Bible with Catholic "approval"?


#1

Is there an English language Bible “endorsed” (for want of a better term) by the Catholic Church?

Has the Church itself produced and published an English language bible?

Which bible?


#2

There are a number of approved translations. Classic translations of the Vulgate include such versions as the Douai-Rheims and the Knox. Plus, there are more modern approved translations form the original text. The RSV-Catholic Edition and the NRSV-CE are both approved by the Church. Also, the American bishops have produced the New American Bible, the current revision of which is knows as the NAB, Revised Edition, or NABRE (Love your NABRE!).

Editions approved prior to 1983 could be approved by a single bishop, but since then, the national bishops conferences review and approve translations. For example, the bishops of India have recently approved the New Living Translation-Catholic Edition. Once the bishops of any English speaking country approve it, it’s approved for Catholics everywhere.

You can see a list of the translations the American bishops have approved since 1983 here: usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/index.cfm

I hope that isn’t too much information! :smiley:


#3

store.usccb.org/mobile/Product.aspx?ProductCode=7-486


#4

IMO: Due to their often toxic footnotes and introductions, I have NABs and an NABRE, but do not rely on them. They are squishy translations, overtly ecumenical in nature, and it is very difficult to demonstrate Catholic doctrine using them. Of course they are approved - but I bear in mind that the USCCB earns operating funds from their sale. Example: Steven the martyr is “filled with grace” but Mary is not. Ugh.

My preferred bible is the 1941-1969 Confraternity bible. Pure 100% Catholic. A revision of the Clementine Vulgate. The OT is pure Douay-Rheims, with the 1941 Confraternity NT. Modern translations of the OT were slipped in as it progressed, but it was never printed in completed form. It was a work in progress that was killed by the adoption of the NAB. A shame.

The Knox translation is close behind - a monumental work and the magnum opus of Monsignor Ronald Knox. Artfully, even poetically translated. It is also based on the Vulgate. Very British in language, so it takes a bit of devotion for Yanks to read.

The Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition is fine, even if it is derived from the King James Version, several times removed.

A real sleeper is the Revised English Bible (note: with “Apocrypha”), which is a true ecumenical effort by all major denominations in the UK, to include the Catholic Church. It is a very easy read and the text flows well. Very good to excellent copies can be had at Thriftbooks, eBay or Amazon for as little as $4. A bargain. The only problem is that the Deuterocanonical books are placed Lutheran style - in between the two testaments. But, they are in there, which is the important part.

One thing to bear in mind is that bible translations seem to have taken a turn in the latter half of the 20th century. I suspect that various archeological discoveries lead to this, but the Catholicity seems to have been drained out of nearly all 20th century translations. This raises a red flag in my mind.

The Church has defined the Vulgate as a reliable translation, and I find that bibles based on Saint Jerome’s Vulgate are warmer in tone - more representative of the love letter to mankind that the scriptures represent. If forced to choose, I will side with Saint Jerome over modern theologians every time.


#5

Please note that there’s a difference between a Bible being deemed fit for private use, versus being approved for use in public worship (which theoretically has a higher standard). Also note that different English-speaking countries have different approved English translations for use in the Liturgy. The bishops of the United States, for example, have authorized only one English Lectionary, based on the NAB, whereas the bishops of England and Wales have approved several different ones. In my limited understanding of the process, a national conference of bishops makes the selections, then gets approval from the Holy See. I don’t think the rule that “once it is approved in one English-speaking country, it is approved everywhere” applies to approval for liturgical use.


#6

Po18guy - what do you mean by your observation that the “catholicity has been drained out” of modern translations? Any examples?


#7

Several newer versions omit references to fasting in the NT, this is a current issue for me as I am trying to find a version with no omissions, but with an easier language to understand than the DRB which doesn’t omit anything.

So far the best candidates is the RSV-Catholic edition.

If anyone has any suggestions I’ll be very grateful.


