RSV-CE and NAB Bibles

I understand the REV-CE (Ignatius Bible) is agreed by many to be the best Catholic translation. Also, it is the translation used in the Catechism.

My question is, if the RSV-CE is superior, why do we use the NAB in the Lectionary at Mass in the U.S.?

Also, what are your opinions of the two translations? Strengths/weaknesses and pros/cons of each?

Thanks and God Bless,
Amy

The RSV is much more catholic.

Someone may give you a technical explanation, but these versions of Luke 1:28 speak for themselves:

(RSV) “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.”

(NAB) “Hail, highly favored one! The Lord is with you.”

:slight_smile:

We use the NAB because that is the translation the the USCCB submitted to the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW). CDW then gave its recognitio saying that it was licit to use the NAB.

[quote=Amy]I understand the REV-CE (Ignatius Bible) is agreed by many to be the best Catholic translation. Also, it is the translation used in the Catechism.

My question is, if the RSV-CE is superior, why do we use the NAB in the Lectionary at Mass in the U.S.?

Also, what are your opinions of the two translations? Strengths/weaknesses and pros/cons of each?

Thanks and God Bless,
Amy
[/quote]

I believe that the NAB includes inclusive language to not offend anyone. THE RSV-CE does not have inclusive language.

[quote=Amy]I understand the REV-CE (Ignatius Bible) is agreed by many to be the best Catholic translation. Also, it is the translation used in the Catechism.

My question is, if the RSV-CE is superior, why do we use the NAB in the Lectionary at Mass in the U.S.?

Also, what are your opinions of the two translations? Strengths/weaknesses and pros/cons of each?

Thanks and God Bless,
Amy
[/quote]

Probably because the RSV has it’s origin within Protestantism. The RSV is an update of the KJV.

[quote=Crusader]Probably because the RSV has it’s origin within Protestantism. The RSV is an update of the KJV.
[/quote]

Actually the original RSV was a joint effort of Catholics and Protestants to come up with a translation that could be used by both. The RSV-CE is an edition that adds an even more Catholic character to this translation. It is approved for reading by Catholics in the US and, in fact, is the translation used by the Vatican when translating official documents from Latin to English.

I think the reason we largely continue to use the NAB in the liturgy (and there are other translations approved for that use) is that the NAB was created especially for US Catholics to have one consistent translation that was easily understandable to our particular idiom (how well it does that is a matter of opinion). I think we see it so often is because the bishops have commited to it for the sake of consistency.

For example, I personally prefer the RSV-CE for devotional reading and private study. However, when I lead a parish Bible study (especially if it is liturgically based), I gear it toward the NAB because that is how it is heard in the liturgy and that is the translation most particpants are likely to have.

[quote=Crusader]Probably because the RSV has it’s origin within Protestantism. The RSV is an update of the KJV.
[/quote]

I would agree with that - I think the “CE” means that they added the 7 deuterocanonical books, and had Catholic editors check through any verses that might show a Protestant bias. But otherwise I think it is mostly the work of Anglican scholars.

The edition of the RSV-CE that I have doesn’t have nearly the same level of footnotes that my 1962 Confraternity edition, or my “old” NAB, or my “new” NAB have. So it’s not quite as user-friendly. Also it does have the “thee” and “thou”, which I kind of like, but it’s not how most people talk these days.

[quote=arnulf]The RSV is much more catholic.

Someone may give you a technical explanation, but these versions of Luke 1:28 speak for themselves:

(RSV) “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.”

(NAB) “Hail, highly favored one! The Lord is with you.”

:slight_smile:
[/quote]

I happen to have the 1970 NAB, and this verse in Luke is:

[NAB,1970] “Rejoice, O highly favored daughter! The Lord is with you.”

I wasn’t aware of the controversies concerning the translations until a couple years ago. As I understand it, the 1970 version of NAB is not as controversial as two later versions which are used for the readings at Mass, but I could be mistaken.

What about the Jerusalem Bible too?

My 1970 NAB was obtained because I only had the Good News Bible before when I was in the Navy. Though The Good News Bible isn’t thought of much, I did recover my faith through it more than 25 years ago.

[quote=Bobby Jim] Also it does have the “thee” and “thou”, which I kind of like, but it’s not how most people talk these days.
[/quote]

I think that’s a good thing. I like the idea of using language for religious purposes that is different from our everyday slang-ridden prose. It lifts things to a supernatural plane. It reminds one of the majesty of God. Out of time and into eternity.

Betsy

[quote=baltobetsy]I think that’s a good thing. I like the idea of using language for religious purposes that is different from our everyday slang-ridden prose. It lifts things to a supernatural plane. It reminds one of the majesty of God. Out of time and into eternity.

