Hebrews 6:1-4 - NAB
- 1 Therefore, let us leave behind the basic teaching about Christ and advance to maturity, without laying the foundation all over again: repentance from dead works and faith in God,
- instruction about baptisms and laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And we shall do this, if only God permits. For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened and tasted the heavenly gift and shared in the holy Spirit and tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to bring them to repentance again, since they are recrucifying the Son of God for themselves and holding him up to contempt.
See, thats not so bad is it? The NAB isn't some horrific piece of heresy as some say. However, this is the commentary found at the bottom of the page specifically for the highlighted section: (my emphasis)
2 Enlightened and tasted the heavenly gift: this may refer to baptism and the Eucharist, respectively, but more probably means the neophytes' enlightenment by faith and their experience of salvation.
3 Tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come: the proclamation of the word of God was accompanied by signs of the Spirit's power.
I think I stayed inside the fair use clause... Now lets take a look over at the Douay-Rheims version and some commentary from it.
1Wherefore leaving the word of the beginning of Christ, let us go on to things more perfect, not laying again the foundation of penance from dead works, and of faith towards God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and imposition of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit. 4 For it is impossible for those who were once illuminated, have tasted also the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 Have moreover tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
1 "The word of the beginning"... The first rudiments of the Christian doctrine.
4 "It is impossible"... The meaning is, that it is impossible for such as have fallen after baptism, to be again baptized; and very hard for such as have apostatized from the faith, after having received many graces, to return again to the happy state from which they fell.
And from the Ronald Knox Translation Commentary, it says in part:
The enlightenment referred to in Verse 4 is almost certainly Baptism itself. The 'heavenly gift' may well mean the Holy Eucharist. What is meant by 'knowing' (literally, 'tasting') God's utterance has been much discussed...[etc..]
My Ignatius Catholic Study Bible has a long passage and basically says what is going on here is the Apostle is talking about the Sacraments. To a Catholic this text is rather explicit if by nothing else the first verse of Chapter 6. Both the Douay-Rheims and NAB use the term "tasted". In the context of the other two Sacraments explicitly mentioned, why (practically speaking) would the Apostle confuse the reader by changing his meaning from Sacraments to being merely "enlightened" in the next verse? Or perhaps there is another reason why the NAB footnoters, who were all scholars, can't see what is plain as day? I ask because it is OBVIOUS.
As a Catholic, what else can "tasting the heavenly gift" and "were made partakers of the Holy Ghost" mean? I think the NAB commentary has their priorities reversed. If you switch the comment around it is more fitting. This is what I mean by the NAB commentary is detrimental to the average reader. It should read:
Enlightened and tasted the heavenly gift: this may refer to the neophytes englightenment by faith and their experience of salvation, but more probably refers to baptism and the Eucharist.
The "experience of salvation" is also problematic. Is this not baptism? One could also look at that as being the point of death. Since our salvation is not complete until we die.
How could I forget Fr. Haydock?
Ver. 4. &c. For it is impossible, &c. This is an obscure place, differently expounded, which shows how rash it is for the ignorant to pretend to understand the holy Scriptures. [Preach it, Father] Many understand these words, it is impossible, &c. of the sacrament of penance, or of returning to God by a profitable repentance, especially after such heinous sins as an apostacy from the true faith. But then we must take the word impossible, to imply no more than a thing that is very hard to be done, or that seldom happens, as when it is said, (Matt. xix. 26.) that it is impossible of rich men to be saved: and (Luke xvii. 1.) it is impossible that scandals should not come. For it is certain that it is never impossible for the greatest sinners to repent by the assistance which God offers them, who has also left the power to his ministers to forgive in his name the greatest sins. But others (whose interpretation seems preferable) expound this of baptism, which can only be given once. The words here in the text very much favour this exposition, when it is said, who were once enlightened. For baptism in the first ages was called the sacrament of illumination. [NAB Commentators ignored this fact.] See S. Denis de cælesti Hierar. c. iv. S. Greg. Naz. &c. The following words also agree with baptism, when they are said to have been made partakers of the Holy Ghost; to have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come; all which signify the interior graces, the miraculous gifts, and power of working miracles, which they who were baptized frequently received in those days. — They cannot be renewed again unto penance. That is, they cannot be renewed again by baptism, which is also called a renovation. Tit. iii. 5. Their sins may indeed the forgiven them in the sacrament of penance, but this is not a renovation like that in baptism, in which both the guilt, and all pain due to past sins, in remitted; whereas in the sacrament of penance, though the guilt, and the eternal punishments due to sins be remitted, yet many times, temporal punishments, to be undergone either in this world or the next, still remain due to such as have been great sinners, to them who by relapsing into the same sins, have crucified again to themselves the Son of God, making a mockery of him; i.e. who, insensible of the favours received, have ungratefully renewed sin; to take away which Christ suffered, was mocked, crucified, &c. Wi. — Macknight observes that Beza, without any authority from ancient MSS. hath inserted in his version Si, If they shall fall away, that this text might not appear to contradict the Calvinistic doctrine of the assurance of salvation. The English translators have followed Beza, The biblical student will be glad to find Dr. Wells, in his elegant edition of the New Testament, frequently restoring and preferring those readings which agree with the Latin Vulgate. The same just tribute is paid to the Vulgate by Walton, Mills, Gerard, Griesbach, Harwood, and others. Indeed the Vulgate has been declared authentic in a general council, and probably expresses more of the true reading of the original or autograph, than any Greek edition that is now to be found, and certainly much more than modern versions, which are stained more or less by the preconceived sentiments of the translators. [Interesting place to tie this comment in...] — For the earth that drinketh in the rain, &c. He bringeth this comparison, to give them a horror of abusing God's graces and favours, and of making themselves guilty of hell fire.
I really gotta get me one of those Haydock Bibles... My point in posting this isn't to put down the NAB as much as it is to show example of how the editors opted to favor ecumenical opinion over Catholic Doctrine. Consider this point the next time you purchase an "Official Catholic Bible" for a friend of relative.