#8

+Mother Angelica of worldwide EWTN fame loved and used the . . . **1966 Jerusalem Bible ** (a paraphrase not a word for word translation) . . . in her teaching . . . but frequently sounded serious warnings about the . . . loss of Sacred Truth (Holy Thoughts of God) . . . via the unholy use of . . . “inclusive language” . . . incorporated into ALL this Bible’s versions thereafter . . .

:bible1: The Holy Bible (Douay Rheims Version [Douai-Rheims], Revised by Bishop Richard Challoner) is a wonderful translation . . . it was first translated . . . word for word . . . from the Latin Vulgate, the Catholic Church’s Official Bible. Bishop Challoner’s edition phrases it to make it more reader-friendly. It was the only English Catholic Bible for over 300 years and has been greatly blessed of God as such. The original Latin translation is largely the result of the **Holy Spirit’s **inspiration and annointing of the labors of the blessed St. Jerome . . . and some of the manuscripts St. Jerome used are no longer in existence.

[size=]Pope Pius XII stated that the
Holy :bible1: Bible
Latin Vulgate Translation
[/size]
was **
“free from any error whatsoever in matters of faith and morals.”**
With **St. Jerome **. . . **who as well as being a SAINT is a HOLY DOCTOR of the Catholic Church . . . and . . . ** the Vicar of Christ’s declaration of support . . . vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_30091943_divino-afflante-spiritu_en.html . . . you can’t go wrong with this Bible . . .

Below are comments from the **Eternal Word Television Network’s ** ewtn.com website . . . which also contain some examples of the Holy See’s gravely serious definitive and corrective point of view on some Biblical translations on the market today.

[INDENT]:bible1: Douai-Rheims [Douay-Rheims]. The original Catholic Bible in English, pre-dating the King James Version (1611). It was translated from the Latin Vulgate, the Church’s official Scripture text, by English Catholics in exile on the continent. The NT [New Testament] was completed and published in 1582 when the English College (the seminary for English Catholics) was located at Rheims. The Old Testament was published in 1610 when the College was located at Douai. [/INDENT]

I’ve read several times thatthat Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI during his papacy ** used the ORIGINAL Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition ** of Sacred :bible1: Scripture as his favored modern English translation . . . [INDENT]:bible1: Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition (RSV-CE).Considered the best combination of literal (formal equivalence translation) and literary by many orthodox Catholic scholars. Published today by Ignatius Press (Ignatius Bible) and Scepter Press …**[/INDENT]

The enemy of souls most unholy spirit has used the grave and disordered error of “inclusive language” (stripping God the Holy Spirit’s designated use of masculine and feminine words from text re God and mankind and neutering them) to make serious inroads in corrupting that which the **God the Holy Spirit **has entrusted to Christ’s Most Holy Apostolic Roman Catholic Church . . . when/if purchasing a Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition be very careful not to request the NEW RSV-CE . . . which is being heavily promoted nowadays and contains real errors . . . the NAB version has a similar problem . . .

[INDENT]New Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition (1989). An adaptation for Catholic use of the NRSV of the National Council of the Churches of Christ. Although used in the American edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it was rejected for liturgical use by the Holy See owing to inclusive language … ******[/INDENT]

[INDENT]**NAB with Revised Psalms and Revised New Testament (1991) [also a paraphrase not a word for word translation]. It was **due to the use of vertical inclusive language **(re: God and Christ) and some uses of horizontal inclusive language (re: human beings), that the Holy See rejected this text as the basis of a revised Lectionary for the United States. This is the version of the NAB currently on sale in the United States. ******
[/INDENT][RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
St. Jerome please pray for us+
thank **You Lord **for Thy Wonderful Holy Word+
[/RIGHT]


#9

Checking back in. Yes. Luke 1:28 The Greek is very specific in treating of the Archangel Gabriel’s words to Mary: “Kecharitomene” - filled with grace. It is used that single time in the scriptures and is seen nowhere else in the Greek language. The NAB has her as “favored one” Most protestant bibles treat her better, calling her “most favored” or “highly favored.” In stark contrast, Acts 6:8 describes Steven as “filled with grace.” That is simply unacceptable in my book.

