Catholic religion. Bishop Dabre – who holds a PhD on “The God Experience of Tukaram – A Study in Religious Symbolism (1987)” – said several Biblical scholars, theologians, writers and artists were involved in the production of the new Bible. The Bishop, who is the chairman of the Indian Bishops Commission for Christian Doctrine, said there are similar ‘localised’ versions of the Holy Bible in Africa and the Philippines.
“Based on the Philippines version, we decided to bring out an Indian version with complete Indian text, appropriate illustrations and other relevant aspects that the local audiences could relate to,” he told IANS.
He said the illustrations are symbolic – the tiny hut surrounded by skyscrapers depicts the centuries old divide between the rich and poor. The Holy Infant was born in a stable surrounded by animals, but in modern world, there are huts surrounded by skyscrapers, according to Bishop Dabre. He explained that the aim behind the unique project was two-fold – the text of the Holy Bible must speak to the people and their culture, and also have meaning for the non-Christian readers.
“We hope it will appeal to the Indian sensibilities, reading it will make the text come alive in the Indian situation, and give the faithful a feeling that it is ‘our’ text,” Bishop Dabre said.

 

 

Fr. Charanghat said the response from the public has been overwhelming to the new Indian Bible. The other words from Indian scriptures include “shanti,” “moksha,” “mukti,” “vishwa,” “surya,” “maranam,” “mauna,” “kripa,” “anugraha,” and the like. Bishop Dabre said there might be some who may find the Indianised Bible a bit unusual and unexpected.
Rev. Kanachikuzhy said there is no immediate plan to introduce the Indian Bible in other Indian languages or in a miniature format on the lines of some international organisations.

 

Mother Mary in a sari etc. Mumbai, July 10, 2008 (IANS) in mangalorean.com

http://www.mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=broadcast&broadcastid=84287

READERS’ CRITICISMS OF THE NCB:

Generations after generations we received faith, a simple faith from our ancestors who believed in Jesus Christ born in a manger and as Jesus said” He is the bread from Heaven”. He became food for us and he died for the sin of the first man Adam and the first woman Eve.
In the book of Genesis, it is clear about creation of man. Then why the commentary is saying wrong? Why the name of Gita, Upanishad, Arjuna, Krishna brought inside the commentary. Who are these theologians? This is a book and does not require imprimatur. I say it is a book and not Holy Bible. Holy Bible cannot have commentary like this.
This is done to please the Hindus. Dear faithful, do not buy this book. If you have bought one, please burn it. If God had given me wealth, I would have purchased the original copy of the entire script and burnt it. Please read Ps 5. You will see that we are asked to read Gayatri Mantra. Why the Bishops are sitting quiet? Why we cannot storm Rome through signature campaigns?
This book has to be withdrawn and we request Bishop Thomas Dabre to withdraw the imprimatur and St. Pauls to change the title of the book from Holy Bible to any other name. Jesus said to St. Paul-“My grace is sufficient”. I hope and pray that the grace and mercy of God shall flow abundantly on St. Pauls and Bishop Dabre and they will listen to the voice of God. God is merciful and HE forgives those who repent. If this is done for any motive like to spin money or to please the majority community of India, then our next generation will suffer because they will not know which is the real bible?

Valerian Dalmaida, Abu Dhabi

 

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/new-indian-bible-strikes-positive-chord-among-catholics_10069964.html
thaindian.com

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/entertainment/indianised-version-of-bible-hit-among-christians_10070732.html

Mumbai, July 12, 2009 (ANI): An “Indianised” version of the Bible released in India has become a huge hit among the Christian community here. The Bible has proved to be extremely popular among the Catholics in Mumbai where over 15 000 copies were sold out within ten days of its release.
An interesting feature of this Bible is that it has drawn references to other religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
“What made it special because they have also drawn the Indian mythology into it. Its not only based on Bible all like you know foreign standards,” said Corin Mendonsa, a buyer of the book.
Another interesting thing about the book is that it depicts Mother Mary and other characters in typical Indian clothes.
“I wanted to buy only one copy, but after seeing the presentation, brought five copies. I felt happier because the pictures that are given are very impressive,” said Father Wilset, another buyer.
According to the catholic community this Bible is getting a good response from the market.
The new Bible, which has about 2,200 pages, costs just 250 Rupees.

 

Indianised version of Bible hit among Christians
onlinebaptist.com
July 12, 2008

http://www.onlinebaptist.com/messageboards/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=23333&p=370224
Mumbai (ANI): An “Indianised” version of the Bible released in India has become a huge hit among the Christian community here. etc…

READERS’ CRITICISMS OF THE NCB:

In other words this version of the Bible really isn’t the Bible!
Reminds me of some of the “Africanized Jesus” stuff I’ve seen in the past. They change Christ, and His message, in order to appeal to specific races, cultures, sexes, etc. Christ and the Bible are for all people. His message is one and the same to the Indian, the African, the Brit, the Eskimo and all others. Presenting “another Jesus”, and changing the Bible message is the work of the devil. Only by turning to and trusting the One True Christ can people be reconciled to the Father. In Christ, John July 13th, 2008, 11:36 am

sify.com
July 13, 2008
http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=14714631

sanghparivar.org blog July 16, 2008
http://www.sanghparivar.org/blog/rkm/indianised-version-of-bible-hit-among-christians
hindudharmaforums.com http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=23762 July 26, 2008

The Conversion Agenda

http://conversionagenda.blogspot.com/2008/07/indianised-version-of-bible-hit-among.html

“Freedom to convert” is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Indianised version of Bible hit among Christians.

 

 

CRITICISMS:
At 7/24/2008 02:19:00 AM, 
Danny Singh said… 
So unfotunate for the christian community to encourage “indianised Bible”! 
The bible categorically condemens uttering names of pagan gods and ironically the indinised bible includes names from hindu mythology. No wonder muslims claim about the corruption of the word of God. Profanity!! 
Will “blind christians” in the west accept Mary being portayed like Britney Spears? Shame on such christains.

At 7/28/2008 11:45:00 PM, Anonymous said… 
Danny singh is correct. Mary is the mother of jesus protrayed as feminine part of god while jesus is masculine part of god. so mother and son figure in christianity controry to hinduism belief of mother and father or husband and wife genders are worshipped together. infact, mary was not worshipped in the early part of christianity but only during the time of st paul, roman god venus was protrayed as mary and started worshipping her. this is nothing to do with indianising bible which contains many verses not acceptable even to christians and not in line with what present day christianity preaches to convert illitrate and poor ignorant hindus.

 

Mother Mary in sari, Joseph in turban
hindustantimes.com
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=&id=b16c27be-01f4-497b-be40-e4c5b325ed09&&Headline=Mother+Mary+in+sari%2c+Joseph+in+turban&strParent=strParentID
As congregations decline in the West, the Vatican hopes to attract more believers to its fold with an ‘Indianised’ Bible depicting Virgin Mary in a sari and Joseph clad in a loincloth and turban.
“I am sure this Bible, made in India and for Indians, will bring the word of God closer to millions of our people, not only Christians,” Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay, said at a ceremony on the Bible’s release….

 

Hindu Jan Jagruti Samiti discussion forum
ivarta
http://www.forum.ivarta.com/discussion-forums-listing/379544.htm

These comments are about: Indianised version of Bible hit among Christians
READERS’ CRITICISMS OF THE NCB:

7. Hindu on Monday, July 14, 2008:
pope trying to populate the world with indians WYD pilgrims abscond in NZ July 14, 2008 03:40pm New Zealand authorities are hunting for 32 Indian pilgrims who have gone missing in Auckland en route to World Youth Day in Sydney. Labour Department officials said they were working with the Catholic Church in Auckland to find the pilgrims, who absconded from their church billets ahead of their planned trip to see the Pope in Sydney, the New Zealand Press Association reported. The missing 32 are among a group of 220 Indian worshippers given one-month visitor visas earlier this month. They had planned to leave for Australia tomorrow. Authorities said the 32 had gone missing at various times over the past four to five days. While their visitor visas remained valid, authorities said they wanted to ensure all the pilgrims stuck to their plan to leave New Zealand. Immigration officials said they were working closely with their counterparts in Australia.
6. Truth Speaks on Sunday, July 13, 2008:
Seems like Christianity is more like hot commodity than a spiritual religion.
5. Hindu on Sunday, July 13, 2008:
and portray jesus as a hindu
4. Ayya on Sunday, July 13, 2008:
GK – There is a well known Sanskrit dictionary by “Monier Willams”. In it”s preface Col Williams explains the dictionary was to be used in converting. By translating the Bible to Sanskrit, he proclaimed, Hindus will follow Christianity enmasse. Similarly I saw a book on South Indian Carnatic music written by an American Missionary. IN its introduction he says if we have the Missionaries singing like Purndara Dasa, Hindus would follow them like the mice did the Pied Piper. They never give up. It would be funny if this version of the Bible slowly converts these Catholics back to Hindu practices.
3. Fin on Sunday, July 13, 2008:
Funny… the Indian converted catholics are now selling a corrupted version of the bible!
2. g kapuria on Saturday, July 12, 2008:
I can predict what “Hinduism” it would have. During the British rule, they employed Sanskrit scholars to extensively alter some texts, chief among them is the Bhavishya purana. These converted scholars used their Sanskrit skill to insert fake prophecies to suggest that Jesus is the ultimate savior of Hindus. Second, it will claim Jesus is Ishwar.
1. Ayya on Saturday, July 12, 2008:
They will try anything to increase the flock and get more money to the Church.

 

Culture & Christ or Christ & Culture? Monday, July 14, 2008 thomasterry.com blog

http://thomasterry.com/blog/article.php/20080714100837317

CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

It was with disappointment that I read this article from Thaindian News: Indianised Version of the Bible Hit Among Christians. The new Catholic translation of the Bible, which apparently went on sale in India this month, has sold like hotcakes, with 15,000 grabbed up in just 10 days. Those are big numbers. It’s also a big problem.

 

 

 


Apparently the new translation draws “references to other religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.” This means that the terms from these religions are used in the Bible’s text to explain Christianity. Actually, this is not an unusual concept.

The same is done in Mongolia with one of two Bible translations called, in English, The Blue Bible. While the translation is popular here, for many it is also controversial. But back to India…
According to one Indian believer, who is apparently a fan of the new translation, the translators “have also drawn the Indian mythology into it. It’s not only based on [the] Bible like you know foreign standards” (my emphasis).

This is not good news for Indian Christianity. But it does provide an interesting insight into the application of Christianity in Asia. Syncretism is a common problem in Christianity, but especially in Asia. The blending of words, concepts, and even practices of one faith into—what is supposed to be—Orthodox or Evangelical Christianity usually ends up corrupting the expression of Christianity so much that that expression of Christ becomes unrecognizable for what it was intended to be in the first place.
According to one poster on the Indian forum site iVarta, “It portrays Jesus as Hindu.” Another remarked, “It would be funny if this version of the Bible slowly converts these Catholics back to Hindu practices.”
Holy cow, what are the Indian Catholics thinking?
Adapting presentations or emphasizing certain stories or passages is one thing, but altering the text by melding anti-Christian concepts into the scriptures is a violation of every principle of valid ministry I can think of. It distorts the message of the cross and puts it on par with the myths of Hinduism, Buddhism, or any other nonChristian “ism.”
The contextualization of Christianity in a culture is a controversial work. How much of the presentation of the Gospel must be adapted to a culture, and honor the culture? When must culture be ignored in favor of the supreme truth of Christ? I’m not going to answer that question here, except to say while these are difficult issues that every missionary and indigenous Christian must wrestle with, there is one thing that must be clear.
You must not change the text of Scripture, or introduce within its text, concepts which are foreign to its original meaning.
Note what one person who bought the new Indianised version remarked, “It’s not only based on [the] Bible like you know foreign standards” (my emphasis).
Christianity is a foreign religion. There’s no sense denying it. But being foreign to a culture doesn’t automatically invalidate its truth. The indigineous desire to “culturalize” Christianity, or in this case, the Scriptures, very often places the expression of culture over the expression of biblical truth. Certainly there are many aspects of many cultures that are compatible with Christianity. But where traditional beliefs conflict with the Scriptures the Christian is left with no choice. He must abandon that which is contrary to Christ.
In the July 2007 issue of Christianity Today, Dr. David Hesselgrave, Professor Emeritus of Mission Trinity Evangelical Divinity School noted: “Hindu and Buddhist concepts such as bodhisattva, karma, dharma, samsara, and nirvana can be understood only in the context of the religious worldview of which they are part. Jesus is the Son of God, the only Savior and mediator between God and man. He is no one’s bodhisattva. He died for our sin, not our karma. Hindus and Buddhists have re-made Jesus into an avatar and bodhisattva in order to make their false religions more appealing. When Christians do the same they sacrifice true religion and contribute to Christ’s diminishment.
Contextualization is necessary but it has boundaries.”
Doing what the Indian Catholic church has done reads to me like an abandoning of the exclusive truth of Christ in favor of myth and superstition. If the Indianised translation becomes the Bible of choice of India’s catholics, then I predict it won’t be long before Indian Catholism becomes unrecognizable as Catholism, much less as Christianity.

 

“Indianised” Bible Released Feature blog, Harsh Nevatia, July 18, 2008 http://hinduism.suite101.com/
The Catholic administration in India has released The New Community Bible with an Indianised presentation. This has angered both Christians and Hindus.
Saint Paul’s Publications released The New Community Bible (Catholic Edition) in India on June 28, 2008. The objective was to make it easier for the Indians Christian community to understand the Bible. The cultural background of the Christians in India is very different from those in the West and therefore it was felt that this Indianisation was needed.
The Indianised Bible is illustrated and the Biblical characters are shown in traditional Indian clothing. This is one aspect of Indianisation. The other is to juxtapose relevant Hindu concepts in the commentary. This has been done only in a positive way without denigrating Hinduism, a welcome departure from the stand the Catholic Church in India usually takes. An example is the explanation of the Vedic interpretation of light when discussing the Christian concept as in the Genesis.
Several members have called this Indianisation a sacrilege against Christianity. They particularly resent Hindu concepts given in the Bible. The radical Hindus have also not taken to this very kindly. They see this as an attempt to step up the conversions of Hindus to Christianity. They state that the cultural differences cited by the editor of the Bible. Fr. Augustine Kanachikizhy, always existed. The rate of conversions among the educated classes has died down because Christianity is believed to be an alien concept incongruous with Indian culture. The Hindus claim that the Indianised Bible will break this cultural barrier and result in increased conversions.
Fortunately the Catholic leadership is firmly backing the Indianised Bible. Fr. Anthony Charanghat, spokesperson for the Archbishop of Bombay, says, “The narrow-minded will misunderstand but we shouldn’t fear explaining our religion using other (non-Christian) concepts”. The Indianised Bible comes close on the heels of the Indianisation of the Churches.

 

 

THIS MINISTRY’S CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

PUBLISHED IN THE ASIAN AGE, MUMBAI, JULY 24, 2008 [except for the portions in red]

From: prabhu To: feedback.age@gmail.com Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 9:29 AM

Subject: LETTER TO THE EDITOR

SECULAR AND SACRILEGE

This in response to the article Secular or sacrilege? [The Age, Saturday, 19th July, 2008 by
Edlyn G. D’Souza] on the “Indianised” “Bible”.

To answer the question, The New Community Bible [NCB] is both secular as well as a sacrilege.

The NCB might be published by “Catholics”, but Catholics object to its claim to be Catholic, which requires that not only the text be faithful to the original biblical languages but also that the commentaries be in line with current Church teaching. The NCB is not. In many cases the commentaries contradict Church teaching and are the views of the respective theologians. Some commentaries are manipulated and half-truth. The half-truth obscures the real truth, which is quite different. An “Indianised” “Bible” does not require contrived parallels with Hindu philosophy which has simply no equivalents or near similarities in Christian revelation.

If the NCB was meant for India, it certainly failed to treat many important issues like the caste problem and dalits, abortion, female infanticide, etc. It is shocking that a Mumbai Catholic priest, Fr Charanghat, will describe conscientious faithful as “narrow-minded”. He might be the spokesman for the Archbishop, but he is certainly not the voice of the Church.

We reject all these liberal theologians who preach only the social gospel of Jesus Christ to the exclusion of his complete mission and message of salvation from the shackles of sin which is the real cause of all human suffering.

The NCB will only serve to poison the faith of our seminarians and our children, and further syncretize Indian Catholicism.

Many Catholic priests have rejected the NCB but are afraid to speak up. The laity have no forum to express their views.

In a democratic Church, the faithful would have been consulted in the preparation of such an unprecedented work.

Organizations like the Bombay Catholic Sabha and All India Catholic Union are more of political lobbies than representative of genuine Catholic spirituality. The comment of Mr Dolphy D’Souza only reveals his ignorance of the faith.

Kudos to Fr. Rocky Vaz for speaking the truth, and thank you for quoting him. May his tribe increase.

A number of lay faithful and priests, from India and overseas, have joined hands to use this writer’s forum to express their views through a detailed analysis of the offensive commentaries in the NCB. A copy is attached herewith for your perusal.

We have written by email to all the 200 plus Bishops of the country [including those in retirement] asking for a withdrawal of the NCB which we do not call a Bible.

Yours sincerely, On behalf of many other Catholics,

Michael Prabhu, Metamorphose Catholic Ministries
website:
www.ephesians-511.net .

12 Dawn Apartments, 22 Leith Castle South Street, Chennai 600 028, Tamil Nadu. Tel: 044 2461 1606

emails: personal
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net ; team
response2communitybible@gmail.com

 
 

THIS MINISTRY’S CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

MUMBAI MIRROR. MAY HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED, THOUGH WE DO NOT KNOW FOR CERTAIN.

From: prabhu To: editfeedback@indiatimes.com Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 9:38 AM

Subject: LETTER TO THE EDITOR

This in response to the article
THE BIBLE WITH A TOUCH OF INDIA [Mumbai Mirror, July 09/Pune Mirror,
July 11 by Manoj R Nair] on the ‘Indian Bible’ called the New Community Bible [NCB] released by a section of the Catholic Church.

The NCB might be published by “Catholics”, but Catholics object… […] [rest as in above letter]

 

‘Indianised’ Bible is a best seller
Hannah Gardner, Foreign Correspondent
http://thenational.ae/article/20080724/FOREIGN/568326720/1135
Daniel Pepper for The National
Last Updated: July 24. 2008 11:11PM UAE

The new ‘Indianised’ Bible uses Hindu scriptures and Sanskrit words in its explanatory notes.

NEW DELHI Five centuries after Christian missionaries arrived in India, the Catholic Church has produced the first “Indianised” Bible to boost its following in this country of 1.1 billion people.
The New Community Bible is written in simplified English designed to appeal to a wider audience, and shows the Virgin Mary dressed in a sari and Joseph in a loincloth and a pagri, which is similar to a turban.
Mahatma Gandhi, India’s independence leader, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta also feature in the lengthy notes that appear on each page to explain the text to Indian readers.
The Bible uses passages from Hindu scriptures, such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, and Sanskrit words such as Moksha – meaning salvation – in its notes, so newcomers do not feel alienated by new concepts and vocabulary.
“I am sure this Bible, made in India and for Indians, will bring the word of God closer to millions of our people, not only Christians,” Oswald Gracias, the archbishop of Mumbai, said at a ceremony to bless the book on its release on June 28.
India now has more than 24 million Christians – including 17m Roman Catholics – compared with just two million in 1900.
But the rapid growth in numbers over the past century has been curbed in recent years after Hindu nationalist groups protested at what they saw as aggressive proselytising and successfully lobbied for anti-conversion laws in seven states.

