Thursday, August 30, 2007

That horrid NAB translation

~Fr. Stephanos points out something interesting in today's gospel:
Did you know that King Herod got married to his own brother?

Yes, that's what the U.S. translators did with the first sentence of today's Gospel reading, Mark 6:17-29.
Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
It would have been better to have used the following word order.
Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison on account of the wife of his brother Philip, Herodias, whom he had married.
Ah, beware those ambiguous antecedents.

1 comment:

Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R. said...

Unfortunately Fr. Stephanos got this one wrong. I say unfortunately because I'm no fan of the NAB. The grammar here is quite clear that Herod married his dead brother's widow. The clause "the wife of his brother Philip" is set off by commas and immediately follows 'Herodias' which means that it modifies 'Herodias' and not 'Philip' as Fr. Stephanos sugggests. The test to be sure of this? Remove the clause and the meaning of the sentence remains clear and the same. Fr. Stephanos' word order is a wordy and unwieldy sentence which is poorly written.