Obvious anti-Catholicism in the KJV?


Ok, other than the obvious, viz, that most editions of the KJV do not include the Deuterocanon, are there any obvious wordings, phrases, passages therein that are anti-Catholic? Please cite book, chapter, verse.



Douay Catholic Bible [predates the King James by about 50 years]
Acts 20:28 "Acts Of Apostles 20:28
Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

**King James:
Acts 20:28 **“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

But this is not the only concern. Improper translations are also a critical issue. Take for example John 20:19-23

Douay:Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. [20] And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

King James: John 20: 19-23 "19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.


Look at Matthew Henry’s translation:
" 22 - Receive ye the Holy Ghost [Spirit] A partial reception or perhaps one for particular purposes. The Spirit would be given in great power at Pentecost ac02.
23 - Whose soever sins Jesus had explained how to deal with erring believers individually and when representing the church .*** It’s important to understand that He did not give them the authority over the courts of heaven. Such was Satan’s objective is. To lead church members to righteous living and to condemn their sins is the responsibility of the church. This is redemptive discipline. We may understand that minor differences of opinion would be ignored. Jesus is assuming that church leaders would act in love and in conformity to the divine precepts – that they would be guided by the Holy Spirit as indicated by the preceding verse. Then heaven would agree. This advice of Jesus would help believers understand the seriousness of sin."***

So three types of critical problems exist:

1 the removal of 7 entire books
2 Alteration of text
3 Gravely incorrect translations

It is notable that God used His Priest in the Old Testament for sin forgiveness; all though under the new Covenant God Actually empowers the priest to do the forgiving IN HIS NAME: AS THE FATHER SENT ME SO TOO I [NOW] SEND YOU. If you doubt this please read Mt. 10:1-8

God Bless you,



Huh- I knew the KJV translated episkopos as *bishop *6 times; but had no idea on this one occasion it used “overseer” instead.


I was brought up in evangelical churches that all used the JV of the Holy Scriptures. This in no way impeded me from learning the truth that is the Catholic Church. In fact, when I was 9 years old my parents gave me my first Bible, (KJV) My mother told me that I should start with the gospel of John as it would probably be easier for me to understand. When I got to John chapter 6 I was realized puzzled by the words of Jesus saying that we should eat his body and drink His blood. When I asked my mom about this she never gave me a satis factory answer. It was not to many years later that I found the answer in the Catholic church!!! This is not to say that reading an incorrect version is right but in spite of that you can certainly find the TRUTH!!



I agree!

The NAB, which is approved by the Catholic Church and is the bible available on the USCCB web site, has:

Acts 20:28

Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the holy Spirit has appointed you** overseers**, in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood.


Douay-Rheims is also approved, but that doesn’t mean that where other translations differ, they are wrong.

As far as I know, the translators of KJV were all able scholars, with no agenda other than to provide a good English translation of the bible.


I agree with both of these statements, but there are points that need to be noted with both.

The Douay-Rheims has been re-translated many, many times. While they did do some consulting with the Vulgate, mainly the translations were based upon the antiquated English of the previous translation. As such, the Douay-Rheims can loose some of its specificity of meaning within translations as the translated terms in the older English loose some of their connotation in the English of the time.

The KJV was translated by scholars from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts and a good faith effort was made to stay as faithful to the original meaning as possible. The problem, however, lay in the scholars’ understanding of the Greek of the Bible at the time. They were scholars in Ancient Greek, but the term, “Ancient Greek” is extremely vague and comprises tens, if not hundreds of dialects and distinct Grecian Languages. The Bible was written in the vernacular lower-class Greek of the time, known as Koine Greek. The sources of that time period which the KJV scholars cross-referenced to check grammar and translation were written in a higher, more scholastic and poetic dialect. It would be like translating day to day spoken English using the poetic language of Frost or Tolkien as sources for grammar and vocabulary. We mainly know so much about Koine Greek now, because we realized this and we actually partially learned the dialect through St. Ignatius’s translation of the Vulgate. He was fluent in both Latin and Koine Greek, as it was still a vernacular language of the time, and was able to more closely parallel vocabulary and style within his Latin translation.


