Can I quote a Biblical verse like this?


I would like to write on facebook a Bible verse from the NAB translation.
St. Paul tells us in Philippians 4:13: **“I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me” **

So now, can I capitalize the letter “H”, and also add “Christ” in brackets? I’m looking to write this on my facebook under my favorite quotes section. I would like to do this so that people that look at my page understand the verse more, or so that the verse is more clear to them…

So can I add brackets to the verse to make it look like this:

"I have the strength for everything through Him [Christ] who empowers me" (Philippians 4:13).

I don’t want to break any rules by misquoting this verse, and also I don’t want to break grammar rules either. Thanks:)


Man, that just grates. Few beat the King James in its elegance:

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Or its descendant, the RSV:

I can do all things in him who strengthens me.

If you quote from the KJV, there is no need for modificaton, as “Christ” is right there in the text.

If you go for the RSV, the rules of quoting replace the pronoun with the noun entirely (i.e. you drop the “him”), so it would read:

I can do all things in [Christ] who strengthens me.

Same rule applies if you go for the NAB version.

If you don’t mind a little unsolicited suggestion: go for the RSV rendering. Not so much that the NAB is “wrong” but the RSV rendering is far more familiar and elegant. People who memorize scripture tend to know this verse by heart in a form like this.


Have you checked biblegateway? They have translations of scripture from many different Bibles? Maybe there is one there that is exactly like you want to write it and you can reference it.
Otherwise, I am not sure it makes that much of a difference.


I personally try not to use the KJV myself; first because it tends to not have the deuterocanonical books of the OT, second, because it was apparently translated to be in harmony with the theology of the Church of England.

If you want a Catholic Bible with a similar literary, majestic style, maybe the Douay-Rheims could be up your alley. Have a look here.


Your translation is a little awkward, but it is not wrong either theologically or grammatically. The KJV makes it look like the word “Christ” is in the original Greek, but it isn’t. If I were translating it, I would stick close to the Greek and say something like, “I can do all things through the One who strengthens me.” The capitalization of “One” shows Who I’m talking about.


The OP isn’t translating; he/she just wants to quote it on a Facebook page. The quote originally presented was from the 1986 NAB (and yes, it’s awkward).

Without turning this thread into a translation debate, the OP asked as to whether the “him” can be augmented, to which the answer is yes it can, but not in the way proposed.

When quoting out of context, a pronoun can be quoted by simply dropping it and replacing it with the referenced noun in brackets. The way the OP proposed is not the correct way. The quoted text should read (using the original NAB quote):

“I have the strength for everything through [Christ] who empowers me.”


“… him [Christ] …”


Thank you all very much for your responses!!

I didn’t know that the “Him [Christ]” part wasn’t the correct way of quoting it.

I really want to make the Bible verse clearer for other people that look at my facebook page… We who read the Bible obviously know that “him” is in reference to Christ, but there are those that might look at the quote and not get it right away… And I wanted of course to quote from an approved translation. The king James version does say “Christ” instead of “him” or “the One,” however the King James translation isn’t a Catholic approved translation…

After looking at the responses and doing some quick thinking, I think I’m going to go with:

"I have the strength for everything through [Christ] who empowers me."

So with all that said, this is the version I’m going to go with, unless there is a better suggestion…

Again, thanks everyone!!


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