Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Third Sunday of Easter: Liturgy of the Word Comparison (w/ Fr. Neil)

First reading

Original Jerusalem Bible 1966 as found in the Current JB edition of the Lectionary

Acts 3:13-15,17-19 (additions to Biblical text in Lectionary are underlined)

Peter said to the people: 13 ‘You are Israelites, and it is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, who has glorified his servant Jesus, the same Jesus you handed over and then disowned in the presence of Pilate after Pilate had decided to release him. 14 It was you who accused the Holy One, the Just One, you who demanded the reprieve of a murderer 15 while you killed the prince of life. God, however, raised him from the dead, and to that fact we are the witnesses.
17 ‘Now I know, brothers, that neither you nor your leaders had any idea what you were really doing; 18 this was the way God carried out what he had foretold, when he said through all his prophets that his Christ would suffer. 19 Now you must repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out.’



Revised New Jerusalem Bible 2018

Acts 3:13-15,17-19 (additions to Biblical text to match the original JB Lectionary are underlined)
Peter said to the people: 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and disowned in the presence of Pilate after Pilate had given the verdict to release him. 14 It was you who rejected the Holy and Righteous One, and asked that a murderer should be released to you 15 while you killed the author of life, whom God raised from the dead, and to that fact we are witnesses.
17 ‘Now I know, brothers, that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers; 18 but in this way God has brought to fulfilment what he foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. 19 So you must repent and be converted, so that your sins may be wiped out.


I am not sure where the original JB found the first phrase “You are Israelites.” Maybe it comes from the previous verse. The repetition of the name “Jesus” in the JB is not in the Greek. In V. 14 the Greek Dikaios changes from “Just One” in the JB to “Righteous One” in the RNJB. Personally its not a big deal for me, but I know that some people have strong preferences for one or the other translation of the word. It is worth noting that V. 17 retains the word “brothers.” I imagine that this is because Peter is addressing an exclusively male crowd, but it is interesting to see that the “inclusive language” is not applied indiscriminately, but rather is an attempt to truly translate what the original author meant in the language of today. In V. 18 it is worth noting that the RNJB changes the translation of Christos from “Christ” to “Messiah.” This is perhaps an example of the original JB being more literal than the RNJB, although it could also be argued that we are dealing with an Old Testament allusion and that, in this context, Messiah is a better translation than Christ. In V. 19 in the RNJB uses “be converted” which is a more literal translation that the JB’s “turn to God.”


Second reading

Original Jerusalem Bible 1966 as found in the Current JB edition of the Lectionary


1 John 2:1-5 (no changes to Biblical text in Lectionary)

1 I am writing this, my children,
to stop you sinning;
but if anyone should sin,
we have our advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ, who is just;
2 he is the sacrifice that takes our sins away,
and not only ours,
but the whole world’s.
3 We can be sure that we know God
only by keeping his commandments.
4 Anyone who says, ‘I know him’,
and does not keep his commandments,
is a liar,
refusing to admit the truth.
5 But when anyone does obey what he has said,
God’s love comes to perfection in him.



Revised New Jerusalem Bible 2018


1 John 2:1-5
1 My children, I am writing this so that you do not sin;
but if anyone does sin,
we have an advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ, the righteous.
2 He is the sacrifice to expiate our sins,
and not only ours,
but also those of the whole world.
3 In this way we know
that we have come to know him,
if we keep his commandments.
4 Whoever says, ‘I know him’
and does not keep his commandments
is a liar,
and truth has no place in him.
5 But anyone who does keep his word,
in such a one God’s love has truly reached perfection.


In V.1 we have another example of the RNJB preferring “righteous” to “just.” The use of “expiation” is probably a more technical and exact translation in V.2. In V.4 “refusing to admit the truth” of the JB has been replaced by “truth has no place in him.” This is slightly more literal, but there is no real word for “place” in the Greek original. In V. 5 the JB’s “God’s love comes to perfection in him” I replaced by the more inclusive “in such a one God’s love has truly reached perfection.”