2 Corinthians 2:10 Paul clearly forgave sins in the person of Christ, in Latin, in persona Christi, acting as an “alter Christus.” Nearly all modern translations, to include the NAB/RE render this as “in the presence of Christ.” Since forgiveness is of God, how is one supposed to forgive outside the presence of Christ? Still, this attacks the the ministerial priesthood - which is precisely what the reformation did.

The footnotes and introductions are often good, but occasionally horrible. They suggest that Luke fabricated Mary’s Magificat. They repeatedly point out the “unknown author of Matthew, who for the sake of convenience we will call Matthew.” Pure doubt-raising modernism.


#10

The NABRE is the most endorsed Catholic Bible currently. It is a revision of the NAB from 2011 I believe. Also the NRSV -CE is widely used. However I own also the NRSV with the deuterocanonical books which has an expanded library which contains books accepted or in appendix to Bibles in Eastern Orthodox Churches as well. I’m sure the church has no issue with us reading those books. 1 and 2 Esdras, 3 and 4 Maccabees, Psalm 151, and Prayer of Mannesseh. Also the CEB is a good new translation which contains the deuterocanonical books of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Yet the first three I mentioned I believe are the only ones officially sanctioned by the Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States. Other countries with different languages obviously have different approved Bibles.


#11

I feel I need to push back a bit on the contention that there is something wrong with the bishops funding the development of the NAB with royalties, or that somehow there is a sinister effort to “drain the Catholicity” out of the Bible. The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine was in the process of translating the Bible (and had published the very nice NT that was mentioned) when Divino Afflante Spiritu was published by Pope Pius XII in 1943. This encyclical encouraged Bible translations to not be made only from the Vulgate, but also from the original languages. Catholic scholars were also urged to engage in modern biblical scholarship and to do so alongside Protestant scholars. Ecumenical translations were expressly encouraged. So, the Confraternity Bible was not “killed” by the adoption of the “toxic” NAB. The Confraternity translation project was redirected to a modern, original languages, scholarly translation, in obedience to Rome.

As far as the notes go, there are some stinkers but overall they represent solid scholarship. And, with the NABRE, the content of the OT notes has moved more towards the canonical criticism encouraged by Pope-Emeritus Benedict. When the current revision of the NT is complete, that will also include of full revision of the NT notes. The committee working on that revision is filled with wonderful people whom I certainly trust to do a good job.

I do certainly share po18guy’s enthusiasm for the Knox Bible, but it’s not for everybody. And the only edition currently in print is the very nice but also quite expensive Baronius Press edition.

In short, I would encourage the OP to not get discouraged by “warnings” about this or that mainstream translation being dangerous or not Catholic. Read a bit of several (Douai, Knox, RSV, NRSV, NABRE) and whichever one seems the most comfortable to read, get it and read it! The important thing is that you read it and pray with it.


#12

The issue at hand is what many lay Catholics aren’t aware of. The Roman Catholic Bible has additions that Protestants do not have as Protestants only use books which are accepted as scripture in the Hebrew Bible. The Council of Trent confirmed these books and additions in the 1500’s to clarify the canon once and for all. Thus these books which are present in the Septuagint which was a Greek translation of the Old Testament in Alexandria in the 1st century B.C. contains more books than the Hebrew Bible. This is the only reason why Catholic Bibles are different. A sanctioned Catholic Bible has the these books in order in the Old Testament where they have been since the Canon was affirmed. The books in question are Tobit, Judith, Additions to Esther, (as Catholics use the Greek version which is expanded compared to the Hebrew), 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Sirach( Ben Sira), Wisdom(of Solomon), Baruch(including chapter 6, The Letter of Jeremiah), additions to Daniel present in Greek but not Hebrew( Prayer of Azariah and song of the three Jews inserted between 3.23 and 3.24, Susanna as chapter 13, and Bel and the Dragon as chapter 14). These books are not found in Protestant Bibles which seem to be the most mainstream. You also can find versions such as the NRSV and CEB which contain all of these books and take note of its canonical status, also including books recognized by the Orthodox. 1 Esdras, Prayer of Mannesseh( which is also included in appendix to Latin Vulgate), 3 Maccabees, Psalm 151, 2 Esdras( canon in Slavonic Orthodox Bibles, and also in Latin Vulgate appendix), and 4 Maccabees which is in an appendix to Greek Orthodox Bible. So really all that is at stake here is the issue of whether or not the Bible you have includes all of the books which are accepted as canon. Some Bibles will include these books following the Old Testament but prior to the New Testament designated as Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical books, and official Catholic Bible will have them in order which was approved by the Roman Catholic Church at Trent. The NABRE and NAB, and NRSV-CE are the most respected Catholic versions, but like I said, as long as you have a Bible that contains these books such as the New Annotated Oxford Bible w/ Apocrypha, which I love, and explains the status of the books in traditions, you are fine.


