Douay-Rheims Bible vs N.A.B.

Hi, I hope I’m in the right forum. Here’s the deal. My brother-in-law, is convinced that the Douay-Rheims BIble is the only true translation, and that all others are not the true Word of God. He has really limited his participation in the Church based on these beliefs. He won’t teach CCE, won’t go on retreats, attend lectures, etc… He does attend Mass but brings his Douay-Rheims and re-translates the readings. It would’nt bother me much but for the fact that he is trying to sell the whole family, all 26 of us on his Bible. He has these pamphlets that he is passing around to dis-prove othe
As far as I"m concerned, if the USCCB uses and recommends the NAB, I can too. Any thoughts on this topic that could be helpful would be awesome.

It is one thing to love and prefer the DR; after all, it was THE English Bible for Catholics for over 400 years already.

But to claim that the DR, or any other translation is the ONLY true translation is false, for no translation is inspired. This is the Catholic equivalent of KJV-onlyism in fundamentalist circles, and more mainstream Evangelicals laugh off such claims. Biblical scholarship has made great strides in the last century, and to disregard them is foolish. Many don’t like the idea, but the DR had textual errors which have since been corrected.

The NAB is not my favorite translation, but the Bible text itself, while it grates on the ears in certain places, it sound and accurate. But please be VERY, VERY careful with the notes. There are places in the NAB notes that are questionable, and some are downright dangerous.

I prefer the DR over any bible period.
Now its not the only accurate translation.

But the only translation of the Bible that was proclaimed as 100% accurate (In Trent I think) was the Latin Vulgate.

The Douay is the only english Bible currently translated from the Vulgate alone.

This is true.

But the English of the late 1500s is not the English of today. Many words have changed their meaning over time, so a modern day person reading a text from the 1500s will not necessarily understand it correctly, unless they are well versed in the English idiom of that time.

Ordinary people should at least begin with more modern Church-approved translations, even if they aren’t as poetic-sounding, in order to get a good grasp of the Bible’s actual message, before getting into older translations of the Bible.

Oh yes definietly. I wouldnt give a Douay to a toddler just as I wouldnt give steak to a baby.

But I personally think the Douay should have still been used in the liturgy. :frowning:

Little children and potential converts also come to the liturgy. :wink:

Ah your using the wrong arguement against me then my dear friend.

If I had my way…the Douay Rheims wouldnt even be used.

it would all be in Latin.

Im just one of those radical traditionalists :thumbsup:

I joined CAI-study via internet yesterday.- Romans
-Robert Sungenis M.A. PhD.

Go to this website and read the sample Bible study lesson.

I am convinced that the best is to read the Bible in its Original languages.- there is no “Perfect” English translation of the Bible.

You sure can, but I would like to suggest to you that blindly recommending a translation just because the USCCB recommends it is a big problem that we have today, with Catholics thinking that the NAB is all great and mighty.

The Douay Rheims is great, if the person using it is knowledgeable enough or going to it with the right mindset. It should not be the only translation that someone uses today, however.

I would suggest the Oxford Press RSV:CE Reader’s Version, which will be out in December, over the NAB, any day of the week.

There always has to be somebody areound I guess to rain on somebody’s parade, Guess I’m the one. I have used the RSV in all it’s editions, the 1971 edition especially, which by the way is what Oxford Readers edition Catholic edition will be based on. I dislike the RSV, it has too many issues and someday I will get around to cataloging them. As far as the TRANSLATION goes the NAB to me is the better of the two. I am getting a little tired of all the “NAB bashing” that goes on here. Granted the notes in some cases may be questionble, but the translation itself is excellent. I also think that the Jerusalem Bible 1966 is excellent also. Outside of these two outsatnding and well done translations I very seldom if ever use my RSV anymore. So here is my “list”

  1. New American Bible
  2. Jerusalem Bible 1966
  3. New Jerusalem Bible

Oooh, I donno too much about that.

Genesis 1:1-1
RSV: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.

NAB: In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.

Genesis 22:1
RSV: After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.”

NAB: Some time after these events, God put Abraham to the test. He called to him, “Abraham!” “Ready!” he replied.

“Ready!”? I still giggle at that one. All that’s missing is “Sir, yes sir! Hooa!”

Zechariah 6:11
RSV: Take from them silver and gold, and make a crown, and set it upon the head of Joshua, the son of Jehoz’adak, the high priest;

NAB: Silver and gold you shall take, and make a crown; place it on the head of (Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest) Zerubbabel.

Zerubabbel here may be a conjectural emendation, but this is really stretching it. There is no manuscript evidence to support this rendering, despite what the notes say. The crowning of the High Priest has messianic meaning.

And my all-time favorite:

Isaiah 9:6
RSV: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

NAB: For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.

“God-Hero?” I donno. The Hebrew has the word for “mighty” and “hero” is fairly reasonable. But try proclaiming or singing that at Christmas.

Plus, of course you have the entire 1991 Book of Psalms riddled with heavy inclusive language making them virtually unproclaimable (and defective, hence their rejection by the Holy See).

All in all, I still like the NAB text, even though it, like the RSV, has its flaws. I use the NAB daily for my Divine Office, since it’s the approved liturgical translation (although it uses the original 1970 New Testament and Psalms). But for other purposes, out comes the RSV.

Since the DR was “revised” ~250 years ago from it’s original translation of the Vulgate (~1500 AD), which DR is your BIL touting?

I’m not digging at the DR (I have one myself, along with a NAB and a RSV-CE), but this may a way to get him to break his “death grip” on his DR-onlyism. If his DR is not the original translation, then it is not the original Vulgate translation. Enough said.

