Monday, May 17, 2010

The USCCB Approved Bibles List

An anonymous reader commented in a prior post about the official list of approved Bible translations on the USCCB website. As noted, the revised NAB OT is already on the list. We now just have to wait for the re-revised Psalms to be completed and approved. Here is the full list for your reading pleasure:

USCCB Approved Translations of the Sacred Scriptures: 1991 – Present

Books of the New Testament, Alba House

Contemporary English Version - New Testament, First Edition, American Bible Society

Contemporary English Version - Book of Psalms, American Bible Society

Contemporary English Version - Book of Proverbs, American Bible Society

The Grail Psalter (Inclusive Language Version), G.I.A. Publications

New American Bible, Revised Old Testament

New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, National Council of Churches The Psalms, Alba House

The Psalms (New International Version) – St. Joseph Catholic Edition, Catholic Book Publishing Company

The Psalms – St. Joseph New Catholic Version, Catholic Book Publishing Company

Revised Psalms of the New American Bible (I would assume the '91 NAB Psalms)

So You May Believe, A Translation of the Four Gospels, Alba House

Today's English Version, Second Edition, American Bible Society

Translation for Early Youth, A Translation of the New Testament for Children, Contemporary English Version, American Bible Society


Diakonos said...

So the Jerusalem/New Jerusalem and the RSV/RSV-CE are not approved by the US Bishops? Rather strange, eh?

Timothy said...


They are approved, but that was done prior to 1991 when the USCCB began approving translations as a corporate body.

Ted said...

Books of the New Testament, Alba House? Is that the same as the 'New Testament: St. Paul Catholic Edition' by Mark Wauck?

Theophrastus said...

Why would a British translation (such as the JB/NJB) get an imprimatur from the USCCB and not the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales?

Diakonos said...

I would imagine that no matter where a translation received the imprimatur,it would have to be approved by national conferences for us in their nation?

Theophrastus said...

Diakonis: the rules are set forth in the Decree of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Ecclesiae Pastorum de Ecclesiae pastorum vigilantia circa Libros, 19 March 1975. I have not seen an English translation of this document, but my reading of the Latin indicates that a local authority (presumably in the initial publishing country) is sufficient.

I note that the New Commentary on Canon Law (Paulist Press, 2000) commissioned by the Canon Law Society, page 980, agrees with me on this point. (Although that same page also includes some rather pointed editorial content which seems inappropriate to me.)

The only "multiple imprimatur" by bishops' conferences I can recall seeing is for the NRSV, which was approved both by the US and Canadian conferences. Have you seen any other examples?

I know the NRSV is widely used by English-speaking Catholics outside the US and Canada (such as in the UK, Ireland, English-speaking Caribbean countries, English-speaking African countries, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the Philippines, and India) but I am unaware that other bishops' conferences granted imprimatur.

Timothy said...


I took a Canon Law course two years ago, and the professors, one of which held a high ranking position in the Archdiocese, felt that the commentary in the "New Commentary on Canon Law" was horrible and made it basically unfit for use in a seminary. We ended up using another edition, from another country.

As for translation approval, see this:
Can. 825 §1. Books of the sacred scriptures cannot be published unless the Apostolic See or the conference of bishops has approved them. For the publication of their translations into the vernacular, it is also required that they be approved by the same authority and provided with necessary and sufficient annotations.

Timothy said...


As for the Alba House NT, yes, I believe it is the same as the one edited by Mark Wauck.

Theophrastus said...

Timothy --

I can see what you mean about the New Commentary on Canon Law.

You are right, section 825.1 is the relevant canon law; but there is more detail in the CDF's Ecclesiae pastorum. Also, I like to try to keep my Latin skills up.

I guess I don't understand why the rule didn't immediately take effect with the CDF's decree in 1975, or with the new Canon Law in 1983 -- but did not seem to take effect until 1991. Do you know why?

And do you know why the NRSV has a double imprimatur but other translations don't?

Timothy said...


I don't know why. Things, as you know, tend to move slowly in the Church.

As for the double imprimatur for the NRSV, perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the Canadian bishops were going to use it in their liturgy?

Theophrastus said...

That's an interesting theory (and it is true that as far back as 1991, Canada was planning to use the NRSV for the lectionary.) But it cannot be the full story if I recall correctly, because I understand that Australia was also planning to use the NRSV for the lectionary in 1991.

Mike Borges said...

Why isn't the RSV2CE on this list? It was published in 2002 and states that it has the permission of the USCCB???

Timothy said...


The reason is that, even with it's minor changes,it falls under the original imprimatur given for the RSV-CE back in the 60's.

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