Losing my faith because of the NAB

I’ve been using a NAB given to me by a nun to do devotions morning and evening, and the notes are really getting to me. What with all the notes on the evangelists adding certain passages for effect or to make Jesus’s story line up with OT prophecies, it makes me question the whole reliability of the Gospels. The notes on John 8 come right out and say that the story of the adulterous woman is a later insertion, for example. The notes sometimes go on to say that the writers derived concepts from non-canonical sources, such as the Book of Enoch, and they cite as examples and comparisons works like the Gospel of Thomas as though they were legitimate.

I don’t know what the purpose was in translating the Bible this way, but it certainly wasn’t to edify faith. When I come across these notes added by apparently capable researchers, it makes me wonder why either they or I bother with the religion at all. Their skepticism of the honesty and reliability of the Gospels make my mind take the whole work into question.

Why don’t you just use a better translation, like the RSV-CE

I thought the NAB was the authoritative edition.

The NAB is the edition put together by the USCCB, but it is not authoritative other than it being used in the Mass. For what it is worth, the translation had to undergo several changes before the Holy See would authorize it for the liturgy. This is not the NAB that you purchase, nor does it have the study notes, which you are not alone in being concerned about.

You might consider the RSV-CE as was recommended above, or the RSV, Second Catholic Edition, which is a very popular translation. I have the RSV-2CE, and I am more than satisfied.


I think you would be very happy with it as well.


Someone correct me if I’m wrong on this, but I thought the Latin Vulgate was the authoritative translation.

Anyway, the RSV-CE is very good. Also, a great thing for your computer would be to download the free software from Biblia Clerus.

It was started by the Vatican, I think mainly for priests, but you can get the RSV-CE on it AND the Catechism. There is also a ton of other stuff, but so far it looks above my head right now. The cool thing is, you can be reading the Bible and a tab on the side of the program will show links to the Catechism or other documents pertaining to that verse(s). Or you can read the Catechism and click the Bible references.

Oh, and you can also look up the daily readings.:thumbsup:

The Nova Vulgata is the current official Latin translation of the Bible. However, per Liturgiam Authenticam, translations are not supposed to be done directly from it, but rather from the source texts. The Nova Vulgata is, however, supposed to be used when there are questions about the translations of certain words or phrases which could be done in more than one way.

The NAB translation is the one used for Mass in the USA. The footnotes are NOT authoritative (and are quite liberal). :slight_smile:

do you doubt the veracity of the notes?

While the NAB might have raised your awareness and concerns to the issues presented in the notes, the fundamental “problem” really rests with trying to understand how the Sacred Scriptures came together in the first place. I’d strongly recommend checking out the “Biblicist” DVD set by Fr. Bill Burton. I believe that will answer a lot of your fundamental concerns in an effective way. Here’s the order form (and just in case that link changes, the main website is: www.biblicist.net). He doesn’t speak to the NAB translation, specifically, but he does present the Catholic perspective on how divine inspiration manifests itself in our Sacred Scriptures. If you understand the points he presents in his DVD series, then I’m highly confident you’ll see the notes within the NAB as a basis for enriching your faith rather than losing your faith.
Best wishes,

Thanks. I knew the Latin was referred to somehow, but the ol’ memory wasn’t being cooperative. :o

No worries.


Just as a point of clarification, while the NAB is the basis for the translation used at Mass in the USA, it had to undergo significant changes before it was authorized to be used liturgically by the Holy See. These changes are not included in the NAB that one can purchase for personal use. Therefore, if one buys the NAB, they are not getting the same translation of the Bible used at Mass.

I imagine you were aware of that so I hope I didn’t sound condescending. Its just that I would hate to see someone purchase the NAB thinking they are getting the same translation they hear at Mass when that is not the case.

The footnotes are NOT authoritative (and are quite liberal). :slight_smile:

Quite right. The NABRE made some nice changes, but until those footnotes are removed or drastically improved, I will not own one.

If you’re using the Bible for devotions, you could also just choose not to read the footnotes/introductions. They can be kinda dry in the NAB, to say the least. That’s the problem with some scholars, they have a way of sucking the life out of things. Please don’t lose your faith because of what some scholars have written/said!

Plus, if you really want a solid reference when something sounds/reads hinky, ya can’t go wrong with the Catechism. (Which reminds me, I need to get back to reading it daily.) That ties it all together and has a ton of references to the Holy Bible.:thumbsup:

My strong suggestion is you can read the NAB but avoid the commentary. I have an NAB bible as well, and when I read some of the commentary it makes me wonder if I should burn it. For example, the woman in Revelation 12 was infallibly interpreted to be the Blessed Virgin Mary by Pope Pius XII. But in the NAB commentary on the woman of Rev. 12 they leave her out of it and interpret the woman in every way except to mean her. That is a major omission for a Bible that’s supposed to be for Catholics. The NAB translation of scripture is acceptable, but the commentary stinks. I recommend the Ignatius RSV-CE Study Bible. Or if you can afford it I heard that the Navarre Bible has excellent commentary. :slight_smile:

I have an RSV-2CE, but my absolute favorite is the Confraternity bible (1941-1969) that was based on the Vulgate. They are often less than $10 on eBay. Great intros and notes.

Slightly off topic but related. I can start a new thread if you feel this is high jacking. So why are Catholic Bibles so hard to find and so expensive?

All you have to do is walk into almost any Protestant church, ask a few intelligent questions and they will not let you leave without a Bible.

The Mormon Church gives out the Book of Mormon and a Momonized Bible to anyone that asks.

There are many free Bible translations on-line all for free.

Why do Catholics have to install some application that only runs on Windows to view a free version of the Catholic Bible(see post above)? Note I did find the RSVCE in English at a Chinese site , but I’m sure not authorized for web distribution.

No wonder the Catholic faith is loosing numbers … you don’t even provide access to the Catholic Bible. The Pope should make the authorized Catholic Bible free for distribution just to survive.

That is cool. I will have to look at that.

Where’s your creativity? Biblegateway.com has at least 4 Catholic versions for free. Go to one of the 2,600 Goodwill stores. Excellent Catholic bibles can be had there for $1.99 softcover and $3.99 hardcover. Or, go on eBay. Hint: look for a Confraternity Bible. Absolutely great bible. I do not think much of the NAB and NAB/RE. Soft, squishy translations and horrible notes. I suspect they are in the process of being replaced as we speak.

Here’s a link to free web access to the NAB:
:bible1: vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/_INDEX.HTM

Here’s a link to free web access to the NAB Revised Edition:
:bible1: usccb.org/bible/books-of-the-bible/index.cfm


These are not same versions authorized by the Catholic Church. They are also have very bizarre interpretations (by Catholic standards) in the comments.

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