Thursday, October 2, 2014

Catholics and modern "bible" versions

Here is what a devout catholic wrote me in regards to bible versions. 

Note: The ESV is 94% identical to the RSV and is based on it.
"I'd say the vast majority of Catholics don't use the KJV.  It has never really been a part of faith experience of the majority of English-speaking Catholics.  Up until mid-twentieth century, most English speaking Catholic would have read the Douay-Rheims translations, which was completed slightly before the KJV. 

Now a days, Catholics read a whole host of translations, including the NRSV, RSV (RSV-2CE), NABRE, Jerusalem/New Jerusalem Bibles among others.  A very small group likes the ESV, particularly the edition by Oxford University Press that includes the Deutercanonical books.  

Personally, I use a number of translations.  I like the NRSV and RSV editions.  I think they both have good and bad points, but are both scholarly, literary, and trustworthy.  Sometimes, when I want to read a translation that is very different, I will read The Message."
I have a copy of the Catholic Douay-Rheims usually agrees with the modern versions such as the ESV, RSV, NRSV, NIV, etc. and they are all based on the same Greek texts (ditto the Latin Vulgate). 
The fact that catholics don't like the King James Bible but like the modern versions should be a red flag to any non-KJB believers. The only King James Bible believers I know of are IFB's and grace movement (mid-Acts dispensational) KJB believers are in good company while the modern version proponents are accompanied by Catholics (and Jehovah's Witness). 
In response to what I just said, some people point out that the Mormons use the King James Bible. That is true, they USE it but they do not BELIEVE it. They USE it and try to point out "errors" in it to trick people into following their religion (see chapter 9 of The King James Only Controversy--James R. White). 
The King James Bible and the Textus Receptus are notoriously non-Catholic bibles. If you have a modern version you are using a Catholic friendly version with Catholic Greek texts backing it up.

--Eli "Hoss" Caldwell

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