BY A STAFF REPORTER
THE New English Bible, which took 30 scholars 22 years to translate from the earliest Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek originals is a sell-out.
it was published on Monday and by Tuesday the entire print order of a million copies had been distributed and bookshops were asking for more.
A spokesman for the Oxford University Press, joint publishers with the Cambridge University Press, said that orders exceeded the planned production target of 20,000 a week, "but we're doing our best to get the Bibles into the shops."
Fr. Walter Abbott, S.J., who heads the World Federation for the Biblical Apostolate at the Vatican, said that Catholic approval was likely if the Old Testament translation matched that of the New, which was published m 1961.
INAUGURAL SERVICE Bishop Butler, Archbishop of Westminster, who read a passage from the new version at an inaugural service attended by the Queen Mother at Westminster Abbey on Monday, said: "The production of this Bible is a very notable ecumenical achievement. I am very happy to be allowed to be associated with it as representing the Catholic body in this country."
Fr. Reginald Fuller, the Catholic biblical scholar whose review of the New English Bible appears on page 4, said: "Catholic scholars have examined the New English Bible very carefully and doctrinally or confessionally they have no objection to it at all. The only point where Catholics would differ is in the arrangement of the books known as the Apochypha, known to them as deutero-canonical.
"In the New English Bible these books are presented between the two Testaments. As a practical measure it has already been agreed by the Vatican that Catholics can use the books arranged in this way.
"It has not yet been authorised for public use in churches. This is not a reflection on the translation but simply because four ether translations are already in use."