NRSVue Audio Bible with Apocrypha

Hendrickson Publishers plans to release the complete NRSVue with Apocrypha in audio format on August 8th. Currently, I can only find a product listing for the CD set. I’m hoping an Audible or MP3 version will also be available. The pre-order price for the CD set is currently listed at $73.99 on ChristianBook.

SBL Study Bible

HarperOne plans to release the SBL Study Bible featuring the NRSVue on September 12th. This will be a fully-revamped successor to the Harper Collins Study Bible. Previous editions of the Harper Collins Study Bible featured notes by members of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), and the new SBL Study Bible continues that tradition, with its new name emphasizing the SBL’s role. It’s worth noting that the translation updates in the NRSVue were also completed by members of the SBL. The pre-order price for the hardcover edition is currently listed at $36.99 on ChristianBook.

26 thoughts on “New NRSVue Resources Coming in Late Summer”

  1. As I mentioned under last month’s post on the Oxford Study Bible sale, I was expecting the new Harper Collins Study Bible soon based on a report by someone who worked on another upcoming Study Bible from Westminster John Knox Press, who said these next 2 years were going to be the time for all the NRSVue resources rolling out, so here it is. Either way, I think I’m content to keep the Cambridge NRSV Reference Bible, with some pen emendations I’ve made in light of the NRSVue where actual textual changes were made due to the most recent critical Greek text and not just them fiddling with the wording where I don’t think it’s necessary. Just that and a good commentary alongside it.

  2. Is Harper Collins in the lead when it comes to Catholic Bibles? It seems like there’s a major paralysis with Catholic publishing for a solid Catholic Bible. Whereas Harper Collins succeeds very well in producing a very nice array of NRSV-CE and NAB-RE editions. Is this enough reason to give Harper Collins my business and buy my Bible from them since they seem to serve the Catholic community what it’s lacking, or is it justified to “puritanically” choose only Catholic sellers and publishers for a Catholic Bible or text.

    1. A “w/apocrypha” edition is not a Catholic Bible, as of today, the 2021 edition of the NRSV has no Catholic Edition, I’m not sure if the imprimatur from 1989 is still valid, even though the changes are very insignificant, I think it will need to be reviewed all over again, and who knows how many years that will take.

      1. Pretty sure that an Imprimatur is no longer valid if a single word is changed, so no, it’s not valid.

        1. Well, I don’t think the rule is quite that strict, given the frequency with which modern Bibles see minor corrections, that would make Imprimaturs close to useless

          1. Yeah. Considering Ignatius Press claiming the RSV2CE is covered by the RSVCE’s imprimatur, the number of typos corrected in the American Douay-Rheims that were are still tied to that 1899 imprimatur, later printings of the Confraternity Bible differing ever so slightly from the text of the 1941 first edition but still carrying a 1941 imprimatur, and some other examples, I’m pretty sure the Church has the right to cover a later tweak under a previous imprimatur if it’s deemed insignificant enough. That said, the NRSVue has quite a few more significant alterations to the NRSV than the RSV2CE has to the RSVCE, so I’d assume it would need a new imprimatur.

  3. To be precise, this is what the Code of Canon Law says: “Can. 829 The approval or permission to publish some work is valid for the original text but not for new editions or translations of the same.”

  4. Well, and, I had thought I heard that the RSV2CE was in some ways a collaboration between Ignatius Press and officials at the Vatican to produce a liturgical version of the original RSV:CE that could pass the new rules that caused the original RSV:CE lectionary to be rejected. It was only later that the project was turned into a full bible available for purchase. I seem to recall also that the Vatican’s involvement was to such a degree that in some instances Ignatius Press themselves didn’t even understand why Vatican authorities made some of the changes that they did and were even somewhat frustrated at the lack of clarification they were given.

    All this to say, I really don’t worry too much about the status of the RSV2CE’s imprimatur, though I know that others do and I think they have some valid points, but it seems clear that the RSV2CE is very much a creature of Catholic origin and intended for the highest purpose, namely use as a Liturgical translation. I mean really, is there actually a question about appropriateness of any passage in the RSV2CE from a Catholic theological perspective that anyone besides a Douay-Rhiems only-ist would make?

