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 14th, 2019 — Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion (Year C)
First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7

NABRE:

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
That I might know how to answer the weary
a word that will waken them.
Morning after morning
he wakens my ear to hear as disciples do;
The Lord GOD opened my ear;
I did not refuse,
did not turn away.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who tore out my beard;
My face I did not hide
from insults and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
Therefore I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

REB:

The Lord God has given me
the tongue of one who has been instructed
to console the weary
with a timely word;
he made my hearing sharp every morning,
that I might listen like one under instruction.
The Lord God opened my ears
and I did not disobey or turn back in defiance.
I offered my back to the lash,
and let my beard be plucked from my chin,
I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
But the Lord God is my helper;
therefore no insult can wound me;
I know that I shall not be put to shame,
therefore I have set my face like flint.

One thought on “REB vs. NABRE: Old Testament (Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion)”

  1. The REB is a translation I admire, and I like the NABRE more than almost anybody, but I’m surprised how much I prefer the NABRE here. A high poetic register in Old Testament verse was one of the selling points of the REB, but I think the NABRE gives you a better idea of what is going on in the original language while also being more beautiful and memorable.

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