Betsy
[/quote]

:smiley:

Perhaps then we should dust off the Vulgate? :wink:

I read the RSV-CE published by Scepter Publishing. It does not have inclusive language. I also own and read a photostatic copy of the original English translation of the Douai-Reims Bible (New Testament published in 1582, Old Testament published in 1609). This Bible is three thick volumes, and may have more footnotes and explanatory text than actual Scripture! Yes, that old-style English is sometimes hard to understand, but I find it makes me slow down and really think about the passage I’ve just read!

Regarding “Thee” and “Thou”:

[quote=baltobetsy]I think that’s a good thing. I like the idea of using language for religious purposes that is different from our everyday slang-ridden prose. It lifts things to a supernatural plane. It reminds one of the majesty of God. Out of time and into eternity.

[/quote]

Once upon a time “thou” and “thee” served as the second person familiar pronouns in English… so this is how a parent would talk to a child, or a husband and a wife, or close friends, or other intimate relations. I think it is traditionally used with God because we are supposed to be intimate with Him. “You” was originally the formal pronoun… a servant speaking to his master, or to someone you don’t know so well, or to someone who is “better” than you.

I wonder why “Thee” and “Thou” fell into disuse - a lot of other European languages (e.g. Spanish, French, German) have both formal and familiar pronouns. I heard it was a backlash against the Puritans, who referred to everyone as “thou”, but I don’t know if that’s really true. But I think you can still hear the Amish speaking this way.

[quote=Bobby Jim]Regarding “Thee” and “Thou”:

Once upon a time “thou” and “thee” served as the second person familiar pronouns in English… so this is how a parent would talk to a child, or a husband and a wife, or close friends, or other intimate relations. I think it is traditionally used with God because we are supposed to be intimate with Him. “You” was originally the formal pronoun… a servant speaking to his master, or to someone you don’t know so well, or to someone who is “better” than you.

I wonder why “Thee” and “Thou” fell into disuse - a lot of other European languages (e.g. Spanish, French, German) have both formal and familiar pronouns. I heard it was a backlash against the Puritans, who referred to everyone as “thou”, but I don’t know if that’s really true. But I think you can still hear the Amish speaking this way.
[/quote]

I’m taking a course right now in the history of the English language, and we’ve just been covering second-person pronouns.

Originally, the “th-” pronouns were second-person singular, not informal, while the “y-” pronouns were second-person plural. By the end of the 16th century (Shakespeare’s time), this usage had died out, and the familiar-formal usage had replaced it. The prof read a section from one of Shakespeare’s plays where a female character and a male character are talking, using, respectively, the “th-” pronouns (because she wants to be insulting) and the “y-” pronouns (because he’s trying to score points.

However, when it comes to English translations of the Bible, the usage goes back to the older singular-plural distinction. God is addressed as “Thou” because He is One, not because we are supposed to be familiar with Him. I can’t speak for the D-R translators, but the KJV translators intentionally preserved this usage from the older translations in order to preserve what they considered to be an elevated style of speech.

Also, because the KJV preserves the singular-plural distinction, we miss something in the more modern translations where all second-person pronouns are “you/your.” For example, Jesus tells Peter, “…Satan hath desired to have you (all of y’all disciples), that he might sift you (ditto) as wheat, but I have prayed for thee (specifically Peter), that thy (ditto) fath fail hot; and when thou (Peter) art converted, strengthen thy (ditto) brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32) Likewise, when Jesus is talking about the person to whom He will give the keys to the Kingdom of God, he is addressing Peter and using “thee.” That grammatical analysis is one of the main things that convinced me of the truth of the primacy of Peter. However, those distinctions are totally missing in the modern translations, leading Protestant evangelicals to get several points wrong.

DaveBj

DaveBj: Do the original Hebrew and Greek languages have these distinctions for singular and plural second person pronouns?

[quote=mmortal03]DaveBj: Do the original Hebrew and Greek languages have these distinctions for singular and plural second person pronouns?
[/quote]

Yes. And the verbs also differentiate between 2nd person singular and 2nd person plural.

Ask the Language Geek :nerd:

DaveBj

[quote=mmortal03]DaveBj: Do the original Hebrew and Greek languages have these distinctions for singular and plural second person pronouns?
[/quote]

WOW! mmortal03 dusted off a thread from June 23, 2004, and the poster answered in the same day as the thread resurrection!

AMAZING. That has to be some kind of record here.

God Bless,
RyanL

[quote=RyanL]WOW! mmortal03 dusted off a thread from June 23, 2004, and the poster answered in the same day as the thread resurrection!

AMAZING. That has to be some kind of record here.

God Bless,
RyanL
[/quote]

The Language Geek lives to serve :nerd: :smiley:

DaveBj

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