The Knox Bible - my initial impressions


So I have been doing a lot of reading about the Knox Bible since it’s re-release by Baronius Press. I’ve read a bit of it online, read reviews and have had a general interest since first learning about it.

Just the other day, I stopped by my local Catholic book store and noticed they had a phyical copy of the Baronius Press edition on the shelf. I’d never actually seen it, so I picked it up and started flipping through the pages. The edition is quite nice, as I had read previously, and I didn’t realize how nice the single column layout would be for reading. I started thinking about purchasing the book as it was the last one on the shelf. It was opened, and had a slight blemish on the cover in the leather. Nothing that you really notice, but still, it was there. I asked the woman behind the counter if they had any other in stock and she said no. I mentioned the blemish on the cover and she immediately asked if I’d be interested if she took 20% off the price. As I’ve been thinking about this for a year or so I said absolutely. I wound up purchasing the Bible for just under $45 and some change. They also had the Englishing the Bible booklet with it, which I was glad to hear.

Anyway, sorry to ramble on above, but in the few days I have owned this Bible, I am starting to wonder why I waited so long to make the purchase. It is already giving me an entirely new view on the Scriptures. The flow of the words is speaking to me like never before. I’m finding new insights and inspirations each and every time I pick it up. It looks like this Bible is going to be the perfect companion for my morning reading during the upcoming long cold winter. I can’t wait to dig into it further and experience my daily reading in a whole new way.

Lastly, while I realize I have been a hold out on this translation myself; I’m actually wondering why I don’t see more discussion on it here. I’ve been a long time reader of the DR and the RSV-CE, even the KJV w\Apocrypha at times, but I think I may have found my new favorite treasure. A truly Catholic, inspiring, enjoyable to read version of the Sacred Scriptures that keeps me wanting to come back for more.


I’ve been toying with the idea of jumping from RSV-CE to either the DR or Knox for awhile myself. Thanks for the review! :slight_smile:


I just finished reading a biography of Msgr. Ronald Knox by Evelyn Waugh (who wrote “Brideshead Revisited”). Mr. Waugh describes how Msgr. Knox came to translation the his version of the Bible, why he did, and all the problems he encountered while doing it, as well as how it was received and promoted/not promoted in some quarters. This was long before Vatican II. No one in the Church had done a translation in English since the Douy-Rhiems. He had a lot of opposition from clerics who thought that a new translation would incite hard feelings against Catholics in England. He had to teach himself Hebrew before he even started. Few people know what a genius Msgr. Knox was nor how saintly he was. I’m surprised that none of bishops of his diocese, since he died, has put him forward for canonization.

Anyway, I too own the Knox Bible. The language flows like great poetry and the translation, especially of the NT is breathtaking in insight and beauty. Anyone who manages to get his hands on a copy is a lucky person indeed, and will be highly blessed reading it. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


Della - you struck the nail on the head with another reason I am finding this version so enjoyable. Monsignor Knox himself. Over the time I had been contemplating purchasing this edition, I did a bit of research on him, and was astounded at the things he has done.

The forward in the Baronius version by by Dr. Scott Hahn only touches on it, and I am really looking forward to reading the booklet included, On Englishing the Bible, by the Monsignor himself!


I got one as a present, I didn’t even know about it before that. It is wonderful. The language is beautiful and flows perfectly naturally. I do wish they’d had the book titles that we normally use in the index in parentheses or something, but that’s so minor it’s really not on the radar.

As to why there’s no discussion, I think it’s because there is no controversy, it is a truly great English Language translation.


Regarding the bolded statement. I would really like to believe so! I am finding it absolutely wonderful at this point.

As far as the book names and such; I guess I’m used to that as I’ve used the DR for quite a few years as my sole daily reader.


I haven’t read that yet. I have read his “The Hidden Stream: the Mysteries of the Christian Faith”. That was a while ago, but it blessed me at the time. And I’ve read his “The Gospel of St. Paul” which is absolutely brilliant. If you can find a copy grab it quick!

The Ronald Knox Society of North America might be of interest to readers of this thread.


If the Knox Bible was good enough for Bl. Fulton J. Sheen, then it’s good enough for me.:wink:


Yeah, I finally gave in and ordered a ‘like new’ copy on e-bay for $45. I should receive it next week. I will use it to supplement my daily readings.


