Problems with the New American Bible, St. Joseph Edition


#1

So, a while back on this forum, I heard that the NAB St. Joseph edition has foot notes contradictory to Catholic teaching. Looking for that forum again (I couldn't find it) I found this website.

bible-researcher.com/nab.douglass.html

This makes me even more worried about the accuracy of my bible. Should I read it? Or should I get a different one? (I wouldn't want to do that as this bible was given to me for my confirmation by my parents and my grandma.)


#2

Here is one of the latest: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=10311726#post10311726

Bibles are very inexpensive on eBay and in thrift stores. The NAB has been revised into the NAB/RE and there are criticisms of the revisions. If you can find a Douay-Rheims or particularly a Confraternity (CCD) bible, you will be surprised at the difference in the notes and, to a lesser degree, in the translation itself.


#3

usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/


#4

That link can be a bit misleading. These are only the versions approved since 1991. None of the preceding approved scripture versions has, in any way, been “unapproved” or “de-approved” As well, some of those versions listed at the USCCB site are protestant translations that have been somewhat re-worked by Catholics.


#5

[quote="po18guy, post:4, topic:313492"]
These are only the versions approved since 1991 for use in the liturgy. None of the preceding scripture versions has, in any way, been "unapproved" or "de-approved"

[/quote]

usccb.org/bible/understanding-the-bible/faq.cfm

Since May 19, 2002, the revised Lectionary, based on the New American Bible is the only English-language Lectionary that may be used at Mass in the dioceses of the United States, except for the current Lectionary for Masses with Children which remains in use.


#6

[quote="mdkirkbride, post:5, topic:313492"]
usccb.org/bible/understanding-the-bible/faq.cfm

Since May 19, 2002, the revised Lectionary, based on the New American Bible is the only English-language Lectionary that may be used at Mass in the dioceses of the United States, except for the current Lectionary for Masses with Children which remains in use.

[/quote]

I corrected my post. However, the OP is reading the bible and any Catholic bible may be read for personal enrichment. The bibles listed at the USCCB site are only for the purpose of national consistency in the liturgy. The rest of the English speaking world, and all non-English speaking nations, use a different bible in their liturgy.

Opinions on the usefulness and accuracy of the NAB vary widely. I use the NAB/RE only for reference, as I find it much easier to demonstrate Catholic teaching from the protestant King James Version of the bible.


#7

The OP is concerned about reading a translation (and notes) that are faithful to Catholic teachings. Reading one approved by the USCCB should allay those concerns.


#8

[quote="mdkirkbride, post:7, topic:313492"]
The OP is concerned about reading a translation (and notes) that are faithful to Catholic teachings. Reading one approved by the USCCB should allay those concerns.

[/quote]

In this thread, popular and well-reasoned concerns have been raised. As well the USCCB is not comprised completely of Bishops. It also contains a certain population of activists. Their actions have come under scrutiny, as can be seen here.


#9

Yet, even that thread isn’t about problems with Scriptural texts, but rather, a dissatisfaction with the introductory material at the beginning of some of the books of the Bible.


#10

[quote="Gorgias, post:9, topic:313492"]
Yet, even that thread isn't about problems with Scriptural texts, but rather, a dissatisfaction with the introductory material at the beginning of some of the books of the Bible.

[/quote]

Correct. Concerns with the translation itself are a separate issue. The problem is that, if notes are included in the bible, they tend to be taken as authoritative, if not binding.


#11

[quote="subject97, post:1, topic:313492"]
So, a while back on this forum, I heard that the NAB St. Joseph edition has foot notes contradictory to Catholic teaching. Looking for that forum again (I couldn't find it) I found this website.

bible-researcher.com/nab.douglass.html

This makes me even more worried about the accuracy of my bible. Should I read it? Or should I get a different one? (I wouldn't want to do that as this bible was given to me for my confirmation by my parents and my grandma.)

[/quote]

Don't worry, I don't think many are going to plow through those footnotes. Much too complicated for the average person. To be useful footnotes have to be understandable. Are they wrong, I don't know. And I don't have the patience to wade through that mess. I would say, get a Douay Rhiems with Haydock footnotes. That is what I have and I am well pleased with it.

