Saturday, June 27

Deryni Checkmate (1972, Rev. Ed. 2005) and High Deryni (1973, Rev. Ed. 2007)

By Katherine Kurtz

I previously wrote [LINK] of my history with this series and what brought me back, thirty-odd years after the last time I read it, to the opening trilogy which is collectively called The Chronicles of the Deryni (although that title would now, I think, better serve as a title for the series as a whole). I won’t retread that ground here but rather dive straight off into a few thoughts about the second and third books, which will be intermingled with my thoughts both on the trilogy as a whole and the series as a whole.

Monday, June 22

A.D.: The Bible Continues (12 episodes, NBC TV 2015)

Produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett

A.D.: The Bible Continues is, of course, billed as the even-longer sequel (of sorts) to the 2013 miniseries, The Bible, which aired as ten episodes on The History Channel. In reality, it is more properly a sequel, albeit with different actors, to the feature film that was adapted out of The Bible as Son of God (2014) [reviewed here: LINK]. That’s because its narrative would have to be inserted within that of The Bible while it follows directly from the conclusion of Son of God. But that’s really a minor distinction, except in the sense that it was an attempt to recapture the high ratings of The Bible on a weekly basis. Judging by the numbers reported in the Wikipedia articles [LINK and LINK], however, that didn’t really work out as hoped.

Our Monday evening Bible study group has watched and discussed every episode of A.D.: The Bible Continues for the past twelve weeks (finishing our discussion up tonight), using it to pace our reading of the first ten chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, which are the scriptures behind what was portrayed. The Biblical narrative is, however, wedded to an attempt at some larger historical context as well as a whoppingly big dose of imagination. Now that the series has concluded its original airing as of last night, I have some comments to make.

Wednesday, June 3

The CTS New Catholic Bible (2013)

Catholic Truth Society UK

I’ve been meaning to post this for quite a while but am just getting around to it, finally spurred to do so when checking to see if it were available on found that while it has a page [LINK], it shows as currently unavailable and there is virtually no information on it, not even a customer review. I remedied that immediately and decided to also post my thoughts here….

This is my daily reading Bible. A bit of background: I am a convert to Catholicism, back in the 1980s, and my first Catholic Bible was the Jerusalem Bible. Since then I have always loved the high literary quality of the translation (the fact that J. R. R. Tolkien was part of the team producing it back in the 1960s helped in that respect!), except for one thing that I found increasingly irksome – its use of the Divine Name Yahweh against thousands of years of tradition, both Jewish and Christian, rendering it as "The Lord." The Jerusalem Bible may not be the most slavishly literal translation (for that, go to the Douay-Rheims), but I do find it the most readable. Nevertheless, the "Yahweh issue" eventually drove me to other translations, most commonly the Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition, as a good balance of readability and literal accuracy. Anyway, last year while on the Pilgrimage to Italy [LINK], I went into a little bookstore in St. Peter's Square where I found a red Compact Edition of this Bible (not this edition) as one of the few English editions available. Seeing that it was from the Catholic Truth Society, “Publishers to the Holy See,” I picked it up, and a quick perusal of the introduction revealed that I had finally found my dream reading Bible – a Jerusalem Bible with the Divine Name rendered as "Lord," with an extra attraction as well: The Psalms are printed in the Grail translation, which has become intimately familiar to me from years of reciting the Breviary. The only reason I did not immediately purchase that Bible on the spot was its compact size and tiny print, which I knew was too small for daily reading with my middle-aged eyes. But immediately upon arriving back in the States I was on the Internet seeking out a larger copy, settling on this one, the Standard Edition, basically the next size up, which I purchased directly from the CTS in the UK (The Internet is a Wonderful Thing!). And I have used it daily ever since, because it came with other features I didn't even know about at the time, but which further enhance its utility as a daily reading Bible.

Tuesday, June 2

Deryni Rising (1970; rev. ed. 2004)

By Katherine Kurtz

Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni series is probably the single “open-ended” series of fiction that I have read most consistently across most of my life. A fairly good number of such series have come and gone from my must-read list (see below); there are a few that I have taken up in the last couple of decades that currently enjoy that status (The Dresden Files, Honor Harrington, The Nathan Heller Cases). But there is only one that I can think of now that I have read virtually all my life, certainly from late-adolescence/early-adulthood. And it is perhaps the most profoundly influential series in shaping my character and personality, who I am today. There was, however, a long dearth in publication of new installments, eight years between when the last appeared in 2006 and the recent publication of the latest late last year, which led to it drifting out of my consciousness. Nevertheless, recent conversation with friends brought it to mind and a quick Internet search revealed the recent publication of the most recent book, which I ordered. But the wait for The King’s Deryni to arrive (some things I’m just not going to read in ebook) also inspired me to revisit the very beginning of the series – sort of.