English Translations of the Roman Catholic Bible

in the 20th Century


by Marianna Ricciuto


© 2006


I) Historical Reasons for Translating the Catholic Bible into English:


During the 16th century, religious unrest against the Catholic Church had climaxed and the emergence of different Christian schisms was quickly on the rise in mainland Europe and Britain.  In England, the advent of Protestantism saw an increasingly popular demand for Church reform – headed by none other than King Henry VIII – that ultimately called for English Christians to divorce themselves from the authority of Rome and accept the new form of Christianity introduced by the English monarch.  One of the major changes that resulted from this Protestant movement in England was the production of a myriad of English translations of the bible that were both popular and accessible among the English masses. 

Naturally, the Roman authorities were growing alarmed at the rise of Protestantism in England and the rapidity in which the English translated bibles were being purchased by English Catholics.  Many English Catholics claimed that the Church-sanctioned Latin Vulgate was too antiquated and incomprehensible for those that were not versed in Latin.  Under these circumstances, the officials of the Catholic Church felt that they had no other choice but to appease English Catholics and to offer up their own translation of the bible in the English vernacular that, if nothing else, was at least translated according to the Church’s standards rather than those of Protestant dissidents.  


II) Differences between Catholic and Protestant Bibles:


Since the rise of Protestantism, the differences employed in translating the bible between Catholics and Protestants were, and in some cases still are, based on a number of differences.  The first of these is the different primary sources that the two groups were known to use when translating the bible.  Up until the mid-20th century, the only authorized version of the bible that the Church allowed to be used as a source for translation was the Latin Vulgate (which was in and of itself already a translation of the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts). During the Council of Trent in 1545, the Church claimed that the Latin Vulgate, first translated by St. Jerome in the fifth century and then later updated by Pope Clementine in 1592, was the only acceptable version of the bible and if translations of the bible were to be done correctly, then the Vulgate – and only the Vulgate – had to be used by translators as the key source. 

The English Protestants, on the other hand, dismissed this theory and argued that in order to precisely translate the content of the bible without translating the potential errors that may have already existed in a translated text, then the original manuscripts of the bible needed to be employed as the primary sources (i.e. The Hebrew books for the Old Testament and the Greek manuscript for the New Testament) and not a translated version like the Latin Vulgate.  For much of the last five centuries, Catholics and Protestants translated their bibles with this key difference in mind; however, important to note, is that the Catholic Church has recently moved away from authorizing only translations that evolved from the Latin Vulgate, encouraging instead that the bible be translated from the original languages as well.  Accordingly, Catholic bibles that have been translated within the last 50 years have generally adhered to the Hebrew and Greek texts as authentic sources rather than the Latin Vulgate.  A more detailed account for this change within the Catholic Church will be discussed later.   

A second key difference that still exists between Protestant and Catholic bibles is the Catholic bible’s acceptance and inclusion of all but three deuterocanonical books (i.e. Apocryphal books) in the Old Testament, such as the Books of Tobit, Judith, Ecclesiasticus, and Baruch, that neither Jewish nor Protestants sects recognize as containing any canonical merit.  The Greek Septuagint, translated by St. Jerome during the fifth century, has come to be accepted by the Catholic Church as containing scripturally inspired texts.[1]  Protestant translators acknowledge these books as being historically relevant, but not divinely inspired, although they have been known to include them in ecumenical translations of the bible as a separate section (usually located between the Old and New Testaments).  Catholic translators, conversely, will intersperse these books within the Old Testament equating their value to that of the books of the Old Testament. 

A final difference between the Catholic and Protestant bible revolves around the interpretation of key passages.  While many of the words and indeed phraseology of certain sections of the bible may be translated in exactly the same way in both bibles, the way the passages are interpreted will vary from one Christian group to the next.  For instance, the Catholic Church claims that there is ample evidence in the New Testament to suggest Mary’s perpetual virginity, the existence of purgatory, and the affirmation that priests should remain celibate.  Protestants, on the other hand, suggest that there is in fact no solid evidence supporting any of these theories and accuses the Catholic Church of misrepresenting the overall messages of the bible.  Likewise, the Protestants argue that the Catholic Church’s endorsement of sacraments (i.e. the rituals of baptism, reconciliation, communion, confirmation, and the anointment of the sick) are not reflected in the content of the bible and consequently, do not prove that Christ (or God) intended for these rituals to be practiced by Christians or that they necessarily lead to salvation. 


