Is the KJV the best english Bible translation?


I have heard it said many times the KJV is the best english translation of the Bible done. I know it is the most influential. But is it the best?


The Textus Receptus (and King James Version) are of the Byzantine family of texts. There are three other text families (generally agreed): the Alexandrian, the Caesarean, and the Western. Some hold that the Alexandrian has earlier texts more quoted by the Father of the Church so may be better sources.


Indeed, wasn’t the NIV translated from the Alexandrian manuscripts?


I have read that the Douay-Rheims Bible is the best English translation of the Bible since it was very strictly translated and is quite accurate.


That is translated from the Latin vulgate, right?




There is no "best’ translation. A true lover of Scripture has many translations and does not limit himself to just one.


I can’t call it the best translation if it leaves out several recognized books.


I think the Douay-Rheims is the best English translation (based on the Jerome Vulgate). I prefer the original DR and DR annotations and commentary, but then I’m fond of the original phrasing and 16th Century Spellings. I’d suggest the Haydock Douay-Rheims (based on Challoner’s revisions to DR) if you’re looking for something easier to read for modern eyes, a lot of good commentary and background material. Both the original DR and the Haydock are on if you want to see what they look like.


This is a common misconception. The original KJV, as printed in 1611, contained all the books recognized by the Roman Catholic Church (albeit in a different order). It wasn’t until the nineteenth century that KJVs started to be printed without them. Even now, it’s quite possible to buy a KJV with Apocrypha. I have one myself.


It was said that some printers left them out to save money. Then some protestant types thought Catholics had added them in.


Why do they call it the Apocrypha? Apocryphal means of dubious origin or authenticity. Are they saying our Bible is inferior or full of lies?


No. But they don’t accept the canon of the Bible as defined by the Catholic Church. It is all a part of their rejection of the Catholic church. It’s what they do. :wink:


Thank you, Ambrose:)


Nestle-Aland N.T. was used for it and it includes Alexandrian.


IIRC the 1611 KJV had the ‘Apocrypha’ in an addendum, i.e., within the covers of the physical book, but outside of the Canon.


From both a scholarly and “readability” perspective, the current “best” English-language translation is the Revised Standard Version – Catholic edition. Originally an ecumenical effort in the mid-20th century, the Revised Standard Version retained much of the beauty of the KJV while utilizing Hebrew/Greek texts more accurate than the ones to which the translators of the KJV had access, and updating some anachronisms.

The “New Revised Standard Version” makes copious use of inclusive language; thus I can’t recommend it.

There are two editions of the RSV Catholic edition; the second edition modernizes some of the more archaic pronouns but both are excellent. The “Navarre Bible” uses the RSV text with very balanced and thoughtful commentary.


It is also interesting in that a lot of its renderings are very similar to the D/R. What would be REALLY nice is if it were approved for the Liturgy in the US by the USCCB. :slight_smile:




It used to be, but not anymore. In its Second Catholic Edition, it is the sole approved version for the Ordinariates (although if I recall right, the first edition is also permitted for their Divine Office, but this may have changed).

What would REALLY be interesting, especially for the Ordinariates, is if the KJV itself were approved for Catholic devotional use (it will never be approved for liturgical use, as it does not meet the requirements of Liturgiam authenticam), but I have stated before that I believe the KJV can be granted a Nihil Obstat for private Catholic use without changing a single word.

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