Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Even Roman Catholic Scholars are dumping the UBS text



Ron Conte Jr. this summer completed an evaluation of the UBS text and its negative impact on the NV (New Vulgate) Latin edition.   He lists several key points online here:

 "I was dismayed and appalled by the decisions of the editors of the Nova Vulgata, especially to abandon the Latin scriptural tradition approved by the Council of Trent, and adopt in its place the critical Greek text of Matthew by the (Protestant) United Bible Societies. The UBS text, and the NV as well, omits over one hundred words from the Gospel, found in the Latin Vulgate, includes at least a couple of whole verses.

See the article for more critical comments about the NV.


Problems with the Nova Vulgata (NV):
1. the NV abandons the Latin scriptural tradition

2. the New Testament is simply a representation of the Protestant UBS (United Bible Societies) Greek text

3. the New Testament ignores all Latin and all Greek sources, other than the UBS text, which is mainly the work of Protestant scholars

4. the NV changes the wording in some verses out of political correctness, without any support in any manuscripts for those changes

5. the Latin scriptural tradition is supposed to be used by Bible scholars to settle any uncertain or disputed readings of the text in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. But since the NV does not represent the Latin scriptural tradition, but instead represents the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, it is not useful for that purpose

6. The Council of Trent declared that the Canon of Scripture includes all the parts of each book as found in the old Latin vulgate Bible (the Latin scriptural tradition). But the NV rejects the Latin scriptural tradition, and removes from the Canon very many words and phrases, as well as more than a few entire verses.

7. The NV relies on the Protestant Stuttgart Vulgate for its base text, ignoring the Pope Sixtus V and Pope Clement VIII Vulgate which was used by the Church for several hundred years as the official Latin Bible.

8. The only version of the NV contains hundreds of typographical errors.

9. The New Testament of the NV shows an appalling lack of editorial discretion. The Latin text is forced to conform to the Greek UBS text even when this makes the Latin text awkward or grammatically incorrect. Editorial decisions other than merely changing the Latin to conform lock step with the Greek are rare."


Its clear that some honest Roman Catholic scholars at least have noted in detail exactly what is wrong with the UBS text, and the devastating impact on Bible texts and translations it has had for the last 50 years.

Conte uses the following abbreviations:

CV - Clementine Vulgate
NV - Nova Vulgata from vatican.va
FS - Fischers Stuttgart edition (1975)
TR - Textus Receptus
MT - Majority Text (Hodges/Farstad, 1982)
UBS - 4th ed. 1993



Among the many flaws of the UBS text, Conte lists the following homoeoteleuton errors in UBS erroneously followed by the editors of the NV (new Vulgate version):


Matthew:


5:44 - NV omits 'do good to those who hate you', also omits 'and slander you', in accord with UBS, contrary to CV, FS, TR, MT.

 12:47 - NV changes 'seeking you' to 'seeking to speak with you', in accord with the Greek.

 15:6 - NV omits 'or his mother' and changes 'commandment of God' to 'word of God' in accord with UBS Greek, contrary (on both points) to CV, FS, TR, MT.

15:8 -   Again, it is clear that the NV rephrases the Vulgate to agree with the UBS Greek, even when the TR and MT agree with the Latin. There is a basis in both the Latin and Greek scriptural traditions to retain the Vulgate wording, and yet it is cast aside, making the NV a Latin version of the UBS Greek. The result is not very useful, since if a scholar wants to consult the UBS text, he would certainly prefer to look at the Greek text itself, rather than a Latin rendering of it. 
"Also, ...   the NV departs from the Latin scriptural tradition, substituting the Greek wording of the UBS text, so that the decision of Trent on the place that the Latin text has in the Church cannot be applied to the NV."

"The reader may also have noticed by now that the Stuttgart text in Latin does not usually edit the CV to conform to the Greek. Rather, the Stuttgart text (FS) is a moderate edit of the Vulgate. The editors of FS Matthew clearly had in mind to keep to the Latin scriptural tradition, or at least to recapture the essence of Saint Jerome's Latin Vulgate. Their editorial decisions in Matthew have kept the Latin text distinct from the Greek text, like two different co-equal witnesses to the truth of the Gospel. By comparison, the Nova Vulgata has subjugated the Latin scriptural tradition entirely to the Greek, like a slave to a master. The Stuttgart edit is what the Nova Vulgata should have been."

18:11 -  NV omits verse 11, in accord with UBS, contrary to CV, FS, TR, MT.

20:16 -  NV omits 'For many are called, but few are chosen' in accord with UBS, contrary to CV, FS, TR, MT.

 23:14 - NV and FS omit verse 14, in accord with UBS, contrary to CV, FS, TR, MT. ( MT has verses 13 and 14 transposed.)

 26:3 - NV changes the Latin word 'atrium' to the word 'aulam' (a Latin word derived from Greek), in accord with the Greek text.

27:35 - NV and FS omit the portion of the verse stating that this event of dividing his garments fulfills the prophecy of the Old Testament, in accord with UBS and MT, but contrary to CV and TR.

 The NV would be no worse in its text if the project had been done by the Protestant scholars at the UBS. In fact, the FS is the work of a group of mostly Protestant scholars at the German Bible Society, and even they have seen fit to retain the CV test of Matthew in the vast majority of cases. So a group of Protestant scholars has created a Latin Bible, the Stuttgart edition of the Vulgate, which retains the Latin scriptural tradition and which generally follows the CV reading. But a group of Catholic monks, at a Benedictine monastery -- a monastery associated in past times with Saint Jerome---, who were given the task of updating the CV, have completely abandoned the Latin scriptural tradition, and have caused the NV to conform slavishly and unthinkingly solely to the Protestant UBS Greek text. If I did not know better, I would conclude that the monks of that monastery were Protestants, and that the editors of the FS were Catholics."

 Final Comments

" ...The Greek critical text of the United Bible Societies has the indisputable advantage of making the entire Bible thinner, lighter, and less expensive to publish. But the Latin and the other Greek texts have the advantage of not deleting words from inspired and inerrant Divine Revelation. The reader will have to decide for himself which advantage is to be preferred.

While it is certainly true that we must never add words to Sacred Scripture, we are also morally obligated not to delete words from Sacred Scripture."

 - exerpted from Problems with the NV in Matthew,  
Ronald L. Conte Jr. (June 18, 2010)

1 comment:

James Rinkevich said...

Although many of Mr Conte's statements are largely true there are a few that need amending, specifically he claims

the Latin scriptural tradition is supposed to be used by Bible scholars to settle any uncertain or disputed readings of the text in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. But since the NV does not represent the Latin scriptural tradition, but instead represents the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, it is not useful for that purpose
--even as a translation of the Greek, Hebrew, abd Aramaic it is useful in determining what the Latin thinks it should say.

6. The Council of Trent declared that the Canon of Scripture includes all the parts of each book as found in the old Latin vulgate Bible (the Latin scriptural tradition). But the NV rejects the Latin scriptural tradition, and removes from the Canon very many words and phrases, as well as more than a few entire verses.
-- the Council was writing to ensure that the canon described particularly additions (Daniel especially) that are only found in the Septuagint were retained.

7. The NV relies on the Protestant Stuttgart Vulgate for its base text, ignoring the Pope Sixtus V and Pope Clement VIII Vulgate which was used by the Church for several hundred years as the official Latin Bible.
-- not really the truth: (from Wikipedia):
The foundational text of most of the Nova Vulgata's Old Testament is the critical edition done by the monks of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Jerome under Pope St. Pius X. The foundational text of the books of Tobit and Judith are from manuscripts of the Vetus Latina rather than the Vulgate. The New Testament was based on the 1969 edition of the Stuttgart Vulgate. All of these base texts were revised to accord with the modern critical editions in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. There are also a number of changes where the modern scholars felt that Jerome had failed to grasp the meaning of the original languages, or had rendered it obscurely.
--Mr. Conte really objects to this amendment to follow the UBS 2 or NA 25. And to the extent he objects to the OT changes, they were Latin editions too.