What is the best catholic (version) Bible out there?


#1

Thx


#2

Probably the Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition (RSV-CE). It’s the text used by the Vatican for all english translations of the Poipe’s sermons and encyclicals. It’s also recommended by Catholic Apologists like Jimmy Akin and Scott Hahn.


#3

You’re not going to get a definitive answer. Some people prefer the Douay Rheims, some prefer the RSV-CE, some prefer the RSV-CE2 . . .


#4

I’d recommend the RSV-CE or the RSV-CE2.

The Douay-Rheims is also good, if you don’t mind archaic language.


#5

My preference is the Douay-Rheims, because it’s both soundly in accord with Sacred Tradition, and it has very beautiful and solemn language. It also has a quite venerable history: parts of it are older than the King James Bible, and the D-R has been the closest thing to an official Catholic translation of the Bible all the way from the 17th century to the 1960s.

I concur with the above two posters that the RSV:CE and RSV:2CE are very good. I’m sure someone will also mention the Confraternity Bible, which is something like the Douay-Rheims updated with modern English, but a full edition of it cannot be bought anywhere.

The Jerusalem Bible is also very good. It’s the translation read at Holy Mass for most of the countries of the world (only the U.S., Canada, the Philippines, and Southern Africa don’t use the JB). A small part of it was actually translated by J.R.R. Tolkien, which is fascinating to me.

Bibles I would commend you to avoid: the New Revised Standard Version (even the “Catholic” Edition), the New American Bible, and the New Jerusalem Bible.


#6

Agreed! I started out with the NAB, but I soon found out how awful it is in comparison to other Catholic Bibles.


#7

As a simple rule of thumb, I recommend avoiding any bible with the word “new” in the name of it.


#8

That’s quite right: the D-R New Testament was released ahead of the KJV. :thumbsup:

I concur with the above two posters that the RSV:CE and RSV:2CE are very good. I’m sure someone will also mention the Confraternity Bible, which is something like the Douay-Rheims updated with modern English, but a full edition of it cannot be bought anywhere.

If you want a poetic, orthodox translation in literary English, Ronald Knox’s translation (the Knox Bible) is also an excellent option, and it can be purchased online.

The Jerusalem Bible is also very good. It’s the translation read at Holy Mass for most of the countries of the world (only the U.S., Canada, the Philippines, and Southern Africa don’t use the JB). A small part of it was actually translated by J.R.R. Tolkien, which is fascinating to me.

The readings here in India use the RSV-CE, but I love the Jerusalem Bible.

Bibles I would commend you to avoid: the New Revised Standard Version (even the “Catholic” Edition), the New American Bible, and the New Jerusalem Bible.

Aww, come on, the New Jerusalem isn’t that bad! :smiley: Agreed on the NRSV and NAB though.


#9

Ah yes, I forgot about the Knox translation. Personally I’m not too favorable to it because it’s sort of a “dynamic equivalence” to the Vulgate, but it’s still a recommendable translation.

I was under the impression that India actually had two options for the Lectionary, one which used the RSV and one which used the JB. But I have no clue, I’ve never been to India.

The inclusive language in the NJB isn’t as bad as the NRSV’s and NAB’s, that’s for sure. Still though, why bother with it when there’s a handful of other translations superior in every way possible. :shrug:


#10

People say this often but every Bible has issues and some of the Psalms in the NAB read better than the RSV. Psalm 63 is an example.

*RSV: as in a dry and weary land where no water is.
**NAB: *like a land parched, lifeless, and without water.

I have read the Bible cover to cover three times and am reading it a fourth time now. Readability is important to me since I read it daily and use it for lectio. There are some places where the NAB is superior to the RSV - mostly not but sometimes it is.

For me it is really not one vs. another. The RSV-CE is my go-to Bible but the NAB is always close by. I think we can all agree that the NAB is far superior to some of the stuff that’s out there today like the NIV which consistently gets theology wrong.

-Tim-


#11

The NIV is a Protestant translation, and it was particularly translated with the intent of denigrating Catholic doctrines. So if that’s the standard you’re holding the NAB up to, your bar is pretty low.

But how about we examine where the NAB gets theology wrong?

NAB footnotes contain the following claims:
Calls the Catholic dogma of Purgatory a “notion” - 1 Corinthians 3:15
Casts doubt on passages that clearly give support to the dogma of Purgatory - 1 Corinthians 3:15
Challenges the Marian Dogma of the Immaculate Conception - Luke 2:35
Insinuates that Jesus was hostile toward Mary or denied the common interest with his mother - John 2:4
Mary “objected” to the angel’s message, and doubted God at the Annunciation - Luke 1, 26-38
Repeated insinuations that Jesus could not predict the future - Matthew 16:21-23
1 Samuel puts evil into the mouth of God
In the Pauline corpus the Greek word πορνείᾳ (porneia), which means “sexual immorality” is rendered vaguely as “immorality.” In our era of widespread sexual confusion and sin, texts like these cannot afford to be obscure.
The book of Judges errs in its theology by failing to distinguish between primary and secondary causes - Judges 21:15
Matthew repeatedly made mistakes in his application of Old Testament prophecies - Matthew 21:4-5
John put anti-Jewish polemics which belonged to the late first century into Our Lord’s mouth - John 1:19

Source: gettruth.org/bible/nab-errors

I think it’s nothing but scandal that American and Filipino Catholics are still swayed into buying the NAB, under the misleading premise that it’s the Bible used at Holy Mass – it’s really not, the current Lectionary in the U.S. is a heavily edited version of the NAB. Again, I have to ask: why bother? There are five or six translations that don’t subtly undermine the faith. Why not those? What’s so great about the NAB, other than the royalties that the USCCB gets to collect on it?