 

At the same time, Christian churches are struggling to maintain their congregations in Europe and North America and increasingly looking to the developing world as a source for millions of new converts.
“We are living through the largest demographic transformation of the last 200 years,” said John L Allen Jr, an independent Vatican analyst based in Rome. “A hundred years ago the majority of Catholics were in North America and Europe, but now two-thirds of Catholics live in Africa, Asia and South America.”

The idea for an “Indianised” Bible first appeared in the 1980s after Father Bernardo Hurault, a French priest working in Chile, produced a simple Spanish translation of the Bible along with a commentary that poor, ordinary people could understand.
Since it was first published in 1971, the Christian Community Bible has been translated into French, Filipino and Chinese and used in South America, Africa and Asia.
In India, however, the decision was made to go beyond translation into a local language, many examples of which already existed, and to give the book a greater cultural appeal.
“The scholars felt that any serious and contextualised and inculturated commentary on the sacred text, made specially for India, could not ignore the rich cultural and religious heritage of the land,” said Fr Tony Charanghat, a spokesman for the archbishop of Mumbai.
For example, alongside the well-known passage in Matthew where Jesus tells disciples to “turn the other cheek”, the accompanying notes compare this to Gandhi’s creed of ahimsa, or non-violence.
Beneath another passage about miracles, the notes explain the difference between Jesus’ teachings and the Vedanta – a Sanskrit term for enlightenment.
“His miracles are eruptions of charismatic power not the result of yogic techniques,” the commentary says.

 

Bible ‘Indianized’ to attract converts
Ottawa Citizen
Citizen News Services July 26, 2008
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/story.html?id=49f13bcf-c2e3-4f57-962c-b97ac4ab7be2
Barefoot and wearing a sari, with a bindi on her forehead and a naked baby on her shoulder, the woman in the picture is unmistakably Indian. So is the man behind her, clad in a loincloth and turban. This, however, is no ordinary family. The image is one of the Virgin Mary with Joseph and the baby Jesus in the first “Indianized” version of the Bible, published by the Roman Catholic Church last month. The New Community Bible is part of an attempt by the Vatican to attract more converts in the world’s second-most populous country as congregations decline in Europe and North America.

 

Vatican aims to spread the word with ‘Indianised’ Bible independent.ie

By Jeremy Page in Delhi July 26, 2008

http://www.independent.ie/world-news/middle-east/vatican-aims-to-spread-the-word-with-indianised-bible-1441317.html?service=Print
Barefoot and wearing a sari, with a bindi on her forehead and a naked baby on her shoulder, the woman in the image is unmistakably Indian. So is the man behind her, clad in a loincloth and turban. They could be any poor family in an Indian village. This, however, is no ordinary family. The image is of the Virgin Mary with Joseph and the baby Jesus in the first ‘Indianised’ version of the Bible, published by the Roman Catholic Church last month.
The New Community Bible is part of an attempt by the Vatican to attract more converts in the world’s second-most populous country as congregations decline in Europe and North America.
“I am sure this Bible will bring the word of God closer to millions of our people, not only Christians,” Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay, said at a ceremony on the Bible’s release.
Produced by the Society of St Paul, the Bible is the first in a nation of 1.1 billion people to be written in simplified English. It features 27 sketches of typical Indian scenes — one shows a family in a slum beneath skyscrapers. Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa also feature in lengthy notes interpreting the text. The notes even quote Hindu scriptures, such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics, to help to explain Christianity to prospective converts. Christianity is the third-largest religion in India — after Hinduism and Islam — with 24 million followers. Of those, 17 million are Catholics.
A print run of 30,000 of the new Bibles sold out in a week in Bombay. (© The Times, London)

 

Vatican for sari-clad Virgin Mary on ‘Indian’ Bible msn.com
July 26, 2008

http://news.in.msn.com/international/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1585800

Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Mumbai, is sure that the ‘Indianised’ Bible will bring the word of God closer to millions of our people, not only Christians
London: With the picture of a sari-clad Virgin Mary and a loincloth etc…

 

Vatican hopes Indian Bible will translate into surge of converts
Timesonline
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article4402482.ece
A new version of the holy text depicts Virgin Mary in sari and Joseph in a loincloth and turban By Jeremy Page
Barefoot and wearing a sari, with a bindi on her forehead and a naked baby on her shoulder, the woman in the picture is unmistakably Indian. So is the man behind her, clad in a loincloth and turban. They could be any poor family in an Indian village, or at one of the country’s teeming railway stations. This, however, is no ordinary family.

 

 


The image is one of the Virgin Mary with Joseph and the baby Jesus in the first “Indianised” version of the Bible, published by the Roman Catholic Church last month.
The New Community Bible is part of an attempt by the Vatican to attract more converts in the world’s second-most populous country as congregations decline in Europe and North America.
“I am sure this Bible, made in India and for Indians, will bring the word of God closer to millions of our people, not only Christians,” Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay, said at a ceremony on the Bible’s release.

Produced by the Society of St Paul, the Bible is the first in this nation of 1.1 billion to be written in simplified English. It features 27 sketches of typical Indian scenes: one shows a family in a slum beneath skyscrapers. Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa also feature in lengthy notes interpreting the text for Indian readers.
The notes even quote Hindu scriptures, such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics, to help to explain Christianity to prospective converts. “We wanted to show the parallels between the themes in the Bible and in Indian religions,” Father Tony Charanghat, a spokesman for the Archbishop, said. “We’ve put the sacred text in a local context.”
Christianity is reputed to have been brought to India by Thomas the Apostle, “Doubting Thomas”, in AD52, and the first Catholic missionaries came from Portugal in the 16th century. It is now the third-largest religion in India – after Hinduism and Islam – with 24 million followers. Of those, 17 million are Catholics, compared with two million in 1900.
The growth of India’s Christian flock has slowed since anti-conversion laws were introduced in seven states under pressure from Hindu nationalists. It is still far faster than in Europe and North America, where the congregation has grown by 2.3 per cent since 2000, compared with 21.4 per cent in Asia, according to the International Bulletin of Missionary Research. “The calculation is that this is the last great missionary front on Earth,” John L. Allen Jr, a Vatican expert based in Rome, said.
The idea of an Indianised Bible was conceived in the 1980s after Bernardo Hurault, a French priest in Chile, produced a simple Spanish version with a commentary. His Christian Community Bible of 1971 has been translated into French, Filipino and Chinese and is used in South America, Africa and Asia.
Indian church leaders wanted more than a translation: they wanted cultural relevance. So they asked 20 experts on Christianity and Indian religions to devise a commentary that would help Indian converts. For example, when Jesus tells disciples to turn the other cheek, the notes compare this to Gandhi’s creed of non-violence. Conservatives say that such devices corrupt the Bible’s original meaning, while Hindu nationalists say that they amount to blatant proselytising.
A print run of 30,000 of the new Bibles sold out in a week in Bombay. In Delhi, St Paul’s bookshop has only a few copies left. “We’ve had to limit the number of copies to three per person,” Father Stephen Calunkudy, who works at the shop, said. “We’ve even had Hindus coming in to buy a copy.”
Have your say
[READERS’ CRITICISMS OF THE NCB]:
1. India will survive this as it has survived for the last 5000 years. Sushant, Delhi, India
2. Please don’t Indianize Christanity? We Syrian Christians, Mangalorean Christians are losing our culture. The young generation is more inclined to psuedo secularism, Hinduism, Pagan beliefs, feminism, Communism etc etc. Birth rate is falling rapidly. Please don’t dilute our tradition James C J, Kochi, India
3. The mind boggles. What happens when the bible hits tribes that go naked?
Abdul Majeed, Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK

 

Vatican banks on sari-clad Virgin Mary
Sakaal Times Pune,
Sunday, July 27, 2008

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health/vatican-banking-on-sari-clad-virgin-mary-in-indian-bible-to-draw-in-converts_10076012.html July 26th, 2008 – 12:41 pm ICT London, July 26 (ANI)

With the picture of a sari-clad Virgin Mary and a loincloth and turban-clad Joseph in the first Indianised Bible, the Vatican is hoping to attract more people into turning to the Catholic church in India – as congregations decline in Europe and North America. And the news comes straight from the mouth of Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Mumbai, who released The New Community Bible during a recent ceremony. I am sure this Bible, made in India and for Indians, will bring the word of God closer to millions of our people, not only Christians, Times Online quoted him, as saying.
Produced by the Society of St Paul, this is the first of its kind Bible that has been penned in simplified English.
It includes 27 sketches, most of them of typical Indian scenes such as a family in a slum beneath skyscrapers. Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa. In addition, it also carries quotes from Hindu scriptures, like the Ramayana and Mahabharata, to explain Christianity to prospective converts.
We wanted to show the parallels between the themes in the Bible and in Indian religions. We’ve put the sacred text in a local context, said Father Tony Charanghat, a spokesman for the Archbishop.
Christianity is now the third-largest religion in India – after Hinduism and Islam – with 24 million followers, of which 17 million are Catholics.
That the books are proving to be a hit lies in the fact that the 30,000 books that were published in Mumbai sold out within a week. In Delhi too, St Paul”s bookshop has only a few copies left.

 

Hindu Bible – Mary in Sari – Joseph in Loin Cloth – Aim Conversion of Hindus
hindu-blog.com
http://www.hindu-blog.com/2008/07/hindu-bible-mary-in-sari-joseph-in-loin.html
READERS’ CRITICISMS OF THE NCB:

 

 

 

Christianity cannot tolerate and respect other cultures and religions. They have destroyed nearly 90% of the cultures around the world. Christianity failed in India and in Muslim countries miserably but that has not stopped the Vatican and missionaries from perusing its hidden agenda of conversion. Timesonline in an article titled ‘Vatican hopes Indian Bible will translate into surge of converts‘ discuss this yet another attempt by Christianity to harvest souls in India.
‘The calculation is that India is the last great missionary front on Earth,’ John L. Allen Jr, a Vatican expert based in Rome.
The tactic to conquer the last great missionary front is to use the secular culture of Hindus to attack them. It might sound strange but Vatican never has the guts to apply such cheap tactics against Islam. And everyone knows Why?

Christianity encourages religious fundamentalism in other religions through such dirty tactics. They give enough ammunition to the fundamentalists and often quietening the voice of moderates in Islam, Hinduism and other religions.
Extracts from the article in Timesonline: […]
What is baffling is Christianity’s utter contempt for other cultures and religions. When discussing the topic of conversion Roman Catholic priests and other missionaries hide behind the veil of education and saving the poor. They have miserably failed in saving the poor and providing secular and quality education all around the world.
Instead of creating free individuals, Christianity creates more poor and people who are always dependent. Only free individuals can create a free society and which will lead to economic freedom. Sadly, Christianity cannot tolerate free thinking individuals.
Instead of creating more trouble around the world by cheap conversion tactics, Christianity and its bosses should bring the word of God (Bible) closer to political leaders in Western Countries. Ask them to stop attacking other nations. Ask them to stop selling weapons around the world. It is time for Christianity to educate its political leaders in Bible – You must love your neighbor just as much as you love yourself. In simple terms stop creating wars and other problems in Africa, Asia and in Muslim and Communist countries around the world.
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says Different people call God by different names: some as Allah, some as God, and others as Krishna, Shiva, and Brahman. It is like the water in a lake. Some drink it at one place and call it ‘jal’, others at another place and call it ‘pani’, and still others at a third place and call it ‘water’. The Hindus call it ‘jal’, the Christians ‘water’, and the Moslems ‘pani’. But it is one and the same thing.
Hindus have never poked fun off or criticized Christ. For many Hindus, he is just another path to self realization. But Christianity and its priestly class cannot tolerate and respect the beliefs of Hindus. And their lies the great difference between Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) and Christianity. Posted by abhilash on 26.7.08

 

An Indianized Bible
gashwingomes blog http://gashwingomes.blogspot.com/

CRITICISM OF THE NCB:
Vatican banking on sari-clad Virgin Mary in ‘Indian’ Bible to draw in converts @ NewKerala.Com News

Despite the rather silly headline (sure, all that’s lacking in Catholic evangelization is a sari-clad Virgin), I doubt that the Vatican had anything directly to do with production of this Bible, which was likely the work of the Indian episcopal conference. The next time I’m back in the subcontinent, I’ll have to look for a copy. The “Indianization” is part of the attempt to “inculturate” the Gospel in an Indian context. Inculturation is the big buzz word among ecclesial leaders in India. This bible is unusual in that it carries quotations from Hindu scriptures as well. Hmm.
Produced by the Society of St Paul, this is the first of its kind Bible that has been penned in simplified English.
It includes 27 sketches, most of them of typical Indian scenes such as a family in a slum beneath skyscrapers. Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa. In addition, it also carries quotes from Hindu scriptures, like the Ramayana and Mahabharata, to explain Christianity to prospective converts.
“We wanted to show the parallels between the themes in the Bible and in Indian religions. We’ve put the sacred text in a local context,” said Father Tony Charanghat, a spokesman for the Archbishop.
(That’s Archbishop Oswald Cardinal Gracias of Bombay) I have no idea what “first of its kind Bible that has been penned in simplified English” means, but one hopes that it doesn’t follow the “Good News Bible” or “Today’s English Version” (which is what one hears most commonly in the liturgy in India) when it comes to translation. I also think the folks at the Ministry of Tourism would have some issue with the idea that “a family in a slum” is a “typical Indian scene.” Then there’s this: Christianity is now the third-largest religion in India – after Hinduism and Islam – with 24 million followers, of which 17 million are Catholics.
Now? Who did Christianity overtake? Christianity has been the third largest religion for ages. So now one has some 800+ million Hindus, some 130+ million Muslims and (officially) some 25 million or so Christians. If one starts looking at figures for crypto-Christians, as well as recent converts among Dalits and tribals, one could double that figure. But it’s still the third largest religion in India.
Ah, here’s a website for the New Community Bible and this page gives more details about what’s new, including some explanation of the use of non-Christian scriptures.
Here’s a story from the Mumbai Mirror.
The liberative knowledge of the spirit (atman) is to be attained through ‘seeing, listening, reflecting and meditating’ This verse from the hoary Brihadaranyaka Upanishad explains chapter 51 of the Book of Isaiah, in The New Community Bible (Catholic Edition) for India.
(Hoary? Man, I love Indian journalistic usage!) Here are examples of illustrations (from the same story):
And I am a bit astounded, though not really surprised, but this description of Vatican II and what followed:

 

 

The Indianisation process began in the sixties when a revolutionary council in Rome introduced local traditions and practices, like use of local languages for mass and incorporation of Indian worship in church rituals.
Though the process has been criticised by both Hindu radicals and the orthodox among Catholics, the idea has taken root and is now generally accepted.
This bit had me goggling a bit: Diwali is an important event in church calendars.
Um, I don’t think Diwali is on the ecclesiastical calendar, though it might be celebrated by Indian Christians along with their Hindu neighbors. In India, at least in urban India, everyone joins in the festivities at everyone else’s festivals.

The “New Community Bible” seems to be a best-seller and is already nearly out of print. Hope this endeavor bears much fruit! My only comments at this stage (without having seen the new publication or heard from my Indian friends):
— if one really wants to get Indian, then pay attention to good translations of the Scriptures in the various vernaculars, and promote Biblical literacy (along with literacy period) among the laity, along with lay formation, discernment and collaboration. Apart from the urban enclaves, I don’t think most Indian Catholics speak English.
I continue to find it incredibly frustrating that “Indianization” is understood to be “Hinduization” at the most superficial of levels.

— as an evangelical tool, I really don’t think educated Hindus (who might be the only ones interested in reading an Indianized Bible in English) will be drawn in much by the presence of scattered quotations from the Ramayana or the Upanishads. It will only reinforce the deeply ingrained Hindu idea of religious relativism “many paths, same destination.” I am sure, though, this will be greatly appreciated.
so, it seems, this endeavor is really addressed to Indian Catholics, as part of the ongoing attempt to shuck the colonial baggage of being understood to be foreigners or European lackeys.
Some rather hasty, possibly too hasty, observations. And as always the caveat: I am Indian. I am a Catholic. But I am not an Indian Catholic. I am an American Catholic, and very much an outside observer, with an interest (understandable, one hopes) in the Church in my native land.

 

Gandhi, Mother Teresa Featured In “Indianised” Bible
falsesenseofmaturity.com
Posted on July 28th, 2008 in News, Religious by Ron Gold

http://falsesenseofmaturity.com/2008/07/28/gandhi-mother-teresa-featured-in-indianised-bible/
CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

In an effort to attract converts to Christianity in India, a new version of the Bible has been created that adopts traditional Indian and Hindu beliefs. Now, I’m hardly a believer in the sacredness of the Bible, but even I see this new version as being a bit offensive: Barefoot and wearing a sari, with a bindi on her forehead and a naked baby on her shoulder, the woman in the picture is unmistakably Indian. So is the man behind her, clad in a loincloth and turban. They could be any poor family in an Indian village, or at one of the country’s teeming railway stations. This, however, is no ordinary family.
The image is one of the Virgin Mary with Joseph and the baby Jesus in the first “Indianised” version of the Bible, published by the Roman Catholic Church last month.
The New Community Bible is part of an attempt by the Vatican to attract more converts in the world’s second-most populous country as congregations decline in Europe and North America.
“I am sure this Bible, made in India and for Indians, will bring the word of God closer to millions of our people, not only Christians,” Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay, said at a ceremony on the Bible’s release.
Produced by the Society of St Paul, the Bible is the first in this nation of 1.1 billion to be written in simplified English. It features 27 sketches of typical Indian scenes: one shows a family in a slum beneath skyscrapers. Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa also feature in lengthy notes interpreting the text for Indian readers.
I don’t know, maybe this ploy will add some converts, but I would think both Christians and Hindus would be offended by it. If you are a Christian who believes the Bible is the literal word of God, changing the stories is nothing short of sacrilege. And if you were Hindu but were thinking of converting, it seems patronizing that you would need a special

Bible to understand Christianity, as if it would be too hard for you to understand without the Indian references.

 

Bible with Indian flavour is a hit
Ketki Angre Wednesday, July 30, 2008, (Mumbai) NDTV
http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080059423&ch=7/30/2008%2010:02:00%20PM
Lakhs of Christians in India have been following the teachings of the Bible for generations. But now for the first time, the holy book has made an appearance in an Indian avatar. All this in an attempt to help Indian Christians understand the Bible better.
A prayer service in Marathi at a chapel in Vasai outside Mumbai in an area that has a majority of Christian fisherfolk or ‘kolis’ comes across as a surprise for some, and a routine for others. These villagers, who converted to Christianity generations ago, are now happy their culture is finding a resonance in the scripture.
“The latest edition of the Bible in India now has a distinctly Indian flavour. The Virgin Mary clad in a sari, or even the flight to Egypt depicted in pictures with clear Indian imprint,” says Cardinal Oswald Gracious, the Archbishop of Mumbai.
There are 27 such typical Indian sketches besides footnotes that refer to the Indian scriptures for easy understanding.
It’s a work that took 18 years to accomplish and has been inspired by similar attempts in countries like the Phillipines.
“All our prayer services are in Marathi. Now that Virgin Mary’s picture is also depicted in our clothes, that makes us feel nice,” says Janu Peter Patil, a fisherwoman from Vasai.

