Question on Ignatius Bible and NABRE

I have two questions regarding these Bibles:

  1. Why, when the Vatican quotes Scripture in encyclicals and other documents, is the RSV used? Since the NAB is the only translation approved for the Liturgy in the US, wouldn’t it make more sense to use a version familiar to us? Is this only because the Vatican is attempting to translate it into an English version that is accessible to all English-speaking nations, and doesn’t want to waste time on multiple English translations?

  2. Is there a NABRE without footnotes? I am not highly critical of the actual translation of the NABRE, and I like that it can be had for so small a price (the red paperback version), but with the notes, the print is either necessarily tiny (as in my red paperback), or, if the print is large, the Bible itself is unnecessarily cumbersome. The Ignatius Bible I have is far easier to carry around, simply because it lacks the extensive notes, AND it is easier to read in dimly-lit chapels. I would like a NABRE translation so that I could read along with the Gospel and reflect on it afterward as it was read in the Liturgy. Is there a version with larger print and no notes?

Thanks for any help.

There is no version of the NAB which precisely matches what is read in U.S. churches in every instance. The Vatican required changes to the lectionary to correct many of the inclusive language and other translation flaws of the 1986 NAB revised New Testament translation and especially the 1991 NAB psalter. The 2011 NABRE continues this unfortunate state of affairs of a mismatch between the text of the lectionary and the U.S. bishops’ preferred bible.

I don’t know the real reason for why the Vatican uses the RSV in official documents, but I can offer a few things to consider.

As you hinted at, the U.S. is not the only country in the world that speaks English. One can hardly fault the Vatican for not wanting to have to produce multiple English versions of every document they produce. I don’t know how widely used the NABRE is outside of the U.S.

Interestingly enough, if you look at the Bible that is on the Vatican website, it is the New American Bible. My guess is that it probably has to do with the fact that the USCCB owns the copyright to the NAB (and NABRE), and thus would provide the entire text of their translation to the Vatican for a minimal cost (if any). Quoting portions of the RSV in documents is much different from posting the whole text online.

As far as a NABRE version with no introductions and no footnotes, I haven’t come across any yet. Even the online versions have them.

All NABRE Bibles come with book introductions and commentary notes. Oxford offers a large print NABRE Bible (font size 12) with the notes at the end of each book, so when your reading the passages the notes are not visible.

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