(Yes, I reposted this with a different heading. This title was better.)
Apparently we won't have to read about the "booty" of Israel's enemies in the revised version of the New American Bible due out in March . . . which is good. Why? Fr. Jenson explains:
The word "booty" also has taken on the slang meanings of "buttocks" or sometimes, "sexual intercourse," instead of its primary meaning of "plunder," such as a marauding army might acquire.Am I the only that finds it funny that a biblical scholar just used the word "buttocks". Maybe it's just late and I'm in a silly mood.
Apparently, "cereal" is also out.
The goal when possible was "to make the language more contemporary," said Father Jensen. In today's culture the phrase "cereal offering" conjures up images of Wheaties and Cheerios, not the bushels of wheat type of offering that the term is intended to mean, he said.Another change is that "holocaust" will be replaced by "burnt offering".
Since millions of Jews were killed in German death camps before and during World War II, the word Holocaust has gradually come to specifically refer only to that period of history, she explained.All and all though it seems that
For the most part, the changes will be hard to spot, except by those who are serious students or scholars. . .That, in my opinion is bad news; the translation of the New American Bible in many places is just plain terrible. It's no wonder the Vatican went with the Revised Standard Version when they put out the English version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
For example, in Isaiah 9 the coming eschatological Davidic King is described not with the familiar "Mighty God" but instead as "God-Hero." I groan every time I hear that read! Is the Messiah a Marvel comic book superhero?
Another passage that needs to be re-examined is the NAB's translation of Genesis 10:8-9:
Cush became the father of Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the Lord.”Nimrod, we later read, is the king of Babel, the wicked city which elicits a judgment from God. That he is a mighty hunter "before the Lord" has the connotation of his being a notable man, perhaps "to God's face". The latter works well in context: prideful defiance of God seems associated with Babel's building project in the chapter that follows.
Either way, the NAB's translation is outrageously absurd. While just about every English translation has "before the Lord" (Revised Standard Version, English Standard Version, the New International Version, the King James Version, the New King James Version, etc.), the NAB has something that apparently comes out of nowhere.
[Nimrod] was a mighty hunter by the grace of the LORD; hence the saying, "Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter by the grace of the LORD."That's a stretch--and that's putting it mildly! The NAB makes it sound like Nimrod--the king of Babel--was a "man after God's own heart"!
But aside from all my complaining, it should be said that all translations have weaknesses--certainly the RSV does as well. Indeed, the best Bible translation is the one you will actually read. And this translation of the NAB sounds like it's at least somewhat of an improvement. You can read more about it here, including the sordid details of the ongoing royalties dispute between the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Biblical Association.