Ancient manuscripts offer the Faithful a sense of how complicated deciding the ipsissima verba, the words themselves, can be.  The last time through Liturgical Cycle A, in 2008, Musings noted names for various Greek manuscripts underlying translations.  Textus Receptus that Erasmus (1466-1536) cobbled together from about six manuscripts supported all Western translations until the Twentieth Century.  Erasmus based his Greek on the Majority Text used by the Greek Eastern Orthodox Church.

The Codex Vaticanus predates the Codex Sinaiticus by a few years.  The problem is that the Vatican prohibited scholars from full access until 1889.  Codex Vaticanus is still not on the internet. 

Sometime between 1844 and 1859 Constantin von Tischendorf discovered a major uncial (written in all CAPITAL letters) manuscript in the monastery of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai.  That manuscript, written sometime between 320 and 350, is known as the Codex Sinaiticus and is available at http://codexsinaiticus.org/en/  Erasmus did not have access to the Codex Sinaiticus.  These Musings used the Codex Sinaiticus at least as early as Reading 157A, Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, November 16, 2008.  Personal Notes (the other name for Musings) stopped using the Codex Sinaiticus in favor of a closer and ongoing examination of the apparatus for the New Testament.

As time went on, more manuscripts emerged and continue to emerge for scholarly use.  The resulting Nestle-Aland[1] eclectic Greek is what these Musings use.  My conclusion is twofold.  First, translations are in need of constant updating, because language is constantly changing.  The Vatican exhibits arrogance imposing its version of the English language on the United States Congress of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  This is happening in the liturgy, as a major undertaking beginning this Advent.  These musings will pay attention to what the Vatican dictates in the context of the authorized USCCB English translation, known as the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE), and the Lectionary. 

My second conclusion is a philosophical difference between East and West.  Eastern philosophy is less juridical and less self-righteous than Western philosophy.  Constantinople and Moscow (the Third Rome) are less confrontational than the Roman Vatican is.  During the Communist regime in Soviet Russia, the Orthodox Church put up with dismantling of seminaries and Churches.  In the West, such atrocities would have resulted in martyrdom, the likes of which happened under Emperor Nero.  The point is that when Communism fell in 1989, the Russians celebrated with an Eastern Orthodox Solemn High Mass.  The point is that as wonderful as Aristotelian logic and Thomistic scholasticism are for dogmatic theology, that is not the only basis from which to lead the Christian way of life. 

 

Readings

First Reading:                   Isaiah 25:6-10A

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 (6cd)

Second Reading:              Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20

Alleluia:                             cf. Ephesians 1:17-18

Gospel:                             Matthew 22:1-14

 

 

Divergences between the Lectionary and the NABRE

 

In 2011, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops authorized a revised translation of the New American Bible (NAB), thereby setting up a new tension with the Lectionary used at Sunday Mass.  Scholars are citing the new translation (New American Bible Newly Revised) as NABRE.  This tension between the Lectionary and the NABRE will increase with the use of the new Sacramentary, now called Missal, beginning in Advent.  The hierarchy is playing name games, because the full title of the Lectionary includes Missal.[2]  One purpose showing the divergences in translation is to show the Church contradicting itself, meaning something is wrong with one, other, or both of the translations.  The Internet offers the following explanation.[3]

 

Revised NAB (NABRE) to be released Ash Wednesday: still does not correspond to Lectionary

“The new translation takes into account advances in linguistics of the biblical languages, as well as changes in vocabulary and the cultural background of English, in order to ensure a more accurate translation.”  USCCB

“This is a complex situation — and is especially confusing to people who are looking for a reliable Catholic Bible” Adoremus Bulletin

USCCB Press Release WASHINGTON (January 6, 2011)—

The New American Bible, revised edition (NABRE), the first major update to the New American Bible (NAB) translation in 20 years, has been approved for publication.  [... [the ellipses are in the original]] The NABRE will be available in a variety of print, audio and electronic formats on March 9, Ash Wednesday. [...] The NABRE includes the first revised translation of the Old Testament since 1970 and a complete revision of the Psalter.  It retains the 1986 edition of the New Testament.  Work on most books of the Old Testament began in 1994 and was completed in 2001.  The 1991 revision of the Psalter was further revised between 2009 and 2010 …

Catholic World News explains with greater honesty the controversial bumps along the highway of translating the NAB:

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).

Adoremus Bulletin explains the background of the controversy in greater depth (from 2004 article):

When the Holy See reviewed the revised text (submitted by the bishops in 1992), it was found that the 1991 translation of the Psalms was so defective that it could not be used even as a “base text” for the Lectionary; and the 1986 New Testament had to be amended (one major problem: so-called “inclusive” language).

Thus the revised Lectionary had to undergo extensive “repairs”; consequently, in the late 1990s, several US bishops and Vatican experts together amended the Lectionary text, to correct the defective translations.

