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Rob Ferguson wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Why is the NAB (New American Bible) the preferred translation of the Church in America when it is clearly a less reliable translation?

The RSV-CE (Revised Standard Version — Catholic Edition) is much closer to the original languages and intent, though I personally like both translations for different reasons. The NAB seems to fall short in critical places.

  • With all the changes taking place in the liturgy why not take this opportunity to also change the official translation read at Mass to one that "hits the nail on the head"?

Rob

  { With all the liturgical changes, why not change the Mass's translation and why the New American? }

Mike replied:

Hi Rob,

Although I can empathize with what you are saying, when it comes to issues of faith and morals like:

  • What makes a Mass valid?
  • What liturgical translation of the Bible should we use for the readings at Mass?, and
  • What words make up the Mass?
  • etc.

We trust the Church. Based on what my colleagues have said in the past, I think you have a very good point, and I believe there have been some minor changes made in the readings that the Vatican has approved, but I'm not an expert in this area.

Maybe this is something Pope Benedict will consider in the future. He is very interested in improving on the liturgy of the Church. The new translation of the Roman Missal, that will start this November 2011, is proof of this.

Hope this helps,

Mike

Eric replied:

Rob —

I believe the general trajectory may be toward updating the lectionary, but nothing is official.

Rome moves slowly in everything. Actually, the NAB is no longer current; the NABRE (New American Bible — Revised Edition) is the latest translation, although I believe this only updated the Old Testament.

Eric

Rob replied:

Thanks guys,

I really appreciate your answers.

I am 100% on board with what you say about trusting the Church. Amen!

  • Has the Church presented their reasons anywhere for choosing the NAB?

Maybe they have good and valid reasons that have been articulated somewhere.
I assume they have, but maybe not.

I am grateful for your service to the Body of Christ through this medium.

Peace,

Rob

Eric replied:

Hi, Rob —

I am not so sure they "chose" the NAB so much as they produced it. It wasn't like the Church sat down and examined existing translations and picked one.

They appointed translators and made one. Why they:

  • chose specific translators
  • drew up the guidelines they did, and
  • why Rome approved the travesty

is a different question.

Eric

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