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Shin
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« on: August 09, 2010, 10:00:23 PM »

Has anyone here ever ordered and read the 'Real Douay-Rheims' project's CDs or hard copies?

The editor's interview here pretty much sums up his reasons for providing it.

I'm highly interested in looking it over since I found out about it.

I've managed to so far get ahold of the pre-updated language version, though highly imperfect copies of it. But it's quite obvious with modernized spelling it would be very readable and worthwhile to have. Even without I can read it almost entirely, it is mostly a matter of convenience and ease.

I read one fellow's comments who bought it, that he was quite happy with it, and that the website's typos did not reflect on the quality of the actual work.

An example of it pre-modernized spelling would be:

In the beginning God created heauen and earth. And the earth was voide & vacant, and darkenes was vpon the face of the deapth: and the Spirite of God moued ouer the waters. And God said: Be light made. And light was made. And God saw the light that it was good: & he diuided the light from the darkenes. And he called the light, Day, and the darkenes, Night: and there was euening & morning, that made one day. God also said: Be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it diuide betwene waters & waters. And God made a firmament, and diuided the waters, that were vnder the firmament, from those, that were aboue the firmament. And it was so done. And God called the firmament, Heauen: and there was euening & morning that made the second day. God also said: Let the waters that are vnder the heauen, be gathered together into one place: and let the drie land appeare. And it was so done. And God called the drie land, Earth: and the gathering of waters together, he called Seas. And God sawe that it was good. And said: Let the earth shootforth grene herbes, and such as may seede, & fruite trees yelding fruit after his kinde, such as may haue seede in it selfe vpon the earth. And it was so done. And the earth brought forth grene herbe, such as seedeth according to his kinde, & tree that beareth fruite, hauing seede eche one according to his kinde. And God saw that it was good. And there was euening & morning that made the third day.

And after:

In the beginning God created heaven and earth. And the earth was void & vacant, and darkness was upon the face of the depth: and the Spirit of God moved over the waters. And God said: Be light made. And light was made. And God saw the light that it was good: & he divided the light from the darkness. And he called the light, Day, and the darkness, Night: and there was evening & morning, that made one day. God also said: Be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it divide between waters & waters. And God made a firmament, and divided the waters, that were under the firmament, from those, that were above the firmament. And it was so done. And God called the firmament, Heaven: and there was evening & morning that made the second day. God also said: Let the waters that are under the heaven, be gathered together into one place: and let the dry land appear. And it was so done. And God called the dry land, Earth: and the gathering of waters together, he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And said: Let the earth shoot forth green herbs, and such as may seed, & fruit trees yielding fruit after his kind, such as may have seed in itself upon the earth. And it was so done.  And the earth brought forth green herb, such as seedeth according to his kind, & tree that beareth fruit, having seed each one according to his kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening & morning that made the third day.


What particularly interests me of course is that it is unadulterated by any influence outside of the Vulgate, and so would reflect as purely Catholic an English translation of the Bible as one could find. I am already referring to a machine transcription of the original untranslitarated copy at times when I refer to scripture quotes to get a feel for the differences.  Cheesy
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2010, 10:06:06 PM »

I haven't seen the copy that you speak about, but I bookmarked the page so that I can. I really appreciate you making posting sites that are worthwhile.  Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 10:52:02 PM »

 Cheesy Thank you Brigid!

The site has two sample PDFs, Genesis 1 and Matthew 24 available for download, and I must say I really appreciate the original commentary from the Douay too. It's real Catholic commentary.

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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2010, 05:42:54 AM »

I have the D-R with the modern spelling: the old spelling makes me want to get out my red pen. It is highly distracting when my purpose is to pray the Scriptures in Lectio Divina.

The translation used by the Vatican is the RSV-CE (original language, not the inclusive) and the Navarre Bible.  I like both of these as well.

At the end of the day, if stranded somewhere with only three books I would want to have
The Holy Bible
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Rule of St. Benedict

These are the three that contain the summation of all Catholic wisdom and scholarship, in my own opine.
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 06:18:28 AM »

I'm more used to reading older spelling than most people I am thinking. Smiley

The Rule of St. Benedict is a small book to take along with you! But it packs a lot in it!

Funnily enough I just had a request to restore some very older English portions of the prayer page section of the Saints' Prayers site.

It is rather surprising how many revisions Challoner seems to have made at first glance, I am going to really go over it, and perhaps see about offering some of the original Douay here, though we don't have what it takes to do our own transliteration and will have to stick with the old spelling entire.

I used to belong to a Bible Study group that used the Navarre, but never picked it up myself, only so many funds and so few books.. I've got plenty to keep me busy however with Cornelius a Lapide and the Catana Aurea commentary.

