Good News Bible (Today's English version)


What are people on this site’s general opinions on the Good News Bible, or “Today’s English Version”? Back when my parents did their communion/confirmation (they did those together and late, long story) for their RCIA classes, they got that translation.

It’s been unused and on my shelf for a while but now I’ve taken a look back it, and I’ve noticed that it has different Deuterocanonical/Apocrypha books than most Catholic Bibles.

Such as…

*]“Susanna”, “Bel and the Dragon”, and “Letter of Jeremiah” which are listed in the Greek Orthodox canon
*]The “Song of Three Young Men” which aren’t listed in any of the canons
*]“The Prayer of Manasseh” which are listed in Greek Orthodox and Syriac Canons
*]It also has both the Greek and non-Greek Esther, along with “1 and 2 Esdras” which is lists separately from Ezra and Nehemiah, even the Douay-Rheims lists them Ezra and Nehemiah as “1 and 2 Esdras”

So I thought that was strange along with the fact that it wasn’t made by a Catholic company but by the American Bible Society even though our edition of the Good News Bible has an imprimatur.

Jimmy Akin said he stays away from this version because it’s too dyamic. Anyone have an idea of what he means?

And overall what are people opinion on this version?

If you like it, why?
If you don’t like it, why?


“Susanna” and “Bel and the Dragon” are typically included in Catholic Bibles in Daniel as Chapter 13 and Chapter 14, respectively. The “Letter of Jeremiah” is typically included in Catholic Bibles in Baruch as Chapter 6.

“Song of Three Young Men” is typically included in Catholic Bibles in Daniel as Daniel 3:24-90.

The others, the “Prayer of Manasseh” and “1 and 2 Esdras,” are not typically included in Catholic Bibles, though they are sometimes included in an appendix of non-canonical writings.


I avoid it like the plague, if only because of this single verse:

John 2:4
Good News Translation (GNT)
4 “You must not tell me what to do,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”

They make this into our Lord rebuking His mother. Ugh.


:eek: That’s bad alright…

I personally don’t like that translation because of how it lays out John 1:1-5. It sounds very wrong to me.

**1 In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 From the very beginning the Word was with God. 3 Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him. 4 The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out. **


Yes, the GNB is essentially an ecumenical bible that has been approved by the Church. It’s a mixture between a paraphrase and a word for word.

I personally think its pretty good, as long as you have other bible versions to reference. I would choose it over the New American Bible, considering the New American Bible study notes.


What Akin means by “dynamic” is with regards to the philosophy behind the translation. There are basically two schools of thought when it comes to translation: formal equivalence and dynamic equivalence. In the most basic and over-simplified terms, formal equivalence translates word-for-word while dynamic equivalence translates thought-for-thought.

With dynamic translations, there is much more room for translator bias to creep in as it is up to the translator to determine what the “thought” is behind a given verse.

As an example, the former English translation of the Mass was more in the dynamic school while the current translation is more in the formal school.

I agree with Akin that the Good News Bible is pretty far out at the dynamic end of things. For that reason, I don’t find it all that useful.


I enjoy it and have recommended it to people that don’t read a lot. (especially bibles) It uses simple language and has an interesting plot. The line drawings by Annie Vallotton are wonderful.


I’m not myself in favor of dynamic translations but it seems they can better avoid copyright infringements. My :twocents:


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