Thursday, September 22, 2016

The New German Catholic Bible is... problematic

GERMANY, September 21, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The German Bishops have presented a new “Unified Translation” of the Bible that follows a significant modernization of the language and will be binding for all German-speaking areas starting in 2017.

On Tuesday, the German Bishops Conference (DBK) presented in Fulda the fruit of many years of scientific work: a new edition of the so-called “Unified Translation” (Einheitsübersetzung) of the Bible into German. It’s called “unified” because, from the original published from 1962 onward, these editions are supposed to be used ecumenically, unifying Catholics and Protestants in Germany. The original aim, however, was thwarted in 2005 when Protestants reverted to the Luther translation.

The leader of the research project was the bishop (now emeritus) of Erfurt, Joachim Wanke, who explained that the new edition is a “moderate revision” of the older text. Wanke added that a translation is always also an interpretation. The new edition shows more “braveness” to present “biblical jargon,” he said, reported by

According to Jewish tradition, the personal names of God cannot be pronounced, so “Yahweh” is substituted by “Lord” in the new edition. In fact, every paragraph has a change, explained Michael Theobald, president of the German Bible Association.

When the apostle Paul calls two new followers, they are not two men anymore, Andronicus and Junias; rather, a new discovery showed that apparently it was one man and one woman, hence Andronicus and Junia. This led to the discussion that the word “apostle” must be applied to women as well as men (Author’s note: In German, different genders of the word exist and usually gender-ideologists insist on using male and female forms).

Other changes are more ideological.

Most frightening is the change to the iconic Isaiah passage (7:14): “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son” (NIV) will now read: “The virgin has conceived and gives birth to a son.” The change seems to suggest that the virgin is not at all a virgin anymore (after having conceived) and at the same time removes the prophetic impetus by putting the words from the future into the past. This trend continues and a note from the translators explains that the Hebrew word “almáh” means “young woman” instead of “virgin,” as it has been reported. This change goes back to an old — and refuted — disputation of Hebrew apologists:

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

Gerry T. Neal said...

The Germans could have learned from the experience of the English-speaking world. Four hundred years ago, King James II authorized the translation of an official English Bible for the Church of England which became the definitive Bible for English-speaking Protestants. The Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims translation was completed around that time as well. These served Protestants and Catholics well for centuries. Then in the late nineteenth century, an avalanche of new translations, Protestant, Catholic, and generic began, creating much confusion, the situation where everyone turns up to a Bible study with a different translation being far from unknown. Despite all this, the King James remains the most familiar and most read of the English Bibles, although the NIV, a translation which is notorious for the liberties it takes with the text, now outsells the KJV, at least in bookstores oriented towards evangelicals.