by Jimmy Akin 03/20/2016
Surely the translators of the New American Bible, which we hear at Mass, didn’t render the passage that way!
The reason I flinched at Mass was because the translators of the New American Bible rendered Luke 23:44-45 as:
It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun.
GAH! No! That’s the kind of eclipse that can’t occur at Passover!
Now, you might think that the NAB translators didn’t know this.
But that’s not plausible, because the fact this wouldn’t have been a solar eclipse is regularly commented upon in commentaries on Luke, and the translators certainly were familiar with and consulted such commentaries in the translation process.
They knew, but for some reason they just didn’t care.
Perhaps their view of science was as dim as their view of Greek grammar (eklipontos tou heliou is "sun failing", not necessarily "eclipse of the Sun", as Aikin mentions with more detail next).*
I am NOT suprised when it comes to modern religion related scholarship.
Hans Georg Lundahl
Monday of Holy Week
* I could add that there was no real "terminus technicus" such as "eclipse of sun", there was a habitual locution, "the sun failing", which was very often, but obviously not here, used as terminus technicus for natural solar eclipses. In any scholarly manual from antiquity and in some terminology even from Middle Ages, you will find that what we translate as termini technici for a particular line of scholarship had a gramatical meaning which was more like common language than like a terminus technicus - like when saying "the sun failing" rather than "during a solar eclipse", and same word perfectly usable for the miraculous failure of the sun.