 

 

Another resident of Vasai, Marisina Jonathan Patil, adds: “We already read the Bible the Marathi, now its like our scriptures are coming closer to us.”
The new edition has sold 30,000 copies in its first week and gone in for a reprint.
The Bishop of Vasai, Thomas Dabre, says, “In today’s materialistic world, its not possible to follow the true Christian way of life. The Church here cannot ignore the cultural similarities. This edition is an affirmation of that.
Orthodox Christians are not impressed, though. They feel the Bible should remain untouched.
But for villagers like them, efforts like these only reaffirm a way of life they’ve been following for generations
.

 

Vatican puts Mary in sari for Indians
Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad, July 27, 2008

Page 1. London, July 26 ANI:
With the picture of a sari-clad Virgin Mary and a loincloth and turban –clad Joseph in the first “Indianised” Bible, the Vatican is hoping to attract more Indians into turning the Catholic Church, as congregations decline in Europe and North America

Vatican banks on Indianised Bible
Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad, July 27, 2008

Page 15. London, July 26 PTI:
As congregations decline in West, the Vatican hopes to attract more believers to its fold with an “Indianised” Bible depicting Virgin Mary in a sari and Joseph clad in a loincloth and turban.

“I am sure this Bible, made in India for Indians, will bring the word of God closer to millions of our people, not only Christians,” Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay, said at a ceremony on the Bible’s release.

Sari-clad Virgin Mary with Joseph and the Baby Jesus in the first “Indianised” version of the Bible was published by the Roman Catholic Church last month.

The Holy book features 27 sketches of typical Indian scenes and idols, including the Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa for easy interpretation for the local readers. It even quotes Hindu scriptures, such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, to help explain Christianity to prospective converts.

“We wanted to show the parallels between the themes in the Bible and in Indian religions,” Father Tony Charanghat, a spokesman for the Archbishop, was quoted as saying by The Times Online today.

“We’ve put the sacred text in a local context,” he stressed. “The calculation is that this (India) is the last great missionary front on Earth,” John L. Allen Jr, a Vatican expert based in Rome said. Christianity, which is now the third largest religion in India, is reputed to have been brought to India by Thomas the Apostle, “Doubting Thomas”, in AD 52.

The first Catholic missionaries came from Portugal in the 16th century. Of the 24 million Christian followers in India, 17 million are Catholics. Published by the Society of St. Paul, the book has already sold 30,000 copies within a week in India.

 

Indianised Bible is a mega hit in Kerela

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1181817
DNA. Daily News & Analysis
– Mumbai, August 05, 2008  

The holy scripture has references from the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita

KOCHI: An Indianised version of the Bible with references to the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita and drawings of a turbaned Joseph and a sari-clad Mother Mary with baby Jesus in her arms is making waves in Kerala.

This is an unprecedented venture as the Indian scriptures have been used to interpret biblical passages for the first time, Catholic Church spokesman Paul Thelekat says.
There are 24 line drawings, including those of mosques, temples and churches with slippers outside, by the late Christopher Coelho. Mumbai-based publishing house St Pauls has come out with the new Indian Bible, which also has references to Meerabai, Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore,” Thelekat says.

Thiruvananthpuam archbishop Sosa Pakiam says in his preface a unique feature of the new Bible is, it has many references to the biblical values found in scriptures of other great Indian religions.

Thelekat says Indian texts have been used to interpret not only the New Testament, but also the Old Testament. For example, the deluge story of the Book of Genesis is interpreted with reference of similar stories in Mesopotamia and Satapatha Brahmana (1.8.1-10) and the Mahabharata.

In passages where biblical interpretations differ from Indian scriptures, the fact has been made clear, he says.

Over 70 such references to non-Christian texts have been made in the Bible and 30 scholars participated in making the commentary. “An attempt has been made to give a Bible which is more relevant to India. There is nothing added or subtracted from the text of the Bible, which has been reproduced as such,” Thelekat says.

 

‘Indian’ Bible making waves in Kerala 5 Aug 2008, PTI
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Indian_Bible_making_waves_in_Kerala/articleshow/3328291.cms

http://www.freepressjournal.in/artMailDisp.aspx?article=06_08_2008_004_005&typ=1&pub=1014

http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/aug/05bible.htm

KOCHI- An ‘Indianised’ Bible with references to the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Manusmriti and drawings of a turbaned Joseph and sari clad Mother Mary with baby Jesus in her arms, is making waves in Kerala.
This is an unprecedented venture as Indian scriptures Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Mausmriti have been used in a Bible by way of interpretations to biblical passages for the first time, says Catholic church spokesperson Father Paul Thelekat.

This is an attempt to make contextual reading and understanding. There are 24 line drawings, including those of mosque, temple and church with slippers outside, by the late Christopher Coelho.

 

 

 

The Mumbai-based publishing house, St Pauls, which brings out religious books, has come out with the new Indian Bible, which also has references to Meerabai, Mahatma Gandhi, and Rabindranath Tagore in the interpretations of biblical passages, Father Thelekat said. As far as Catholics are concerned, they have to live and interpret their Christian faith and scriptures within the given culture. So they have to understand and interpret the culture, he said.
The New Community Bible is a revised edition of the popular Christian Bible translated by Late Bernardo Hurault, published from the Philippines. About 30 scholars have worked on it from 1980 and made the interpretations which are published at the bottom part of the Bible, Fr Thekekat said.
The text of the Bible is the accepted Catholic version, whose interpretations are made with an Indian cultural perspective.

Thiruvananthpuam Archbishop Sosa Pakiam, in his preface to the Bible, says a unique feature of the new Bible is that it has many references to the spiritual message and biblical references to that of spiritual message and biblical values found in the scriptures of other great Indian religions.
The article, quoting Fr Augustine Kanachikuzhy, General Editor of the new Bible, says the references and quotations used in the Bible from non Christian scriptures “does not imply in any way, the Indian Scriptural terms are parallel to Biblical terms or that the parallel references are saying the same thing as the Biblical text”.
Thelekat said while interpreting Treasure in Heaven of Mt 6:19.21, …’this concept is found a classical expression in the Bhagavad Gita’s call to disinterested action: ‘Work alone is your proper business never the fruits it may produce” (2:47), or while commenting on the third appearance of Jesus to disciples (John 21:1.14)… ‘The Lord ever stands on the shores of our life every moment and every age, every day and every night he comes, comes, ever comes’ (Gitanjali XLV).
Indian texts are used to interpret not only the New Testament, but also the Old Testament. The deluge story of the Book of Genesis is interpreted with reference of such stories in Mesopotamia and Satapath Brahmana (1.8.1-10) and Mahabharata. In passages where the Biblical interpretation differs from the Indian scriptures, that fact is also made clear, Thelekat said.
Over such 70 references to non Christian texts have been made in the Bible and 30 scholars participated in making the commentary, Fr Thelekat said. “An attempt has been made to give a Bible which is more relevant for India. There is nothing added or subtracted from the text of the Bible, which has been reproduced as such”.
Bishop Thomas Dabre, Chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) gave the official no objection certificate for publication of the Bible. A Bible can be printed only after a non-objection certificate and express permission to print is given by the Mumbai Archbishop.
SELECTED OUT OF 57 COMMENTS

READERS’ CRITICISMS OF THE NCB:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/opinions/msid-3328291,curpg-1.cms

Nikhil, USA, says:
I am an Indian Catholic and would like to understand my Catholic religion by preserving my Indian culture… This definitely should be taken from the point of view that all religions lead to the same GOD.

Sundar, USA, says: The whole Bible revolves around one and only fundamental truth, that is salvation of mankind through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Once you accept this fact you have a personal relationship with Christ which grows day after day. Millions of Christians in this world will testify to that. You are free to beleive it or reject it. What is the purpose of taking portions from other scriptures. No other scripture has anything common with the Bible in this fundamental truth. I am sure the writers of this modern Bible have neither understood this truth nor have any relationship with Christ.

Rajeev, NY, says: This clearly says, NOTHING more said, no new ideas, no new philosophy, no new concept,in Bible than the ancient HINDU scripts and way of living. This gives more credibility to the belief that Jesus, spent his early part of life in Himalayas learning Hindu philosophy. His disciples in India, explore Indian scriptures, which is the ultimate thought process put together about the concepts of life, god, universe, belife…etc…
Michael, USA, says:
The books of the bible are about Jesus Christ and his teachings. There are books and people who have talked and written akin to some of the teachings and values of Jesus Christ and His Apostles. It may be religious books or non-religious books. They can be used for the explanations, interpretations and clarifications of the text of the bible. We can adapt certain practices to our culture and better understanding when giving expression to beliefs and values. The same books or people with whom or with which we compare may have some unacceptable views and values. Therefore, they can not be equated with the whole notion of bible and kept in equal standing with Jesus Christ and his teachings. It is good for comparative study. I appreciate taking good references wherever it is found for comparative study. Then why not take from other authors of other countries and holy books of other religions? Bible is a universal book i.e. for everybody in the world. It can not be one bible for India and another bible for another country. The books of the Bible have been, once and for all decided for Catholics all over the world. (Of course there are few differences with regard to the number of Old Testament books, among Protestant Churches.) Speaking of Indian culture: What is Indian culture? People of different regions, languages and religions have different cultures and practices. There is no one uniform practice for India. As times change people are adopting various practices of different countries. Since Hindus are majority; can we call Hindu culture as Indian culture? Even among Hindu people each caste people have different practices, ceremonies and even gods. Therefore, Please do not confuse Primary with secondary; Original with copy; history with mythology; Bible with homiletics and do not confuse others.

catholic, IN, says: Mumbai Archbishop is not an authority or an author for that matter to give a no-objection certificate. He does not own the bible, or the bible is not solely a scripture of the catholics. It is largely the christain community and the all christian organisations that will have to unanimously give a voice to this “Indian Bible.” Sorry Mr. Archbishop, your authority does not extend beyond a certain domain.

 

 

 

Raymon Thomas, Saudi Arabia, says: Well There Goes The Catholic Church Again. The Bible Clearly Says, “Not a Word Shall be changed from this Book. and This means no additions and no subtractions and no linking.” I think That Some people forget to understand the by doing this they are just digging their grave. If you Doubt me , Read the Bible, Where the Israelites Disobeyed God. Read About Moses (The Humblest Man on Earth) Read About David (The man after God’s Own Heart) Where do we as Christians Stand in this Issue? We were told to come out from them and be separate not to mix and match. We were told and still are told to be Holy and To Obey God. I hope the people who did this will notice their error.

George, USA, says: AT least this is the first step by the christians in admitting that they have heavily borrowed from Hindu scriptures.

Vinod, Tennessee, says:
Catholocas are not fools to change their holy bible. This will be an intermediate version for those targeted for conversion. Makes sense?

Jayasheela, India, says: Anyone who is translating the Bible content beware of Revelation 22: 18, 19…” If any man shall add unto these things (Bible verses and its meanings), God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book; And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city and from the things which are written in this book. Bible is not meant for changing & polishing the contents and its meanings according to the worldly fashions but to follow up things provided within. If you do so you have to face the consequences…as Bible says.

Saurabh, Mumbai, says: There are pros and cons to everything we do in this world! I wonder whether through this there is a disguised plan by the Catholic church to expand their market share!
rajat, delhi, says: this seems like yet another innovation in the macro strategy to convert as many non christians to the faith. Cross referencing gives a sense of comfort …. helps one go from the known to the unknown … easier to demolish resistance to conversions…

SP Fernandes, Pune, says: I think this idea of “indianising” the holy word is absurd. I fully agree with what Charles McKenzie has posted

Balraj, USA, says: This new Bible only confirms how the Bible is consistent with borrowed extensions of older and true religions and presented as a the religion of a fictional Jesus.

H. Chauhan, Jallandhar, Punjab, says:
Use examples and references from other books but they are not considered equal to The Bible. What does that mean? If The Bible is so high why does it need examples from other lowly literature? Helpful in conversions? You don’t preach to the already converted with local examples and references as they already accept Middle Eastern stories

AJR, London, says: What a wonderful invention.. When we add lot of jaggary to Sambar, it becomes Payaasam and it is no longer called Sambar. If one says it is Sambar then it is a deception. LOL. In the same context, this ‘Mixture’ version will only be a catholic religious book and can never be called a Bible. If it is called Bible, it is a deception.

Charles McKenzie, Middle East, says: Personnal I think that by the printing of the “Indian Holy Bible) the Catholic Church is further diluting the contents of the original Bible. If they keep at it one day the Holy Bible will cease to exist. The Catholics should take a leaf from the muslims, they have not changed the Quran to meet local needs, from Toronto to Timbucktoo and from Moscow to Mumbai the Quran is the same and therefore it unites the muslim so strongly and they remain true to their faith. Unlike the Catholics who are so eager to make changes to the Holy Bible that it is failing to keep us united. Because of its liberal view the Christian Church is facing its strongest test in recent times with gay priests and bishops being ordained I wonder where we are headed to.

A. Dinakaran, London, says: I concur with the view expressed by Mr. Cyril Lobo from Mumbai on ‘Indian’ Bible. We, catholics say, “This is the word of God” while reading the Bible, holy book of Catholics. That being the case, who on earth gave the authority to meddle with the script. We never believe in conversion, but in dedicated service to the society. If any one wants to get converted into catholic faith, one has to be very dedicated and sincere and unless and until one whole heartedly take the faith into his heart and intend to get converted voluntarily, baptism cannot be given to be called ‘catholic’. Hence, the Rev. Priests of Catholic faith should desist from spoiling the catholic community, whose faith is built on rock, yes, on St. Peter, the Peter’s Square, which need no prop to support, for, it is eternal. [5 Aug, 2008 1642hrs IST]
Rabin Tamang, Kathmandu Nepal, says: This is not good idea to combine all books together. There is danger of misinterpretation if we localised more. Bible should be not be interpreted according to our benefit.

Louis Roselin, Taiwan, says:
This is unacceptable. The Bible is “Word of God”. Already the CSI people have changed the Bible according to their own way. Now some priests from Roman Catholic are involving to change according to their way. The Bishop should not accept this.

Tanveer, London, says:
No Wonder some say Bible has been altered from its origin version, and now it seems after a few decades, we wont be having a single line from the original bible.

Nittin , Himachal Pradesh, says:
This is yet another way of spreading Christianity in india, n they have always resorted to these ways 4 spreading their tentacles in our country. N this type of practices should b stopped.

rave, India, says: The Christian community is hell bent on conversions. This is another trick in the guise of “Indianising or providing more access and Understanding” to the Indian people. Why convert at all? Let people follow their own faiths at their own freedom? Why the insistence on conversions like cheap marketing to push a “product”? The missionaries answer is usually to bring “Him” to the Indian people. Isnt HE everywhere?

 

 

 

 

cyril lobo, mumbai, says: innovations are welcome in all aspects of life, but some are good and some are no so good, some accept changes and some dont, however imposing changes on others is not a welcome move. the basic question here arises is the authenticity of the contents of the Bible. Are the contents of the book “the word of God” or just the imagination of some other author who did his imaginative work sometime earlier. My humble submission to the catholic church is “if u believe in the catholic faith, believe as it has been traditionally handed over from generations. And if anyone has doubts on the authenticity please quit the faith but dont make this faith subject to the imagination of some frustrated mind. This gives an impression that we catholics are not happy with the contents of the Holy Bible and we need changes. As my views and my conviction and with these my humble submission to the church authorties is, dont let these minds work overtime. be on you guard. THE BIGGEST QUESTIAN IS WHO DECIDES THAT THESE CHANGES ARE NEEDED.

Parthasarathy, Chennai, says: Religions have to continually reinvent themselves to keep the belief, and related fanaticism alive. This is nothing new or unique to chirstianity. It only shows that the high priests are worried about the declining ‘belief’ among the ‘faithful’ in a prosperous world.

Kumar, Germany, says:
most of time, they brag that their book is untouched one, and only truth, and now they are changing it to fit the indian community.

ASHUTOSH DIVECHA, NAGPUR, says: GOOD WORK, KEEP IT UP, THIS MEANS THAT THE PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW THE UPNISHAD AND VEDAS CAN CONTINUE TO DO SO AND THERE IS NO NEED OF ANY CONVERSION FROM ONE FAITH TO THE OTHER AS THE HOLY FATHER OF ALL IS THE SAME… MY BEST WISHES

S.L.J.Gallyot, Mumbai, says: Personally I feel that this type of changes are irrelevant and gives rise to different interpretations of the Bible. I dont understand why the Catholic Church permits tinkering.

 

Indianised bible creates waves

Indianised bible creates waves By
HENRY JOHN
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Johns India – http://johnsindia.blogspot.com/

http://johnsindia.blogspot.com/2008/08/blog-post.html

KOCHI: An ‘Indianised’ Bible with references to the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Manusmriti and drawings of a turbaned Joseph and sari-clad Mother Mary with baby Jesus in her arms, is making waves in Kerala. This is an attempt to make contextual reading and understanding. The text of the Bible is the accepted Catholic version, whose interpretations are made with an Indian cultural perspective.

CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

Susamachar -good news for you
http://susamachar.wordpress.com/

This is what makes Catholic Church a non Christian compromised religious institute.

http://susamachar.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/this-is-what-makes-catholic-church-a-non-christian-compromised-religious-institute/ Posted on August 6, 2008 by susamachar

This is an another attempt by Catholic Church in India to become more acceptable religion in India. What a shameful incidence! The Bible has nothing common with Hindu religious books like Upanishad or Bhagvad Gita. Any attempt to to make it contextual is totally unprofitable.  It is rewriting of Scripture which is a sacrilege act and attempt to dilute its message which is a profane act. This is what makes Catholic Church a non Christian compromised religious institute

 

Bible with reference to Hindu scriptures making waves http://www.irfwp.org/
From the article (article here:
http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/aug/05bible.htm
*) it is quite clear that this is meant for Catholic Christians living in India. Even as a guide to personal, parochial faith, it is an excellent project (providing the interpretation and references are done without religious imperialism or bias, and in consultation with Hindu scholars). It is very important for each believer in each tradition to be able to understand our own path in the context of the sincere beliefs of our neighbors (especially to the extent that such understanding helps us learn ever more deeply of our common humanity and common spiritual longing and nature).
IRFWP congratulates St. Pauls for this effort, and encourages as many such similar projects for believers in all traditions. We urge scholars knowledgeable of both Christianity and Hinduism to review and study the Indian Bible to see how Hinduism was treated in this effort.
Frank Kaufmann – editor

CLARIFICATION BY MICHAEL PRABHU:

www.irfwp.org is the website of the Inter Religious Federation for World Peace (IRFWP). The IRFWP is the mouthpiece of a religious CULT, the Moonies or the Unification Church. I quote from the website: “IRFWP is founded by Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and draws heavily from spiritual, intellectual, and material resources directly linked to Dr. Moon and related foundations.” It is therefore not surprising that Frank Kaufmann welcomes the introduction of the New Community Bible


*Bible with reference to Hindu scriptures making waves Usha Ram Manohar Kochi August 05, 2008
An ‘Indianised’ Bible with references to the Upanishads… permission to print is given by the Mumbai archbishop.