III) Archaic Language, Latinisms and the Latin Influence:


a) The Douai-Rheims Bible (1609, 1610)

Before delving into the 20th century translations of the bible, it is necessary to take a look at the first English translation of the Catholic Bible: the Douai-Rheims, published in its entirety in two volumes in 1609 and 1610, and translated in reaction to the many Protestant versions already in circulation in Britain during the early 17th century.  Despite the Church’s noblest efforts in attempting to produce a Catholic bible in which English Catholics would better understand than the Latin Vulgate, the majority of the English people did not find solace in this new translation.  In fact, they complained that the bible was completely riddled with Latinisms so much so that certain passages were completely incomprehensible to the English reader.  For instance, in Philippians 2:7, the Douai-Rheims reads: “He exinanited himself.”  In Jeremiah, there is an even more outlandish and undecipherable passage: “The Ram he shal immolate for a pacifique hoste to the Lord, offering withal the baskette of azymes and libametes that by custom are dew” (Numbers 6:17).  Latin-based words like “exinaninate,” “libametes” and “azymes” were just as foreign to the English in the 17th century as they are today to English speakers.[2]

As a result of these Latinisms and the overall popularity of the English Protestant bibles, the sales for the Douai-Rheims were meagre upon its publication and a Catholic version of the bible in the vernacular remained virtually unknown among English Catholics throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.  Catholics in England either opted to purchase a Protestant version of the bible or refuse to have one altogether until Bishop Challoner made some major revisions to the Douai-Rheims in 1738.  The Douai-Rheims remained the only authorized vernacular translation of the bible until the middle of the 20th century when Ronald Knox translated and offered up his own English translation.  It is discussed below.


b) The Knox Bible (1945)

The Knox bible, published in its entirety in 1945, surprisingly employed an old edition of the Latin Vulgate (1592) as its main source rather than the original Hebrew and Greek texts.  This is surprising because just two years earlier, in 1943, before Knox completed his translation, the Vatican issued an encyclical titled Divino Afflante Spiritu that encouraged would-be translators to translate the bible into the vernacular from the original manuscripts of Hebrew and Greek and not Latin.  Knox, however, chose not to, believing that since Latin was the official language of the Church and that the Vulgate was the Church’s original bible the only way he could produce an accurate translation that reflected the values of Catholicism was to use the 1592 edition of the Vulgate even though he was aware that this edition contained some errors in its translation.  For instance, in certain sections, the Vulgate uses the Latin word urbem “city” when orbem “world” should have been intended.  In Acts 17:6, the passage in the 1592 translation of the Vulgate translates to “These that have turned the city upside down are come hither also.”  The correct translation should have read world instead of city, which Knox was more than aware of.  However, because the Vulgate used city, Knox felt that he had no authority to change the meaning of that passage in his translation even though world would have been the correct translation.  Subsequently, Knox erroneously translated the same passage using the English word state in the place where world should have been.

Ironically, however, Knox did not follow the conventions of the Vulgate when it came to the style of his translation.  Rather than translating the poetic aspects of the bible (i.e. with the Hebrew Parallelism) the way the Vulgate did, Knox opted to render his translation completely in prose, suggesting that English Catholics would be more familiar with his style of writing than with what he called the “wholly foreign” style of the Vulgate.  His style, though, despite being in simple prose, is still odd and archaic.  More than keeping antique language such as “thee” and “thou” throughout the text, Knox also inverts subjects and verbs and rarely uses articles and conjunctions: “Bright flash that enemy’s shields, warriors of his go clad in scarlet; dark like flame his chariots as he goes to the attack, dizzily sways charioteer.  How jostle they in the streets, those chariots, hurtle they in the open market-place; dazzle they like flame of torches, like lightning that comes and goes” (Prophecy of Nahum 2:3-4).  Knox believed that by translating the bible in such an unorthodox manner, more people would be inclined to read it because it would read more as an original text than just a simple translation.

Knox’s use of the Vulgate as his source for translation resulted in the names of the biblical books to be kept in Latin, such as the Book of Abdias for the more commonly used Obadiah. Also, like the publication of the Douai-Rheims centuries before his own translation, Knox’s bible is guilty of containing some Latinisms (i.e. “perdition” instead of “destruction”) – albeit not to the extent of the Douai-Rheims.  Naturally, the Latin influenced vocabulary caused some confusion among English Catholics, many of whom would have been unable to decipher the meanings of the Latin-based words in the bible.  Likewise, because the Knox bible is also guilty of being infused with archaic language (i.e. “thee” and “thou” is used instead of “you”), the modern, English-speaking Catholic would have found the language of the bible to be at odds with his or her own vernacular.

