Good News Bible translation

I don’t own or read the Good News Bible… but there’s a movie I wanted to see that’s based on the Good News Bible. Does anyone know, does the translation have the imprimatur? (I mean the Catholic edition… and yes I realize that it’s not as literal as the others, etc.)

I’m only talking about watching a movie… not choosing a Bible for devotional reading etc. If it has the imprimatur can we watch it? Does this even apply to movies?

What is the Church teaching on this?


I read about how some of the Popes (Pope Leo XII) talked against Protestant translations of the Bible and said that all Bibles should be approved by the Church to be used by Catholics. But what happens when a Protestant-translated Bible (Good News Bible…I think it had Protestant translators?? Am I correct?) gets accepted and receives the Imprimatur? Have the rules changed since Pope Leo XII and what is the situation here?

As far as I can tell the good news bible has never been approved by the appropriate authorities. This translation contains many insidious lies and half truths, leading in misdirection and illusion that has come from Protestantism I would strongly advise against having anything to do with a film on the bible that was made by protestants let alone based on one of their versions of scripture, as it could have many things in it that imperceptibly draw you away from the truth as well as having subtle lies. Protestantism is driven by the devil and as master of lies his tools such as protestant bibles (and films based on them) can have many subtle traps hidden in them.

Try a film like Passion of the Christ that is a good film that could fuel your devotion especially in this month which has, traditionally, a focus on the Mother of Sorrows

Another good movie you can try is For Greater Glory really good and makes you think what would you do in their position

Thanks for the replies… I’m wondering if it has the Imprimatur - are we then technically allowed to read it (or watch the movie based on it)? I’m wondering about the Pope Leo XII question as well in my second post. I understand the concern about the translation.

In the past, I’ve watched a Protestant movie based on the Bible, and it uses a Protestant translation… When the Popes told the faithful to not read Protestant Bibles was there some sort of excommunication or anything? is there one today?

I don’t know how to link other threads to this one, but there is a thread on CA that specifically states, “the Catholic version of the Good News Bible (TEV) does have the Imprimatur”.

When I was protestant, one pastor we had used the Good News Bible. When I was starting my journey home, we talked at length about the CC. He even referenced that his GNB had the Imprimatur. I can remember thinking, ‘what an odd way to comfort someone’.

To the OP, yes the Good News Translation does have an approved version. No, that does not make this movie Church approved.

I can’t decide what to do lol :slight_smile:

I have a Douay Rheims and my wife had an Ignatius Press Revised Edition. When we cross referenced several passages, they were very different and I don’t mean superficially. I mean basic content.

I got rid of our NAB and gave away my mothers KJV to a protestant friend. My wife went out and bought a Douay Rheims.

Its the only one that I trust to be accurate.

I have never owned a Good News Bible.

The Good News Bible (AKA Good News Translation and Today’s English Version) is a “dynamic equivalence” version done by the American Bible Society, a Protestant organization. The Deuterocanonicals were added in 1979, and the 1992 revision added inclusive language. In my limited search I couldn’t find anything about its having an imprimatur, although I did find a general statement about its having been endorsed by Billy Graham and by “Christian groups like the Catholic Church” :bigyikes:

I did find out that it seems to have the Imprimatur… however - anyone know about the Vatican’s view on it and the question on Pope Leo XII? I had no success at all finding information about that… I did read about how the Church prefers more conservative versions.

I also found this:

Is this the way it’s always been? or did it change after VII?

Well, there is apparently a Catholic version of the GNB. Like the Catholic edition of the RSV - which the Vatican uses when translating writings into English - it has some changes.

What you don’t know is whether the Catholic version was used in this movie.

What is the name of the movie?

Has Steven Graydanus (SP?) reviewed it? He is Catholic.

the movie is the Gospel of John

Graydanus did review it:

He says there are some problems.

The film’s most pervasive weakness is, alas, the translation that provides the basis for the screenplay, the Good News Bible, which is neither literal nor literary, … is more a paraphrase than a translation, and not a particularly trusty paraphrase at that.

Take one of Jesus’ most distinctive utterances, “Amen, amen, I say to you” (sometimes rendered “Truly, truly…” or “Verily, verily…”). This usage is unknown outside of Christ’s own discourse, and appears to have been a unique expression of his own authoritative teaching. But in the Good News version it’s replaced with the banal phrase “I am telling you the truth,” which not only obscures the uniqueness of Christ’s expression, or of its authority, but raises the possibility of doubt where none may have been present.

