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Choosing Your Bible

Bible Translation:
The Catholic Bible is comprised of seventythree books. Twenty-three books are from the Hebrew Bible (the), along with seven Deuterocanonical books to make the Old Testament; and twenty-seven books, shared by all Christians, to make the New Testament.
The original texts of these books are written in a collection of Greek (Septuagint) and Hebrew. An issue therefore arises when translating the original texts into other languages, as meanings can be lost or altered depending on the perspective of the translator.
To help avoid this problem, in the 16th century the Council of Trent declared the Latin Vulgate the official translation of the Bible into a singular text. So you get some English translations that are translated from the Vulgate and some that are translated from the Greek and Hebrew and even some that are translated form an already existing translation in another language.
While all the English translations vary to some degree the ones approved by the Catholic Church are carefully choose and are considered to be complete and accurate translations.
Bibles Reccomended For:

- For academic study:

 


- Most accurate translation?


- For personal reflection and meditation?
- To read the readings of the day in the same form as you would hear in the Mass?
Asking yourself these questions will help you choose from the selection of Bibles approved by the Catholic Church.


The Jerusalem Bible (TJB or JB) - CTS Bible
Produced in 1966 by a distinguished team of translators from a very highly regarded and scholarly French text, La Bible de Jérusalem. For the past 40 years, this has been the official version read at Mass in England. Easy to read and of high literary quality.
Recommended for: Academic Study, personal reflection/meditation, reading what you would hear in the Mass and ease of reading/ understanding.
The New Jerusalem (NJB)
A comprehensive revision of the Jerusalem Bible produced in 1985 by a team led by Dom Henry Wansborough. Reflects what was then up-to-date scholarship, but has lost some of the fluency and readability of the original JB; sometimes resorts to awkward paraphrasing ("lepers" have become "people with a virulent skin disease").
Recommended for: Academic study.
Revised Standard Version (RSV) - 1st Edition
P reduced in 1965 (NT) and 1966 (OT) 1-- based on the 17th century Authorised Version ("King James Bible") but significantly revised in light of better textual scholarship and changing use of the English language. Retains a good deal of traditional language. The Navarre Bible commentary uses this text.
Recommended for:
Revised Standard Version (RSV) - 2nd Edition
Lightly revised version of RSV produced by Ignatius Press, removing the traditional language to make the text more readable. Mostly identical to the older RSV. The Ignatius Study Bible uses this text as the basis for its commentary.
Recommended for: ease of reading/ understanding.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
P reduced in 1989 by American scholars, it is a comprehensive revision of the RSV based in recent scholarship. It uses inclusive language to avoid using male pronouns and has been criticised for this as it sacrifices literal accuracy. Only used in the liturgy in Canada.
Recommended for: academic study and those familiar with the Canadian liturgy.
New American Bible (NAB)
P reduced in 1970 by the US Catholic 1ft Bishops' Conference. Argued to be of lower literary quality than the JB, and less wellregarded by scholars than the NRSV. Heavy use of American idioms. Only used in the liturgy in America. The Collegeville Bible uses this text as the basis for its commentary.
Recommended for: Those familiar with the American liturgy.
Christian Community Bible (CCB)
P reduced in 1988 by the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines. It contains pastoral notes and explanations that make it good for private study and reflection. It has been criticised for occasionally use of colloquial language.
Recommended for: Academic Study, personal reflection/meditation and ease of reading.
Good News Bible (GNB)
Produced in 1966 by Protestant scholars as an alternative to the highly ceremonious older translations. It is heavily paraphrased which has been argued compromises its accuracy. Used a lot by schools.
Recommended for: Comparison of translations.
Knox Bible
Produced in 1950 by Monsignor Ronald I~ Knox. Written in what Knox intended to be "timeless English", is now often criticised as dated. Nevertheless it has some passages (particularly in the Pauline letters) that are considered to be of enduring quality.
Recommended for: Comparison of translations.
Douay-Rheims Bible
Produced from the Latin Vulgate in the 17th century as a Catholic alternative to Protestant translations. While it is considered a classic translation and of historic interest it has been criticised for its difficulty to understand. Several times revised; the versions now available represent the revision done by Bishop Richard Challoner in the 18th century.
Recommended for: Comparison of translations and those interested in the history of the translation of the Bible.
Nicholas King Bible
Produced in 2013 by the English Jesuit )C Nicholas King, it aims to reproduce the exact effect of reading the texts in the original language so features grammatical slips, colloquialisms and a range of different styles for different books. Translated from the Greek Septuagint text rather than the Hebrew.
Recommended for: Comparison of translations.


Why does the CTS not Stock Some Bibles?
A II the English language bibles we stock are
I\.. Catholic editions. This means the text has
been officially recognized by the Catholic Church
as being accurate and complete. Some Bibles
exist in both Catholic and non-Catholic versions;
the non-Catholic versions may omit some books
(or put them in an appendix labelled "Apocrypha")
and may contain translations of particular words
or phrases that the Church does not consider
accurate. We stock only the Catholic versions of
these translations.

There are many other translations of the Bible
that do not exist in Catholic versions; this means
that they have not been certified as being
complete and accurate. A list of a few popular
editions we do not stock for this reason are next to this.

 
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