Being a Catholic bible, the apocryphal books are of course included in Knox’s translation. Likewise, to ensure that his translation preserved Catholic dogma only, Knox inserted footnotes to reinforce Catholic interpretation and to clarify the meanings behind some passages that remained a bit ambiguous in his translation.  For instance, in Matthew 12:46-50, Knox’s bible makes mention of Jesus’s brothers.  However, as the footnote is quick to point out, Mary could not have possibly borne any other children since, according to Catholic teachings, she remained a virgin throughout her life.  The footnote explains: “it is impossible for anyone who holds the Catholic tradition to suppose that our Lord had brothers by blood…the most common opinion is that these ‘brethren’ were his cousins; a relationship for which the Jews had no separate name.”

Knox’s bible received great acclaim when it was first published.  Time magazine called Knox the “man who made the great 20th century bible.”  Ultimately, his translation offered up a newer version to the Douai-Rheims and was welcomed by many English Catholics in the middle of the 20th century; however, his translation – still containing a heavily Latin influenced and archaic vocabulary – would soon be overshadowed by future, more modern, translations.


IV) Out with the Old: Introducing the Modern Vernacular into the Catholic Bible:


a) Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition (RSV-CE) (1966)

The RSV was one of the first English bibles to be translated that gained approval by both Protestant and Catholic groups.  The Protestant edition of the RSV was published first in 1952 and then, with some help from Catholic scholars, the complete Catholic Edition of the RSV was released in 1966 bearing some interpretative changes in certain footnotes as well as containing the addition of the deuterocanonical books in the Old Testament.  Some of the most notable changes made to the Catholic edition were the gospel references relating to the preservation of Mary’s continual virginity.  For instance, “Favoured one” becomes “Full of Grace” and “Jesus’s brothers” is changed to “Jesus’s brethren.”  In total, 93 changes were made to the New Testament; with the exception of adding the deuterocanonical books to the Old Testament, no changes were made to any of the Old Testament passages.  Interestingly enough, the vast majority of footnotes that were added by the Catholic translators were generally accepted by most Protestants. 

The key event that allowed Catholic translators to join forces with Protestants for the publication of the RSV was the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).  Vatican II called for major Church reforms; most notably in this case was the Church’s encouragement that all Catholic translators unite with other Christian denominations to work simultaneously on bible translations with the hope that dialogue among the different sects would improve.  Indeed, without the changes brought on by Vatican II it would be difficult to imagine that this joint project between Catholics and Protestants would have ever happened.

Unlike the Knox Bible that uses archaic language throughout, the RSV implemented a more contemporary, 20th century vocabulary to their translation, which essentially resulted in a much clearer translation of some of the passages.  For example, the passage “Move from here to here” is a more modern rendition than the archaic “Move hence to yonder place” (Matthew 17:20).  For the most part, the RSV adopted a literal translation of the Hebrew and Greek texts, so much so, that at times the translators would follow the word order of the original manuscripts and not the word order that made most sense in English.  This was often the main point of contention among the critics of the RSV.

The RSV is perhaps most well-known for igniting the Isaiah controversy among conservative Protestants and some conservative Catholics when the translators did not use the term “virgin” to address Mary in the Isaiah 7:14 passage, but rather opted for the more ambiguous term “young woman.”  Conservatives argued that the reference to Mary as a “young woman” was misleading and inaccurate while the translators of the RSV adamantly claimed that the term “young woman” was the most correct portrayal of the Hebrew word almâ, since the term in Hebrew only translates to young, unmarried woman – not necessarily a virgin.  Ultimately, staunch Protestant conservatives reacted negatively to this translation in America and some even deemed it a “communist” version of the bible, publicly burning copies of it.  Despite these actions however, the majority of Christians welcomed and praised the RSV translation for being the first modern version of the bible that attempted to unify all English-speaking Christians.


b) Jerusalem Bible (JB) (1966):

The Jerusalem Bible was the first completely Catholic bible to be translated from the original languages of Hebrew and Greek instead of Latin.  The first translation of this bible was actually produced in 1961 by a group of French monks in Jerusalem.  Important to note however, is that despite the origins of this bible being in French, the majority of the English edition was translated from the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.  The only time the French translation was utilized as the main source for the English version occurred when there was more than one possible interpretation for a particular passage.  Unlike Knox’s bible, the JB retains the poetic form found in the Hebrew text.  In fact, the poetry and eloquent literary style is what this bible has been most praised for. 