Gospel

Original Jerusalem Bible 1966 as found in the Current JB edition of the Lectionary


Luke 24:35-48 (additions to Biblical text in Lectionary are underlined)

The disciples 35 told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised Jesus at the breaking of bread.
36 They were still talking about all this when Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you!’ 37 In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. 38 But he said, ‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and feet; yes, it is I indeed. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.’ 40 And as he said this he showed them his hands and feet. 41 Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, and they stood there dumbfounded; so he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ 42 And they offered him a piece of grilled fish, 43 which he took and ate before their eyes.
44 Then he told them, ‘This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms has to be fulfilled.’ 45 He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, ‘So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses to this.’



Revised New Jerusalem Bible 2018

Luke 24:35-48 (additions to Biblical text to match the original JB Lectionary are underlined)

The disciples 35 recounted what had happened on the road and how they had recognised Jesus at the breaking of bread.
36 They were still talking about all this when Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you!’ 37 Staggered and frightened, they thought they were seeing a spirit. 38 But he said, ‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these misgivings rising in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see for yourselves; a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.’ 40 And as he said this he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 As in their joy they still could not believe it, and were amazed, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ 42 And they offered him a piece of grilled fish; 43 he took it and ate it before their eyes.
44 Then he told them, ‘This is what I said to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms, must be fulfilled.’ 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, ‘It is written that in this way the Messiah should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be preached to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses to this.’

In V.37 “ghost” is replaced by “spirit” is probably a better translation of pneuma. In V. dialogismoi is translated as “doubts” in the original JB. Now it is translated as “misgivings.” The Greek means “reasoned thinking,” I’m sure “doubt” is not the best translation. However, I’m not sure if the new translation is perfect either, although it does get the meaning across. In V. 46 se again see the word “Messiah” replacing “Christ.” Both versions are correct translations. Chrsitos is the Greek translation of the Hebrew māšîaḥ. In English both Christ and Messiah can translate either term, but it is interesting to note this preference of the RNJB for Messiah. In this case we are not in the same Old Testament context as we saw in the first reading.


Again this week I think that the RNJB retains much familiar language, but that it is a good updating of the original JB translation. There is no radical difference between the two versions, but the newer one is more precise. Given that sooner or later the Lectionary needs to be revised, the RNJB does seem to be a more usable translation that is in touch with contemporary speech patterns and is more literal in a technical sense. Unfortunately, many people wouldn’t notice if the Biblical translation used in the Lectionary was changed.  But for those that would, I think that this new edition does so in as painless a way as possible.


Neil Xavier O'Donoghue is a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. He currently ministers in the Archdiocese of Armagh, Ireland, where he serves as vice rector at Redemptoris Mater Seminary. He has studied at Seton Hall University, the University of Notre Dame, and St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. He holds a Doctorate in Theology from St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

15 comments:

Michael Demers said...

Father Neil, has anyone from the English and Irish hierarchies expressed interest in the RNJB for the new lectionary? The RNJB does seem to me the best way to update the JB lectionary all over the world.

Timothy said...

Michael,

Here is a response to your questions from Fr. Neil, who is away from his computer:

________
Hi Michael

The whole bible hasn’t been published yet and I have no insider’s knowledge of the future plans of any bishops’ conference.

I am simply interested as a private Christian (who happens to be a priest and a theologian). I have heard about some of the difficulties of revising the Lectionary over the last few years. I also believe that while the current JB Lectionary has served us well for many years, it is no longer fit for purpose. I had preordered a copy of the NT of the RNJB on Amazon and it arrived during Lent. I liked what I saw and spoke with Tim about doing this series. I hope it will be noticed by the bishops and, if they think it a good idea, that they might revise the Lectionary using the RNJB I those countries which currently use the JB Lectionary. I honestly can’t see the US or Canada adopting it.

Michael Demers said...

Thank you, gentlemen.

CarlHernz said...

I actually do have this information.

Again though Jewish, I have spent some years working professionally with the Church in the field of information technology and later public relations. I have also done some translation work. While not directly involved in any such work currently, I am still updated on what is happening.

While "Liturgiam authenticam" was still in full effect, the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales was required (as were all Conferences) to request from the Vatican official permission to use a Bible translation for the Liturgy. The formal request for Recognitio was to use the Revised Standard Version, 2nd Catholic Edition as published by Ignatius Press as the version for their Lectionary and the Revised Grail Psalter as already approved by the Vatican as their Psalter.

