Friday, May 17, 2013

Catholic Bible Translation Poll After 5001 Votes

Which Catholic Bible Translation Do You Use?
Selection Votes 
New American Bible 21%1,046 
Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition 29%1,447 
New Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition 12%609 
New Jerusalem Bible 8%401 
Jerusalem Bible 8%377 
Douay-Rheims 18%880 
Good News Bible 2%115 
Christian Community Bible 3%126

UPDATE! A new poll is up on the right sidebar, so begin voting!


Larry said...

Probably time for a new one. Add the Knox and perhaps multiple selections. Maybe even an other button.

Michael Borges said...

I suggest updating the selection of translations to include Knox, NCB, NABRE, and ESV though its not available in Catholic edition.

Pomeranian Catholic said...


Timothy said...


I like your ideas, but may have to wait on including the ESV until it is actually out in an CE.

Timothy said...

Should I drop any of these translations?

Russ said...

I would drop the last three entries on that list.

Larry said...

Drop the last 3? But the D-R is voted 3rd on the list. If anything I'd group some of them. Say the Christian Community Bible and the New Community Bible together and maybe the Jerusalem, New Jerusalem, and New Catholic Bible. And while it would certainly be very far down the list I also wonder how many are using the Confraternity. And although it's a Catholic Bible Translation poll it would be interesting to see how many are using a non Catholic translation like the NIV, or Orthodox Study Bible, etc.

Timothy said...


I may do a seperate poll regarding non-Catholic translations sometime next week.

Deep South Reader said...

Can the USCCB take note that the Mass translation is NOT well received? That coupled with the "official annotations" are very doctrinally weak.

Biblical Catholic said...

You mean, I assume, the translation of the readings at Mass? Because the translation of the Mass itself is fantastic, a significant improvement over the 197o ICEL translation.

CJA Mayo said...

Add the KJV w/ Apocrypha. It's more Catholic than most modern translations, and is favoured by many Orthodox (and Eastern Catholics) as well.

I would rank it, above any modern version, except possibly the RSV, as "Catholic by acclamation" - it was not the intent of the translators, but it was their accomplishment.

Now, if only all of the King James Only publishing houses weren't so inveterately anti-Catholic, or, more accurately, anti-anything-not-Fundamental-Baptist....

Biblical Catholic said...

The KJV was on The index for centuries....and with good reason I think.

Francesco said...

I'd be more interested in seeing geographic information than a choice of different Bibles. How do your readers in different US regions differ from each other in the Bible they read and how do non-US English speaking Catholics differ from Americans?

Also, a number of the commenters here have said that English isn't their mother tongue or the language they are most comfortable with. Maybe some way of tracking that would be interesting.

Russ said...

The KJV? Yikes.

CJA Mayo said...

What renderings in the KJV can be objected to other than those of kecharitomene and presbuter in the NT? And the exclusion of the Apocrypha from modern printings, which was not the translators' intent?

It's a most correct Bible, along with the D-R, differing in small amounts (similar to the divergence in the critical and majority texts) only.

If one can let the NRSV New Oxford Annotated, or the NAB, receive imprimatur, any statement that the KJV shouldn't have one is rendered...illogical.

Biblical Catholic said...

OKAY....why do you think the Church condemned the KJV and put it on The Index for centuries?

If you don't catch the anti-Catholic bias in the KJV, then you're not a very attentive reader.

Biblical Catholic said...

Before we begin here...have you ever read the full 1611 preface to the KJV written by the translators? The entire preface is basically an extended polemic against the Catholic Church, in which they admit that part of the reason for their work was to refute and suppress Catholic ideas.

Jonny said...

I think that the presence of supposed un-Catholic renderings in the KJV is, for the most part, a moot point now, since the NAB among many others have received an imprimatur. Just look at a Haydock Bible: in the introduction to the NT it has a whole list of passages that are supposedly rendered with a Protestant bias in the KJV. Now, if one compares the modern Catholic translations, one will see that for the most part the King James renderings have been accepted. The point of the matter, in those days, was not that the KJV renderings were not possible according to the Greek, but that the renderings of the Vulgate, also allowed by the original language, sometimes made more doctrinal sense.

So therefore, at that time, there was no need to consider an imprimatur for the KJV, when the Catholic edition of the Bible was more doctrinally sound (not to mention the Clementine Vulgate being preferable to the Textus Receptus.) So if granting the KJV an imprimatur 400 years ago was considered unfavorable, wouldn't it now be practically absurd? I would refer the reader to Thomas Nelson's "The King James Bible Word Book" to get an idea of just how practically unreadable the KJV is today. There are some 600+ words that have either changed in meaning, or even mean completely the opposite now! There is an edition of the KJV from Thomas Nelson that attempts to define most of these archaic words (I believe it is called a "Reference Edition", but I don't believe any such edition of the KJV exists that contains the Deuterocanonical books.

I must confess, I do enjoy reading the KJV occasionally, but I mostly use it for comparison in conjunction with the DRV, RSV and Strong's Concordance. The KJV will many times show the DRV to be a more literal representation of the original languages, when comparing its translation notes and use of italics. It will, on the other hand, show itself to be what it is: an old Protestant interpretation of the Bible. Many modern Bibles, especially the RSV, have many similarities to the KJV, but I believe even more so the the Douay-Rheims. I think that one of the RSV's strongest points it the similarities it bears to both the King James and the Douay Rheims.

So now that Catholics have the RSV, which drastically improved the accuracy of the KJV, especially in terms of current english, and the traditional (but still more modern than the KJV) Challoner D-R, what would be the point of putting an imprimatur on the KJV?

Theophrastus said...

