The first edition of the New American Bible (NAB), published in 1970, immediately became familiar to Catholics in the United States because of its use in the lectionary at Mass.
A revised translation of the New Testament, which appeared in the NAB’s second edition (1986), included more traditional diction (“blessed” replaced “happy” in the Beatitudes) but made concessions to horizontal and vertical inclusive language (the Holy Spirit in places was referred to as “it,” rather than “he”).
In the third edition (1991), a revised translation of the Psalms appeared that systematically introduced inclusive language to the Psalter. Thus, “blessed the man” (Ps. 1:1)-- a literal translation of the Hebrew-- was replaced by “happy those.” In 1994, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments rejected the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ request to include the new edition of the Psalter in a revised lectionary.
Under the Congregation’s direction, a committee of bishops and scholars made changes to the revised New Testament before its use was permitted in the revised lectionary. The Holy Spirit, for instance, is rendered as “he” in the revised lectionary; “rejoice, O highly favored daughter” (Lk. 1:28, 1970 edition), which had become “hail, favored one” (1986 edition), in turn became “hail, full of grace” (revised lectionary). The revised lectionary appeared in two stages (1998 and 2002).
The forthcoming fourth edition, according to the USCCB, aims
at making use of the best manuscript traditions available, translating as accurately as possible, and rendering the result in good contemporary English. In many ways it is a more literal translation than the original New American Bible and has attempted to be more consistent in rendering Hebrew (or Greek) words and idioms, especially in technical contexts, such as regulations for sacrifices. In translating the Psalter special effort was made to provide a smooth, rhythmic translation for easy singing or recitation and to retain the concrete imagery of the Hebrew. The NABRE is approved for private use and study. It will not be used for the Mass.Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.
- Revised Edition of New American Bible Approved for Publication, Will Be Available in Variety of Formats March 9 (USCCB)
- Bibles and Lectionaries (Adoremus Bulletin)
- Lectionary - New Edition for U.S. (EWTN)
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