Dear Manfred,
I have multiple Bibles in my house. I really liked my Jerusalem but it is taken out of print because of some errors??? I read I think it is Patrick’s note and one can get particular because the reddened words meant the same things to me. I need to research the Deutercanniacal books, in the sense, that I was told that those books were books that Jesus read in the Temple. I will also say the Holy Spirit is present in them as I had a Southern Baptist Pastor dying w Cancer. There was suffering. His poor wife was hurting. I explained that I was Catholic and I had a scripture verse that might help her but it wasn’t in her Bible. She agreed. It was Wisdom Chapter 3. It went something like this. HE APPEARED TO SUFFER. BUT HE WAS PROVEN TO BE PURE GOLD IN THE FIRE…etc. She was blessed by it and had it printed in her memorial pamphlet for his funeral. God is so good.
Our newer versions are translated by panels of religious of all mainline denominations and Rabbis, So newer is better. It will say in the front of the Bible who translated it. Even the modern Protestant ones have the Latin Bible used in translation w the Greek, Aramaic, etc.
Different words, same message. I left Catholicism for about 4 years in my search for a closer relationship w the Holy Spirit after our Charismatic Conference. The Pastor was funny. He said," I don’t care how long you (plural) join us. My job is to make sure you really know Jesus as your friend and take Him w you where you go. Assemblies of God church. Just FYI.
There is a simplicity in the Bible and a complexity in its Theology.The simplicity is the love and relationship and the forgiveness and MERCY. The complexity is learning how to grow in your spiritual life. How to learn spiritual warfare. How to evangelize and how to get through “dark nights of the soul.”

The Body of Christ will stay strong through prayer and guidance.
May God direct our paths and let our lights shine for HIm.
When people see us, may they see Jesus.

In Christs’ love,


Thankyou, Brother! I appreciate this information. :thumbsup::slight_smile:


“Overseer” is another legitimate translation of the Greek word “episkopos.” Bishops are overseers.

This is Matthew Henry’s commentary, not his translation. You will not find this paragraph in a KJV Bible.

The original 1611 KJV had all the deutercanonicals.


There’s also the preface to the KJV, which has a reference to being led astray by “Popish persons.”


Are you sure?


Yeah, there is that, the “Dedicatorie” :stuck_out_tongue:

“So that, if on the one side we shall be traduced by Popish persons at home or abroad . . .”


Re: various versions of the Douay-Rheims –

Yep, the usual online version is the Douay-Rheims-Challoner revised version, which is a 19th century edition.

Here’s the wording of the 1582 Rheims New Testament, courtesy of Gallica.fr (the French National Library). I’ve slightly modernized the spelling. (No v for u and v v for w.)

“Therfore, when it was late that day, the first of the Sabboths, and the doores were shut, where the disciples were gathered together for feare of the Iewes, IESUS came and stoode in the middes, and saith to them, Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he shewed them his handes and side. The disciples therfore were glad when they saw our Lord. He said therfore to them againe, Peace be to you. As my Father hath sent me, I also doe send you. When he had said this, he breathed upon them: and he saith to them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: WHOSE SINNES YOU SHALL FORGIVE, THEY ARE FORGIVEN THEM: AND WHOSE YOU SHAL RETEINE, THEY ARE RETEINED.”

There’s a commentary note for this section: "“Though he gave them his peace hard before, yet now entering to a new divine action, to prepare their hartes to grace and attention, he blesseth them againe.”

(“Hard before” means “immediately before, right before.”)

There’s a bunch more commentary on the next couple pages, with lots of references to the Fathers. Basically, they point out that Jesus had the same right to commission priests to forgive sins that He had to send them out to preach and baptize; and that priests don’t forgive sins on their own steam, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s very educational; those original Douay-Rheims guys knew their stuff.


