The NAB is a banal, linguistically inept, and misleading translation. Why did the bishops force it upon the Catholic people, demanding that it and it alone be used in the readings of the Mass? Various answers are given: Because it was produced by the guild of Catholic biblical scholars and, while it may not be very good, at least it is ours. Because the bishops hold the copyright, and charges for using the NAB in Mass guides and elsewhere is a cash cow for the financially strapped bishops conference. Because the bishops really don’t care whether Catholics use a worthy and reliable translation of the Bible.More
Whatever the reason, it is a continuing scandal that the bishops do not permit the use of other translations that are more reliable, readable, intelligible, and worthy of the written word of God. The best of them is the Revised Standard Version (RSV), but there are others. (For personal and group Bible study, the Catholic edition of the RSV, published by Ignatius Press, is recommended.)
It is worth noting that the NAB, unlike a number of other translations, is used only by Catholics in the United States and used only by them because they are required to use it in the liturgy. In their own writings, Catholic biblical scholars and other writers generally avoid the NAB. Not surprisingly, the NAB is defended by those who are responsible for producing it, and people who choose to do so are free to use it. It is quite another thing for the bishops to impose the exclusive use of a grievously flawed Bible translation upon the Catholic faithful at Mass.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Lost in translation
~Fr. Richard Neuhaus at First Things on the NAB (hat tip to Fr. Philip, OP)