I will say that the kind of footnotes in the NAB are highly speculative and that is exactly how they should be regarded. So just ignore them. The problem I see is that some will take them as the gospel truth. And that is a problem. :thumbsup:


#12

[quote="Linusthe2nd, post:11, topic:313492"]
Don't worry, I don't think many are going to plow through those footnotes. Much too complicated for the average person. To be useful footnotes have to be understandable. Are they wrong, I don't know. And I don't have the patience to wade through that mess. I would say, get a Douay Rhiems with Haydock footnotes. That is what I have and I am well pleased with it.

I will say that the kind of footnotes in the NAB are highly speculative and that is exactly how they should be regarded. So just ignore them. The problem I see is that some will take them as the gospel truth. And that is a problem. :thumbsup:

[/quote]

Well said. Speculation contains doubt and doubt is of the evil one. The unknown is another factor altogether. There, we place our faith in God through His Church to guide us.


#13

I must say that the actual NABRE translation is fine for reading in personal devotion and even for study. The Ignatius Bible is just as good in these respects, and is a little better with apologetics because it is similar to many Protestant versions (as it essentially is one). The notes can also be helpful when they give an explanation of the time/date, culture, language, and other facts. However, they will often make assertions that are theoretical and largely unimportant to people who are not talking a secular Bible history/criticism class, and may even serve to confuse the average reader. I really wish they'd 'prune' the notes of the speculative stuff. Then the NABRE would be great. It would also be nice if they made an inexpensive paperback (as they already do), but with larger print. Someday...


#14

see here: www.catholicbookpublishing.com/products/4


#15

As with any bible, but especially in the case of the NAB/RE, have a catechism handy if you plan on utilizing the notes or study guide.


#16

[quote="subject97, post:1, topic:313492"]
So, a while back on this forum, I heard that the NAB St. Joseph edition has foot notes contradictory to Catholic teaching. Looking for that forum again (I couldn't find it) I found this website.

bible-researcher.com/nab.douglass.html

This makes me even more worried about the accuracy of my bible. Should I read it? Or should I get a different one? (I wouldn't want to do that as this bible was given to me for my confirmation by my parents and my grandma.)

[/quote]

I never use the NAB nor the NABRE anymore. I use the Ignatiius Study Bible, douay rheims, the Navarre Study Bible, the RSC-CE or the Knox Bible now.

It would be very beneficial to The Faithful if the USCCB would discontinue the NAB and NABRE and use the RSV-CE.


#17

The RSV-CE from closer to the mid-20th century (and RSV-2CE from 2012) is/(are) on a sale right now. See:
christianforums.com/t7718397-post62240547/#post62240547
christianforums.com/t7541241-post62332111/#post62332111:

[quote="Ignatius, post:16, topic:313492"]
It would be very beneficial to The Faithful if the USCCB would discontinue the NAB and NABRE and use the RSV-CE.

[/quote]

For more discussion about modernizations of the RSV, see: christianforums.com/t7641923/


#18

“I use the NAB/RE only for reference, as I find it much easier to demonstrate Catholic teaching from the protestant King James Version of the bible.”

Yes. The KJV and D-R Challoner work well for me as well.


#19

[quote="Ignatius, post:16, topic:313492"]
I never use the NAB nor the NABRE anymore.

[/quote]

Yes you do.

Every time you participate in the Mass, you 'use' the NAB in the readings that are proclaimed. ;)

It would be very beneficial to The Faithful if the USCCB would discontinue the NAB and NABRE and use the RSV-CE.

10, 12 -- or more! -- years of graduate-level education; the graces of ordination; years of experience as priests and bishops... and "we the people" know better than our bishops do. :rolleyes:


#20

[quote="Gorgias, post:19, topic:313492"]
Yes you do.

Every time you participate in the Mass, you 'use' the NAB in the readings that are proclaimed. ;)

[/quote]

Well, maybe; only dioceses in the United States use it. Even then, many of the readings are partially or heavily edited, and there's no Mass-edition New American Bible that's ever been published (best you can do is read the Lectionary for Mass on your free time, which has the edited readings).

Most (I think 'all' but I will say 'most' to avoid being corrected by an exception) of the psalms from the NAB were banned for use at Mass by the USCCB because they were, well, terrible. The U.S. uses the Grail Psalter for the responsorial psalms and canticles.

10, 12 -- or more! -- years of graduate-level education; the graces of ordination; years of experience as priests and bishops... and "we the people" know better than our bishops do. :rolleyes:

You really think this is a matter of academia vs. uneducated masses, as if there aren't heaps of doctoral theologians and translators that despise the NAB? :p


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