New American Bible, revised edition (NABRE)


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The first step in the genesis of the New American Bible was taken in 1936 when His Excellency, the Most Reverend Edwin V. O’Hara, D.D., chairman of the Episcopal Committee of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, invited a group of Catholic Scripture scholars to plan for a revised edition of the Challoner-Rheims New Testament, primarily on the basis of the Vulgate; the plans soon expanded to include the revision of the Old Testament. Archbishop O’Hara’s initiative resulted in the formation of the Catholic Biblical Association, whose principal activity in its early years was this work of revision and translation. (For information on the work done on the New Testament, see the “Preface to the New American Bible: First Edition of the New Testament” and “Preface to the Revised Edition.”) In 1943 His Holiness Pope Pius XII issued the encyclical Divino afflante spiritu, which encouraged Scripture scholars to translate the Scriptures from the original languages. He wrote: “We ought to explain the original text which was written by the inspired author himself and has more authority and greater weight than any, even the very best, translation whether ancient or modern. This can be done all the more easily and fruitfully if to the knowledge of languages be joined a real skill in literary criticism of the same text.” Although at this point work on almost twenty of the Old Testament books was completed or near completion, that work was abandoned and the new project of translating from the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic was undertaken.

The completed books of the Old Testament were initially published, as they became available, in four volumes: Genesis–Ruth (1952), Job–Sirach (1955), Isaiah–Malachi (1961), and Samuel–Maccabees (1969). Some fifty scholars collaborated on this project; these were mainly Catholics, but, in accord with the suggestion of Vatican II that “with the approval of the church authority, these translations be produced in cooperation with separated brothers” so that “all Christians may be able to use them” ( Dei Verbum, No. 22), non-Catholics also participated in the work. To this point the translation had been known under the name of the “Confraternity of Christian Doctrine” or CCD for short, but when these parts of the Old Testament were combined with the New Testament in a single volume, it was given the name “New American Bible,” in part to reflect its ecumenical character. In producing the new volume certain changes were made from the original four volumes: a retranslation of the Book of Genesis, cross-references, new and expanded exegetical notes.

New translations and revision of existing translations are required from time to time for various reasons. For example, it is important to keep pace with the discovery and publication of new and better ancient manuscripts (e.g., the Dead Sea scrolls) so that the best possible textual tradition will be followed, as required by Divino afflante spiritu. There are advances in linguistics of the biblical languages which make possible a better understanding and more accurate translation of the original languages. And there are changes and developments in vocabulary and the cultural background of the receptor language. An obvious example of this is the abandonment in English of the second person singular (use of “thee,” “thou,” “sayest,” “hearest”), which had a major impact on Bible translations. Other changes are less obvious but are nevertheless present. There have been changes in vocabulary; for example, the term “holocaust” is now normally reserved for the sacrilegious attempt to destroy the Jewish people by the Third Reich. Concerns such as these are reflected in what Pope John Paul II spoke of as the “three pillars” of good biblical translation: “A good translation is based on three pillars that must contemporaneously support the entire work. First, there must be a deep knowledge of the language and the cultural world at the point of origin. Next, there must be a good familiarity with the language and cultural context at the point where the work will arrive. Lastly, to crown the work with success, there must be an adequate mastery of the contents and meaning of what one is translating”—and he praised the translation that “utilizes the vocabulary and idioms of everyday speech” (“le parole e le forme della lingua di tutti i giorni”). (From an address to the United Bible Societies, November 26, 2001.)

This new edition is a thorough revision of the already excellent New American BibleOld Testament of 1970. Work on most books of the Old Testament, begun in 1994 and completed in 2001, was done by forty revisers and a board of eight editors. The 1991 revision of the Psalter, the work of thirty revisers and six editors, was further revised by seven revisers and two editors between 2009 and 2010. As suggested in the comments above, the revision aimed at making use of the best manuscript traditions available (see below), 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 NAB 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.

