Earlier this year, we reflected on the ever-changing nature of language, and the challenge this poses to Bible translators. Over the years, words fall out of use or assume different meanings, making even the most solid Bible translations more difficult to read.
In the news today is the New American Bible, which is getting a new translation next week for exactly this reason.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has ordered up a new translation of the Bible, one it says is more accurate, more accessible and more poetic.
Now “booty,” a word that sets off snickers in Sunday school, will be replaced by the “spoils” of war when the newest edition of the New American Bible, the English-language Catholic Bible, comes out on Ash Wednesday, March 9.
The article lists several examples of words and phrases that are being changed because of connotations they’ve acquired since the NAB was first translated—for instance, the historically-charged word “holocaust” is being replaced by “burnt offering.”