Catholic Culture Podcasts
Catholic Culture Podcasts

pasting in the footnotes

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jun 25, 2005

Anybody else fouled out by the translation of this morning's first Mass reading? Here's the traditional RSV rendering of Genesis 18:11-12.

Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?

Here's what we heard at Mass today:

Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years, and Sarah had stopped having her womanly periods. So Sarah laughed to herself and said, Now that I am so withered and my husband is so old, am I still to have sexual pleasure?

The RNAB Lectionary is notorious for this kind of patronizing help to the hearer, using the idiom of a sophomore high school health teacher to expand what it regards as vague expressions in the Biblical text. Last Thursday we got "He had intercourse with her, and she became pregnant" for the standard "And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived." Is anyone old enough to understand the situation in doubt about the meaning of the traditional literal translation?

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