Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Your Favorite Non-Catholic Bible?

Yes, perhaps a strange question to ask, but with the upcoming release of the revised NIV it seems appropriate. The NIV has been one of, if not the, most widely sold English language Bible on the planet for the past 30 years. Back when I was doing campus ministry at a local community college, the vast majority of students who came to our Christian Bible study used the NIV, even some Catholics.

So, I am eager to hear which non-Catholic Bible you tend to like and why. I would ask that you stick to translations that haven't come out in a Catholic edition, which would obviously rule out the likes of the RSV and NRSV. The ESV would be an interesting case, since there isn't, nor do I suspect ever will be, a Catholic edition, although the Oxford edition with the Apocrypha does exist. There are certainly plenty to choose from!


Diakonos said...

NIV. I have always has a leather pocket NT/Psalms of this translation in my backpack. I also admire the fact that their intros to the books never slavishly follow the contemporary popular historical-critical party lines.

rolf said...

I like the REB, though it was co-sponsored by the Catholic Churches in the U.K., it did not come out in a Catholic edition. The REB is very literary and reads very well. It does use a word here and there that you have to look up in the dictionary, but the word is always very accurate for the situation. Overall (in my opinion) the REB uses a lot less British English than The New Jerusalem Bible and less inclusive language than the NRSV or the NAB (N.T. and Psalms). And I like the fact that it is a ecumenical translation, sponsored by the Catholic, Anglican and Protestant Churches in the U.K.

Anonymous said...

I like the Orthodox Study Bible published by Nelson. Beautiful translation and love the references to the early church fathers throughout. I find myself picking it up more and more for daily use. Sharon in Texas!

Anonymous said...

ESV - because it is so close to the RSV - 2nd Catholic edition, comes in a great selection of models, covers, slimlines, etc, and has a legit apocrypha when needed.

I second the Orthodox Study Bible. It's good to have a septuagint for the Old and the NKJV in the NT in order to have a truly needed opportunity for a different (more traditional?) manuscript tradition. It sits beside the dining table with my ESV and assorted Catholic versions.

Anonymous said...

I have the swedish translation of the New Living Translation by the bed. It is very good and relaxing to read just before bedtime.
Even though the swedish version have some strange typos here and there, but over time I have come to - almost - like them. :)

Francesco said...

I'd have to say that the only non-Catholic translation I've had any exposure to is the NKJV NT+Psalms+Proverbs that a preacher was passing out at college. I ended up accumulating 4 or 5 of these over the course of my studies, and I didn't have the heart to throw them out.

Has anyone read much of the HSCB?

Theophrastus said...

The very best non-Catholic Bible to come out in the last ten years was the New English Translation of the Septuagint which I cannot say enough good things about. It would complement any Bible collection very nicely.

For non-Christian translations, there are number of recent outstanding Jewish translations of the Bible, which often show a type of scholarship very compatible with serious Catholic scholarship. So, the translations by Robert Alter, Everett Fox, and Willis Barnstone would be at the top of my list, because of their freshness and sensitivity to language.

I also like Israel Drazin and Stanley M. Wagner's translation of Targum Onkelos on the Torah; and Michael Carasik's ongoing translations of the Rabbinic Bible (under the title The Commentator's Bible: The JPS Miqra'ot Gedolot).

mike7up said...

My preference is the ESV for the following reasons. It's what the NRSV should have been in terms of an update to a translation that is essentially literal. My hope is that one day in the not so distant future a Catholic edition will be published. I also like the NIV and am looking forward tom the NIV2011 update.

Anonymous said...

Dare I say it? KJV w apocrypha :)
Was saved w it, grew w it and just can't let it go.

Anonymous said...


If you meant the HCSB, I have read the Psalms and portions of the rest. I'm generally OK with it - its colloquial and "fresh" to use the faddish monickers of the moment. The footnotes are well regarded and for good reason. It is, however, a bit too uneven / inconsistent in renderings for my taste and so it remains a side item and not a serious contender for the main dish.

What's your take?


Tim B. said...

I have to say that my favorite "non-Catholic" bible would be the Revised English Bible (REB). I guess I just like how literary it is. It is easy to stay focused on after reading more then a few chapters. I just find my mind wandering on some of the more literal translations.

I suppose the NIV is also easy to read, but the language just isn't as beautiful and flowing as the language in the REB. Plus the REB has versions with the deuterocanonicals unlike the NIV.

I just purchased an Oxford parallel bible that contains the complete NRSV, REB, NAB and NJB with deuterocanonicals. I would recommend it to any of the readers here.

Anonymous said...

KJV. Though not as literal as a DR, easier to read without missing much in accuracy. Beautiful to read.

I did read a NKJV for nearly 15 years until I decided to try other editions. It was given to me as a gift while I was in an injury recovery platoon (MRP) at Parris Island. I think its very underated.

Philothea said...

This is an old post but thought I'd respond anyway! :o) I am a convert to the Catholic faith but when I was Protestant I loved my NIV Thompson-Chain Reference Bible. It is bonded leather and started to fall apart so I bought a beautiful Kirkbride NKJV Thompson-Chain Reference Bible and was not near as fond of it as my NIV. The Kirkbride has a beautiful cover thought. :o) I liked the NIV translation because I could read it with ease, it made sense to me. My very favorite bible now is the Navarre RSV-CE New Testament but I would really love to own a complete, genuine leather, study bible. Any suggestions? PLEASE!