I am a huge supporter of the Knox bible, and the man himself. It is truly a beautiful translation which works well as a reading bible and to use besides your favorite literal translation. There is a real beauty to his translation, which for me, bridges the old and the new. It certainly isn’t a perfect translation, most notably his translation of the prophets.

Also, Baronius Press has created, in my mind, the nicest Catholic bible edition available today. It is well crafted, using premium materials for a Bible that will last generations.

Here are some interesting links, from my site and others, that you may find useful:

Review of bible:

Interview with Baronius Press publishers:

Knox’s biblical books:

Audio of Knox on translation:

Online Knox:


This is an beautiful side-by-side with the Greek and Latin. It seems to capture the nuance of the ancient languages. It complements them well IMO.


I just received my copy of the Knox Bible yesterday. It is a little smaller than I thought it was which is a good thing (a little more portable). The font size is about 9, but with good line spacing and opaque paper, it is very readable.
I plan to use this Bible to supplement my NABRE and RSV-2CE in my daily readings and with the Liturgy of the Hours. With a literary translation like this, it makes those passages that you know well (that you often recite with out looking at the Bible) come to new life. I am not a big fan of archaic language, but this translation makes it come to life in prayerful reading.
I already use the Knox version option on my ‘Scriptural Rosary’ app on my ipad, and it works very well with that kind of prayerful reading.

Here is an example of one of my favorite Bible passages from the Book of Wisdom (3:1-9):

‘But the souls of the just are in God’s hands,
and no torment, in death itself, has power to reach them.
Dead? Fools think so; think their end loss,
their leaving us, annihilation; but all is well with them.
The world sees nothing but the pains they endure;
they themselves have eyes only for what is immortal;
so light their suffering, so great the gain they win!
God, all the while, did but test them,
and testing them found them worthy of him.
His gold, tried in the crucible, his burnt-sacrifice, graciously accepted,
they do but wait for the time of their deliverance;
then they will shine out, these souls,
unconquerable as the sparks that break out,
now here, now there, among the stubble.
Theirs to sit in judgement on nations, to subdue whole peoples,
under a Lord whose reign shall last forever.
Trust him if thou wilt, true thou shalt find him;
faith waits for him calmly and lovingly;
who claims his gift, who shall attain peace, if not they, his chosen servants?’


The Psalms of this translation are just wonderful. I haven’t really examined the other parts.
I wish they’d make an e-book version of it.


I am just getting started breaking open this Bible myself. Yes, I wish this translation were available on my kindle or ipad! Who knows, maybe one day. :thumbsup:


Waw! Looks like a lovely Bible to own and love


Any new readers to the Knox Bible? I was re-reading On Englishing the BIble recently and spotted this interesting quote from Knox, particularly in light of the fact that we are in the 50th anniversary of the publication of Dei Verbum:

"And yet, is the Douay, as it has come down to us through Challoner, really so familiar to us, so universally beloved? I understand that for several years, during and after the war, it was impossible, in England or Scotland, for a Catholic to buy a copy of the New Testament. Would any other Christian denomination in the world have sat down under that? In my experience, the laity’s attitude towards the Bible is one of blank indifference, varied now and again by one of puzzled hostility. The clergy, no doubt, search the Scriptures more eagerly. And yet, when I used to go round preaching a good deal, and would ask the P.P. for a Bible to verify my text from, there was generally an ominous pause of twenty minutes or so before he returned, banging the leaves of the sacred volume and visibly blowing on the top. The new wine of the gospel, you felt, was kept in strangely cobwebby bottles (On Englishing the Bible 11).


I saw this quote on your blog today. Obviously Msgr. Knox is not making it up, however, I don’t know that even his translation automatically brought Holy Writ out from behind the pall. In my view it was not until the new apologetic, begun by such worthies as Pacwa, Keating, Hahn, Ray, that the bible craze (if it can be called that) bloomed in Catholicism. And I still don’t think it’s a universal blooming. In my parish our Bible Study is at 10 a.m. Wed morning. A good time for the rank and file??? I have had to go to a neighboring parish to get Catholic Scripture Study International and that is able to gen up 5 to 6 small groups (8 -10) in a parish of 1500 families, which I do not consider a thundering success.


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