Welcome to the twenty-second week of comparing the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) with the Revised English Bible (REB) for the second reading at Sunday’s Mass. This is 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, November 11th, 2018 — Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
Second Reading: Hebrews 9:24-28

NABRE:

For Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf. Not that he might offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly from the foundation of the world. But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice. Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment, so also Christ, offered once to take away the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.

REB:

For Christ has not entered a sanctuary made by human hands which is only a pointer to the reality; he has entered heaven itself, to appear now before God on our behalf. It was not his purpose to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the sanctuary year after year with blood not his own; for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the world was created. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the climax of history to abolish sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as it is our human lot to die once, with judgement to follow, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of mankind, and will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him. 

3 thoughts on “REB vs. NABRE: New Testament Letters (32nd Sunday in OT)”

  1. The phrase ‘ which is only a pointer to the reality’ sounds as if the translator was a computer programmer. It sounds glaring to read in a Bible.

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