What are your favorite non-Catholic Bible translations?


So often on this forum, I have seen arguments about the “best” Catholic Bible translations. For example, the RSV-CE vs NABRE debate can be very lively.

However, it is not too often that we talk about the various translations that are commonly used by Protestants (or Eastern Orthodox). In the Protestant world, there is the advantage (and disadvantage) of having a much wider array of translations to choose from. I personally own many translations that are left over from my Protestant days, and I still read them. I regularly read the KJV, the NLT, and everything in between.

This question is for both Catholics and non-Catholics: What is your favorite non-Catholic translation of scripture and why? (I define non-Catholic as any scripture translation that is primarily non-Catholic in origin and/or is not approved to be used for liturgy or study in the Catholic Church.)


No comparison. I consider the NAB and NABRE to be the weakest English language translations ever done. Even the Catholic Living Bible is more “Catholic.”

Now, my personal non-Catholic favorite (it must have the Deuterocanonical books) is the Revised English Bible. A good read, only a few weak spots, and was translated with input from the Catholic Church in the various UK nations.


The only Bible I use for personal devotion and study is the King James. Try it and you will see why. Its not only elegant, but its a real translation, not an attempt to give you the general meaning of a verse.


I like the NKJV although I do have many translations I like how that reads and I’m quick to find verses I need using the concordance because I’ve somewhat memorized the passages. None of my bibles have all the extras available like in the protestant bibles like a concordance, topical index and study notes. My favorite Catholic version is RSV2CE but I’m really enjoying the Didache bible in the RSVCE.


Probably the ESV. It’s more word-for-word, but still pretty readable.


KJV is the only non-Catholic translation I’d bother with, primarily for its literary value.

Although I do agree that a lot of the more recent Catholic versions are seriously weak.


I have the Jewish Publication Society translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, and I find that very helpful for Old Testament studies, especially where footnotes provide insight into Hebrew colloquialisms that occur in Scripture.




I still hold a fondness for the New American Standard and the English Standard that I used heavily in my reformed days.

Tied to that old habit, I still view the NIV and New Living “adaptations” with something resembling scorn. :shrug:


The NRSV, probably.




:slight_smile: True. I tend to lump that in with Catholic translations, because of the Ignatius RSV-CE, but it’s not really a Catholic translation per se.


It can go either way.

As for me, I have really enjoyed reading the NRSV, but I’m a little put off by the over abundance of inclusive language. However, it’s very good for study.

The NIV is quite nice literarily, but I’m aware of its weeknesses. The NIV was the most commonly used translation at my church before I became Catholic.

Nowadays, the KJV is good for its literary value and history, but not much else. The NKJV is quite nice. I don’t have much experience with the ESV or NASB, but I have heard good things about them.

To those commenting on the NAB, I have to admit that I really like the NABRE (along with the Knox and RSV-CE). I think that many here over exaggerate its problems.Though it has weeknesses, I think it’s on par with most modern English translations. Literarily, it’s miles ahead of certain translations such as the NLT, in my opinion. I think that when the New Testament revision is done, the NAB will be a very solid Bible.


NASB – but maybe it’s more related to how I have a pocket version, which is far more convienient to travel.


I use the ESV.


A bible that said it was “King James II”, it was my mother’s Bible that her grandma gave her. (Not to be confused with the King James Version, this was a 20th century translation)


The King James for its lovely poetry.


KJV with Apocrypha. It reads better to me than any translation out there. I prefer it VASTLY over the NAB or any other Catholic translation. (Well, I do like the RSV-CE, but heck, that’s pretty much the KJV with the books in the proper order and some archaic word clean up).


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