    So to my mind at least, case of the NRSV:UE is a totally different case. It wasn’t the result of internal Catholic efforts to produce a Liturgical use translation, it was a product of secular academics to produce something more in line with the current academic consensus on how to understand the biblical texts. A worthy effort to be sure, but one that I think a Catholic without knowledge of the original languages and the current state of biblical scholarship should be much more cautious to accept. This to me is precisely the scenario where imprimatur is needed.

    1. I’d like to know more about the background of the RSV-2CE, now that you mention it. I’m pretty sure I recall hearing somewhere, maybe in the old blog’s comment section, that Ignatius Press once send out a DVD giving the background story of the RSV-2CE. If that memory is correct, I’d love to get my hands on that. Maybe I’ll contact Ignatius Press and see if they recall making any such DVD, or whether they can corroborate your recollection of the Vatican’s involvement in the revision. At the end of the day, I don’t worry about the RSV-2CE’s status because (A) Ignatius was allowed to use the RSV-2CE for the text of Benedict XVI’s “Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week” while Doubleday and Image used the 1971 RSV, (B) seemingly all of the RSV-2CE’s edits to the RSV-CE are supported by other Catholic translations that have been approved, (C) essentially every book that quotes the RSV-2CE has an imprimatur for all the other material contained within which seems like tacit approval of the translation, and (D) its lectionary got approved for the Ordinariate and their Divine Worship: Daily Office uses the RSV-2CE text.

      At this point in time, nearly 20 years since its debut, it’s fair to say that if the RSV-2CE wasn’t 100% approved, there certainly would’ve been intervention by now, multiple times over. Instead, every single case of it being used has been given the A-OK to print. As much as it’d be less confusing if someone, anyone, just slapped a new imprimatur on it, like what happened with the Knox Bible when Baronius Press revived it in 2012, it’s pretty clear that approval for the RSV-2CE is meant to be implied.

      The NRSVue, however, is not that case, like you said. As much as it’s practically being advertised as the “NRSV 2021 text edition” in some quarters, it’s by no means the 1989 NRSV that was given an imprimatur anymore. While I don’t doubt it will likely get an imprimatur eventually, because otherwise why was Word on Fire listed in the original NRSVue review sampler, we should not make assumptions yet.

    2. “The Vatican” did not participate in the revision. Ignatius wanted to get liturgical approval for the text, and when it was submitted, several changes were required to get that approval. In fact, getting liturgical approval is very difficult, even though it is a translation nearly 90 years in the making, at no point has the NAB ever gotten approval for use in the liturgy. The text read in Mass is not actually the NAB, it is “NAB plus hundreds of minor revisions required to get approval for use in the liturgy”, the version of the NAB read in Mass is not actually in print anywhere, it reflects no version of the NAB.

  5. The discussion here is a good one, and for the most part, does treat Imprimatur and translation for liturgical purposes as different activities. I would suggest reading Liturgiam authenticam Specifically, read Section 2: Other norms pertaining to the translation of the Sacred Scriptures and the preparation of Lectionaries (Paragraphs 34-48).

    After reading this, you can see the difficulty in taking any Bible translation and using it, as written, as part of the Lectionary. The difficulty comes from the requirement for conformity with the Latin Nova Vulgata. I know of no “Catholic” or otherwise translation that cites the Nova Vulgata as a source for their translations nor a goal in their translation approach. The USCCB is making an attempt at making their New Testament translation to meet, as written, to be used in a lectionary a goal; but I would suggest in the end, it won’t be successful. The NABRE Psalms are an example of compromises that after publication delays, an end product, in my opinion, that is not consistent with the rest of a wonderful Old Testament translation. Yet, it may be consistent with the Nova Vulgata.

    Lastly, I would suggest that if you want a word for word compatible Bible translation and a Lectionary translation then, we need an English translation of the Nova Vulgata with an imprimatur. I have not seen any publisher undertaking a Nova Vulgata translation. I end with a question: Why not?

