Having a Protestant Bible Blessed?


#1

I have a quick question that I am hoping someone on CAF will be able to answer for me.

I am dating a very nice girl who happens to be a Protestant. We respect each others’ religious beliefs so that’s not an issue. Her birthday is coming up and I purchased her a nice travel sized Bible so that she can always have the Bible with her wherever she goes. Since she is Protestant I obviously purchased her the Protestant version of the Bible. I was thinking it would be nice to have this gift blessed by my priest before I give it to my girlfriend for her birthday but I don’t know if I can or not.

*Would it be acceptable to have a priest bless a non-Catholic Bible? Or is it wrong to have a Protestant Bible blessed since it lacks all of the books that our Bible has? *

If anyone could shed some light on this dilemma of mine soon I’d greatly appreciate it. Also, I would really prefer if you could back up your advice with an official or semi-official Church statement on the matter. Personal opinions are good to have and I will take them into account, but knowing what the Church actually teaches is obviously much better. Thanks.


#2

I am inclined not to have gifts blessed at all.


#3

Why not give her the full bible? You can even get them where the deuteros are in the back and are labeled Deuterocanonical/Apocrypha. I think you would be wronging her to hold back the full written word of God in an effort not to offend her. You have a great opportunity for evangelization, use it.


#4

Actually, I would have gotten her a Catholic edition Bible. I gave my husband a RSV, Catholic Edition. He’s Lutheran. I know he’s a compulsive reader, and just described the extra books as “bonus.” The guy reads cereal boxes. Trust me, he’ll read it. I’ve caught him reading my Baronius Press 1962 Missal (except, since he’s never studied Latin, I think he was just reading the English columns, or maybe trying to see if he could pick out any Latin roots of English words.)

I figure that anyone who’s even remotely interested in reading the Word of God deserves to have the full library at their disposal. And I usually don’t get religious items blessed prior to giving them to someone, unless the recipient can’t get out and about to get the gift blessed himself.


#5

She has read the “apocrypha” and I have also read to her some of these books from my Bible to her. So she is not missing out on them or unaware of their content. She thinks they are nice for moral lessons, but she does not believe them to be truly part of Sacred Scripture. So giving her a Catholic Bible, or a Bible with the “apocrypha” in the back of the text wouldn’t be introducing her into anything new.

Also she has sometimes misinterpreted my explanations of aspects of the Catholic faith with her as attempts to convert her to Catholicism. Though that kind of misunderstanding has not happened in some time, I do believe giving her a Catholic Bible would create that sort of misunderstanding again and in the end she would likely not use it much even though she may keep it. I am happy enough right now that she goes to Mass with me sometimes (she doesn’t receive Holy Eucharist of course) and don’t want to alienate her.

*So in the end I am still left with my original predicament. Should I have the Protestant Bible that I have already purchased for her upcoming birthday blessed or shouldn’t I? *

I know once an object is blessed it is a sacramental, but I have no fear of her mistreating a Bible. Likewise, it is my understanding that as a sacramental it can be given to non-Catholics (just as non-Catholics can be given blessed rosaries, medals, or even receive ashes on Ash Wednesday).

*So would it be inappropriate to have this Protestant Bible blessed or would it be acceptable? In the end I just don’t want to knowingly do anything contrary to the faith. *


#6

First, let’s clarify: there is no such thing as a “protestant bible”. There are translations of various quality which offer less than the complete canon of scripture, but these are not “protestant” because no protestant agency has the authority to affirm a canon or the validity of any text therein.

What these bibles are are incomplete canons of the Catholic Scripture. You’re essentially giving her most of the Catholic Bible. We see “New Testament” bibles and even just the Gospels put out by Catholic printing agencies, but we don’t classify these as “protestant bibles” even though they similarly lack certain texts of the canon.

**

I would, but I would explain the situation to the priest so that he would know exactly what he was blessing and why. Perhaps he could bless it with the intention that even though lacking seven books, that it would still serve to lead her into the universal truth that is held within the Catholic church…

***So would it be inappropriate to have this Protestant Bible blessed or would it be acceptable? In the end I just don’t want to knowingly do anything contrary to the faith. ***

To reiterate what I started with: there is no such thing as a protestant Bible. The protestants use an incomplete version of the Catholic bible, which, depending on the version in question, sometimes contains erroneous translations. The Bible is a Catholic book, produced by Catholics, affirmed by Catholics, and given doctrinal binding authority by the Catholic church ALONE. No removal of any books makes what remains any less a Catholic production (okay, with the exception that we inhereted the old testament from the Jews)**


#7

Thank you for your feedback Actaeon.

As for not calling it a “Protestant Bible”, I called it that for the sake of clarity and ease. People know what I mean when I write Protestant Bible even though I agree with you regarding the fact that this is not the whole Bible. You yourself knew what I was referring to though so I think you should cut me just a little slack since this is an informal internet discussion forum. :slight_smile:

I would also call the version of the Bible that the Orthodox churches use the “Orthodox Bible”, even though it differs from the complete (Catholic) Bible. Of course in the end I believe ours is the true Bible with all of the appropriate inspired books in it, but again for the sake of ease I have used this term. And I also would not normally call the Bible the “Catholic Bible” since I know when I say Bible that I am referring to the complete Bible, which as you rightly pointed out comes from the Catholic Church.

But in this case a distinction had to be made and I chose the simplest and quickest way to ask my question on the forums.


#8

My apologies if I came off as berating or talking down to you, I certainly didn’t mean it that way! :blush:

I was only trying to point out for the sake of all that when we consider that there are many versions of the Catholic Bible that are incomplete translations or copies, that the answer to your question should be apparent: that even an incomplete copy of the catholic canon is still approved and valid scripture, and therefore blessable material.


#9

Put a green scapular in the binding where she’ll never notice it. :smiley:


#10

No need to apologize. I will confess that I wasn’t sure if you were “talking down” to me or not, but I decided to hope that you weren’t and tried to make sure I didn’t come off badly in my response either. We both agree, we just used different terms. Your way of stating things was/is more accurate, but I think the way I worded things was just the easiest way of asking the question.

And as for the Curt Jester’s idea about the Green Scapular, the temptation is strong sometimes, trust me. But for now I’ve been content to do things the more “subtle” way and pray. :stuck_out_tongue:

Seriously though, I have seen amazing things happening with my girlfriend and others in my life after many months of what seemed like unanswered prayers. God is good. :slight_smile:


#11

I don’t see any reason to have any Bible blessed.
I have never even taken my own Catholic bibles to a priest to have them blessed.


#12

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