Where the Old Testament translation supposes the received text—Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek, as the case may be—ordinarily contained in the best-known editions, as the original or the oldest extant form, no additional remarks are necessary. Where the translators have departed from those received texts, e.g., by following the Septuagint rather than the Masoretic text, accepting a reading of what is judged to be a better textual tradition, as from a Qumran manuscript, or by emending a reading apparently corrupted in transmission, such changes are recorded in the revised edition of the Textual Notes on the New American Bible. Additional information on the textual tradition for some books may be found in the introduction to the book in the same Textual Notes.

In particular, important manuscripts from Cave 4 of Qumran, as well as the most useful recensions of the Septuagint, have been consulted in the preparation of 1 and 2 Samuel. Fragments of the lost Book of Tobit in Aramaic and in Hebrew, recovered from Cave 4 of Qumran, are in substantial agreement with the Sinaiticus Greek recension used for the translation of this book. The lost original Hebrew text of 1 Maccabees is replaced by its oldest extant form in Greek. Judith, 2 Maccabees, and parts of Esther are also translated from the Greek. The translation of The Wisdom of Ben Sira is based on the original Hebrew as far as it is preserved, with corrections from the ancient versions; otherwise, the Greek of the Septuagint is followed. In the Book of Baruch the basic text is the Greek of the Septuagint, with some readings derived from an underlying Hebrew form no longer extant. In the deuterocanonical sections of Daniel (3:24–90; 13:1–14:42), the basic text is the Greek text of so-called Theodotion, occasionally revised according to the Greek text of the Septuagint.

Collaborators on the Old Testament of the New American Bible 1970

Bishops’ Committee of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine

Most Rev. Charles P. Greco, D.D., Chairman

Most Rev. Joseph T. McGucken, S.T.D.

Most Rev. Vincent S. Waters, D.D.

Most Rev. Romeo Blanchette, D.D.

Most Rev. Christopher J. Weldon, D.D.

Editors in Chief

Rev. Louis F. Hartman, C.SS.R., S.S.L., LING. OR. L., Chairman

Rev. Msgr. Patrick W. Skehan, S.T.D., LL.D., Vice-Chairman

Rev. Stephen J. Hartdegen, O.F.M., S.S.L., Secretary

Associate Editors and Translators

Rev. Edward P. Arbez, S.S., S.T.D.

Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Byrne, PH.D., S.T.D.

Rev. Edward A. Cerny, S.S., S.T.D.

Rev. James E. Coleran, S.J., S.T.L., S.S.L.

Rev. John J. Collins, S.J., M.A., S.S.L.

Sr. M. Emmanuel Collins, O.S.F., PH.D.

Prof. Frank M. Cross Jr., PH.D.

Rev. Patrick Cummins, O.S.B., S.T.D.

Rev. Antonine A. DeGuglielmo, O.F.M., S.T.D., S.S.L., S.S.LECT. Gen.

Rev. Alexander A. Di Lella, O.F.M., S.T.L., S.S.L., PH.D.

Most Rev. John J. Dougherty, S.T.L., S.S.D.

William A. Dowd, S.J., S.T.D., S.S.L.

Prof. David Noel Freedman, PH.D.

Rev. Michael J. Fruenthaner, S.J., S.T.D., S.S.D.

Rev. Msgr. Maurice A. Hofer, S.S.L

Rev. Justin Krellner, O.S.B., S.T.D.

Rev. Joseph L. Lilly, C.M., S.T.D., S.S.L.

Rev. Roderick F. MacKenzie, S.J., M.A., S.S.D.

Rev. Edward A. Mangan, C.SS.R., S.S.L.

Rev. Daniel W. Martin, C.M., S.T.L., S.S.L.

Rev. William H. McClellan, S.J.

Rev. James McGlinchey, C.M., S.T.D.

Rev. Frederick Moriarty, S.J., S.S.L., S.T.D.

Rev. Richard T. Murphy, O.P., S.T.D., S.S.D.

Rev. Roland E. Murphy, O. Carm., M.A., S.T.D., S.S.L.

Rev. Msgr. William R. Newton, M.S., S.S.D.

Rev. Everhard Olinger, O.S.B.

Rev. Charles H. Pickar, O.S.A., S.T.L., S.S.L.