However, Pope Francis changed this procedure and the full authority of LA with his Motu Proprio "Magnum Principium," returning oversight of the Liturgy to local Bishops' Conferences. The UK Bishops published the following statement immediately after in November 2017:

"The Bishops’ Conference welcomes the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio Magnum Principium and the affirmation of the role of the Bishops’ Conference in the oversight of the Liturgy. We are grateful to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the guidance it has given to Conferences of Bishops that the Motu Proprio concerns future liturgical translations and cannot be applied retroactively."

While "Magnum Principium" doesn't outright negate any of the statements in LA, it does in the end give local Conferences the power they had before LA was published.

That being said, it does not erase the work already done. This means that all the work the UK Bishop's conference has already prepared, such as on it's new translation of the Liturgy of the Hours (which is in its "Grey" state of approval), its Rites of Ordination, Revision of Antiphons, Additions of New Feats, and new celebrations added to the Universal Calendar employing the RSV 2nd CE and RGP are already set as they are.

Therefore the answer is no. There era of the Jerusalem Bible, at least in the UK, is over. There will be no use of the NRJB as a replacement.

I have no news for Ireland, however, which is an entirely different conference.

Devin said...

Has the Vatican already approved the RSV-CE2 for the UK? If not, it may not be too late to change paths. Also there is a difference between the missal which has been out since 2011 and the works that will derive from it and a Bible translation that has not been introduced to the wider public yet.

CarlHernz said...

Devin, you misunderstand.

The Church in the UK has already chosen the RSVCE 2nd edition and RGP. LA is no longer the procedure, MP is. The decision now lies with the local bishops.

The UK Bishops had begun to use the RSVCE and RGP for all their updated liturgical books to follow the guidelines of LA when Pope Francis introduced MP. The statement above from the Bishops in the UK is that they are immediately adopting MP but will not change course in the work they have already done when LA used to be enforced.

This means the RSVCE and RGP remain in place. Even if LA had not been in place, the UK Bishops had planned to withdraw the JB and replace it with the NRSV, and not with the NJB. LA prevented the NRSV from being a choice at the time, so they went with the RSVCE. But the Jerusalem Bible or its successor was never on the table for the new Lectionary. The Bishops wanted a text in the tradition of the King James/British common version.

Fr. Neil Xavier O'Donoghue said...

My answer is too long so I will post it in a few posts:

++++++
Thanks for the update from Carl.

And trying to answer Devin’s questions (some of which was covered by Carl).

The Vatican does not really approve Bible translations. This is done on the local level, by an individual bishop or a bishop’s conference.

So as the 2nd Catholic ed. of the RSV has already been approved in the US, it is approved everywhere. It doesn’t need separate English approval, or to be approved by the Vatican. (However, this edition of the RSV does have some issues of its own, as it relies on the 1966 approval and has been “revised according to Liturgiam Authenticam”, some have objected to this saying that it is, in fact, a new translation and should have to go through its own formal approval, but as it is already being used in different regions in the liturgy, this isn’t going to happen).

Carl is correct on the change of the rules on liturgical translation. This is a complicated field, and I’d advise people to go over to the PrayTell liturgical blog to get some idea of the issues involved here. The current norms on translation are in the 2001 document Liturgiam Authenticam. This gives a clear preference for the use of a single translation of the Bible per language in all the liturgical books used in the territory of a bishop’s conference (i.e. if there is more than one language one Bible translation per language).

Many bishops’ conferences found the translation rules of Liturgiam Authenticam to be a too repressive and that it was impractical to produce translations under these rules. Pope Francis has listened to their criticism and has begun to change the translation procedure. He published the motu proprio (letter) Magnum Principium which began to update Liturgiam Authenticam, but Liturgiam Authenticam is still technically in place while we are waiting for its successor.

Fr. Neil Xavier O'Donoghue said...

