Best version of the Bible for Catholics?

I did some googleing and it wasn’t really clear which version of the Bible is preferred by Catholics for worship and sharing.

I will make a note that I personally am not a fan of really colloquial language and I do enjoy the language of the KJV. At the same time I don’t want to share Bible verses in a translation that Catholics dislike either.

Any suggestions?

Thank you!

The official version used in Mass is the NAB, but I really like, and use, the Douay-Rhiems

I just checked out the Douay-Rhiems and I like it a lot too.

But I’ll check back on this thread and see what others have to say…

If you like the KJV, then the Douay-Rheims Challoner is your best bet.

If you’re comfortable with a more modern (but literary) English, then the Jerusalem Bible and the Revised Standard Version (2nd Catholic Edition) are great options.

It sounds like Catholics, generally, are receptive to Douay-Rheims Challoner.

Thank you very much!

If you use the little Bible verse tool here on CAF, it will give you the Douay-Rheims. :slight_smile:


But that’s probably mainly because it is in the public domain, unlike most other Catholic English translations.

Of course, the best translation is the one you’ll read. But for Catholics, the most common ones are those that have already been mentioned (D-R, NAB, RSV, Jerusalem). Any approved Catholic translation is good (though each has their own strengths and weaknesses)

As RPRPsych said, if you like the KJV, the D-R is going to be your best bet (it predates the KJV by a couple of years). Many Catholics you meet in real life might roll their eyes at the old-fashioned language. But here on CAF, you’ll fit right in referring to it… :slight_smile:

The bible version I am currently saving up for is the Knox Bible. It has dignified language but modern enough not to be incomprehensible in places.

New Advent uses that translation; Here’s a sample.

One thing I really like is that he uses thee and thou–this is really important in certain places in the Bible!

As has often been stated in response to questions like this, the best Bible for personal use is the one that you’ll actually USE. I think many people go for nice bindings, great art, poetic language and all, and then the book become more a piece of art than something you’ll sit down with and read, study, and meditate on.

I like the Knox, but there are places where Monsignor Ronald is clearly placing literary style and panache over accuracy.

For example, when translating those Psalms which are acrostics in Hebrew, he renders them as English acrostics (A, B, C, D…) which is brilliant, but sometimes leads to a loss of meaning.

Purists might also quibble at his renditions of Isaiah 7: 14 and John 2.

But all said and done, it’s still better than the NAB-RE! :slight_smile:

I usually stick to the NABRE or RSV-2CE

Thanks for telling me about this–it will be interesting to look into.

I wiuldn’t really mind the NAB except for the footnotes!

Would I get in terrible trouble here or with God if I admit I now do all my reading on my PC and iPhone?

No more trouble than those of us who read Scripture solely in book form instead of on parchment scrolls as they text was originally composed on. :wink:

Same here. I like the NAB (and my NAB-RE is a great size both for reading and for carrying around), and I just tend to skip the footnotes.

If I was Catholic, if I had a bible verse to memorize - it would defiantly be the Douay Rheims.

That way the verse won’t change during your lifetime as translations come in and out of favor.

Not all, and not by a long shot. Those who prefer the DR bible also frequently prefer the EF and tend to be very conservative.

I prefer the original Jerusalem bible and the NRSV CE.

Honestly I do not care for the KJV and Douai because they are unclear, hard to understand. I also converted from a fundamentalist Protestant denomination that used the KJV exclusively and absolutely despised the Catholic church. And so I associate the obsolete English with that sect of which I have very bad memories.

Personally, I like the NAB/NABRE because it’s the one the USCCB uses. I also like the footnotes because they help explain the words. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s my favourite. (Then again, I don’t have much experience with many others, so my opinion may be little use.)

Right now, I am using the RSV-CE second edition as i continue my journey for coming into the great fold of the catholic church, i believe it is great for personal study and i read it again and again because as we all know many of the stories contained within the bible are quite amazing. Just my 2 cents. I’m sure we all have an opinion on what version works for us.:slight_smile:


Of course, if you get down to it, there is no “best” Bible translation for Catholics to use.

As long as you are speaking about a translation of the Bible approved by Church authority, you are free to chose from among them. Whichever you find suits you “best” will be the best.

People will debate, often fiercely to the point of hatred, over points of “accuracy” and “renderings.” Others choose a Bible based on which side of the culture wars they wish to side with. But when there are several translations to choose from, you will never–NEVER–find a translation into English that will perfectly capture the expressions found in the original languages each and every time in each and every case.

There is also no agreed upon standard as to what constitutes the “best” or “most accurate” translation.

Translations are translations.

Take it from someone who doesn’t need a translation, who can read from the Hebrew and the koine Greek–you will always lose something in the translation (and it isn’t always agreed upon how to read the original text either, so you’re out of luck if you think you’re special 'cause you can read Hebrew and Greek).

Whether it is the ancient beauty of the Douay-Rheims, the dependability of the RSV, the up-to-date scholarship of the NABRE (with the most yielded from the Dead Sea Scrolls than any other version on the market), the literary flow of the Jerusalem and New Jerusalem Bibles, or even the “literal as possible, free as necessary” approach of the NRSV (“inclusive language” included for those who like it), if it has the seal of approval from the Church you can rest assured that the Holy Spirit will talk to you through its pages.

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