Why is there not just one English version of the Bible?

I’m a bit cloudy on why the Holy See hasn’t (to my knowledge) designated a specific translation of God’s Word for the faithful. The CCC uses the Revised Ed. RSV CE and the USCCB use the NAB. There are a myriad of Catholic Bibles available and a lot of folks who are self-professed interpreters/commentators - so what am I supposed to make of all the differences?

The reason is that there’s no compelling reason for one. Translation is more art than science. Some translators prefer a more literal translation, others prefer a more fluid English translation. Most words and phrases have multiple possible translations. Then there are those who prefer more modern words rather than older style words and phrases and vice versa.

We also want to avoid a single translation in time becoming considered an almost “inspired version” of the Bible instead of the original texts. We see this tendency among various fundamentalist groups that believe the King James Version to be practically inspired.

For further reading:
EWTN’s Bible Versions and Commentaries
CDF’s Norms for the translation of Biblical texts for use in the Liturgy

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