Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Question (or three) for NABRE Readers

As we await the release of the CSB NABRE, I just wanted to check-in with those of you who have spent some time with the NABRE. How has your reading of the NABRE been? Any thing, besides the obvious, that you like or dislike? Any particular edition of the NABRE you like? There is going to be some news shortly about a new NABRE publisher, which hopefully I can share with you in the coming days.

17 comments:

Pomeranian Catholic said...

I purchased the version for the Kindle. One thing I noticed, the notes in the OT revision seem to be more open to supernatural reality and the perspective of faith. They are far more humble, simple, and straight forward than the notes in the 1986 NT. Technical terms are kept to a minimum. To me, all this represents a huge improvement and makes me optimistic rather than nervous about what they'll do to the NT once they get around to revising it.

bluebonnetreads said...

I rarely used the NAB, so I don't have the best comparison. Now I am using the NABRE as my only Bible. Overall, I actually quite like the translation. I have mixed opinions on the notes, but they're not as bad as I thought they were.

I've been reading through the OT. In passages where, for example, God is giving the law to Moses, none of God's words are in quotation marks. I find this rather confusing, and I don't really understand that decision. All the other Bible translations I've ever seen have quotation marks in these places. I find myself wondering if it's supposed to be some sort of statement as to the reality of God actually speaking those words, or if it's supposed to imply that God wasn't speaking audibly..???

Also, they use the word "homicide" as a noun describing the person who committed the homicide. I've never seen that usage anywhere else.

The notes have a tendency to assume that, if any parallel exists between the Bible's content and archaeology or history or mythology, that the Bible's content came *from* the other content, instead of being open to the possibility that a) the event actually happened or b) the other content came from the Bible. I find this annoying, but at the same time, I knew that the notes had this slant before I bought the Bible. (I'm also a not-quite-officially-Catholic who grew up Protestant, so that has something to do with my view as well.)

rolf said...

I like the new NABRE, the changes made to the OT text have made it smoother to read than than the 1970 OT. The OT now seems to go along well with the NT translation, where as in the past there was a obvious difference. Yes there was inclusive language added to this translation, but they did about as good of a job with it as can be done. It is not nearly as extreme as the NRSV. This is really obvious in the Psalms, exp. Ps 1: 'Blessed in the man...'. In fact I would say that the OT uses lighter inclusive language than the NT. Of course one of the cons of the NABRE (as with every other modern Catholic translation including the RSV_CE [not RSV-2CE] is the translation of 'young woman' instead of the traditional 'virgin' in Isaiah 7:14. Yes I wish for tradition sake (and a lot less criticism on the blogs)that they would have left the translation of 'virgin' alone but they didn't. I am not going to condemn the whole translation for that.

Timothy said...

Rolf,

Which published edition of the NABRE are you using? Oxford? SBP?

rolf said...

I am using the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible, I also have the Fireside, 'New Catholic Answer Bible' and the Oxford NABRE (large Print).

Timothy said...

Rolf,

I have yet to get a copy of the Little Rock edition. How's the Oxford?

rolf said...

It is a large print (size 12 font)reader's edition type (no maps and the notes are at the end of each book). Quality is good, it is the same as the last edition of the NAB. The last time I had the genuine leather cover(which was a little slippery), this time I bought the 'Pacific Duvelle' cover (which is blue and tan), which I like better. I also bought my Fireside 'New Catholic Answer Bible' in the librosario cover which in my opinion is better than many leather covers.

rolf said...

It would be nice if that new publisher of the NABRE would be Cambridge Univerity Press. Would you like your NABRE in morocco leather, calfskin or goatskin?... I don't know there are too many choices!!!

Timothy said...

Rolf,

That would be nice, but that isn't it unfortunately.

Francesco said...

Hi Tim,

I've been using the Kindle version of the NABRE, and I like it. The main restriction is that the notes are at the end of the chapter, which makes it harder to go back and forth between the notes and the text.

