In the NABRE's rendition of Ezekiel 3:20, it appears that Ezekiel will be held accountable for the initially-just person's sin, even if he warned the person to not sin:

(NABRE) But if the just turn away from their right conduct and do evil when I place a stumbling block before them, then they shall die. Even if you warned them about their sin, they shall still die, and the just deeds that they performed will not be remembered on their behalf. I will, however, hold you responsible for their blood.

This seems to run counter to every other English translation. Some translations say something like "if you had not warned", and others say something like "because you did not warn", but the NABRE seems to be the only translation which discusses the scenario in which Ezekiel does warn the just. Examples:

(RSVCE) Again, if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.

(HCSB) Now if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and practices iniquity, and I put a stumbling block in front of him, he will die. If you did not warn him, he will die because of his sin and the righteous acts he did will not be remembered. Yet I will hold you responsible for his blood.

(NASB) Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.

Is there any justification for the NABRE's rendering? Is there ambiguity in the Hebrew?

  • Good Question, and one 1 think that will benefit those using this site. The variance in translation is horrific; one wonders what textual variants they used to arrive at this translation. I looked up the NABRE site and the note says: * Mute: here the prophet’s inability to speak to the people in exile while Jerusalem was being besieged is seen as a consequence of God’s direct intervention (cf. 24:27).* But this still doesn't explain the translation....
    – Tau
    Jan 7, 2016 at 2:17

1 Answer 1


This is a mistake in the NABRE. I contacted the USCCB, and they kindly replied, saying,

Thank you for your message; we were contacted recently with this same question and noted that this was an error. We will be working to correct it by updating the website and informing publishers.

  • Wow, I feel much better knowing that -- I was totally baffled! Thanks!
    – Susan
    Jan 8, 2016 at 22:28
  • @WilliamHoza I found the Douay-Rheims and the KJV to be almost identical-hence my preference for the KJV. The Confraternity Edition(the precursor to the NAB) cleaned up the D-R, but had some glaring omissions. I found the NAB continuing down the path of the Confraternity, and when the NABRE came out with gender inclusiveness-that ended any affinity for NABRE. Thank you for your research!
    – Tau
    Jan 9, 2016 at 8:10
  • 1
    The KJV is the most horridly inaccurate English translation of the Hebrew of the Bible discounting the TEV and the mormon version. It is a preference by many for its fraudulent messages. The NASB, though still inaccurate, is at least a better translation.
    – Cynthia
    Jan 13, 2016 at 11:26

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