Belief Beat

I’ve had a hard time picking just one “Fun Friday” topic to elaborate on in past weeks, but this time was easy: a revised Catholic Bible includes changing “booty” to “spoils of war” and “ideal wife” to “woman of worth.” USA Today has a good stand-alone story, also highlighted in GetReligion’s round-up on the topic.

Some revisions were prompted by the evolving nature of language: “booty” is rarely used in the pirate sense anymore (though it’s made a comeback in the snack world); the biblical “holocaust” meant “burnt offerings,” not the World War II genocide; and “cereal” meant “grains,” not Cheerios and Frosted Flakes. But there’s also a greater effort now to seek more accurate translations from the source material, which may alarm traditionalists — such as the substitution of “young woman” instead of “virgin” in the Isaiah prophecy of the Messiah’s birth.

The New American Bible Revised Edition will be released on Ash Wednesday, March 9. (It will also be available as an iPhone app!)

It’s interesting, especially to a language geek like me. Then again, my ongoing pet peeve in the Greek Orthodox Church’s Divine Liturgy is that some English translations use “commit ourselves and one another and our whole lives to Christ our God,” but others use “commend.” (I prefer “commit; the alternative makes me think of circulating resumes and cover letters around the earth and heavens.)

But, if you prefer a more conventionally entertaining Fun Friday, you can read about how Charlie Sheen seems to have angered warlocks. Or, watch Jon Stewart’s foul-mouthed take on the Westboro Baptist Church’s Supreme Court victory and Brigham Young University’s basketball team honor code foul from The Daily Show last night.


What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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