The New American Bible, Revised Edition has been approved for publication and will be available on March 9, Ash Wednesday. The new translation aims for better accuracy, better adaptation to contemporary English, and easy singing or recitation of the Psalms.
Cardinal Francis George, former president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, approved the publication on Sept. 30, 2010 while he was still the head of the conference. The new edition will be available in a variety of print, audio and electronic formats, the bishops' conference reports.
The translation takes into account both advances in the study of the biblical languages and changes in the English language. It also takes into account newly discovered and more accurate ancient manuscripts so that the best possible text is used.
The revised edition includes the first revised translation of the Old Testament since 1970 and a complete revision of the Psalter. Work on most books of the Old Testament began in 1994 and finished in 2001. The 1991 revision of the Psalter was further revised from 2009 to 2010.
The new edition retains the 1986 edition of the New Testament.
The revision is in many ways a more literal translation than the original New American Bible and aims to be more consistent in its rendering of Hebrew or Greek words and idioms, especially in technical contexts like rules for sacrifices.
Special effort was made in translating the Psalter to provide a “smooth, rhythmic translation” for easy singing and to retain the concrete imagery of the Hebrew text, the U.S. bishops’ conference explains.
The New American Bible, Revised Edition is approved for private use and study and will not be used for the Mass, which uses an earlier modified version of the New American Bible translation.