HarperOne NABRE, which I think is fantastic. If you are looking for an NABRE readers edition, this one should be at the top of your wish list.
As I have mentioned on this blog before, one cannot truly appreciate the positive and negative features of a translation until one actually commits himself to reading large portions of it. It has been immensely helpful, therefore, to spend this time observing how particular words are translated from book to book in the NABRE, as well as how the translators worked on larger portions of narrative and/or poetic writings. This has given me a greater insight into what the translators tried to accomplish with this revision. The publication of the textual notes to the NABRE will also be very helpful. Hopefully this will occur at some point this year.
With that being said, I have been thinking about three simple, and quick, ways in which the NABRE could be improved. This is, of course, just my perception as to what would make the NABRE better. The three are not meant to be comprehensive, nor drastic in scope, but rather fairly simple "editing" that could be done in a future edition without much effort or expense. (The quality of the notes is not a major point of this post.)
Here are the three:
1) In Luke 1:28, return to the traditional translation of Kecharitomene as "full of grace". A number of the modern Catholic and Ecumenical translations (JB, NJB, RSV, NRSV) all go with something close to the "hail favored one" of the NAB. The only ones, since since the 1960's, that have the traditional rendering are the RSV-CE, RSV-2CE, and the CCB. Now one could certainly make an argument that the current NAB rendering is not wrong, which I agree with. However, the translation of "full of grace" is proper and preferred IMHO. I am also convinced that the NABRE would win over a number of converts by simply making this change. (See this article by Msgr. Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington to see what I mean.) The Lectionary, which uses an adapted NAB, already has made the change. The way it is now, the current NABRE rendering not only is different than what is heard at Mass, but it also differs from one of the most popular prayers in all of Catholicism: The Hail Mary. Of course, devotion to Our Lady is important to me personally, but I think this change would be appreciated by a number of others.
2) Get rid of the Netherworld! Not literally of course, like limbo, but the way in which the Greek term hades is translated in Matthew 16:18 and elsewhere in the NT. Translate the term more precisely and consistently as "Hades", as found in the NRSV and RSV-2CE. I have never liked the term "the netherworld" and would prefer to see hades translated more consistently as such. For example, the NAB does translate it "Hades" in the three instances it is found in the Book of Revelation (6:8, 20:13, 20:14). In addition, the new NABRE translation of Tobit, which uses the Greek Sinaiticus as its textual base, also translated it as "Hades" in Tobit 4:19. Having two different English terms translate the same place in Greek differently can be confusing to some people.
3) This last one is calling for a bit more consistency between the OT and NT. First off, as mentioned in previous posts, there are notes in the NT which indicate the way the original NAB OT translates a particular term that does not match up with the revised NABRE OT. An example of this is found in the note for Matthew 5:3. There are a few of these scattered throughout the NT, which really should be updated. Also, there are some additional inconsistencies, like donkey/ass, abandoned/forsaken (Psalm 22), and the use of "body" instead of "flesh" as found in Genesis 2:24 that could be fixed. That last one, in particular, always bugs me when I read the text Genesis 2:28, but even more so when I look at the note for that verse in Genesis and more specifically in Matthew 19:4-6 , which actually states that "the NAB translation of the Hebrew basar of Gen. 2:24 as "body" rather than "flesh" obscures the reference of Matthew to that text." That should have been fixed in the updated NABRE OT.