Tuesday, August 9, 2011

NABRE Contest

In celebration of the launch of the new NABRE site, I will be offering my final contest for the summer. The winner of this contest will receive this NABRE-inspired prize pack:

Saint Benedict Press NABRE Ultrasoft

Catholic Doctrine in Scripture (which is keyed to the NAB)

In the Beginning--: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall by Pope Benedict/Cardinal Ratzinger

So here are the contest rules:
1) If you have a blog, please advertise this contest on your site. (If you don't, you can still enter the contest.)

2) This contest is only for people who are in the United States or Canada. (Again, overseas shipping costs are a bit too high for me right now. Sorry.)

3) The question you need to answer in the comment box:
What is your favorite Bible verse, using the NABRE translation?

4) The contest ends on Saturday August 13 11:59PM EST.

5) One entry per person. You must leave a name at the end of your comment.

I will announce the winner some time on Sunday.

**If you are wondering, my Top 5 Catholic Bible series will continue shortly. My top 3 are surprisingly very close, so I am spending a little more time with each before I announce where they will rank.**


Gabriel McAuliffe said...

1 Thess. 5:16. Rejoice always.

Gabriel McAuliffe

Anonymous said...

Psalms 37: 8-9

"Refrain from anger; abandon wrath;
do not be provoked; it brings only harm.
Those who do evil will be cut off,
but those who wait for the LORD will inherit the earth."

This is one of those passages where the NABRE translation shines. It is an improvement over the NAB translation and I think it is a better translation than the RSV, NRSV, and NJB/JB.

Michael P.

Anonymous said...

Just a clarification on my explanation:

My point is that with respect to the verse I picked as my favorite, the NABRE translation of this verse is better than the NAB translation and the other translations of this verse. I didn't mean to suggest that the NABRE is a better translation overall than all the others, but I am liking it more the more I read it.

Michael P.

Chrysostom said...

Psalm 48.

If I have to choose a verse, Psalm 48:14.

I figure it's pointless to include any NT passages, as the NABRE NT is exactly the same as the old 1986 Revised NAB NT, according to the fly-leaf and according to my limited reading.

And, all the editions I've seen of the NABRE are red-letter editions. I can't stand red-letter editions.


Rose Commander said...

My favorite verse is Isaiah 9:5 (NAB-RE):

5 For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.

To me, this is a litmus test that I use to see how the text is translated. From this verse, I can tell if the text is word-for-word, dynamic, or a mixture of the two. To me, this verse, in the NAB-RE, is a mixture of the two. It is not a bad version but since I had been hearing a lot about this version, I have been turned off to this bible translation until I checked out the new revision in the USCCB website. It is starting to be a better translation than I thought. I am still reading it to see if I would like it and I'm starting to.


Chrysostom said...

The best improvement in the NABRE is definitely the removal of the horizontal inclusive language, and the borderline heretical vertical inclusive language, used so thoroughly in the Psalter. I'm not a fan of overly-inclusive translations (the NRSV is too far, the NJB is good), but vertical inclusive language is downright wrong, like one Catholic (in name, at least) that insisted on praying to "Our Mother in Heaven", and she wasn't talking about the Holy Virgin Mother of God.

"They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace."

This is one of the most notorious, horrible, anti-harmonic, cacophonic renderings in the entire NAB, and quite frankly ruins the power of the passage, and the grandeur of it. And I like the passage.

Yes, it's "literal" in the most literal sense (it follows the Greek syntax closely), but it doesn't fly in English. It crashes and burns.

One of many reasons why I favour the functional equivalent Bibles like the NJB by far over the formal equivalent ones.

If you want a formal equivalent text, learn to read Greek, or at least use an interlinear.

On a scale of 0 to 100, 0 being the most formal equivalent, and 100 being the most functional equivalent, all of the mainstream Bibles are 70 or more - "formal equivalence" doesn't work, as it makes for unreadable English in most places, and misleading English where it seems to be readable.

The KJV, DRC, and ESV would likely be 70, (the Vulgate would fall here), RSV 75, (the Nova Vulgata would fall here), NRSV and NAB 80, (or here), NJB 85, Amplified 65, Young's Literal 35, Concordant 15, and an Interlinear, for the most part, 0, although they range from 0-5.

And I won't even get started on so-called "reverse interlinears", which may be the worst product ever marketed to students of the Bible, and the most dangerous, making one think they know enough to not be dangerous when self-interpreting (i.e. picking up a Strong's Concordance and claiming to know the Greek), and by giving the false impression that formal equivalent translations are accurate, either to the Greek or in English, and that one is "getting closer to the real meaning" compared to a functional equivalent like an NJB - this leads to KJV-onlyism in heretical circles, DRC-onlyism in Catholic circles, and LXX-onlyism in schismatic circles.

I digress. Renderings that are half-faithful to the Greek at the expense of being pointless, incomprehensible, or misleading in English are a pet peeve of mine, as someone able to read the Greek.

Contrary to intuition, the Bibles that do the best job at the "obfuscation by formalisation" are the HCSB and NIV, sola scipture/sola fide standards (always translating ergon by different words so it never means "works" in a salvational context).

rolf said...

I have three different editions of the NABRE and none of them are red letter editions, they are: The Little Rock Catholic Study Bible, the Oxford Large Print edition and the New Catholic Answer Bible.

Chrysostom said...