Nearly ten years after it was first submitted to the Holy See, the new two-volume Lectionary appeared in print.  The eventual version as approved (subject to review after five years) has been the only edition of the Lectionary permitted for use in the United States since May 19, 2002, when it became mandatory.  No other scripture translations are to be used for the US Lectionary. [...]

A most unfortunate anomaly in all this is that there is no edition of the Bible at present that corresponds to the Lectionary.  All the current editions of the complete NAB contain the Revised 1986 New Testament (unamended) and Revised Psalms (1991) that the Holy See found defective.

This is a complex situation — and is especially confusing to people who are looking for a reliable Catholic Bible, because imprimaturs (literally, “let it be printed”) were granted to these books by presidents of the USCCB (Cardinal James Hickey [1986] and Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk [1991]) before they were judged defective by the Holy See.

Thus the ironic and anomalous situation wherein the complete NAB scripture text, currently in print and available in various editions, does not “match” the Lectionary text.

According to the USCCB press release, The NABRE is approved for private use and study and will not be used for the Mass lectionary which uses an earlier, modified version of the NAB translation.

 

At this point, these Musings have presented the flavor of the mess.  After next week, these Musings intend to end detailed comparisons.

 

Isaiah 25:6-10A

It is easier to lay out everything in both versions.

Verse 6

Lectionary:    On this mountain the LORD of hosts

                               will provide for all peoples

                     a feast of rich food and choice wines,

                               juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.

NABRE:        On this mountain the LORD of hosts

                               will provide for all peoples

                     A feast of rich food and choice wines,

                               juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.


 

Verse 7

Lectionary:    On this mountain he will destroy

                               the veil that veils all peoples,

                     the web that is woven over all nations;

NABRE:        On this mountain he will destroy

                               the veil that veils all peoples,

                     The web that is woven over all nations.

Verse 8

Lectionary:              he will destroy death forever. 

                     The Lord GOD will wipe away

                               the tears from every face;

                     the reproach of his people he will remove

                               from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.

NABRE:                  He will destroy death forever. 

                     The Lord GOD will wipe away

                               the tears from all faces;

                     The reproach of his people he will remove

                               from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken

Verse 9

Lectionary:              On that day it will be said: 

                     “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! 

                               This is the LORD for whom we looked;

                               let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”

NABRE:                             On that day it will be said:  

                     Indeed, this is our God; we looked to

                               him, and he saved us!

                     This is the LORD to whom we looked;

                     let us rejoice and be glad that he has

                               saved us!”

The indentations between the Lectionary and NABRE differ.  I do not know why, but do

not think the reason is sloppy scholarship.

Verse 10a

Lectionary:    For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.

NABRE:        For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain,

 

Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 (6cd)

It is easier to lay out everything in both versions.

Verse 1

Lectionary:    The LORD is my shepherd; [sic] I shall not want.

NABRE:        The LORD is my shepherd;

                               there is nothing I lack. 


 

Verse 2

Lectionary:              In verdant pastures he gives me repose;

                     beside restful waters he leads me;

NABRE:        In green pastures he makes me lie down;

                               to still waters he leads me;

Verse 3

Lectionary:              he refreshes my soul. 

                     He guides me in right paths

                               for his name’s sake.

NABRE:                  he restores my soul,

                     He guides me along right paths

                               for the sake of his name

Verse 4

Lectionary:    Even though I walk in the dark valley

                               I fear no evil; for you are at my side

                     with your rod and your staff

                               that give me courage.

NABRE:        Even though I walk through the valley of

                                         the shadow of death,

                               I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

                               your rod and your staff comfort me.

Verse 5

Lectionary:    You spread the table before me

                               in the sight of my foes;

                     you anoint my head with oil;

                               my cup overflows.

NABRE:        You set a table before me

                               in front of my enemies;

                     You anoint my head with oil;

                               my cup overflows.

Verse 6

Lectionary:    Only goodness and kindness follow me

                               all the days of my life;

                     and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD

                               for years to come.

NABRE:        Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue

                                         me

                               all the days of my life;

                     I will dwell in the house of the LORD

                               for endless days.

The Responsorial Antiphon is inconsistent.  The Antiphon uses I shall livefor years to come where the body of the Psalm uses I shall dwellall the days of my life.

 

 

Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20

Verse 12

Lectionary:    I know how … I

NABRE:        I know indeed how …

Verse 13

Lectionary:    I can do all things …

NABRE:        I have the strength for everything …

 

Matthew 22:1-14

Verse 1

Lectionary:    … the chief priests and elders of the people …

NABRE:        … them …

The Lectionary seems to need the proper nouns, rather than the NABRE pronoun, in

order to make sense of the shortened passage.

 

 

==================================================================

Annotated Bibliography

Material above the double line draws from material below the double line.  Those uninterested in scholarly and tangential details should stop reading here.  If they do, however, they may miss some interesting details.