In this version of the bible, some archaic language is eliminated, although not all.  For example, the second singular is written in the modern English “you” form, but God is consistently addressed in the traditional “Yahweh” rather than the more contemporary “Lord” appellation.  The language delicately balances the contemporary lexicon of British English of the 1960s with the formal and liturgical language of the Church and it cleverly comes up with a suitable compromise for the Isaiah controversy that plagued the RSV upon its publication.  Rather than referring to Mary as a “virgin” or a “young woman,” the JB, addresses her as a “maiden.” 

The Jerusalem Bible is not overwhelmingly “Catholic” like the Knox bible, but many of the footnotes throughout remind the reader that this bible ought to be interpreted according to Catholic teachings.  For instance, in Matthew 1:25, when Mary’s virginity is in question, the note reads, “The text is not concerned with the period that followed and, taken by itself does not assert Mary’s perpetual virginity which, however, the gospels elsewhere suppose and which the Tradition of the Church affirms.”  Likewise, in 1 Corinthians 3:14-15, the JB redirects the reader’s attention to the footnote on the bottom of the page suggesting that this passage indicates the Church’s belief in purgatory: “This is not a direct reference to purgatory but several Doctors of the Church have taken it as a basis for that doctrine.”[3]

Overall, the JB has been considered one of the better translations of the 20th century and is praised by both Catholics and Protestants for its eloquent language and detailed notes.  The main criticism with this bible though, is that some feel that the translators read more into the text than what the original writings seem to have suggested.  For example, in 1 Corinthians 7-12, the JB translates the verse in this way: “since sex is always a danger, let each man have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”  However, according to the Greek manuscript, the opening clause of that verse should translate to “because there is so much immorality.”  The JB assumes that Paul, in this passage, is offering up generic advice about the potential dangers of sex; yet, it is very clear in other, more accurate, translations that Paul’s advice refers exclusively to the dangers of a certain time and place, namely Corinth – a city that, at that time, was extensively immoral and raging out of control, even within the walls of the Church.  The way the translators of the JB opted to translate this passage may have had more to do with the modern context surrounding its publication (i.e. the rebellion against sexual mores that was starting to take shape in the 1960s at the same time this bible was being put together) than with the original meaning of the translation.  


c) New American Bible (NAB) (1970):

In 1970, the first American Catholic bible, the New American Bible, was translated and published as a counterpart to the British Jerusalem Bible; and, like the JB, the NAB was translated from the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts.  The NAB was the first Catholic bible to completely eliminate archaic language (i.e. “you” is used for both singular and plural forms of the second person).  It also replaced traditionally Catholic spellings of names with those more generally used in other (Protestant) bibles.  For instance, Isaiah, originally spelt without the “h” ending in previous Catholic bibles, has the “h” in the NAB.  Like the RSV, this bible was translated by a team of biblical scholars, not all of them were Catholic; indeed, five of the translators were Protestants. 

The translation of the NAB has been cited as one of the most contemporary written, straightforward and accurate translations of any modern bible.  It is clear and simple and reflective of the American lexicon (rather than British English as the JB is).  In comparison to the JB, the language is more brief and conservative and for this reason many scholars believe that the NAB stays most true to the content in the original texts.  Its one criticism stylistically, however, is that the language of this bible is boring and that the books of the bible read very “plain, flat, and matter-of-fact” lacking the eloquence and poetic nuances present in the JB.

Unlike the JB, the NAB has only a few footnotes, most of which, surprisingly, neither reinforce nor interpret certain passages exclusively according to Catholic dogma.  For instance, no special point is made to the Church’s belief in purgatory in 1 Corinthians 3:14-15 as was the case in the Jerusalem Bible.  Likewise, in Matthew 1:25 where Mary’s virginity is questioned, the footnote only states that, “the evangelist emphasizes the virginity of the mother of Jesus from the moment of his conception to his birth,” but does not stress that Mary’s perpetual virginity is a tradition upheld by the Church.  Moreover, with regards to the Church’s affirmation that priests must remain celibate to mirror the celibacy of the apostles, the NAB paradoxically appears to indicate that the apostles were more than likely married and therefore not celibate in 1 Corinthians 9:5: “Do we not have the right to take along a Christian wife, as do the rest of the apostles?”  In older translations of the bible such as the JB, this passage is generally marked with a footnote implying that these women were more than likely the apostles’ sisters and not their wives.  As a result, this specific translation follows the Protestant line of thinking a lot closer than the Catholic one, since preserving the apostles’ celibacy – which is what the NAB does not do – is what is usually referred to by the Catholic Church as the reason why priests must remain celibate.

