The ‘New’ New American Bible: Available Today

Almost 20 years in the making, a revised Old Testament uses updated language to get readers closer to the ancient texts.

The NC Register reports:

The New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) released on Ash Wednesday provides Catholics with a new translation of Scripture that is more faithful to the original texts than previous versions. But will they embrace the idiomatic English and fresh but unfamiliar renderings of many of the Bible’s most famous passages?

“One of the major goals,” said Robert Di Vito, a key editor of the project and an associate professor of theology at Loyola University Chicago, where he specializes in the Old Testament and Northwest Semitic philology, the linguistics of ancient biblical languages including Hebrew and Aramaic, “was to have a translation that uses colloquial and contemporary American English.”

But updating the language wasn’t the only motivation. Advances in the fields of archaeology, biblical studies and textual analysis made a new rendering of the Old Testament from the New American Bible’s 1970 first edition almost mandatory. “We’ve had 40 years of scholarship on the Dead Sea Scrolls to help improve the accuracy of the texts,” said Di Vito.

The New Testament remains unchanged, though the Psalter appears in its third edition, newly reworked from a 1991 translation that stirred controversy at the time.

This new version of the Bible, approved for personal and scholarly use but not affecting the readings used at Mass, was two decades in the making…

A major concern with any recent translation of Scripture is always how “inclusive language” — language tailored so as not to offend a particular group, most often women — is employed…

“We did try to make [this translation] inclusive to the extent that we could within the guidelines of Rome,” said Benedictine Father Joseph Jensen, a NABRE editor. As executive secretary of the Catholic Biblical Association, Jensen signed a letter critical of Liturgiam Authenticam, a Vatican instruction on translating the liturgy into the vernacular…

While all these concerns are important, the average Catholic is more likely to ask simpler questions: Do I like this new translation? Does it read well?

Read the whole piece here.

Got to get my hands on one! (Sometime…)

I mentioned the release before here.


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