Which version of the Bible do you prefer?


I do not want argue over which is best, I just want to know what y’all prefer and why you prefer it. My preferred translation is the RSV-CE 1st edition (which I am having trouble finding, my original was destroyed by accident). Most commonly, I read RSV-CE 2nd edition, but my first Catholic Bible was NRSV-CE. I own a New American Bible (I got it for free, and gave it to my Grandpa not too long before his death, I guess I inherited it), I don’t care too much for that one, but that’s my opinion. I know a lot of folks like The Douay–Rheims, but I find that one a little too complicated. Anyway, let’s discuss this. I think we could all use some enrichment and encouragement when it comes to scripture :slight_smile:


I prefer the Douay-Rheims Bible because of its accuracy, age, and its use of old English. Sometimes I might look at the Knox Bible, but I prefer the Douay-Rheims much more. Even if I didn’t prefer it, I’d have to read it anyway since my missal uses the Douay-Rheims translation of the Scriptures.


Oh cool. I certainly understand the appeal. In fact, when there are Protestants that talk about converting to Catholicism, especially if they come from a more fundamentalist background that espouses KJV-onlyism, I tell them to look at the Douay-Rheims. I’m curious about the Knox Bible, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. I would like to get some other versions of the Bible, including Douay-Rheims (again, I may not prefer it, but I think it good to have on hand for varying reasons). If at all possible, I would like to be able to get every major English language translation used by Catholics.


I have the “One Year Bible - Catholic Edition” and I love it – I read it every night before I turn out the light – eadch day usually includes a reading from the Old Testament --then from one of the Gospels – then finishes with a reading from the Psalms


Yes, the Douay-Rheims is very similar to the King James Bible. I read that the writers of the King James Bible referenced the Douay-Rheims for help in translation, so that might be why it’s so similar. If you want to read the Knox Bible, this website has a free online version for you to check out.


Oh cool, thank you


Yeah, no problem. :slight_smile:


Hey that’s great! I try to read a chapter of the Bible a day. Went overboard with it yesterday, read 6 Psalms. Now I’m in Proverbs. I love reading God’s word. Here in the south, you have to know the Bible. Eventually, someone will talk to you about the Bible. I remember a well meaning Evangelical with an African accent (not sure which country) asking me if I had Jesus and if I went to church (I said “yes sir, I do!”). It’s not uncommon for people to read the Bible in public here. I remember needing help with a math class and I went to see my professor. He was reading a Bible. I don’t know his preferred version (I didn’t bother asking or checking). I do know that he is Catholic. But while the culture here is open about the Bible in public, there’s still residual Anti-Catholicism. That being said, I have Protestant friends that love to talk to me about the Bible. Including the girl that thinks you can only use the King James Version. (Which I found odd, since she has the New International Version at her house, then again, so do I, along with many other Protestant translations,as my great grandmother was a Baptist Sunday school teacher). I’m just glad anyone reads the Bible anymore.


I prefer the RSV Catholic Edition. I also like the NKJV. Yes, I know it’s a Protestant translation but I do like the translation.


Accuracy and apologetics: Douay-Rheims (1st preference) or RSV-2CE.

Ease of reading and other purely aesthetic concerns: Jerusalem Bible (1st preference) / New Jerusalem Bible

Making fun of the footnotes: New American Bible - Revised Edition :smiley:


I really like the RSV-2CE from Ignatius, and even though it’s not Catholic, I also like the English Standard Version. I know they recently released an ESV with the Apocrypha, and I hope to see an ESV-CE some day :smiley:


My favorite is the Confraternity Bible, which has a really great New Testament with great footnotes. The Confraternity Old Testament was never completely published, at least not to my knowledge, because they rolled the project into the creation of the New American Bible…and, in my opinion, didn’t do as good a job on that one.

One thing that I find very noteworthy about older Catholic translations is the sources they used for their work. Before Vatican 2 you’ll usually find that bibles were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which itself is a translation. I’ve seen some people criticize this, arguing that they Ought to have translated the Bible out of the original Hebrew and Greek. However, if you look more closely at older Catholic translations, they almost always say that they compared the Vulgate against the Hebrew and Greek to make sure they were translating things very accurately. And Protestant translations often refer to the Vulgate when there is a question about which Hebrew manuscript is authentic. As a result, I don’t think there’s that much difference between the older Protestant method and the older Catholic one. We all used the Latin As Well As the Hebrew and Greek.

