Monday, May 20, 2013

George Weigel Quotes from the NAB!

George Weigel's disdain for the New American Bible is well know.  However, in a recent column, he actually opens with a quote from Acts 14, first citing the RSV followed by an endorsement of the NAB's rendering:

As the Revised Standard Version renders the 14th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, Paul and Barnabas remind the proto-Christians of Antioch that it is only “through many tribulations” that we enter the Kingdom of God. The New American Bible translation drives the point home even more sharply: “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.”

The rest of the column entitled "Tribulation compounded by blasphemy" is fantastic and is well worth your time.  


Biblical Catholic said...

I've come to the conclusion that bashing the NAB is the Catholic journalist equivalent of when political writers express outrage over Congressional pay raises.

For the political pundit, whenever he has nothing to say, he just phones in an easy 'Congress increasing it's own salary? That's an outrage!' column....confident that all his readers will agree with his because it's an easy issue. The pundit doesn't actually have to know anything about the particular merits or demerits of the issue, indeed, actually knowing something is a detriment because if you had actual knowledge the column would require effort to write. The 'Congressional pay raise' outrage column makes the same tired points over and over again ('gee I wish I could vote to raise my own salary! etc etc etc), so because it's so 'easy' the columnist keeps going back to the well whenever he runs out of things to say.

In the same way, a Catholic journalist who has nothing to write about this week, can just churn out yet another 'the NAB is awful' column, which makes the same tired points we've all seen a million times, never really changes from one year to the next, and not only does the columnist not have to actually KNOW the facts, but he is hampered if he does know the facts because then the column becomes hard to write, when the entire point is to church out a really easy column that requires no effort to write.

Nowhere does this lack of effort become more obvious than when a columnist churns out an anti-NAB column which attacks the OLD out of date NAB which is no longer in print. No need to update your attack for the new version after all.

And of course, any Catholic journalist writing an anti-NAB column can be confident that it will be popular with his readers, because there is always going to be an audience for the message that 'this here Bible translation is not as good as it could be', and it doesn't really matter what translation you're referring to, it's true about all of them.

Amfortas said...

This is the same political pundit who thought Blessed John Paul II's position on the invasion of Iraq was wrong. I know whose judgement I would trust. Nothing to do with the translation. Just saying.

Biblical Catholic said...

"This is the same political pundit who thought Blessed John Paul II's position on the invasion of Iraq was wrong."

He's free to believe that....a Catholic is not required to agree with the Pope on such questions of prudential judgment.

Anonymous said...

I have all the NABs from the first through the NABRE. I think the fact that the NAB Psalms did not cut the mustard for liturgical use by the Vatican is proof enough of the translation's short comings.

Having said that, I think many of the notes are the reason of primary dislike more than the translation which has become a whipping boy for very questionable catechesis by, I don't know who, Rev. Donald Senior etal? In other words, it ain't the book it's the catechist.

The fact that the USCCB will not allow the version to be published with more orthodox intros and notes is also problematic to me. I do like the NABRE better than the 2 prior iterations. But, I like the RSV-CE better and the Knox a lot better.

Peter Brennan

Amfortas said...

Yes, I know that. Thank you Biblical Catholic. But then you probably knew that I knew that!

CJA Mayo said...

Anonymous is right: the notes are my main problem with the translation, at least, and the sentiment is echoed by others.

The NAB manages to knock it out of the park a few times with renderings of Jesus' "I AM" claims to Godhead in John, one of the only translations that captures them well (as opposed to the anemic KJV-RSV line of "I am he", with the "he" in italics, indicating an added word, in the KJV). In the KJV, one has to look for the message; in the NAB, it jumps off the page.

...And then the NAB messes up Romans 9:5 royally.