THE CATHOLIC LECTIONARY WEBSITE
by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

Color Highlighting Scheme for Lectionary Charts

Color Overview:

Red Highlighting = typographical errors or omissions in the official Latin Ordos (OLM69 and/or OLM81).

Purple Highlighting = typographical errors or omissions in the U.S. Lectionaries (USL70 and/or USL98); some of these were caused by errors in OLM69 or OLM81, while others are new errors found only in USL70 and/or USL98.

Green Highlighting = corrections made and/or missing information added in later editions (including some corrections and additions that should be, but have not yet been made; but not including other revisions of the later editions).

Blue Highlighting = other changes or additions in texts and references made intentionally in the second editions of the Lectionary (i.e., revisions made from OLM69 to OLM81, and the corresponding changes from USL70 to USL98).

Yellow Highlighting = biblical texts that are essentially the same, but have different chapter and verse numbers in various Bibles.

Gray Highlighting = other discrepancies between OLM69 and USL70 , and/or between OLM81 and USL98, that are not really errors (i.e., differences in versification not explicitly noted in OLM69 or OLM81, minor differences in English translations, intentional changes in references or texts, and certain other discrepancies worth noting)

For the ABBREVIATIONS used on this page, see my overview of the Various Editions of the Catholic Lectionary for Mass.


Types of Discrepancies:

There are a large number of discrepancies between OLM69, USCC69, USCC70, USL70, OLM81, and USL98. Most of the differences are minor (slight variations in the biblical references given), but some of them are more substantial (differences in the biblical texts actually printed).

a) Differences in Versification:

Many apparent discrepancies are not really errors, but are cases where the same biblical text is referred to with different chapter and/or verse numbers in the various Bibles, and hence also in the corresponding Lectionaries. For example, Wis 11:2312:2 in the Vulgate Bible (thus also in OLM69) is equivalent to Wis 11:2212:1 in the Greek text (thus also in NAB & USL70).

OLM69 lists all biblical references using the chapter and verse numbers of the Vulgate Bible. However, if a particular reading has different versification in the Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek Bibles, OLM69 usually (but not always) gives two references, first that of the Vulgate Bible, followed (in parentheses) by that of the original language text. Such discrepancies are particularly common in the books of Sirach, Tobit, and the Psalms.

OLM81 uses the neo-Vulgate versifications, which sometimes differ from the Vulgate and conform more closely to the original language texts. Thus, in some cases where OLM69 gives two equivalent references, OLM81 needs to give only one (if the Neo-Vulgate is identical to the Hebrew or Greek). In other cases, the verse numbers given in OLM69 and OLM81 are slightly different (if the Vulgate and Neo-Vulgate are different), even though the prescribed texts may not have changed.

If OLM69 gives chapter and/or verse numbers from both the Vulgate and the Hebr./Gr. Bibles, USL70 usually follows the latter.

Similarly, if OLM81 gives differing numbers from both the Neo-Vulgate and the Hebr./Gr. Bibles, USL98 usually follows the latter.

In the case of the Psalms, most of the Psalm numbers are one greater in the Hebrew Bible than in the Vulgate, since Hebr. 9:1-21 + 10:1-18 = Vulg. 9:1-39; and Hebr. 147:1-20 = Vulg. 146:1-11 + 147:12-20. Although the Neo-Vulgate Bible gives both numbers for each affected Psalm, OLM81 still gives only the older Vulgate numbers. Thus, the numbers given for these Psalms in USL70 and USL98 are one greater than the numbers in OLM69 and OLM81, respectively.

b) Actual Errors:

Some of the discrepancies are due to actual errors in one or more editions of the Lectionary. There are some typographical errors in OLM69, which may or may not have been corrected in the later editions. There are also some new typographical errors or omissions in the later editions, in places where the original OLM69 is correct.

In some cases, the biblical reference given in OLM69 does not correspond exactly with the incipit printed there. For example, the reference may say 15:4-7 even though the prescribed text begins with v. 4b, not v. 4a. Conversely, the reference may say 15:4b-7, while the prescribed text beginning is actually v. 4a. In such cases of discrepancies within OLM69, the USL70 usually follows the incipits or texts prescribed in OLM69, rather than the inaccurate references. However, sometimes the biblical text printed in the USL70 corresponds to the inaccurate reference in OLM69, and thus does not exactly match the text intended by OLM69, especially at the beginning or end of readings.

Some errors in OLM69 and/or USL70 were also caused by confusion between the different versification systems used in the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English Bibles presupposed by the various Lectionaries.

c) Intentional Revisions:

Other discrepancies between the various Lectionaries are not really errors, but reflect intentional revisions made in the second editions of the Lectionary. Just as there are some changes between OLM69 and OLM81, there are corresponding changes between USL70 and USL98.

Moreover, there are some discrepancies between OLM69 and USL70 caused by slight difference in the texts or translations are determined by the American bishops and approved by the appropriate Vatican congregations. For example, the titles given to many feast days in USL70 are slightly different (often shorter and less formal) than the corresponding titles in OLM69. On the other hand, many of the titles in USL98 were revised, so that they conform more closely to those of OLM81 (usually identical to OLM69).


How Errors or Omissions Were Determined:

Comparison of the biblical references given in the various Lectionaries can be extremely difficult and confusing. As explained above, OLM69 (also USCC69 and USCC70) gives biblical references according to the Vulgate versification, but usually also gives the equivalent verses in Hebrew or Greek, in case these are different. USL70 gives the chapter and verse numbers according to the New American Bible only, which follows the Hebrew and Greek Bibles, but in some cases it erroneously lists the numbers from the Vulgate instead. In contrast, OLM81 is based on the Neo-Vulgate Bible, which is significantly different from the Vulgate in some biblical books (both in the wording and in the versification). Since the Neo-Vulgate Bible was revised to conform more closely to the original Hebrew or Greek texts of the Bible, OLM81 no longer needs to give duplicate references

Moreover, OLM69 uses the European system of punctuation for biblical references (commas after chapter numbers, periods between verses within a chapter; e.g., Gen 4, 1-15. 25), while USCC70 uses the system more common in the United States (colons after chapter numbers, commas between verses; e.g., Gen 4:1-15, 25). Yet curiously, USL70 still used the European system rather than the American one. Also, both OLM69 and USCC70 normally use letters to indicate when only part of a biblical verse is included, and both clearly indicate which verses are assigned to which strophes in the Responsorial Psalms (e.g., Ps 39:2 and 4ab, 7-8a, 8b-9, 10). Unfortunately, USL70 leaves out all letters indicating partial verses and does not accurately reflect strophe divisions, which leads to some misleading references (Ps 40, 2. 4. 7-8. 8-9. 10 as if verses 2 and 4 were in separate strophes, and as if verse 8 were repeated).

Main Lectionary Page 1998/2002 USA Edition 1992 Canadian Edition
Links to Other Websites 1970 USA Edition Roman Missal (pre-Vatican II)


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