Is it right to revise the Bible?
"The New American Bible" is not the first Catholic bible to be updated to reflect changes in the way English is understood, but the latest revisions are controversial.
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Today, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops releases “The New American Bible,” a revised edition of the Catholic Bible, replacing, among other phrases, “the virgin shall be with child,” with “the young woman shall be with child,” and “booty” with “spoils of war.”
Certainly, it’s not the first time the Bible has been updated to reflect the shifting meaning of the English language. But this latest version contains some bold changes that traditionalists say toes the line between a refined translation and altered meaning. It’s a move that’s bothered some, but so far objections are nowhere near the uproar raised by the changes made to “Huckleberry Finn” earlier this year.
When a revised edition of “Huckleberry Finn” was published, the move was denounced by scholars, teachers, and writers as ‘censorship’ and ‘a mockery of the original story.’
Does this latest edition of the Bible, “The New American Bible Revised Edition,” do irreparable harm to the truth of His work? Most seem to think it doesn’t. Decide for yourself.
Some of the changes in the new edition include –
• “Booty” is now “spoils of war,” sure to disappoint snickering Sunday school students.
• The word “holocaust,” now associated with World War II genocide, has been replaced with “burnt offering.”
• In the 23rd psalm, the phrase "walk through a dark valley” has been changed back to “walk though the valley of the shadow of death,” the wording used prior to the 1970s revision.
• Proverbs 31:10, the ode to “The Ideal Wife,” is now a “Poem on the Woman of Worth.”