#13

I love my NAB. :shrug:


#14

Yes, by all means follow some random layperson on the Internet instead of the bishops.

I have my disagreements with the NAB footnotes too, but “toxic” seems a presumptuous term to use.

They are squishy translations, overtly ecumenical in nature,

Which, apparently, you think is a bad thing :rolleyes:

and it is very difficult to demonstrate Catholic doctrine using them.

Perhaps the prooftexting method of “demonstrating Catholic doctrine” that you favor needs to be reexamined.

Of course they are approved - but I bear in mind that the USCCB earns operating funds from their sale.

That’s a particularly silly and, to use your own term, “toxic” slur. The USCCB could quite easily have sponsored some translation which would meet your exalted approval and have earned quite as much money.

Example: Steven the martyr is “filled with grace” but Mary is not. Ugh.

The two phrases are in fact different in Greek. Mary is “kecharitomene” while Stephen is “pleres charitos.” The latter more obviously corresponds to the English “full of grace.” That’s not to say that the translators were necessarily right in their choice, but they weren’t somehow going out of their way to avoid supporting Catholic doctrine, as you seem to be implying.

I think the NAB is better for study purposes than for liturgical use precisely because of translation choices like this (another example is “a mighty wind” instead of “the Spirit of God” in Gen. 1–linguistically defensible but not calculated to illuminate the Christian understanding of the role of the Spirit in creation, and a more “extreme” choice than that taken by other modern translations, which are more likely to say “a wind from God,” I think). So I’m not in total disagreement with your criticisms, but with the dismissive and contemptuous way you are making them. There is something valuable–and quite beautiful–about the Catholic Church commissioning a translation that makes modern scholarship available to Catholics rather than trying to interpose a shield of theology between them and the ancient human authors at all times. I just regret that this translation is the primary one used for liturgical purposes, for which a more “conservative” translation would be preferable.

My preferred bible is the 1941-1969 Confraternity bible. Pure 100% Catholic. A revision of the Clementine Vulgate. The OT is pure Douay-Rheims, with the 1941 Confraternity NT. Modern translations of the OT were slipped in as it progressed, but it was never printed in completed form. It was a work in progress that was killed by the adoption of the NAB. A shame.

I should give that translation a closer look. I’ve heard of it but don’t think I’ve ever used it.

The Knox translation is close behind - a monumental work and the magnum opus of Monsignor Ronald Knox. Artfully, even poetically translated. It is also based on the Vulgate. Very British in language, so it takes a bit of devotion for Yanks to read.

I have a fondness for the Knox translation. My grandmother, in spite of her general anti-Catholicism, really liked it. (She had a number of those soft spots, which is partly how I began to think differently about Catholicism myself.)

The Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition is fine, even if it is derived from the King James Version, several times removed.

Not a bad thing in my book, but of course we have different perspectives on that:p

A real sleeper is the Revised English Bible (note: with “Apocrypha”), which is a true ecumenical effort by all major denominations in the UK, to include the Catholic Church. It is a very easy read and the text flows well. Very good to excellent copies can be had at Thriftbooks, eBay or Amazon for as little as $4. A bargain. The only problem is that the Deuterocanonical books are placed Lutheran style - in between the two testaments. But, they are in there, which is the important part.

