blackthorn fairy wrote: ↑Mon Jun 07, 2021 1:03 pm
Thanks - now I know. However, I don't understand - if NRSV (Catholic, English edition) is considered the 'best' at the moment (and I have a very smart hardback edition which I use) why is the Lectionary using ESV and not NRSV?
Initially the Congregation for Divine Worship rejected NRSV (although the Canadians were already using it, and had been for a number of years.They still are). CDW claimed that the reason was the way NRSV handled archetypes of Christ in the Old Testament — it's a question of language and theology. There is in fact only a small number of problematic instances, and all of these except for a tiny handful occur in the psalms, which wouldn't even be used because the Grail is used for the psalms. Of the remaining five non-psalm cases, three happen to be identical with what is in ESV (they still are, unless the editors have twigged and tweaked), and the owners of NRSV offered to modify the other two to meet the objections.
But none of this made any difference because CDW's argument was just a diversion. The real
reason was that some of those working in CDW at the time were not in favour of inclusive language, but of course they dared not admit that. (Those people have mostly either left or died, so it is no longer the issue it was.)
Anyway, in the wake of all this, the English bishops looked around for something else that might be agreeable to CDW. After much to-ing and fro-ing, they finally settled on ESV, using the excuse that it is a literal translation, as opposed to NRSV, which is a more literate translation.
However, Pope Francis through his Apostolic Letter Magnum Principium
has clarified that bishops' conferences can decide for themselves what liturgical translations they use (this was always the case following Vatican II, but CDW wrested back control), and CDW's role has been modified to rubber-stamp the bishops' choices, so there is absolutely no reason why the bishops couldn't revert to NRSV. They still could, even now. But they plough doggedly on with an inferior ESV, having to do a lot of tweaking to it along the way. The result will be a new lectionary that no one really wants. Such is the world of church politics.