Catholics who read Protestant Bibles


#1

I have a catholic friend who has many influential protestant family members/friends. Also, this same catholic friend reads out of a protestant bible instead of a catholic bible. He believes there is no difference and that the protestant and catholic bible are both one in the same, “the bible”.

Searching the internet, it seems opinions vary from one catholic to the next as to why catholics should only read a catholic bible, and why it is okay/not okay for catholics to read primarily from a protestant bible.

There are many opinions my friend has that are very protestant-esque, and I know some of the influences comes from his protestant family, but I’m curious if it also comes from the protestant bible he reads.

In my opinion, I find protestant bibles dangerous since men interpreted specific scripture to fit their personal belief structure.
:confused:
Can you please shed light on this topic? Is it okay for catholics to own a protestant bible if it is the only bible in their house? Thanks for your help!


#2

I highly doubt the Heavens will open up and God will strike down the Catholic for owning only a dirty Protestant Bible.

It’s perfectly fine to own a Protestant Bible the same way it is acceptable for a Catholic to own the Koran…especially if you are an apologist.

However I think your friend is seriously limping on Scripture, since several books from the Catholic Bible are left out in the Protestant Bible. I would simply say to your friend that there are distinct differences between the Catholic and Protestant Bible and while it’s okay to own a Protestant Bible…you will not get the Catholic message from it.

It’s like a Jew walking around with the OT from the Bible and not a Hebrew Bible. Sure it’s “the same thing” but the Jew is reading a translation from a Christian perspective and not the original Hebrew. The same way your Catholic friend is reading a translation from a Protestant perspective and not a Catholic one.


#3

I think it all depends on the reasons.

Sometimes different bibles are used to compare texts.
Sometimes for footnotes.

If just used for reading only, than there is no reason why a catholic one should not be used.

However for the most part, an ordinary person, protestant or catholic, probable would not know the difference except for words like "thine" and "thee" and "art" and so forth.

There are a few key passages that make a difference however.
If one was aware of these, I don't know that it would make a big difference which bible were used.

I think most of the difference lays with the individual reading the passage.
Because interpreting the meaning is really the key.
The catholic has the church to help in this way and can reference the church to get the real meaning. For example Peter's name of rock has been batted around like a tennis ball, back and forth. So it isn't the bible that is questionable but rather how we read meaning from the bible. For example, Mary's having other children depends on how the meaning of "until" is taken.

The bible scholars, who are really recognized as scholars and not those who assume to be, whether catholic or protestant, have narrowed the gap in understanding considerably.

Just a few thoughts.


#4

There are various groups who will mail you a free catholic bible…just google for more info. It is so easy to have one.


#5

Well this is an easy point to dispel…Carry your bible with you…Open up a conversation - quote a bible passage from Tobit or Maccabees and ask him to check his bible to see how it is translated there.
hhhmmmmm…how come he can’t find it???

Searching the internet, it seems opinions vary from one catholic to the next as to why catholics should only read a catholic bible, and why it is okay/not okay for catholics to read primarily from a protestant bible.

There are many opinions my friend has that are very protestant-esque, and I know some of the influences comes from his protestant family, but I’m curious if it also comes from the protestant bible he reads.

Reading the Bible texts themselves is not likely to be too dangerous. However - if the Bible has notes and other references THEN you start to get into trouble.
Also - as you say - we are influenced by the thoughts and opinions of others.

In my opinion, I find protestant bibles dangerous since men interpreted specific scripture to fit their personal belief structure.

Here again - the problem is not generally with the text itself but with the “interpretations” that one finds in other sources including noted that might be included in the bible itself.

Can you please shed light on this topic? Is it okay for catholics to own a protestant bible if it is the only bible in their house? Thanks for your help!

Hope the above is of some help.

Peace
James


#6

austenbosten - great reference to a person of jewish faith reading from a christian bible!
fred conty - great point on church authority!
marian love - really?! thank you - I will be sure to Google!
JRKH - great point on the influence of protestant bible footnotes!

thank you all


#7

Translations are not the same.