SELECTED OUT OF 158 COMMENTS
READERS’ CRITICISMS OF THE NCB:

-This is another of those tactics to fool people and convert them on the guise that Bible is similar to all scriptures. Stop this nonsense and make Propagation of any religion unconstitutional. By Chandramouly V

 

 

 

Why dont you simply allow native culturs and religions to survive? Why this invasionist mentality and now trying to give a local touch to an alien religion and culture… Whatever it is, at the end of the day everyone inherits something that is unique for his culture from his / her forefathers… And Hinduism is that unique thing for all of us…

I am not sure why an Indian bible should be written now when we have more ancient Indian philogophy in this country… And so as a true Hindu I would like to conclude ‘this too shall pass’… by Abbas Rescued

-If they go on a bit by bit like this say

Bible
Bibl
Bib
Bi
B

Brihad Upanishad
Dharma
Ashtavraka Gita
Gita as it is
Sam Ved
Vedas
Then it will be total Hindusim.
Future this may happen. By Gajanan Mohite

-Hindus should be alarmed with these crafty tactics. The ultimate goals of these western fanatics is to spread their way of life and faith among “inferiors”. Anything that helps in this goal is fair game.
The western religious machine along with help of local buffoons is hell bent to erase our identity, culture and history. They’re as hardheaded and hell bent as Arabian Mullahs and 100 times more powerful. Moreover they’re have tasted blood of success in China, Korea and other Asian countries. India is next. By Vish

-All along, most of Christian gangs had spent their efforts on preaching others, rather then enlighting themselves by truly experiencing what is told in Holy Bible and they lost the essence of the teachings of Bible. Now, they have been turning to Vedas, Geetha, Upanishads to get their original interpretations back. But as long as they shun their ego and look with open mind, they will get back their lost true teachings from Vedic Hinduism. Otherwise, they will face more troubles. By Sridhar

-After some years Catholics will just change the cover of Geeta and Mahabharata and will name it as Bible. By Golden

This is simply a marketing ploy by christists, much like poobah including some biblical figures (Moses, etc.) in Kuran to make it palatable to the gullible. Why not stick with the original, Sanatan dharma aka Hinduism? By Rainmaker

-Father Paul found a new way to make money out of this new bible, at the same time he trying to get blessings of Hindus for this job. Nothing else. By satsat

-EUROPIAN PEOPLE ARE BECOMING ATHEIST DAY BY DAY. SO THESE PEOPLE ARE TARGETING INDIA. BRITISH SUCESSED TO RULE INDIA BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T INTERFERE HINDUISM.
THEY SHOULD LEARN FROM PAST. IF NOT THEY WILL LOOSE EVERYTHING THEY HAVE NOW. By BraveIndian

-this will speed up conversions. This shows How dumb Indians can be!!! By Guest

-its another smart ways to coversion poor hindus. to stupid xianties. true do not belive the fusion of reglion. By Madhu Anand

-How can they take reference from hindu scriptures a 5000 year old religion for christianity that is only 2000 years old?
Why take reference from hindu scriptures, why not from the torah, quran, kitab e akdas, zendavesta et al. It is just another gimmick. They think mallus will fall into the trap. Hindus are much smarter then these guys. By Bhimsen

-fail to understand the copy cat or manipulative attitude of these chauvinists. Recently I saw a church in bangalore (around Chamarajapeta) with neon lights reading: Sri Yesuve namah”. It’s pity that some christian churches/priest class resort to these gimmicks instead of accepting & respecting the greatness of Hindu scriptures /Texts by k shenoy

I think it is a good sign .At least finally christians agreed that the points mentioned in Bible are valid because it is approved by Shri Bagavaad geetha and other Vedic scriptures by which it is agreed that the facts said in our vedic scriptures are true by Ankush Krishna

-since the church has reached a dead end in their effort to convert poorer sectians of indian society by deciet force & allurement. It is one more attempt by the flush with money cristian church to decieve poor Indian & convert them. By Sanjay Verma

-Jesus has lived in India for eight years in india and learned Yoga under indian yogis (Hindu yogis).Catholic church is hiding this fact. They dont have the courage to accept the truth, as then it will imply that Christ himselh is a Hindu. This attempt of indian bible I believe is to make conversions an easier job, but ultimately will end in absorbing christianity into hindu fold. By RRAMESH

-Catholic Ashrams

This is the basis of christian ashrams, the aim is to:
1. Prove that christianity is not an imported creed and it has a claim to entire India as stated by the previous poop (oops sorry pope)

2. Christianity which is dying a definite demise in its homeland seeking safer pastures and the stupid secular indians are ideal targets

 

 


3. The tenets of xianism being questioned leads to awakening, now to appease the majority it is garbed in a hindu clothing and movies like the ST. Thomas fiction being produced
4. Catholic or mormon or pentecostal the tenet of christianity is the same and end result the destructoin of civilization
5. Gospels contain anything but the truth.

6. The conception of christ has been lifted out of sacred texts of other pagan world orders like mithraism, krishna etc.
7. Christ in general indicates a spiritually evolved person and just jesus in question. It is one has the values of enlightenment. Jesus was never evolved and the old testaement conceieved 4 centuries post jesus. Xianism made the official religion because the bigot constantine preffered to act like the current congress govt of appeasement, further it led to destruction of the most spiritual and healthy pagan civilizations through europe and the mid east.
8. Every ancient church including the santhome church has been built on pagan temple ruins through out the world
Rediff should publish the enlightening truth rather than deleting it. Guys be open minded that is the job ethics of journalism. By rgopi

-Ambassadors of Satan

The catholic church is one of the best institution run by satan. the catholic priests including pope are satanic messengers. they teach things out of the HOLY BIBLE and they told people NOT to read BIBLE in the past. They have murdered BIBLE BELIEVERS all over the world. They have abused boys and girls sexually and the head of the evil – the pope is going around the world and apologizing for the shame. hitler who slaughtered 6000000 jews (most of the wemen , children and elderly people because they can not work) had the blessings of pope of that time. hitler himself was a satanic cathlic. what this evil priest does in kerala is the new thing from devil by common sense

It is a fact christianity is loosing out in europian countries and ITALY / vatican is worried. so where else they can turn their guns except INDIA? sonia had been given an assignment to convert 1 million hindus into christians (though they are from SC/ST/OBC and are still untouchable to “khandani” christians), the number has to increase as per the “ORDERS” OF VATICAN. therefore it is nothing but a smoke screen for conversion by luring with money and other facilities. it is a pity KERALITES are taking it “lying down”. but it will have severe repurcussion for the whole country and the demography of INDIA will change soon. so pls. wake up and stop this attrocity on illitrate keralites. By karuppu

 

Desi Bible to have verses from Vedas, Upanishads
6 Aug 2008, 0304 hrs IST, TIMES NEWS NETWORK & AGENCIES Times Mumbai Now
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Desi_Bible_to_have_verses_from_Vedas_Upanishads/articleshow/3330936.cms

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Pictures of a turbaned Joseph and sari-clad Mary with baby Jesus in an “Indianised” version of the Bible is set to create waves across the country.

In a unique experiment, the Catholic Church is coming out with a version of the Bible with verses from ancient Indian texts like the Upanishads and Vedas to explain the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
This is an unprecedented attempt to encourage a contextual reading and understanding of the Bible, says the church spokesman, Paul Thelakat. “The Biblical text remains the same but verses from Vedas and Upanishads have been used to interpret Christian teachings,” says Thelakat. As far as Catholics are concerned, they have to live and interpret their Christian faith and scriptures within the given culture, he adds.
Thiruvananthapuram Archbishop Sosa Pakiam, in his preface to the Bible, says a unique feature of the new Bible is that it has many references to the spiritual message and Biblical values found in the scriptures of other great Indian religions.
There are 24 line drawings, including those of mosque, temple and church with slippers outside, by the late Christopher Coelho. The New Community Bible is the product of a project commenced in 1990 by a team of 30 Biblical scholars.
Approved by the Catholic Bishops’ Council of India, the book will be published by a Mumbai-based Christian publishing house, says Thelkat. “There are at least 70 references to Bhagawad Gita, Mira Bhai, Gandhiji, Gitanjali and Vedas,” says Thelakat. For instance, to illustrate Mary Magdalene’s sentiments for the resurrected Jesus, the book invokes Mira Bai’s immortal couplets in praise of Krishna.
“Treasure in heaven” as mentioned in Matthew 6:19,21, has been explained using the Bhagavad Gita’s call to disinterested action: “Work alone is your proper business never the fruits it may produce” (2:47). Does this mean the Church now accepts the teachings from Hindu scriptures? “No. This does not mean that we accept all teachings of Indian tradition as those of the Church. We are merely adapting them to Christian teachings wherever we feel there are points of harmony,” emphasizes Thelakkat. There remain points of disagreement like the view of rebirth, he adds.
While the Church is upbeat about the experiment,
it has invited cautious reactions from Hindu groups in the state.

“The move is welcome, but it remains to be seen if it’s just another attempt to use Indian symbols to spread Christianity. In areas like north India where the roots of culture run deep, missionaries have often found it difficult to reach out to the masses with their philosophy,” says Jaya Prasad, a professor at the Sri Narayana college, Kollam and office bearer of Bharatiya Vichara Kendram, an RSS think tank. “A selective approach is not proper. Accepting Mirabai should mean accepting Krishna and quoting from the Upanishad’s should mean backing philosophies like Advaita (non-duality). Is the Church ready,” he asks. 

 

Turbaned Joseph, sari-clad Mary to appear in ‘Indianized’ Bible earthtimes.org

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/223866,turbaned-joseph-sari-clad-mary-to-appear-in-indianized-bible.html

 

 

 

6/8/08 New Delhi – Pictures of a turbaned Joseph and sari-clad Mary, verses from ancient Hindu texts and references to Mahatma Gandhi are all part of an “Indianized” Bible to be published soon by India’s Catholic church for Christians in the southern state of Kerala, news reports said Wednesday. The book, which has been approved by the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India, is the product of a project taken up in 1990 by a team of 30 Biblical scholars, the Times of India newspaper reported.

The new version is an attempt to encourage contextual reading and understanding of the Bible, Catholic church spokesman Paul Thelakat was quoted as saying. “The Biblical texts remain the same but verses from the Vedas and Upanishads (ancient Hindu religious texts) have been used to interpret Christian teachings,” he said.

The “Indian” Bible has at least 70 references to the Bhagwad Gita, Mira Bai (a medieval queen from Rajasthan who composed lyrics in praise of the Hindu god Krishna), Mahatma Gandhi and the Nobel Prize winning poet Rabindranath Tagore’s work. Most of these references pertain to the spiritual message and Biblical values found in scriptures of other Indian religions, Archbishop Sosa Pakiam says in his preface to the book.

The experiment does not mean the church accepts the teachings of Hindu scriptures, Thelakat said. “We are merely adapting them to Christian teachings wherever we feel there are points of harmony.”

He gives as an example how the book mentions Mira Bai’s couplets in praise of Lord Krishna to illustrate Mary Magdalene’s sentiments for the resurrected Jesus.

The “Indian” Bible has 24 line drawings including those of a mosque and temple and is to be published by a Mumbai-based Christian publishing house.

Christians comprise about 2.3 per cent of India’s 1.2 billion population, according to latest census data, and more than 70 per cent is Catholic. About a fourth of India’s Christians live in southern Kerala state where it is believed that the apostle Saint Thomas established Christianity in AD 52.

 

THIS MINISTRY’S CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

Catholics protest Indianised Bible Hindustan Times, New Delhi, August 7, 2008
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=125d16ea-753b-41fb-b4fc-0ea403cb263c
New Delhi, August 06, 2008 First Published: 23:18 IST (6/8/2008)

Catholics protest
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, August 7, 2008
smohapatra@hindustantimes.com

http://m.pressmart.net/Home.aspx?event=Htdelhi&dt=07082008&page=011_004&mdl

With extracts from the commentaries on Psalm 5 [“the famous Gayatri mantra” (Rig Veda 3.62.10)] and Genesis 2:7 [Kabir defines God as “the breath of all breath”], and “On David and Jonathan ‘It reminds us of the most famous friendship in Indian literature – that between Ram and Lakshman’.”
The “Indianised” New Community Bible has raised the hackles of some Catholics, with calls for its boycott and halt of sales and further printing.
The Bible has drawings of a sari-clad Mary with Joseph in a dhoti and turban; symbols of mandir, masjid, and gurdwara along with the church, and quotes from the Upanishads. The commentary on Psalm 5 (Prayer at Daybreak — A Psalm of David) reads like this: “In Hinduism, the dawn is personified as a deity by the name Ushas. The traditional morning prayer of a Hindu consists of reciting the famous Gayatri mantra (Rig Veda 3.62.10) at day break, facing the rising sun: Om bhur bhuvgah svah, tat savitur varenyam, bhargo devasy dhiman, dhiyo yo nah pracodayat (may we meditate on the most excellent lustre of the sun god that he may illumine our intellect).”
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has decided to examine the objections raised by protesting Catholics. Its deputy secretary general Father Thomas D’Aquino Seqeira said on Wednesday: “We will take up the matter at the CBCI standing committee meeting next month.”
But spokesperson Babu Joseph said, “Individual bishops can give permission for publication and necessary clearance has been taken as required from two bishops.”
The protesters, in a memorandum, have called for a Catholic boycott of the Indianised Bible, and a halt to sales of the first edition and further printing. If they aren’t satisfied with the CBCI’s response, they intend to move the Vatican.
Among those critical of the new Bible is Michael Prabhu of the Metamorphose Catholic Ministries, Chennai.

He says: “Would one want to consume food contaminated by excrement? Will not one apply the same criterion to spiritual nourishment?” He says the commentaries don’t make a single reference to the great missionaries and saints of India, St Thomas and St Francis Xavier among others while talking about Gandhi, Kabir, Adi Shankara, Vinoba Bhave, etc.

 
 

Catholics oppose ‘Indianised’ Bible
Hindustan Times, Mumbai August 7, 2008

by Satyen Mohapatra smohapatra@hindustantimes.com

The ‘Indianised’ New Community Bible which is set for release, has kicked up a storm with a call for its boycott, halt of sales and ban on further printing.

The Bible which has drawings of Mother Mary in a saree carrying baby Jesus along with dhoti-clad Joseph in a turban with a head load, drawings of a temple, a mosque, a gurdwara and a church and quotes from the Upanishads has raised the hackles of some Catholics.

 

 

 

 

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has decided to examine the New Community Bible. The commentary on Psalm 5 (Prayer at Daybreak — A Psalm of David) says: “In Hinduism, the dawn is personified by a deity by the name Usha. The traditional morning prayer of a Hindu consists of reciting the famous Gayatri-mantra (Rig Veda 3.62.10) at day-break.”

Speaking of David and Jonathan, the commentary says: “It reminds us of the most famous friendship in Indian literature – that between Ram and Lakshman.”

Talking to HT on Wednesday, Deputy Secretary General of CBCI, Father Thomas d’Aquino Seqeira said on Wednesday: “We will discuss it at the standing committee meeting next month.”

The CBCI has received some critical remarks on the New Community Bible from
Michael Prabhu representing Metamorphose Catholic Ministries, Chennai. The ministries have called for a Catholic Boycott of NCB, requested Bishops to halt sales of the first edition and further printing. If not satisfied with the response of the Bishops of India they intend to take up the matter with Rome.

 

From: FR C. M. PAUL SDB, FORMER PRESIDENT, INDIAN CATHOLIC PRESS ASSOCIATION

From:
C M Paul
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 7:54 AM Subject: News Alert – Church in India

Indianised Bible is a mega hit in Kerela
DNA, Daily News & AnalysisMumbai, India
This is an unprecedented venture as the Indian scriptures have been used to interpret biblical passages for the first time, Catholic Church spokesman Paul See all stories on this topic


From:
C M Paul
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 7:58 AM Subject: More NEWS Alert – Church in India – 2

Indianised bible creates waves By HENRY JOHN

This is another attempt by Catholic Church in India to become more acceptable religion in India. What a shameful incidence! This is what makes Catholic Church a non Christian compromised religious institute. Read this news:
Johns India – http://johnsindia.blogspot.com/

 

From:
cmpaul53@gmail.com
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 4:32 PM Subject: News Alert – Church in India

Defending the Full Truth of the Gospel in India: Michael Prabhu Examines the New (Age)…
Posted on August 7, 2008 by
james mary evans

The New Community Bible (NCB) was released in India by the Society of St Pauls [St Pauls] “with commentary prepared by the best Bible scholars in India“. Price: Rs 250.00. Claimed as “a gift of the Pauline Family to the Church in India.

orate fratres – http://fratres.wordpress.com

Defending the Full Truth of the Gospel in India: Michael Prabhu Examines the New (Age) Community Bible

http://fratres.wordpress.com/2008/08/07/defending-the-full-truth-of-the-gospel-in-india-michael-prabhu-examines-the-new-age-community-bible/

ORATE FRATRES EDITORS NOTE: In a time when many are leaving the true faith to follow errors, I believe it’s of upmost importance that the full truth of the Gospel be made known to those inspired by grace to receive it. After looking over
Michael Prabhu’s
(rather long) critique of the recently released New Community Bible in India I found myself willing to support his cause, and so I offer his article below in solidarity for the sake of the divine truth.

Note: …the following article is from his site
Metamorphose
www.ephesians-511.net

A NEW AGE BIBLE? THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE by Michael Prabhu… dated July 14, 2008  

 

Responses to “Defending the Full Truth of the Gospel in India: Michael Prabhu Examines the New (Age) Community Bible”

http://fratres.wordpress.com/2008/08/07/defending-the-full-truth-of-the-gospel-in-india-michael-prabhu-examines-the-new-age-community-bible/

Jacob D’Souza Says: September 1, 2008 at 10:01 am

A parish co-ordinator of the parish to which I belong had attended a training session at the NBCLC and on his return, while narrating the events that took place at the NBCLC inter alia, informed that the word “Om” was the first word in the universe. When I asked the co-ordinator in question whether it was according to the bible, I was told that i would have to go to Bangalore to know that and what has happened does not surprise me. Let me ask one question: if the Catholic Church claims the fullness of truth then why does one need to cast a glance at another’s partial truth?

Reply. September 2, 2008 at 2:16 am
james mary evans
[http://fratres.wordpress.com/] says:
Hello Jacob,

Thank you for responding with your insightful comment. I believe there are two parts here that need clarification.

Om or Aum considered as the first word and sound at the creation of the universe: For Christians, we know that God is Spirit, and we must worship in spirit and truth…

There is a problem here in terms of the Hindu understanding of the nature of God–the personal or impersonal nature of the divinity depending on their interpretation or tradition.

 

 

 

As Christians we understand that by the power of the Holy Spirit the Word was made flesh and became man. God from God, Light from Light. God became man and revealed himself to us in the flesh. This still occurs through hypostatic union with the Holy Trinity by means of the Holy Spirit, who leads us into the fullness of revealed divine truth in Jesus Christ.

Accordingly, yet with respect for the Hindu search for the fullness of truth, we do not follow an impersonal God or power, nor do some Hindu traditions.. The use of Om in prayer is unnecessary in Christianity, as through the Spirit we are placed in union with Christ who reveals the Father.

In such union, the Son reveals the Name of the Father of all creation. God speaks to man in divine union with the soul, and both soul and flesh recognize in the purity of obedience their Creator. In union, the eyes and ears of the soul both see and hear (according to the state of our soul, and above all, the will of God) the deep things revealed by the Spirit for our salvation– God speaks, and therein we respond to the word(s) of God in the freedom of His Love and Mercy.

