CTS New Catholic Bible?

I’m confused.

1970 NAB is supposed to be a “squishy” translation according to Jimmy Akin. And I read before that the notes are heretical.

RSV (Ignatius Bible) is recommended by some Catholic scholars, but it’s a Protestant translation so how does the Catholic church reconcile that…letting a Protestant translation have a stamp of approval…why? Since it’s a Protestant translation, is this why it’s not allowed to be read at Mass? Many traditionalists (online, I don’t know any in real life) seem to pooh-pooh this bible (either because it’s a Protestant translation or because it is associated with Opus Dei?) and then many like to read it so I don’t know, I give up.

What about the CTS New Catholic Bible? I have it. I ordered it from the UK. I don’t like that it has the different numbering on the Psalms, but what about the translation itself? Is it good for study? Is it more literal or accurate than any of the NABs? If CTS is the “publisher to the Holy See” then would their Bible be “more Catholic” than the RSV?


Some of the footnotes are contrary to traditional catholic beliefs and some even to modern catholic teachings,
however, they do not contradict Catholic infallible dogma so they are not “heretical”

As for the translation, the NAB has a revised NT which is much better than the 1970 original and the OT is currently being revised and set to be released next year.

RSV (Ignatius Bible) is recommended by some Catholic scholars, but it’s a Protestant translation so how does the Catholic church reconcile that…letting a Protestant translation have a stamp of approval…why? Since it’s a Protestant translation, is this why it’s not allowed to be read at Mass? Many traditionalists (online, I don’t know any in real life) seem to pooh-pooh this bible (either because it’s a Protestant translation or because it is associated with Opus Dei?) and then many like to read it so I don’t know, I give up.

Keep in mind that all modern English bibles (Catholic and non-Catholic) are translated from the same Hebrew and Greek sources!!

The RSV-CE is pretty much the RSV edited for Catholic favor and with the Deuterocanon. It has more traditional Catholic renderings than the NAB (such as Luke 1:28 traditional rendering “full of grace”) however it falls shorts (such as rending “Truly truly” in favor of the AV instead of “Amen amen”)

However, the RSV-CE gets all the important stuff right.

What about the CTS New Catholic Bible? I have it. I ordered it from the UK. I don’t like that it has the different numbering on the Psalms, but what about the translation itself? Is it good for study? Is it more literal or accurate than any of the NABs? If CTS is the “publisher to the Holy See” then would their Bible be “more Catholic” than the RSV?


From what I’ve gathered, the CTS is the pretty much the Jerusalem Bible (English Bible used in liturgy outside the US) with Yahweh changed to LORD.

The Psalms are numbered differently because they are translated from the Grail Psalter which is what is officially used in English liturgy in the UK. (The US currently uses the re-revised NAB Psalter but might be changing to the Grail Psalter soon)

The JB itself is considered a decent translation but it has its share of criticisms.

The CTS is more “Catholic” than the RSV-CE especially outside the US since the CTS is exactly what people read in mass.

However, in regards to being literal to the Hebrew/Greek, the RSV-CE is on top

In regards to traditional Catholicism, the Douay-Rheims is on top

My understanding is that the CTS New Catholic Bible is the Jerusalem Bible with the Grail Psalter.

Here’s my advice to you. Get the most recent translation of the Confraternity bible that you can find on ebay or Amazon. For the books of the Old Testament that are still the Douay version, read the translation from the NAB.

The NAB Old Testament is basically the Confraternity edition of the Old Testament with a revised translation of Genesis and Psalms. I think you will find the Confraternity translation of Genesis and Psalms much more Catholic. The Confraternity New Testament is by far the best English translation on the market even if it’s a translation of a translation. You’ll just have to get used to the older English (thees and thous) in the New Testament.

God bless.

