After about 20 years of work by a large group of scholars and theologians,The New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE) was released on March 9, 2011. In the NABRE, you can find a revised translation of the complete Old Testament (it’s the bishop’s first new translation in over 40 years), as well as the 1986 edition of the New Testament.
“Why do we need a new translation? The Bible hasn’t changed, has it?”
Information from United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
“The Bible hasn’t changed. However, our knowledge about the Bible has changed. New translations and revision of existing translations are required from time to time for various reasons. It is important to keep pace with the discovery and publication of new and better ancient manuscripts (e.g., the Dead Sea Scrolls) so that the best possible textual tradition will be followed, as required by Divino afflante spiritu. There are advances in linguistics of the biblical languages which make possible a better understanding and more accurate translation of the original languages. And there are changes and developments in vocabulary and the cultural background of English.” (http://www.usccb.org/bible/understanding-the-bible/faq.cfm)
Will this Bible be used at Mass?
The Lectionary (book of Scripture readings) used at Mass is based on the 1970 New American Bible (NAB) Old Testament and the 1986 New American Bible New Testament. (Some changes were made to accommodate public proclamation of brief excerpts.) At present, there is no plan to use the New American Bible, Revised Edition.
Why was only the Old Testament revised? What about the New Testament?
The New Testament was revised in 1986. Much of the work on the 1970 Old Testament was done in the 1950s and was, therefore, in greatest need of updating.
Has the Vatican approved this text?
No. The Holy See does not typically approve translations of Scripture unless they are intended for use in the liturgy. If, in the future, the U.S. bishops approve this text of the Old Testament for use in the liturgy, it will be submitted to the Holy See for approval.
When will I be able to buy this Bible? Who will publish it?
The New American Bible, Revised Edition will be available for purchase on March 9, 2011, though not all publishers will have editions available at that time. A list of licensed publishers will be posted at www.usccb.org/nab. This page will be updated as new publishers are announced.
Will it be available online?
Yes. The complete text of the New American Bible, revised edition will be posted at www.usccb.org/nab/.
There are books in the New American Bible, Revised Edition that aren’t in other Bibles? Why?
The seven books included in Catholic Bibles are Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, the Wisdom of Ben Sira, and Baruch. Catholic Bibles also include sections in the Books of Esther and Daniel which are not found in Protestant Bibles. These books are called the deuterocanonical books. The Catholic Church considers these books to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. They have been part of the canon of Scripture from the early centuries of the Church.
What are the changes? Are the stories different?
You will still find all of your favorite Old Testament stories in this new edition.
Specific texts were revised for one of three reasons:
- To be closer to the original text.
- To more clearly express the meaning of the original.
- To better reflect modern English usage.
For articles additional information on the NABRE and how the Bible enriches life in the Church, please visit the USCCB website.