KJV and 1599 Bible..should I get a Catholic bible?


Being a former fundie, it’s always a King James or 1599 Bible. I don’t like we have books missing from the Bible since I read the Catholic bible has way more books than ours. What would a traditional Catholic Bible? I honestly have tried to find online and I got super scrambled.




Hi Kat,

Being a former fundie, King James Only, myself, I can relate to your question. IF you enjoy reading the old English, then I would suggest the Douay-Rheams translation. You can read it online here: drbo.org/. You can find printed copies from online retailers too. You will find that it reads like the KJV and in fact many of the verses are identical to the KJV.

May I offer you my 2 cents? God’s word was meant to be read in a language that we understand. I used the KJV exclusively for 15 years until I realized that most of the meaning was being lost due to the changes in the English language. What I thought was good “preaching” was just us explaining the old-English - making it understandable for today. Have you ever looked at a more modern translation? I would suggest you take a look at the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE). Don’t confuse this with the New American Standard Bible (NASB) - they are two different translations. The NABRE is a Catholic translation and is also the one that is used for the readings during Mass. Another translation that you might enjoy would be the Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition (RSV-CE). This translation is very similar to the KJV, but it is showing its age since a majority of the translation was done in the 40’s and 50’s.

I hope that helps.


What on earth is a fundie?

Get a New Jerusalem Bible.


Welcome Mesly–great post, please get more active and come back often. I’ll chip in that there are at least two Study Editions of the NAB, both very helpful.
I’m a Congregationalist convert, and I almost never go back to the KJV–although I use www.netbible.com (previous version box at bottom of page) quite often to readily find comparative translations (plus Greek and Hebrew) when I struggle to understand something. And there is some great beauty in some parts of the KJV–Ps 23 especially.


It’s a short way to say “fundamentalist”.

To the OP: I recommend the Douay-Rheims Version, which is basically a Catholic KJV.


If you are looking for something similar in style to KJV, go with Douay-Rheims. If you want something a little easier to read, yet still orthodox and with great study notes, go with the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. If you want what’s used at Mass, go with the NAB. I use all three, although I must caution you against using the Catholic Study Bible of the NAB, whose notes border on heretical (and are also a reflection of poor scholarship, of the kind attacked by Benedict in Jesus of Nazareth). Of course, you can always still use the KJV and supplement it with the rest of the Biblical books that it is, unfortunately, missing.

God Bless!!


For you personally, I highly recommend the Haydock’s update of the Douay-Rheims translation.

The DR translation was approved by the Church about the same time as the KJV for the Catholics of England, partly in order to contest Protestant claims that the Church wouldn’t let Catholics read the Bible. You’ll find the language very similar, though the translation will be different in places because Catholics and Protestant’s saw different meaning in places.

The reason I go further and specifically recommend Haydock’s 1859 edition is because he was a highly trained Bible scholar and added amazing footnotes explaining the history, theology and significance of the text at the bottom of each page.

If you want to know how the Church reads the Bible, I can’t think of a better source than reading the footnotes in Haydock’s edition along with the words of Holy Scripture.

God Bless.


The Rheims New Testament is a Catholic translation that was published in 1582. The same scholars then translated the Douay Old Testament and published it in 1609. It was updated in the late 1700s to make it sound more modern and now reads like the modern KJV. The updater was named Fr. Challoner so that translation is sometimes called the Douay-Rheims Challoner. I recommend you get that one or the earlier, pre-update one.


The Douay Rheims is by far my favorite. Haydock Bible as mentioned above is awesome, you cannot goes wrong with the footnotes, very traditionally Catholic and as reliable as it gets. If you want a newer version then the Ignatius Study Bible is the best bargain by far, with great footnotes and study helps. If you are a former fundamentalist, me being a former Southern Baptist myself, then you may hate the NAB footnotes the same way I do, since they are extremely untraditional and something that makes most traditional Catholics sick.


I appreciate all the help! Thanks a bunch! :slight_smile:



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