Monday, March 16, 2009


Listening to this past Sunday's Gospel reading at Mass reminded me why I prefer the Revised Standard Version (RSV) to the New American Bible (NAB). For the most part, the readings used in the English Lectionary are from the NAB translation. A notable exception is Luke 1:28, read at the Annunciation (only nine days away!). The Lectionary retains the phrase, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" The NAB reads "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you."

What got me on Sunday, though, was at the very end of the Gospel. John 2:24-25 is rendered by the NAB as "But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well." The deacon reading the Gospel even stumbled over the wording. The RSV translation, which I understand is closer to a literal translation of the original language, reads "but Jesus did not trust himself to them, because he knew all men and needed no one to bear witness of man; for he himself knew what was in man."

I think we're all mature enough to understand that when the Bible uses "man" in this context, it's not meant to exclude women. When political correctness has us rewriting scripture to avoid offense to the overly sensitive, I think we've officially surrendered our claim of fidelity to the eternal, unchanging word of god.