Rev. Christopher Rehwinkel, O.F.M., S.T.D., S.S. LECT. GEN.

Rev. Msgr. John R. Rowan, S.T.D., S.S.L.,

Prof. J.A. Sanders, PH.D.

Rev. Edward F. Siegman, C.PP.S., S.T.D., S.S.L.

Rev. Msgr. Matthew P. Stapleton, S.T.D., S.S.L.

Rev. Msgr. John E. Steinmueller, S.T.D., S.S.L.

Rev. John Ujlaki, O.S.B., LITT.D.

Rev. Bruce Vawter, C.M., S.T.L., S.S.D.

Rev. John B. Weisengoff, S.T.D., S.S.L.

Collaborators on the Revised Psalms of the New American Bible 1991

Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee

Most Rev. Enrique San Pedro, S.J.

Most Rev. Richard Sklba, D.D.

Most Rev. Donald W. Trautman, S.T.D., S.S.L.

Most Rev. Emil A. Wcela

Most Rev. John F. Whealon, S.S.L., Chairman

Board of Editors

Rev. Richard Clifford, S.J.

Br. Aloysius Fitzgerald, F.S.C.

Rev. Joseph Jensen, O.S.B.

Rev. Roland Murphy, O.Carm.

Sr. Irene Nowell, O.S.B.

Dr. Judith Sanderson


Prof. Gary Anderson

Rev. Michael L. Barré, S.S.

Rev. Christopher T. Begg

Dr. Joseph Blenkinsopp

Rev. Anthony R. Ceresko, O.S.F.S.

Rev. Richard J. Clifford, S.J.

Rev. Aelred Cody, O.S.B.

Prof. Michael D. Coogan

Rev. Alexander A. Di Lella, O.F.M.

Dr. Robert A. Di Vito

Br. Aloysius Fitzgerald, F.S.C.

Rev. Michael D. Guinan, O.F.M.

Rev. William L. Holladay

Rev. William Irwin, C.S.B.

Rev. Joseph Jensen, O.S.B.

Rev. John S. Kselman

Rev. Leo Laberge, O.M.I.

Dr. Conrad E. L’Heureux

Dr. Paul G. Mosca

Rev. Dr. Roland E. Murphy, O.Carm.

Dr. Michael Patrick O’Connor

Rev. Brian J. Peckham, S.J.

Prof. Jimmy J. Roberts

Sr. Eileen M. Schuller, O.S.U.

Dr. Byron E. Shafer

Prof. Mark S. Smith

Prof. Matitiahu Tesvat

Dr. Eugene C. Ulrich

Prof. James C. VanderKam

Rev. Jerome T. Walsh

English Consultants

Dr. Catherine Dunn

Br. Daniel Burke, F.S.C.

Business Manager

Charles A. Buggé

Collaborators on the Revised New Testament of the New American Bible 1986

Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee

Most Rev. Theodore E. McCarrick, D.D.

Most Rev. Richard J. Sklba, D.D.

Most Rev. J. Francis Stafford, D.D.

Most Rev. John F. Whealon, D.D., Chairman

Board of Editors

Rev. Msgr. Myles M. Bourke

Rev. Francis T. Gignac, S.J., Chairman

Rev. Stephen J. Hartdegen, O.F.M., Secretary

Rev. John H. Reumann


Rev. Msgr. Myles M. Bourke

Rev. Frederick W. Danker

Rev. Alexander A. Di Lella, O.F.M.

Rev. Charles H. Giblin, S.J.

Rev. Francis T. Gignac, S.J.

Rev. Stephen J. Hartdegen, O.F.M.

Dr. Maurya P. Horgan

Rev. John R. Keating, S.J.

Rev. John Knox

Dr. Paul J. Kobelski

Dr. J. Rebecca Lyman

Br. Elliott C. Maloney, O.S.B.

Dr. Janet A. Timbie


Rev. Joseph Jensen, O.S.B.

Rev. Aidan Kavanagh, O.S.B.

