Church

NABRE: A NAB Version Revision

This was predicted. The USCCB has announced a revision to the New American Bible:

WASHINGTON (January 6, 2011)—The New American Bible, revised edition (NABRE), the first major update to the New American Bible (NAB) translation in 20 years, has been approved for publication. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, then president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), signed the canonical rescript approving publication on September 30, 2010. The NABRE will be available in a variety of print, audio and electronic formats on March 9, Ash Wednesday.

The new translation takes into account advances in linguistics of the biblical languages, as well as changes in vocabulary and the cultural background of English, in order to ensure a more accurate translation. This issue is addressed in the apostolic exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, in which the pope says, “The inculturation of God’s word is an integral part of the Church’s mission in the world, and a decisive moment in this process is the diffusion of the Bible through the precious work of translation into different languages.”

The new translation also takes into account the discovery of new and better ancient manuscripts so that the best possible textual tradition is followed.

The NABRE includes the first revised translation of the Old Testament since 1970 and a complete revision of the Psalter. It retains the 1986 edition of the New Testament. Work on most books of the Old Testament began in 1994 and was completed in 2001. The 1991 revision of the Psalter was further revised between 2009 and 2010.

The revision aimed at making use of the best manuscript traditions available, translating as accurately as possible, and rendering the result in good contemporary English. In many ways it is a more literal translation than the original New American Bible and has attempted to be more consistent in rendering Hebrew (or Greek) words and idioms, especially in technical contexts, such as regulations for sacrifices. In translating the Psalter special effort was made to provide a smooth, rhythmic translation for easy singing or recitation and to retain the concrete imagery of the Hebrew.

The NABRE is approved for private use and study. It will not be used for the Mass, which uses an earlier, modified version of the NAB translation.

The last paragraph is telling and one can only assume that the cost implications of changing Missals, Liturgical Texts, the Lectionary, Prayerbooks, The Catechism and Large-Print Bibles etc. is a weighing factor. The NABRE is effectively the fourth edition of the NAB. 

There is even a Facebook site for the NABRE here.

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