Anyway, that’s not very relevant to this discussion. :shrug: What’s a guy to do?


Accuracy and apologetics: Douay-Rheims (1st preference) or RSV-2CE.

Ease of reading and other purely aesthetic concerns: Jerusalem Bible (1st preference) / New Jerusalem Bible

Making fun of the footnotes: New American Bible - Revised Edition :smiley:


Ditto to the NAB footnotes.



I think going back to the Hebrew and Greek is important, but I don’t think we should stress out over translations from Latin.


This reminds me; I once say a Bible that was the Good News Bible with “Deuterocanonical books”. I was really surprised. I remember talking to a guy who is in Deacon formation program, and he told me he knew this version; as his wife has it.


I like the RSV-CE, followed by the Douay Rheims.


RSV-CE is my preferred version, and I noticed I am not alone in that.


I have but one Douay-Rheims, a 1914 copyright, with the approbation of James Cardinal Gibbons. A bit of living history, and the 100+ year old B&W photos reveal a middle East that stands in stark contrast to that of today. It is the gold standard.

I have the most copies of the Douay-Confraternity Bible (1941-1969). This was a work in progress, with the first editions having the pure D-R Old Testament combined with the Confraternity New Testament. As it progressed toward and through the 1950s, varying degrees of the Confraternity Old Testament translation were introduced. Sadly, it was euthanized by the adoption of the remarkably mediocre NAB in 1970.

The Confraternity was eventually completed, but never under a single cover, which is a shame. It was basically a revision and update of the Clementine Vulgate, but Pius XII had encouraged the use of source manuscripts, which pretty much was the last nail in the coffin of the Vulgate-based Confraternity Bible. They are plentiful and affordable on eBay. I think every serious bible reader should have at least one copy. The Confraternity NT is simply excellent.

The Knox is an absolutely monumental single-handed work of translation by Monsignor Ronald Knox. It is pure Queen’s English, but is beautifully translated. The Psalms read like poetic love letters, which they are.

The Jerusalem is fine, but the seeming choice of fidelity to linguistic accuracy in preference to Church tradition shows. Also, “Yahweh” appears almost innumerable times in it. Pope Benedict XVI was correct in requesting the Catholic Truth Society of England omit the unpronounceable Name in lieu of “Lord” in the version they print today.

Strangely, I find myself not relying on the RSV-2CE all that much. No real reason, I guess - it just sits there on the shelf.

A dark horse that I have taken to recently is the Revised English Bible (with Apocrypha/Deuterocanon). It is a well translated bible that remains imperfect, but is eminently readable, having had input by all mainline denominations in the UK, as well as the Catholic Church. It is a true ecumenical bible, technically (if not practically) usable by Jews as well as all Christians. A couple of Eastern Orthodox books are missing, but most of them are there.

Out of several KJVs, I like the compact Oxford KJV with Apocrypha. As to 66 book KJVs and other protestant bibles, I simply dislike the attitude of publishers who have declared books of sacred scripture unworthy of inclusion.

Much to the consternation of a lunchtime friend, I bought a used Catholic Living Bible. $2. Tyndale simply could not resist trying to protestant-ize Catholics. During cancer treatment, there were times when its ultra-simple text was all that I could digest. Its redeeming quality is that Our Sunday Visitor supplied the Deuterocanon translations to Tyndale.

The NAB and NAB/RE? I have a few. They are mostly place-holders on a shelf. Aside from the mediocre translation (it is easier to defend Catholic doctrine from a KJV), the absolutely horrendous modernist footnotes that crept in ruin the experience for me. The USCCB’s first error was allowing them in. Their second is in failing to remove them. I do have a 1970 coffee table sized NAB that is devoid of those notes.

The rest (NIV, NASB, various permutations of the KJV, etc.) I page through occasionally, normally only to get another view on a word of phrase.

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