Tel-World Ministries




The Sabbath - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know



contents are property of the author

Bible Information
Steven Graessle

There are two major bible camps; Catholic and Protestant.

Bible Translations



Latin Vulgate

King James Version


The Standard Bible

Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition

Revised Standard Version

Jerusalem Bible

New American Standard

New American Bible

New King James Version

New Jerusalem Bible

New International Version

New American Bible
Revised New Testament

Today's English Version

New Revised Standard Version



The Catholic bible has 73 books. The 73 books were settled as canon by the church about 395 A.D.

The first widely used bible was the Latin Vulgate, the work of St. Jerome completed in the 4th century. By "widely" I mean used by the Church. Since there were no printing presses in the early days, bibles were extremely rare. This bible was used by the church for centuries and was declared free of error by the church at the Council of Trent. It was written in Latin and is the official bible of the Church. [This bible was never declared to be perfect or complete -- it is neither]

The first Catholic bible written in English was the Douay-Rhiems. It was finished in 1609. This bible was filled with "Thee" and "Thou" and "hast", etc. It was in common use in the United States until the 1960's and 1970's. It is considered a "literal" translation from the original texts. Incredibly, there was not another translation provided by the Church to it's flock in all this time, a span of about 350 years.

In the 1960's the Catholic Church accepted the accuracy of and adopted as it's own, the Revised Standard Version:CE. The Church added the deuterocanonicals and granted it's imprimatur. This bible was originally a protestant translation and is still considered to be one of the most accurate and beautiful of translations. It is considered a "literal" translation. This is the bible that was used for the readings in the Church when I was in high school, but I heard plenty of the old Douay-Rhiems also. This text is approved by the Church for use in the Mass.

The Jerusalem Bible was the next major translation in English. It was originally done in French, and then translated into English with a copyright date of 1966. The Jerusalem Bible is a "very dynamic" translation. This text is approved for use in the Mass.

There is extant a New Jerusalem Bible that is translated from the original texts directly into English and is inclusive and "very dynamic", with a copyright date of 1985. This text is not approved for use in the Mass.

The New American Bible was the next major Catholic bible to appear. It was translated from the original languages by a large team of Catholic scholars, along with a few protestant scholars. It is a dynamic translation. This bible was first published in 1970, and had a copyright date of 1970. There were reports of much bickering between the translators and church officials about the syntax and wording of well-known phrases and passages. The NAB was filled with non-traditional phrasings and odd syntax. In 1986 the New Testament was revised. The revision of the New Testament returned to more traditional phrasings and also to mildly inclusive language to the chagrin of most Catholic laymen and clergy. The reasons for the change are said to be political.

So at this point, the Catholic bible had two copyright dates; 1970 and 1986. The inconsistency of the style of the New Testament and the Old Testament were obvious and startling. In 1991, Church officials threw out the entire book of Psalms and replaced it with another translation that used inclusive language and removed all male pronouns. At this point, and to this day (3/21/98) the Catholic bible has three copyright dates. While there is no error in the NAB (with the exception of some of the footnotes) it is not generally regarded as a very good translation. Stand by&ldots;there is a Revised New American Bible in the works, and, you guessed it, it is completely inclusive. Only the 1970 copyright NAB is approved for use in the Mass.

Deuterocanonicals: Those seven books of the Old Testament that were removed by the reformers: Martin Luther and others. The removal was said to be doctrinal, but was mostly political. The deuterocanonicals are: Baruch, Sirach, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, and Wisdom. Also, parts of Esther and Daniel were tossed out. By the way, Luther also wanted to throw out, but was restrained: Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation (Apocolypse). The reason that the reformers removed these books was that they tend to support Catholic doctrines, such as purgatory, salvation by grace and works, prayer for the dead, etc.


Back To Previous Page