NAB Verse Numbering Error?


Hello everyone,

My wife is reading through proverbs and noticed in her NAB translation that Proverbs 3 has verse out of order, apparently. It goes

(missing 35)

…where verse 35 seems to have been accidentally moved to follow 25. I have two different bibles that are both NAB, and an RSV and some NIV translations, and this is only in the NAB translations. Is this just an error or was there a purpose? There is no notation at the bottom of the pages to indicate why this is so. Thanks!



In some versions of the NAB I think the translators re-arranged verses when they thought the original order had somehow been messed up but they kept the verse numbers traditionally attached to those verses. That might be what happened in your NAB, though without text of the verses it is hard to say.

The online NAB-RE does not seem to have the change you mentioned.


Sometimes verses are moved when it seems they work better elsewhere, which is probably the case here. I think I remember seeing a note in mine about that. Is there an asterisk next to the verse? It should offer an explanation.


Nope, nothing from the company that made the books.


That’s weird. I looked at both my NAB and NABRE. It’s present in the NAB, but not the revised edition.

There isn’t a note specifically for verse 35, but there is one for verses 13-24. It says that “Wisdom, or understanding, is more valuable than silver and gold. Its fruit is long life, riches, honor and happiness.”

It seems to me that verse 35 was moved to fit with that theme, as it says, “Honor is the possession of wise men, but fools inherit shame.”


Here is v35 commentary from the Rev. George Leo Haydock Commentary:

“Ver. 35. Disgrace. They are seen by more, and their fall is more dangerous. (Calmet) — “A fool extols what is ignominious.” (Pagnin) (Haydock)”

Off-topic and maybe unwanted, but the various NAB-related problems can be avoided by purchasing a copy of the Oxford/Cambridge Revised English Bible w/Apocrypha. It was revised (from the New English Bible) with the involvement of the Catholic Church in the UK. I find it more Catholic than the NAB or NAB/RE. At the very least, in Luke 1:28 Mary is “Most favored” rather than merely “favored.” There are other verses rendered better, as well. I have asked Cambridge Press, but it would be cost-prohibitive to produce a Catholic Edition. :frowning: In any event, used (VG to Like New) copies are less than $10.


I figured it might be something like that, but thought it odd that they didn’t include a footnote to explain the reasoning.

Either, way, I don’t really read the NAB. I prefer the RSV-2CE, and once done with a read through of that, will be getting a D-R version.


In my 1970 NAB the error is present.
In my current NABRE Personal Study Edition, the error has been corrected.

You have indeed found a typographical error! :wink:


The editors of the 1970 NAB thought that some verses made more sense transposed (a lot of this can be seen in the book of Job), figuring the text suffered in transmission. The result is that verses are often found “out of order” while keeping the numbering.

The new 2011 Old Testament has largely avoided this philosophy and have kept the verses in the order as found in the Hebrew, much like the RSV.


Ah, so it was an intentional mistake. :rolleyes: More reasons to love the NAB. :wink:


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