Jewish Journal


March 29, 2011

Even God has to deal with meddlesome editors


Interesting story in the Detroit Free Press about how Bible translations have changed over time. Here’s a bit:

The changes are to ensure the Bible makes sense for modern readers without losing its meaning.

Take for example, a change that Catholics will see.

In the Old Testament, worshipers are called to “bring a cereal offering to the Lord,” according to the 1970 version.

Years ago, cereals usually meant grains, so it was clear what the Bible was referring to, said Mary Elizabeth Sperry, associate director for Bible utilization at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

But reading that passage today might conjure up images of young worshipers “taking Froot Loops to God on Sunday,” Sperry quipped.

The new Catholic Bible, called the New American Bible Revised Edition, has replaced the word “cereal” with “grain.”

Mmmmmmm ... Froot Loops.

Other changes have to do with gender and with getting away from other words that no longer have the connotation they used to (i.e. “established holocaust” and “booty,” which have been replaced in the Catholic Bible by “burnt offering” and “plunder”).

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