Catholic translation of the bible; especially O.T


Whenever a topic within the old testament comes up a particular friend is always quick to criticize anything that slants at all even in the least to a Catholic translation?

Here is one of his typical comments on the bible and old testament:

“What a difficult book to read… Especially the Old Testament… So many different interpretations of the same words… Is it very arrogant to believe that your interpretation is the only correct one??? Scholars have spent their entire lives studying the words, and cannot reach agreement!!! Sad really!!!”

His point is always centered around the idea of “so many interpretations, what makes you think you’re correct” notion? I never know quite how to answer him. He’s particularly anti-Catholic (as you might have guessed) in everything.


I would agree with him that there are many versions of the Old Testament (Masoretic text, the Septuagint, the Dead Sea Scrolls, etc.), but that is why you need the authority of the Church to sift through it all. The Church has two thousand years of experience passing on (in its Tradition) the Gospel, assembling and canonizing the Old and New Testaments. The Church has used these Scriptures in her Liturgy for nearly two thousand years!


:thumbsup: Absolutely correct!


I agree! :slight_smile:


Concur with the others here.

The reply that I have developed here is soundly based on the bible…Mt 18:15-18 and the Council of Jerusalem. Jesus instructs us in Mt 18 to “tell it to the church” and to “Listen…to the Church”. We see these instructions played out in Mt 18.
While the Church seeks to allow a broad understanding of Scripture, she has also held periodic councils, starting in Acts 15 and continuing to today, to hammer our issues that disturb the peace of the Church.

The reason for your friend’s dilemma is that the protestant community has failed to follow Scripture on this.
Instead, each group or individual goes off on their own and pays little mind to the other groups. No universal councils are held to prayerfully resolve such matters.

And what is worse, such councils are practically impossible since the fundamental idea that underpinned the reformation was the rejection of universal ecclesiastical authority.

We are confident of Church teaching because of the councilior nature of the teachings.



Isn’t that one of the reasons the Holy Spirit was sent to the Church? Isn’t that why St. Peter warns against private interpretation?

I would tell him that when you and another Catholic have a difference of an interpretation, that you follow Jesus’ teaching “and take it to the Church.” Then tell him he can do the same.:rolleyes:


Thanks, perhaps two better answers I could have even hoped for!


You are welcome.

Of course your friend will likely look at the Scripture references provided and say - - but that is just your interpretation of what they mean…:rolleyes::shrug:

To such a reply - I simply ask them to provide, from scripture, a firm basis for the protestant view of locally independent churches with differing teachings.
That often brings the conversation to a rather abrupt halt while they…:hmmm:…over that.



But couldn’t we say the same thing about Judaism, or even Islam? Certainly Judaism has been around longer than Christianity and Islam has been around almost as long as Christianity. Doesn’t there have to be more to it than how long Christianity has been around?


You are quite right. There does need to be more than just longevity. In the case of the Catholic Church it is unbroken Apostolic succession.


closed #11

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