Buy the Book: Not All Bibles Are Created Equal. Here's How to Not Get Lost in the Translations

By Camille, Alice | U.S. Catholic, January 2013 | Go to article overview

Buy the Book: Not All Bibles Are Created Equal. Here's How to Not Get Lost in the Translations


Camille, Alice, U.S. Catholic


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

I need a Bible. What kind should I get?" My sister sounded frustrated as she described her quest for what she'd imagined would be a simple purchase. As the Bible is a sacred text of such magnitude, she'd figured all versions would be more or less on the same page.

But after facing the avalanche of selections on Amazon.com, my sister conceded defeat. She didn't care whether the book came in a zippered pouch or had the words of Jesus printed in red. The cover didn't matter, whether it was done in "purple shimmer" or imitation leather--though she wondered about God's authentic word being presented in fake covers.

She had simply typed in "Bible" and was presented with more than 320,000 options. That was several hundred thousand too many. So she tried a more specific search for "Catholic Bibles" and still came up with 14,000.

The Catholic selection increased her confusion. The Douay-Rheims version claimed to be "church authorized." Some Bibles promised not to "dumb down the text." Some volumes declared they contained the Holy Bible, and others merely advertized that they were devotional. Scores were "revised"--from what, she dared not imagine.

I asked my sister what she wanted the Bible for. "Homework," she admitted. The kids were of an age that their religious instruction involved looking up passages. My sister was chagrined to discover she didn't have a single, sturdy, no-kidding Bible she could count on.

People go Bible shopping for all kinds of reasons. No one Bible will meet all those objectives. While 320,000 options may be excessive, there are far fewer choices than such an inflated list implies.

The key to finding the right Bible is often in the sea of acronyms that accompany many titles: NAB, NRSV, NIV, and KJV being among the most familiar. These signify the translation used, the most significant consideration of any purchase.

So here are some pointers to consider in your next Bible hunt. In general, most Catholics will be more satisfied with a designated Catholic Bible than any other, because it includes seven books omitted by Protestants during the Reformation. Those books do show up in the readings we hear at Mass from time to time: Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, 1 and 2 Maccabees, not to mention more chapters to the books of Esther and Daniel.

Children's Bibles are a unique category; basically if kids like it and will read it, it's a good Bible for them. Since some of the most effective theological training we've had comes by way of images-from stained glass windows and statues through Hollywood movies--the pictures may be the most important feature in the selection for children.

For adults, the words matter more. If you're going to have only one Bible in the house, make it an NABRE: New American Bible Revised Edition, barely two years old in its present version.

The sound of the sentences will match what you are used to hearing in church, and it's as authorized as a Bible can be: the original NAB was endorsed by Pope Paul VI, and the current revision is approved by the U.S. bishops. It's a readable, accurate translation you can take to the bank for homework as well as personal reading. Look for a volume with footnotes that cross-reference related biblical texts, all-essential maps, and timelines. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Buy the Book: Not All Bibles Are Created Equal. Here's How to Not Get Lost in the Translations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.