#12

You have much more experience than me on this (I haven’t even finished the whole Bible yet), but I really get ticked off by the gender inclusive language in the NAB.

While the NAB was my first Catholic Bible (a camp counselor gave me the NIV when I was little- ugh!), and I’ll always appreciate it for that, I just love the RSV-CE.

I tend to value staying true to the original text, so parts where the NAB ‘dresses up’ the language, such as in Psalm 63, doesn’t really bear weight with me.

There is one thing we can agree on- the NIV and translations like it are terrible! :wink:


#13

But it’s not the end of the world.

Reading John 6 from the NAB led me back to the Catholic Church. The word of God in the NAB was powerful enough to do that.

You seem very angry. I get the feeling that you are not at peace and that you need to learn to relax.


#14

Well, God bless you for it, then. Yet I wonder how many peoples’ faiths have been challenged, or even undermined, because the NAB’s footnotes told them that Jesus couldn’t really see the future, St. Matthew didn’t understand the Old Testament, or that 1 Corinthians doesn’t say what the Catholic Church says it says.

I really didn’t say that every single passage in the NAB is harmful to the soul. But considering how many quite serious defects there are, I don’t understand how anyone can just shrug and say it’s not a big deal.

I’m not angry, so much as am I completely bewildered.


#15

=RosslynV;11509201]Thx

file:///C:/Users/Robert/Desktop/Douay-Rheims%20Bible%20Online,%20Roman%20Catholic%20Bible%20Verses%20Search…htm

Your welcome!


#16

I’d generally break it down this way:

Best Catholic Bibles: Douay-Rheims, RSV-CE (either 1st or 2nd)
Other Recommended Catholic Bibles: Confraternity, Knox, Jerusalem

I’m not opposed to the NAB, NRSV-CE, and New Jerusalem as some people on here are, but they certainly aren’t in my top 5.


#17

I agree, I have read the RSV side by side with the NAB for years (daily lectionary) and there are times where the RSV reads better and there are times that the NAB reads better. This is a good reason to use several translations!


#18

Most version can be gotten used except for maybe rsvce2. Get as many as you can. Abebooks.com and amazon.com. right now I am using a 1976 jb with davinci paintings in it. I do like my rsvce2. I did loose and have 2 jb readers addition.


#19

I don’t know if there is a “best.” As someone who is trying to learn New Testament Greek, I’m keen to think that all translations have their positives and negatives.

Here are a list of Catholic Bibles (mind you, not all of these translations were done by Catholics) that I can think of off the top of my head:

  1. Jerusalem Bible (1966)
  2. New Jerusalem Bible
  3. Douay-Rheims Bible (this translation has undergone several revisions)
  4. New American Bible
  5. New American Bible: Revised Edition
  6. Contemporary English Version: Catholic Edition
  7. The Living Bible: Catholic Edition
  8. Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition
  9. Revised Standard Version: Second Catholic Edition
  10. The One Year Bible: New Living Translation, Catholic Edition
  11. New Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition

There are other Protestant Bible translations that include the Deuterocanonical books if you especially look for them (King James Version, English Standard Version). I don’t think those count as “Catholic” Bibles though.

Two good Catholic translations I would recommend to you RosslynV: Jerusalem Bible (1966) and Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition. The JB can be hard to understand sometimes, because it’s written in British English and uses odd English terminology (“gaol” instead of American English “jail” and such terms as “the ban” for EX; I remember scratching my head thinking “what is a gaol?”), and does occasionally have some odd syntax.


#20

People get all freaked out and want to throw the baby out with the bath water. The RSV has issues too. Even the Douay-Rheims has issues.

There are circumstances where literal translations, though technically accurate, do not reflect the actual meaning of the passage. The author’s meaning often lies hidden in the modes of speech, idioms and common phrases of the day. Take, for example, Leviticus 18:6.

**None of you shall approach any one near of kin to him to uncover nakedness. I am the LORD. **(RSV)

No man shall approach to her that is near of kin to him, to uncover her nakedness. I am the Lord. (D-R)

None of you shall approach a close relative to have sexual intercourse. I am the LORD. (NAB)*

Hardly anyone knows that uncovering nakedness means having sexual relations. “Uncovering nakedness” was an idiom, a polite way of indicating incest. The NAB here is less accurate in terms of translating individual words but conveys the actual meaning better.

It says later that your mother’s nakedness is your father’s nakedness. Noah’s son uncovered his father’s nakedness - that means that he had sex with his father’s wife! But we would not know that from the RSV or the Douay-Rheims.

A student of Scripture will have several translations and version, and will not be afraid to cross-reference them. Scripture should always be supplemented with lots of prayer and read in the context of authentic Church teaching.

-Tim-


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