Michael (Biblical Catholic) is correct: "From the Translators to the Reader" contains a fair amount of anti-Catholic rhetoric. Recall that the King James was produced during the period of the "Recusancy Acts" and well before the "Catholic Emancipation." During this period, practicing Catholicism (or any religion other than the official state Anglican religion) in England was illegal.

The King James Version cannot therefore be regarded in anyway as a Catholic translation -- it is an official state translation from a state that outlawed Catholicism, and it introduces itself as an anti-Catholic translation.

Now, in fact, the King James translation is also a work of great brilliance and genius, and has profoundly touched English literature. For this reason, I would hope that all educated individuals would have at least some familiarity with it. But regardless of its literary merits, it is not a Catholic Bible.

citizen DAK said...

related to Jonny's quote,
"I would refer the reader to Thomas Nelson's "The King James Bible Word Book" to get an idea of just how practically unreadable the KJV is today. There are some 600+ words that have either changed in meaning, or even mean completely the opposite now!"

Not only does language include meanings that change over time, but meanings can be very context-sensitive: Use the same word in a different setting, or with a different audience, and 'kablooie'! (Mis-understanding!)

Theophrastus said...

words that have either changed in meaning, or even mean completely the opposite now

Well, I cannot agree with this reasoning, since it would lead one to believe that we should also not read Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Donne, Spenser -- or even the writings of American history (the founding fathers, the speeches of the Civil War era, etc.)

Shakespeare is still taught at most high schools in the US, Canada, Britain, etc.; and certainly one hopes that college graduates can read Shakespeare!


However, for those who find Early Modern English somewhat inaccessible, I can heartily recommend the Norton Critical Edition of the KJV -- its notes define all archaic words and offers helpful commentary. Robert Alter says (in a perceptive review) that the Norton "entirely eclipses the sundry 'study Bibles; now in circulation."

Volume 1 contains the KJV translation of the Hebrew Bible; and Volume 2 contains the KJV translation of the "Apocrypha" and New Testament.

Francesco said...


I left a comment on your new Catholic Bible poll, but I don't know if you saw it. If I wanted to vote for an out-of-date version of the NAB, how should I vote?

CJA Mayo said...

The KJV is full of anti-Catholic rhetoric in the Preface, and the Epistle Dedicatory. It was the product of an anti-Catholic state church. Its translators were likely anti-Catholic to a degree we'd find abhorrent.

I am a moderately attentive reader. I have detected less anti-Catholicism (or plain non-Catholicism) in the KJV than I have in virtually every modern Catholic Bible, let alone the apathy ("non-Catholicism") or hostility towards orthodoxy ("anti-Christianity" or "anti-Theism") of the sideline Protestant/ecumenical/secular/academic translations.

But they were honest, and aware of the awesomeness of their job: to translate the very oracles of God. (Or, to use the AV phrasing, "lively oracles".)

The result is a fair translation - much more fair than the NIV, arguably more fair than even the translation of the NAB or NRSV, disregarding notes (and, for the moment, disregarding textual and other scholarly debates as "modern knowledge", and going on what the translators themselves had available) - of God's Word written, that transcends the environment and even the men who gave it form.

The men and milieu were anti-Catholic: the product was not. I will not fault Symeon the New Theologian for being Orthodox, if his product is orthodox. I hope that a Protestant would not fault Thomas Aquinas because he was a Catholic (although many do), if his product was catholic.

CJA Mayo said...

And, yes, I have read the entire Preface. I won't buy a KJV without one, lest I forget what I use to the absence of alternatives.

It speaks of Papism, but is not, at that, anti-catholic (small "c"), in the sense of the "ancient ecumenical consensus" (to borrow a term from the Protestant Oden); the (N)KJV is the de-facto standard amongst Anglophone Orthodox of my acquaintance, and at parishes that I have passed through.

Timothy said...

I would vote just the NABRE then. I did it that way because there are multiple editions of the NAB and since all older editions are not allowed to be printed any more.

Jonny said...

I had previously thought that no single volume of the King James Version, complete with Deuterocanonical books, did an adequate job of presenting the archaic text to the modern reader.

I must report that I have found one edition that comes close, an American Bible Society edition.

This edition modernizes the spelling, such as “vail” to “veil”, “musick” to “music”, “shew” to “show” to name but a few (I don’t have a complete list.) This edition is much like the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible, except it fortunately retains the usage of “mine”, and “thine” as in the original. It also retains the italicized words and includes the stress marks for the proper names. Like the Cambridge edition it is also paragraphed, and although quotation marks are not employed, the page spacing and layout is more ascetic and readable.

The second benefit that makes this ABS edition useful it the conformity, for the most part, of OT names cited in the NT and Deuterocanonical books. For example, in Matthew 1 you have “Judah”, “Boaz”, and “Uriah” instead of “Judas”, “Booz”, and “Urias”. In Luke 1 you have “Zechariah” instead of “Zacharias.” It is “Elijah”, “Noah”, and “Jeremiah” instead of “Elias”, “Noe”, and “Jeremy.” You get the idea, it follows the format of other modern editions.

There are a few more extras included in this “Study Bible”, but the most significant to me was the glossary of archaic words in the back. There are over 500 listed, and reading though these would also benefit readers of the Douay-Rheims. There are some text notes, but they are not original, but based on modern scholarship. There are also a decent amount of cross-references throughout, even in the Deuterocanonical Books.

The Norton Critical edition was also mentioned in an above post. This one honestly does give more bang for the buck by far, although the modernizations to the text I listed above are not included with this edition. The ABS edition is one smaller hardback as opposed to the two large paperbacks, and might be preferable for someone who wants to casually read or reference the KJV without the massive notations and extras included in the Norton Edition. For a more thorough review of the ABS edition, check out the review column attached to its Amazon listing.