If you’re interested, here’s a short list of accessible copies of the 1582 Rheims New Testament, the 1609 and 1610 Douay Old Testament (2 volumes), and the 1635 combined Douay-Rheims edition.

There are probably a lot more digitized copies out there, but it’s a real pain to search for this stuff unless you hit on the correct library search terms.

There used to be a text digitized version online, but it was taken down for some reason. If anybody knows where it went, that would be helpful.


Thanks for the response, but “traduced” does not mean “led astray”. :slight_smile:

Here’s the passage:

So that, if on the one side we shall be traduced by Popish persons at home or abroad, who therefore will maligne us, because we are poore Instruments to make GODS holy Trueth to be yet more and more knowen unto the people, whom they desire still to keepe in ignorance and darknesse: or if on the other side, we shall be maligned by selfe-conceited brethren, who runne their owne wayes, and give liking unto nothing but what is framed by themselves, and hammered on their Anvile; we may rest secure, supported within by the trueth and innocencie of a good conscience, having walked the wayes of simplicitie and integritie, as before the Lord;

The translators are simply saying that they persevered in their labors despite being criticised (“traduced”) by some Roman Catholics for being inadequate for the task, and by some Protestants for not translating with Protestant emphasis either. Rather, they persevered in " supported within by the trueth and innocencie of a good conscience, having walked the wayes of simplicitie and integritie, as before the Lord;". Which seems to me to emphasise that their purpose was to provide an accurate, readable translation without bias. :slight_smile:


This is a wonderful post.

I don’t know why people go looking for monsters under every rock.



If there was any bias, it was against the Puritans and the Geneva Bible. By the early seventeenth century, Rome posed little real threat to the Church of England, despite the continuing popularity of (regrettable) anti-Papal rhetoric. The real problem for the established Church was to be found in the Puritans’ dislike of bishops, and even occasional republican sentiment (Calvin’s Geneva being a republic).

The connection between the two was perceived by King James himself, who is supposed to have given the maxim “No bishop; no king”. Charles I is still considered by some High Church Anglicans to have been a martyr for episcopacy in the Church of England as well as somebody killed for political reasons.


Exactly. That’s why the KJV did not have any major footnotes and kept in words like “bishop” or “church:” that was a deliberate move against the Geneva Bible, which contained heavy dosages of supplemental material like footnotes and prefaces (a common tradition in English Bibles since Tyndale at least). In the Geneva Bible’s case, James I found them too Puritan and anti-monarchy for his liking, so he specifically directed that the new translation will not contain any kind of note whatsoever (though the final version did end up having minor marginal notes which either give a more literal translation of the Hebrew or Greek or an alternative translation). And he ordered that high Church words like “church” are to be used rather than rendering them as something like “congregation,” which most (Protestant) English translations since Tyndale have done. (In this case, the Geneva Bible did render ekklesia as ‘church’. In fact, it was the first early modern English Bible to do so!)


Thanks for the very informative posts about the Reformed influence which the KJV avoids, including some history about the use of footnotes, and the direction given by King James.

Very interesting!


And, we seem to be clearing the KJV of anti-Catholicism! :smiley:


Thanks to all who’ve offered responses thus far. Keep up the “clearing (of) the KJV of anti-Catholicism!”

It’s interesting that the CC has approved a Catholic ed. of the RSV, a direct descendant of the KJV. Most conservative evangelical Protestants eschew the RSV as “liberal”, yet many Catholic apologists and, dare I say, even the Vatican itself, consider the RSV-CE to be the more conservative than the modern Catholic translations, viz, the NABRE and the NJB.

It is unlikely, though, that there would ever be a Catholic edition of the KJV (too archaic in language) or the NewKJV (the latter does not contain any Deuterocanonical books).

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