Upon its first publication in 1970, the NAB introduced gender-inclusive language in some of its passages (i.e. “brothers and sisters” is used to address a mixed group of people) in an attempt to reach all audiences.  However, when God’s gender is mentioned or in passages that are deemed to contain theological importance, the masculine form is always utilized.  For example, Psalm 1:1 reads, “Happy the man [not man and woman] who follows not the counsel of the wicked.”  When the NAB was commissioned, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops determined that this reference in the Book of Psalms was theologically reflective of Catholic teachings and as such needed to stay in the masculine form.   

            The NAB is the only Catholic bible currently authorized by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for liturgical use in America.  Naturally, to reflect the social and political changes of the later years of the 20th century it – along with the bibles discussed below – has gone through a series of editions and revisions in the last 30 years (the 2000 edition being the most recent publication).  As will be discussed in the final section of this webpage, during the later years of the 20th century, bible translators have attempted to move towards translation methods that are gender inclusive and politically correct overall without compromising the meanings and messages of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.


V) Gender Inclusiveness and the Politically Correct Bible:


a) New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) (1985):

As the title suggests, the NJB is a revised, up-to-date edition of the 1966 version of the JB.  The main difference between this publication and the older JB is that the NJB consciously added gender-inclusive language throughout to avoid what the preface of this bible claims is “the masculine preference.”  Given the rise of feminism and gender-equality movements in the West during the 1970s and 1980s, the translators of the NJB offered up a version of the bible that they felt best represented these societal changes while remaining true to the original biblical sources.  As such, in passages like Exodus 20:17, the NJB offers up a translation that is representative of both sexes: “Neighbour’s wife,” for instance, becomes “Neighbour’s spouse.”  As well, the reference to Mary as a “young woman” in the Isaiah 7:14 passage, that caused so much controversy when the RSV was released, is also translated as “young woman” in the NJB rather than the more conservative “virgin” that is found in the NAB.   

Despite these revisions, however, the NJB did not radically modify all of its passages to reflect the political changes that were occurring in the outside world.  Gender inclusiveness, for instance, is not inserted in all passages and certainly not included when God’s gender is in question.  Nevertheless, the changes made by the NJB should not be overlooked.  Being one of the first Catholic bibles to consciously offer up a translation that at least attempted to utilize a vocabulary that was inclusive in as many places as the translators deemed fit, the NJB is considered one of the more groundbreaking translations of the 20th century.  Ultimately, the 1985 publication of the NJB opened the door for the more progressively-aligned translation to be released – that being, the New Revised Standard Bible.


b) New Revised Standard Bible – Catholic Edition (NRSV-CE) (1990):

In 1990, the New Revised Version of the RSV was published.  Hoping to gain support by all Christian denominations, including the Catholic Church, translators of the NRSV also published a Catholic edition of the translation that included in the deuterocanonical books in the order that the Catholic Church deemed correct.  Strikingly different about this Catholic edition though is that the footnotes that pertain specifically to Catholic interpretation in other bibles are, for the most part, left out in this translation.  Thus, in 1 Corinthians 3:14-15, no reference at all is made to the Church’s belief in purgatory whereas in previous translations, such as the Jerusalem Bible, a footnote indicating the Church’s position in this matter is indicated.

More than just eliminating archaic language and antiquated phraseology, this edition of the bible is perhaps best known for its removal of all masculine-oriented language (except in relation to God) and is generally perceived as the most progressive Catholic bible currently available.  Some examples of gender inclusiveness include changes from “mankind” to “humankind,” “my son” to “my child” and, in the Titus 1:56 passage, “the husbands of but one wife” to “married only once.”  Also, the controversial Isaiah 7:14 verse retains the reference to Mary as “young woman” like the RSV and NJB rather than going with the more conservative “virgin” translation. 

