by Mark Giszczak, S.S.L., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture
1. Text Comparison Tool
The Verbum Text Comparison Tool lets you quickly and easily compare the ESV Catholic Edition against any other translation. Since it is a daughter translation of the RSV, you can see every decision that the ESV translators made. If you add the ESV-CE to your library of Catholic Bibles, it gives you yet another translation to look at when evaluating any given verse. The Text Comparison Tool is also a great way to view the original language and the ESV-CE side by side.
2. Hover-over pop-up
If you set the ESV Catholic Edition as your Preferred Bible, then every time you hover over a Scripture reference in any tagged book in Verbum, it will display the ESV-CE translation of the passage. This very convenient feature makes reading texts heavy with references much more pleasant.
3. Translation philosophy
Since the ESV-CE is a word-for-word, “essentially literal” translation, it is well-suited to detailed study. You can dive deep in any passage and trust that you are looking at a translation that is trying to deliver as much meaning as possible from the original languages into English. The ESV-CE helps you get closer to the original meaning.
4. Hover-over textual notes
The ESV-CE includes textual notes. When you hover over the superscript letter that indicates a note, it pops up immediately for quick and easy reference. This tool is extra helpful in complex texts with multiple textual traditions like the book of Sirach. Note, for example, how the ESV-CE includes the heading “Discipline of the Tongue” at Sir 23:6 since it is included in the Greek. You can see the same heading in the Greek critical editions and in the NETS but not in most other translations.
While the deuterocanon of the ESV was released in print in 2009, this is the first time an electronic edition is available in the Verbum ecosystem. These important books, which are part of the Catholic canon, are now available.
The ESV-CE was approved in 2018 by the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India and is now in use in the liturgy in that nation. Using the Catholic Daily Readings Tool in Verbum, you can easily follow along and read the Lectionary readings for each day in the ESV-CE translation.
While the ESV has been available for evangelical Protestants since 2001, this is the first time Catholics have an edition of this translation. Reading the ESV Bible together is a great way for Catholics and Protestants to celebrate what we have in common.
8. Interlinear features
Like the other Bible translations available in Verbum, the ESV-CE soon will be tagged with interlinear features so you can look behind the curtain and see exactly how each word is translated from the original languages. Using the Inline Reverse Interlinear view, you can see the sentences as they flow, but the Reverse Interlinear Pane at the bottom of the window helps you zero in on specific definitions.
9. Clicking and copying
Verbum makes it so easy to study any word you find by right-clicking on the word. Then you can select Bible Word Study to go deeper into definitions, word frequency, and other topics. Copying text from Verbum for your Bible studies, notes, and presentations is made so simple by the speedy Copy Bible Verses Tool, which gives you plenty of options and a streamlined interface.
10. Highlight and take notes
Any good old paper Bible used for serious study has a bunch of notes, markings, highlights, and so forth. Verbum provides plenty of ways to mark up your digital ESV-CE Bible with colors, highlights, emphasis markups, and inductive style notations. You can also add a note to any word, passage, or paragraph by selecting, right-clicking, and choosing “Take a note.” That way, you’ll always be able to find your notes when you come back to that passage.
The ESV Catholic Edition offers Verbum users another great Catholic translation, approved by Church authorities and ready for detailed study. The fact that the word-for-word translation adheres to the translation principles of Liturgiam authenticam means that readers of the ESV-CE can trust the text they are reading. This new translation option, combined with all the great features of Verbum, will allow users to do exactly what the program is meant for: focus on the Bible, study it deeply, and offer well-researched, nuanced interpretations to their various audiences, classes, congregations, and Bible study groups.