New Jerusalem Bible and USCCB


Hi CAF Friends,

I’m sure this has been asked nine gazillion times before: is the New Jerusalem Bible an approved Catholic Bible?

I think the answer is “yes,” but on this USCCB site (, the New Jerusalem Bible is not listed. So…what’s up with that?




This is on the same USCCB website:

In addition to the translations listed below, any translation of the Sacred Scriptures that has received proper ecclesiastical approval ‒ namely, by the Apostolic See or a local ordinary prior to 1983, or by the Apostolic See or an episcopal conference following 1983 ‒ may be used by the Catholic faithful for private prayer and study.

So for example in England (the U.K.) the Jerusalem Bible along with the Grail Psalter is not only fully approved by the English Hierarchy, but it is also used for their liturgical lectionary readings. (Even the NABRE does not have this sort of approval.) However I don’t know if any Catholic hierarchies have approved the New Jerusalem Bible. :confused:


Just a guess but I suspect that the New Jersualem Bible is not/no longer an approved translation because the Name of God is spelled out. (link)


It also uses more inclusive language. Of course the NRSV does too, and it is approved by the Canadian hierarchy. But like the NABRE, it is not approved for Liturgical Lectionary readings, and so they have special “work books” for those, just like here in the US. :rolleyes:


The Jerusalem Bible spells out “Yahweh” but I believe this was changed in the New Jerusalem Bible because the of these concerns.



I thought the issue with spelling out the Name of God affected use of texts and hymns in the liturgy, not in private study, reading, or devotions. So all the scholarship that went into the Jerusalem / New Jerusalem bibles is to be cast aside because of a years-after-the-fact ruling affecting this one point?


That list covers Bibles that had received the required USCCB approval under the Code of Canon Law, 1983, Canon 825 s.1.

Prior to that canon, Bibles were approved with the usual Nihil Obstat/Imprimatur system. Those Bibles remain approved and suitable for Catholic use. The Jerusalem Bible and New Jerusalem Bible fall under this category (as does the RSV-CE and Douay-Rheims).

The use of the spelled-out divine Name has nothing to do with any approval or withdrawal thereof.


The prohibition on the use of the name Yahweh issued by the CDW was in regard to its use in liturgy, songs and prayers. It did not direct any change in the approval process for Scripture translations.


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