Bible Shopping...

So, I’m currently in RCIA and planning on entering the Church this Easter. Coming from a Protestant background, I’m a little uneducated about Catholic Bible translations. I currently have a New American Bible, but am somewhat underwhelmed by it. After doing some research, it seems to me that the RSV-CE/2CE and the Douay-Rheims are really solid versions. I like the pure and unadulterated translation of the D-R, but find the language somewhat daunting. Also, I personally like how both translations use “full of grace” instead of “favored one” in Luke 1:28. I’ve also heard great things about the Knox, Confraternity, etc. I’d like to hear some pros and cons about these.

Which publishers/printers print these versions and which publishers do you think are the best to buy from?

Lastly, the D-R seems hard to find and quite expensive. Are there any places I could find it for a decent price? I’m willing to make an investment, but I don’t want to spend $100+ if I don’t have to! :smiley:

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Here are some links–ivory.aspx–leather.aspx

If your looking for the D-R then try ebay, you can usually find a deal there. There is also the Douay-Confraternity Bible (which was used in the Church from the late 1940’s thru 1969), which came just before the NAB in 1970. I like the RSV-2CE the best (not counting the NABRE). It is clear yet dignified. It is used in the Liturgy in a few dioceses of the Catholic Church.

The zippered, thinline version of the RSV-CE by Oxford University Press is one of the best values in Bibles today. It can be purchased for a little over $20 if you look around on the internet. It is not a study Bible but is an excellent daily reader.

The ribbons in the last picture are my own addition.


How would the RSV-2CE compare to the Knox Bible, as far as style and diction go? After taking a closer look at the Knox, it seems like it’s a faithful translation of the Vulgate, but in a more modern language version than the D-R. That sounds like something I’d want. Would the RSV-2CE be more prone to Protestant bias, since it’s based on the Protestant-leaning RSV?

For now, I’d prefer to have an average-sized Bible for daily reading. Those study Bibles are just too big and heavy to carry around or travel with. Something like this would be about perfect. Thanks.

The only difference between the RSV Catholic and non-Catholic editions are the deuterocanonical books and about nine different words - Brethren vs Brothers, that sort of thing.

I know almost nothing about the Knox Bible.

Phrases like “Protestant-leaning” give me the sense that you might have already judged the RSV variants to be inferior. As one who has read the Bible cover to cover many times however, I can tell you that there is no perfect Bible. I have led Bible study in my home for years and have a daily lectio practice and I can tell you that every translation and version is a compromise.

Any true lover of scripture will have many versions and translations. A true student of God’s word will not rely on just one version as best. I happen to rely on the RSV-CE pictured but also keep a DR close at hand. That’s just my choice. That is what works for me.

I know a Catholic fifth grader who carries a little red pocket version of the KJV and has read it cover to cover several times. He knows more about God’s word than just about any Catholic I know. He can’t wait to become a reader at Mass.

Paperback bibles are dirt cheap. If you don’t like it you can donate it and get something different. it’s not a big deal. Heck, the NASB converted me to the Catholic faith. :wink:


One thing about the NAB that most people completely ignore is the cross reference. Most NAB Bibles have an excellent cross reference. I frequently use the cross reference in the online NAB hosted at the USCCB website. I find a good cross reference more valuable than footnotes.


Oh, sorry- I meant to say that the Bible you showed me was perfect since it’s NOT a large study bible.

And, you’re right about about owning different translations; I just plan on buying secondhand copies. However, for my daily reader, I want something nice that will last a long time. I only want to invest money into the translation that I’ll most enjoy reading.

I don’t think the RSV-CE is inferior, but I’ve heard that sometimes, Bible versions traditionally used by Protestants (like the normal RSV) translate the text in ways which subtly advance more Protestant theological views. I simply didn’t know if that was the case with the RSV-CE.

+1 on this. They even beat the RSV-CE cross-references, and those are no sloppy job either.

And don’t forget St. Benedict Press’ offerings. They carry the DR, RSV-CE and NAB-RE

And the SBP editions are beautiful.

I like the RSV-2CE. I also have a Knox Bible which I enjoy, but personally I find the language to be a little challenging for lengthy readings, especially in less narrative sections. For what it’s worth, study Bibles like the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible (NT) and the Navarre tend to use the RSV-CE (or maybe it’s 2CE?) as their English language text.

I would not recommend the D-R unless you’re proficient reading that kind of archaic language.

If you’re curious about the Knox Bible, the one on is the Knox translation. Personally, I find it fascinating how it keeps the style of the Hebrew in the OT. For example, Psalms that were acrostic in Hebrew are acrostic in the Knox (e.g., 25, 34, 37, etc.) Overall, it’s a very easy-to-follow translation, but the footnotes tend to deal more with translation. I wouldn’t call it a study Bible, but it’s still a good Bible.

May all of you have a Merry Christmas
as we celebrate the joy of Christ’s birth.

[FONT=Arial]Lorenzo Lotto, 1523[/FONT]

After reading several passages of the Knox Bible, I’m amazed! The language is so beautiful and poetic. I’d never really heard of this Bible until a few days ago. Why is it so obscure?

I would assume its obscurity comes from a lack of wide usage. {That seems like such a tautological statement! :p} Baronius Press recently republished it, and it’s a very nice Bible – easy to read and comes with a little booklet by Msgr. Ronald Knox detailing his process of translation. The only reason I knew about it was because I was browsing Baronius Press’ site and happened upon it at the time. Another useful thing is that many footnotes in the NT cross-reference passages from the OT. It’s a bit on the pricier side as far as Bibles go, but it’s worth it.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit