Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines & Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Dina Staggs wrote:

Hi, guys —

Here's some background information:

  • I am a 23-year-old wife who lives in the United States.
  • I was raised Protestant seeing my side of the family are all Protestants.
  • I converted to Catholicism when I was a teen. My husband and I are both Catholic.

My question:

  • Is it wrong for Catholics to use Protestant Bible translations?

Some Catholics say that I'm doing wrong by reading Protestant Bible translations. I don't understand how this could be wrong. From the best I can tell, they both have the same message.

Here is a list of the Bibles translations I use.  Maybe this will help with answering my question:

  • Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (My favorite Catholic Bible)
  • New American Bible
  • Good New Translation Catholic Edition
  • New King James Version (My favorite Protestant Bible)
  • King James Version (I don't use this one much)

I have only had the following translations for a few days and haven't had the time to read them yet. They were given to me:

  • English Standard Version (I've heard this is a really good transition)
  • New International Version
  • New American Standard Version



  { Is it OK for Catholics to use Protestant translations of the Bible? }

John replied:

Hi Dina,

There is nothing per se wrong with using a Protestant translation. Some of them are excellent. You just need to be careful and read any study notes with a critical eye.

I'm glad to see you use a variety of translations. The fact is ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic (the biblical languages) are far more rich and nuanced then contemporary English. Hence, a person serious about studying Scripture should never rely on just one translation, because no one translation is perfect.

I own at least one copy of each of the translations you mentioned. I also use the Orthodox Study bible. It uses the New King James for the New Testament and Psalms. For the Old Testament it has a completely new translation done by Orthodox scholars, who used the Septuagint (Greek) rather the Masoretic text (Hebrew and Aramaic). In addition to being an interesting translation, there are some great Patristic notes.

In addition, I'll sometimes refer to a couple of Jewish sources.

  • The Tanakh, [the Old Testament (39 book canon) translated in to English by the American Jewish Publication Society], is an interesting translation.
  • I also use the Jewish New Testament, translated by a Jewish convert to Christianity, David Stern.

Of course anytime you use a non-Catholic translation or Bible, you need to be careful.

Obviously, the Protestant Old Testament is missing books. On the other hand, the Orthodox Old Testament has additional books. In some instances, I've found additional texts and verses in Orthodox Old Testament in the books we share in common, so as I said, you need to be careful.

I happen to share your favorites. The RSV-CE (Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition) is by far the best Catholic translation. On the other hand, I think the New American Bible has all the poetic majesty of a small soap dish.

I also very much enjoy the rhythm and style of the (NKJV) New King James Version. Both the NKJV and RSV-CE are excellent translations.

If the NKJV included the entire Catholic Old Testament, I'd have to go with NKJV.

God Bless,

John D.
[related posting]

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.