2 of 3:

One of the areas that Magnum Principium changed was that the Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW) in Rome could no longer change translations. Since Vatican II all liturgical translations had to be submitted to Rome for “confirmation.” Initially this was a simple process, but over the years the CDW became more demanding and before confirming books, they often asked for many changes to be made in them (or inserted them themselves into the translation that had been sent to them for confirmation). Sometimes this meant a lot of back and forth between the bishops and the CDW. This was doable when dealing with translations of liturgical texts made by the bishop’s themselves, but it proved to be a problem when revising the Lectionary. When a Lectionary uses an existing Biblical translation, that translation has its own copyright and translation committee. I believe that this was the main sticking point when the bishops used the NRSV. The Canadian bishops managed to get an edition prepared. But the CDW wasn’t particularly impressed with it. When other bishops’ conferences tried to prepare something similar, the CDW asked for many more changes and the copyright holder simply said no and this was the end of the project.

Now under Magnum Principium the CDW can no longer ask for changes. They have a simply yes or no choice in granting recognition. This cuts down on most of the back and forth. This change means that the bishops’ conferences could simply resubmit the NRSV Lectionary (without any changes to the Biblical text) for approval to Rome and they might well get it approved.

The Lectionary and the Liturgy of the Hours are the two major books that need to be revised and have substantial Scriptural readings in them. It is true that the Rite of Ordination and the Missal, etc. have small sections of Scripture, but these are not that significant.

Fr. Neil Xavier O'Donoghue said...

3 of 3 (sorry for the length of my comments!)


I think that the RNJB could easily be adopted for both projects. It is true that the Liturgy of the Hours is a work in progress and that a lot of work has already been done (also its worth noting that this is not a fresh translation, but a revision of the existing translation with the addition of the new material in the second Latin typical edition). However if desired it should be easy to use the RNJB as it is simply a matter of cut and paste (with a the insertion of a few “incipits” or introductory lines). Also it might be worth noting that English speaking Africa has recently adopted a RSV 2nd ed Lectionary and a new edition of the Liturgy of the Hours using the NAB translation. Here are two translations being used hand in hand, against the principles of Liturigam Authenticam but nonetheless with the approval of the CDW (before the translation rules were relaxed by Pope Francis).

Anyway, I hope these random reflections help the discussion. Liturgical translation is a difficult business with many practical, theoretical, canonical, pastoral and legal facets. The basic question for the bishops is how to help the worshipping assembly fruitfully celebrate the liturgy and meet Christ, the Word made flesh. In this discussion the problem is which biblical translation best helps that goal. I think that while there is nothing wrong with the RSV (or the NRSV or the NAB) that the local parishes did not cope well with the new missal translation in 2011 (e.g. in most parish Masses that I celebrate in Ireland the congregations simply do not know the new translation of memorial acclamation). If the RNJB was to be adopted for the new Lectionary, I believe that this would make things easier from a pastoral perspective. It wouldn’t cause any trauma on the parish level, but would provide a new translation that is better suited to the needs of today’s Church. On a different note, up until now a big block of countries have been using a JB Lectionary. There is no canonical problem for them to divide and have certain countries use the RNJB and others some other translation. However there are other issues involved with the publication of the Lectionary books and the myriad of other publications that also need to be revised (hand missals, worship aids such as the Magnificat magazine, etc.). This is why the issue needs some study and hopefully some discussion between the various bishops’ conferences.

Devin Rice said...

I guess I was not initially clear as I was referring to the lectionary itself and not the initial Bible translation of the RSV-CE2. Carl stated that the bishops' conference already sent a request for Recognitio for the lectionary (RSV-CE2) to Rome. Did Rome already grant the Recognitio? If so, would they not grant a Recognitio for a different lectionary translation?

Thank you Father for the lengthy and enlightening reply.

Fr. Neil Xavier O'Donoghue said...

Hi Devin,

Karl has more knowledge of exactly what the English & Welsh bishops have actually done. However, I am nearly sure that they have not received permission from the CDW to use a new Lectionary based on the RSV. The different conferences currently using the JB worked on a new lectionary project first using the NRSV (like Canada), then the ESV and more lately the RSV (like the Ordinariate and Africa).

However, as per Liturgiam Authenticam only one edition of the Lectionary is permitted per region per language. This wasn't always the case. Which is why both the JB and the original RSV Lectionaries are now approved for use in England & Wales. There is no reason that the CDW couldn't approve more than one edition of the Lectionary for a region, particularly as the translation rules are in the process of being revised. But a bishops conference would first of all have to submit them for approval.

