Which Bible?


I have 3 bibles that are all in German. I want to get a bible in English now. Which bible would a Catholic American get?:slight_smile:



There is the Douay linked above, for fidelity.

I also like the Knox Bible which is flowing and unusually easy to understand.

There is also the Jerusalem Bible.

As always the commentary with the latter two, your mileage will vary as to fidelity depending on the edition.


But which would be the standard Catholic bible for Americans? Here in Germany there is a standard Catholic bible.


The Douay, Jerusalem and Knox have both been the sources for Lectionaries for the mass as Catholic Bibles in English speaking countries in the past.

So you could almost call them ‘standard’ or ‘official’ after a fashion however there is no ‘one’ Bible for Catholics except the Latin Vulgate, which of course is in Latin.

I forgot but the Confraternity Bible is very good too and was used in the Lectionary as well.

Other translations are very secular/Protestant in style despite their sometimes official use and have been criticized for this even in the Vatican, as well as their bad and sometimes heretical included commentary.

The Bibles I have mentioned are very -Catholic- in their wordings, showing the authentic Catholic spirituality of the Holy Scriptures and so can be relied upon as one’s core Bible unlike other Bibles popular for their Protestant/secular wordings with apologists and revisionists. :slight_smile:

You can hardly go wrong with the four I have mentioned above! :thumbsup: Go for it!


I’ll check them out:)


As far as Bibles go, I prefer the Douay Rheims, but in the (N.O. in the U.S.) Mass the New American Bible is often the Standard. There have been arguments as to which bible to read. I tend to be more traditional so I would tell you to get the D-R.

I personally do not care for the translations of the New Jerusalem Bible, which has been advocated by some circles. I find the vernacular a little too common and I would say the same for the Good News Bible, but that is my opinion. It really depends on what you are looking for. If you want common English, then those I just mentioned are just fine.

I hope this helps.



Sure! Enjoy yourself! The Douay is available for free online, as well as in hard cover. The Jerusalem you can find -samples- of on Universalis.com, they use it for the Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours there. There are samples of the Knox online as well. So you can try before you buy.)


I can’t recommend the newer editions of the NAB which have been criticized a good deal in high places and I wouldn’t call it standard.

The New Jerusalem is not the same as the old Jerusalem Bible, though it is very free flowing to read and of course the usual modern commentary problems.


While you may not like it, the NAB is the translation officially used at Mass in the United States.

I do like the old Jerusalem Bible personally.


Actually the lectionary is a heavily altered version of the NAB, it is not the same and many parts of the latest editions of it were rejected.

So I don’t actually feel comfortable saying, ‘It’s the NAB’, since if you pick up the lectionary texts – it isn’t.

I’ll quote Wiki on this because I believe it is accurate:

"Pope John Paul II and other Vatican officials were not happy with the 1991 revision, mainly because of the inclusive language. The revised Psalter of 1991 was rejected for liturgical use by the Holy See in 1994. The revised text (New Testament and Psalms) was specifically disallowed by the provisional norms for translation of biblical texts sent by Vatican officials to American Bishops in June 1997, and also disallowed by the translation guidelines formally promulgated in an Instruction published by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in March 2001 “Liturgiam authenticam ”, hence the issuing of an amended text for liturgical use. "

The NAB grew out of the Confraternity Bible, and so that is after a fashion the ‘earlier’ version of it which is more commendable.

Am I wrong?


I don’t know the specifics of the NAB, as I mentioned in my older post I prefer the D-R, but if you go the Vatican website the version of the bible propigated is the NAB in English. I know there have been issues with the NAB in the past and I don’t presume to know them, but it is the translation used in the Mass in the United States for the Novus Ordo.



The New American Bible is standard in the U.S. However I would fully recommend the Douay-Rheims over any Bible. Other English Bibles include, Confraternity, Ronald Knox Translation, Jerusalem Bible, RSV-CE, New Jerusalem Bible and NRSV. I would personally stay away from the NRSV because of inclusive language and I would also stay away from the RSV-CE because of its Protestant origin and really it is just a Protestant Bible that was Catholicized. I don’t care too much for the New American, but I do own 2 copies. Since the Douay-Rheims is a word for word English translation of the Vulgate, I fully recommend the Douay-Rheims. I read both the Douay and the Clementine Vulgate.


If the Vatican says it, I’ll say it, it’s a standard version. My apologies.

But I will say the past standards that were chosen too seem preferable.


I was just in London and bought the New Jerusalem Bible(at the shop next to Westminster Cathedral).
I wanted to buy the NAB and hesitated. I asked the shop owner and the girl who worked there which one they would recommend. The shop owner said that she preferred the New Jerusalem Bible(being British) and recommended the NAB for me because of my accent(having grown up in the US).

I still couldn’t make up my mind but at the end I chose the New Jerusalem Bible because the NAB had about 30 illustrations that really bugged me. The shop owner was a bit horrified as well because the illustrations.


My dear friend

I like the RSV. i like the Navarre bible too, but it’s not fully translated yet I think. I recommend both but if you want to really learn get the Navarre New Testament.

God bless tou friend:thumbsup::slight_smile:


When the Vatican issues documents in English, it uses the Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition. Although it is not the translation used in the Mass in the USA, it is approved for liturgical use and is used that way in English-speaking islands in the Caribbean. Canada uses the New Revised Standard Version but they got it in by playing fast and loose with the rules. The rest of the English-speaking world uses the Jerusalem Bible.

Since I am assuming that you are not a native English speaker, I would recommend the New Jerusalem Bible. It is probably the most readable Catholic version available today. It does have a minimal amout of inclusive language in it but not that much and it’s innoffensive where used. The (old) Jerusalem Bible isn’t bad but the NJB corrects some translation errors it contains.

I would stay away from the Douay-Rheims. The language is very archaic and not particularly easy for a native English speaker.

Which German translations do you recommend?



Well, I actually partly grew up in Queens, New York. My family moved to Germany when I was in High School so I would consider myself as a native English speaker which is why I wanted to finally get a Bible in English. Even though my English and German are about the same, I prefer to read the Bible in English, don’t ask me why.
Like I mentioned I actually did get the New Jerusalem Bible at the end because I didn’t like the fact that the NAB was fully illustrated.

In Germany Catholics use the “Einheitsübersetzung” which is the standard Roman Catholic version.


what do you think so far of the NJB


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