Interesting. I have the NEB, on which I think the REB was based, but as you say the REB hasn’t gotten a lot of attention. I should give it a look. I rather like the NEB, though it’s a bit too far on the “dynamic equivalence” side for primary use, in my rather fuddy-duddyish opinion.

The Church has defined the Vulgate as a reliable translation, and I find that bibles based on Saint Jerome’s Vulgate are warmer in tone - more representative of the love letter to mankind that the scriptures represent. If forced to choose, I will side with Saint Jerome over modern theologians every time.

A choice I understand and respect.

I find translations based on the Vulgate “stilted” and rather weird-sounding, but that may just be because of my KJV-trained ear.

The “warmest” translation for me will always be the KJV–or possibly Coverdale or other translations on which the KJV was based.

Edwin


#15

“IMO” was the first characters that I typed. The Knox is great, but so is the RSV-2CE, the REB and others. When the evangelical NIV treats of Mary more favorably than the “approved” Catholic bible, we have a problem.

And, that problem is that the world has crept into the Church. The bible in use until 1969 was edited and translated by 100% ordained upper level clergy. Look at the NAB: Lay persons were mixed in, and one Presbyterian pastor! And, their names were moved from the back of the book to he front. Why?

The prayer to the Holy Spirit before reading the scriptures was taken out. Why?

Divino Afflante Spiritu neither mandated secular theologians, the involvement of Protestants, nor the diminishing of Sacred Tradition in guiding the translation of the texts - but all of that occurred. Why?

We are not in a vacuum. The evil one imposes his corrosive influence on every aspect of the Church. What happens? Little things like Mary no longer being full of grace - which is not in accord with the Greek, and occurs at a time when fundamentalist attacks on Mary are at an all-time high.

I see the NAB as part and parcel of the general trend toward the malaise that infected the Church along with the poor implementation of VII. It is euphemistically called the “Spirit of Vatican II” which is a worldly spirit.

At the same time, priests were poorly formed and many with same sex attraction were allowed in. That didn’t cause any problems, did it?

A challenge: compare and contrast the introductions and footnotes in a D-R or Confraternity bible with the NAB. The differences are stark - and not in favor of the NAB.

I will close with: IMO.


#16

Also - The NAB/NABRE is the translation used in Mass in the US (sort of) and the RSV-CE is the translation used in the English CCC.

Don’t think anyone has mentioned the New Jerusalem Bible (1986). The Wansbrough edition has excellent footnotes and introductions.

amazon.com/New-Jerusalem-Bible-Date-Introductions/dp/0385142641/ref=pd_sim_14_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=3ERCMT3R9JRVW2VEN8ME


#17

I am perpetually saddened by this kind of talk. A well-meaning brother or sister asks a simple question and gets bombarded with broad, strident statements about how everything in the Church since 1965 is from Satan. There are certainly challenges in the Church, as there always are. But, there is plenty of good, too. The Holy Spirit is at work, not just the spirit of the evil one.

And yes, I get that it’s your opinion. I don’t understand why saying that means it cannot be challenged.


#18

Why not let the OP decide?


#19

Here are 3

**[1] drbo.org/ The Douay Catholic Bible

[2] quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/ The Catholic RSV bible

[3] bible.com/versions/100-nasb-new-american-standard-bible The New American Catholic Bible
**

God Bless you


#20

My preferred version is RSV-CE first edition, but I mainly read the second. NAB, I don’t like the footnotes, NABRE is a little better. NRSV-CE actually isn’t that bad if you want something simple, but the language does get a bit too inclusive at times. I have a heard time with Douay-Rheims, but if you like your thees and thous it’s a good one, RSV CE first edition is a good compromise. The Jerusalem Bible I know a lot of folks like, in fact I think it’s what Mother Angelica used. Ultimately though, what you pick is up to you.


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