This must be the year of new translations. Hot on the heels of the new translation of the Roman Missal comes the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE), the first major update to the New American Bible in 20 years. The NABRE will be be available in print, audio and electronic formats on March 9, Ash Wednesday.
From the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:
"The new translation takes into account advances in linguistics of the biblical languages, as well as changes in vocabulary and the cultural background of English, in order to ensure a more accurate translation. This issue is addressed in the apostolic exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, in which the pope says, 'The inculturation of God’s word is an integral part of the Church’s mission in the world, and a decisive moment in this process is the diffusion of the Bible through the precious work of translation into different languages.'"
What does that mean for those of us listening from the pews or reading at home? Well, some changes are...interesting. For example, the word "booty" has been replaced with "spoils of war" in order to avoid the adolescent-style snickering the former inspires. I don't recall hearing "booty" spoken from the ambo at my church. I guess it never registered.
Other changes? Here are a few, according to an NPR story:
-- "virgin" becomes "young woman" — especially where the original uses the Hebrew word "almah."
--"holocaust" will become "burnt offerings" - scholars say that was closer to the original meaning, before "holocaust" came to be identified with the genocide of World War II.
-- "cereal"— now co-opted by General Mills and Post, becomes "grain."
That first one noted above (a change to Isaiah 7:14) is likely to raise some eyebrows and possibly some tempers, depending on how it plays out. From the NPR story:
"The bishops and the Bible are not signaling any sort of change in the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus. None whatsoever," Mary Sperry, who oversees Bible licensing for the bishops, told Reuters.
For more information on the new translation, visit the USCCB website HERE.