    1. I think there’s a difference in emphasis between Church documents on Bible translation versus liturgical translations. Liturgiam Authenticam deals with liturgical documents, as you said. It calls for close adherence to the Latin liturgical texts. But other documents deal specifically with biblical translations. One that is printed in many Catholic Bibles is Divino Afflante Spiritu by Pope Pius XII. That document called for Catholic Bibles to be translated from the original languages (Hebrew and Greek, mostly) and gave favorable treatment to scholarly attempts to find the most likely reconstruction of the original text. Some relevant paragraphs from Divino Afflante Spiritu:

      “21. And if the Tridentine Synod wished “that all should use as authentic” the Vulgate Latin version, this, as all know, applies only to the Latin Church and to the public use of the same Scriptures; nor does it, doubtless, in any way diminish the authority and value of the original texts. For there was no question then of these texts, but of the Latin versions, which were in circulation at that time, and of these the same Council rightly declared to be preferable that which “had been approved by its long-continued use for so many centuries in the Church.” Hence this special authority or as they say, authenticity of the Vulgate was not affirmed by the Council particularly for critical reasons, but rather because of its legitimate use in the Churches throughout so many centuries; by which use indeed the same is shown, in the sense in which the Church has understood and understands it, to be free from any error whatsoever in matters of faith and morals; so that, as the Church herself testifies and affirms, it may be quoted safely and without fear of error in disputations, in lectures and in preaching; and so its authenticity is not specified primarily as critical, but rather as juridical.

      22. Wherefore this authority of the Vulgate in matters of doctrine by no means prevents – nay rather today it almost demands – either the corroboration and confirmation of this same doctrine by the original texts or the having recourse on any and every occasion to the aid of these same texts, by which the correct meaning of the Sacred Letters is everywhere daily made more clear and evident. Nor is it forbidden by the decree of the Council of Trent to make translations into the vulgar tongue, even directly from the original texts themselves, for the use and benefit of the faithful and for the better understanding of the divine word, as We know to have been already done in a laudable manner in many countries with the approval of the Ecclesiastical authority.”

      1. Marc,
        I agree with all you wrote regarding Bible translation. My point is that rules for translation of the Lectionary are different. Thus, in my view I am not confident that the goals for attaining the best translation from the original source documents are the same as for a translation in the Lectionary. The goal in the Lectionary translation, which is part of the liturgy, is the same as the goal in the overall liturgy; that is, that despite language differences it is the same experience worldwide. Hence the need of the Nova Vulgata as a source to standardize the liturgical experience. The best translation from the original source writings (Greek and Hebrew) will be the best translation that can be used for studying theology, useful in prayer, readability, and private prayer and study. I do not believe a single translation can meet both goals.

  6. Fundamentally the RSV-CE is quickly becoming another archaic translation and is largely overshadowed by it’s NRSV-CE successor. I speculate that a Catholic Bible has different ways of being incorporated into the life of a member of the Faith, such as the difference between Lectionary readings and private study of the Bible, therefore, naturally the liturgical versions are immediately modified in a more conservative/fit for proclaiming way while something like the NAB-RE is robust as a study version for private reading even though the Lectionary is based on it. After approximately four years of exploring what translations are and consist of for a (Catholic) Bible, I finally conclude by basing my choice on the list of approved translations on the USCCB website since they seem to have the most definitive and authoritative resources about how the Bible should be read and how to go about picking a translation.

    1. I certainly wouldn’t say that the RSV-CE has been “largely overshadowed by its NRSV-CE successor.” Given the massive popularity of Fr. Mike’s Bible in a Year podcast and the Great Adventure Bible becoming the #1-selling Catholic Bible following its release, I’d say, to the contrary, the RSV-CE is right now the English translation more new Bible-reading Catholics have been exposed to than any other in the last couple years, sans the lectionary NAB, and thus is probably in the strongest position it’s ever been in since releasing in 1966. The RSV-CE popularity from that podcast arguably stopped the ESV-CE’s potential growth in the U.S. in its tracks, and the widest circulation the NRSV-CE is getting right now, outside of Canada, seems to be from Word on Fire. Maybe I’m the minority here, but I’ve been seeing a lot of predictions about the RSV-CE’s inevitable fading away from being “archaic” and “lacking the modern scholarship” under several posts recently, and yet I only see the RSV-CE receiving arguably the widest new readership it’s had in its existence, fueled by the Bible in a Year podcast. The USCCB will eventually put out the updated NAB, and Word on Fire will eventually put out the final volume of their series with the NRSV-CE, and yet, after both those things are done years from now, Bible in a Year will still be welcoming another year of listeners as they continue to re-release and re-promote it annually. Far from being on life-support, I feel the RSV-CE got given a full-blown steroid shot and is better known now than ever before.

