Welcome to the second in a series of posts comparing the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible and the Revised New Jerusalem Bible for one of the readings at each Sunday’s Mass. For today, the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, I’ve chosen the first reading (from the book of Sirach/Ben Sira/Ecclesiasticus).

Sunday, September 1st, 2019 — 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 3:17-18, 21, 29-30
NAB 1970 Verse numbering: Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
(The Jerusalem Bible family and the NABRE do not use the NAB 1970 numbering.)

Jerusalem Bible:

My son, be gentle in carrying out your business,
and you will be better loved than a lavish giver.
The greater you are, the more you should behave humbly,
and then you will find favour with the Lord;
Do not try to understand things that are too difficult for you,
or try to discover what is beyond your powers.
The heart of a sensible man will reflect on parables,
an attentive ear is the sage’s dream.
Water quenches a blazing fire,
almsgiving atones for sins

New Jerusalem Bible:

My child, be gentle in carrying out your business,
and you will be better loved than a lavish giver.
The greater you are, the more humbly you should behave,
and then you will find favour with the Lord;
Do not try to understand things that are too difficult for you,
or try to discover what is beyond your powers.
The heart of the sensible will reflect on parables,
an attentive ear is the sage’s dream.
Water puts out a blazing fire,
almsgiving expiates sins.

Revised New Jerusalem Bible

My child, be gentle in carrying out your business
and you will be better loved than a lavish giver.
The greater you are, the more humbly you should behave
and you will find favour with the Lord;
Do not try to understand things that are too difficult for you,
nor seek out what is beyond your strength.
The heart of the sensible will reflect on parables,
an attentive ear is the sage’s dream.
Water puts out a blazing fire,
almsgiving atones for sin.

New American Bible Revised Edition:

My son, conduct your affairs with humility,
and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
and you will find mercy in the sight of God.
What is too sublime for you, do not seek;
    do not reach into things that are hidden from you.
The mind of the wise appreciates proverbs,
and the ear that listens to wisdom rejoices.
As water quenches a flaming fire,
so almsgiving atones for sins.

2 thoughts on “The Jerusalem Bible Family and the NABRE: Comparing Translations (22nd Sunday in OT)”

  1. So far, you’ve only done two of these, so I know I’m leaping to conclusions, but I like that the RNJB seems to be only a very modest revision of the NJB. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the NJB, at Bewst it only needed minor tweaking, and that looks to be all it got.

  2. Out of the three you’ve done so far, perhaps the most interesting translation choice is the verse “an attentive ear is the sage’s dream” which is present in all versions of the Jerusalem Bible. It is really different from the NABRE, NRSV and DR. I am curious if this is a more dynamic translation choice or if it reflects an underlying difference in base text.

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