New American Bible

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New American Bible
Full nameThe New American Bible
Complete Bible
Derived fromConfraternity Bible
Textual basisNT: Novum Testamentum Graece 25th edition. OT: Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia with Septuagint and Dead Sea Scrolls influence. Deuterocanonicals: Septuagint, Dead Sea Scrolls, and some Vulgate influence.
Translation typeFormal equivalence (from the Preface), moderate use of dynamic equivalence.
Reading levelHigh School
RevisionNew American Bible Revised Edition
Religious affiliationCatholic Church

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.

Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
Yes, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die but may have eternal life.

The New American Bible (NAB) is an English translation of the Bible first published in 1970. The 1986 Revised NAB is the basis of the revised Lectionary, and it is the only translation approved for use at Mass in the Latin Church Catholic dioceses of the United States and the Philippines,[1][2] and the 1970 first edition is also an approved Bible translation by the Episcopal Church in the United States.[3][4]

Stemming originally from the Confraternity Bible, a translation of the Vulgate by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, the project transitioned to translating the original biblical languages in response to Pope Pius XII's 1943 encyclical Divino afflante Spiritu. The translation sponsored by the U.S. bishops' committee on the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine and was carried out in stages by members of the Catholic Biblical Association of America (CBA) "from the Original Languages with Critical Use of All the Ancient Sources" (as the title pages state). These efforts eventually became the New American Bible under the liturgical principles and reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965).

First edition: NAB[edit]

The first edition of the New American Bible was published on September 30, 1970.[5] Prior to its full publication, several portions of the New American Bible were released; for example, a translation of the Book of Genesis was published in 1952.[6] It was compiled by 51 scholars from 1944 to 1970,[7] overseen by an editorial board headed by Father Stephen J. Hartdegen.[8] It was translated from Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, rather than from the Latin Vulgate, as previous Catholic translations of the Bible into English had been; it also incorporated then-newly discovered documents such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Masada manuscript.[9]

Second edition: RNAB[edit]

A revised edition of the New Testament translation of the New American Bible was published in 1986.[10]

Third edition: RNAB[edit]

A revised version of the Psalms was published in 1991.[11]

Fourth edition: NABRE[edit]

In 1994, work began on a revision of the Old Testament.[12]

In September 2008, the Ad Hoc Committee accepted the final book of the Old Testament, namely, Jeremiah. In November of that year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the complete Old Testament, including footnotes and introductions, but it would not permit it to be published with the Book of Psalms of 1991. It accepted the revised Grail Psalter[13] instead, which the Holy See approved and which replaced the revised NAB Psalter for lectionaries for Mass in the United States.[14][15][16] The Psalms were again revised in 2008 and sent to the Bishops Committee on Divine Worship but also rejected in favor of the revised Grail Psalter. A final revision of the NAB Psalter was undertaken using suggestions that the Ad Hoc Committee vetted and to more strictly conform to Liturgiam Authenticam.[12]

In January 2011, it was announced that the fourth edition of the NAB would be published on March 9 of that year.[17]

Future editions of the NAB[edit]

In 2012, the USCCB "announced a plan to revise the New Testament of the New American Bible Revised Edition so a single version can be used for individual prayer, catechesis and liturgy."[18]

The revision is now underway and, after the necessary approvals from the Bishops and the Holy See, is expected to be completed by 2025.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Liturgy: Questions about the Scriptures used during Mass". USCCB.
  2. ^ "Liturgical Books In The English Speaking World". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  3. ^ "The Bible". Episcopal Church. 2011-07-11. Archived from the original on 2019-06-19. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  4. ^ The Canons of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church: Canon 2: Of Translations of the Bible Archived 2015-07-24 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Maher, John (1970-08-24). "Publication of New Bible Translation Announced". Catholic News Service. pp. 18–20. Retrieved 2023-02-06.
  6. ^ Metzger, Bruce M. (October–November 1993). "English Translations of the Bible, Today and Tomorrow" (PDF). Bibliotheca Sacra. 150: 397–414.
  7. ^ Maher, John (1970-10-05). "Pontifical Mass Celebrates New American Bible". Catholic News Service. pp. 16–18. Retrieved 2023-02-06.
  8. ^ "Pope Given New Bible: U.S. to Mark National Bible Week". Catholic News Service. 1970-10-27. p. 9. Retrieved 2023-02-06.
  9. ^ "New translation of the Bible due". Pittsburgh Catholic. 1970-08-28. p. 5. Retrieved 2023-02-06.
  10. ^ Cahill, Michael (1990). "Review of The New American Bible, Revised New Testament (authorized by Confraternity of Christian Doctrine)". The Catholic Biblical Quarterly. 52 (1): 166–168. ISSN 0008-7912. JSTOR 43718069.
  11. ^ Hiesberger, Jean Marie (2006). The Catholic Bible, Personal Study Edition: New American Bible. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-19-529790-4. OCLC 978628676.
  12. ^ a b Chronology for the New Revision of the New American Bible Old Testament [1]
  13. ^ "Grail Psalter". Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  14. ^ "Recognitio Received From Rome, Revised Grail Psalter Approved". Archived from the original on 2010-04-23. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  15. ^ Tucker, Jeffrey A. (2008-12-20). "Grail Psalms: A Path Forward". New Liturgical Movement. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  16. ^ CNS STORY: Bishops choose Revised Grail Psalter for Lectionary use in US [2]
  17. ^ USCCB news release: "Revised Edition of New American Bible Approved for Publication, Will Be Available in Variety of Formats March 9", January 6, 2011 [3]
  18. ^ Bauman, Michelle. "New American Bible to be revised into single translation". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  19. ^ "NAB New Testament Revision Project". Catholic Biblical Association of America. Retrieved 21 January 2015.


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