    2. To paraphrase a possibility apocryphal quote of Mark Twain, the reports of RSV-CE’s death are greatly exaggerated.

      Ever since I started following the old Catholic Bibles Blog years ago, we’ve all been predicting it’s eventual death and supplanting, first by the NRSV and then by the ESV, it hasn’t happened and if the talk about Crossway’s intransigence surrounding the ESV:CE’s use in Catholic study materials are true, it seems likely to me that the RSV2CE at least, has a long life ahead of it.

      I know we on this blog are very concerned with things like imprimaturs, the latest biblical scholarship, etc, and rightly so, but I just don’t think the average Catholic Bible buying public cares about that stuff at all. All they want is a Bible that has all the right books, sounds the way they think the Bible is supposed to sound (I.E. No overly aggressive inclusive language and Luke 1 says “full of grace” in the angelic salutation to Mary), and isn’t written in archaic language (looking at you Douay-Rheims).

      I mean before I started reading these blogs, I’d just pull a Bible off a shelf, do a few spot checks in the usual places, and if the translation sounded weird in any of those spots, it went back up on the shelf. I think most English speaking Catholic, especially in America, still do this. The RSV2CE has the added benefit of being in the Tyndale line, so I think it just naturally sounds “right” to most native English speakers.

      I also think that “Bible in a year” podcast from Fr. Mike Schmidt and the Great Adventure Bible from Ascension Press that it was based on really put the RSV2CE back in the average Catholic’s consciousness in a big way. Not to mention the RSV2CE is also the base text for all the Anglican Ordinariate’s liturgy, and I really believe once the word gets out about their version of Liturgy of the Hours, including lessons taken from the RSV2CE, I think it’ll further cement that translation’s position as the preferred translation among actual Bible reading Catholics.

      I mean, I like the NRSV, even prefer it to the RSV2CE, but it’s had 30 years to supplant the RSV in Catholic circles and it hasn’t even come close, and now that it’s being revamped into the NRSV:UE which may not even get an imprimatur, I just feel like it’s the one who’s days are numbered. The ESV was the one that I thought had a real shot and unseating the RSV among Catholics, especially since it’s the translation that suspect a lot of their evangelical friends are probably reading. But Crossway’s truly baffling stonewalling of groups like Augustine Institute are likely to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for the ESV as well. I’m actually VERY curious to see how the negotiations between Catholic Truth Society and Crossway go when CTS mentions that they’re gonna want to publish a version of the ESV with the liturgical changes made for Mass, the Abby Psalms, AND study notes and watch the representatives from Crossway’s heads explode. I really wonder if conflicts over that might cause the English Bishops to reconsider the RSV2CE as a lectionary, or perhaps the RNJB.

      All this to say, I think the RSV2CE has got plenty of life left in it, and I highly doubt it’ll be supplanted by anything anytime soon. (Unless Crossway manages to pull their heads out of their backsides, then maybe….)

  7. The translation question is a bit tricky.

    Liturgiam Authenticam itself says in n. 24: “Furthermore, it is not permissible that the translations be produced from other translations already made into other languages; rather, the new translations must be made directly from the original texts, namely the Latin, as regards the texts of ecclesiastical composition, or the Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek, as the case may be, as regards the texts of Sacred Scripture.”

    So, no document says that the translation must be made from the Nova Vulgata, however, it must be used to delineate canonical text and to choose among source versions if different ones exist, which happens in the deuterocanonical books. And… that’s where the problems start.