We find here that salvation comes through the Jews, by means of Jesus Christ alone as the Word made flesh, and that His house will be known (and called) a house of prayer for all peoples. The seeds of the fullness of truth can be found in man’s long search for God throughout history, but now, God comes in search of men revealing Himself in full to those who allow him to do so… And this fullness is present always on earth–body, blood, soul, and divinity within the Most Holy Eucharist.

From my understanding of the situation concerning the New Community Bible, some folks are creating theological difficulties for the sake of inculturating the Gospel in a syncretic way.

Which is not only dangerous spiritually, but fails to understand the true meaning of Christ’s own words, “Behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” That is, He is with the Church in its mission to teach. To obscure the truth within our hearts and within the Sacraments of salvation tends to obscure that Jesus Christ is the only savior of the world. And again, He asks, “Who do men say I am?

Our job as Christians is to lead souls to the Messiah, to concrete and experiential conversion in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Son of man. To obscure his person is to obscure the very face of the one true God.

Sad to say, but there are both unseen spiritual realties, as well as, flesh and blood men who will to do just that… So we must be clear about the truth of divine revelation always.

As for casting a glance at another’s partial truth: without full knowledge of the situation, I would hope this is done in an inviting manner in the hope of enlightening the partial truth.

I hope this helps my friend. Peace to you, yours, and all, in the truth. james mary evans

 

Turban for Joseph, sari for Mary in Indian Bible August 8, 2008 www.cathnews.com AUSTRALIA

http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=8436

A new “Indianised” Bible will include ancient Hindu texts and references to Mahatma Gandhi as well as pictures of Mary in a sari and Joseph in a turban.

The Earth Times reports the new bible is soon to be published by the Catholic Church in Kerala state.

The book, which has been approved by the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India, is the product of a project taken up in 1990 by a team of 30 Biblical scholars, the Times of India says.

The new version is an attempt to encourage contextual reading and understanding of the Bible, Church spokesman Paul Thelakat told reporters. “The Biblical texts remain the same but verses from the Vedas and Upanishads (ancient Hindu religious texts) have been used to interpret Christian teachings,” he said.

The “Indian” Bible has at least 70 references to the Bhagwad Gita, Mira Bai (a medieval queen from Rajasthan who composed lyrics in praise of the Hindu god Krishna), Mahatma Gandhi and the Nobel Prize winning poet Rabindranath Tagore’s work. Most of these references pertain to the spiritual message and Biblical values found in scriptures of other Indian religions, Archbishop Sosa Pakiam says in his preface to the book.

The experiment does not mean the Church accepts the teachings of Hindu scriptures, Thelakat said.

“We are merely adapting them to Christian teachings wherever we feel there are points of harmony.” He gives as an example how the book mentions Mira Bai’s couplets in praise of Lord Krishna to illustrate Mary Magdalene’s sentiments for the resurrected Jesus.

The “Indian” Bible has 24 line drawings including those of a mosque and temple and is to be published by a Mumbai based Christian publishing house.

 

From:
joeannarebello@gmail.com
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net

Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 7:00 PM Subject: From the Times of India

Michael, Hello. My name is Joeanna Rebello, and I am a journalist with the Times of India, Bombay. I’m working on a piece on the opposition to the New Community Bible, and wanted to speak to you in this regard. Will you call me when you get this email, or perhaps sms your number to me, and I’ll call you back?

I’d appreciate you responding as soon as you can. Thank you Joeanna Rebello 9867929946

THIS MINISTRY’S CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

Conservatives protest desi version of Bible
Times of India, Mumbai
Saturday, 9 Aug 2008, 0535 hrs IST, Ashley D’Mello & Joeanna Rebello ,TNN
joeannarebello@gmail.com
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Conservatives_protest_desi_version_of_Bible_/articleshow/3344526.cms

 

 

MUMBAI: India’s first home-grown Bible, meant to help Catholics understand their faith in the context of Indian culture and tradition has run aground with complaints from within its own fold. 18 years in the making, the New Community Bible is the labour of 30 eminent Catholic scholars who dedicated years researching their manuscripts.
The publication includes commentaries and quotes from Adi Shankara, Gandhi, Kabir, Vinoba Bhave, the Ramayana, Mahabharata, as well as texts like the Rig Veda, Manu Smriti and Bhagvata Gita.
However, the release of the NCB has detractors demanding that the church expurgate the book, if not withdraw sales completely. They claim that the book injures their traditional beliefs.

Michael Prabhu, who heads a one-man ministry called Metamorphose in Chennai,
has come out with his slingshot against the new text and has been disseminating an 8-page critique he prepared, to both, laity and clergy in India and abroad. ‘Several of the commentaries in the NCB are good. Yet, one cannot say that, as a whole, they are superior to the footnotes and commentaries in any other Catholic Bible’ Prabhu argues in his report. ‘But in the commentaries, parallels are repeatedly drawn with Hindu deities, Hindu religious texts and mythology; biblical incidents and personalities and Christian philosophies have equals in Hinduism. The impression is forced on the reader that one religion is as good as another. Biblical incidents are downplayed by flippantly commenting that they must not be taken literally. It suggests creation is a story, Eden is a mythical garden , Adam and Eve’s sin was probably a sexual one, the report on the plagues of Egypt is not supported by science and they are repetitious and inconsistent, the parting of the Red Sea was used for box-office effect and is not a historical account, and so on.’

Prabhu’s energy has woken up people to a fact that is currently being contested on the Internet, church groups, and across dinner plates in mostly Catholic households. Having sired an Orkut group and a Gmail account (response2communitybible@gmail.com), Prabhu has not only got people thumbing curiously through the NCB searching for the incriminating evidence, but the matter was also tossed across the Western Region Bishops meeting at Nagpur late last month. It turns out the new Bible has received little Episcopal scrutiny, as admitted by several bishops who replied to Prabhu’s exhortations. Responding finally to the dawning torches on the horizon, Archbishop of Bombay, Oswald Gracias, who was the first to inaugurate the Bible, announced that there would be a 2-member committee to examine Prabhu’s report, and the NCB, after which a decision would be made public and changes made, if necessary.
Fr Joseph Thenasseril, chief editor of St Paul’s Publications that birthed this version says, “There are fundamentalists in every religion.” The general editor of the Bible, Fr Augustine Kanachikuzhy is staunch in his defence of the NCB. This edition was necessary, he says. “We have tried to root the Bible in the culture of this country, and have the permission of the local Cardinals to print this. All religions have some meeting ground and Indology has been taught at Catholic seminaries for decades. Prabhu is also against alternative medicine, pranic healing, yoga and several other cultural traditions,” he points out.
One of the NCB scholars, and rector of St Pius Seminary, Fr. Harold Vaz, says new editions of the Bible have always had their critics. There has been criticism of the Bible from the time the first translations were made from Greek to Latin. Were open to having a dialogue with people who have been objecting, so conflicting issues can be sorted out.”
Resistance to change in the Catholic Church is not new. When the Church encouraged the use of local languages instead of Latin for the mass, there were some Catholics who chorused their disapproval. Till date, there are Catholics campaigning for a return of the Latin Mass over 40 years after it was sent back to Rome.
Fr Fio Mascarenhas, chairman of the Catholic Bible Institute, comments on the practice of inculturation, saying, “In Pope John Paul II’s Letter To The Churches In Asia, he encouraged the Church to inculturate but he also pointed out that inculturation cannot begin with the liturgy, but it is our daily lifestyle which must first be inculturated (use of vernacular languages, cultural customs) and only then be prudently introduced into some aspects of the liturgy. If, however, our lifestyle and mindset is Western-oriented then it is meaningless to try to inculturate the liturgy. I think that the several attempts at inculturation in this Bible are unfortunate and out of place.”
While the clergy toss that bone around, bible student, David De Souza rounds it off nicely. “If you look for controversy in the bible, you’ll find it, not just in the NCB but even in the commonly accepted St James’ version and if you look for truth, that too you will find-in the same Bible.”

 

From:
d_brian@dnaindia.net
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2008 11:43 AM Subject: NCB

Dear Brother Prabhu: I hope this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

I am writing a short article on the NCB for my newspaper, the DNA, which is published out of Mumbai. I have been through you article on the NCB. I need to ask you a few questions:

1. What is your overall opinion about this product?

2. Do you believe that this bible can help people understand the message of Christ in a more Indian context? In fact, do you believe that this is actually necessary?

3. There has been in the media a focus of sorts on the diagrams which show Indian faces. Would this help Christians identify better with their faith?

4. I understand that a lot of Christians today come from pooper and socially -disadvantaged sections like lower castes/ tribals? Would they be able to better identify with NCB?

5. The NCB has been published in English. Would it not have a wider reach if it had been done in some Indian languages?

 

 

 

Many thanks for your response. I intend using the story tomorrow and will try and speak with you later this evening or early tomorrow. With regards

Brian de Souza, Senior Asst Editor, DNA, Mumbai

From:
d_brian@dnaindia.net
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2008 3:00 PM Subject: Re: Re: NCB

Dear Michael: we are a secular newspaper. Check out our web site at dnaindia.com . Different editions have different editors. Your article was thrown up by a google search that I did this morning. Await your responses… Bye for now Brian

THIS MINISTRY’S CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

Taking a look at Biblical stories in an Indian ‘avatar’
DNA= Daily News & Analysis
Saturday, August 09, 2008 21:50 IST Brian de Souza, Mumbai
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1182384&pageid=0

The New Community Bible brings the Christian message in an Indian context. But will the devout take to it?
MUMBAI: A New Community Bible (NCB) introduced just over a month ago is the latest of several initiatives over the years to portray Biblical characters and bring the Christian message in an Indian context. This Bible, which has many references to Indian texts and spiritual concepts in notes that accompany the text, has got several groups within the Christian community discussing its merits, its relevance and above all, its fidelity to the original message of the faith.
This avatar of the Bible also has about 20 illustrations that depict Biblical characters in Indian outfits, turbans and saris, to boot. For example, a line from the Gospel of St John is depicted by a drawing that shows a woman with prominent nose-ring.

Biblical themes have been depicted in India classical dance, one exponent being the Society of Divine Word (SVD) priest Francis Barboza who used Bharatanatyam and adapted Hindu customs and rituals. The artist Jyoti Sahi depicted Biblical scenes in an Indian setting and even painted a Dalit Madonna.
The template for all these creative expressions was acculturation of the Christian faith to its multi-religious setting in the country. Over the years, this has included an Indian mass where the priest sits cross-legged, wears saffron-coloured robes, and diyas replace candles.
The NCB, says Father Devasy of the Society of Saint Paul who spearheaded this project, was inspired by the Christian Community Bible in Spanish in the Philippines, the brainchild of Bernard Hurault, a Chilean priest. A verso
The need to have an Indian edition, not an “Indian Bible” as Devasy clarifies, had a three-fold aim: To publish a Bible from India as most available editions such as the new American Bible, Good News Bible etc are published overseas; to provide an “acculturated” context for Indian worshippers; and finally, as a means to promote inter-religious harmony among people of different faiths. Apart from St Paul’s, the Clarasians [sic, Claretians] Order and the SVD group were part of the effort.
The project which began in the 1990s involved 37 scholars including 32 Biblical experts and four Indologists, among whom was a Jesuit priest in Patna who is an expert on Islam.
Justifying the attempt to contextualise the Bible, one scholar who was part of the project says, “We have to constantly look at the audience we are reaching out to”.
Inter-religious harmony apart,
many within the Christian fold seem to have divergent thoughts.
In fact, a site has been established on Orkut and an e-mail created for people to write in.
Not all opinions are expected to be supportive of this attempt which is also being described in one blog as
“battle between new-age theologians and the Church.
The NCB illustrations have impressed people like Catherine Fernandes, an editorial coordinator who feels that this Bible works for India. Moreover, she found the way the Old Testament is written in an easy to understand manner.
It is tempting, of course, to see this new development in the context of acculturation. While the NCB’s inspiration originated in Latin America, there is also an African Bible brought out by the Daughters of St Paul in Nairobi which uses African motifs. It is not known if that Bible created any controversy within the African Church.
In a review of the New Community Bible, one commentator* suggests that as a Bible meant for India, it could well have contained references to Indian missionaries and saints. Perhaps, in this context, some may feel a reference could have been made to Sr Alphonsa who will be canonised a few months from now, the first Indian women saint.
For now, the New Community Bible is selling well, say the publishers. The initial print order of 15,000 copies was sold out in 22 days.

MY COMMENTS:

In the above DNA report, they copied the words “battle between new-age theologians and the Church”
from a posting that Derrick D’Costa from Bahrain, moderator of MangaloreanCatholics and a member of KonkaniCatholics, made in http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2008/07/vatican-hopes-indian-bible-will.html linking to this ministry’s webpage.

The sentence “In a review of the New Community Bible, one commentator suggests that as a Bible meant for India, it could well have contained references to Indian missionaries and saints,” refers to the comment found in the eight-page critique of the NCB published by this ministry. There is also this part about our crusade:
“In fact, a site has been established on Orkut and an e-mail created for people to write in,”
which refers to the Orkut site and the
response2communitybible@gmail.com  created by our team. Brian de Souza of DNA seemed to have been upset — as I note from his terse letter to me of August 10 — because TOI beat him to the story by naming me and this ministry. Accordingly, he has quoted me, but avoided naming me and this ministry. – Michael Prabhu

 

 

 

Place for Gandhi in Indian Bible Matt Wade, New Delhi
August 9, 2008

http://www.theage.com.au/world/place-for-gandhi-in-indian-bible-20080808-3scs.html

The Holy Family in the Indian Bible. Photo: Supplied

THE words of the Bhagavad Gita and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi have found a place in a controversial Bible published in India.

An illustration depicts the holy family as Indian villagers: Mary wears a simple sari and has a bindi on her forehead, while Joseph has a turban and loincloth. There is also a full-page portrait of Mother Teresa, the nun who served the destitute on the streets of Kolkata, with the words: “Pure and blameless religion lies in coming to help orphans and widows.”

Promoters of the New Community Bible claim it will help Indian readers by drawing on “the rich culture and religious heritage of our motherland”.

A team of 30 scholars worked for more than 15 years on the new edition.

The Catholic Archbishop of Bombay, Oswald Gracias, says: “I am sure this Bible, made in India and for Indians, will bring the word of God closer to millions of our people, not only Christians.”

The edition’s extensive commentary draws on Indian epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Jesus’ words about storing “treasure in heaven” in the gospel of Matthew are compared to the Bhagavad Gita teaching that “work alone is your proper business, never the fruits it may produce”.

The songs of Mirabai, a popular 16th-century Hindu mystic, are used to illustrate Mary Magdalene’s attitude to the resurrected Jesus.

The Bible’s general editor, Reverend Augustine Kanachikuzhy, admitted that the references to Indian scriptures had generated complaints. “It will take some time for the (new Bible) to gain acceptance,” he said.

According to tradition, Christianity was brought to South India by the apostle Thomas in AD52. India’s last census in 2001 found there were 24 m. Christians, about 2.5% of the population, although some estimates put the proportion above 5%.

 

CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

http://www.angelqueen.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21022&sid=2a241398841a8944d9700860d74b7fbc

Angelqueen.org For Purity and Tradition in Catholicism

1.
Conservatives protest desi version of Bible 9 Aug 2008

by Ashley D’Mello & Joeanna Rebello, TNN The Times of India

Posted in angelqueen.org: Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:56 pm    
2.
A NEW AGE BIBLE? THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE by Michael Prabhu 

This ministry’s eight-page critique posted in angelqueen.org: Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:00 pm

 

Christian Missionaries Take Aim At India – Deceptive Bible & Other Questionable Tactics

Christian Missionaries Take Aim At India – Deceptive Bible & Other Questionable Tactics

Posted on August 10, 2008 by sathyasaibaba

http://sathyasaibaba.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/christian-missionaries-take-aim-at-india-deceptive-bible-other-questionable-tactics/

The Bible Takes An Eastern Influence
Matt Wade
in New Delhi August 9, 2008

THE words of the Bhagavadgita, the songs of a Hindu mystic and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi have all found a place in a controversial Bible published in India.

An illustration in the new version depicts the Holy Family as poor Indian villagers – Mary wears a simple sari and has a bindi on her forehead alongside Joseph in a turban and loincloth. There is also a full-page portrait of Mother Teresa, the nun who served the destitute on the streets of Kolkata, above the words “pure and blameless religion lies in coming to help orphans and widows”.

Promoters of the project, called the New Community Bible, claim it will help Indian readers understand the Bible by drawing on “the rich culture and religious heritage of our motherland”.

A team of 30 Indian biblical scholars worked for more than 15 years on the new edition, which has been approved by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and is published by the Society of St Paul.

“I am sure this Bible, made in India and for Indians, will bring the word of God closer to millions of our people, not only Christians,” said Oswald Gracias, the Catholic Archbishop of Bombay.

A simple English translation of the whole Bible is accompanied by extensive commentary notes to assist readers interpret the verses.

This commentary draws on the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu holy book, as well as Indian epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata to help explain the Bible to an Indian audience.

Jesus’ words about storing “treasure in heaven” in the gospel of Matthew are compared to the Bhagavad Gita’s teaching that “work alone is your proper business never the fruits it may produce”.

The commentary refers to the songs of Mirabai, a popular 16th-century Hindu mystic. Her hymns of devotion to Krishna, a Hindu deity, are used to illustrate Mary Magdalene’s attitude to the resurrected Jesus.

The teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, Asia’s first Nobel laureate, are also referred to in the commentary.

 

 

The New Community Bible has 24 line drawings by Christopher Coelho, which use common Indian cultural scenes to illustrate biblical texts. One depicts a Hindu temple, a Muslim mosque and a Christian church with shoes and sandals left outside the door – a tradition in many places of worship in India. Another shows a poor Indian family living in a shanty hut below towering skyscrapers.

The general editor of the New Community Bible, Reverend Dr Augustine Kanachikuzhy, admitted that references to Indian scriptures had generated complaints.

“This was expected,” he said. “It will take some time for the [new Bible] to gain acceptance.”

Dr Kanachikuzhy denied the new edition watered down the Bible’s message.

The manager of the St Paul’s bookshop in New Delhi, Father Stephen, said the New Community Bible had only been available for about a month but the first edition of 15,000 copies had almost sold out. A new print run is being prepared.

“People in India are really appreciating it, especially the pictures,” he said.

The 2200-page hardcover costs 250 rupees ($6.60).

According to local tradition Christianity was brought to South India by the Apostle Thomas – “doubting” Thomas – in AD52.

Christianity is the third largest religion in India after Hinduism and Islam. India’s last census in 2001 found there were 24 million Christians, about 2.5 per cent of the population, although some estimates put the proportion above 5 per cent.

It is alleged many poor communities do not admit to being Christian because they fear losing benefits reserved for low-caste Hindus. Reference*

*The Sydney Morning Herald http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/08/08/1218139078193.html?feed=fairfaxdigitalxml

 

The Bible takes an Eastern influence
Matt Wade in New Delhi August 9, 2008
“THE words of the Bhagavadgita… … .. … reserved for low-caste Hindus.”

CRITICISM OF THE NCB:
1.
Hindu Contrary View:

“Christianity cannot tolerate and respect other cultures and religions. They have destroyed nearly 90% of the cultures around the world. Christianity failed in India and in Muslim countries miserably but that has not stopped the Vatican and missionaries from perusing its hidden agenda of conversion. Timesonline in an article titled ‘Vatican hopes Indian Bible will translate into surge of converts’ discuss this yet another attempt by Christianity to harvest souls in India.