Other translation issues include John 6:55, where Jesus’ emphatic phrase “My flesh is real food, and my blood is real drink” is changed to “My flesh is the real food, and my blood is the real drink” (thereby suggesting a figurative and non-eucharistic significance rather than a literal, eucharistic meaning).

It also has Mary Magdalene sitting with the Apostles at the Last Supper, and appearing to be anointed with them.


While it is important to be aware of these and other limitations in the film, I find that its strengths outweigh its weaknesses, and it is still worth recommending as an honorable though imperfect attempt to bring the words of the Gospel to life in a visual form.

If you want a modern language version of the Bible, I suggest the second edition of the New American Bible. (The first had some bad footnotes and stuff.)

I think you need to understand something…the Church does NOT regulate our reading or movie-watching, etc. There is no list of Forbidden Books, Movies, etc. We have consciences, and we are expected to form them from Church teaching. You will not be excommunicated for reading a Protestant translation of the Bible. However, you should be cautious about what you read and listen to, and participate in if you are not fully formed in your faith and still vulnerable to error.

The Good News New Testament is not even a “translation”. It is a paraphrase. You are better off getting a good translation rather than a paraphrase, but there is no sin in reading it or seeing a movie from it. The accusations of it being full of lies, etc., is just BS. It is just a poorly done version of the NT.

Also, the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur are no longer required. The Pope’s books don’t even have them. They are good to have to be sure that what you are reading is not erroneous, but don’t count on them being in many of the Catholic books being written today, even by some of the most esteemed writers.

If you feel you will be spiritually harmed by something, don’t do it. Learn your faith and form your conscience and you won’t have to be worried so much about things. You will also learn to think more for yourself and trust your own judgment.

But perhaps there should be some for books that call themselves Bibles. At the EF yesterday the priest took exception to a translation of Galatians 6:7 on which he based his sermon. To me his criticism was justified as the translation (I don’t remember which but most of them are about the same) just doesn’t flow properly. Obviously the original meaning has been distorted.

The point I was trying to get across is that the Church does not regulate our every action. Too many posters, esp. the young or new, or scrupulous are under the impression that the Catholic Church has rules for everything, including what we may read, see, go to etc. That simply is not true, and people need to form their consciences and learn to make prudential judgments and become mature in their faith.

Okay, I see your point. I think I posted in the wrong thread.

Leo XII wasn’t saying that Catholics must not read Bibles translated by Protestants, even if they were good translations. He was saying that only the authority of the Church can declare if a translation is good or not.

If a translation receives the imprimatur, Catholics can read it for instruction in the faith, because the Church has declared it to be accurate. It doesn’t matter whether the translator was protestant, pagan, or atheist. (Leo XII was in particular against the Protestant Bible Societies, because they were formed to disseminate the text of the Bible apart from the Body of Christ, the Church. The Holy Father’s objection was that the two are inseparable, but the Bible Societies were actively working to undermine that.)

The GNB has been approved (in the editions with the deuterocanonical books included) as a good translation (taking into account its dynamic equivalence approach, and simplified language), but it is not approved for liturgical use (the holy liturgy is not an appropriate venue for a simplified version of God’s Word).

That means it cannot be used at Mass*, but there is no problem with studying it to know God’s Word, especially for those who find the more literal, literary, translations (like the Douay-Rheims or New Jerusalem Bible) difficult to understand.

** Actually it may be the case that individual bishops can authorize it for use in the Mass in particular cases, but I’m not sure about how that works–that’s way above my pay grade!]*

Even Ronald Reagan had an opinion on the Good News Bible (being a Protestant, though, his preference was for the King James):

The sponsors of the Good News version boast that their Bible is as readable as the daily paper – and so it is. But do readers of the daily news find themselves moved to wonder, “at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth”? Mr. Hanser suggests that sadly the “tinkering & general horsing around with the sacred texts will no doubt continue” as pious drudges try to get it right. “It will not dawn on them that it has already been gotten right.” (There isn’t much else worth reading on the rest of that website, however - mostly apocolyptic, fundamentalist tripe).

The TEV/GNT in the Catholic arrangement or with the Deuterocanonicals sandwiched between the Protocanonical and the Old Testament does have the Imprimatur.

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