Thanks for starting this thread. I feel that the main reason non-catholics can’t understand what or how we believe is because they don’t understand the history behind the bible - their one and only source of faith and history.
April, like I said in the other thread, to understand Catholicism you have to first understand that your sole rule of faith - the bible - is a Catholic Tradition. The posters before me explained this very well, probably much better than I could do. You have to take the whole of revelation in order to understand fully what God wanted us to know and you have to use the Magesterium to understand her fully. There are so many beautiful teachings that have been expounded upon over the conturies as our intellect grows so does our understanding of God’s revelation!
The bible was never meant to be purely an instruction manuel for Christianity. We have to listen to what the Apostles and their successors have to say and even the early church fathers - some were even “students” of those Apostles or their immediate successors. You can’t just ignore what they had to say or teach. That’s why Christ gave us a “Church,” not a book.
There are so many tanslations because at the time of the Reformation, people like Martin Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc. decided on their own that they knew better than the Church of 1500 years. The Church already had many venacular translations avialable to the people - those we could trust for true translation of meaning in that they were true to the truth left to us by Jesus and the Apostles. Other translations later where done to fit someone’s new interpretation of the faith. Some were made so that they were just easier to read.
First and foremost, you should pick a bible that is true to the truth. Why would you pick and base your faith from a bible that was canonized by the Jews (we know what their agenda was, don’t we?). Why would you look to the Jews for a bible having to do with Christianity and Christ when the Jews didn’t believe He was the Messiah? That’s what the Jewish Council of Jamnia in 90AD did with Old Testament and that’s why Martin Luther discarded the books of the OT that he did. He relied on the Jewsish canon to bring the Church back to how the “early Christians” believed! How does that make sense? The Jews weren’t Christians!
Anyway, stick with the original bible with the OT that Jesus and the Apostles used and you’ll have the whole bible. Turn to the Magesterium to know the true interpretation of the meaning of hard to understand things in the bible - you will know for sure what Jesus taught and what He meant! You can trust that the Magesterium will teach the truth from the 2000 years of study, sholarship, discernment and prayer and comparing today’s teachings with the what Jesus and the Apostles taught. Once you do that you’ll have the whole of God’s revelation to us!