‘The calculation is that India is the last great missionary front on Earth,’ John L. Allen Jr, a Vatican expert based in Rome.

The tactic to conquer the last great missionary front is to use the secular culture of Hindus to attack them. It might sound strange but Vatican never has the guts to apply such cheap tactics against Islam. And everyone knows Why? Christianity encourages religious fundamentalism in other religions through such dirty tactics. They give enough ammunition to the fundamentalists and often quietening the voice of moderates in Islam, Hinduism and other religions.

Extracts from the article in Timesonline:

The New Community Bible is part of an attempt by the Vatican to attract more converts
in India as congregations decline in Europe and North America.

“I am sure this Bible, made in India and for Indians, will bring the word of God closer to millions of our people, not only Christians,” Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay, said at a ceremony on the Bible’s release.

The notes even quote Hindu scriptures, such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics, to help to explain Christianity to prospective converts. “We wanted to show the parallels between the themes in the Bible and in Indian religions,” Father Tony Charanghat, a spokesman for the Archbishop, said. “We’ve put the sacred text in a local context.”

Some of the new tactics employed in the Hindu Bible:

Virgin Mary: Barefoot and wearing a sari, with a bindi on her forehead and a naked baby on her shoulder.

Joseph: Clad in a loincloth and turban.

When Jesus tells disciples to turn the other cheek, the notes compare this to Gandhi’s creed of non-violence.

What is baffling is Christianity’s utter contempt for other cultures and religions. When discussing the topic of conversion Roman Catholic priests and other missionaries hide behind the veil of education and saving the poor. They have miserably failed in saving the poor and providing secular and quality education all around the world.

Instead of creating free individuals, Christianity creates more poor and people who are always dependent. Only free individuals can create a free society and which will lead to economic freedom. Sadly, Christianity cannot tolerate free thinking individuals.

Instead of creating more trouble around the world by cheap conversion tactics, Christianity and its bosses should bring the word of God (Bible) closer to political leaders in Western Countries. Ask them to stop attacking other nations.

Ask them to stop selling weapons around the world. It is time for Christianity to educate its political leaders in Bible – You must love your neighbor just as much as you love yourself. In simple terms stop creating wars and other problems in Africa, Asia and in Muslim and Communist countries around the world.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said:

Different people call God by different names: some as Allah, some as God, and others as Krishna, Shiva, and Brahman. It is like the water in a lake. Some drink it at one place and call it ‘jal’, others at another place and call it ‘pani’, and still others at a third place and call it ‘water’. The Hindus call it ‘jal’, the Christians ‘water’, and the Moslems ‘pani’. But it is one and the same thing.

 

 

 

Hindus have never poked fun off or criticized Christ. For many Hindus, he is just another path to self realization. But Christianity and its priestly class cannot tolerate and respect the beliefs of Hindus. And their lies the great difference between Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) and Christianity. (Reference)**

** http://www.hindu-blog.com/2008/07/hindu-bible-mary-in-sari-joseph-in-loin.html Hindu-blog.com

Hindu Bible – Mary in Sari – Joseph in Loin Cloth – Aim Conversion of Hindus

2.
Christian Contrary View:

There just cannot be a dialogue or genuine peace between Christians and Hindus unless we stop proselytization,” says the Reverend Karen MacQueen, popularly known as Mother Karen.

“This does not mean that someone who has witnessed Christian work, say at a charity institution, wants to find out more about Jesus and the church (should be discouraged). But denigrating another religion and insisting that there is only way to salvation is not a good thing at all,” she said.

Mother Karen, who first visited India in 1977 to work with Mother Teresa in Kolkata, and got drawn into studying Hinduism, has promoted Hindu-Christian dialogue in Los Angeles for many years.

She was one of the key movers behind the Indian Rite Mass held on January 19 at St John’s Cathedral in Los Angeles. The cathedral is run by Episcopalians, an influential branch of the American church.

A vegetarian since her first visit to India, she says one of the reasons the church issued an apology to Hindus for the attack some Christians have made on Hindu beliefs and way of life, is the continuing controversy about conversions in India.

“We continue to be appalled by the action of many fundamentalist Christian preachers and aids organisation that sought to exploit the tremendous tsunami tragedy in many Asian cities and towns,” she said from her office near Los Angeles. “The missionaries were telling the people that unless they became Christians, they would not get the relief aid.”

She decided that the Mass would be celebrated in Indian style, using aarti and kirtans. “The Indian style Mass is being celebrated in many Christian ashrams in India,” she said.

There are over 50 such ashrams in India where Christianity is presented as an Eastern faith. You will see Christ looking like an Indian sadhu, and Mother Mary picturised wearing a sari.

Mother Karen has sojourned at several of those ashrams, particularly at Shantivanam Ashram, a Camaldolese Benedictine community made famous by its former prior, Bede ‘Dayananda’ Griffiths.

The Shantivanam ashram looks like a rishi’s home transported from Vedic times to the banks of the Cauvery river, at a forested place near Trichy in South India, wrote Hinduism Today magazine.

‘A pilgrim’s first impressions are strong, and very Hindu: the elaborately colorful Hindu shrine; the bearded, saffron-robed swami seated cross-legged on a straw mat; devotees practicing yogic meditations, even chanting Hindu scriptures.’

The Christian priests who run such ashrams get criticised by conservative Christians and by Hindu groups who think they are trying new conversion ploys. But Mother Karen says the most important mission of Shantivanam is to foster better understanding with the Hindu community.

‘The impressions at the Christian ashrams lead to another kind of reality. First, the eye detects that the courtyard shrine is for Saint Paul and that puja is actually a daily Mass, complete with incense, aarti lamps, flower offerings and prasadam,’ Hinduism Today wrote.

‘Finally, one meets the swami, learning he is Father Bede “Dayananda” Griffiths, a Christian sanyasi of impeccable British background…’

Some of the critics of such ashrams may remember a few Italian priests, who, in the 16th century in Go,a lived like sanyasis and were trying to convert high caste Hindus.

‘These ashrams,’ wrote Hinduism Today ‘which are variously described as “experiments in cross-cultural communication,” ‘contemplative hermitages that revolve around both Christian and Hindu ideas,’ or (less charitably) “institutions to brainwash and convert India’s unwary masses.”

Are these places to be endorsed by Hindus as worthy attempts to share each other’s spirituality? Or are they a spiritual oxymoron, a contradiction of terms, because the Christians are interested in sharing — dialogue is the term they use — only as a means to conversion?’

Mother Karen would like to see such ashrams grow in number as long as they have a clear mission in holding genuine dialogue and involve Hindu spiritual leaders in the nearby community.

She believes that the recent Indian rite Mass was not a one-time event. “We want to see a Gandhi pilgrimage center in a temple where Christians could go and meditate,” she says, “and even get involved in social action.”

She also plans to meet with immigration officials and lawmakers at the national and state levels to make changes in the immigration law, so that it becomes easier for Hindu priests from India to serve at the American temples and ashrams. (Reference)**

**rediff NEWS http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/feb/26mass.htm

Christ like a sadhu, Mother Mary in a sari
Arthur J Pais in New York February 26, 2008 02:19 IST [as above]
READERS’ CRITICISMS OF THE NCB:

Discussion Board

Jesus is ravana in the disguise of a saint by Bula Cuhani on Feb 27, 2008 05:44 AM | Hide replies
When jesus said love your enemy he was talking about western-white-christians only. Because according to him all others were devils, and worse than even animals. Jesus told his followers to go around the world and torture, rob and murder the non-christians.

 

 

Western-white-christians believe as the children of jesus only the western-white-christians can be considered as the true-christians. Christians and muslims should not be trusted because they believe their god will forgive them no matter how much they lie and no matter how many crimes they commit.
Christians and muslims are modern day rakshashas because they believe more people they murder more their gods feels happy. They also believe that the whole earth and every thing on it belong to them only, because only they can be considered as humans, as believed by them. They consider themselves as humans and others as animals or devils.
They also consider people who belong to their religion but are of different race and/or denomination as fake.
Indianize Xtianity by
Tathagata Mukherjee on Feb 27, 2008 12:14 AM | Hide replies
Missionaries controls property worth 100000s of croes at premier places in India due to colonial times.
But who manages them? Who makes policies to run Missionary schools?
Those are NOT framed by Indian Xtians, many of them are as good (or bad) as rest of us, as patriotic as rest of us.
These are managed by Archbihops. Who are they? THEY ARE APPOINTED BY THE POPE.

SO, IN TURN, THESE HUGE INFRASTRUCTURE IS CONTROLLED FROM OUTSIDE INDIA. THIS HAS TO STOP. DEMOCRAT-IZE INDIAN XTIANITY- THEY ARE NOW HIDING UNDER PSUEDO REGIMES WHO ARE GIVING THEM SOPS AFTER SOPS

Christians by Gautam Dasaka on Feb 26, 2008 07:16 PM | Hide replies
Christian missinaries have done a commendable job of conversions. Just like the Muslim kings. It wouldnt matter shortly, as most of India would be either Christian on Muslim by then. The remaining Hindus will be killed, or forced to convert, once the Percentage of Hindus in the population drops to 60%. It will not take much time to obliterate Hinduism after that.

Missionaries are #1 in abusing, organized villification of others faith
by
Tathagata Mukherjee on Feb 26, 2008 12:32 PM
Muslims are generally rubble rouse, start fighting. But even Muslims do NOT engage into abusing others faith the way missionaries do. This is an UNDISPUTABLE FACT.

While Hindus respect Jesus as an enlightened soul, does Xtians respect Hinduism, the Gita?
by
Tathagata Mukherjee on Feb 26, 2008 12:27 PM
Thanks to few 100 years of traditions of rationality, secularism, the number of Xtian fundamentalists is less in the west, though its increasing in number. However, missionaries have done great abuse of Hinduism since they first set their foot in India. EVEN SWAMI VIVEKANAND HIMSELF SAID, MISSIONARIES TRIED TO PUT HIM IN JAIL FEW TIMES DURING HIS FISR VISIT TO USA, SO HE CANNOT ATTEND CHICAGO CONFERENCE. Unfortunately, today’s Xtianity is NOT the Xtianity of King Junior. Its more like following West’s interest, and organized conversion.
I agree, unless Xtians stop Conversion, there is going to be a bog trouble.

Aarti means sorrow by J Busu on Feb 26, 2008 11:38 AM
The right word is Aarati (Aa-ra-ti) and not Aarti. Whereas Aa-ra-ti denotes offering lighted camphor, lamps etc. in their different forms to the almighty Aarti has a very negative meaning, connotation. I hope those more knowledgeable in the Sanskrit language would throw more light on the subject

naa, naa karte pyaar ho gaya by Pradip Parekh on Feb 26, 2008 09:52 AM
clearly, these nice white kirastanis really want to be hindus, but still are shy-hesitating at the door. it is because they are waiting to hear from hindus an answer to: “so, what casts we white hindus can have”?

RE: naa, naa karte pyaar ho gaya by joe v on Feb 26, 2008 11:28 AM
Lol, nope, caste system should be abolished in entirety. My take on this entire thing. – Why make an image of christ anyway? none of us know how he really looked like. That handsome guy you see in pictures and all – you know, the guy with brown hair, beard and all, that’s not Christ – thats a model the painter Da Vinci used to represent christ.
If its any indication, Christ, according to the bible, looked very similar to his “Fishermen” disciples. Thats why they needed some one to show christ apart with a kiss. Fishermen are not that good looking people nor they were royality. They were very ordinary looking and so was christ.

RE:naa, naa karte pyaar ho gaya by galilio on Feb 26, 2008 01:08 PM
sita ram goel books are famous to show how english missionaries divided hindus by caste and his books contain copies of letters written by missionaries to their head office in london why they can not successfully convert hindus enmass for which robert cadwell had written that but for the brahmins who stood in their way of conversion, he could have changed entire hindu society to xtianity. hence british missionaries and present evangalists are always against brahmins becouse they think hinduism stood on the brahminism. it is the not the fact now becouse hindus are now realising hinduism is their life and survival. if by chance pope is arrested in some cases, entire christianity would have deserted this religion. but in the case of sankrachariyar arrest in tamilnadu, hindus have not changed their mindset becouse hinduism stood on its foundations, fathers of this pillor are from all castes who are azhwars and nayanmars, saints, yogis, rishes, saddus ect. so do not go back to old dirty trick of missionaries by dividing hindus by turning them against bhramins who are just part of society.

RE:naa, naa karte pyaar ho gaya by galilio on Feb 26, 2008 02:25 PM
let vatigan appoint first dalit indian pope so that all dalits will convert to this faith. till then christians have no right to talk on behalf of hindus subdivision who are discriminated by politicians to help missionaries for conversion. if vatigan appoint first dalit indian pope, then vaitan paid coolies like you can raise voice on behalf of entire dalit society.

The teachings of Jesus and India by stav on Feb 26, 2008 08:29 AM
Jesus was a yogi by all standards. His teachings are Vedic in character. In Revelations one finds references to advanced yogic practices such as Khechari Mudra and Om samadhi.

 

 

 

 

His early life has been removed from the Bible by the church as it has references to his visit to the East. In the Hebrew bible one of the three wise men was from India. Some ancient Tibetan scrolls were discovered last century has references to him visiting India and Tibet.

RE:The teachings of Jesus and India by joe v on Feb 26, 2008 11:19 AM
well, fisrt things first – No where it mentions that there were “3” wise men. Actually, we dont know how many there were. Bible only says there were multiple of them (more than one anyway.) and they brought “3′ gifts. I guess thats from where the number 3 came from. And more than one of them were from India. Its estimated by some scholars that there was an entire group from India who knew about the birth of christ from the stars. Among of the rest of the so called wise men who visited christ, they say one group were Zoorashtran priests and there were a few chinese scholars as well..
Last point- The greek original of the gospel of luke does not call them “Wise men”. That term came with the king james translation in the 1500’s. The term the original greek version used for them was “MAGI” – trem used in those days for people who studied the stars, omens and signs – you know, the people in India who study the “Shastram” of ill omens or the science of astrology.. That’s just further proof that the Indian connection was absolutely clearly there.

RE:The teachings of Jesus and India by joe v on Feb 26, 2008 11:23 AM
And about Jesus Christ being a yogi, you’re absolutely right on that one. He was just a good man who preached Ahimsa, to forgive those who hurt you, to show the other cheek when someone slaps you on one, To love one another, and the way to spititual peace. His teachings were furthered by Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi.
He was also known for his healing powers.

RE:The teachings of Jesus and India by galilio on Feb 26, 2008 12:28 PM
jesus whereabout between 13 years to 28 years are known as missings years in christian theology and one american movie is under production on this subject as ‘missing years of issah’. he might be a first thought provoking leader in those time before 2000 years but he can not be called as ”yogi’ becouse many verses in bible contain cruelity, slavery, adultary, violence against other believers ect which expose jesus can not be a yogi. many xtians have never studied full texts of all four gospels version of bible but they are given to read only selected, edited doctored version of bible which attract them to call jesus as ‘yogi’ becouse he talked of love and affection.

one should read all versions and full text of new testament bible to know the truth and real colour of this socalled yogi.

RE:The teachings of Jesus and India by joe v on Feb 26, 2008 12:41 PM
I have read the entire texts. Show me one place where he preached all that you mentioned..
Even during his death, he prayed for the ones who killed him. He fasted regularly (many times for 40 days at a stretch) and lived a life of higher spirituality. Tell me, religion aside, what qualifies as a Yogi more than him?
and before you begin to hurl any abuses, I’m born to a Hindu mom and a Christian Dad and yes, i have accepted both religions and claim proudly that both teach the same.

SIMBA40 by TIGER MAN on Feb 26, 2008 07:29 AM | Hide replies
THISE LOT LIKE… Reverend Karen MacQueen AND Father Bede “Dayananda” Griffiths ARE TRYING TO MAKE A MOCKERY OF RELIGION…

 

CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

Indian version of Bible draws fire over Hindu references
by Dibin Samuel

Posted: Monday, August 11, 2008, 15:50 (BST)

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/indian.version.of.bible.draws.fire.over.hindu.references/21198.htm

A new Indian version of the Bible recently published by the Catholic Church has run into controversy over its inclusion of verses from the Bhagavad Gita, a form of Hindu chant, and references to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

An illustration in the new version depicts Jesus, Mary and Joseph as poor Indian villagers. Mary wears a simple sari and has a bindi on her forehead alongside Joseph in a turban and loincloth.

According to the 30 Indian biblical scholars who worked for more than 15 years on the new edition, the Bible draws on “the rich cultural and religious heritage of India”.

Although approved by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and published by the Society of St Paul, the Bible met the disapproval of Protestants and other Christian groups, who believe it diverts from biblical truth.

Pastor Vijay Thomas who heads a Bible college in Chennai, told Christian Today, “By making it appear ‘Indian’ with references to Hindu scriptures and great poets, people will not come to the truth. This is a complete turn back from the real Bible.”

Oswald Gracias, the Catholic Archbishop of Bombay, defended the Bible edition, saying, “I am sure this Bible, made in India and for Indians, will bring the word of God closer to millions of our people, not only Christians.”

Accompanied by extensive commentary notes to assist readers in interpreting the verses, the edition also references Indian ancient literary works such as Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Jesus’ words about storing “treasure in heaven” in the Gospel of Matthew, for example, are compared to the Bhagavadgita’s teaching that “work alone is your proper business, never the fruits it may produce”.

The teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, Asia’s first Nobel laureate, are also referred to in the commentary.

 

 

 

The general editor of the New Community Bible, the Rev Dr Augustine Kanachikuzhy, admitted that references to Hindu scriptures had drawn complaints.

“This was expected,” he said. “It will take some time for the [new Bible] to gain acceptance.”

Kanachikuzy still believes the Bible to be a huge hit. “It has proved to be extremely popular among the Christian community with over 15,000 copies sold out within barely 10 days. Now it has gone for a reprint,” he added.

 

CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

Hindu commentary on the Bible released by the Indian Church

By Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=259287

1. Maybe this is why the Catholic church in India is stagnant and shrinking as a percentage of the population. While evangelicals Chritians who don’t dilute the Chritian messages are growing – it is only because of evangelicals that Chritians remain a constant percentage of the Indian population.