I like NAB :slight_smile:

Keep Learning:

It’s easy to get confused, esp. if you do 2 things - Decide to listen to all of the stuff on the WEB (giving it all equal weight) & Decide that there is such as thing as thing as ONE PERFECT TRANSLATION, and all you have to do is find it…

… Several of the priests on EWTN have suggested the following if you are going to do any serious Scripture Study:
4 TOTAL Translations
2 Formal Equivalence (ESV, RSV-2CE, NASB & DR/Confraternity)
2 Dynamic Equivalence (TEV, CEV, NLT & REB)
Natural Equivalence (NJB, JB, NET & NAB)

My personal preferences & the list of translations I’ve bought over the last 4 years has been posted elsewhere. Some of those who are more scholarly than I am have said the NAB Translation is a good one - I just don’t like the notes. I also don’t like the degenderization that occurred when they revised the NT - Things such as “The person who aspires to be a bishop/priest/deacon…” just smacks of an agenda other than preaching the Gospel of Christ and Teaching the Catholic Faith (Most translations read, “The man who aspires to be a Bishop/priest/deacon…” until the 1970-80’s).

One thing I can tell you is that the only translation that conforms to the Liturgium Authenticum is the RSV-2CE. The Vatican has accepted it for use in English Speaking Countries, and the Ignatius Lectionary (RSV-2CE) is used in Greater & Lesser Antilles. I think I can also say, If the TAC goes on a 3 Year-Cycle as part of the deal with Rome, the TAC would use the Ignatius Lectionary (Unless someone blindsides with that UK Lectionary)…

The CTS New Catholic Bible is essentially the Jerusalem Bible with mods & revs… So, It sounds to me as it you’ll have ONE GOOD Translation - As it’s based on the JB.

I would still get an RSV-2CE. - a lot of solidly Catholic theologians & preachers swear by it and use it when teaching their classes and when they preach. It’s also as closest as you can get to a “Literal Translation” and still have something that’s truly readable. The Editor in Chief of Ignatius Press is Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J… Fr. Fessio did his Doctoral Thesis under the future Pope Benedict XVI. In the late 1979’s, Fr. Fessio tried to put on Symposiums CELEBRATING Humanae Vitae in San Francisco and the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church. Both USF & the Archdiocese of San Francisco refused the first. I still don’t know why they acquiesced on the second…

Since then, Fr. Fessio has stood up for the Catholic Faith when it wasn’t popular, and has suffered for it. He also resisted the temptation to say the NO was Invalid even while witnessing some of the worst abuses and Masses that were, arguably, Invalid. I imagine the “Traditionalists” who claim the NO Mass is Invalid and NO Translation is acceptable except for the DR (or others based on the Vulgate) would not like Fr. Fessio.

I hope this makes things a little clearer. If not, don’t hesitate to email me with any questions.

Your Brother & Servant in Christ, Michael

Not quite.

The RSV uses the 17th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece. The NRSV, for example, uses the 27th edition of Nestle-Aland.

There’s been quite a bit of scholarship between then and now, including the discoveries of the Bodmer Papyri, P64 and P67, for example.

There is only one Catholicism, that led, expounded and taught by the Magisterium presided by the Successor of St Peter, Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. The other stripes and variations are less than full expressions of the fullness of the Catholic faith.


I don’t think that was necessary - It goes without saying that versions translated later will benefit from texts that are discovered in the interim. I don’t think that effects Omyo’s point, which is that most Modern Translation use most of the same basic texts or revisions of them. Take a look at the note from the ESV website:
Similarly, in a few difficult cases in the New Testament, the ESV has followed a Greek text different from the text given preference in the UBS/Nestle-Aland 27th edition.

…I don’t like the NRSV, but that has nothing to do with the level of “Scholarship”, but everything to do with “Degenderization”. As that’s not the topic of this thread, I’ll not go into detail on that here, except to say that has been discussed elsewhere on CAF.


I reread the post you were responding to - As Omyo is talking about a segment within the Catholic Church, I can’t see why what you said needed to be said… As “traditional Catholics” (small “t”) happen to be people who wish The Church had followed the WORDS of Vatican II rather than the SPIRIT of Vatican II, I don’t see how they can be described thus, “The other stripes and variations are less than full expressions of the fullness of the Catholic Faith.”

You might want to clarify or rethink what you said - Otherwise, you’ve included a LOT of people in one very BROAD brush stroke.

Your Brother & Servant in Christ, Michael

The original poster was looking for advice of Bible translations, and I thought it might help to explain what the differences are.

There were a lot of significant discoveries in the mid 20th century, from Qumran, Nag Hammadi (well, those probably didn’t have too much impact, since they were written by heretics) and assorted other manuscripts, some of which are the earliest witnesses to the New Testament (and especially the Gospels) we now have.