    On the one side, it sounds good. The Nova Vulgata is a revision of the Vulgate according to the original language texts, so *it seems* it should be able to play that role. However, I don’t think this was its original purpose. Its original purpose was to create a **Latin** text for Latin liturgical use, which would be conform to the original languages and to the Vulgate tradition, and not to create a universal Bible reference version.

    Here’s a couple of examples:
    1) For Tobit and Judith, instead of the Vulgate, it was the Old Latin (pre-Vulgate) version that was used as base, and later verified against the Greek text. This was done because they are drastically different. Tobit and Judith were written either in Hebrew or Aramaic, but we don’t have access to complete texts of those. It’s not very clear what texts Jerome was using for his translation but the result was quite different from the Old Latin whis was a translation of the Greek. So, in this case, the shift in the Latin translation is a good thing for the purposes of Liturgiam Authenticam (because the Nova Vulgata text is close to the modern translations, since they use the same original text base), however, the books are quite different from their Vulgate versions.
    2) I believe that the same choice (to take the Old Latin for the deuterocanonical parts) was done for Esther, at least partially. Jerome, in the Vulgate, has translated the protocanonical parts from Hebrew, and the deuterocanonical parts from Greek, which is a result pretty similar to modern Catholic translations (except for the order, modern translations put the Greek parts in their corresponding places in the text, and not all at the end of the book). However, if you look at the Nova Vulgata text, it contains important differences: it has some additional sections absent from the original Greek text (but present in the Nova Vulgata), and some sections are quite different, including the only excerpt of Esther that is in the Lectionary and is read on a Lent weekday. So this passage is quite a challenge to the composers of lectionaries.
    3) And, finally, there’s Sirach, which has a very long and complicated history. Basically, there are two Hebrew versions (none of which has survived completely), two Greek versions, and a Latin version which all have some differences. Modern translations usually follow the shorter Greek version, while the Nova Vulgata decided to keep at least some additions made only to the Latin version. Once again, this may have made sense for the Nova Vulgata, but is quite contradictory to the purposes of Liturgiam Authenticam.

  8. The above comments are justified, but to me the RSV-2CE may be the best translation on on liturgical grounds. When it comes to a Bible suited for study (of the ancient middle Eastern context) and incorporating it into your spirituality, then a translation that is more advanced and definitive is better such as the NRSV-CE, NAB-RE, or even RNJB. As for RSV-CE, yes it vindicates itself as a solid standard for Catholics but I believe this is a better translation for a more conservative/restrained approach to reading the Bible, whereas to me I think a translation that makes better use of sources like the Dead Sea Scrolls and such findings is superior in terms of accuracy and originality. On a superficial and subjective level, the RSV/NRSV/ESV seems extremely weird for a Catholic to use since it’s rooted in the KJV tradition and marred by a strongly Protestant history (which is not necessarily the main bad thing about it), while there are PLENTY of other translations (approved by the USCCB…).

    1. To be fair, we can say the KJV tradition is “extremely weird for a Catholic to use,” though the KJV New Testament is known to have followed the 1582 Rheims in nearly 3,000 places against other 1500s Protestant translations, and the present Challoner-Rheims turned around a century later and borrowed from the KJV. Then, the RV/ASV vindicated a number of Vulgate readings when revising the KJV, which then carried into the later RSV/NRSV/ESV, so it’s more complicated than just saying the KJV/RSV/NRSV/ESV are “marred by a strongly Protestant history.” Even the 1582 Rheims was influenced by Tyndale, Coverdale, and the Geneva Bible in places.