I have been using this for a little while and I like it. It has good notes, but does not contain the old testament.

The protestant influence on him though is likely not the translation, but the people. I would encourage you to read some of Scott Hahn's works. He was a protestant minister who converted to Catholicism so he addresses many of the issues that Protestant's bring up.


#8

I've noticed that some like to use the KJV, for the language contained therein, and they also produce a Catholic version, if I'm not mistaken--the irony being it was originally for Puritan Anglicans. Of course, the Douay-Rheims version has the same type of language (if not being a bit more...slanted?). Some may be uncomfotable with it, though, as it is translated from the Vulgate.

Using the NIV translation, on the other hand...;)


#9

My question would be why you would prefer a Protestant Bible to a Catholic Bible. When we have pleny of Catholic Bibles to use and choose from, why choose a non-catholic one? Why choose to flurt with the non-catholic side of faith? If its for additional reference material and looking for a non-catholic source to compare to, or to use non-catholic material in order to be more effective in having dialogue with protestants, then understandable. But to prefer non-catholic sources over good Catholic sources is not what I would feel is being a grounded Catholic.


#10

thank you silhouette for the reference. I'm a big fan of Scott Hahn and am in the early stages of training to be an apologist.

hellenised - yes, I do know it's a NKJV, and that's an interesting fact that there was a catholic version.

copland - thanks for the links. he prefers the protestant bible because it's what he prefers. when faith is discussed, he uses a lot of "I think" "I believe" "I, I, I", if you know what I mean.


#11

Compare:

1 John 2:12

NIV "I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name."

RSV " I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his sake."

A Catholic who only reads the NIV could easily miss out on the greater meaning of the verse. Past, present, and future forgiveness not just a past event.


#12

[quote="kyleboerner, post:1, topic:292862"]
I have a catholic friend who has many influential protestant family members/friends. Also, this same catholic friend reads out of a protestant bible instead of a catholic bible. He believes there is no difference and that the protestant and catholic bible are both one in the same, "the bible".

Searching the internet, it seems opinions vary from one catholic to the next as to why catholics should only read a catholic bible, and why it is okay/not okay for catholics to read primarily from a protestant bible.

There are many opinions my friend has that are very protestant-esque, and I know some of the influences comes from his protestant family, but I'm curious if it also comes from the protestant bible he reads.

In my opinion, I find protestant bibles dangerous since men interpreted specific scripture to fit their personal belief structure.
:confused:
Can you please shed light on this topic? Is it okay for catholics to own a protestant bible if it is the only bible in their house? Thanks for your help!

[/quote]

I don't find it disturbing that a Catholic would use a Protestant Bible; I find it disturbing that the Catholic Church seems completely unable to come up with a modern English translation that doesn't include inclusive language or some other lame attempt to promote a liberal social agenda.

I like the ESV translation. I have not seen a single complaint - Protestant or Catholic - pointing to an inaccurate translation in it.

Yes, it lacks the deuterocanonical books but there is an addition - which I just ordered - which has them in an appendix. Before I decided to use it I asked on the CAF if anyone knew of a single Catholic doctrine which could be found only in the deuterocanonical books. No one came up with any.


#13

[quote="marian_love, post:4, topic:292862"]
There are various groups who will mail you a free catholic bible...just google for more info. It is so easy to have one.

[/quote]

As far as I am concerned the issue is not availability but quality. Living in the USA the most common translation is the NAB which I find to be a horrible translation. I will not use it. The RSV-CE/Ignatius Bible is OK but it is essentially a Protestant Bible. The JB/NJB is not bad.


#14

[quote="COPLAND_3, post:9, topic:292862"]
My question would be why you would prefer a Protestant Bible to a Catholic Bible. When we have pleny of Catholic Bibles to use and choose from, why choose a non-catholic one? Why choose to flurt with the non-catholic side of faith? If its for additional reference material and looking for a non-catholic source to compare to, or to use non-catholic material in order to be more effective in having dialogue with protestants, then understandable. But to prefer non-catholic sources over good Catholic sources is not what I would feel is being a grounded Catholic.

