Is it wise to read NASB bible while starting out as a Catholic?


The NASB I have heard is very loyal to the original Greek and Hebrew.

They have the entire audio version on YouTube.

Being a Protestant translation should I stay away? Is there a Catholic version that is as literal?


I don’t see why it would be a bad thing. It is an excellent translation of the Hebrew and Greek. If you are picking a translation based on a doctrine you would like to see enforced on the text, that isn’t a good thing.


You should get a Catholic translation. You don’t have to give up the NASB, but I wouldn’t use it has your only translation.

Personally, I’m a big fan of the RSV-2CE

I highly recommend the Didache Bible (RSV-2CE) version which uses the Catechism as footnotes.

God Bless


I’m a convert from Protestantism. I use a wide variety of translations. My favorite of the Catholic ones is the RSV-2CE, but I also spend a lot of time with the Douay-Rheims based Haydock Commentary and the NABRE since this one is the one authorized for liturgical use in the US.

The only translation I really don’t like is the amplified. It makes too many assumptions that I am uncomfortable with.


the NASB is actually not extremely literal from what I have seen. The best literal version would be the original version of the Douay Rheims bible, directly from the Vulgate, the only problem is that it is written in archaic language, but I am working on a revised version in modern language without changing the meaning. Here is a link to one of the originals, although it wasn’t scanned as carefully as some of the other copies:


. The Protestants removed some books of the Old Testament in the 1500s. So if you use a Protestant Bible, it is incomplete.
I also would check the footnotes if it has them, to see if they support Protestant doctrines.


This is a very odd view. So you are saying that the Douay Rheims Bible, which as you admit is translated from the Latin Vulgate, the 5th Century translation of the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible into Latin, is somehow rendering a more literal English translation than the NASB, which translates the Hebrew and Greek texts directly into English? So a translation of a translation is somehow more literal than just a translation? That is an interesting claim.


The problem of “the best translation” will never be solved, IMHO. I use the NAB, the RSV/RSVCE, an Interlinear Bible (online, has both Hebrew OT and Greek NT), and from time to time, the NASB which I continue to really like, dating to my now long-past non-Catholic days. The Interlinear can be very, very helpful in trying to discern the literal meanings which can be translated differently among the various sincere attempts that get published.

I find the NAB has some excellent commentary in some of their footnotes. The Navarre Bible series does also.


A good translation isn’t a literal translation, as translating word for word across 2000 years and different languages will cause many things to be misunderstood. A good translation is able to keep the same meaning of the original text, even if the word for word translation doesn’t match that meaning any more. Eventually, through time, you need to use different words or syntax structure to keep the same meaning and have something coherent.

Which is exactly what you are doing by attempting to self modernize a translation that was written a long time ago.


copyright laws impede the work of translation, forcing translators to dance around every verse to avoid the appearance of plagiarism and copyright law violation.


I never thought of that - thanks for the additional bad news in the ways of this world!


This is a solid point, and one I hadn’t considered.

I have reading comprehension issues, and I listen to the Bible audibly while I read it with my eyes- I cannot find a Catholic version of the Old Testament on audio. Just the Dhoey Reims on NT but nothing for OT. Anyone know of any OT Catholic narrations?


No. Get an Artscroll edition of Tanakh, not the JPS, which is based on the Christian Septuagint.


The Septuagint was OF the Jews, BY the Jews, and FOR the Jews – wasn’t it? I thought it was for Jews outside of Jerusalem who no longer could speak Hebrew. My impression from the JPS Tanakh and commentaries is that they are strictly based on the Masoretic text. Is that not so?

(sidenote: I have a hard time understanding the Artscroll catalog – I don’t know if the books are in English or Hebrew. I ventured to buy a Siddur which is sometimes BOTH English and Hebrew but then sometimes exclusively Hebrew.)

JPS seems rather open minded about looking at other sources for comparisons.


And the JPS isn’t totally based on our perfect Masoretic text.


My favorite is the RSVCE. Mine is the a compact edition that I can carry around with me, all the time.


See, that’s almost impossible with Hebrew, in a translation you either lose the subtly of the verse or the explicit meaning. That’s why it’s best to learn Hebrew rather than rely on a translation. Hebrew in many ways is easier than English, why don’t you just learn it for yourself?


I’ve always wanted to learn Hebrew, for that very reason.


Yes, that’s great to hear. I’m working on answering your questions by the way on the PM. I’m not a total Kabbalist and that’s why, haha.


It is on my “to do” list. Still polishing up on Koine Greek.

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