The New American Bible is the Bible used by most Catholic Americans. It is also the most widely available, at both Catholic and secular bookstores, and it comes in many different editions. As my non-scientific poll has shown, it remains in the top 3 popular Catholic Bible translations used. So, which edition of the NAB do you use and why?
As some of you know, I have been critical of some aspects of the NAB in the past. This has largely been due to its unevenness in translation philosophy and inclusive language. The OT leans more dynamic/mediating in the translation scale, while the revised NAB NT leans more on the formal side. The OT has no inclusive language, while the revised NT has a moderate amount, certainly less than the NRSV. The revised '91 Psalms....well....they are clearly the biggest eyesore to the NAB. The Psalms are all over the place in regards to translation philosophy and use of inclusive language. Just read Psalm 23. However, let it be known that I think the revised NAB NT is quite good!
So why do I bring this up right now? Well, there are two main reasons:
1) I am somewhat hopeful that the ongoing revisions of the NAB OT and a re-revised Psalms will produce a better NAB. Perhaps I am naive, but I pray that I am not. Everything that I have read from the Catholic Biblical Association seems to indicate that the newly revised NAB will conform, in some way, with Liturgiam Authenticam. That would be a very good thing. Also, there is no getting around the fact that the NAB will be the "official" translation of the American Church for the foreseeable future. It will continue be the translation heard at Mass and used by the vast majority of Catholics who come to Bible studies. In any case, let's keep praying that the CBA and USCCB will provide Catholics in American with a solid translation!
2) In August, I will be starting a new ministry position at a local Catholic school. There, I will be teaching some Scripture courses, as well as handling the campus ministry duties. The text we will use is the NAB, so I have decided to make a commitment to using the NAB as my full-time Bible. As many of you have read in previous posts, I have been flip-flopping between various translations for years. A number of months ago I decided to take up the NRSV. While I will certainly use the NRSV on occasion, the NAB will now be with me daily.
So, again, which edition of the NAB do you use and why do you like it? The more specific the better! Thanks!