Reading "liberal" bible translations


#1

I was wondering if anyone else has experienced the same thing. As a pretty conservative Catholic, I have always steered away from bible translations that would be considered.....well.....liberal. You know what I'm talking about. The ones that make Mother Angelica furrow her brow when she talks about them. The ones that have "ughhh"....inclusive language...."ew!".

Don't get me wrong. I am not a Latin Mass attending Douay Rheims reading kinda guy. It's just that I have always played it safe and stuck with my favorites, the Jerusalem Bible and the RSVCE (or RSV2CE).

Then one day I was flipping through a NRSV and noticed something interesting. It is clearer and easier to read than my RSV. Lately I've noticed myself picking up my NRSV more and more for every day reading. Now I don't go overboard and take it out into public. I am not crazy or anything. I might run into Patrick Madrid or Scott Hahn or Jimmy Akin on the streets of my Texas town.
They might laugh at me........or even throw something at me.
In all seriousness though, has anyone had a similiar experience? Do you carry your RSVCE to bible studys but read another translation when no one is looking. Please share.
Just trying to keep it light folks.
Love,
Lloyd


#2

I think that inclusive language is fine when it doesn't change the meaning of the original text.

E.g., Humankind for Mankind.

I wouldn't think that was "satanic" - to quote Mother angelica.

This is pertinent:
**Liturgiam authenticam **ON THE USE OF VERNACULAR LANGUAGES IN THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOKS OF THE ROMAN LITURGY

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20010507_liturgiam-authenticam_en.html

  1. In many languages there exist nouns and pronouns denoting both genders, masculine and feminine, together in a single term. The insistence that such a usage should be changed is not necessarily to be regarded as the effect or the manifestation of an authentic development of the language as such. Even if it may be necessary by means of catechesis to ensure that such words continue to be understood in the “inclusive” sense just described, it may not be possible to employ different words in the translations themselves without detriment to the precise intended meaning of the text, the correlation of its various words or expressions, or its aesthetic qualities. When the original text, for example, employs a single term in expressing the interplay between the individual and the universality and unity of the human family or community (such as the Hebrew word ’adam, the Greek anthropos, or the Latin homo), this property of the language of the original text should be maintained in the translation. Just as has occurred at other times in history, the Church herself must freely decide upon the system of language that will serve her doctrinal mission most effectively, and should not be subject to externally imposed linguistic norms that are detrimental to that mission.

#3

Well, I can certainly understand why people would do this... one has a Bible one reads and studies, and one brings the copy that everyone else is using to a Bible study--that makes sense.

OTOH, a lot of times people will use two or even more versions in order to develop their understanding further. For example, 2 of my Bibles use you for the singular and for the plural. So when I want to find out whether plural or singular was used originally, I will look in the DR version. (my children laugh at me for wanting to use you and you-all, but these are sometimes very important!).


#4

quote="St_Francis, post:3, topic:333733".

[/quote]

Yes, a lot of people laugh at that, but it really does make perfect sense to have a clearly-recognizable plural! :D


#5

hm - i always read the same bible physically though i am fine with other versions online. i only own one bibel: the catholic study bibel-new american bible :D


#6

I think Scott Hahn would tell you that the best Bible translation is the one you'll read. He probably wouldn't throw something at you, except for maybe a copy of his latest book. :)

I prefer the RSVCE, but I've got lots of different translations on my shelves. If the NRSV seems easier for you to read and encourages you to read more often, then I see no problem with it.

If you start reading through it and the way a verse is phrased leads you to think, "Hey, I think the Catholic Church is wrong because of the way this one translation reads" -- then that would be a problem.


#7

[quote="lloydbirdman, post:1, topic:333733"]
I was wondering if anyone else has experienced the same thing. As a pretty conservative Catholic, I have always steered away from bible translations that would be considered.....well.....liberal. You know what I'm talking about. The ones that make Mother Angelica furrow her brow when she talks about them. The ones that have "ughhh"....inclusive language...."ew!".

Don't get me wrong. I am not a Latin Mass attending Douay Rheims reading kinda guy. It's just that I have always played it safe and stuck with my favorites, the Jerusalem Bible and the RSVCE (or RSV2CE).