[/quote]

To be fair I think that there's the fact that there are more non-Catholic translations than Catholic ones in the market (at least in English), partly attributable to the fact that Protestants have been more active in Bible publishing than Catholics. AFAIK there are relatively few 'original' Catholic translations readily available right now: a good number are really just 'Catholic' versions of originally non-Catholic translations.


#15

[quote="patrick457, post:14, topic:292862"]
To be fair I think that there's the fact that there are more non-Catholic translations than Catholic ones in the market (at least in English), partly attributable to the fact that Protestants have been more active in Bible publishing than Catholics. AFAIK there are relatively few 'original' Catholic translations readily available right now: a good number are really just 'Catholic' versions of originally non-Catholic translations.

[/quote]

Original Catholic translations: NAB, JB, NJB

Catholic Editions of Protestant Translations: RSV-CE, NRSV-CE

I left out the D-R because it's not in modern English.


#16

[quote="garysibio, post:15, topic:292862"]
Original Catholic translations: NAB, JB, NJB

Catholic Editions of Protestant Translations: RSV-CE, NRSV-CE

I left out the D-R because it's not in modern English.

[/quote]

I'd also include those translations which have versions including the deuteros even if not explicitly labeled as 'Catholic' (or even if not included within the OT) like the GNB, CEV, or NET.


#17

[quote="patrick457, post:16, topic:292862"]
I'd also include those translations which have versions including the deuteros even if not explicitly labeled as 'Catholic' (or even if not included within the OT) like the GNB, CEV, or NET.

[/quote]

I forgot about the GNB. I didn't realize the CEV & NET had Catholic editions.


#18

[quote="garysibio, post:17, topic:292862"]
I forgot about the GNB. I didn't realize the CEV & NET had Catholic editions.

[/quote]

They're not so much 'Catholic editions' as 'with Deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha'. The CEV in fact AFAIK (could be wrong though) even includes books considered non-canonical by Catholics like 3-4 Esdras (quite a shame, really, since the CEV is more of a paraphrase, a dynamic equivalence translation). As for NET, the deuteros and others are as of now only present online - they are still in draft form, I think. As of now only Baruch (+ the Letter of Jeremiah), the extra parts of Daniel (the Prayer of Azariah, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon), the Prayer of Manasseh, and Psalm 151 are available.


#19

I am familiar with all the translations that have been mentioned on this thread and I know there is no significant difference between the translations. They are basically the same. However, the ESV (English Standard Version) and he NASB (New Americal Standard Bible) stand head and shoulders above the rest. Of course they don't have the DC books so they could not be said to be complete in the Catholic view.

The real difference is in the editorial footnotes. The Protestant bibles often go out of their way to reject the Catholic view of certain passages and this is probably what Catholics mean when they say to stay clear of Protestant bibles.


#20

[quote="Zenas, post:19, topic:292862"]
I am familiar with all the translations that have been mentioned on this thread and I know there is no significant difference between the translations. They are basically the same. However, the ESV (English Standard Version) and he NASB (New Americal Standard Bible) stand head and shoulders above the rest. Of course they don't have the DC books so they could not be said to be complete in the Catholic view.

The real difference is in the editorial footnotes. The Protestant bibles often go out of their way to reject the Catholic view of certain passages and this is probably what Catholics mean when they say to stay clear of Protestant bibles.

[/quote]

I think this might be because people's reading of the Bible can sometimes be colored by the editorial footnotes and other supplementary material. Not that having those are somehow inherently bad, but sometimes these extra materials, since they claim to 'speak for' and 'interpret' the Text could become, in the readers' eyes, Scripture in place of the Scriptures. So you have the phenomenon of people saying "The Bible says..." when in reality, they just got said idea via the footnotes or commentaries or something.


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