One of the reasons why I found myself with little choice but to put together my own translation of the Book of Matthew (using the 1895 Revised Version [of the King James Bible] as a base, which is a Protestant translation) was because I wanted to be able to read from and quote my favourite Gospel without having to use a translation that had either subpar accuracy or subpar beauty.
I did that, and I am fairly satisfied with the result. I think that it strikes a good balance. But now I’m working on the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Daniel, and I find myself in a similar situation.
Regarding major translations:
We have the Douay-Rheims, which reads all right (not as well as the 1895 Revised Version, sadly), but as all of us here know, it was a translation of the Vulgate.
We have the Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition from 1966, and that reads pretty well I must say, but it was superseded by the Revised Standard Version - Second Catholic Edition in 2006, which has better Catholic renderings of certain passages, but does not read as well as the first edition.
You have the New American Bible. Not particularly fantastic, as it isn’t much better to me than the RSV2CE. Actually, it is not as good as the RSV2CE, for what it is.
Then we have the New American Bible - Revised Edition of 2011, which I purchased a copy of for reference purposes about a year ago. It is perhaps (and I mean no offence to those who like this translation) my least favourite of our translations, because it is a stark illustration of what I am trying to point out here. Then again, the NAB was not the best Catholic translation to start with, so perhaps I am being too harsh on it.
Many a priest has commented that the older translations are “the most beautiful”, but “not sufficiently accurate”. I agree with this analysis, and I truly do not understand why we cannot have both beauty and accuracy. I understand that there are many people who do not care, but to plenty of people, beauty in translation aids in both individual piety, and in memorability of the passages themselves. I know that that is certainly true for myself.