Look at Nepal. Catholic missionaries went there decades ago – nuancing, compromising the Christian teaching. Making it more Hindu/Buddhist – or acceptable thereto. But the evangelicals who arrived after the Catholics proclaimed Christ crucified despite the offense it might cause to the Nepalese.
Today, the established religiois state in Nepal has ended. There are around 700,000 Chritians there today. A huge growth. But Catholics number just 7,000. Evangelicals close to 700,000. That is a sign from God IMO and that is too the sign in India as Catholics there still seem to nuance the Bible. This is how I see this new Indian Bible. Despite its endorsement by the top Catholic prelate in India.
By their fruits. It is being seen in Nepal and i suspect evangelicals will eventually show it in India.
Posted by “rien”

I would like to read this bible for myself instead of hearing about it from its critics.
From what I can find, it sounds like a standard bible translation with apologetics in the footnotes. Similar to how St. Justin Martyr compared Jesus with Socrates in his apologies to the Romans. Of course to witness to Hindus, they want to see how Christianity compares to their own religion. It should help Hindus and Christians find common ground and see the good in each other.
Posted by Neil Anthony August 10, 2008

2. Dear Neil Thanks for your comment. Most people deeply desire to have the feelings you have. I unfortunately do possess a copy and sincerely would love a way to justify the work.
But that said I do not want to add anything to all what is said and what has been privately written by me.
One basic understanding for non-Indians is that because of our situation as a small (often persecuted) minority, official criticism is highly subdued from Christian sources for example you will find very few critical letters published in the Catholic papers etc of India, you may find it only in secular media, sometimes who have a strong anti-christian and anti-catholic bias. Also you must understand that many similar experiments have failed due to a simple misunderstanding, the Dalits and tribals are oppressed by the very same ideologies and these make up the only growing segment of christianity in India. Hinduism is not a homogeneous body of believers. Dalits and tribals have a strong aversion to Brahminical views particularly that of the caste system and that filters down to theology.
As future events unfold please promise to pray that the Holy Spirit guides and protects the Church in India.
God bless Derrick
Posted by Derrick D’Costa August 10, 2008

I read that 15,000 copies were sold in 10 days don’t know whether it is a huge number in a country of 1 billion + people.
I don’t really understand the logic in portraying Mary as a Saree clad woman and Joseph with a Turban. What difference does that make?
All I can see now is a reason for the right wing Hindus to take up violence. This would make life difficult for Christians living in areas where they are a serious minority. They already have enough trouble from Left wing political parties in States like Kerala. This might just turn some more Hindus against Christians.

Posted by FrancesMarx August 12, 2008

 

CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE TIMES OF INDIA, CHENNAI

From:
prabhu
To:
danprits@gmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 5:55 PM

Subject: ALERT and UPDATE : CALL FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [NCB]. YOUR RESPONSE — OR SILENCE — CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

KIND ATTENTION: MR. DANIEL GEORGE

SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, THE TIMES OF INDIA-CHENNAI    

Dear Daniel [Mobile no. 98849 39582], I thank you for telephoning me a short while ago and interviewing me for about 15 minutes on the controversy surrounding the “New Community Bible” published by the Society of St. Pauls.

If you are mentioning my name in your story, then Daniel please state that I am a Catholic
apologist.

While I confirm to you all the views and statements expressed by me to you telephonically, I am sending you herewith the attachment — prepared by our team — that analyses the so-called Bible, under the [latest] covering letter [below] that we continue to send out daily to the thousands of Catholic email addresses that are being forwarded to us by priests and laity from all over the world who are strongly opposed to the NCB.

 

 

May I suggest that you read this letter carefully right down to the bottom. You will find a few samples of the hundreds of letters received by this ministry and the specially created email address:
response2communitybible@gmail.com.

The “excrement” part that you quoted was metaphorical, meant to drive home the point strongly to Catholic readers to kick start the campaign. However, we still vehemently protest the adulteration of the Bible which to us is the Word of God.

I am happy to know that you interviewed today the Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore, the Most Rev. A. M. Chinnappa, SDB in this connection.

I confirm my statement to you that he has not responded to even one single letter or report sent to him by this ministry from the time of his installation. I have met him personally on occasions and handed him other reports, but with no response either.

On this occasion, my e-letters to him on the NCB issue have bounced thrice. [They almost always do].

The Archbishop should be most interested in this NCB debate as he is popularly known to be a pro-dalit prelate, and the NCB is definitely anti-Dalit and pro-Brahmin for reasons elaborated in our analysis.

The letter — further below — from Mr John Dayal, outgoing All India Catholic Union National President, and Member, National Integration Council, Government of India, underlines that. If you use a word search in the attached report for caste, dalit, Brahmin and liberation, you will find some points.

The pro-NCB lobby has misunderstood the stand that we have taken. We are not against “inculturation” or “Indianisation”.

What we are against is the “Hindu-isation” of the Indian Catholic Church in the guise of “inculturation” and “Indianisation”.

We have not criticized the fidelity [to the originals or to earlier translations] of the Scripture texts in the NCB. We only condemn some of the footnotes and commentaries of the so-called “scholars” who commented in the NCB. We protest the subtle manipulations and misinterpretations of the Word of God, either overtly or covertly, that we find in the NCB.

The NCB is an inter-faith book that offers a syncretized Christianity by giving equal status to other religious texts [scriptures] and deities of other religions. As an example, in the attachment, page 4, paragraph 4, see our strong objection to one point regarding the picture [drawing of a temple] and captions for the text of Exodus 3:5. The objection is not to the drawing per se. We therefore refuse to call it a Bible and will never recommend its use for study or prayer or teaching.

Some pro-NCB spokespersons have publicly and uncharitably condemned critics of the NCB as “lacking Biblical scholarship”, and being “conservative”, “narrow-minded”, and even “fundamentalists”. We are not all of those.

In fact, we have received hundreds of letters including some from priests who are teaching theology in Europe and India!!! and from Catholic laity like myself who have received a solid Catholic formation at Bible and Evangelization Schools and have been teaching and preaching the Word of God for from 15 to 35 years.

I shall draw the line here, Daniel, and I pray that the Holy Spirit guide you in your writing your story. Michael

METAMORPHOSE CATHOLIC MINISTRIES, CHENNAI
www.ephesians-511.net

From:
prabhu
To:
daniel.george@timesgroup.com
Cc:
shaliniu@gmail.com; clementselvaraj@yahoo.co.in; catholictimesnews@yahoo.co.in; catholicfaithful@rediffmail.com; archmsml@vsnl.com;

Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 7:12 PM

Subject: Fw: ALERT and UPDATE : CALL FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [NCB]. YOUR RESPONSE — OR SILENCE –CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Dear Daniel, Good to have finally got you at Chennai. Was trying Bangalore, using a “0” prefix.

Am now sending the report on your TOI id as requested by you, with a copy to your TOI colleague, Shalini.

The NCB story was carried on 3 pages in the Tamil Kumutham Reporter dated 31.8.2008 released today.

They interviewed my associates, the President and Secretary of the Federation of Catholic Faithful [FCF][Registered] who presented our team’s eight-page analysis. I am marking copies of this letter to them.

The letters of protest [on the NCB] written and posted [snail mail] by the FCF to selected Bishops of the CBCI at the national level, and of Tamil Nadu — that includes Archbishop Chinnappa of Madras-Mylapore — have not been answered even after more than a month.

Thanks for your call just now confirming receipt of the earlier emails to your gmail id. Regards, Mike

Cc: Shalini, TOI; The Catholic Times, Chennai; The President and Secretary – Federation of Catholic Faithful, Chennai; The Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore Most Rev. A. Malayappan Chinnappa, SDB.

From:
Daniel George
To:
prabhu
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 8:55 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: ALERT and UPDATE : CALL FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [NCB]. YOUR RESPONSE — OR SILENCE –CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Thanks Prabhu, received both your emails. Move to the Times of India soon. Will keep in touch. regards Daniel
					

 

THIS MINISTRY’S CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

Indianised Bible causes discord Times of India, Chennai
28 Aug 2008, 0745 hrs IST, Daniel P George, TNN
daniel.george@timesgroup.com
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Indianised_Bible_causes_discord/articleshow/3414753.cmsCHENNAI

Books that comment on faith have always faced strident criticism from religious authorities, but this time it’s the Bible itself that has created a furore in the Catholic community in Tamil Nadu.
The Mumbai-based Society of St Pauls released an ‘Indianised’ New Community Bible (NCB), which includes references to the Upanishads, Vedas, Mahabharatha and other Hindu religious texts, in India on June 28.

 

 

According to the preface to the NCB, the book is “the contextualised commentary on the Sacred Text, made especially for India, taking into account the rich cultural and religious heritage of this land”.

Though the church has said it will look into the matter, there are many Catholics who are up in arms against the NCB. Certain groups are calling for its boycott and a stop to further printing.
C J S Raphel, president of the federation of the Catholic faithful, a Chennai-based organisation, said, “This is gross misinterpretation of the Bible. If you read the New Bible, it feels like you’re reading a book promoting Hinduism.” Raphel cautioned the church that the New Community Bible is a threat to Christians and could also create a wedge between religious communities.


Rev A M Chinnappa, Archbishop of Madras and Mylapore Archdiocese, told the Times of India: “We have received complaints about the misinterpretation in the community bible and we are looking into it. We will take up the matter with the publishers.”
Raphel categorically says that the book is a mix of Hinduism and Christianity, which is not acceptable to Catholics.

“The commentary on psalm five (prayer at daybreak: a psalm of David) reads like this: ‘In Hinduism, the dawn is personified as a deity by the name Ushas. The traditional Hindu morning prayer consists of reciting the famous Gayatri mantra (Rig Veda 3.62.10) at daybreak, facing the rising sun: Om bhur bhuvah svaha, tat savitur varenyam, bhargo devasya dhimayi, dhiyo yo nah prachodayat (may we meditate on the most excellent lustre of the sun god that he may illumine our intellect). Is this in any way justified?” he asked.
He added, “It has drawings of a sari-clad Mary with Joseph in a dhoti and turban, symbols of mandir, masjid and gurdwara along with the church and quotes from the Upanishads.”


The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has decided to look into the matter. Its deputy secretary general Father Thomas D’Aquino Seqeira said, “We will take up the matter at the CBCI standing committee meeting next month in Mumbai.”

Michael Prabhu of Metamorphose Catholic Ministries, Chennai, and a Catholic apologist says, “We are against the ‘Hindu-isation ‘ of the Indian Catholic Church in the guise of ‘Indianisation’. We condemn some of the footnotes and commentaries of the so-called ‘scholars’ in the NCB. We protest the subtle manipulations and misinterpretations of the Word of God, either overtly or covertly, that we find in the NCB. We refuse to call it a Bible and will never recommend its use for study or prayer or teaching.”

The NCB says that it contains “commentary prepared by 30 of best Bible scholars in India” and is “an inter-faith book that offers a syncretised Christianity by giving equal status to other religious texts and deities”. There are over 70 references to non Christian texts in the NCB. A Bible can be printed only after the Mumbai Archbishop issues a no-objection certificate and gives permission to print it. The NCB received its certificate for printing from Bishop Thomas Dabre, chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI).

 

From:
prabhu
To:
danprits@gmail.com; daniel.george@timesgroup.com
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2008 9:03 AM

Subject: MINOR ERRORS IN THE TOI STORY

Dear Daniel,

I thank you for quoting our ministry on your story about Catholic opposition to the NCB.

May I point out some minor errors that are in the last paragraph of your story.

1. You have ascribed the statement “an inter-faith book that offers a syncretised Christianity by giving equal status to other religious texts and deities” to the NCB. The fact is that it is a statement by me which you have copied from my letter to you, August 27, 2008 5:55 PM, and should be credited to me.

2. Any Bishop, and not only the Archbishop of Bombay [not Mumbai] can give the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur for Catholic literature. In this case they were given by the Bishop of Vasai and one of the Auxiliary Bishops of Bombay respectively.

3. Bishop Thomas Dabre, the Bishop of Vasai diocese, is not the “chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI)” but the Chairman of the CBCI’s Doctrinal Commission.

The facts in points 2 and 3 were given in the eight-page analysis of the NCB which I sent to you after our interview.

Note: Mr. Raphel of The Federation of Catholic Faithful has quoted only from the eight-page analysis prepared by our team. I am closely associated with them and was an office-bearer of the Federation till recently.

Thanks and God bless you, Michael

 

CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

Puyalai Yezhuppum ‘Puthiya Bible’! Kondhalikkum Christuva Amaipugal

[‘New Bible’ whips up a storm! Christian organizations seething] 

Kumudham Reporter [Tamil] 3 pages
Cover Story: pages 14, 15, 16, issue of August 31, 2008.

EXTRACT:
Mr. C.J. Raphel, President, Federation of The Catholic Faithful, Chennai
in his interview, said, “This New Community Bible has greatly hurt the feelings of Catholic Christians. If Hindus read its contents [commentaries], they will also be very grieved and upset. The NCB has the potential to create disharmony between the Hindu-Muslim and Christian communities. The NCB compares the Red Sea crossing in the Bible by the Israelites with the Hindu concept of rebirth which concept Christians do not accept.” Mr. A. Clement Selvaraj, General Secretary of the Federation said that if the NCB is not condemned by the State and Central governments, the Federation would launch an agitation and fast demanding its withdrawal.

 

CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

Hindu-Muslim Madhathai Vimarchikkum Puthiya Bible! 

[New Bible criticizes the Hindu, Muslim religions] 

Nakkheeran [Tamil] 3 pages 18, 19, 20, issue of September 3, 2008
www.nakkheeran.com

There are two drawings accompanying the article.

One drawing is of a face, half of which is Jesus Christ and the other half is of the Hindu deity Siva.

The caption: “Sivanaga Yesu” meaning Jesus transformed into Siva.

The other drawing is of a face half of which is Jesus Christ and the other half is of the Hindu deity Krishna. The caption: “Krishnanaga Marum Yesu” meaning Jesus transformed into Krishna.

EXTRACT:
As above, this magazine interviewed Mr. C.J. Raphel, President, and Mr. A. Clement Selvaraj, General Secretary, Federation of The Catholic Faithful, Chennai. They both strongly condemned the NCB.

Mr Ramagopalan, Hindu Munnani leader sad that the NCB is a “very big falsehood”. He asks, “Which idiot [madaiyan] said that Adam, the first human of the Bible is the same as or similar to adama/bhumidevi philosophy of Hinduism? Such things are fooling only the gullible public. Comparing Bible passages with equivalents in Bhagavad and Hindu scriptures is a very big mischief [mosadi]. Christian history is only 2,000 years old. But the Bhagawat Gita is centuries older. So how can the NCB draw comparisons? The Christians are preaching and writing a big lie to destroy the peace of our nation. Who gave the commentators the permission to make these comparisons? The Christians want to cheat the people.”

Muslim scholar and religious leader of the Tauhit Jamma-Atin, Jainul Abid, said, “Christians can be expected to change their tactics according to the times. They are again and again repeating the same mistakes and causing confusion and problems. The NCB is the latest example. Preaching wrongly about other religions and seeking to destroy them may be the policy of the propagators of the NCB.”

Rev. Fr. Vincent Chinnathurai, Chairman, Minorities Commission of the Tamil Nadu Government, said, “The Bible is the Holy Book of the Christians. So, to bring out a New Community Bible comparing with the beliefs of other religions and making it as truth [uruvagapaduthavathum] is very wrong. It is an unnecessary act. If any unwanted unpleasant occurrences result because of this, what will we do? We must promote harmony with other religions, not create problems with them. It seems to me that these comparisons are a mistake.”

The conclusion of Nakkheeran, “Already, there is religious conflict going on in some parts of India [the Orissa problem]. True Christians are concerned that this book may create more problems for everyone.”

 

THIS MINISTRY’S CRITICISM OF THE NCB:

From:
fernandoleo74@gmail.com
To:
prabhu
Sent: Monday, October 13, 2008 12:21 PM

Subject: Re: UCAN QUESTIONNAIRE ON THE NCB CONTROVERSY

Dear mic, NCB story is published today in UCAN. i am sending it as an attachment  

Even though I used as many quotes from different people who wrote to me. But the editors have kept the story short and used arguments of only three critics. thanks for all the help regards
Leo Fernando [UCA News, Chennai bureau]

UCAN, ASIA’S LARGEST CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY

New Community Bible Criticized For Causing Confusion
By Leo Fernando October 13, 2008  

http://www.ucanews.com/2008/10/13/new-community-bible-criticized-for-causing-confusion/

CHENNAI, India (UCAN) The first Indian version of the Christian Community Bible is facing criticism from people who say it undermines the Catholic faith.

The new version is “unfit for personal prayer, study, sharing, teaching or evangelization,” asserts Michael Prabhu, a Catholic layman who wants the publishers to withdraw it and suspend any further printings.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay released the New Community Bible on June 28, jointly published by St. Paul Publications, Divine Word Publications and Claretian Publications.

According to the publishers, this is the Indian edition of the popular Christian Community Bible originally produced in Spanish in Latin America. An English-language version first appeared in the Philippines.

The Indian edition has the required clearances such as a nihil obstat, certification from a theologian saying its content does not contradict Catholic teaching. It also has an imprimatur, clearance from the hierarchy saying it is free from error in matters of Catholic faith and morals.

Some leading biblical scholars in India have written commentaries for this edition, which took nearly 17 years to complete and which the publishers describe on their website as a gift to the Church in India.

However, critics point to the presentation of parallel texts from Hindu spiritual books and commentaries using Indian mystical figures, saying this runs the risk of equating Christianity with other religions.

“It promotes relativism and syncretism, which are strongly condemned by the Church at regular and frequent intervals,” Prabhu told UCA News. He admits many of the commentaries are excellent but says some have errors.

“They give personal interpretations of events in both the Old and the New Testaments, ignoring the faith value of these events,” he explained. Such commentaries philosophize on alternative explanations for biblical events and ignore traditional interpretations, casting doubt on their authenticity, he asserted.

 

 

 

In an effort to justify inculturation, he continued, some commentaries draw parallels between landmark biblical events and nature religion, deities of other religions or mythological figures.

The layman claimed numerous references are made to Mahatma Gandhi, father of the Indian nation who advocated nonviolence, Gautama Buddha and Indian mystics such as Kabir and Mirabai, but none to saints such as Francis Xavier and John de Britto. Both of these Jesuit missioners preached in India.

Pauline Father Augustine Kanachikuzhy, who edited the New Community Bible, dismissed the criticisms but agreed that references to sacred books of other religions could perhaps make some Christians uncomfortable. “Indian Scriptures are referred to in a Biblical commentary only to get a more inter-cultural and contextualized understanding of certain Biblical terms and concepts,” he told UCA News in an e-mail from Mumbai, western India, where he is based.

Such commentaries also serve as an invitation for people of other faiths to draw from the treasures of the Bible, he added.

The priest pointed out that the idea of a Bible that comes with commentary is a relatively new idea which some cannot accept, even more so when the commentary refers to other religions. “These ideas have to gradually sink into their minds,” he said. The critics think everything in the Bible has to be literal and factual, he charged, whereas the fact “that the Bible contains stories and dramatizations and exaggerations was established long back.”

Father Jose Aymanathil, who is based in Kolkata, eastern India, disagrees. He maintains the publishers have diverted the purpose of the Bible. According to the Salesian priest, the Bible does not aim “to unite us with other religions through text comparisons.” He told UCA News the publishers are “Hinduizing the Bible” in the name of adapting it to the Indian context.

Another critic,
Benedictine Father Jean de Britto, told UCA News the New Community Bible “is very dangerous to Catholics because it can destroy or diminish the faith.” The visiting French theologian maintains the problems arise because the New Community Bible puts different religions on a par with one another.

 

MY RESPONSE SENT TO UCAN FOR POSTING:

I thank UCAN for publishing a report on the criticism of the New Community Bible [NCB] by the faithful, laity and priests.

We have collected a few hundred letters from lay leaders of ministries and from theologians from all over India and overseas. They list dozens of objections to the commentaries in the NCB.

The publishers of the NCB might have received the nihil obstat and the imprimatur, but I have now reconfirmed that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference has called for a revision.

It is not without precedent that important Catholic works have later been censured or revised.

There have been problems with at least two other Community Bibles.

I quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Community_Bible:

1. Chinese edition, 1999. “Since its publication, this translation has been in the centre of a controversy regarding the translation process and the content of its commentaries.

Because of the criticisms, some regard this translation as being a poor translation unsuitable for lay people without extensive prior theological training.”

