Welcome to the continuing series comparing the Revised English Bible (REB) with the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) for the first reading (usually from the Old Testament) at each Sunday Mass. This series complements the comparisons earlier in 2018, which focused on the New Testament letters. I’m interested in exploring whether the REB’s translation style differs between the Old and New Testaments.

Sunday, December 16th, 2018 — Third Sunday of Advent (Year C)
First Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-18a

NABRE:

Shout for joy, daughter Zion!
sing joyfully, Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you,
he has turned away your enemies;
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, Zion,
do not be discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior,
Who will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
Who will sing joyfully because of you,
as on festival days.

REB:

Zion, cry out for joy;
raise the shout of triumph, Israel;
be glad, rejoice with all your heart, 
daughter of Jerusalem!
The LORD has averted your punishment, 
he has swept away your foes.
Israel, the LORD is among you as king;
never again need you fear disaster.

On that day this must be the message to Jerusalem:
Fear not, Zion, let not your hands hang limp. 
The LORD your God is in your midst, 
a warrior who will keep you safe.
he will rejoice over you and be glad;
he will show you his love once more;
he will exult over you with a shout of joy 
as on a festal day.

2 thoughts on “REB vs. NABRE: Old Testament (3rd Sunday in Advent)”

  1. I thought the chief virtue of dynamic translations was supposed to be the simplicity of expression, but the use of the word ‘averted’ in the REB rendering seems odd and out of place. Surely, the NABRE’s ‘removed’ is a much simpler word.

    Maybe ‘averted’ seems more natural and simpler to native speakers of British English than it does to us Americans.

  2. I like how the REB maintains the “let not your hands hang limp” expression but the NABRE’s recently revised more “literal” OT translates the expression dynamically.

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