I hope not to simply rehash all the previous debates about “I like the RSV,” and “The NAB stinks” that have appeared over the years. I would truly like to ask a question of those who have at least some experience and knowledge of the original languages (Greek, Hebrew).
I am NOT a Greek student. I would consider myself an “armchair Bible scholar.” But that being said, I do own and read many translations and have read a lot about translation theory and methods. I also own an interlinear New Testament which I consult often when I encounter differences between various translations.
It is my understanding that the RSV, as well as the protestant ESV, is basically a revision of a revision, of the King James Version, which itself was a combination of previous Latin and English translations into a cohesive whole. That’s great and I love the KJV.
But if we seek a “fresh” translation from original languages into English, we see numerous protestant efforts (NIV, HCSB, NLT, etc) or the only Catholic effort, the NAB.
As I read through the various translations, I am gaining more and more respect for the NAB, which I had previously thrown out due to some horrible footnotes. Time and again, I am surprised when I encounter an unusual (to my ear) reading, only to break out the interlinear and find that it is the NAB which is rendering the passage most literally, not the other way around.
Even in the case of so-called inclusive language, where some translations (NRSV!) bend the words around to remove gender at the expense of accuracy, the NAB seems to only use neutral pronouns where the Greek truly indicates “you guys” or “those believers over there,” as opposed to wiping the pages of any gender reference.
So let me ask you, especially those who know Greek: Is the NAB, especially the NABRE, really a poor translation or has it simply been misunderstood and poorly marketed?