It's too bad the Lapide Old Testament commentaries appear to be only available in Latin at the moment. That's a project for some philanthropist to take up one of these days -- and a priceless good project too.
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 01:22:44 PM »

A good Bible is a priced thing these days. The standard here for liturgical use is The Jerusalem Bible (not to be mistaken for the New Jerusalem bIble which is such a poor translation) The Jerusalem is one of the better translations though far from perfect.

Regarding the New American Bible I found this very interesting article by a Fr Richard John Neuhaus.

by Father Richard John Neuhaus

Back in May 2001, I wrote under the title “Bible Babel” about the translation that is the unfortunate New American Bible (NAB). It is a subject that should not be dropped. Not, mind you, that I expect anybody to do anything about it any time soon. But some day, please God, there will be a real reform of the misguided reforms of recent decades, and the NAB (along with the Revised NAB and the Amended Revised NAB and whatever version of the NAB that crops up in this Sunday’s Mass guide) should be on the agenda. Robert Louis Wilken has written wisely that the Bible is the lexicon of the Church and the liturgy is the grammar of the Bible. Among Catholics subjected to the NAB, and all are now subjected to it, the lexicon takes a terrible beating.

Everyone who has sung or listened to Handel’s “Messiah” knows the words: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”. (Isaiah 9:6, KJV) Magnificent. Here, as of this week’s amended Missalette, is the New American Bible: “For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon His shoulder dominion rests. They name Him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace”. Try singing that. Whether under the rules of literal accuracy or of what, taking liberties, translators call “dynamic equivalence”, that is no more than a pedantic transliteration of the Hebrew. It is not a translation. It is a string of possible signifiers. It is not English. To be fair, the passage is not representative. Most of the NAB is English, albeit of a down-market variety.

One has to wonder what those in charge of Catholic translations thought they were doing since the NAB project was launched. An answer commonly given is that they wanted to produce the most literally “accurate” translation of the Hebrew and Greek texts. It is usually said that Catholics are not biblical literalists, but that appears not to hold in this instance. Even literalism does not explain the many eccentricities introduced in the NAB. Probably the best known of all psalms is Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd”. In the KJV and the RSV, the psalm concludes with, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. Readers of the Douay-Rheims express the confidence that they will “dwell in the house of the Lord for length of days”. That is very open-ended and may be very much like “forever”.

Even the more recent and trendy New Revised Standard Version invites me to believe that “I will dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long”. My whole life long will, please God, be life eternal. Then comes the NAB: “I will dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come”. For years to come? It inevitably prompts the question of how many. Ten? Twenty? Fifty? Whatever the answer, it would seem to be far short of forever. Note that there is nothing in the Hebrew that requires or even suggests such a change. But what’s the point of doing a new translation unless it is different from earlier translations?

The problems begin with the very first verse of the Bible. In the English tradition, solidly grounded in the Hebrew as well as in Jerome’s Latin translation, Genesis 1 begins with the majestic words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. Here is what the NAB offers us: “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters”. Compare that with the English tradition, followed almost exactly by Douay-Rheims: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters”. Apart from the NAB’s deaf ear to poetry and theological suggestiveness, the very first words of the very first verse of the Bible raise a question of no little importance. Note the difference between “In the beginning God created ...” and “In the beginning, when God created...”

“In the beginning God”. Homilies and theological reflections beyond numbering have pondered and probed those four words. It is God and God alone who is in the beginning; He is the source and acting subject of all that follows. If we do not get that right, we will not get right all that follows. Very different is the NAB’s rendering, “In the beginning, when God”. Here there is no invitation to ponder and probe what and who is meant by God. The knowledge is taken for granted; the reader’s attention is immediately turned from the acting subject to His actions. “In the beginning was the Act”. That is not, from the beginning, how Christians have understood the matter. The writer of the fourth Gospel begins with, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. The great student of the fourth Gospel, C.K. Barrett, writes, “John intends that the whole of his gospel shall be read in the light of this verse. The deeds and words of Jesus are the deeds and words of God; if this be not true, the book is blasphemous”. That, says Barrett, is the significance of the tie to Genesis 1, “In the beginning God ...”

From the apostolic and patristic eras up through magisterial and theological writings of the present day, the parallel between Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 has been the source of the most profound reflections. God who was in the beginning is now revealed in Jesus the Christ who is God. The great Augustine, writing in the fifth century, insists upon the parallel wording. As in the beginning is God, so in the beginning is the Word who is God. Here he is preaching against the Arian heresy which claimed that the Son is not truly God but was created as an agent for creating the world. No, insists Augustine: As in the beginning God, so in the beginning the Word. That parallel, so crucial to the entire gospel story, is quite thoroughly obscured by the NAB. From the beginning, the NAB introduces unwarranted novelties that not only further erode what remains of a common biblical vocabulary but are often blithely indifferent to the Church’s tradition of theological reflection.

