Bible Translation

I recently bought a copy of the Revised Standard Version Second Catholic Edition. I do prefer the Douay-Rheims bible…but I can’t use that in my CCD class because of the old English. My CCD class uses the Good News Bible…to me it is the worst translation I have ever read. I tried my DR for one Sunday and my teacher asked me to get a bible that didn’t use old English. So I got the Revised Standard Version Second Catholic Edition. My question is: Is the Revised Standard Version Second Catholic Edition a faithful translation and what other Traditionalist Catholics use it?

I use the RSV-CE (by Scepter publishers) when I’m doing Bible studies or serious reading, and have a DR by the bed for devotional reading.

for CCD or RCIA the best translation is the one used for the lectionary. In the US that is the New American Bible. the GNT does have a Catholic version, we have several here that were donated at one time, I discourage their use, except in classes where those present have English as their second language. Even so, IMO the NAB’s English is so literal as to present to no problem to anyone at a middle grade reading level or higher.

I own an RSV 2nd Catholic Edition and its fine as it avoids using inclusive language, says “Hail, Full of Grace” (Instead of Hail favored one") for the annunciation and it also uses modern English. Though generally you will find that traditionalist Catholics read Bibles based off the Latin Vulgate and not the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, and as far as I’m aware, the DRB is only only one translated from the Vulgate. I think generally conservative Catholics choose the RSV and I believe Scott Hahn bases his work off of it.

In other posts in this Forum, MTD has explained what is the difference between a “traditional” Catholic vs a “traditionalist” Catholic. Since you are attending a CCD class, I could infer you are a “traditional” Catholic, in that you attend Novus Ordo Masses and ventured out to purchase an RSV-2CE bible.

The RSV-2CE from Ignatius is a work-in-progress that attempts to bring the original RSV-CE (1965-66 edition) into closer conformity to Liturgiam Authenticam. The RSV, RSV-CE, and RSV-2CE were all translated from original-language (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek) manuscripts, as opposed to the venerable Douay-Rheims, which is a faithful rendering of the Clementine Vulgate.

I definitely agree with you re the GNB - it is, in fact, a paraphrase, freer than even a “dynamic-equivalent” translation. Such versions (The Living Bible is another) should NEVER be used for religious studies, in my not-so-humble opinion. But the RSV-CE and the RSV-2CE are considered by conservative Catholic biblical scholars as adequate for serious biblical and religious studies, since they are quite (but not overly) literal, and therefore, much more faithful to the original texts.

A “traditionalist” Catholic, who prefers the Tridentine Latin Mass almost exclusively, is likely to avoid the RSV family and go with the Douay-Rheims.

I would consider myself a “traditionalist” Catholic because whenever possible I attend a Tridentine Mass. I, however, fully acknowledge that the Novus Ordo is valid and licit (however I believe that the reform of the mass was unneeded, the faithful should have been catechized better for them to understand the liturgy more…not a reform of the rite). I do usually attend a Novus Ordo because I live an hour and a half away from the nearest Tridentine Mass, and I can’t drive…so only when I am near that church I attend. And before my family goes anywhere I try to find out if there is an approved Tridentine Mass. And if there is not an approved Tridentine Mass, I see if there is an Eastern Catholic liturgy. I bought the RSV-2CE because I didn’t want to make my CCD teacher mad.

By RSV 2nd are you talking about the Ignatious Bible? If so I don’t see the problem with it. I’ve heard Scott Han recomend it.


There are TWO Catholic editions of the RSV: the original, with a copyright of 1965-66; and the 2nd, copyright 2006 (I believe). Ignatius Press publishes both editions, and, in fact, was a driving force behind the making of the 2nd Catholic edition.

The 1965-66 Catholic edition is also published by Scepter Press. There is an edition with a rather convoluted copyright from Oxford University Press.

I don’t know if Scott Hahn endorses the RSV-2CE or not, although some volumes in his Ignatius Study Bible series use this as the base text.

See our thread in the Sacred Scripture Forum “RSV-CE Needs Corrections” for more than you probably care to know about the RSV Catholic edition.

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