08 August 2019, The Tablet

Topic of the week: Pitfalls of biblical translation


Professor Eamon Duffy (Letters, 3 August) really ought to have consulted the critical apparatus of his Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament before accusing Dom Henry Wansbrough and his Revised New Jerusalem Bible translation of “casual inaccuracy”.

“Few are needed, indeed only one” is a perfectly accurate translation of a well-attested variant text of Luke 10.42, read by both Codex Vaticanus and (with a minor variant) Codex Sinaiticus, which the RNJB prefers on good scholarly grounds. If Professor Duffy, as the great Reformations scholar he is, wants to advocate the ecumenical merits of reading from a low-church evangelical Protestant translation of the Bible during Mass in England and Wales, I would be very interested to see the case he would make, but he is mistaken in believing the English Standard Version is a more accurate translation than the RNJB.

(Dr) Sara Parvis
University of Edinburgh

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