Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Psalm 23 in the NABRE

The Lord is my shepherd;
    there is nothing I lack.
 In green pastures he makes me lie down;
    to still waters he leads me;
     he restores my soul.
He guides me along right paths
    for the sake of his name.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff comfort me.
You set a table before me

    in front of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
 Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me
    all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    for endless days.
-Psalm 23 (NABRE)


Biblical Catholic said...

This needs to be trumpeted far and wide. 90% of Internet critics of the NAB point to the 23rd Psalm to justify their complaints. Which only proves that their arguments are outdated. Psalm 23 has been fixed, enough with the complaints.

Timothy said...


You are exactly correct. While there is no perfect translation, and we can certainly quibble about one or more renderings, the vast majority of people I still meet and who do not like the NAB continue to complain about the older edition. This includes the renderings of Psalm 1, the "smoking brazier" of Genesis 15, among others.

Evergreen Guy said...

The revised Old Testament is a massive improvement over the old 1970 (updated Confraternity) version, and is likely the best English translation current available. If the revision committee can do for the 1986 Revised New Testament what it did for the 1970 OT, the super-duper extra revised New American Bible of 2025 is going to be amazing.

Does it have the poetry of the KJV? No, but it does have poetry. It flows better than the JB, for example.

rolf said...

Amen to all the above comments!

Christopher Buckley said...

Fully agreed. The NABRE is so much of a new translation, that it's underappreciated because most assume it's a mere revision.

Perhaps the most up-to-date textual basis, aside from the CEB, and a prose style that balances contemporary, conversational language with a formal structure. I love that the Psalms even got extra attention in a second draft during the 2010 revision. It even introduces some of its own signature terms of art unique to this translation ("Oracle of the Lord").

If the coming NT hits even somewhere close to this mark, it will be a treat.

I really hope, in that instance, they choose to rename the entire translation to clearly differentiate it as a new product.

Timothy said...

By the way, here are some instances that I have mentioned on this blog in the past, which show some of the great merits of the NABRE OT:



Then there is this apologetic from Carl:

Biblical Catholic said...

If they rename the new version completely then people won't know that it an update of the NAB, and it won't reach its intended market. The NAB 'brand' is important, just like the NIV brand, another translation which did a radical overhaul without labeling it as a new revision in any way.

Christopher Buckley said...

I disagree. As we've seen in the proliferation of Bible translations, people buy what's "new" and "translated from the latest, best manuscript findings."

Maybe it's the "Dan Brown" effect (hoping to find some new, alternative or secret reading). Maybe it's just the appeal of something "new and improved."

The only value in the NAB brand was the Bishops' original desire half a century ago to show that American Catholic Biblical scholars could make a significant contribution in a translation suitable for all Christians.

Ironically, if we're trying to do that today, we'd be better off de-emphasizing the "American" and playing up the "Catholic" aspect of the translation. I hold that the Church's "brand" is at its highest: not in terms of sentiment, but in terms of visibility. You'll hook more readers, whether Catholic or not, by saying:

"Here, for the first time: a full, new Bible translation of the Bible for Catholics in English."

As soon as you brand it "the latest refresh of the NAB" you've settled for topping off the tank, instead of selling a faster car.

Daniel said...

I think they should call the fully revised one something like the "Catholic Standard Bible" or "Catholic Standard Version" or something that sets it off as THE official Catholic bible translation in the U.S.

Christopher Buckley said...

I'm still stumping for the "Bible for Catholics in English" so we get the BCE.


Emilia said...

I would rather not have the BCE because it reminds me of the secular dating that doesn't want to directly acknowledge Christ. Therefore, I would go with the Catholic Standard Version.

Evergreen Guy said...

Catholic Standard Version sounds too much like the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition at first glance -- may cause confusion. How about just "English Catholic Bible" or "English Catholic Version." Then we get ECB or ECV -- not too bad. I do think they need to dump the "American" part of the name -- English is now a global language (arguably the new Latin) and a translation like the NABRE should one that can comfortably be used by Christians all over the planet.

Biblical Catholic said...

" disagree. As we've seen in the proliferation of Bible translations, people buy what's "new" and "translated from the latest, best manuscript findings."

Not Catholics, Catholics don't even read the Bible, let alone buy tons of them. I bet that most Catholics don't even know what translation is used in the Mass. The ones who do know will be looking for something called the 'NAB'.

And the word 'Catholic' is not going to appear on it any more than the words 'Southern Baptist' are ever going to appear on the HCSB, or the word 'Evangelical' is ever going to appear on the NIV.

It makes no sense to give a Bible a name which immediately limits the potential buyers to just a select few. The goal is to have as wide an audience as possible. Even many Catholics aren't going to buy a Bible that advertises itself as being only for Catholics. You can definitely forget about it ever being used in any colleges or seminaries with a name like that.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest "New Confraternity Bible" to give honor to its ancestor "Confraternity Bible".

Francesco said...

I'd be against renaming the NAB(RE), especially to something that implies it has a wider reception than it actually does. "Catholic Standard Version" or "Bible for Catholics in English" might have worked back when everyone would have accepted a "standard" product or fallen in line with a single text for an entire language. There are too many translations out there for that.

Michael Demers said...

How about New American Bible 4th Edition? Keep the brand but let people know right off what edition.

Anonymous said...

What about dropping the 'New' part of the name for a start. Then maybe something ending in CE, having 'Catholic' in the title, but not as a main part.

John Blake.

Christopher Buckley said...

Another significant verse I thought they rendered supremely well was Isaiah 11:6

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat;
The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them

Recognizable in cadence and vocabulary to better known renderings, yet modern, clear and with a twist that marks it uniquely the NABRE.