Should Catholic's read non-catholic Bible's?


#1

Hi! I’m new to the board and have a question about Bible versions.

I’m having a debate with someone about the KJV and the history of King James. I’ve been running across my share of Catholics that read the KJV as their prefered version. As catholics shouldn’t we read a catholic Bible and not a protestant version? That is what our priest tells us to do. He also doesn’t think that having non-catholic Bibles in the house is a good idea unless they are being used for specific purposes (not for devotion). I am inclinded to agree and would certainly obey his request.

Now I don’t have a personal grudge against other versions but we do have three approved versions. Is there something wrong with a catholic reading non catholic Bibles instead of a catholic one? The reasons I’m getting are that the KJV “sounds better” and is the first “approved” version and doesn’t have any error. I’m actually debating a KJV only protestant but running into a bunch of Catholics in the process. I’m finding it a little “off-putting” I suppose.


#2

As a convert, I learned scripture via the KJV and RSV. Those words are in my head forever. The RSV has a Catholic edition, and most Catholic scholars prefer it, as do I.

I would say that for a young Catholic, never exposed to the KJV, it would be no great loss to pass it up, and, in fact, I insist that my 6th grade CCD class use the NAB (even though the RSV is better) because that is what they hear in Church.

But for us converts who were brought to Christ by the KJV – well, we know our Catholic faith better than a lot of cradle Catholics, and there is NO danger of corrupting our faith if we use it: even for devotion.


#3

I might add that those claims of the KJV being the most accurate and error-free are defintely from what we call KJV-onlyists, who happen to be Fundamentalists (yes, with a capital “F”!). That it “sounds better” does, however, have merit. It has been called the “noblest monument of English prose”.

Is there a Catholic equivalent of the KJV? You bet; we call ours the Douay-Rheims!


#4

Indeed. And, in fact, the Challoner redaction of the D-R, done in the 18th Century, owes a huge debt to the KJV. The D-R was translated off the Vulgate, but the KJV was translated from the “original tongues”. Challoner took advantage of that and produced a beautiful edition of the Bible.

KJV only? Well, if it was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me! Why would God want to go and write a Bible in languages we can’t understand? :whacky:


#5

I would agree as well.

Now I don’t have a personal grudge against other versions but we do have three approved versions. Is there something wrong with a catholic reading non catholic Bibles instead of a catholic one? The reasons I’m getting are that the KJV “sounds better” and is the first “approved” version and doesn’t have any error. I’m actually debating a KJV only protestant but running into a bunch of Catholics in the process. I’m finding it a little “off-putting” I suppose.

Let’s take these reasons one by one:

*** Is there something wrong with a catholic reading non catholic Bibles instead of a catholic one?**
Aside from the fact that they are missing seven OT books, keep in mind ALL translations have a bias, in both the choices the translators made in interpreting certain words, and in the footnotes. Are you honestly and truly so-well versed in your Catholic Faith and an informed student of the Bible that there is no chance of being unduly infuenced by these bias?

*The KJV "sounds better"
Better than what? Better than the Douay-Rhiems, that is also in Old English idiom? Even if this were subjectively true, is this really a good reason to choose a Bible translation that is supposed to nourish your soul and your mind, and not just please your ear?

*It is the first “approved” version and doesn’t have any error.
“Approved” by who? It is sometimes called the “Authorized Version” because it authorized by the Protestant Church of England. Why should that hold any weight with Catholics?

There have been whole books written on the translation errors found in the KJV. No translation is perfect.

Which brings me to my last point: A serious Caholic Bible reader should have several Bibles for cross-referencing, since many biblical words are very nuanced and a variety of legitimate translations are possible. A Catholic should have a Catholic Bible as their primary Bible. If one then wants to use a KJV or any other legitimate Bible as a cross-reference (not the NWT or The Message, etc.) that’s OK.


#6

That’s how I see things Nicollette. And welcome to the forums!

Is there something wrong with a catholic reading non catholic Bibles instead of a catholic one?

Nicollette, here’s my practice. I do most my Bible reading from the what’s called the Haydock Douay Rheims Bible. Has super explanatory notes!!

I also will read out of smaller Douay that has no glosses or notes.

I still have several Bibles from past days all protestant. I’ve kept them for sentamental value, for they were poured over by either me or Mom who died a few years ago.

I also have a King James but it isn’t the entire Bible since – as are neither the other protestant one – protestants don’t include all the books.

I love the language of King James. I’ll read it once in a very blue moon. 23rd Psalm. Wow. Also other sections. I don’t use it for study or devotions.

