Check it out! I finished copying down the whole bit about The Bible and Catholic Life. I took it from my NAB St. Joseph Personal Size Edition. I strongly recommend you read it. It tells you a lot of important stuff including what the Bible is, how it came to be, why it should be read, how it should be read, and its application for Catholics.

The Bible is incredible. You discover so much wisdom in it. It truly can reach into both the simplest of minds to the most complex. In the NT, you find more direct messages. In the OT, much of the messages is implied and verses found in the NT can be related to those found in the OT. Prefigurations are done this way. In this way, God reveals the future in the past and proves its fulfillments when appropriate. So if you are reading God's Word in deep study, it is highly recommended that you use the cross-references and footnotes provided. It would be of course to your benefit to make use of a couple of good commentaries as well as various theological papers. Also meditate on what you've read. You don't have to read large chunks and memorize large chunks. What's more important is that you understand the message (the meaning) of those passages. If you read enough of the same passages with enough concentration, you should be able to recite the verses easily because you'll be reading them over and over again in order to really grasp the meaning. There is no need to memorize them exactly word for word because you would only be reading from one version which will not be worded exactly the same as another version. I don't think there is any defined minimum amount of time you should spend in reading God's Word. What's probably more important is how much of the message you got out of it and how deep your thoughts and insights on the passages are. Usually, of course, you would probably have to spend at least quarter of an hour in order to get the fruits. And if you have a real interest in knowing the Wisdom of God more and more, you would probably find yourself spending hours everyday. Believe me, if you truly have an interest in reading the Scriptures, those hours can go by really fast.

Then again, you might also want to ask yourself why you want to read the Bible in the first place. Are you just looking for advice on how to handle certain situations ethically with others or with yourself? Or are you interested in how certain concepts are portrayed in the Bible? Or are you interested in prophecy and prefigurations? If you are just looking to renew yourself everyday and strengthen and keep your faith in God, I think a daily devotions booklet or something like that will be useful enough for that purpose.

Catholic bibles that I know of are the: Revised Standard Version, Catholic ed. (also found as Ignatius Bible), New Revised Standard Version, Catholic ed. (which is used in Canadian lectionaries), New Jerusalem Bible, New American Bible, Latin Vulgate (by St. Jerome in the early 400's), and Douay-Rheims Version. There is also the Today's English Version (Catholic Ed.), Knox's Version (a translation done by the genius Catholic convert Ronald Knox) and the Chinese Catholic version (if that's the real name). And would you believe it?! The Protestant GospelCom actually has the Latin Vulgate in its entirety!!!

As for Protestant versions, there are many. A Chinese version is the Chinese Union Version which as far as I know is pretty much the same as the Catholic version except for some of the names. There's also the New International Version (which is a very popular Protestant version) along with the King James Version (KJV) which is another popular Protestant version. The NIV doesn't have the deuterocanonical books. There is, however, an exception for the KJV (the original KJV which came out early in the 17th century had the D-C books). But most KJV bibles that you find in stores do not contain them. There's also the Life Application Bible which is obviously a Protestant version. Its translation style is characterized as being "paraphrasitic". This means that the group of scholars paraphrased (made into their words) the manuscripts which they rely on for translation. This is bad obviously for two reasons: (1) Protestant bias, and (2) you can't do formal bible study from it. There's also the Living Translation (both the original version and the new version). Its publisher is Tyndale House which is protestant. But I don't know whether the translation text itself is biased or not. According to the list of scholars found in the book, one of them is at the Catholic University of America, so who knows what his doctrinal position is. Some other ones are from non-, trans-, or multi-denominational so they could be Protestant, Greek Orthodox, or Catholic. (and maybe even a Jewish or two.) And that reminds me, there is bible that I don't hear of much (nor seen) called "The Common Bible" which is suppose to be a joint translation from scholars of different Christian traditions.
Other versions used by Protestants include: the Contemporary English Version, TEV, NRSV, Amplified Bible, and New American Standard Bible. And then the Reformed translations including the Geneva and Luther's German (which was based heavily on the Vulgate).
Also to note is that the popular bible search engine provided by GospelCom (link listed down there) provides the RSV and KJV as without the Deuterocanonicals. {not too surprising since GospelCom is protestant/evangelical}

Anyhow, an interesting observation is that there is a fundamental division among Protestants in that some are "King-James only" Protestants. The name explains. Others except both versions. As for me, I sometimes have doubts about the accuracy and unbiasedness of the NIV. If you look at the introduction in the beginning, you find that they say the NIV was translated by a group of over a hundred scholars. A bunch of denominations were then listed. But all those denominations were Protestant. It immediately struck me that the translation was likely to be bias - maybe not within the Protestant circle - but almost certainly within the more general/bigger Christian circle. And so I personally prefer the King James against the New International since original translators of the KJV were more closer doctrinally to the Catholic Church and therefore should not be nearly as protestant-bias. That's of course not to say that the original King James is Catholic-biased. It's a more trustworthier version anyway because the scholars of the 17th century are likely to have better access to the older manuscripts than 20th-century scholars. On the other hand, both the NAB (first published in 1970) and the Douay-Rheims (first published in ) are done entirely by Catholics.
See this page by Steve Ray for a small critique of the NIV.

Go back to my Bible Apologetics Page! Go back to my Bible Apologetics Page...

Some Bible References

You might want to have a look at this page on Catholic Scriptural Resources as well as St. Sophia's Library.

Here's a mix of anti-Catholic and anti-NIV materials in one tract! (from an extremist organization "Former Catholics For Christ") ==>

More links to come later in the Spring...

Go back to the: top | Apologetics Page | Religion Page.