I like the Douay-Rheims version (and the KJV also), but then again, I like Shakespeare! If you want an accurate, rather literal translation without the “thees, thous, and thines”, I recommend the RSV. I also use the NAB, NRSV, and NASB. I like to use both Catholic and Protestant translations in my Bible studies, and I prefer formal equivalence (Douay-Rheims, KJV, RSV, NASB) over dynamic equivalence. The NRSV is somewhere in the middle (not really word-for-word, but not really thought-for-thought). I dislike dynamic equivalence and paraphrase (NIV, NLT, Good News Bible, the Message).

From Divino Afflante Spiritu (1943) by Pius XII:

“21. And if the Tridentine Synod wished “that all should use as authentic” the Vulgate Latin version, this, as all know, applies only to the Latin Church and to the public use of the same Scriptures; nor does it, doubtless, in any way diminish the authority and value of the original texts. For there was no question then of these texts, but of the Latin versions, which were in circulation at that time, and of these the same Council rightly declared to be preferable that which “had been approved by its long-continued use for so many centuries in the Church.” Hence this special authority or as they say, authenticity of the Vulgate was not affirmed by the Council particularly for critical reasons, but rather because of its legitimate use in the Churches throughout so many centuries; by which use indeed the same is shown, in the sense in which the Church has understood and understands it, to be free from any error whatsoever in matters of faith and morals; so that, as the Church herself testifies and affirms, it may be quoted safely and without fear of error in disputations, in lectures and in preaching; and so its authenticity is not specified primarily as critical, but rather as juridical.”

I own and use many Bible versions including the NAB but I would not use the NAB with revised Psalms. Witness the infamous psalm of the sheep translation of Psalm 23:

  • The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.*
  • In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me;*
    And as has been mentioned, giving the NAB’s notes a wide berth is probably a good idea. The authors don’t seem to have believed in prophesy or miracles.

Dear KC Davis, et. al.:

Someone in post number fourteen mentioned the best way to read, or understand the scriptures is to read and understand the original languages: those languages are dead. The Greek translation of the Old Testament, The Septuagint, commissioned by Alexander the Great of six each from the twelve tribes of Judea some three hundred yrs. before Christ is what Jesus used–over ninety per cent of the Holy Spirit guided quotes in the New Testament attest to this fact, additionally, The Septuagint is recognized as a translation–inspired by The Holy Spirit and therefore, without any error–same as the New Testament of course, the New Testament largely was written in the language of Jesus’ time, Latin of the Roman Empire.

If your brother-in-law would like to follow the mass both in Latin, and in an English translation usefully respected for over four centuries, then he ought to attend either an SSPX mass, or some other Latin Mass, and use the St. Andrew Missal.

Most everyone here most likely has a greater amount of experience than I with any Catholic Bible; nonetheless, the commentaries are very excellent in the Douay-Reims Bible, and to repeat for the sake of the contradiction(s) against scripture in the notes, (at least in one part of the footnotes to Matthew), which of course, contrary to The Holy Spirit and hence, to the doctrine on the inerrancy of scripture, should be an offense to many of the faith, and reason to turn in horror to another English translation–no matter to what extent the scholarly research has been, very scholarly, it has nonetheless, reached contrary notions against The Holy Spirit and therefore, against the inerrancy of the scripture.

Protestant Bibles, however excellent the research of say, The Revised Standard Edition; nonetheless, remain the Bibles not of Catholicism, and hence Christianity, but of the Pharisees of Jesus’ time, and other anti-Catholic Talmudic Jews that threw out as many a references as they could, against Jesus as the Messiah–it makes many a Protestant/Pharisitic Bile, er–Bible: some typoes are just too humorous to touch, and I will not further degrade the humor from what has been already stated–it makes many Protestant Bibles boldly stated to have their roots in anti-Christ factions of Judaism. Hardly an ecumenical statement, but true nonetheless.

Most sincerely,


P.S. In anycase, the late Bishop Fulton Sheen recommended at least three Bibles, and commented on the beauty of Protestant writings, above and beyond what a number of Catholics during his day(s), (probably a fair portion of the 1970’s), refused to produce not only to his sorrow, but to ours as well.

None of the above is true! The Septuagint is a translation of the HEBREW OT; only the original autographs are inspired; no translation is. Further - the NT was written in GREEK, not Latin. I’d be interested in knowing just where you got this erroneous information.

I think what you’re trying to say is that the Tridentine Mass itself is in LATIN, not English; the English translation of the Scripture readings from the Tridentine Mass are from the Douay-Rheims.

Sorry - but I cannot decipher whatever it is you’re driving at here.


Er, what three Bibles might these be?

I know in my in my previous post I stated that the NAB is pretty good, but I forgot that I have an edition with the pre-1991 Psalms not the current NAB with the “inclusive” Psalms. After some reflection on this whole issue I cannot endorse the NAB in its current state. I finally picked up my DR and actually started reading it. To my surprise it is excellent, no complaints. For a “modern” translation I will continue to use my excellent Jerusalem Bible 1966. These two should be all I need for serious Scripture study.
I also am curious as which 3 translations Bishop Fulton Sheen endorsed.

The only problem I have with the Douay-Rheims Psalms is the numbering system. Everybody knows the 23rd Psalm, but in the Douay-Rheims, it’s actually the 22nd. Also, the names of many books are completely foreign to any other translation (e.g. Osee instead of Hosea, 1 & 2 Kings really being 1 & 2 Samuel, etc.).

For purely devotional reading, I will use either
the NAB, the NRSV, the RSV, or the Jerusalem Bible.
For serious study, however, I prefer the Douay-Rheims
"Haydock Study Bible." You just can’t beat the scholarship
of a faith-filled scholar, as opposed to a skeptic.

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