  9. You have a great point, if I were to choose it would have to be the NRSV-CE. How do you think the NAB-RE compares with the NRSV-CE, with maybe the NJB as the wild card. I feel like the NAB-RE compares more with the NRSV-CE and they both draw from the Dead Sea Scrolls. However if the NJB is overall a more definitive translation as a stand-alone Catholic Bible with it’s unique use of Y-h-w-h and those ancient names along with the dynamic equivalence, then surely that may be better in terms of originality. I have the NJB and it’s printed on a very well made format but I also ordered the NAB-RE from American Bible Society since I want to look at the notes. I don’t like how the NRSV-CE is so edited and used by such a vast pool of Protestant scholars to the point of ‘barely’ being Catholic enough and I don’t see the “ue” becoming a Catholic Edition. Perhaps if Catholics could out right buy out the NRSV(ACE) from it’s (mainline Protestant) copyright owners and do a thorough revision favoring the more Catholic-favored manuscripts and deuterocanonicals… Based on sheer language and depth of meaning in vocabulary, which from among these three do you think stand out? I feel like the best Bible for a Catholic is one that takes a middle-ground approach (though predominantly literal) to the literal-dynamic equivalence spectrum.

  10. Okay so I have just gotten an epiphany. I was thinking, my chief aim for choosing the right Bible to study (as well as for personal spirituality) should be one that is both rich in vocabulary and depth of meaning as well as clerically approved and accurate. This sounds most like the Ignatius RSV-SCE.
    So, since this translation is often used by Catholics like Trent Horn or for resources like the Ignatius Study Bible then perhaps I should subscribe to this one for my study, but it’s important to me to gain an understanding of both the archaeological substance as well as meditation on the mysteries of the sacred text so I’ve been quite consumed with comparing translations. How would you compare the Ignatius Bible, with the NAB-RE, NRSV-CE, and perhaps the (R)NJB based on the above mentioned attributes of linguistic depth and clerical approval-accuracy?

    1. In my opinion, the RSV-2CE is probably the closest thing to a Catholic-revised edition of the King James Version. The RSV itself has always been a bit spotty in the Old Testament, though to be fair, most translations are spotty there, including the JB and NJB. Nevertheless, the RSV-2CE retains much of the Tyndale English of the KJV but with many of the traditional Catholic readings reinserted, and without feeling too overcooked like the NRSV. There’s a reason they use it for all the converts from Anglicanism in the Ordinariate. Additionally, while this wasn’t originally the case back in 2006, nowadays the RSV-2CE has gained a large variety of study resources, resources that, often, will actually “correct” the RSV-2CE text for you, which in my opinion largely mitigates the criticisms of it being “outdated”. Be it the Didache Bible, the Great Adventure Bible, or the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, I think the RSV-2CE remains perfectly acceptable and think most (but not all) critiques of its purported “outdatedness” are overblown. Nine times out of ten, if a new Catholic asked me for a Bible, I’d hand them the Great Adventure Bible if they were brand new to learning about Christianity, and the Didache and Ignatius Catholic Study Bible if they were converts and/or RCIA. The only other I’d really consider would be Word on Fire’s ongoing NRSV-CE, also for those new to Christianity, like the Great Adventure Bible.

  11. This is very helpful feedback, thank you.
    I have been on and off with using the RSV-(2)CE for a while now, with concerns regarding how informed a translation is by the Dead Sea Scrolls since to me that’s important to have at least some insights from those ancient scrolls… But since the RSV is the first Bible to ever make use of those Dead Sea Scrolls then that must be a good omen. Now my selection of translations to compare consists of three: RSV-CE, NAB-RE, and NJB. I don’t want to read three simultaneously since I want to find one that is best for study (not devotion or liturgy) so which of these may be best for study? My natural guess would be for devotion—the NJB, for liturgical-life—the NAB(RE), and for study—the RSV-(2)CE. But WHY the RSV-CE, over the NAB-RE perhaps? I care most about weaving my personal impact as a Catholic in with my spiritual self-study life (of the Bible) so I went on Better World Books and bought a used original Ignatius RSV-CE (indigo paperback, not the second edition) since I care about supporting Better World Books, and so do you think this RSV-CE is a good choice for my read/study of the Bible as a new-ish Catholic? Something makes me sense that the RSV-CE is superior to the NRSV-CE since it was modified by the CBA and notable Catholic ecumenical Bible scholars of the 20th century whereas the NRSV-CE has not (actual) Catholic modification and is identical to the regular edition. The NAB-RE and NJB are my next alternatives, but I really WANT to like the RSV-CE I just don’t want to seem like a traditionalist by preferring and older translation.