Then one day I was flipping through a NRSV and noticed something interesting. It is clearer and easier to read than my RSV. Lately I've noticed myself picking up my NRSV more and more for every day reading. Now I don't go overboard and take it out into public. I am not crazy or anything. I might run into Patrick Madrid or Scott Hahn or Jimmy Akin on the streets of my Texas town.
They might laugh at me........or even throw something at me.
In all seriousness though, has anyone had a similiar experience? Do you carry your RSVCE to bible studys but read another translation when no one is looking. Please share.
Just trying to keep it light folks.
Love,
Lloyd

[/quote]

I don't think there is anything "liberal" or "inclusive" in most bible translations. The USCCB uses the New American Bible which is easy to understand. I have that addition as well as an RSV.

That said I still have an affinity to my Protestant NIV (of which the only problems I have found would be in areas that conflict with Protestant doctrine are sometimes "softened"). I also like my New American Standard.

Bottom line: the only inerrant scriptures are the original Greek. Every translation has its plusses and minuses so as long as you are aware of that..... Read away!


#8

I would throw in the Dead Sea scrolls there too.


#9

I don't know anything about the NRSV, but we do own & use several different versions, including my great-aunt's KJV. :)

My favorite version, for being easy to read & understand, is the NIV.


#10

[quote="lloydbirdman, post:1, topic:333733"]
I was wondering if anyone else has experienced the same thing. As a pretty conservative Catholic, I have always steered away from bible translations that would be considered.....well.....liberal. You know what I'm talking about. The ones that make Mother Angelica furrow her brow when she talks about them. The ones that have "ughhh"....inclusive language...."ew!".

Don't get me wrong. I am not a Latin Mass attending Douay Rheims reading kinda guy. It's just that I have always played it safe and stuck with my favorites, the Jerusalem Bible and the RSVCE (or RSV2CE).

Then one day I was flipping through a NRSV and noticed something interesting. It is clearer and easier to read than my RSV. Lately I've noticed myself picking up my NRSV more and more for every day reading. Now I don't go overboard and take it out into public. I am not crazy or anything. I might run into Patrick Madrid or Scott Hahn or Jimmy Akin on the streets of my Texas town.
They might laugh at me........or even throw something at me.
In all seriousness though, has anyone had a similiar experience? Do you carry your RSVCE to bible studys but read another translation when no one is looking. Please share.
Just trying to keep it light folks.
Love,
Lloyd

[/quote]

By all means. Heavy inclusive language notwithstanding, the NRSV is widely considered to be the current scholarly standard in Biblical studies, both in Catholic and Protestant circles. There are some places where they sacrificed accuracy for the sake of inclusive language (e.g. adelphoi = "members of my family" for "brothers"; huioi = "children" for "sons"). Others inclusivized passages though are accurate even though they sound less traditional ("fish for people" instead of "fishers of men" but anthropon is indeed translatable to refer to humanity in general, so this is quite acceptable).

As for Scott Hahn, while it appears he uses the RSV-CE for his popular books, his scholarly work (cf. Covenant and Communion) does use the NRSV so he won't throw anything at you on the street for sure.


#11

Um. Not to conflate anything here – but “liberal” is a political term. So is “conservative.” There are no “liberal” or “conservative” translations.

There’s only “orthodox” or not.

The word “orthodox” here means “conforming to established doctrine especially in religion.”

Me – I have several translations. The one I read most frequently is the RSV-CE - 2nd edition. That’s the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, 2nd edition.

It’s published by Ignatius press.

A completely new design and typeset edition of the popular Ignatius Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition Bible, with minor revisions to some of the archaic language used in the first edition. This revised version is a contemporary English translation without dumbing-down the text. This second edition of the RSV doesn’t put the biblical text through a filter to make it acceptable to current tastes and prejudices, and it retains the beauty of the RSV language that has made it such a joy to read and reflect on the Word of God. Now the only Catholic Bible in standard English is even more beautiful in word and design!

Features:

•Completely re-designed and newly typeset with 9 point font size. Wider margins and improved line-spacing for comfortable reading.

•**The RSV, second Catholic edition is the only Bible translation that uses standard (non-feminist) English and is in conformity with the Church’s translation guidelines found in the Vatican document, Liturgiam Authenticam **

•Nine reference maps in color:

  1. The Nations of Genesis Chapter 10
  2. The Exodus from Egypt
  3. The Conquest of Canaan
  4. The Kingdom Years
  5. Jerusalem - From David to Christ
  6. Palestine in Christ’s Time
  7. Paul’s First and Second Journeys
  8. Paul’s Third and Fourth Journeys
  9. The Holy Land in Modern Times.

•Approximate dimensions: 6" x 9".

