This Sunday, I continue the series I began last week, comparing the Lexham English Septuagint and Fr. Nicholas King’s translation for the first reading at Sunday Mass.

Sunday, March 29, 2020 — Fifth Sunday of Lent (Year A)
First Reading: Ezekiel 37:12-14

Lexham English Septuagint:

“On account of this, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Lord says: “Look, I am opening your tombs, and I shall bring you up from your tombs and lead you into the land of Israel, and you will know that I am the Lord when I open your graves, that I might bring my people up from the graves. And I will place my spirit into you, and you will live, and I will set you upon your land, and you will know that I am the Lord. I have spoken and will do it,” says the Lord.'”

Fr. Nicholas King Translation:

Because of this, prophesy, and say, “Thus says the Lord: look! I am opening your tombs, and I am going to lead you up out of your tombs, and I am going to lead you into the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your tombs, for me to lead my people up out of the tombs. I am going to put my spirit in you, and you will live; and I shall set you in your own land. And you will know that I am the Lord.” I have spoken, and I shall do it (says the Lord).’

6 thoughts on “Lexham vs. Nicholas King Septuagint (5th Sunday of Lent)”

  1. I haven’t seen the word “might” used in the way the Lexham used it in a long time! The word “might” seems to be weakening over time in its power.

    And I don’t care if its archaic–I still prefer “behold” over “look”.

  2. What do you think of the New Catholic Bible (NCB) as a translation? Is really a good literal translation?
    Do you recommend the NCB?
    The giant print edition has little ghosting and good paper?

    1. I did a first look review of the NCB last fall. Here’s the link:

      At the time, I planned to read through multiple books in the Old and New Testaments to get a flavor of the translation and compare it with the NABRE. Those items are still on my to-do list, and I have not forgotten about them. Some commenters on that first look post delved into their impressions of the translation, and I recommend referring to their insights.

    2. Mark,

      I’m really enjoying the St. Joseph Edition NCB from Catholic Book Publishing. I think it was said in the previous post about it that it is somewhere between the NABRE and the NRSV. I tend to agree. In my opinion, it reads smoother than the NABRE by a longshot and has a cadence closer to the NRSV, which I really appreciate. It is certainly less clunky than the NABRE; for instance, Matthew 19:6 comes to mind.

      The NABRE has: “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate,” whereas the NCB has: “And so they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” That’s just one obvious example. But I’ve found similar examples as I read.

      I’ve been reading the NCB Psalms a lot and they flow very nicely. It seems to me that the translators and editors did a nice job with the balance between inclusive language and fidelity to the meaning of the text. They don’t compromise the Messianic passages by making the singular plural, as the previously revised NAB psalms did (not the NABRE, which I think did a decent job).

      The NCB is still not as literal as the RSVCE. But it seems as literal as the NRSV and NABRE.

      To my ear, “Adam was intimate with his wife Eve” (Genesis 4:1, NCB) sounds a lot nicer than the impersonal, “The man had intercourse with his wife Eve” (NABRE) in my book. Surely the NCB more fully captures the biblical meaning of the Hebrew word transliterated “yada,” which means “to know.”

      As the NABRE is a product of the U.S. bishops conference, I don’t see the NCB taking its place, but I certainly use it for much of my work.

      I’m not any kind of linguist or bible scholar— purely amateur in the truest sense of the word. But I know what I like, and since it earned the approval of the shepherds of the Church, I read it probably more than any other at this point, with the exception of the Catholic edition of the ESV, which I’m really happy with so far.

      As far as the product goes, it’s of good quality. Nice paper. Not too thin. I wish there was a medium-sized edition like they have with the NABRE. It’s a big Bible, which my eyes don’t mind, but it doesn’t need to be THIS big. Of course, the best edition you can get is with burgundy bonded (blech!) leather, but at least it’s a decent bonded leather— somewhat flexible and attractive. The layout is the same as the other St. Joseph editions, which I don’t mind. It has some very nice supplemental materials, such as charts and photos of the Holy Land sites. I figure if people buy them enough, they’ll maybe eventually make a smaller edition. It could be recovered with premium leather… but at this point, with everything as it is today, that’s not really on my mind right now. Seems inconsequential. So the bottom line is: glad I got it. It’s been a good prayer companion during this strange Lent.


        1. Mark, my pleasure. I didn’t realize how long my comment was until it posted! You can tell that I… 1) am passionate about the topic, and 2) needed a diversion!

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