    1. First, I would suggest not dwelling on what other people will think of your choice of translation. If you find the RSV-CE to be the best choice to help you learn the Bible, focus on studying Scripture and following God rather than on the squabbling and political views that people may or may not associate with one translation over another.

      Second, I’d push back on your suggestion that the RSV-CE is better than the NRSV-CE since it is a Catholic modification, while the NRSV-CE is identical to the regular NRSV. The Church encourages Catholic scholars to produce translations in collaboration with protestant scholars. The NRSV translation committee included both Catholics and protestants and was intended to be ecumenical from the start. From that standpoint, Catholics were more involved in producing the NRSV than the RSV, and a separate Catholic Edition was not necessary. I think one goal of ecumenical translations is to ensure both Catholics and protestants can use and trust the same translation. The NRSV and the Revised English Bible (REB) might be the best examples of that. Catholics were involved in both from the start, and there is no separate Catholic Edition of them that keeps Catholics and protestants in separate spheres (the only difference is the Deuterocanonical books in the Old Testament).

      Finally, I would say that the RSV, NJB, and NABRE are all good choices for study. In a way, it depends on what type of study you want to do. If you want to study the history of the Bible and learn the historical-critical scholarship, the NABRE is probably the best of those. If you want to study how Scripture informs and enriches our Catholic faith, both now and throughout history, the RSV has better resources in that regard (Didache Bible, Navarre Bible, etc). In a way, the NJB marries those two together. Its study notes include loads of historical scholarship but it also respects tradition and the importance of Scripture to the Catholic faith. That’s why I tend to recommend the NJB study edition (which is no longer in print, but can be found on the used market) as the best overall.

    2. Dillon,
      I like your way of looking at translations in the context of study, liturgy, and devotion. However, I would not overthink your strategy. The important thing is to regularly read and study the Bible and encourage and invite the vast majority of Catholics, who would have difficulty finding a Bible in their homes to do the same. Most “mainstream Bibles” (even the Protestant ones) will not drive you into apostasy. When in doubt about a verse or statements in a commentary have your Catechism close at hand. Remember, we are not a sola scriptura church; but rather a church that is like a three-legged stool: Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the teaching authority of the Magisterium. Further there are tools like Bible Gateway where you can create your own parallel Bibles. Also, for a single verse you can instantly see how more than 60 translations care for that single verse.

      How do you know you have the right translation for you? This is hard to articulate; however, when, while reading (study and devotion) when I stop, close my eyes, and sense a stillness and warmth, which I attribute to the Holy Spirit working in my spirit, then I know, the Word is working in me. Keep and use that Bible!

  12. Great feedback, this helps a lot. I try not to let others’ partisan biases influence my decision in choosing the right Bible for study. I’ve been trying to develop a “detente” towards the sort of cliques and various attitudes within Catholicism (at least in America), and on this endless quest for a “common” Bible even within our Church! It seems so factious and opinionated when I hear ultraconservative sentiment against the more hyper-liberal counterpart, it’s weird. For example, some conservatives disdain the JEDP hypothesis/documentary hypothesis of Mosaic authorship, and they outright hate on the NAB-RE because of it. I don’t reject the historical-critical method nor do I fully subscribe to any particular camp of Catholic thought. I try to take what is good from all (orthodox) sides of Catholic thinking whether it be liberal or conservative…

    At this point I’m gonna see for myself what sits well with me when it comes to translation, I’m a big advocate for conjoining the two liberal-conservative veins of thinking into my approach to learning about and reading the Bible. Perhaps I’ll read the RSV-CE with a more liberal commentary, and compare that to the NAB-RE combined with more moderate commentary. Another thing, it’s so peculiar to me, why do people dislike the NAB-RE so much if certainly the USCCB has to have good intentions in supporting it, I feel like the clerical-approval and academic staff behind it likely have a better understanding of those infamous notes and the linguistic style of the NAB-RE. Part of me wants to read the NAB-RE devoutly as if in SPITE of the prejudice against it and the distrust of its notes.
    I wish I could make a living analyzing these translations, it’s such a deep and mysterious topic that forms the ground of everything theological in the Catholic faith.

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