CarlHernz said...

I was not referring to the Bible translation either when I posted my comment but to the Lectionary itself and all the work that has been done up to this point by the Bishops in the UK.

The way MP works now will not require a veto from the Vatican over the choice of the RSVCE 2nd edition for the Lectionary in the UK, though once the work is done formal Recognitio still comes from Rome. It may sound confusing, but the choices made of the source materials for Scripture readings (the RSVCE 2nd edition and the RGP) are already approved by Rome. It is just the other translations of other parts (such as portions of new feasts) and the publication of the Lectionary and new Psalter for the UK as a whole that will require the nod.

The choice has been made, however, by the local Bishops and this part is now complete. This is what was brought out in the statement from the Conference that I posted, namely:

"...the Motu Proprio concerns future liturgical translations and cannot be applied retroactively."

In other words, the choices they had already made and put into action were not being affected. They were not going to attempt to use a new or different Bible translation or Psalter or suddenly adopt new principles that differed greatly with LA since these had been incorporated already into the Green edition of the drafts for all their liturgical books.

They are now, today in the Grey stage, which means they are not far from submitting a finished work. They are not going back and introducing anything new, new prayers, new wordings, and definitely not a Bible version different from the RSVCE 2nd edition for the readings from the Mass or Liturgy of the Hours, etc. or the RGP for the Psalter or LotH, and (unless absolutely necessary--and they discuss it with Rome) will not suddenly change the course from following the general rules mapped out by LA for translating for the Liturgy.

This does not mean that the RNJB is not a fine work. It only means that the UK Bishops voted not to apply MP "retroactively." Since LA demanded a very literal transmission of the Biblical text, and the bishops in the UK were already too far along by the time MP was released, they decided they could not and would not attempt to do anything but go forward as originally planned.

Nothing is impossible. But being at the "grey" stage now means it is unlikely that they would suddenly stop and adopt a translation which has yet to receive a Recognitio from the Vatican. It would put them years and years back, and from what I've heard from those working on the project, they want something that sounds more in the style of the Standard Bible. It is a matter of British culture that the Jerusalem Bible has never been able to fit into when it comes the vernacular. As I mentioned before, they purposely chose not to use anything that sounded like the Jerusalem Bible when they decided to create a new Lectionary a long time ago.

rolf said...

Thanks Father Neil and Carl for your insight! Interesting conversation. I love the RSV-2CE translation and I have a growing interest in a complete RNJB.

Devin Rice said...

Thank you for the insights, since you seem to be a wealth of information, do you know if the RSVCE was adapted to include any inclusive language?

Fr. NEil Xavier O'Donoghue said...

Hi Rolf and Devin,

DLT in London is preparing a complete RNJB, it should be published at the end of this year. I believe that it is in the process of obtaining an imprimatur from the bishops' conference of England & Wales, after which it will have to be typeset and printed.

Regarding adaptations to the RSV-2CE for inclusive language, I personally don't know, but I doubt it. It is an edition that was created in some secrecy by Ignatius Press. The front matter says nothing about its origins other than "This Edition was Revised according to Liturgiam Authenticam, 2001." But, in fact, this edition has many changes from the RSV-1CE. A little more transparency would be appreciated explaining the exact rationale for this edition. You can find some analysis on the internet on the revisions that Ignatius Press made. However, it is a translation that is pitched at the traditional section of the Church. The NRSV has inclusive language, which some people didn't agree with and that is the main reason that Ignatius Press prepared its RSV edition. If it was going to be changed to include inclusive language, then the question would be why not simply use the NRSV.

Again, I remember being mystified by the subject of inclusive language when I first came to the US and started university there in 1990. I got reprimanded by a teacher for using the word "man" in a universal sense. I still think she was just being persnickety, but I now think that the language has changed. The Church has a mission of reaching all people and when we use a lectionary that says "men" and "brothers" meaning all people, then many people (particularly those who have not been in church for a while) will sincerely understand these terms in an exclusive way. Therefore it behooves us to use a language that is easily understood, even if it means losing some of the poetry and traditional language. Having looked at the NT of the RNJB, I think that this new translation meets the requirements of a sensible use of inclusive language.