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, January 27th, 2019 — Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
First Reading: Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10

NABRE:

On the first day of the seventh month, therefore, Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, which consisted of men, women, and those children old enough to understand. In the square in front of the Water Gate, Ezra read out of the book from daybreak till midday, in the presence of the men, the women, and those children old enough to understand; and all the people listened attentively to the book of the law. Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that had been made for the occasion. Ezra opened the scroll so that all the people might see it, for he was standing higher than any of the people. When he opened it, all the people stood. Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people, their hands raised high, answered, “Amen, amen!” Then they knelt down and bowed before the Lord, their faces to the ground. Ezra read clearly from the book of the law of God, interpreting it so that all could understand what was read. Then Nehemiah, that is, the governor, and Ezra the priest-scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to all the people: “Today is holy to the LORD your God. Do not lament, do not weep!”—for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law. He continued: “Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD is your strength!”

REB:

On the first day of the seventh month, Ezra the priest brought the law before the whole assembly, both men and women, and all who were capable of understanding what they heard. From early morning till noon he read aloud from it, facing the square in front of the Water Gate, in the presence of the men and the women, and those who could understand; the people all listened attentively to the book of the law.

Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform which had been made for this purpose. Then Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above them; and when he opened it, they all stood. Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people raised their hands and responded, ‘Amen, Amen’; then they bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the LORD. They [Ezra and the Levites] read from the book of the law of God clearly, made its sense plain, and gave instruction in what was read.

Then Nehemiah the governor and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who instructed the people, said to them all, ‘This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep’; for the people had all been weeping while they listened to the words of the law. ‘Go now,’ he continued, ‘feast yourselves on rich food and sweet drinks, and send a share to all who cannot provide for themselves, for the day is holy to our Lord. Let there be no sadness, for joy in the LORD is your strength.’

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