Monday, April 11, 2011
A Virgin No Longer: The NABRE continued
Of course, the change that has garnered the most attention has been the alteration of the translation of Isaiah 7:14, to which my post title alludes. I want to cover that issue in depth, probably in my next post on this subject.
For now, though, I would like to concentrate on what I see as good features and improvements of this edition.
After ripping open the packaging and checking the translation of Genesis 1:1-2, the next passage I checked was Psalm 8.
I have been carping about the NAB's rendering of Psalm 8 for years. The key line is verse 4, which runs quite literally, "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?"
The old NAB rendered this, "What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them?"
There are multiple problems with this "dynamic equivalent" translation, like the shift from singular to plural, and gratuitous introduction of the concept of "mortality," which is not an emphasis of the Hebrew text.
But worst of all, the old translation obscured the messianic sense of the psalm. Given Jesus' favored self-ascription as "Son of Man," the New Testament authors were quick to understand the "son of man" in Psalm 8, who is "crowned with glory and honor" as a reference to Christ. This is clearly the case in Ephesians 1:22 and Hebrews 2:5-9.
Imagine my delight, then, when I opened the NABRE to Psalm 8:5 and read:
"What is man that you are mindful of him, and a son of man that you care for him?"
This is much more faithful and literal, allowing the English reader to "hear" the Christological typology.
In my opinion, the revisers are to be congratulated for this "fix." This is worth at least two, possibly three cheers!