Something that is slightly unfortunate is that they didn't update the cross-references in the NABRE NT notes to the NAB OT. I've run into at least one instance where the problem in the OT has been fixed, such that the note doesn't need to explain why the cited verse doesn't match the NT.

I don't know how common that last issue is, since I've been too busy to read very much.

Anonymous said...

Hi Timothy,
I have only read the Douay-Rheims and NOAB translations after my conversion to Catholicism. My trek through any New American Bible translation started very recently with the NABRE. I have not read any previous editions of the NAB so my views and comments on the translation are light.

So far I have read the Gospels according to Sts. Matthew and Mark in the NABRE. I am surprised by the smooth translation of the biblical text. The body of the text is easy to read and understand. The footnotes don't seem to be as spiritual or cut and dry as those in the D-R. They are more like those in the NOAB, academic and historical. Based only on the two gospels that I have read, I have to say I like the NABRE's text. If the rest of the NT and the OT are translated in a similar manner, then the NABRE may become my Catholic bible of choice. The only parts that make me a little uneasy are the introductory notes that are presented before the books. If I had decided to read the NAB as my first Catholic bible shortly after my conversion I would be surprised by the historical/academic approach of the notes. For example, I always believed that St. Matthew wrote the first gospel, but the notes cast doubt on that belief. Still, this is not a deal-breaker. It shows that the Church is not afraid to admit that certain facts are not known with 100% certainty.

I have the St. Benedict Press faux-leather edition and the New Catholic Answers Bible with the Rosary on the back cover. Both are nice bibles. A representative from St. Benedict Press told me that a Large Print edition of the NABRE is planned and that more info may be available after Christmas.

You have a great blog. Peace be with you.

-Rookie Bible Explorer

Timothy said...

Rookie,

Thanks for the comment. While I think the NABRE is great update, for the most part, I still wonder about the general usefulness of the notes/commentary for the average Catholic.

Timothy said...

Rolf,

Drop me an email, I have a question for you about the Oxford editions.

Chrysostom said...

Also, they use the word "homicide" as a noun describing the person who committed the homicide. I've never seen that usage anywhere else.

This is correct, although somewhat awkward, English usage. A person who commits homicide is "a homicide", the same as a person who commits regicide is "a regicide" (and I suppose you've heard the last one before if you've read any Cromwell-era English history).

Leonardo said...

Hi,

Francesco commented about the kindle NABRE and says that the notes are at the end of the chapters.

It is possible to navigate between notes and text by pointing a symbols which is like a little star with the cursor of the kindle and it goes directly to the note.

With the back key it is possible to go back to the page in which one started, or bay pointing back withe the cursor in text which is underlined go back to the page.

Now I am reading Matthew and I like the notes.

Francesco said...

Hi Leonardo,

Yes, its true, but with a dead-tree edition of the NABRE I could just look at the bottom of the page to see what the note meant. An e-book should be able to dynamically calculate what notes would show up on an impression and put those notes in at the bottom. The way the NABRE's set up on the Kindle I have to use the scroll buttons and navigate to the note, or -- as I'm finding myself doing -- read the chapter and then run into the notes, where I have the same problem.

But that's more of a complaint about the Kindle than the NABRE, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

I have the hardback edition of the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible and the Oxford Catholic Study Bible NAB 2nd edition (Genuine Leather). Although I like the Oxford binding better, overall I like the single-column layout and OT translation better on the Little Rock edition. I don't like all of the changes to the OT, but overall, it is an improvement.

I prefer the RSV-2CE for study, and the NABRE and NJB for reading entire books in one sitting and as a change of pace.

A question I ask myself is, if the Lectionary in the U.S. wasn't based on the NABRE, would anyone buy the NABRE as a preferred translation? Or at least, would it be as popular as it is? With the RSV, NRSV, and JB / NJB as alternative translations, and with the ICSB RSV2CE and Navarre editions available which have much better Catholic study notes than the NABRE, I don't think there would be much of a demand for the NABRE and it would be as available as the JB / NJB currently are in terms of formats available (not many options). If the US Catholic Bishops ever decide to change translations, the NABRE's days would be numbered.