Dr. Marianne Sawicki

Business Manager

Charles A. Buggé

Word Processor

Suzanna Jordan

Collaborators on the Old Testament of the New American Bible 2010

Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine

Subcommittee on the Translation of Scripture Text

Most Rev. Arthur J. Serratelli, Chairman

Justin Cardinal Rigali

Most Rev. Blase J. Cupich

Most Rev. Richard J. Sklba

Most Rev. Anthony B. Taylor

Board of Editors

Dr. Deirdre A. Dempsey

Dr. Robert A. Di Vito

Rev. Francis T. Gignac, S.J.

Rev. Joseph Jensen, O.S.B., Chairman

Rev. Dale Launderville, O.S.B.

Rev. Roland E. Murphy, O.Carm. +

Dr. Kathleen S. Nash

Sr. Irene Nowell, O.S.B.

Rev. James P. M. Walsh, S.J.


Dr. Gary A. Anderson

Reverend Michael L. Barré, S.S.

Reverend Christopher T. Begg

Dr. Joseph Blenkinsopp

Reverend Lawrence Boadt, C.S.P. +

Professor Edward F. Campbell

Professor Anthony Ceresko, OSFS +

Reverend Richard J. Clifford, S.J.

Reverend Aelred Cody, O.S.B.

Dr. John J. Collins

Professor Michael D. Coogan

Reverend T.J. Jeremy Corley

Dr. Toni Craven

Dr. James L. Crenshaw

Reverend Alexander A. Di Lella, O.F.M.

Dr. Robert A. Di Vito

Brother Aloysius Fitzgerald, F.S.C. +

Reverend Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J.

Dr. Carole R. Fontaine

Reverend Daniel J. Harrington, S.J.

Dr. Richard S. Hess

Dr. Theodore Hiebert

Dr. William L. Holladay

Dr. Tod Linafelt

Dr. P. Kyle McCarter, Jr.

Dr. Carol Meyers

Dr. Eric Meyers

Dr. Patrick D. Miller, Jr.

Reverend Craig E. Morrison, O. Carm.

Dr. Paul G. Mosca

Dr. Kathleen S. Nash

Professor Robert A. Oden, Jr.

Reverend Gregory J. Polan, O.S.B.

Dr. James J.M. Roberts

Dr. William M. Soll

Dr. Gene M. Tucker

Dr. Eugene C. Ulrich

Reverend Walter A. Vogels, W.F.

Reverend Jerome T. Walsh

Reverend Addison G. Wright, S.S.

Dr. David P. Wright

Business Managers

Charles Buggé

Mary Elizabeth Sperry

Word Processors

Ellen Coughlin

Nancy Hartnagel

Collaborators on the Book of Psalms of the New American Bible 2010

Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine

Subcommittee on the Translation of Scripture Text

Most Rev. Arthur J. Serratelli, Chairman

Justin Cardinal Rigali

Most Rev. Blase J. Cupich

Most Rev. Richard J. Sklba

Most Rev. Anthony B. Taylor

Board of Editors

Rev. Joseph Mindling, OFM Cap.

Rev. J. Edward Owens, O.SS.T.


Rev. Michael L. Barré, S.S.

Dr. Corrine L. Carvalho

Dr. Robert A. Di Vito

Dr. Robert D. Miller II, SFO

Rev. Joseph Mindling, OFM Cap.

Rev. J. Edward Owens, O.SS.T.

Dr. Eugene C. Ulrich

Business Manager

Mary Elizabeth Sperry


Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


Nihil Obstat

Stephen J. Hartdegen, O.F.M., L.S.S.

Censor Deputatus


+James A. Hickey, S.T.D., J.C.D.

Archbishop of Washington

August 27, 1986



In accord with canon 825 §1 of the Code of Canon Law, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops hereby approves for publication The New American Bible, Revised Old Testament, a translation of the Sacred Scriptures authorized by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc.

The translation was approved by the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in November 2008 and September 2010. It is permitted by the undersigned for private use and study.

Given in the city of Washington, the District of Columbia, on the Feast of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church, the 30th day of September, in the year of our Lord 2010.

Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.

Archbishop of Chicago

President, USCCB


Confraternity of Christian Doctrine

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New American Bible, revised edition

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