 

Isaiah 25:6-10A

The Church uses this passage for funerals.[4]

 

Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 (6cd)

The Church uses this Psalm repeatedly both at funerals[5] and at visits to the sick.[6]

 

Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20

 

cf. Ephesians 1:17-18

 

Matthew 22:1-14

Matt 22:12

Leroy Andrew Huizenga, “Obedience unto Death: The Matthean Gethsemane and Arrest Sequence and the Aqedah”[7]

Huizenga draws attention to the fact that Matthew uses the term friend in a negative fashion, The king said to him, `My friend, how is it …

 

Themes

For recurring themes in Sacred Scripture, see the following, taken from the Greek.[8]  The exclamation point (!) indicates principal reference lists of passages related by a common theme or expression.  The exclamation point sometimes also functions as a semi-colon, comma, or period.  Italics of the same verse (I supply the book and chapter) indicates a special relevance.  Commas separate verses within the same book and semi-colons separate books.  The abbreviation for following is f.  For material based on the Greek Septuagint, the abbreviation is LXX.  Nestle-Aland uses a dagger, which I am unable to reproduce here, to indicate difficult passages, which I note as difficult.  With this material, I am trying to lay a foundation for developing Biblical themes the next time through the Liturgical Cycles.  I intend to add in which Lectionary readings to find the relevant passages.

 

Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20:

 

Verse 13       Wisdom of Solomon 7:23; 2 Corinthians 12:9 f.; 2 Timothy 4:17; James 15:5!

Verse 14       Philippians 1:7; Romans 12:13; Hebrews 10:33.

Verse 19       Sirach 35:6 LXX; Romans 12:1; Hebrews 13:16.

Verse 20       Romans 9:23!

 

 

Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in Matthew 22:1-14:

 

Verse 1         Matthew 22:1-10 Luke 14:16-24.

Verse 2         Matthew 9:15, 18:23; Revelation 19:7, 9.

Verse 3         Matthew 21:14; Proverbs 9:3-6 LXX; Matthew 23:37; John 5:40.  Daniel Wallace focuses on refused to come.  Contrary to the English infinitive, the Greek is a participle.  The difference is less abstract.  The Greek means the invited guests refused to come, rather than some abstract coming.[9]

Verse 4         Matthew 21:36; Proverbs 9:2, 5.

Verse 5         Hebrews 2:3.

Verse 6         Matthew 21:35, 23:37.

Verse 7         Matthew 18:34.

Verse 8         Acts 13:46.

Verse 10       Matthew 13:47, 5:45, 14:48.  Greek manuscripts are difficult at the words … and the hall

Verse 11       Revelation 19:8; 2 Kings 10:22.

Verse 12       Matthew 20:13.

Verse 13       Wisdom of Solomon 17:2; Matthew 8:12! Matthew 20:16 includes the apparatus, which is too complex to include here; 4 Ezra 8:3, 41


 

 

Manuscripts

 

Through Reading 70A, January 30, 2011, I designed these comments on the availability of manuscripts to make the point that uncertainty exists about exactly which Greek to use for the purposes of translation.  At that point, Musings began offering manuscript availability for background when examining Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, which I purchased based on the review in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.[10]

 

Matthew 22:3-16

Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, 2nd ed., Erroll F. Rhodes, tr.[11]

The Leningrad Public Library has a Sixth Century parchment with Matthew 22:3-16.

 

 

For my background and more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes  



[1] Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum: Graece et Latine: Textum Graecum post Eberhard et Erwin Nestle communiter ediderunt Barbara et Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger: Textus Latinus Novae Vulgatae Bibliorum Sacrorum Editioni debetur: Utriusque textus apparatum criticum recensuerent et editionem novis curis elaboraverunt Barbara et Kurt Aland una cum Instituto Studiorum Textus Novi Testamenti Monasterii Westphaliae (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft 1999) Editio XXVII.

 

[2] National Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Roman Missal Restored by Decree of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican and Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Lectionary for Mass: For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America: Second Typical Edition: Volume I: Sundays, Solemnities, Feasts of the Lord and Saints (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1998).

 

[4] N.a., International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by Authority of Pope Paul IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: Approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 210, 261.

 

[5] N.a., International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by Authority of Pope Paul IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: Approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 143, 223, 253, 267.

 

[6] The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and Published by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum: Approved for use in the dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See: Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy: a Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1983) 171, 188, 323.

 

[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (July 2009) 523.

 

[8] Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum: Graece et Latine: Textum Graecum post Eberhard et Erwin Nestle communiter ediderunt Barbara et Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger: Textus Latinus Novae Vulgatae Bibliorum Sacrorum Editioni debetur: Utriusque textus apparatum criticum recensuerent et editionem novis curis elaboraverunt Barbara et Kurt Aland una cum Instituto Studiorum Textus Novi Testamenti Monasterii Westphaliae (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft 1999) Editio XXVII.

 

[9] Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996) 620-621.

 

[10] Robert Hodgson, Jr., review of Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 877-878.

 

[11] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 120.