The RSV lacks all of that research, which is too bad because I’d otherwise recommend that one.

I agree with you there.

The RSV-CE, ignoring the newer scholarship, is the one I’d trust the most. It still has problems–for example, it comes from a more conservative school, which means that we get translations like And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” because the more accurate translation But Mary said to the angel, How will this be since I do not know a man?(Green’s Literal) was scandalous because it had Mary talking about sex–despite the fact that that was the point.

And then some people take that passage as a testament to the Bible commending unwed mothers because of that translation.

The NRSV tries not to imply gender that the translation committee does not believe was there in the original, but it goes too far in that goal. I do note that the Catechism uses verses from both the RSV and the NRSV.

The ESV is a conservative translation, and I try to steer clear of any translations that have an agenda other than faithfully translating God’s word. But aside from that, it does not have the inclusive language issue and does contain the more recent scholarly research.

If you put the RSV-CE, NRSV and ESV together, I think you may have the best you can do right now.

There’s a group collating a new critical version of the Hebrew Scriptures called the Biblia Hebraica Quinta which promises to be much more like the critical editions of the Greek NT, so you will probably have to look for another good translation soon.

To be Catholic is to embrace all that is taught by the Magisterium of the Church, including the teachings of the 21 ecumenical councils as interpreted and taught by the Magisterium of the Church in communion with the Bishop of Rome. This includes recognising the proper authority of the Vatican II, while at the same time using the hermeneutic of continuity as key to interpreting the Second Vatican Council, stressed especially by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Those who see Vatican II as a complete break from the history and Tradition of the Catholic Church, whether towards the ‘left’ or ‘right’, are advocating something less than the fullness of the Catholic Faith.

I too am distressed with those who pretend to interpret the Council without reference to the actual texts of the Council (I’ve had to point out to a campus minister that Vatican II encouraged Latin in the Liturgy in front of my peers). However, I don’t happen to think that the D-R Bible has a pride of place. I have it, but rarely use it personally (except when I want to find out what the Vulgate had).

Pax et bonum.

I love the CTS Bible, my Bible of choice as a UK catholic. Jerusalem Bible, Grail Psalms, no ‘Yahweh’, but LORD. No Inclusive language too, which is a big plus:thumbsup: I like knowing im reading exactly what is read at mass too. it also has some good tools at the back like the sunday/weekday readings index.


I think the least inaccurate bible aned the best one to use is the Confraternity New Testament–the Douay Rheims Challoner Old Testament and an English translation of the New Latin psalms authorized by Pope Pius XII (Bea psalter).

You can find such bibles online–they’re usually from 1952 and previously–though I have seen some from 1954 and one from 1956.

The Old Testament is the Douay Rheims Challoner–before they started revising it.

The Bea Psalter authorized by Pope Pius XII in my opinion is the most accurate rendering of the psalms–though it didn’t become a part of use in church because it was hard to sing well.

If you see a bible from the 50s and it says “Confraternity psalms” you know it won’t be the Bea psalter but what would eventually be the psalms in the first edition of the NAB published in 1970.

While the Confraternity New Testament is not perfect–it is faithful for the most part to the Vulgate–that is Catholic!–not protestant–and easier to understand since it is in modern English than the Doauy Rehims Challoner New Testament is.

peregrinus_sg, when I say “traditional” catholic, this what what I mean,

Even though modern scholarship begs the differ, there are some that regard Vulgate based translations to be more accurate.

While I don’t know Jerry-Jet or his views on Vatican II, he seems to support Latin-based translations regardless of any textual criticism to the contrary


I just checked, and the both the Douay-Rheims-Challoner and the Vulgate contain the Comma Johanneum, which has no business in the Bible. (Most modern translations omit it or include it in a footnote explaining that it has no business in the Bible. The Novum Vulgatum does not contain it)

The earliest evidence for this verse in Greek is in Minuscule 61, dated to 1520–which is after the first edition of Erasmus’ Textus Receptus. Erasmus believed that this manuscript was invented to force him to add it to the TR, and some modern scholars agree, though there is no evidence that this is true.