All of the ones I've seen (maybe they had an earlier printing than others?) were by St Benedict's Press, and all of them were red-letter. I got the very cheap trade paperback one, and it was still a red-letter edition.

No mass-market version was available, and I wouldn't buy a "nice" one, as they were all red-letter, with the same text (i.e no study Bibles, just different bindings), and I don't use the NAB at all, due to the bad translation, except for the Divine Office, but I might use the NABRE more as the OT has been seriously improved, and it's official here.

I imagine I'll use my white pleatherbound St Joseph NAB (I can't stand cheap paperback Bibles - hardcover or leather please! - the only thing worse than a trade paper Bible is a mass-market paperback one, novel-sized, which just seems wrong for a Bible to be in that form-factor) for any time I'd use an NAB for the foreseeable future, and ignore the Psalms as I've been doing or use a different Psalter, and, sadly, the NABRE is still not the liturgical version.

Unless I win a nice version of the NABRE, in which case I'll read it from cover to cover and even retire my NJB for the time being :-)

The NAB does have the advantage (or disadvantage, depending on how one looks at it) of being much easier to read than the NJB, which, even though it is a functional translation, is written at a higher level than many essentially formal (NRSV, NAB, NIV, maybe even ESV) translations.

Chrysostom said...

Oh - I forgot to mention, I'll read a red-letter Bible and love it if it's free! I do love the look of the St Benedict's Press leather ones - subdued and dignified like a Bible should be.

Almost heading back in the direction of the old late 19th century Douay-Challoner embossed/carved leather ones, with the clasp on the side. The most beautiful Bibles ever published, and expensive too.

Maybe I don't like red-letter editions because of the association they have with Protestantism in my mind, or, regardless of aesthetic reasons, the fact it gives the translators even more leeway to arbitrarily decide where Jesus' words begin and where they end, where it's not always clear in the text (quotation marks have the same problem, but they're less obvious and can be footnoted away - imagine a footnote saying, "Some think the red ink should end in verse 35 instead of verse 32" instead).

I definitely like the new fonts in the newer Bibles as well, especially the Windows Vista-looking font (sans serif, very rounded, semi-boldface, single-storey "a" and "g") that's used in everything published by OUP. They're much easier on the eyes, especially for long-term use, than the old "typewriter fonts" like are in the old NOAB-EE RSV and to a lesser extent the NJB.

To learn how to do book design, get anything by the Catholic Book Publishing Company and do the opposite. I've never seen so many consistently garish products in any other company's line-up. Even their more muted designs (such as the Liturgy of the Hours) still manage to get it wrong. It mostly has to do with gilt, gilt, and more gilt, three different fonts on the cover, three additional different fonts on the spine, so on and so forth.

Marcy K. said...

I just discovered your blog today and am happy to promote it on mine, LiveCatholic.net. And I did mention your contest today. One of my favorite quotes is Proverbs 2:1-6.

My son, if you receive my words and treasure my commands, turning your ear to wisdom, inclining your heart to understanding; Yes, if you call for intelligence, and to understanding raise your voice; If you seek her like silver, and like hidden treasures search her out, Then will you understand the fear of the LORD; the knowledge of God you will find; For the LORD gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Marcy K.

Timothy said...


I look forward to reading your blog.


Anonymous said...

I always thought red-letter Bibles had the words of Jesus in red to remind us He shed is blood to save us.

Jonny said...

I must admit that I have not read the entire NABRE as of yet, although I have looked through it with much interest. I have been a reluctant to embrace the old NAB as one of my main Bibles to read and reference, but with the Revised OT and Psalms I am seeing it in a better light. My favorite verse thus far is Psalms 36:8, although I am listing verse 7 here as well:

7 Your justice is like the highest mountains; your judgments, like the mighty deep; human being and beast you sustain, LORD.

8 How precious is your mercy, O God! The children of Adam take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

I love to memorize scripture that speaks of God's mercy! Here is also an interesting example of how the NABRE has (in my opinion) effectively utilized inclusive language and the translation of the hebrew word for "man."


RAnn said...

I blogged about your contest

Isaiah 49:15
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.

ruthjoec at aoldotcom

Anonymous said...

Zephaniah 3: 14 - 18
Shout for joy, daughter Zion! sing joyfully, Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you, he has turned away your enemies; The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, Zion, do not be discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior, Who will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, Who will sing joyfully because of you,
as on festival days. I will remove disaster from among you, so that no one may recount your disgrace.

There are several facets that I like about this passage. First, it speaks about joy and exultation because of the removal of judgment by our Lord. This was very comforting to me when I first read it, and it allowed my guilt to release and my joy to increase.

As if that weren’t enough, we then get to the part where God rejoices over US! I frequently read about how we are the ones singing Hosanna and praising God. This was the first instance I read where the role is reversed and he is singing for us and renewing us in his love. That is quite an unbelievable image, and a very encouraging one.


kkollwitz said...

"always translating ergon by different words so it never means "works" in a salvational context"

Chrysostom, you are so right, and that matters here in the Bible Belt. I had a big belch about the NIV re ergon/works and other Catholic keywords a couple of months ago:


Mike Roesch said...

VERY hard for me to choose a single, standalone favorite verse, as many of my favorites just don't work in isolation. I'll go with the beginning of my favorite Psalm, 115:

Not to us, LORD, not to us
but to your name give glory
because of your mercy and faithfulness.

Mike Roesch

Moonshadow said...
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