Welcome to the eighth week of comparing the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) with the Revised English Bible (REB) for the second reading at Sunday’s Mass. As mentioned in the introduction, this will be a chance to compare a strongly literal translation like the NABRE New Testament with a much more dynamic translation like the REB. As the translators continue to work on revising the NABRE New Testament, it also provides a chance to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the current translation (which was completed in 1986).

Sunday, August 5th, 2018 — Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
Second Reading: Ephesians 4:17, 20-24

NABRE:

So I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds…that is not how you learned Christ, assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus, that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.

REB:

Here then is my word to you, and I urge it on you in the Lord’s name: give up living as pagans do with their futile notions…But that is not how you learned Christ. For were you not told about him, were you not as Christians taught the truth as it is in Jesus? Renouncing your former way of life, you must lay aside the old human nature which, deluded by its desires, is in process of decay: you must be renewed in mind and spirit, and put on the new nature created in God’s likeness, which shows itself in the upright and devout life called for by the truth.

4 thoughts on “REB vs. NABRE: New Testament Letters (18th Sunday in OT)”

  1. Hm.. The REB adds the word “but” after being told not to live as pagans.

    With the NABRE, I understand the passage to mean that I didn’t learn about Christ “in the futility of my mind.”
    With the REB, I understand the passage to mean that I didn’t learn about Christ “by giving up living as a pagan with futile notions.”

    The word “but” has just really thrown me off! XD Maybe I’m overthinking it or I’m missing something, but that addition seems to make the passage say something different.

  2. This might be an artifact of the two skipped verses in the lectionary reading. The selection skips verses 18 and 19. I retained the “but” in the REB reading, since it is the first word of verse 20. Here’s the full context:

    Here then is my word to you, and I urge it on you in the Lord’s name: give up living as pagans do with their futile notions. Their minds are closed, they are alienated from the life that is in God, because ignorance prevails among them and their hearts have grown hard as stone. Dead to all feeling, they have abandoned themselves to vice, and there is no indecency that they do not practise. But that is not how you learned Christ. For were you not told about him, were you not as Christians taught the truth as it is in Jesus?

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