It’s difficult to place too much stock in a translation that has such shoddy scholarship, but it is what it is, and its scholarship isn’t offensive, like some translations for non-trinitarian sects.

How are the notes and cross-references in this new edition relative to the original JB? Are the notes/book intros liberal like in the NJB or NAB (i.e. borderline heretical)? Are the cross-refs as abundant and thorough like in the original? I have had my eye on this new one for a while but can’t bring myself to commit for the cost to ship it to the US.

The cross-references are rather good, probably not as detailed as, say, the Standard Edition of the NJB. I wouldn’t know with regards to the original JB edition.

Some of the notes and book introductions grate with me.

My favourite criticism comes in the intro to the letters of Peter, where the writer claims the “style, vocabulary and rhetoric, however, make it an unlikely work for a Galilean fisherman”…

Hmmm yes, the same Galilean fisherman who spoke so convincingly in the opening chapters of Acts. Has this writer ever heard of the Holy Spirit? Mark 13:11? Spare me.

So yes, it annoyingly errs on the side of ‘modern critical scholarship’ where notes are concerned. Since it if published by the CTS, and labelled specificially a Catholic bible, a little more orthodoxy wouldn’t have done any harm. Most of us agree that some of the claims the DR for example, makes regarding authorship etc are outdated, and we’re not asking for a return to that, just a little respect regarding what we believe.

That said, the text itself is good, it’s neatly presented, and the tools at the back are most useful (LOTH readings/psalms, weekday/sunday lectionary tables, ‘Scripture and praying the Rosary’, a brief index, and a historical framework (basically a timetable).

So in conclusion, it’s a shame they went to such lengths with the text, only to ruin it with inconsistent notes (yes, I will happily say the majority are good and do not question our faith but for example the note regarding Pauls miraculous release from prison calls the set of events ‘improbable’. What is improbable to God?)

Once again I question the motives of Henry Wansbrough OSB and his accomplices for spoiling the heritage of the original Jerusalem Bible.

Thanks for your detailed description. I wish they hadn’t ruined a good thing with the notes…I have enough bibles with liberal historical-critical notes, so I guess I will stick with the original JB. The 1966 JB was ruined with the coming of the NJB…although some of the text was made more literal, the notes and book intros ruin the NJB for me personally.

Well it is funny that they want to put things that are clearly not explainable outside of the supernatural from a naturalistic point of view.

Half of the Bible is like this! I mean really. Get these heretics away from scripture man.

The more you can undermine the word of God the more ‘scholarly’ you are. Go NJB and NRSV!!!

I mean seriously that pogue that said the Douay Rheims had shoddy scholarship!?!
Jerome had access to documents written in the second and third century and used em in translating the Vulgate. His translation would have been practically flawless to the Latin as he spoke the Koine Greek fluently and would converse with Hebrew Rabbis on the OT. What translator doing a modern translation does that now(especially pertaining to the Aramaic or Koine Greek)? Their application is theoretical. They never used the language in real life everyday usage. Im pretty sure the Priests translating the Vulgate spoke Latin, though I could be mistaken… :mad:
The Vulgate is a frozen in time copy of the some of the very oldest scripture manuscripts, not to mention the oldest reliable manuscripts as well. Not some fragments found in some dark corner somewhere, placed where someone wouldn’t easily find them for whatever reason(disposing without destroying maybe…), but complete works.
Hey but the NRSV translators don’t have an agenda… I mean they’re not Oberlin College flaming liberal or anything like that…NCCUSA isnt left of center at all… Im being sarcastic again, can you tell? Eco justice, really? I didn’t see anything on stopping abortion on there…
Here’s some reading for you.

I personallydo not know even one Catholic who likes or approves of the NRSV, and the same viewpoint only seems to be reitorated on the web in forums like these. I wish publishers would read these views, and the same goes for the NJB. Some of the NJB is fantastic, really poetic and readable. But in other areas it just makes me sad to see what they’ve done with the text. Give me the original JB anyday (well, the CTS version!).

Catholic NRSV fans aren’t that hard to find – after all, the NRSV (slightly modified) forms the Canadian lectionary. The NRSV is extensively quoted in the CCC. The NRSV is published in Catholic editions. Certainly *someone *must be buying it.

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