In a column a few weeks ago, I called upon the USCCB to drive a stake through the undead heart of the dreadful New American Bible – and the lectionary based upon it. I said that I would discuss several categories of their blunders. The first was the NAB’s drab preference for the abstract over the visible and palpable. The second category is this: ideological tendentiousness, unhelpful either for understanding the Bible or for inspiring or strengthening faith.
The good translator or editor ought to burn into his soul the words of the Baptist: He must increase, and I must decrease. Nothing and no one should obtrude between the reader and the text. That doesn’t mean you will not profit from commentary. But the commentary should always aim to elucidate, not to confuse, and never to thrust upon the reader the vague authority of “scholars,” who are often only a little club of like-minded people.
The NAB violates that directive at every pass.