2. “The French edition of the Christian Community Bible (1994)… was initially a great success, but its imprimatur was rescinded in 1995 amid accusations of having anti-semitic overtones in its commentaries.

A revised translation (1998) is still considered controversial by some in the Jewish community, not because of anti-semitic overtones but because of replacement theology overtones.”

But, the Phillipines Bishops’ Conference’s Community Bible on which the Indian version is stated to be based has not even one single error in its commentaries.

To return to the UCAN report:

The sentence quoting me starting with “In an effort to justify inculturation” might make some readers think that I am against inculturation. What my team and I are against is the “hindu-isation” of the Church in the name of inculturation.

Father Augustine Kanachikuzhy makes several statements that are not true. To respond to just three:

1. “the idea of a Bible that comes with commentary is a relatively new idea which some cannot accept”.

I have a large collection of Catholic Bibles, some of which have commentaries and footnotes and are over ten years old.

Protestant Study Bibles have been around for a long time and many Catholics in ministry refer to these now and then.

2. “The critics think everything in the Bible has to be literal and factual”.

I do not know what gave Father that idea. We may not all be theologians but we have been to Catholic Evangelization and Bible Schools. We are up to date on Church teaching and have studied the 1993 document, “The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church,” issued by the Pontifical Biblical Commission which was headed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now the Pope. Moreover, around thirty priests including Doctors in Theology and Canon Law have given us letters criticizing various aspects of the NCB commentaries, in commission as well as in omission.

3. “that the Bible contains stories and dramatizations and exaggerations was established long back.”

We do not know what Father Augustine means by “exaggerations”. And this is basically the problem in the mindset of the theologians that has translated into misleading and confusing statements in the commentaries. It is because of these that the NCB has become unfit for Christian spiritual consumption.

 

 

 

 

 

The two priests from our team quoted in your report are a Doctor in Canon Law and a Summa cum Laude Theologian from a Roman University. If they and all the Catholics who have joined our team think differently from the publishers of the NCB, and if even there is a concession from the Bishops’ Conference of one minor revision in the commentaries, our position stands vindicated. It remains to be seen whether our leaders will have the humility to publicly admit their collective error and correct the profusion of errors, only a few of which we have pointed out.

After all, it is a matter concerning the faith and the fate of the future Indian Church.

Finally, the scholars who wrote the controversial commentaries and the Bishops who tend to underestimate the dangers of these errors would do well to read the daily reports of the many Catholic news agencies on the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God currently in progress in Rome. They justify the correctness of the stand that we have taken on the NCB.

Thank you and God bless you all,

Michael Prabhu [Catholic Apologist
www.ephesians-511.net ] michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
and Team
October 15, 2008

 

CRITICISMS OF THE NCB:
SOME RESPONSES ON THE UCAN REPORT:

MANGALOREANCATHOLICS E-GROUP PUBLISHED THE UCAN REPORT IN ITS E-DIGEST NO. 1017 DATED OCTOBER 14, 2008 along with this comment:

Dear Michael Congratulations! This is wonderful news. Do you realise this is the first unbiased catholic news article on the NCB. The backbreaking work of yours must have paid off. You are truly “God’s scavenger” to put it as picturesquely as you, close to His heart. Many thanks for this and God bless
Derrick D’Costa BAHRAIN

COMMENT POSTED ON THE UCAN SITE:

The NCB has truly confused and hurt the Indian Church. On the one hand the official catholic media in India praises the work as a wonderful tool for inter religious understanding, not in the least countenancing the view that Hinduisation and Brahminisation is not necessarily inculturation. While we must respect other faiths, the commentary exclusively criticises Holy scripture in a tremendously painful manner and does not even in a single place criticise the non- catholic religious texts quoted. Nor can this work even try to change this approach for now the Indian Church and poor dalit Christians are

under grievous persecution in India. While none of us have any ill feeling against the tenets of other religions, some of us find the forced comparisons tragic, unfortunate and even to put it strongly, having an element of deceit.
The words of Isaiah 40.25 where our Holy God complains to His people “And to whom have ye likened me, or made me equal, saith the Holy One?” seem pertinent to mention albeit with great pain.

Yes, the NCB likens God and Holy Scripture to mythological characters and other religious texts and contrary to what is written in the very often unread preface provides ample justification for those who feel our Holy Scriptures and our Holy Lord are compared to other religious texts and deities treating them as similar. Sadly enough no Indian catholic publication has even attempted to expose the deep and very painful divisions between those who consider the NCB commentaries a well-intentioned and noble work and the voiceless majority of Catholics who consider the extreme commentary an offence and sin against the Holy Spirit have not been given fair and balanced coverage particularly by esteemed Catholic publications such as the Examiner. I am sure that I, my friends and my family members are not alone in their view that the Church has grievously and perhaps irreparably offended the Holy Spirit. May God forgive us for this.

Derrick D’Costa BAHRAIN

A number of other responses from laypersons and priests are published in a separate report which is titled

“LETTERS CALLING FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE”

 

UCAN article reproduced by CBCP News, the official news agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines:

From:
Derrick D’Costa
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 5:39 PM

Subject: This should cheer you – New Community Bible Criticized For Causing Confusion

New Community Bible Criticized For Causing Confusion

http://www.cbcpnews.com/?q=node/5194

 

For other press reports on the NCB, please see the article “The Examiner_Unpublished letters against the New Community Bible”:

“New Community Bible Released”
The Examiner [The Archdiocesan weekly of Bombay] July 05, 2008

“New Community Bible released in India” The New Leader of July 1-15, 2008, a report by Paulist Father Joseph Thenasseril SSP.

Vishal Jajruti, the All India Catholic Union monthly from Goa carried, in its July 2008 issue, the SAR news report:
“New Community Bible,
of the publishing and release of the NCB at Ahmedabad.

Catechetics India, a quarterly magazine published by the Salesians from Nitika-Don Bosco, Kolkata, August 2008 issue:

“The First Indian Catholic Bible in English: A Catechetical Appraisal”– Gilbert Choondal, sdb

 

 

 

 

This item should be read on page 3 [in chronological order]. It appears to be the very first Catholic story on the NCB release:

Bishop Macwan releases New Community Bible
July 2, 2008
http://www.sarnews.in/details.php?n=670

AHMEDABAD, Gujarat SAR news- Bishop Thomas Macwan of Ahmedabad released The New community Bible on the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul here at St. Xavier’s Parish Church, Navrangpura, June 29.

The Superior of Daughters of St. Paul community, Ahmedabad, Sister Rita Joseph, gave a brief introduction at the beginning of the Mass highlighting the significance of the Word of God and of the feast of Peter and Paul.

Emphasising the vision and mission of St. Paul, she said: “His life and his letters continue to inspire us as a great example of Christian living even 2,000 years after his death.”

“It is a fitting day for us to celebrate the opening of the Pauline Year, which has been declared by Pope Benedict XVI, commencing on 28 June this year and concluding on 29 June next.”

After releasing The New Community Bible, Bishop Thomas led a concelebrated high Mass. In his homily, he spoke of the life and the contributions of both St. Peter and St. Paul, not only in the founding of the early Churches in many places and cultures but also in the growth and spread of Christianity over the centuries.

Bishop Thomas urged the faithful to read the Bible and nourish their lives with the Word of God.

After the Holy Communion Betsy Fernandes performed a ‘thanksgiving dance’.

In the evening, the Pauline Sisters organised a prayer service on the life and message of St. Paul at their residence for the Pauline Cooperators and hosted an agape meal.

The New Community Bible is published by the Society of St. Paul. The Bible has commentary prepared by leading Bible scholars of India, contextual references to Indian traditions and easy cross references.

The new 2272-page book has many unique features such commentaries all along the text.

 

The Inculturated Mass: Forerunner of the Abomination Unto Desolation?

by Cornelia R. Ferreira
crferreira@rogers.com Expert on the evils of Feminism and the New Age

Talk given at the CFN Conference, Los Angeles. Feast of Christ the King, October 25, 2009

EXTRACT: The phenomenon of inculturation probably first hit the public consciousness under Pope John Paul II. His Masses around the world were showpieces of pagan rituals blended with Catholic ones, and were happily imitated and adapted throughout the Church.

But which came first – the Novus Ordo Mass or the concept of inculturation? Did the new Mass gradually get paganized through liturgical abuses, or was it designed to facilitate inculturation? I’ll get to that later. But here’s a hint: what seems to have been the first inculturated Mass was designed and ready to go as soon as Paul VI released his new mass in 1969. You see, inculturation was the goal of Vatican II in order to break down the “exclusivism” of Catholicism and to further the pantheistic “unity of the human race” in the Masonic New World Order, which Pope John Paul called the civilization of love. However, since the New World Order will be the Antichrist’s kingdom of Satan on earth, its culture must be Universalist and occult. Catholics belonging to it must be paganized and occultized. You will find how this is being done under our noses explained in the book John Vennari and I wrote, World Youth Day: from Catholicism to Counterchurch. Bear in mind that Satan’s religion is the occult, and he’s tried to win mankind to it from the beginning, succeeding for a short time with our first parents. Giving the devil even mental allegiance is worshipping him. Every religion – including Protestantism – outside the true one is part of the occult. […]

But it doesn’t seem the modern Church is interested in being One in sacraments, worship and faith. The Congregation for Divine Worship implies she’s a federation of national churches. These “particular churches … deepen their understanding of the liturgical heritage they have received from the Roman Church which gave them birth,” but then they “find in their own cultural heritage appropriate forms which can be integrated into the Roman rite where this is judged useful and necessary”. There’s the belief that the Mass is only a cultural construct and subject to change by national churches or groups. These can take what they want from the “mother Church,” but modify worship and faith to suit themselves.

That’s the pastoral attitude. Indeed, I have a documentary on the Hinduization of the Church in India, in which one of the leaders, an Indian priest, emphasizes that he’s an Indian Catholic, not a Roman Catholic.

Inculturation is applied to every liturgical action or devotion, such as the sacraments and the Stations of the Cross, and to all aspects of the Faith, such as Scripture.

For instance, India just published a Bible whose commentary compares the revealed Word of God with Hindu philosophy, gurus like Gandhi and occultist “mystics,” gods, goddesses, myths, and even Luther. These references, described as “Biblical values found in other religions in India” are usually introduced by a phrase like, “Similarly we read….” Hundreds of verses from Hindu sacred texts are included, and it also promotes yoga, sun worship and the satanic mantra “Om”. Meanwhile, doubts are cast on the historical validity of Divine Revelation, such as creation, Eden, original sin, the Egyptian plagues and the parting of the Red Sea. The Ten Commandments are downgraded from laws to “the charter of freedom of the people of God” and compared to some Hindu text. If this becomes the only teaching Bible in the country, and it probably will because it’s the bishops’ “baby,” it’s game over for the Catholic faith in India. With its own Bible and liturgy, it’ll be a new religion.

There is now a vast body of literature on inculturation, and it would take several books to refute the convoluted theological, psycho-sociological, anthropological and unhistorical attempts to rationalize this heretical syncretic practice which is a mortal sin against the First Commandment.

 

 

 

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me” – how can one justify bringing the worship of other gods – i.e., devils – into the worship of the one and only true God? As Pope Pius VIII said in 1829, observing the rise of indifferentism, “there can be no society of darkness with light”. The same pope also warned the faithful against bibles with interpretations contrary to Church teaching.
He said they “are rarely without perverse little inserts to insure that the reader imbibes their lethal poison instead of the saving water of salvation”. A perfect description of the Hinduized bible!

NOTE: The URL is not available with me. Ms. Ferreira is a Traditionalist- Michael

 

The Trouble with Depicting Jesus

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/women/2009/12/the_trouble_with_depicting_jes.html


By Elrena Evans December 15, 2009

Is a Bible showing the Holy Family in traditional Indian clothes any worse than one depicting them as doe-eyed Caucasians in pastels?

When the New Community Bible first released in 2008, it sold 15,000 hardcover copies in a few short weeks. Yet the resulting hue and cry over certain aspects of the Bible, the first to be produced by Indians, for Indians in simple English, has resulted in a few revisions before the second edition went to print this November. [Picture of Caucasian representation of the Nativity scene]

Why the controversy? Open a copy of the Bible, produced by the Society of St. Paul in Mumbai, and you’ll see no changes to the text. But the accompanying illustrations might look a bit different: the Holy Family, for example, is depicted as poor Indian villagers, with Mary wearing a sari and a bindi, and Joseph wearing a turban and loincloth.

Some Protestant Christian groups have argued that the artwork and the references throughout (such as to Mahatma Gandhi and the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Hindu text) do not faithfully represent Scripture, while some Hindu groups have complained that the Bible will lead to illegal conversions in a country whose Christian population is only 2.5 percent.

I’m not going to argue that depicting Mary in a sari is historically accurate — obviously it’s not. But I would enjoy a browse through the religious images in the books and homes of the Christians who are criticizing this Bible.

In my own home, my daughter’s favorite Bible is the Precious Moments Storytime Bible, which depicts a doe-eyed, Caucasian Jesus surrounded by equally doe-eyed followers. My own feelings on Precious Moments artwork aside, the artist’s vision of Jesus isn’t any more accurate than one envisioning Mary wearing a bindi on her forehead.

Remaking Jesus to look like us isn’t a new phenomenon. Any number of famous Madonna-and-child paintings depict the Holy Family looking about as historically accurate as I look fastening a head covering over my red hair to play Mary in my church’s Nativity play. Mary in a sari isn’t any further from what the actual Mary probably looked like than I am.

So why the fuss? Should we limit ourselves to artistic visions that show Jesus as he most likely looked in 1st-century Palestine, or is it spiritually acceptable to show some artistic license as long as our intentions are pure?

As we ready ourselves for Christmas, take a look at your family’s crèche or Christmas cards.

What does Jesus look like to you?

COMMENT by K.S., December 29, 2009:

It is not the sari, but the bindi that bothers me. While the mark can be for decoration or to show marriage, its source is the Hindu third eye or inner eye. It is not technically affiliated with the caste system. However, its Hindu roots should have precluded it from the illustration; anything that encourages continuation of anti-Biblical traditions among Christians should be avoided…

 

Check out around 15 critiques and reports on the New Community Bible at www.ephesians-511.net

Posted By: Michael Prabhu | January 14, 2010 2:00 AM

 

 

 

 

THE REVISED EDITION OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE IS COMING!

India’s new Bible wears a bindi

Rick Westhead, South Asia Bureau/Toronto Star November 7, 2009

Father Devassy Athalathil, a priest at the Society of St. Paul in Mumbai, who spearheaded the effort, says he isn’t worried about a backlash.

http://www.thestar.com/living/religion/article/722554–westhead-india-s-new-bible-wears-a-bindi

The Virgin Mother in a sari, Joseph donning a turban. These are just some of the depictions in an Indianized version of the Bible. The controversy that followed means a toned-down second edition this year

MUMBAI, INDIA– When Mary and Joseph discovered a power-hungry king was hunting their son Jesus Christ, they escaped to the safety of Egypt. But before Christianity’s first family fled, barefoot Mary slipped into a sari and put a bindi on her forehead, while Joseph tied tight his long loincloth and turban.

At least, that’s how their flight is illustrated in a Bible produced for Indians.

Released in India last year by the Roman Catholic Church, the “New Community Bible” became an immediate sensation – and lightning rod for controversy.

Thanks to pictures of Biblical characters in traditional Indian clothing and a commentary that drew references to Bollywood, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible sold out 15,000 hardcover copies within weeks.

Yet amid its success, the New Community Bible also became ensnared in controversy. Right-wing Hindu groups accused the Catholic Church of laying the groundwork for illegal conversions, while Protestant Christian groups alleged it misrepresented original texts.

A year on, a longtime priest at the Society of St. Paul in Mumbai, who was a driving force behind the Bible’s release, is scrambling to release a second edition. This time, Father Devassy Athalathil envisions a print run of 50,000 copies with gilt-edged pages distributed in each of India’s 28 states.

Publishing a second edition has proven vexing since inflaming religious tensions is a constant worry for church officials in India.

But Athalathil says he’s not anxious. “I wasn’t worried before the first edition came out and I’m not worried now,” said the 60-year-old, leaning back in a chair in his second-floor office, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling high stacks of books such as The Eight Beatitudes, My First Catechism and The Picture Book of Saints.

“It’s up to people whether they want to follow Jesus. Our job is to put the truth before the people. And these problems that we had weren’t God-made problems, they were man-made … They weren’t real problems.”

Still, Athalathil seems prepared to release a more toned-down version of “the truth” this time around, paring out references to Hindu texts.
Scheduled to be excised from the latest Indian Bible are references to Mahatma Gandhi’s mantra of civil disobedience, and a comparison made between the Biblical Ten Commandments, and 10 basic precepts of the Indian scriptures, which include ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truth) and brahmacharya (celibacy).

Quotes from the Bhagavad Gita are also gone, as is a narrative from the New Testament book of Luke on resurrection; in the first edition, the Bible’s commentary suggested the Hindu belief in reincarnation might cheapen the value of life.

But Athalathil says some of the key elements of the first edition will remain, including 27 Indian-themed pictures, such as a family living in a slum in the shadow of a skyscraper, and a portrait of Mother Teresa.

Religious experts say there’s little doubt why the church has released its Indian version of the Bible. India’s population is surging and the number of Christians as a percentage of the country is in danger of slipping.

Today, about 2.5 per cent of Indians, or 24 million people, are Christian. It’s worrisome enough that in the southern Indian state of Kerala, the Catholic Church has encouraged Christian families to give birth to more children – even as the federal government urges fewer babies. In some instances, the church has provided treatment to infertile couples and even paid for women to reverse tubectomy procedures.

“The church has always looked at India as fertile ground,” says Mathew Schmalz, who once lived in India and now teaches religious studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. “It tends to lead to a great deal of tension,” he says. “The church will never say it’s trying to win new converts, but it clearly is.”

That approach has often led to violence. In the summer of 2008, in the state of Orissa, Christians were blamed after a Hindu monk and four of his associates were killed. In the ensuing violence, 122 Christians were either killed or went missing, and hundreds of homes and churches were razed.

 

 

 

 

To be sure, the Christian church sometimes doesn’t do itself any favours in its mission fields. Drivers in New Delhi tell stories of missionaries coming to their villages with free textbooks and medicines. But after a while, there was a catch: some missionaries would continue their good works only if locals agreed to convert.

There are more recent examples of Christian shenanigans in India, which years ago banned foreign missionaries.

A Canadian trade official recently scheduled a meeting with someone he thought was an executive from a U.S.-based food and beverage company. “We sat down to lunch and I had this guy’s card and wanted to talk business,” the trade official said. “He said to me, `You know I’m not really here as an executive, right? I’m a missionary.'”

In his office in New Delhi, Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana*, the Holy See’s representative in India, concedes he’s worried about the prospect of a new Bible sparking more violence. He says that when religious fanatics, “put venom to the people, sometimes they create a monster you cannot control.”

And while he doesn’t enthusiastically embrace Athalathil’s bid to publish another Indianized Bible, the 56-year-old Spaniard sounds like he wants to support the effort.

“Conversion is a human right,” he says, fiddling with a large crucifix around his neck. “We cannot refuse to others our beautiful way of life.” *Shortly after this story, Quintana moved to a new assignment

MY COMMENT:

A diluted, syncretized “Bible” is not going to generate any real “conversions”, at least not to the Jesus preached by the early European missionaries.

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Categories: Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India

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