Not surprisingly, the emergence of gender-inclusiveness and politically correct language in the bible resulted in some criticisms among conservative Christians upon this bible’s publication.  Some argued that the translators of the NRSV inserted gender-inclusiveness in passages where only males were the intended referents.  A common example critics cite is the Book of Proverbs where the translators changed the gender-specific “my son” to the gender-neutral “my child” even though this particular Book of the bible revolves around the story of a specific father giving advice to his son.

Despite these criticisms, however, the NRSV (both the Protestant and Catholic editions) has been acclaimed as the best scholarly translation of the bible for study and liturgical use.  In addition to reflecting the social and political climate of the late 20th century, the NRSV is praised for its unambiguous language – a claim that the 17th century publication of the Douai-Rheims could never make.  An example of this clarity can be seen when comparing a passage from Corinthians between the NRSV and the older RSV edition.  In the newer edition, the verse is clear-cut and simple.  It reads: “Once I received a stoning.”  Conversely, the 1952 edition of the RSV refers to the exact same passage in a much more ambiguous manner: “Once I was stoned” (2 Corinthians 11:25).  Without a doubt, the modern reader would have a little more difficulty deciphering the meaning of the RSV passage than it would with the NRSV.

Upon its publication in 1990, the NRSV-CE has replaced the NJB in Britain and Canada as the only bible authorized by the Conference of Catholic Bishops for liturgical use in the two nations.


V1) Conclusion:


            Since its first English translation nearly four centuries ago, the Catholic bible has certainly gone through a series of evolutions in the 20th century.  From Knox’s translation in 1945 to the very contemporary publication of the NRSV-CE in 1990, all of the changes made to the bible reflect both the reforms made within the Church, such as Vatican II and the socio-political movements that were occurring at the time the translations were put together.  The shared relationship between Protestant and Catholic translators throughout the 20th century to create a bible that was representative of all Christian values and the addition of gender inclusive language in the 1980s and 1990s are perhaps two of the most significant changes made to the editions of the Catholic bibles in the 20th century and changes that were welcomed by both Protestants and Catholics alike. 

The start of the new millennium, however, saw the Vatican issue a controversial publication calling for tighter translation laws within the Church.  The Church hoped that by encouraging stringent translation laws, translators would come up with only one version of the bible in the vernacular.  Given all of the strides that were made in the 20th century to create a bible in which all Christians could approve of, it is not surprising that the Vatican’s request has yet to be fulfilled.  




Holy Bible – New Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition. Ottawa: Catholic Bible Press,



Holy Bible, Old Testament and New Testament : Revised Standard Version.  Minnesota,

            Liturgical Press, 1966.


Jerusalem Bible. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966.


Knox, Ronald. The Holy Bible: A Translation from the Latin Vulgate in the Light of the Hebrew

and Greek Originals. London: Burns & Oates Publishers, 1995.


New American Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.


New Jerusalem Bible. New York: Doubleday, 1985.



For Further Reading


Bruce, F.F. The English Bible: A History of Translation. London: Lutterworth Press, 1961.


Dewey, David. Which Bible? A Guide to English Translations. Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 



Hagen, Kenneth. The Bible in the Churches: How Various Christians Interpret the Bible.

Marquette University Press, 1998.


Hammond, Gerald. The Making of the English Bible. Manchester: Carcanet New Press, 1982.


Kubo, Sakae and Walter F. Sprecht.  So Many Versions? 20th Century English Versions of the

Bible.  Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1983.


Liturgiam Authenticam: Fifth Instruction on Vernacular Translation of the Roman Liturgy.

            Washington: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2001.


Lucker, Raymond A. and William C. McDonough. Revelation and the Church: Vatican II in the

Twenty-first Century. New York: Orbis Books, 2003.


MacGreggor, Geddes. A Literary History of the Bible: From the Middle Ages to the Present Day.

Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1968.


Vance, Laurence M. A Brief History of English Bible Translations. Florida: Vance Publications,



[1] The Greek Septuagint is an old translation of the Hebrew Old Testament that dates as far back as 250 BC.

[2] In contemporary bible translations, the term exinanited is generally translated as “emptied.”  With regards to the other terms, there is no clear indication what any of those translate to mean in modern English; however, the translation of Numbers 6:17 is written as follows in the Revised Standard Version Bible: “He shall offer the ram as a sacrifice of peace offering to the LORD, with the basket of unleavened bread; the priest shall offer also its cereal offering and its drink offering.”

[3] 1 Corinthians 3:14-15 reads: “If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.”