Consider the parable of the prodigal son: After his dissipation in a “far country” (NAB has “distant country”) the RSV, following the English-language tradition and the Greek text, says “he came to himself”. NAB says “he came to his senses”. No, he didn’t just become more sensible. He came to himself; he returned to who he truly was, the beloved son of the loving father. The theologically literate preacher is regularly compelled to correct the NAB translation prescribed for public reading. Those responsible for the NAB and its perpetual updatings are not heretics and I am sure they do not intend to be doctrinally subversive. It would appear that they are simply indifferent to the great tradition of the Bible in English, frequently indifferent to the history of scriptural interpretation in the Church, and almost always indifferent to good English usage.

So why do they, and so many other translators, do what they do? The answer is undoubtedly related to the fact that, without the production of novelties and revisions, translators would be out of a job. A telling indictment of the NAB is that it is not used or even referred to by non-Catholics and is seldom employed by Catholic biblical scholars who, quite sensibly, prefer other translations. It is a translation that is used at all only because its use has been made mandatory.

But perhaps a few more examples are in order. In Mark 10:9, Our Lord says of marriage, “What therefore God has joined together let not man put asunder”. (RSV) The NAB renders this, “What God has joined together, no human being must separate”. No human being must separate, but a human being may separate? Perhaps angels must separate? Then there are the much quoted words of Psalm 111, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. Compare that to the never-to-be-quoted rendition of NAB, “The fear of the Lord is the first stage of wisdom”. Saint Paul exhorts Timothy to “preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season”. In the NAB -- in the event you were wondering what clunky means -- that becomes, “be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient”. It is too easy to imagine an NAB version of the Gettysburg address: “Approximately eighty-seven years ago, political leaders developed a system of government ... ”

The NAB assumes that readers and listeners may be a bit slow on the uptake. Here is Genesis 18 in the RSV: “Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, ‘After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?’” Here is the NAB read at Mass: “Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years, and Sarah had stopped having her womanly periods. So Sarah laughed to herself and said, ‘Now that I am so withered and my husband is so old, am I still to have sexual pleasure?’” Just in case you didn’t get it, the story is about sex. A little before that, the NAB says, “He had intercourse with her, and she became pregnant”. The RSV: “And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived”. Like the high school health text, the NAB is worried that we may miss the point.

The NAB picks up on cultural ticks. Some while back I was in conversation with a national columnist who regularly used “righteous” as an adjective of denigration. For instance, she would criticize “righteous political leaders”. I suggested that surely she meant “self-righteous”, to which she responded that righteous and self-righteous are today synonymous. I thought of this again when working on a Sunday homily. The text was Luke 18, and the NAB renders verse 9 this way: “Jesus spoke this parable addressed to those who believed in their own self-righteousness while holding every one else in contempt”. The KJV, RSV, NIV, and other standard English translations all speak of those who trust in their own righteousness, correctly translating the Greek dikaioi. It is of more than passing interest that the NAB translators seem to agree with the columnist that righteousness today means self-righteousness. But what sense does it make to say that they believed in their self-righteousness? Imagine someone boasting, “I’m more self-righteous than you are!”

Examples can be multiplied almost book by book and chapter by chapter. In II Timothy, Saint Paul declares, “I have fought the good fight”. Fight the good fight. The bracing phrase echoes and re-echoes in high culture and everyday life. What does the NAB give the Catholic people? “I have competed well”.

In the face of every affliction, Paul says in Romans 8, “we are more than conquerors”. (RSV) The NAB says “we conquer overwhelmingly”. On the Church’s relationship to earthly powers, the words have rolled down the centuries: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s”. The NAB: “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God”. We have taken something from Caesar and from God that we must repay? Don’t ask. The line of Matthew 22:14 is still commonly heard: “Many are called but few are chosen”. NAB: “Many are invited, but few are chosen”. What is gained by the change? What is lost?

Saint Paul to the Philippians: “Have this mind among you, which you have in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped”. NAB: “Have this attitude in you which was in Christ Jesus”. Jesus had an attitude? There is a significant difference between having the mind of Christ and having the attitude of Christ. Not to mention that literate speakers of English do not speak of a person having an attitude “in” him. In the translation of the four gospels, the NAB regularly says that Jesus “cured” rather than “healed” people. In standard English, “cure” connotes a medical remedy while “heal” connotes making a person whole. At least the NAB does refer to Jesus as a healer rather than a “curer”.

The tone-deaf linguistic wreckers of the Catholic Biblical Association have a great deal to answer for. But it seems that few bishops are prepared to fight the good fight against the atrocities being perpetrated. The tradition of the Bible in English is mangled and banalized at almost every opportunity; the poetic is flattened into the prosaic and the suggestively allusive is forced to submit to the arbitrarily chosen obvious. Literalism joined to a penchant for the insipid succeeds in producing a text that is, at the same time, irritatingly quirky and surpassingly dull. It might be argued that a merit of the NAB is that it discourages -- indeed, precludes -- the dubious practice of teaching the Bible as literature.

