Questions regarding NABRE and NASB bible versions

  1. Am I correct in that both these versions are “Catholic” bibles?

  2. What is the difference between “New American Bible, revised edition” and “New American Standard Bible” - are the differences that great/significance?

  3. For one like myself who is looking to read the Catholic bible for the first time (I am hoping to at least read the whole Bible once in my life but hopefully more times), which of these 2 is the best edition for someone who is just starting to read the bible?

I guess there’s not necessarily any “best” edition or edition “to start with” for “someone who wants to read the whole bible through for the first time” in which case I’m just curious if anyone has any opinions regarding the two.



No, they just have similar names.

Well, one’s Catholic and one’s Protestant. lol :stuck_out_tongue: The NABRE is used in the Bible readings in the American Mass.

Well, NABRE because you are Catholic. But you’re not forbidden to read the NASB. It’s just that a Catholic Bible is more complete, for a Catholic at least. Catholic Bibles have 73 books, Protestant Bibles have 66, and I believe there is a difference in the way some things are rendered in both Catholic and Protestant Bibles.

A little warning there has been some trouble on how the NABRE renders things, and the footnotes.


NASB = Protestant = 66 books and protestant bias in translation. (incomplete)
NAB and NABRE = Catholic = 73 books and an ecumenically biased translation that does not match with prior Catholic bibles. (squishy translation)

I have both, but use them only for reference.

The RSV-2CE (Revised Standard Version-Second Catholic Edition) is a protestant translation that has been fairly well fixed by Catholics. I have one and it is a decent bible.


It is Protestant, first off, no Deuterocanon, so I found anyway.
It’s also Calvinist, either your saved or not saved, no matter what you do in life, so the text has been tweaked a little to meet Calvinist heresy:

Don’t get it, get the NABRE.

I have the NAB which I think has bad footnotes here and there, does anybody know if the NABRE improved on that part?


The horrid footnotes are still in place. Look under Luke 1:45 and folowing; the notes suggest that Luke simply made up Mary’s Magnificat. Essentially, he either copied and pasted Hannah’s canticle from 1 Samuel 2 or simply inserted a common prayer into the text as he thought it would fit.

Are you kidding me?

I have both NAB and NABRE but do not rely on them. The RSV-2CE is better. The Knox is better. The D-R is better. The Confraternity is better. The JB or NJB are better.

The Vatican would not allow the NABRE to be used in the liturgy without modification - mostly to rid it of rampant gender neutrality. And, we cannot buy the liturgical version, possibly because the USCCB does not hold the copyright to the modified version and does not earn operating funds from its sale, as they do with the NABRE.

The USCCB declaring ‘official’ the bible to which they profit from the sale of? Doesn’t pass the sniff test with me.


Excellent, thanks, I was though just encouraging the
lesser of two evils (maybe not the greatest phrase) if
you will, between the NABRE and NASB.


At least the NAB/RE has all 73 books. I think it odd that “American” appears on the title of either bible, frankly.


The NASB and NAB are two completely different Bibles.

The NASB is a conservative Protestant revision to the American Standard Version of 1901, partly undertaken as a response to the perceived liberal translation philosophy of the Revised Standard Version. This is why it’s called the New “American Standard Bible” (quotes to set off what is being modified by the word “new”). As such, the NASB belongs to the Tyndale-KJV-RV-ASV tradition, which includes the RSV, NRSV and ESV. It’s known for its being a very literal translation, even more so than the RSV.

The NAB is a Catholic translation, and despite the similar name, has no relationship at all with the NASB. Since the NAB was an offshoot of the aborted Confraternity translation project, it (along with the current Revised Edition) belongs to the Douay-Confraternity line of Bible translations.


NABRE and NASB are two different kinds of bad.

Douay Rheims Challoner/Confraternity is more accurate AND has great notes!

And does not have inclusive language.

And IS Catholic!

Why not have it all?


For what it’s worth, I personally really enjoy the NASB translation, and use it primarily. Just keeping in mind that it’s incomplete. Additionally, if you have commentary, it’s going to be of Protestant theology.


Okay thanks everyone for your responses.


A lot to digest! Maybe visit your local Catholic bookstore and peruse a few current editions. The overall size, layout and the font used, as well as any artwork and other features included can make a huge difference in a bible’s appeal. Yet, the bottom line is that you want a good, solid Catholic bible that will encourage you to pick it up and read it.


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