Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Catholic Edition of the NIV....

...Psalms. Yes, this book actually exists. Not only does it exist, but it is even approved by the USCCB. This edition, published in 1996 by Catholic Book Publishing, states: "This is the Catholic edition of the Psalms of one of the very highly regarded and indeed most popular Bible translations in the world. This St. Joseph Edition is printed in large, easy-to-read 10 pt. type with references and notes at the bottom of each page." The Catholic Book Publishing site also has a .pdf which gives you a look at the book's introduction as well as Psalm 23.
My initial thoughts on this edition:
** The format of each page mirrors all the other St. Joseph editions that Catholic Book Publishing has released over the past fifty plus years. Basically, if you have an NAB or even an old Confraternity edition, then you know how the NIV Psalms are formatted. While I am not a huge fan of this, it is nice to see the scriptural text in a single-column format.
** The St. Joseph NIV Psalms also include cross-references, textual notes, and footnotes. At first, I figured that they just used the NAB footnotes, but alas I was wrong. Since I do not actually own this edition, I am not sure whether or not these notes were developed specifically for this edition. If any one has info on this, please let me know.
** So, why would Catholic Book Publishing even publish the NIV Psalms in a Catholic edition? Could it be that they recognized the revised '91 NAB Psalms were inferior in almost every way? At this point, I really have no idea. And the fact that I rarely see this edition at any Catholic bookstore I frequent causes me to question why it was produced in the first place.


Biblical Catholic said...

I am not a big fan for the NIV, too evangelical, too loose with the translation, the parts which are best are practically word for word the same as the RSV......but the TNIV is better and I would be interested in a Catholic Edition of the TNIV

Timothy said...


While I am not sure how often I would use it, it would be nice to have a Catholic edition of the TNIV. Certainly it would be a benefit for me when I am leading ecumenical Bible studies.

Anonymous said...

Although not Orthodox, I am
interested in their biblical interpretation.--
I am looking for a Bible in
English with the Old Testament
translated directly from the Septuagint and the NT from the oldest Greek text(S) available.
A Catholic Imprimatur accompanying
this Bible would be excellent.
(I realize that Orthodox Bibles
may have a few more passages in Daniel,etc-- I think. But, if I could find a Catholic Bible that meets the above criteria, I'd
be happy.

Also, given your studies, what's your opinion on the NASB and Sir Lancelot Breton's translation
of the Septuagint?

Timothy said...


The NASB is highly regarded as a very literal Bible translation. Since it doesn't come with the Deuterocanonical books, I haven't spent much time with it. I am aware of a number of Bible bloggers who have used the NASB. In regards to the Sir Lancelot CL Brenton translation, I am afraid to say that I don't know much about it. Perhaps some of the readers will be able to comment on it.

I, like you, would love to have a modern english translation of the LXX combined with the NT. I am not sure one exists, certainly not in a Catholic edition. There is the Orthodox Study Bible, which has a newly translated LXX, but with the NKJV NT. I haven't heard particularly good reviews of this edition however.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for answering my questions about a good English translation
of the Septuagint. Your comments on the NASB where echoed
by a pastor that I often listen to. I might look into this translation for some
additional insight into the meanings of various passages.-- Yes, as a Catholic myself, not having the Deuterocanonical is a definite drawback.

During my search for a solid English translation of the LXX, I came across the Eastern
Orthodox Bible. It may be too literal for some, but this Bible is a true find and may
be THE English translation that I choose to settle down with .--- Check out the Bible
samples on its site. It seems that good!

The New Testament is complete
the OT isn’t.-- Seems to be in short supply and prices on Amazon
cost more. May only be left in paperback for now.

Here is a link for the Eastern
Orthodox Bible.

While based directly from the LXX it includes major variant renderings in
its notes. (MT,TR,etc.) The Psalter will be laid out for liturgical use
and has both MT and LXX numbering.

I prefer to read the Bible one tradition at a time. This Bible will
give me the opportunity to compare whole tradition against
whole tradition, versus reading (in my opinion) stilted renderings
that combine many traditions but which are at the whim of
modern scholarship which can change.

I know in my heart and soul (having experienced great graces from
Confession and Mass) that the Church Universal is Christianity
in its fullness. Christ gave us the perfect Church. Hopefully,
its imperfect members (myself included) can come up
with a better English Bible that at least aims for perfection.

--Until then, perhaps I’m jaded, we Catholics are sojourners
looking for that elusive jewel— A GREAT and MOST
EXCELLENT Catholic Bible in English.

Thanks again for your hard work Tim.

Anonymous said...


One more post on the Eastern Orthodox Bible (EOB).

Here is a link to download the entire EOB New Testament,
Psalter draft,etc.

After a brief look over, I like what I see. In a few
instances the editors (wisely) have chosen classical
language suitable for litutgical use (Pater Noster,
Beatitudes.) They don’t seem to have overdone it ,
however. Psalm 23 and 90 or is it 91 are rendered
in modern English. This makes sense even though
I will still memorize them(and other parts of the
Bible) in classical English. Doing this brings me joy,
spiritual comfort and aids me when I evangelize
or engage in apologetics with non-Catholics or

The EOB seems to be a good piece of work.
I’m excited about it. I hope others with more knowledge
than myself will give their take on the EOB.

Tim, once again thanks for you BLOG.

Timothy said...


Thanks for the kind words and for the information you provided.

dave b said...

"In regards to the Sir Lancelot CL Brenton translation, I am afraid to say that I don't know much about it. Perhaps some of the readers will be able to comment on it."

Brenton's translation basically uses the KJV as a base, and where the LXX differs from the masoretic text he has replaced it with his own translation which is also in KJV-style English (its from about 1850). His translation of all the Apocrypha is just the KJV, except of course for the books that the Roman Catholic church rejects and which the Anglicans who produced the KJV therefore didn't translate, namely 3rd and 4th Macabees.

Unknown said...

Re: KJV Apocrypha.

The Deutero-cannonical books were indeed translated by the Anglicans, though placed separately from the other Old Testament books in the KJV Bible. (Only in the 20th century or so did publishers regularly omit the KJV Apocrapha.) Anglicans/Episcopalians are relatively unique among Protestants in that they continued to uphold the Deutero-cannonical books as part of the Bible, useful for teaching and liturgy though not for doctrine.

I'm a fan of the Orthodox Study Bible, mostly because the Old Testament translation of words and phrases line up better with the New Testament because they both come from the Greek. (Ironically, the KJV is also pretty good at this since they actually leaned heavily on the Latin Vulgate, which, being closer to the Greek LXX, lines up with the NT references better than OTs translated more strictly from the Hebrew OT. (The Bible Jesus and the NT writers would have known would have been the Greek OT.)

NRSV Catholic Edition is really good. Ecumenical and scholarly sound, and fairly nice rendering. If you like the more melodic rendering of the KJV but want an imprimatur, check out the Knox translation: .

Jeff S. said...

Don't forget the complete Bible by Fr. Nicholas King
translated from the Greek Septuagint for the Old Testament and the
Greek texts for the New Testament.

This was discussed on this blog earlier this past spring several months ago: