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 Post subject: Which Bible?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:28 pm 
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Hey everyone. As a new Roman Catholic, I was wondering what everyone's thoughts were on which of the Bible translations out there is the best for someone like me. I've heard that there is something of a controversy between the New American Bible, Revised Standard Version, and Jerusalem Bible. I'm not too sure what the differences are, so help would be appreciated. Also keep in mind that I want to stay as far away from liberalism and Modernism as possible, while still appreciating the benefits that modern science can bring to our understanding of the Bible.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:31 pm 
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Hi CatholicSage

We recently had a thread on this topic. You may find this helpful

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:10 pm 
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Thanks! That's quite helpful.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:35 pm 
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Location: looking for the choir loft...
Here's a good article from Catholic Answers on the differences between various translations...

http://www.catholic.com/library/Bible_T ... _Guide.asp


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:42 pm 
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I like the NAB because of the good headliners, but I'm concerned with some of the percieved watered down verses that seem week to me.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 7:06 am 
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Hi!

There are several different types of Bibles, and they all exist on a 'continuum' of sorts between two extremes.

The extremes I am referring to are "Literal/Word-for-word" translations, and "Dynamic Equivalent" translations.

Literal/Word-for-word translations as much as possible preserve the original meaning of the text because, any other form of translation involves heavy interpretation on the part of the translator (in spite of their best intentions). This type of translation as much as possible involves a DIRECT translation of each word, rather than finding equivalent meanings of an entire sentence or paragraph and THEN putting the understanding of that meaning into English.

A dynamic equivalent translation is just the opposite. It involves reading the original text for meaning, and then writing that meaning in English.

There are many bibles that fall within these extremes.

Some versions you may have heard of are:
Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition)
New Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition)
New International Version
St James
Good News
Christian Community Bible
Douay-Rheims Bible
Navarre Bible
New American Bible
Jerusalem Bible

When choosing a bible you should take into account the purpose for which you intend to use the bible that you end up choosing.

If you want a study Bible, you are better off finding a Bible that is on the Literal/Word-for-Word end of the continuum. Something like the RSV (Revised Standard Version) is very good here. I would certainly recommend this. The other study bible that is very good is the Navarre Bible. The Navarre Bible is a multi-volume Bible that includes an extensive and very reliable commentary with cross-referencing galore. The New American Bible is also quite good - a very accessible Bible for someone who is feeling less confident about attacking some of the more scholarly bibles. I'd tend to steer clear of a dynamic equivalent bible here.

If you want a prayer Bible, its a matter of taste. I personally prefer the Douay Rheims version for prayer. Its beautiful, but some people find the 'old english' very hard to deal with. Its translated directly from the latin vulgate, not from an original text. A very good bible, but be aware of these things if you select it. A dynamic equivalent bible would be fine here as well. A bible from anywhere on teh continuum is fine for prayer, to be honest. Its all about preference.

If you want a bible that is compatible with what you hear each day/Sunday in the Liturgy of the Word at Mass, you should check the lectionary for your region.

In the United States I think its the NAB (New American Bible) and in Australia and New Zealand its the Jerusalem Bible. I don't know about other countries.

As a new Catholic you might not be aware of the Liturgy of the Hours/Divine Office. So many Catholics aren't, even though its the official prayer of the Church!!! I have a great love for the Office myself, and I think its a wonderful way of praying every day with the entire Communion of Saints!! But if you end up praying the office at any stage, check what version of Scripture your breviary (the book containing the prayers and order of the Divine Office) uses.

Just as an aside, I'd personally steer clear of:
-St James Bible
-New International Version
-New Revised Standard Version
These all tend to be a little on the dodgy side; because they tend towards the dynamic equivalent, and are protestant bibles, some of the ideas that have filtered into them through interpretive translation are very incompatible with Catholic teaching. They are also missing 7 books!!!

Anyway, I hope some of that information helped you!!

God bless. :)

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