==========================================================

I got that RSVCE-2nd edition for a 6 or so month long Bible study I went to last year. That’s the Bible study called The Great Adventure (The Bible Timeline) series. That’s because the RSVCE-2nd edition bible is the one that Jeff Cavin uses for The Great Adventure. I highly recommend it if your parish puts one on. The videos are very pricey for just one person. Also, there’s great benefit in viewing and discussing those videos each week with other people.

biblestudyforcatholics.com/


#12

The problem with some of the looser Bible translations is that the meaning that is being conveyed, which is easy to understand, is not consonant with what the Word of God is actually saying. An over-simplification or even a distortion of the meaning is what results in the passage being easily comprehended.

The more literal translations usually do a better job of retaining the multiple levels of meaning, the complexity, and the mystery found in the original languages. To understand Scripture should take much thought and prayerful meditation on the mysteries being presented in the Word of God. When it is simple and quick to understand, you might be missing some of the meaning.


#13

As for me I prefer a literal translation, but with footnotes that are very orthodox and very traditional. I do think that there can be a good balance between being very literal but at the same time easy on the ears, it doesn’t have to sound like Yoda.

I understand the liberal/conservative wording used by the OP, anymore those terms seem synonymous or very similar with traditional/untraditional, since liberals are usually not traditional, and conservatives are usually traditional (if we want to generalize). But then again we run into the trouble of assuming that someone who is untraditional in their theology is a flaming pro-abortion liberal, which can be nothing further from the truth because there are many who prefer the newest scholarly flavor of the month and still are very orthodox in Catholic doctrine. And I’ve seen those who act as if they are old school Catholics but are very heterodox and are at variance against Catholic doctrine.


#14

I believe that the RSV-2CE is the best Protestant based Catholic polished translation there is and is superior to the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible, and the New American Bible.

I believe that the Confraternity Douay Bible with a New English Translation of the New Latin Psalms authorized by Pope Pius XII is the best bible that a Catholic can get.

You can find them on the internet–usually with copyrights between 1949 through 1952.

In 1953 they started revising the Old Testament with the books of Genesis through the Book of Ruth. These are copyrighted in 1953 and 1954 and are also good.

In 1955 they revised the Psalms and used Happy instead of blessed in Psalms chapter 3. That isn’t good. That’s the main reason I stay away from Confraternity Douay bibles after 1954–the Psalms in them aren’t as good.

But for most all of the Confraternity Douay Bibles published through 1969–they all have conservative non-modernist notes and conservative book introductions and no inclusive language.

If you haven’t read one of these combination bibles give it a try–they don’t cost too much and if you hate inclusive language non sense and modernist notes you’ll love these bibles.


#15

Right now I'm reading, and enjoying, the Good News Translation - Catholic Edition when I get the chance. Don't know if it's liberal or conservative, but many times it puts things in how they'd be said in common English. For me this is a big plus, especially when reading to someone else (usually my Mom).


#16

[quote="HillbillyHermit, post:15, topic:333733"]
Right now I'm reading, and enjoying, the Good News Translation - Catholic Edition when I get the chance. Don't know if it's liberal or conservative, but many times it puts things in how they'd be said in common English. For me this is a big plus, especially when reading to someone else (usually my Mom).

[/quote]

The GNT!? :eek: Well, at least it's better than the TLB. ;)

In all seriousness, though, "liberal" and "conservative" probably aren't the best adjectives to describe it. The GNT is more of a paraphrase. That's what makes it more readable. But, in general, paraphrasing allows translator bias to enter in more readily. So that's just something to keep in mind.


#17

“If somebody gave me an inclusive-language Bible, I’d burn it.”
~ Mother Angelica

:thumbsup:


#18

[quote="Joe_5859, post:16, topic:333733"]
The GNT!? :eek: Well, at least it's better than the TLB. ;)

In all seriousness, though, "liberal" and "conservative" probably aren't the best adjectives to describe it. The GNT is more of a paraphrase. That's what makes it more readable. But, in general, paraphrasing allows translator bias to enter in more readily. So that's just something to keep in mind.

[/quote]

LOL
Yeah, it has its strengths and weaknesses. It helps speed things along when reading the 90 day reading plan found here. But, for Daily Mass Readings (unless I hit some verse that Mom and I wonder about) it's the NAB. Same thing for the Divine Office, and whatever translation the Psalms are in Christian Prayer. Then there's the RSV-CE when I get the chance to read some of the Catechism. Mostly it's the NAB for Mass Readings and Liturgy of the Hours.


#19

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