The protestants that put it together were heretics, but they sure knew how to craft language beautifully.

The Douay is close. So close in fact that I don’t miss the KJV’s language enough to buy one that have the books the heretics took out.

Don’t know if that helps, but hope it does.


#7

Some of that no doubt Mercy.

Oh, a niggling point perhaps, but 1600’s is modern English. But I know what you meant Fidelis.

Here’s a handy bit of work done by some reformed folk, and I like it when it comes to laying out Bible translations.

I think what I like most about the site is there’s no yelling. :smiley:

bible-researcher.com/versions.html


#8

I’ve studied Sacred Scripture for more than 45 years. I, too, being brought up Baptist, have the words of the KJV indelibly in my head. Whenever I find myself quoting a verse/passage, it comes out in KJV. (Today, as I was hearing one of the passages being read at Mass, it came in my ear in one version and vibrated in my spirit in the KJV. A few words were different, but the meaning was the same.)

Whenever I “study” Sacred Scripture, I use many versions side by side. I also use an interlinear version so that I can compare the original languages with the current English I am reading. I even carefully like to use the VERY Protestant version - The Amplified Bible because it is rich in defining the orignial languages. Of course, none of the Protestant versions contain ALL books, but if one is not reading those passages, then I think there is a lot to be gained from using those versions as well. All in all, it is of utmost important to ask the Holy Spirit to lead, teach, and guide you as you search, grow, and learn. He is always faithful to help.


#9

I have a KJV with Apocrypha published by Cambridge University Press and a 1611 edition KJV. Both of those Bibles contain all the books, just not in the same order as in Catholic Bibles.


#10

That Cambridge Bible is a fine edition, isn’t it? I love mine.


#11

I would have to say that in terms of quality of the binding, typeface, etc., it is the best Bible I own. I know that it will last me a long time. Many of the other publishers do not make Bibles with the quality materials and workmanship that Cambridge uses.


#12

As far as reading non-Catholic Bibles, for devotion purposes I use my Scepter Pub. RSV bible (I love that one!), for RCIA I use my NAB, which are both Catholic Bibles; however for our Bible Study, I use my New Oxford Annotated RSV Bible that includes the Apocrypha/Deutrocanoical Books at the end. Even though this is a “Protestant” Bible, I enjoy using it. I haven’t found any annotations/notes not in line with Catholic teaching (not that they obviously support it, but they don’t bash it) so that’s a good thing. And as far as it saying “Hail, O favored one”, I jut have a star with a note at the bottom where I show the translation from the original Greek to “Hail, full of grace”. I just really like that bible because of the feel of it, perfect size, and it has “notes” pages scattered in it so I can make notes on things or even write prayers in it. I also use it for apologetics and have all the verses that support Catholic teaching highlighted.:slight_smile:


#13

I’ve been looking for a bible that has the indented tabs in it. Does the cambridge edition have this? Also, why is there a Catholic bible and a King James bible? I guess I have to research the history, but I thought that King James was part of the Catholic church way back when? Please correct me if I’m mistaken… or was he the church of England? Even still, I thought King James was affiliated with the Catholic church?.. I don’t know… any Historians out there?

:shrug:


#14

Nope. His mother was a catholic, but he was raised by presbyterians, and then became head of the Church of England when he became king (of England). He was always king of Scotland.


#15

Not to go off topic, but does Cambridge have an RSV with all the books?


#16

Yes. They’re called “Apocrypha” and they are bound between the OT & NT, but they’re THERE.


#17

Thanks I just wondered b/c I noticed that the NRSV they publish had with or without the “Apocrypha” but it didn’t say whether or not the RSV had them and I only saw the one version.


#18

I agree. We have many bibles including the Interlinear, we have concordances, we have: NKJ, NIV, St Joseph, New Jeresulum, The Book, The Way … all types and all types of Catholic bibles. My personal favorite it the St. Joseph Edition of the NAB. When I returned to the Church, I started with The Book because it was easy to understand. Is it a good translation? Probably not but it was what I needed at the time. Sometimes I come across a passage that I need to compare to different versions.

No bible is a wrong or perfect translation … keep serveral and let the Lord guide you to the version you need at the time.

God bless you and may the Holy Spirit guide you.


#19

I have the RSV with Apocrypha, but mine’s published by Oxford, rather than Cambridge (the other big university in Britain).


#20

Are you looking for the tabs so that the books of the Bible are easier to find? If so, no need to buy a new Bible. You can pick up self sticking tabs at your local Christian Book Store and then thumb thru the Bible and place them on the page that starts each book. It’s real handy and costs a whole lot less!! :slight_smile:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.