Nevertheless, for the foreseeable future Catholics are stuck with the NAB in its ongoing revisions of revisions. There seems to be little chance that the bishops or the liturgy industry will make available lectionaries or entire Bibles in the RSV or in the more recent and quite splendid English Standard Version, which rivals the RSV in respecting the tradition of the King James and Douay-Rheims. Of course, younger Catholics, those born since 1970, for instance, never knew that tradition. It is their great loss.

The imposition of this embarrassingly third-rate translation is made definite by a provision of the otherwise welcome 2001 instruction from Rome’s congregation for worship, Liturgiam authenticam. The instruction says that “in order that the faithful may be able to commit to memory at least the more important texts of the Sacred Scriptures and be formed by them ... there should exist only one approved translation, which will be employed in all parts of the various liturgical books”. The American bishops, alas, chose the NAB. Had they chosen a more worthy translation, there would have been a fierce uproar from the guild of Catholic biblical scholars who perpetrated the NAB. In addition, there is a thoroughly misplaced proprietorial pride in this being a Catholic translation: It may not be very good, but it is ours.

The result is a loss keenly appreciated by those who grew up with what literary critic Alan Jacobs describes as “a shared language, of particular words and phrases that resonated in the common ear -- words and phrases whose meanings could be tested, considered, deployed, and redeployed in an infinitely varied set of contexts”. Think of those generations of English-speaking peoples “separating the wheat from the chaff”, “lying down in green pastures”, sometimes being “weighed in the balance and found wanting” but at other times “fighting the good fight” and “putting on the whole armor of Christ” -- the whole vast array of discourse (much of it richly poetic) demonstrating that it is very difficult to share thoughts when we do not share words. Because Christians are counseled to “be of one mind”, we should be more attentive to the particular words that shape and form our minds. To have once again a widely shared English Bible would be a significant step toward that one mind in Christ.

It is a great pity that our churches and our culture have largely lost a common biblical vocabulary. The blame rests with academic Bible scholars and with the hustlers of the very big business of multiplying and marketing ever-more-novel versions of the biblical text. But the decay of a culture- and soul-forming tradition is also the fault of the bishops, and it is their very particular fault that the Catholic people are saddled with among the clunkiest of translations, the New American Bible. Yes, I know that there is not much to be done about it, or at least that those who could do something seem not to be interested. And yes, I know that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. But sometimes it is necessary to curse the darkness as well, just to prevent our getting used to it.

Literate converts coming into communion with the Catholic Church, of whom, despite all, there are more and more, are regularly struck by the banalities and eccentricities of scriptural readings and liturgical texts. They are grateful for being received and do not wish to complain, but the blunting of literary sensibilities should not be a price exacted for becoming Catholic.

And now I will let this subject rest for a while. I do not promise that I will not return to it at some later time. It is important that Catholics who are week by week subjected to the NAB know that someone -- in the words of a former president -- feels their pain. And they should know that they are not limited to this inferior translation in their personal reading and Bible study groups. Then too, those responsible for the translation might be embarrassed into reconsidering their trashing of the tradition of the Bible in English. Finally, the bishops might reconsider their choice of the NAB, or at least petition Rome to allow the liturgical use of other and worthier translations. Or maybe not. In which case, we will during the scriptural readings at every Mass have occasion to remember Flannery O’Connor’s sage observation that we frequently must suffer more from the Church than for the Church.

Father Richard John Neuhaus is editor of First Things, where his essay, originally titled “More Bible Babel”, was published in the March 2006 edition.

« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 03:50:10 PM by martin » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2010, 09:57:13 AM »

I've never been impressed with the NAB's translation, though I liked the older Confraternity version before they changed their method of working from the Vulgate.

I have both the new and old Jerusalem bibles, the first one was a gift, the latter I sought out, and I must say the Jerusalem of all the contemporary translations has the most Catholic language.

It takes great holiness to do a Bible translation properly... it's not just mechanics.
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2021, 07:18:53 AM »

I'm thinking of sending this link to another Catholic forum that I like (not nearly as much as this).  I presume it would almost certainly bring some new reader- and member-ship here, although my primary intention is to encourage specifically the attention to their forum group structure, especially their Bible discussion group.
Would you have concerns or objection about my doing this?  Do you care which forum?
This is a great discussion, and I try to encourage every household to have a good Christian library (especially Catholic, of course), as this thread does in a limited but very positive way.
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2021, 04:45:03 AM »

What an old thread.. this brings back memories. Things were different back then.

You may do however you think best of course, thank you for asking.

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