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, April 7th, 2019 — Fifth Sunday of Lent (Year C)
First Reading: Isaiah 43:16-21

NABRE:

Thus says the LORD,
who opens a way in the sea,
a path in the mighty waters,
Who leads out chariots and horsemen,
a powerful army,
Till they lie prostrate together, never to rise,
snuffed out, quenched like a wick.
Remember not the events of the past,
the things of long ago consider not;
See, I am doing something new!
Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
In the wilderness I make a way,
in the wasteland, rivers.
Wild beasts honor me,
jackals and ostriches,
For I put water in the wilderness
and rivers in the wasteland
for my chosen people to drink,
The people whom I formed for myself,
that they might recount my praise.

REB:

This is the word of the LORD,
who opened a way in the sea,
a path through mighty waters,
who drew on chariot and horse to their destruction,
an army in all its strength;
they lay down, never to rise again;
they were extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
Stop dwelling on past events
and brooding over days gone by.
I am about to do something new;
this moment it will unfold.
Can you not perceive it?
Even through the wilderness I shall make a way,
and paths in the barren desert.
The wild beasts will do me honour,
the wolf and the desert-owl,
for I shall provide water in the wilderness
and rivers in the barren desert,
where my chosen people may drink,
this people I have formed for myself,
and they will proclaim my praises.

One thought on “REB vs. NABRE: Old Testament (5th Sunday of Lent)”

  1. Sometimes I feel like the Middle Eastern setting of the scriptures comes through more effectively in the NABRE than in other translations I’ve looked at. The NAB Psalms definitely have a more untamed flavor than the Grail Psalms, in my opinion. Here, the jackal and the ostrich evoke a very different image to me than wolves and desert owls.

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