Bible Question


I would like to pose a question based on several other ongoing threads about the Bible.

There are literally thousands of versions of the Bible printed, from what I’ve read. Let’s keep it to round numbers and say 1000 for argument’s sake. Let’s also assume that 90% of them do not have any material differences. For example, one uses the word “spake” instead of “spoke”. So they are essentially the same.

That leaves 100 Bibles with material differences. Actually, that leaves 1 true Bible, and 99 heretical copies.

How do you decide which Bible is the one true Bible? As a Catholic, I have an easy and guaranteed way to the One, but I’m interested in what others have to say.


As a Catholic, I am curious which “One” you have in mind? :hmmm:



The original Greek septuagent is the one. But since I don’t read Greek, I choose the one that is closest and that is the Douey-Rheims version because Jerome translated it directly from the Greek to the Latin, which is our Latin Vulgate and that is from where we get the DR-V.

My protestant brother will argue this and say that the ESV is the best version because it is directly from the Greek. But the ESV looks like it’s been translated from a few of the Catholic bibles, namely the NAB and the RSV-CE. I know the RSV is protestant but where do you think protestants got their versions? :smiley: From a Catholic bible! After all, the Catholic Church put the bible together.

Besides the ESV is not directly from the Greek. If it was, it would say, “Hail, full of grace…” instead of, ““Greetings, O favored one,…” :rolleyes: Give me a break, greetings O favored one!!!

That is why I like the Douey-Rheims because not even some Catholic bibles say “Hail, full of grace” in the Gospel of Luke.


Perhaps you don’t mean a particular bible and only mean that the one we read is the right one for each of us. Is that what you mean? :shrug: Call me stupid but I don’t know what you want. I guess you probably mean the one we read?


Greetings, O favoured one.
Are not all Catholic Bibles derived from the Vulgate.




This question assumes that, where the translations differ substantially, the one translation is always right and the other 99 are always wrong. I’m not sure you could say this. You would have to evaluate each difference on a case-by-case basis.

Also, differences beyond simple verb styles do not necessarily denote doctrinal differences. You may think that “full of grace” is a better translation than “favored one” (and I would agree), but that doesn’t make the latter translation heretical.


Actually my friend the Old Testament in the Vulgate is translated from the Hebrew Scriptures instead of the Greek Translation.


Yes you are right. I realize that but just didn’t put it down. So the Vulgate came from both Greek and Hebrew. Because the NT was written in Greek but the OT was written in Hebrew, even the books of Maccabees and the other DC books.

Pope Damasus assembled the first list of books of the Bible at the Roman Council in 382 A.D. He commissioned St. Jerome to translate the original Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin, which became known as the Latin Vulgate Bible and was declared by the Church to be the only authentic and official version, in 1546.

I go to this website a lot for the DR-V. I’ve been going there for a long time. Long before the webmaster had to put up advertisements to keep up the website. :frowning:


With regards to accuracy in translating from the original words to the English language, I’ve heard time and time again that no version is nearly as close to the actual words than the KING JAMES VERSION. :slight_smile:


Funny, because I’ve heard time and again that few versions are as far from the “actual words” as the King James Version.

Sam, the Neon Orange Knight


Someone once told me that if the Bible version that you use has a copyright, then it CAN’T be the true word of God.

A copyright gives legal protection to authors to prevent anybody from copying THEIR work without THEIR consent. If the words are not your own, you can’t legally take out a copyright. In other words, evidence of a copyright on your bible proves that these are not God’s words you’re reading, rather someone else’s.

I’d be intrigued to know what bible version you own that you believe is the true word of God. Of course, you needn’t answer that to me. I’m just wondering out loud.



Catholic translators are getting wiser and no longer mistakenly translating the Greek into “full of grace.” They have realized this error in the DR-V and are correcting it in modern translations.

Here is the Catholic NAB:

“Hail, favored one!”

Here is the Catholic NJB:

'Rejoice, you who enjoy God’s favour!"

These are more accurate translations and I do not think you will have many more future RC translations coming out with “full of grace” from knowledgable Catholic translators.


Perhaps I should have been more clear, sorry. The difference that you are showing I would not necessarily consider a doctrinal or material difference. If there are 100 materially different versions, only one can be correct. If there are 2, then they are not materially different, by my definition.

Yes, I have an opinion, which I can post later, but I’m interested in how others (especially non-Catholics) decide which Bible is the correct one, given so many versions.


I suppose this Catholic will just have to wait… :coffeeread:



Thanks for the clarification. :thumbsup:

Then, by your definition, could there actually be more than “one” correct translation? If, as you stated in the OP, there are many translations that do not have material differences, then there could be several different translations that have no material differences and are all correct (or at least not heretical).

As for me, as a Catholic, I just look for the little imprimatur / nihil obstat in the front. Any translation that has that should be suitable for us to use. Of course some are better than others!


NO! Not at all!

The present day bibles such as the NAB, which is the only bible approved for liturgy, was directly translated from the earliest available texts, even some founs in the caves of Qumran (the Dead Sea Scrolls)

And as far as “heretical” bibles, the only one I can say for sure is the New World Translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They actually have taken out any reference to the deity of Christ.



That, of course, is my answer. Both the imprimatur / nihil obstat should be guarantees that there are no material differences - or at least that the Bible doesn’t contradict Doctrine. Style, of course, is another matter.

But I have the Church to fall back upon. If I didn’t have that, well, I don’t have the time or knowledge to do the research necessary to know. Any publisher can slap a cover on a book and call it a Bible, but how can you tell without the Church?


Is there not more than one Bible bearing *nihil obstat *and imprimatur?



Sure! That’s how you know they are not materially different.

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