Friday, July 31, 2015

NCV Answers

Thanks to reader Lenny for receiving the following information directly from Catholic Book Publishing:

Thank you for your inquiry concerning the New Catholic Version (“NCV”) of the New Testament published by Catholic Book.  


Regarding the purpose of the NCV, we sought to provide a clear, faithful, and accurate translation that would allow for a more global reach than the New “American” Bible (NAB) translation. Since becoming the original publisher of the NAB in 1970, we have met resistance over the years in marketing that translation internationally. We do continue to support and publish the NABRE. Being able to offer a translation with a more universal name, however, can only serve to provide English-speaking Catholics worldwide with another version to satisfy their interest in, devotion to, and study of the Word of God. In fact, seeking authorization and approval for the translation from the Episcopal Commission on the Bible Apostolate in the Philippines is very much in line with this purpose—considering it is a country of over 80 million Catholics. It is interesting to note that America has fewer (approximately 73 million).


We commissioned a highly qualified team of translators headed by noted and respected biblical scholar Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM Conv., S.S.L. The team began their work on the completely new and original NCV translation (from the Nestle Aland Greek New Testament, Biblia Hebraica, and the Aramaic) some 20 years ago, with efforts focused on both the Psalms (favorably received, especially with regard to its copious and informative footnotes when released in 2002) and the New Testament since these are considered the books with the greatest appeal for Catholics. Their commitment and dedication have achieved a trustworthy formal equivalence translation.


In accord with the Code of Canon Law, the Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines granted a Rescript approving for publication the New Testament Books of the St. Joseph New Catholic Version and stating that the translation is intended for private use and study only and may never be used for liturgical purposes.


Anonymous said...

So would it mean that the NCV will be also available in the Philippines?

Anonymous said...

As a protestant observer I still find it strange the very low key (almost non existent ) publicity attending this very important publication.
Unless someone blows a trumpet virtually no one is going to know about it.

Anonymous said...

Considering that it appears that the intent is to primarily market this translation outside the U.S., at least initially, it makes sense that there hasn't been much (any) publicity in the U.S.

Michael P.

Christopher Buckley said...

See my comments on the original NCV post about nomenclature. Though the original intent of the "New American" Bible name was to celebrate its originality, for decades later it only conveys territoriality. No matter how good the translation, calling it the NAB limits it as the "Bible for Abeyance." I hope they completely change the name when the revised NAB NT comes out.

Bible for Catholics in English (BCE) works for me. :-)

Thanks Lenny and Timothy for the additional insight. Wonder if an NCV OT is in the works?

Jeff S. said...

At this point, you're the only one who's actually seen the
New Testament and perhaps also the Psalms. What other translation(s)
do you liken it to? I'm tempted to buy both of them for myself and
two families I'm friends with.
In terms of size, does the smaller size at least have a large enough
font to read easily. I'm figuring it does since it is listed as being 704 pages as compared to the 691 for the Confraternity Pocket Edition sold by Scepter at
I own the latter and find it quite attractive physically in terms
of how the pages look and ease of reading them and it is 3" x 5".

So this NCV New Testament is 3.75" x 5.25" in their
"Vest Pocket" size so it should be quite readable also.

Their Psalms is listed as 400 pages and a size of 4.375" x 6.75".
This is somewhat bigger than the reprint of the 1947
"My Daily Psalm Book: The Perfect Prayer Book" (Fr. Frey)
which is about 3.5" x 5.25".

Biblical Catholic said...

I don't think that they are going to rename the NAB, at least not rename it with a name that uses the word "Catholic", they deliberately avoided using the word "Catholic" because they wanted it to be an ecumenical Bible and calling it a Catholic translation immediately limits the potential sales to Catholic buyers only.

This the same reason why the Holman Christian Standard Bible which was commissioned and is owned by the Southern Baptist Convention, is not called "The Baptist Translation", even though that is pretty much exactly what it is.

Jeff S. said...

I went ahead and ordered both the Psalms and NT from them.
(along with copies for two devout Catholic families I'm friends with).
It will be interesting to compare certain "litmus test" verses
with other translations. They say they send by UPS so assuming they
send the items tomorrow(Monday), I should have them by Friday.
Once they arrive I'll look for what I know to be "litmus test"
passages and let you all know here. And if anyone wants to know
about some other passage, I'll be glad to look it up and post it.

In fact, how about those of you who have an interest in that testing let me know here in advance, and so I'll just methodically look them
all up and type in the results here. It will be very interesting to
get feedback from those of you who are much more theologically knowledgeable than I am. I've learned a lot from reading posts over the last several years on this excellent blog site. It's really great that Timothy has invested his time, effort, and expertise in
starting it and that his readership has joined in the activity.
It's wondrous to behold and I feel so lucky or the better word would be "blessed" to have come across this website a few years ago.
I never would have known about the Didache RSV-2CE and Didache NABRE
put out by Ignatius Press and Midwest Theological Forum had I not frequented this site.

Timothy said...

Thanks Jeff. To be honest, the main reason I keep this going is due to readers like you. The feedback and comments have always been a great help to me. I also hope we, and I do mean "we", have been able to be a small voice to inform Catholic (and other Christians) about what is out there. Things have gotten remarkably better in the past 8 years, and I have high hopes for the future. Just keep buying good, quality Catholic Bibles!

Biblical Catholic said...

Please, all of you who choose to purchase this, read it and post a full review. I own a truly ridiculous number of Bibles, including partial Bibles of only the New Testament or Old Testament, or individual books. I have several big boxes in my closet filled with nothing but full or partial translations of the Bible. This one is not available as an e-book, so if I'm going to buy it, I would have to buy a paper copy, increase the number of Bibles I own, so before I pay for it, I want to know that it is worth the money. I'm not buying any more paper books unless they are not available any other way and it is worth taking up more storage space.

Timothy said...


If you have a few verses you'd like me to post just let me know. If be happy to do so. Also, you can get a compact for $7.

Jeff S. said...

Timothy and Biblical Catholic,
Other than Luke 1:28 in the NT
and the first word of the first Psalm,
I don't know what the other "litmus test"
passages are in the Psalms and NT.

I'm anxious to know what those passages are
considered to be by those on this blog, so
I can make a beeline to them as soon as I receive
my copies later this week.

Timothy can list his NT choices now since he actually has the NT.
My guess is that this NCV has moved in a "conservative" direction
and thus will have renderings that pass traditional litmus tests.
But of course reality will give its own opinion when I see the texts
within the next week. I'll bet it's somewhat similar to the
Confraternity of the 1940s-1960s. What will be interesting will be
"which" Psalms is it closest to, the earlier Confraternity Psalms of
say 1948 or the later ones of 1954/1955 and onwards.

Biblical Catholic said...

I don't know about anybody else, but I don't really believe in the concept of 'litmus test verses' because I don't believe that it is a fair criterion to judge a Bible translation, I'm more interested in your impression of the translation as a whole.

The only time I can think of where I ever gave up on a translation due to the translation of one verse is the Kingdom New Testament by NT Wright. He translated "and Joseph had no relations with Mary until after...." the addition of that word 'after' which is neither in the Greek nor implied by the Greek, led me to just throw out the entire translation, because that is a level of dishonesty that rivals the Watchtower Society.

Other than that rather extreme case I've never judged a translation on the basis of a single verse.

rolf said...

There is a New Century Version (NCV) Bible out there also, so beware running internet searches for NCV.

Timothy said...


I was just thinking about that. Perhaps another name could have been chosen? 😜

Michael Demers said...

How about dropping "New Catholic Version "and just call it The Saint Joseph Bible?

Anonymous said...

When I was a Protestant - I converted in 1999 - I always used to check to see if Isaiah 53:5, Psalm 22:16(17) and Zech 12:10 were translated as "pierced." I would also check to see if Isaiah 7:14 was translated as "virgin" or not. But even back then, all things considered, the results weren't necessarily a game changer.

These days the only "litmus" test I adhere to strictly, is the font test. If it doesn't pass that test, I'm not buying it.

Which reminds me, does anyone know what the font size is on the NCV? ;-)


tihald said...

I have a copy of the Psalms and can report it has a nice easily readable font size with very minimal bleed through. It also has copious notes and a rescript from the USCCB. Psalm 22:17 reads as 'pierced' and Psalm 1 begin: 'Blessed is the man..'

As a further example here is Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall lack.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me to tranquil streams.

He restores my soul,
guiding me in paths of righteousness
so that his name may be glorified.
Even though I wander
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are at my side,
with your rod and your staff
that comfort me.

You spread a table for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Only goodness and kindness will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever and ever.

And this particular psalm has 7 footnotes. Also the main text is divided from the footnotes by a cross-reference section.

Anonymous said...

Hello, tihald,

Thank you for the font information and also for the selection. As I've learned more about the NCV I've been leaning towards buying the Psalms just because of what I've heard about the notes.